Merchant Accounts

We’ve got everything you need to know about merchant accounts. Our guides will help you narrow down the best merchant account for your business. We know how tough it can be so we’ve made it easier for you to make the right decision.

Get tailored prices

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account allows your business to accept credit and debit card payments. A merchant account is not a bank account, instead it’s more of a holding-pen –  a secure place for funds to wait while the bank checks to make sure the customer has enough money to make the payment. 

Without a merchant account your business won’t be able to accept credit and debit card payments –  making merchant accounts essential to the growth of your business. There are three different types of merchant accounts, aggregated, dedicated, and high-risk.


Merchant Accounts Graphic

Get Started

Explore some of our in-depth guides and reviews
Blonde woman paying with cellphone resting in cafe while waitress holding payment terminal

Best Card Machines for Small Businesses in 2024

Find the best card machine for your small business and start taking payments for less. Here you’ll find options with no monthly fees and low transaction costs.

Get Informed

Watch our video guide to merchant accounts
YouTube video cover
When you're all set up with a merchant account, you'll have everything you need to accept payments. Rob Binns Senior Writer
Merchant Accounts Banner

Do you currently have a merchant account provider?

It only takes a minute. Save by comparing merchant account quotes.

Get Inspired

The best articles to help you find the information you need

Who we are

We’re a passionate team of editors, writers, and researchers with over a decade's experience in helping people choose the best solutions for their businesses.

We know that finding the right tools for your team, at the right price for your budget, can be a real challenge – that’s why we work hard to make sure our guides, reviews, and product comparisons are always accurate and helpful.

Trusted by 60,000 people each month Join our readers and discover the tools to succeed
Experts across 30 industries Discover proven industry solutions to help your business grow
12 years of experience Save time and money with our tailored quotes
Free business advice published daily Become an expert as you dive into the 100s of articles we offer for free

Your questions answered

Expert Market has specialist teams who have developed in-depth industry knowledge to help you find the best solution for your business.

Contact us to ask more questions and get specific advice on merchant accounts.

How much does a merchant account cost?

The cost will depend on the volume of card transactions processed. The more card payments you take annually, the lower the rates the provider offers. Your main costs are linked to monthly charges and charges per transaction. Providers are usually reluctant to provide a list of fees upfront, so be sure to ask. For accurate merchant services comparison, stay tuned to our content. 

What are the benefits of taking card payments?

There are numerous benefits to taking card payments, here are some of the most important:

  • Increased sales and profit
  • Security
  • Increased customer choice
  • Faster service
  • Less bank fees 
Why does it matter which merchant account provider I choose?

The provider you choose matters because of two reasons: fees and contracts. Merchant account fees vary. A lot. They can vary with the same provider from month to month, let alone from provider to provider. So it’s super important you weigh up all the options before signing a contract.

The average UK merchant account contract length is a whopping 18 months. And while early termination fees are rare, you most definitely will be required to pay any remaining rental costs. Card machine rental costs on average £20, so if you want out after 6 months (on an 18 month contract) it’ll cost you £240.

Learn. Compare. And choose your merchant account wisely.