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Have any of you had any experience with any other high street banks in the U.K.? Do I need to use a U.K. bank or will a U.S. one do? Presumably they're more competitive.
No offence but it's got to be a recognised name. I realise we're paying for that but this is a long term thing and credibility is crucial.
Are you using the Barclays gateway (ePDQ) or another gateway such as Datacash, Secpay, Protx etc?
If you're not using the Barclays gateway, it's worth speaking to your gateway as they may be able to offer advice and recommendations - many have negotiated good rates for their clients in return for recommending one of the banks.
The main Merchant Account Providers in the UK are:
Bank of Scotland
Euroconex may be worth a try, though I have no experience of them.
I have no experience of using an overseas merchant account (e.g. a USA one) but I personally would avoid this route.
Of course, before you jump ship, make sure you speak to Barclays and get a rate review if not already done! Most banks will do one every 6-12 months, and provided you have a good track record and low chargebacks then they will usually review rates favourably.
Getting competetive quotes from other banks to wave at Barclays would probably help too!
Jules, cheers for that sound advice. Funilly enough, I asked Barclays to requote today (prior to getting a quote from another bank so, yes, naive of me) and they came back with a quote higher than the rate I currently get. It had gone up to 3.07% for EUR and 4.14% for USD. That's what I meant by exorbitant.
But it seems your product/service is regarded as "higher risk" by the banks?
As you have quoted rates for EUR and USD, I assume a large percent of your transactions are overseas - this will definately have an effect on the rate.
If you don't already use 3D Secure (Verified By Visa and MasterCard SecureCode) then maybe ask if this would give you a lower rate.
And definately give the other banks a try.
HSBC is another as well as Lloyds' Those are the ones I have worked with in the past that might be able to support you.
A United States processor is about 4% and will limit you to about $10,000 a month. You need to have at least a US bank account, US address, phone number.
We've been trading for four years and I believe we've had less than half a dozen chargebacks in that time but many thousands of sales so that's not a big issue.
Anyhow, I've taken your advice onboard. Thank you. I'll let you know how I got on.