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Merchant Service Providers

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10:57 am on Jul 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We've had a merchant account with Barclays for many years but we'd like to investigate the other possibilities out there, largely to reduce what appear to be exorbitant charges.

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.

7:50 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What country are you in?

-Corey

9:37 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'll assume from your post you are in the UK.

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:
Barclays
Streamline
HSBC
Bank of Scotland
Lloyds TSB

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.

10:03 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I'm in the U.K.

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.

10:21 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmm. Those rates do appear high if you were selling tangible goods in highish volume to UK customers with low chargebacks.

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.

jules.

10:24 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is very difficult to make assumptions but I agree - talk to Barclay's. Most MAPs will renegotiate fees for you if you have been in business for quite sometime and your chargebacks are low.

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.

-Corey

8:15 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am talking about relatively high transaction amounts per month.

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.