Barclays Merchant Services Review 2018

Barclays Merchant Services Review 2018

Last updated: 08/08/2018

The vast majority of high street banks will offer merchant services to their SME customers and Barclays is no different.

However, you might look at Barclays and wonder how much support a large multinational bank is really willing to offer to smaller SMEs. Well, the answer might surprise you.

Barclays has a wide range of services and products, including merchant accounts, PDQ machines and payment gateways, and they match up well compared to other products in the market.

In this review, I’ll give you a brief overview of Barclays before evaluating its products, pricing and service. Let’s get started.

 

What is Barclays?

Barclays is a British investment bank and financial services company founded 327 years ago in 1690. (Yes, really!)

Despite positioning itself as a large multinational bank, Barclays does offer support to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Usually, high street banks will partner with an established card processor and resell their services. RBS resells Worldpay, HSBC resells Global Payments and Santander resells First Data.

Barclays, however, is the exception that proves the rule as they have, thus far, kept all their payment processing in-house. (Whether this continues remains to be seen.)

 

Barclays Merchant Services

Barclays offers a wide range of services, covering everything from in-store card payments and payment gateways to eInvoicing and virtual terminals.

Below I’ve picked out some of the most popular services and the most important features.

  • Merchant Account: Unfortunately, Barclays is fairly strict with their merchant accounts so high-risk businesses, startups and other small businesses may struggle to qualify for an account
  • PDQ Machine: If you operate a bricks-and-mortar business, you will probably need a PDQ machine to accept payment from your customers. The good news is that Barclays offers a wide range of machines, including countertop PDQ machines, portable PDQ machines and mobile PDQ machines.
  • Mobile Card Readers: If your business is very small or your turnover is irregular, you might want to investigate Barclays pay-as-you-go card reader, Barclaycard Anywhere. Mobile card readers will charge you a bit more to process payments but you won’t have to deal with monthly rental fees or long-term contracts.
  • Online Payment Gateway: For online businesses, Barclays offers a product called Web Payments. This is essentially just a payment gateway and operates like any other one. Its fees are fairly competitive.
  • Virtual Terminal: Finally, Barclays offers a virtual terminal. A virtual terminal works just like a card reader but you type in the payment details instead of plugging it in. Virtual terminals are designed to take over-the-phone orders and mail orders.

 

Barclays Merchant Services Pricing

Now you know what services Barclays offers, it’s time to look at how much they charge.

I’ve started with Barclays face-to-face card processing options. Below you should find pricing for countertop, portable and mobile PDQ machines.

 

Product Monthly Rental Fee Contract Length Standard Costs Transaction Costs (Simple Price)* Transaction Costs (Classic Price)*
Countertop PDQ Machine £10 + VAT 18 months Set-up: £150

Cancellation: £125 + VAT

Authorisation: £0.03

Chargebacks: £9.00

Refunds: £0.30

Debit: 1.50%

Credit: 1.50%

Business Debit: 1.50%

Commercial: 1.50%

Debit: 0.80%

Credit: 1.71%

Business Debit: 0.80%

Commercial: 2.05%

Portable PDQ Machine £18 + VAT 18 months Set-up: £150

Cancellation: £125 + VAT

Authorisation: £0.03

Chargebacks: £9.00

Refunds: £0.30

Debit: 1.50%

Credit: 1.50%

Business Debit: 1.50%

Commercial: 1.50%

Debit: 0.80%

Credit: 1.71%

Business Debit: 0.80%

Commercial: 2.05%

Mobile PDQ Machine £20 + VAT 18 months Set-up: £150

Cancellation: £125 + VAT

Authorisation: £0.03

Chargebacks: £9.00

Refunds: £0.30

Debit: 1.50%

Credit: 1.50%

Business Debit: 1.50%

Commercial: 1.50%

Debit: 0.80%

Credit: 1.71%

Business Debit: 0.80%

Commercial: 2.05%

* Transaction costs for a business turning over £80,000 per year with £40,000 taken on personal cards and £40,000 as cash. The average transaction value was £15.

Barclays also offers a mobile POS (mPOS) device called Barclaycard Anywhere. Here is how it stacks up against industry leaders iZettle, Square and SumUp.

 

Product One-Off Fee Transaction Costs
Barclaycard Anywhere £60 + VAT 2.6% (75p per refund)
iZettle £29 + VAT 1.75%
Square £39 + VAT 1.75%
SumUp £29 + VAT 1.69%

 

As you can see, the Barclaycard Anywhere card reader is more expensive to buy and quite a bit more expensive to run. SumUp is the cheapest product on the market, costing just £29 to buy and charging just 1.69% on each transaction. iZettle and Square are both a bit more expensive than SumUp but are still considerably cheaper than the Barclays option.

One related thing to think about is the brand name. Some merchants believe that a Barclays branded card reader makes a more professional impression and, therefore, they’re more willing to pay the little bit extra. That, however, is a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.

Finally, there is Barclays Web Payments product, which is essentially just a payment gateway.

Here is what you can expect to pay.

 

Product Monthly Fee Cost per Additional Transaction Transaction Costs*
Web Payments £20.00 (includes 350 transactions) £0.10 Debit: 0.80%

Credit: 1.71%

Visa Business Debit: 0.80%

Commercial: 2.05%

Stripe £0.00 £0.00 Credit: 1.4% + 20p

Debit: 1.4% + 30p

* Transaction costs for a business turning over £40,000 per year with all £40,000 taken on personal cards. The average transaction value was £15.

As you can see, Barclays offers a competitive rate for transaction costs. However, the monthly fee might put off merchants with irregular or unpredictable monthly turnovers.

 

Barclays Merchant Services Reviews

Reviews are a little bit thin on the ground for Barclays Merchant Services with no presence on TrustPilot, Feefo or any other mainstream review platform.

After reviewing business forums and communities, I found a few posts critical of the service. However, most referred to Barclays’ strict application process rather than the service itself.

 

Find Your Next Merchant Services

If you are looking for new merchant services or to replace your existing merchant services, you could do a lot worse than Barclays.

However, I always recommend that merchants compare merchant services to see what’s actually on offer before they decide on a provider. If you are choosing a provider without researching the market, you simply can’t know whether you’re getting a good offer, a bad offer or something in between.

To see what payment options are available to you, click here to go to our comparison engine.

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