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Thread: Merchant Account for small transactions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Leicester
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    Default Merchant Account for small transactions

    Hi,

    I currently only accept payments via PayPal.

    I plan to be accepting card payments via a merchant account and card processor by August-September.

    I sell greeting cards (as well as much more expensive items). But the merchant accounts I have looked at have debit card fees per transaction of 0.27 - 0.40 (or more initially)

    I really want to avoid reintroducing a minimum order value or increasing postage charges for cards, but I can't afford 15%-20% per transaction.

    There are obviously many other considerations, but can anybody advise me if there are any merchant accounts which cater for these small debit-card transactions?

    Thanks again.

    Chris

    Fab Cat Gifts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    West Yorkshire
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    1,168

    Default

    Im not sure about that to be honest. I use Sage Pay as my payment gateway and HSBC as my merchant bank Monthly charge of 20 from Sage Pay and then the card charges, as you describe.

    Are you a member of Federation Of Small Businesses? I think they do a subsidised scheme for members?

    Sorry - I haven't been much help really?

    Terry
    Terry

  3. #3
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    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks Terry.

    Yes I am a member of the FSB. They use streamline and RBS WorldPay, but don't have details on their web-site of charges etc. I'll perhaps give them a ring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cumbria
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    Default

    We are members of the Federation Of Small Businesses (FSB) who have special rates with Streamline. The rates you get will depend on the number of orders you get a month, the average order value and whether you are new or not to taking cards online.

    The best rate we can get for debit cards is 20.5p per transaction. For credit cards it varies depending on the type of card between 1.195% and 1.815% per transaction.

    There is an annual fee with the FSB of something like 150 (can't remember exactly) but it was worth joining for us just for the credit card processing fees. You can also get free banking, legal advice etc

    http://www.fsb.org.uk/benefits

    PS Nice to see someone else from Leicester here

    EDIT: PPS Just seen you are already members of FSB. If you send them an e-mail or give them a call with your membership number they should give you the charges.
    Regards,

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks Dave. I'll give them a ring.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    North East
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    Default

    Hi,
    We used to be with streamline and the FSB had no problems with the service but now we use retail merchant services http://www.retailmerchantservices.co.uk/.
    All of our processing costs came down and very happy with all aspects of card handling.

    Alan.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks Alan:
    I have had a look on their web-site. You would get 25 if you referred me. I'll PM you my details. If you're not bothered just let me know and I'll send them an enquiry

    Cheers.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Nottingham
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    Default

    I recently hooked up with Streamline/Worldpay. When I was looking into it, I came across something that Paypal offer for low value transactions. If remember rightly it was 5p charge plus 5%. Might have that wrong but it's well worth investigating this option for your situation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    113

    Default

    Using paypal you also pay a set amount plus percentage. if on the lowest rate its 3.2% plus 20p per transaction.
    Calum

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    herefordshire
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    123

    Default

    I use sage pay (ecomms) and cardsave (cardmachine) they both charge me 0.20 per debit card and 1.4% credit. Not a member of the fsb
    Mark

    www.925Gifts.co.uk - Bluepark10 = 10% off

  11. #11
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    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks Mark. I'll speak to SagePay

  12. #12
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cumbria
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christopher View Post
    Thanks Mark. I'll speak to SagePay
    Don't forget you will still need a merchant account with someone like Streamline etc.

    Also SagePay are putting their Monthly fee up from 20 ex vat to 25 ex vat per month shortly.
    Regards,

    Dave

  13. #13
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    Mar 2012
    Location
    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks Dave,

    I am at the stage where I do not yet have the sales to justify a Card Processing and Merchant Account however I think the lack of this facility loses sales, so I am planning to be set up by @ September.
    Overall costs are very important, as is a flexible contract, but particularly I need to continue selling single low cost items (greeting cards) without having to set a minimum purchase. This makes the cost per transaction really relevant.
    I can cope with monthly fees and percentage fees, but wherever I look the costs per transaction for debit cards will take most of my profit from single greeting card sales.
    I am hoping that there is somebody who also sells low cost items (1 - 2.50) who has found a way of keeping these profitable.

    Many thanks again.

    Chris

    cat themed gifts | cat ornaments

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
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    Default

    PayPal has something called Micropayments

    https://www.paypal-business.co.uk/ta...ypal/index.htm

    I wouldn't normally recommend PayPal over Sagepay.

    With greetngs cards, you might have to make a loss on those and make more profit on your larger items if using Sagepay. You cant really control the way people pay for things if you use more than one payment method.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2010
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    Nottingham
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    Default

    That's the thing I was talking about. Thought I had made it up!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Leicester
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    Default

    Thanks everyone, all the advice is appreciated. I will continue to look around and then make some decisions on how best to deal with low-value items.

    Regards.

    Chris

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Re: Retail Merchant Services
    Do you still use them? I recently applied for an account with them, they came back and said the Bluepark shopping cart was not supported.

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