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Merchant Accounts

To take online subscriptions and one-off payments, you need to set up a merchant account with an ‘acquiring bank’.  Below is a list of the major UK acquiring banks:

- Lloyds TSB Cardnet
- Bank of Scotland (call 0800 652 5808 for merchant services)
- Barclaycard Merchant Services

There are several different types of merchant accounts. The one required for your subscription website is an ‘internet merchant account’. Your internet merchant account is separate from a personal or business account.

Merchant Account Charges

The fees charged for an internet merchant account differ from bank to bank and depend on how well established your business is.  Standard charges include: set-up fee, a percentage rate for credit card transactions and a flat rate for debit card transactions.

We have found that HSBC offers the lowest rates.

Merchant Account Application

When you apply for your merchant account, you must request the following:

  • Internet merchant account
  • Multiple currencies (if required). You do not have to have a different account for each additional currency.
  • Recurring payments.

Please note that you only require the internet merchant account, you do not want the bank to provide the payment gateway.

If you are a US company, you may use
If you are a UK company, you may use


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