Online Payment Systems UK

Remay Villaester (May)
28.07.21
4 minute read

Online sales are at an all time high¹, and today’s customers expect a fast, convenient shopping experience. As a business owner, you’ll want to maximise your online offering and provide your customers with an easy-to-use and secure online payment system.

In this article, we'll discuss some of the options you can consider, their pros and cons together with the fees. We'll also leave you with a handy tip on how to protect your profit when selling internationally!

Most common types of online payments

Credit or debit cards are the most commonly used online payment methods. Mobile consumer wallets, like Apple Pay or Google Pay, are also increasingly popular. When choosing a payment system, consider business needs, budget, and also what payment options are included.

10 online payment systems

Worldpay

Worldpay offer an online payment gateway and merchant account for business owners who want a straightforward payment solution with no extra features.²

Service Fees³
Fixed monthly fee From £19 - Standard planFrom £45 - Advanced plan
Pay as you go⁴ 2.75% + 20p
Setup costs None
PCI compliance certification annual fee £29.99
Pros Cons
  • Flexible pricing
  • Flexible payment methods
  • Secure payments with fraud monitoring
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Not cheapest solution
  • Transaction fees apply based on business type (quotes can be requested)

Shopify

If you want technological support, Shopify can help you build an online presence. They provide a full ecommerce solution, with a range of packages offering web hosting and access to sales channels like Amazon.

Service Fees⁵
Fixed monthly fee $29 - Basic Shopify$79 - Shopify$299 - Advanced Shopify
Online Transaction fees 2.2% + 20p - Basic Shopify1.9% + 20p - Shopify1.6% + 20p - Advanced Shopify
Currency conversion (for payments in different currency)⁶ 1.5% in the US 2% rest of the world
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Full ecommerce solution
  • 14 day free trial available
  • Fraud analysis
  • Monthly fees
  • Expensive currency conversion fees
  • Additional transaction fees if not using Shopify’s payment gateway

Stripe

Stripe’s popular offer includes payment processing at competitive rates, with straightforward, upfront pricing. However, you’ll need your own website or shopping cart software.

Service Fees⁷
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for European cards 1.4% + 20p
Transaction fee for non-European cards 2.9% + 20p
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Relatively cheap
  • Data security included
  • Bespoke packages available
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Fairly slow payouts of 7 days

Opayo

Previously Sage Pay, Opayo is one of Trustpilot’s highest rated UK online payment providers. Their offer includes a merchant account and payment processing, but you must have a website.

Service Fees⁸
Fixed monthly fee From £25 - Flex plan (up to 350 transactions p/m)From £45 - Plus plan (9p charge per transaction after 350 transactions p/m)
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.9 stars on Trustpilot⁹
  • 24/7 customer supportSecure payments & data
  • Highest PCI compliance
  • Bespoke packages for companies with 3000+ transactions p/m
  • Fairly expensive
  • Fixed fees
  • Not a full ecommerce solution

PayPal

PayPal is the most familiar online payment system. They offer a fast and secure way of accepting payments, as many customers will already have a PayPal account.

Service Fees¹⁰
Fixed monthly fee None
Domestic online transaction fee 2.90% + 30p
International online transaction fee 2.90% + 30p (+ 0.50% - 2% region dependent)
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Convenient for PayPal account holders
  • Accepts all major credit and debit cards
  • Secure payments with fraud analysis
  • Not the cheapest solution

Adyen

Adyen offers a competitively priced payment system, and includes big names, such as eBay and Spotify, among their customers. However, they’re geared towards businesses with higher sales volumes.

Service Fees¹¹
Fixed monthly fee None
Online Transaction fees* Visa £0.10 + interchange++Mastercard £0.10 + interchange++American Express £0.10 + 3.95%
Setup costs None

*Adyen uses pricing model Interchange++, which tracks Interchange rates and scheme fees down to transaction level.

Pros Cons
  • Support Multi-currency account for payouts¹¹
  • Competitive pricing model allows businesses visibility & breakdown of charges
  • Flexible payment methods
  • 24/7 in-house support
  • Fraud protection
  • Pricing model isn’t straightforward
  • Minimum monthly sales volume requirement of £86

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay, from the online retail giant, allows customers to make payments using their Amazon account, without leaving your site. The service is convenient but is still relatively young, having only started in the UK in 2017.

Service Fees¹²
Fixed monthly fee None
Domestic Transaction fees 2.7% + £0.30 (up to £50,000 p/m)
International Transaction fees 2.7% + £0.30 + country-specific fee of 0.4% - 1.5%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Trusted, well-recognised brand
  • Allows Amazon customers to pay via their existing account
  • Advanced fraud protection
  • Not the cheapest solution

Skrill

The digital wallet and money transfer specialist offers payment processing for businesses. They provide a merchant account and integration with leading shopping carts.

Service Fees¹³
Merchant account Free
Transaction fees Quote provided based on business model
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.1 stars on Trustpilot¹⁴
  • Flexible, with 100+ payment methods
  • Full PCI compliance
  • Enhanced fraud protection
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Pricing not available upfront

Square

A provider of online payment solutions aimed at helping small businesses grow. Their services include a simple ecommerce website or a checkout without a website.

Service Fee¹⁵
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for European cards 1.9%
Transaction fee for non-European cards 2.9%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.2 stars on Trustpilot¹⁶
  • Straightforward, competitive pricing
  • PCI compliance
  • No 24/7 customer support

Braintree

A division of PayPal, Braintree specialises in flexible payment options. Their service includes a merchant account and payment gateway.

Service Fees¹⁷
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for EU/EEA cards & digital wallets 1.9% + £0.20
Transaction fee for non-EU/EEA cards 1.9% + £0.20 + 1%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Flexible payment options
  • Straightforward, competitive pricing
  • Bespoke packages for businesses with higher sales volume
  • Not a full ecommerce solution

Protect your profit when selling overseas with Wise

wise-multi-currency-account

As you can see, international payments can be quite expensive with most payment providers due to hefty fees and poor exchange rates but there’s a way to reduce the cost.

Open a Wise Multi-currency Account and use it to receive payments from your payment processor to avoid exchange rate mark-up and take advantage of currency conversions at the mid-market rate for a small fee that’s up to 19x cheaper than PayPal.

You can get paid like a local in 10 currencies for free all under one account!

Start saving today with Wise


Summary

So there’s 10 reputable online payment systems to start your search. Before deciding, take time to consider if you need an ecommerce package or just the payment gateway - if you want to avoid fixed fees and to prioritise giving customers flexibility over how they pay.

Remember to explore free trials and any tailored quotes before you make your choice.


Sources used for this article:

  1. cardmachine blog post
  2. worldpay landing page - features
  3. worldpay pricing
  4. worldpay - features
  5. Shopify Pricing
  6. Shopify help article - Conversion fees
  7. Strip pricing
  8. Opayo landing page
  9. Trustpilot Opayo review
  10. PayPal merchant fees
  11. Adyen pricing
  12. Amazon Pay Help page
  13. Skrill - New merchants FAQ
  14. Trustpilot Skrill review
  15. Squareup pricing
  16. Trustpilot Squareup review
  17. Braintree pricing

Sources checked on 28-July-2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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