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.
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.
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 Authorize.net.
If you are a UK company, you may use Protx.com.
Can't get an online merchant account?