Barclaycard Review: Is It the Right Pick for Your Business?

Barclaycard logo

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Barclaycard is a card machine provider that is big on flexibility. It offers three card machines: the FLEX Mobile Card Reader, Smartpay Touch, and Smartpay Anywhere – making it suitable for most business' needs, and it marries lower-than-average transaction fees with limited commitment and good customisability. While its support hours have improved over the years, its support channels are still very limited so it still falls short against the best card machines out there and only scores 3/5 overall score in our independent research.

Our deep-dive, combined with our nearly 15 years of experience, allow us to give you key insights for you to decide whether this provider is the best choice to help you thrive in the current economic scenario.

If you’re short on time, you can use our free comparison tool. Through it, we can match you with trusted suppliers that will then contact you with bespoke quotes.

However, if you'd like to know more, just head to our detailed review below. In it, we cover our analysis of Barclaycard Payments across several categories, including price, features, and customer support. We also compare its performance to that of other 10 competitors to see how it holds up.

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Barclaycard

Score
3.0
Best For

Flexible contracts

Monthly Fee
  • Face to face: From £15 – £29
  • Online: £20 – £75
Transaction fee

1.60% or bespoke

Key Features
  • Available in a pay-as-you-go basis
  • Reporting app
  • Supports 96 currencies

How much does Barclaycard cost?

If you're on a pay-as-you-go plan, the transaction charge is 1.6% but if you aren't, the fee can be customised for your business. Its account fees cost between £15 and £29 per month for in-person transactions, and between £20 to £75 for an online account. Barclaycard offers three card machines:

Card machineHardware priceTransaction feeWhat can it do?
FLEX Mobile Card Reader£15 + VAT/month1.6% (pay as you go ) or bespoke
  • Quick checkout
  • Funds received next day
  • Designed for startups and small businesses
Smartpay Touch£29 + VAT/month1.6% (pay as you go) or bespoke
  • Tracks customer trends
  • Tipping functionality
Smartpay Anywhere£29 + VAT one-off fee1.6% (pay as you go) or bespoke
  • 24/7 support
  • Funds transferred the next day
Note

These are Barclaycard's latest models, which now accept American Express. Another notable change is that Barclaycard has developed software that makes checking out with these machines much easier – just enter the amount and the machine is ready to take the payment.

Barclaycard scores the lowest for pricing in our research with a 2.3/5. It was beaten by Retail Merchant Services, which scores a perfect 5/5 and costs a minimum of £10 per month and 0.4% per debit card transaction. Retail Merchant Services is  more affordable, with cheaper account fees, making it well-suited for businesses that are looking to keep costs down. However, Retail Merchant Services don’t offer pay-as-you-go contracts, which Barclaycard does. So, if this flexibility is important to you, Barclaycard is a better option.

The pros and cons of Barclaycard

Pros

  • Flexible contract

Cons

  • Poor customer service

✔️Pro: Flexible contract 

Of all of the contract providers in our research, Barclaycard is the only one that offers a pay-as-you-go option. This is a key feature for small businesses or startups that don’t want to lock into a lengthy and potentially expensive contract. The only provider in our research with a shorter contract is Dojo, which offers six-month contracts. Although its transaction fee is cheaper than Barclaycard at 1.4%, it doesn’t accept online transactions or multiple currencies. Dojo makes sense for your business if you’re happy to lock into a longer contract for cheaper transaction fees but, if you want the flexibility of a rolling contract, have an online store, or want to accept multiple currencies, Barclaycard is the better option.

✔️Pro: Reporting app

Barclaycard has introduced a new reporting and functionalities app to be used alongside the Smartpay Touch and Smartpay Anywhere machines. The app comes equipped with free booking software, saving your business this extra cost. It also includes tools such as inventory and supplier management.

This app makes it much easier to manage operations and make data-informed decisions for your business.

Con: Poor customer service

Barclaycard's 1.3/5 customer score in our research indicates its poor quality of service to customers. A popular complaint from customers is that it’s difficult to cancel contracts and that they often incurred a fee for doing so. This is a complaint we found across the board for most payment providers as there are often stringent terms and conditions for cancelling a contract to avoid incurring a cancellation fee.

Barclaycard scores a 2.6/5 for its customer support because it lacks live chat and email support. You can contact the provider on the phone, but you have less options than other providers, such as Worldpay, which scores a 5/5. Worldpay offers both live chat and email support and its phone support is 24/7. Barclaycard does offer 24/7 support but this is only with the Smartpay Anywhere Plan.

While Worldpay’s customer support is better than Barclaycard', its contract is 18 months, which is pretty lengthy. If your business needs flexibility, Barclaycard is a better option, however, you should be aware that the customer service might not always be up to scratch.

barclaycard reader on a desk
We observed this Barclaycard-powered Ingenico Move/5000 taking payments at Apex Pharmacy in Old Street, London

Barclaycard's key features explained

Integrations

Barclaycard offers ready-made accounting software integrations with FreshBooks and Xero, although other providers we researched offer a lot more, such as Worldpay, which has over 100 integrations. Barclaycard's two integrations may be enough for small businesses or businesses that don’t need a comprehensive system. However, if you have multiple locations or you're looking to grow, multiple integrations make this a lot easier.

Reporting

Barclaycard's Smartpay machines come with a data and reporting app. The app includes free booking software, loyalty schemes, inventory control, and supplier management. Barclaycard' reporting used to be lacking and providers such as takepayments offered much more in-depth reporting functionalities. However, this new app has bridged this gap and Barclaycard offers greater flexibility with pay-as-you-go options compared to takepayments' 18-month contract.

Fund settlement time

Barclaycard typically transfers funds the next working day. The FLEX Mobile Card Reader (£15 + VAT per month) and Smartpay Anywhere (£29 + VAT one-off fee) both transfer funds the next day, which is fairly quick. However, Worldpay transfers funds within 30 minutes. This super speedy transfer time is great for businesses that need the cash flow. It is worth noting that Worldpay’s contracts are much longer at 18 months, compared with Barclaycard's pay-as-you-go option. If you’re happy to be tied down for a longer period of time to receive funds quicker, then Worldpay could be a good option.

Compliance 

Barclaycard offers two paid solutions for PCI compliance, one that costs £4.80 per month and the other costs £15 per month. While it’s good that this security exists, it may not be very budget-friendly to have to fork out extra cash for this. A better option might be takepayments or Dojo, which are PCI compliant and don’t require an additional fee for this feature. Dojo’s transfer times are much quicker than Barclaycard at 24 hours and its contract length is six months, shorter than takepayments’ 12 months, making Dojo a similar provider to Barclaycard, but more affordable.

What kind of business is Barclaycard best for?

We recommend Barclaycard for startups or small businesses because of its flexible contracts. It also accepts online payments and 96 currencies, making it suitable for businesses that want to or are currently expanding globally.

How does Barclaycard compare with its competitors?

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0 out of 0

Barclaycard

takepayments

Retail Merchant Services

Worldpay

Dojo

Best For

Flexible contracts

Best For

Features

Best For

Low transaction fees on card payments

Best For

Integrations

Best For

Scalability

Monthly Fee
  • Face to face: From £15 – £29
  • Online: £20 – £75
Monthly Fee

From £20 + VAT

Monthly Fee

From £10 + VAT

Monthly Fee

From £9.95 + VAT

Monthly Fee

From £24.95 + VAT

Transaction fee

1.60% or bespoke

Transaction fee

Bespoke

Transaction fee
  • 0.4% debit cards
  • 0.8% credit cards
  • 0.79% + 10p online
Transaction fee

Between 0.75% and 2.75% (based on quote)

Transaction fee

1.4% credit & debit cards

Key Features
  • Available in a pay-as-you-go basis
  • Reporting app
  • Supports 96 currencies
Key Features
  • Lots of hardware choices
  • Enhanced security
  • Eight reporting tools
  • Support 170 currencies
Key Features
  • Real-time data insights
  • 100 currencies
  • Negotiable fees and custom rates
Key Features
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Fastest payout time in our research
  • 100 third-party integrations
  • Support 120 currencies
Key Features
  • Simple compliance procedure
  • Support available via phone and live chat
  • Two reporting tools

Price 

At 1.60% for pay-as-you-go transaction fees and £15 to £29 for in-person account fees, Barclaycard isn’t the cheapest provider on the market. In fact, out of all of the providers in our research, it’s the most expensive, scoring a 2.3/5. However, if you opt for a contract with Barclaycard, you have access to bespoke transaction fees which will likely be lower than the pay-as-you-go rate of 1.60%. If transparent low transaction fees are important to you, Retail Merchant Services, which scores 5/5, would be a better choice. It is worth noting that it does lack the pay-as-you-go option that Barclaycard has, so you’ll be tied into a lengthy contract.

Features 

Barclaycard new machines contain features suitable for small businesses or startups. Its new checkouts make it much quicker and easier to take payments, you just need to enter the amount and the machine is ready to take payment. You also get access to a reporting app with the FLEX Mobile Card Reader and Smartpay Touch machines. This offers several functionalities like free booking software, inventory control, and supplier management. The Smartpay machines come integrated with bookkeeping software (Freshbooks and Xero) so you can streamline your business's finances.

Does Barclaycard have good customer reviews?

Barclaycard scores a very low 1.3/5 for customer score in our research, which may hinder its chance to wow potential new merchants into becoming its clients.

Part of it is circumstantial, as the online review aggregators we've checked to consolidate that score – such as Trustpilot – compile reviews of all of the services offered by Barclaycard, not only of its merchant-related ones. That means that banking shortcomings are likely to have hurt Barclaycard scores.

However, we did pick up two mainstays of its reviews: on one hand, customers with support issues or unable to cancel contracts. On the other, customers that have found Barclaycard easy to use and are happy with the support they received. We've included examples of each of these below.

Customer review

Barclay Bank Customer Service Team need to improve their phone banking helpline. 3 days of trying to get through. If you phone between 9.30am and 10.30am and request a call back it works. Later in the day the call back doesn't work probably due to number of requests and 40-50 minutes with no answers. The staff are pleasant and helpful when you finally speak to them but the phone system is overloaded and Barclaycard need to improve the waiting times. (sic)

Veronica Bailey, Barclaycardcard user
- Source: Trustpilot
Customer review

Love the app, far better than my predecessors Santander, actually feel that even though the customer services are automated it is still better than most I've had dealings with. Love the contactless set up, the control it gives me is brilliant. Only draw back is the technical issue with using phone as contactless media, but given my other experiences – its forgivable. (sic)

Clive Pullen, Barclaycardcard user
- Source: Trustpilot

What we learnt from talking to Barclaycard users

We met with Carol, who uses a Barclaycard-powered Ingenico Move/5000 to take payments at the Apex Pharmacy in London. She told us that they've been using Barclaycard for half a year and haven't had any sort of issues with the provider. She also said that it meets the needs of their business.

Anil, from retail store 100 Shades of Blue in London, also praised Barclaycard's straightforwardness, and the fact that his payouts tend to come through on the next working day – all with lower fees than his previous provider.

“I used Worldpay for a couple of years but I have since changed back to Barclays,” He told us. “My business account is with Barclays so it was easier and they offered me a better deal percentage-wise.”

Our methodology

To give a rundown on Barclaycard, we looked at five key areas during our in-depth research: price, features, compliance, customer support, and customer score. We also looked at five of its direct competitors to see how it compares with the wider market. We then consolidated the data into the scores we discuss throughout the article.

Based on our findings, we could establish flexibility as Barclaycard's biggest asset. Its wide multicurrency support combined with key reporting tools helped it score 3.6/5 for features – the highest category score it received. These results allow us to reassure you of the quality of Barclaycard's offerings.

Verdict

Barclaycard Payments is a good fit for ventures that can benefit from the flexibility of pay as you go, especially small businesses or startups. Its lack of a contract puts it on par with mobile card machine providers such as Square and Zettle, and Barclaycard packs a 1.6% transaction fee (on its pay as you go plans) that's lower than these competitors' (both charge 1.75%).

However, Barclaycard scores an overall 3/5 in our research, being mainly let down by its poor customer service. Also, among the traditional card machine providers we evaluated, its pay as you go 1.6% transaction fee is quite high, though if you opt for a set contract length instead of pay as you go, you may be able to secure a cheaper bespoke rate. For comparison, Retail Merchant Services has lower transaction fees (starting at just 0.4%) and takepayments offers better customer support – although neither enable you to pay as you go, unlike Barclaycard.

If you’re not sure if Barclaycard is ideal for your business, use our free comparison tool. Through it, we can match you with trusted suppliers that will then contact you with bespoke quotes.

FAQs

How do I contact Barclaycard?
You can contact them directly by phone.
How long does it take for a merchant to receive funds?
Merchants using Smartpay Anywhere or the FLEX Mobile Card Reader will receive funds the next working day.
Do merchants get charged for declined transactions?
Although we can’t confirm if Barclaycard charges for declined transactions, generally most merchant services won’t because there is no transaction to charge.
What are Barclaycard merchant fees?
Barclaycard merchant fees are the transaction fees the provider charge for each transaction: 1.60% or bespoke.
How do I raise a merchant dispute on Barclaycard?
You can raise a merchant dispute on Barclaycard by contacting its Disputes Team on 0800 008 008 or by emailing the case to GCPDisputes@barclaycard.co.uk. If you choose the latter, you must include your surname and the last 12 digits of your card number in the email subject line.
How long does a merchant have to respond to a credit card dispute?
Merchants have up to 45 days to respond to credit card disputes, after which merchant could be liable to pay chargebacks fees.

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Written by:
Rob Binns
Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.
Reviewed by:
Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.