Using payment cards for your business

The costs of accepting card payments


You should shop around and check the costs of accepting card payments. Banks apply different charges depending on a wide range of factors - including the expected overall value of your card transactions and the bank's assessment of your exposure to card fraud.

Remember that you are likely to be charged differently for credit card and debit card transactions. Credit card and charge card processing fees can range from less than 2 per cent to as much as 6 per cent of the value of each transaction. Debit cards are more likely to charge a flat rate of so many pence per transaction and the level may be determined by the number and average value of these transactions.

In addition to transaction charges, other costs you may face include the following:

  • A monthly fee if you rent the terminal that is used to accept a chip & PIN transaction, swipe cards or key in card numbers from your bank.
  • A service from a payment service provider (PSP) can be used to process transactions on your behalf, and is most likely to be used for internet transactions. PSP charges can be on a per-month or per-transaction basis. See accepting online payments.
  • Banks can ask high-risk businesses for a security bond to cover the costs of unauthorised transactions that are refunded later. Criteria can include the amount of online trading you do, average transaction values and the length of time it takes to fulfil an order.