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Here's my thinking:
1. 2CO - currently not on my list. I tried them just after they launched native GBP support. It was buggy - you would pass, e.g. £30.00 to 2CO and then when the customer arrtived at 2CO payment page it would be £30.11 or similar - as if 2CO was internally converting to USD and rounding up or something. Anybody use it for GBP transactions now and know if this problem has been fixed?
2. Worldpay - the thing I don't like about these guys is the set-up fee. I've read on forums before that if you call them up you can often negotiate it. I tried - no such luck - completely stuck their guns on the amount. Anybody know a sneaky way to get this waived?
3. Protx + merchant account. Can anybody recommend a UK merchant account or have you seen any comparisons online anywhere - am really trying to keep the monthly outgoings down.
I've been doing a lot more homework since I posted earlier. Not all UK banks offer a merchant account, mine included.
The ones that do are: HSBC, Lloyds (Cardnet), Barclaycard Merchant Services, RBS / Natwest (Streamline), and Bank of Scotland.
Bank of Scotland quoted me £160 setup, £15 monthly fees and 2.8% charge on CC's, 45p on Debit Cards. They seemed willing to negotiate. BOS guy I spoke to also said I was the second person he'd spoken to this morning that was a previous PaySystems customer! Now there's a surprise...
Streamline want £250 setup, no monthly fees, and 5.0% on credit cards, 35p on Debit cards. They seemed unwilling to negotiate. ePDQ is another £25 per month on top but I think I'll give that a miss as Protx, SECPay seem more competitive...
The others have all said they need 3 working days to get back to me!
Any experiences with UK Merchant Banks is welcome - also if anybody knows the rates of the others save me waiting for them to bother themselves to call me back.
On the subject of payment gateways. I've been looking at Protx and SECPay and have sent both of them technical questions so I'll see who wins the responsiveness prize.
Not so sure about SecureTrading - they seem a bit evasive about their pricing on the website - again anybody had experience?
I also heard a horror story yesterday from a friend, who has $45 million a year annual transactions through them, that suddenly they called him and raised his chargeback reserve to 5% from 0%.
This after they had reduced it to 0% 8 months back due to low chargebacks.
When he asked them why, they just said "policy". Shocking.
I too am in Europe and need a good supplier. Any more recommendations. Any providing an all in one solution?