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Small Business Payment Processing Costs in the UK: How to Reduce Them

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If you’re a business owner, you’ll already know there are countless small business payment processing providers to choose from. Figuring them all out and finding the best place to start takes time. We’ve already explored ways to accept cheap online payments, but this article looks at the bigger picture by tackling payments in general. 

According to the UK Finance 2023 payments report, contactless payments soared in 2022, contributing to 37% of all transactions—a staggering 87% of individuals engaged in contactless payments at least once a month. Additionally, the rise of Buy Now Pay Later services marked a shift in consumer behaviour, with cash transactions dwindling to an all-time low of 14%. Digital wallets are playing their part, too. 

With these stats in mind, it’s safe to say we’re looking at a market in flux with customers carving out their own unique payment choices and needs. Whatever your business does, fine-tuning your checkout process with diverse payment methods is crucial. To help you along the way, we’ve outlined some of the UK’s leading and most varied payment processors for 2024. It’s just the ticket for UK small business owners if you’re seeking a new provider or switching to a better solution.

Why small business payment processing is important

Before we meet the line-up, let’s get acquainted with what processing should bring to your operation. This easy-follow checklist should help you identify what makes a payment provider stand out.

First up, check the fees and small print. Unreasonably high processing fees, gotcha contracts, service charges and astronomical hardware costs won’t boost your cash flow.

Hardware can be an issue. Some providers may demand a long tech shopping list with card terminals and expensive gadgets. Be mindful of this: taking payments doesn’t have to be complex. This can be costly and slow your operations down. 

Make sure it has omnichannel capabilities. Does the provider service each channel that you need? Providing the options required is essential for good customer experience and return visits. Consider in-store and e-commerce methods, plus remote payments like invoicing, payment links, etc.  

Integration potential. If you already have a POS, consider how your payment processor works alongside it. Is it easy to integrate, or will you need tech support?

How does it run? Is the system easy to use? Does it rely on a solid internet connection? Consider whether your staff can take payments easily without long-winded training or risk of delays. 

Scaling up? Can this provider grow with your business, for example, if you add more locations? It’s no use investing the time and effort of installing a new payment solution to change it not long after. 

Check those reviews. Check testimonials and user reviews to ensure the provider offers support and customer service. Ask real-life merchants in your industry for their thoughts and suggestions, too. The last thing you want is a payment meltdown on a busy day with nobody to help. 

With those pitfalls in mind, let’s consider some key players out there!

The best-priced payment processors in the UK right now

Are you ready to tap into secure payment processing that can save you money on fees? If so, we have the lowdown on the best options for your business…

Amazon Pay

What’s on offer? Familiar and secure payments using Amazon accounts.

Price check: 2.7% fee for monthly payment volumes under £50,000.

Plus points: High security, easy shopping, and compatibility with Shopify and BigCommerce.

WorldPay

What’s on offer? Tailored packages for small businesses.

The scoop: WorldPay’s got your back from countertops to mobile card machines.

Price check: Three packages to choose from, starting at £19/month.

Insider tips: Auto-renewal alert! Watch out for that, and be wary of persuasive sales pitches.

Atoa Payments 

What’s on the table? Instant bank-to-bank payments with low fees using QR codes and payment links.

Price check: Maximum flat rate of 0.6% per transaction with capped fees. Negotiable pricing is available on higher volumes.

Good to know: No contracts, service charges, hardware costs or hidden fees. Comes with POS, DMS and e-commerce integrations, developer support and training.

Adyen

Unique feature: Online and in-person payments with AI-powered fraud protection.

Price check: A processing fee of €0.11 plus a percentage based on payment method.

Remember: Best suited for larger SMEs; not ideal for startups.

Square

What do you get? In-person, phone, invoice, or online payments.

Price check: Ranges from 1.4% to 2.5% depending on the transaction type.

Extra features: Free magnetic stripe reader, quick launch, and next-business-day payouts.

Stripe

The lowdown: Tailored for online payments, customisable billing plans.

Price check: Transaction fees range from 1.2% to 3.25%.

Perks: Integration with mobile apps and over 135 currencies.

GoCardless

Key feature: Ideal for one-off or recurring payments.

Price check: Starting at 1% + £0.20 per transaction.

Highlights: Integrations with Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, and Salesforce.

Shopify Payments

What’s in store? A direct card acceptance solution with online and in-person options.

Price check: Monthly costs from £25 to £344, depending on the plan.

Bonus: No extra transaction fees when you use Shopify Payments.

Opayo (formerly Sage Pay)

Star offering: Solutions for online payments, card terminals, phones, and point of sale.

Price check: Varied plans, starting from £25 per month.

Consideration: No hidden fees and good customer service, but it is a bit pricier than Sage Pay was.

Zettle by PayPal

The deal: A one-stop shop with point of sale, card reader, and more.

Price check: Starting at £149/month for the payment terminal.

Perks: No contract, integration with Xero and Shopify, and quick bank deposits.

*Please note figures were correct when writing and may be subject to change. Do your research and read the small print before you sign up for anything.

The takeaway

In the world of payment processing, choosing the right partner to work with must take the front row. Whether you’re eyeing cost-effectiveness, integration options, or watertight security, these top payment processors for 2024 have got you covered. So, buckle up to boost your payments and watch your business reap all the benefits. Here’s to a new year full of fast, fair and secure transactions that provide a brighter financial future for your business.

Here’s a little more on how Atoa can help you.

Unbeatably low instant payments at a flat rate of 0.6% per transaction, plus capped fees. Flexible QR code payments and links on the Atoa app or desktop dashboard. Free from contracts, service charges, hidden fees and hardware costs.

Why not give us a try? We offer an introductory 14 days of free transactions once you download the Atoa Business app and sign up for an account. Click the banner below to start saving today!

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