Merchant Accounts

The following are providers of merchant accounts and credit card machines for UK businesses. There are also providers who specialise in providing high-risk merchant accounts.

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Merchant Account Provider Notes
First data Enables over six million businesses around the world to accept card payments. More info »
Fidelity Founded in New York in 1996, Fidelity has gone on to become one of the largest electronic payment providers worldwide with branches across the US, Canada and now here in the UK. More info »
Utp Competitive rates for small and medium businesses. More info »
Worldpay Largest merchant services acquirer in the UK. More info »
Card cutters Competitive rates. 5-star rating with TrustPilot. More info »
Global payments Acquired HSBC Merchant Services in the UK in 2009. More info »
Co op More info »
Barclaycard More info »
Lloyds tsb cardnet More info »
Aib More info »
Elavon More info »

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a special bank account that can receive money from credit card and debit card payments. It is different from your normal business bank account and doesn't need to be with the same bank.

You'll sometimes hear the term 'Internet merchant account', or IMA. This is a merchant account that can be used to receive online payments.

What is a MID?

Your merchant account has a unique identifier that banks use to identify it. This is called your merchant ID or MID.

High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Some types of businesses are considered by banks to be riskier than others.

For example, businesses that sell tickets for events provided by another company are considered high-risk because they might sell lots of tickets, then shut down before the event organisers have been paid.

Acquiring banks consider some business sectors to be high-risk for various reasons. If you're having trouble getting a merchant account with Streamline or one of the high street banks, you may like to try getting a high-risk merchant account.