All About Merchant Accounts

What you need to sell online

If you're intending selling products online you'll need the following:

  • An e-commerce enabled website (a website with catalogue and shopping cart functionality)
  • A bank Internet Merchant Account (for any system taking payments directly into your bank acount - not required for "detatched" services like PayPal and Google Checkout, where they collect money and enable to transfer the funds)
  • A secure online payment provide

Who provides what?:

We can design and build an e-commerce website for you.  Our shopping systems come with everything you need to trade online and can be connected to most payment and banking systems out of the box.

Your bank should be able to provide you with an Internet Merchant Account (cost, terms and availability are normally subject to trading history and status).  If you are unable to obtain a merchant account from your bank, you will be limited to taking payments through systems such as PayPal, NoChex and Google Checkout.

Most online payment service providers require you to have a bank Internet merchant account (into which they deposit online payments). Typically, they charge £20-£25 per month for the service. Bank charge for credit card transaction on top of this.  Paypal do not require a bank merchant account.  They have a number of different schemes - some based on monthly charges and others based on transaction fees (e.g. a small percentage of each transaction). 

Any merchant account can be linked to any business bank account. The main merchant service providers  in the UK are:

  • SagePay (formerly Protx, and still our personal favourite) - requires a bank merchant account. Has a high level of functionality, including deferred payments, supports multiple websites, exports to Sage Accounting etc.  Also supports PayPal transactions as an alternative for the customer.
  • EPDQ (owned by Barclays) - requires a bank merchant account. There are restrictions on trading from multple sites and EPDQ/Barclays are very strict on security - insisting on regular audits, at your expense.
  • WorldPay (owned by RBS) - requires a bank merchant account. Very similar to SagePay in terms of functionality but more expensive. There may be delays in transferring money to your account (new traders).
  • SecPay - requires a bank merchant account. Cheaper options fo new/small traders.
  • PayPal - Highly recommended for new start-ups.  No set-up fees or monthly charges.  Transaction fees only.  Well known and trusted brand.
  • Google Checkout - No recommended as Google Checkout is not able to be integrated into shopping carts - it's a stand-alone system.

We can offer special deals and rates for e-Commerce and web design projects based in Essex. If you are looking for an online shop, or a web design in Essex, call us today on 08432 893220.