Paymentsense Merchant Services Review

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Paymentsense lets SMEs all over the UK accept a range of card payments. But does it make sense for your business?

Paymentsense logo


  • Good online customer approval ratings
  • 24-hour UK-based phone support
  • Affordable rates
  • Intuitive mobile app for tracking your transactions


  • 18-month minimum contract length
  • Pricing lacks transparency
  • Early termination fees apply
In a nutshell: Paymentsense provides innovative merchant services, with a strong focus on serving small UK businesses. With excellent customer support and an ever-widening network of partners and clients, Paymentsense is a solid, forward-thinking choice for your business.

Paymentsense is a merchant account provider based in the UK. Handling more than 250 million transactions annually, Paymentsense processes over £10 billion in transactions for small businesses, every year. 

And, with over 70,000 small UK businesses as customers, Paymentsense’s influence is growing as quickly as its client base. More and more businesses are turning to Paymentsense for quick, simple solutions for accepting card payments online, over the phone, or in-store. 

But is Paymentsense right for your business? Let’s find out.

What are Paymentsense’s features and benefits?

More ways to get paid

How do you want to take card payments? Over the phone, online through your website, or with a card machine from your counter? Whatever your desired solution is, Paymentsense offers a range of options to reflect the unique requirements of your business. 

Paymentsense offers three types of versatile card machines for accepting payments in-store or on the road. Its payment gateway lets you convert visitors to your website into customers, while there are also options for getting paid over the phone and via email link.

A huge range of EPOS integrations

If you’re planning on accepting card payments in-store, you’ll also need an EPOS (electronic point of sale) system. While your card machine takes the payment, the EPOS system accounts for it – helping you keep tabs on stock levels and sales, while making sure that the books are balanced at the end of the day. 

An EPOS system is like the sugar to your card machine’s spice – the two just go together. Paymentsense knows this – hence why it boasts one of the largest networks of EPOS partners in the UK

Paymentsense can offer a complete solution for accepting, logging, and managing card transactions. Better still, it’s all powered by Paymentsense’s intelligent integrated payments software ‘Connect’, which makes sure your card machines work seamlessly with your EPOS system. All that adds up to fewer mistakes due to human error, shorter queues, and a balanced, healthy-looking till.

A big network of UK SMEs

Paymentsense is what’s known in card payment lingo as an Independent Service Organisation (ISO). ISOs are companies that develop networks of small businesses, and connect them with acquiring banks. The bigger the network, the better the deals that the ISO can negotiate for its SME clientele.

With a network of around 70,000 small UK businesses (and counting), it’s fair to say Paymentsense is in a pretty good position to negotiate decent rates for its customers.

24-hour phone support

This one speaks for itself. Paymentsense offers around-the-clock, UK-based phone support for all its customers. Which, if your terminal conks out during an evening’s service, is a godsend. Paymentsense will also replace any faulty card machines within one to two business days. 

And, for the phone-shy among you, Paymentsense also offers a wealth of online support resources to help you get better acquainted with your card machines.

Speedy service

Paymentsense is quick. Quick at getting you started, quick at processing your payments, just… quick. Its website even boldly states that new customers can be accepting card payments “in as little as 24 hours.”

A bit of digging tells us that this figure only applies to online payments. If you want to take face-to-face payments, you’ll need to play the waiting game for a bit longer (three days, to be exact). Still, by industry standards… it’s pretty quick.

Innovation in spades

Since arriving on the scene in 2008, Paymentsense has made its name as a company of firsts. 2010 saw it become the first UK-based merchant account provider to offer 24 hour support, and by 2011 it was the first company offering 24-hour setup for ecommerce payments

Insights on the go

We all love a good mobile app. They’re quick, convenient, and offer a great distraction while waiting for a plane or train. Handy, then, that Paymentsense offers a smart, intuitive mobile app of its own, to help you stay on top of your payments. 

Paymentsense’s free app provides real time, 24/7 insights into your transactions. View your average sale value, net sales, and highest spend statistics, all from the ease and convenience of your phone or tablet. Keep all your business’ need-to-know info at your fingertips, then leverage it to fuel growth.

PCI compliance made simple

PCI compliance. It’s enough to send a shudder down the spine of even the most stoic of business owners. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of strict rules that you’ll need to follow if you want to start taking card payments. 

PCI is there to protect your customer’s sensitive card information, and safeguard you from fraud. The only trouble is, complying can be not only time-consuming, but downright expensive, too. You’ll also have to fill out a form with up to 300 questions, just to get your business compliant.

It’ll come as a relief, then, that Paymentsense offers a PCI phone validation service. You just call up, and one of its advisors will talk you through everything you need to know to get up to scratch, and walk you through the trickiest bits of the form.

Get Merchant Account Quotes Tailored To Your Business

What type of merchant account do you need?

How much do Paymentsense’s merchant services cost?

Like most merchant account providers, Paymentsense works on a bespoke pricing model. Its team will put together a unique plan based on your sales volume, and the size of your business. What you’ll pay will also depend on the type of card payments you want to accept. Let’s take a look.

The above rates are the closest estimations we can make, but – since Paymentsens’s fees are largely bespoke, and will depend on the size of your business and sales volume – are intended to be used as guidelines only.

Face-to-face payments

Paymentsense provides several types of card (PDQ) machines, that allow you to accept card and mobile wallet payments at your bricks and mortar business. 
Paymentsense card machine

Powered by industry leaders Ingenico, Paymentsense’s countertop machines (pictured) look great on the counters of retail stores, while its portable machines are perfect for use in restaurants, bars, or pubs. A mobile card reader will suit cabbies, carpenters, or really just anyone looking to get paid on the go.

Paymentsense keeps pretty quiet about its PDQ rental costs. Fees will vary depending on the type and number of devices you’re after. We don’t have these figures, but industry standards say you can expect to pay around £20 to £30 per machine, per month.

Face-to-face payments with Paymentsense will also incur a transaction fee of between 0.75% and 0.96% per sale, with credit card payments costing slightly more to accept than debit cards.

You’ve also got contract lengths to think about. Paymentsense’s minimum contract length is 18 months – more or less industry standard, however other providers (such as takepayments) offer deals for as little as 12-months.

Online and phone-based payments

To take payments over the phone, you’ll need Paymentsense’s virtual terminal. It’s a secure webpage that can you log into from your computer or tablet. Simply call your customer up, grab their card details, and enter the information into Paymentsense’s virtual terminal. Then, voila you get paid.

And, if you want to start taking payments online via your website, you’ll need to get set up with Paymentsense’s payment gateway. It integrates with over 40 online shopping cart applications, and can be customised to match the look and feel of your site. 

Here’s what you can expect to pay if you’re interested in either of these online payment methods:

Monthly fee (paid annually):£8.30 per month£12.45 per month£16.60 per month
Monthly fee (paid monthly):£9.95 per month£14.95 per month£19.95 per month
Process payments up to:£50,000 per year£250,000 per year£1,200,000 per year

These packages will also come with transaction fees, although they’re lower than those you’ll pay to accept face-to-face payments. You may also be eligible for charges relating to PCI compliance, as well as a minimum monthly service fee

Confused? We don’t blame you. Merchant account fees can be as varied and unpredictable as the moods of your mother-in-law, and just as baffling. If you’re set on choosing Paymentsense as your merchant account provider, you’ll have to get in touch with the company for a quote.

Alternatively, try out our short quote-finding form for quick results. It takes less than a minute, and is completely free to do. Just enter some brief details about your business, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from several top suppliers

What do Paymentsense’s customer reviews say?

There’s a lot to like about Paymentsense. Good card machines, great customer service, and a flexible range of card payment solutions for small businesses.

Paymentsense’s customer reviews, however, are more of a mixed bag. Granted, its Trustpilot rating is impressive. Out of 6,241 reviews at the time of writing, 79% are five-star, and a further 7% give four stars. That just leaves 12% of reviewers whose experience with Paymentsense was negative enough to warrant a one-star rating.

Again, this rating is actually pretty good. It’s a similar rating to competitors Retail Merchant Services and takepayments, and better than Worldpay. However, Paymentsense’s 4.3/5 Trustpilot rating gets blown out of the water by Handepay, and its excellent five-star Trustpilot rating (4.9/5).

Let’s take a look at what some of Paymentsense’s customers had to say.

Customer review

“The new card machine and package from Paymentsense has been brilliant for our business. When you run your own company, there are so many things to do and to remember – sometimes it really is the little things that can make a huge difference. 

“The support we have had (and continue to receive) from Rob at Paymentsense – along with the unit’s speed, reliability, and ease of use – really is great, and we would totally recommend them!”

ASL Locksmiths & Security Solutions, Paymentsense customer
Customer review

“Great PCI support. Paymentsense have always been helpful and friendly when I’ve called their customer service or PCI compliance support lines.”

Keith, Paymentsense customer

Paymentsense’s excellent customer service crops up a lot in reviews, as does the speed and quality of its machines. It also looks like Paymentsense is pretty good at tidying up disputes, as and when they do arise. 

Customer review

“We’ve been with Paymentsense since December, but have had a number of issues surrounding the fees charged – which are nothing like those that were advertised and quoted at the sales stage.

“The staff we dealt with in aftersales (especially Keiran) have been great – sorting out our queries, and arranging refunds for overcharged fees. The systems work well, but keep an eye on your charges – especially PCI and minimum monthly fees.”

Kevin, Paymentsense customer

The main takeaway here is just to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying in fees. Read the small print carefully before you sign anything, and be sure to get familiar with the terms and length of your contract. 

What are the fees for leaving early? Will the contract auto-renew? Take the time to do a deep dive – it’ll pay off in the long run.

What other merchant services providers could I consider?

Whether or not Paymentsense is right for you, there are still plenty more merchant account providers to choose from. Explore more of our expert reviews, which include:

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to opt for an independent company, here. You can also choose to have your merchant account provided by a bank, such as Santander (read our Santander review).

Barclaycard is another strong choice (read our Barclaycard review), while there’s plenty to love about HSBC’s payment gateway, too.

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Expert verdict

If you’re a small business that’s looking to start accepting card payments, Paymentsense is right for you. It offers dedicated, UK-based customer support, plus a range of hardware and software to help drive your business’ growth. 

Better still, with its huge network of small business clients, you can be confident you’re getting some of the best rates on the market

Speaking of rates, if you’re ready to take the next step in your merchant account research, we can help. Simply take a minute to fill in our free form, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from top merchant services suppliers that can cater to your business’ needs

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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.