The cheapest way to take cards online is to arrange your own payment gateway and merchant account separately; we spoke with a mechant who has recently done just that. Some merchants opt for a one-stop shop providing both the payment gateway and the merchant account in the belief that it is easier, quicker or cheaper than arranging separately. It isn’t.
We caught up with one of our customers, Shane Suebsahakarn, the founder of Japan Cool (www.japan-cool.co.uk) to talk about how they had selected their merchant account provider using Cardswitcher.co.uk. Japan Cool are one of the few online retailers in the UK selling Gundam model kits imported from Japan. For the uninitiated, Gundam are giant space robots similar to Transformers.
Shane, why did you set about arranging your own merchant account?
We were originally using PayPal but know this was an expensive option so we decided to switch to a payment gateway and merchant account setup. We knew which payment gateways our shopping cart was compatible with so we got quotes from all of them for a gateway and merchant account. Quotes were expensive in the 2.5% – 3.0% range and many of the popular gateways also wanted a set up fee of around £200. We found Cardswitcher which gave us the option to buy a separate internet merchant account which we could combine with a payment gateway of our choice, with no set up fee. So we opted for a WorldPay gateway which we have combined with a Lloyds merchant account arranged through Payfficiency. The pricing was over 50% cheaper than we were quoted elsewhere and on debit cards we pay a fixed price per transaction rather than a % of transaction value which is again significantly cheaper than elsewhere.
You had to contract with 2 different suppliers. Was that more difficult or complex?
Not at all. We had to fill in 2 application forms but these are pretty simple. Lloyds did everything else seamlessly.
The largest cost is the merchant account, not the payment gateway. Merchant accounts are a commodity and are easy to switch with no disruption to your website – you can keep the same payment gateway. All your payment gateway provider does is point their gateway at a different merchant account. There are massive savings available without spending too much of your time.
If you want a quick estimate of how much Cardswitcher could reduce your online card acceptance costs by, try our free, quick, annonymous Paypal calculator or click here if you want a more detailed quote.