Worldpay and Payzone are two merchant service providers with a wide range of payment solutions for UK businesses.

Both founded in 1989, there are two big differences between them. For one, Worldpay owns most of their payment solutions, while Payzone sets you up with payment solutions provided by others.

Specifically, Payzone is a reseller of card processing provided by another party (mostly Barclays). Worldpay handles card processing in-house, but also sells it and deals with their merchants directly.

Secondly, only Payzone offers utility bill pay points and commission-based products you can sell to in-store customers.

Let’s compare the main differences between the two payment providers.

Payzone logoWorldpay logo red text
Type of merchant service providerReseller, solutions not provided by Payzone directly (= independent sales organisation/ISO)Direct provider of payment solutions and card processing (= acquirer)
Aimed atSmall businessesAny size of business
Contract length12 months18 months, or no lock-in (Pay As You Go)
FeesBespokeBespoke
Card machines
Remote payments
Commission-based products
Customer support7 days/week phone support, different hoursRound-the-clock phone support
Accepted cardsVisaMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressVisaMastercardMaestroUnion PayDiscoverDiners ClubJCBAmerican Express
ContactlessContactlessApple PayGoogle PayContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay
Payzone logoWorldpay logo red text
Type of merchant service provider
Reseller, solutions not provided by Payzone directly (=independent sales organisation/ISO)Direct provider of payment solutions and card processing (=acquirer)
Aimed at
Small businessesAny size of business
Contract length
12 months18 months, or no lock-in (Pay As You Go)
Fees
BespokeBespoke
Card machines
Remote payments
Commission-based products
Customer support
7 days/week phone support, different hoursRound-the-clock phone support
VisaMastercardMaestroAmerican ExpressVisaMastercardMaestroUnion PayDiscoverDiners ClubJCBAmerican Express
ContactlessApple PayGoogle PayContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung Pay

Similar payment services

The companies offer the same following services:

  • Ingenico card machines (choice of countertop, portable and mobile)
  • Merchant account (Worldpay their own, Payzone through Barclaycard or Elavon)
  • Virtual terminal
  • Online payment gateway
  • Pay by link (via email)
  • Integration with point of sale (POS) systems

In addition to this, Payzone gives merchants the option to offer add-on services to customers, e.g. mobile top-ups, gas and electricity keys and lottery tickets. The retailer will earn a commission based on those sales.

Both can integrate with Epos Now, but Worldpay also offers their own POS software for small businesses. Moreover, Worldpay can integrate with other POS systems, which may cost extra setting up.

Ingenico mobile terminal tableside

Both Payzone and Worldpay rent out standard Ingenico payment terminals.

Payzone has the shortest lock-in

As is common among merchant service providers, you enter into a long-term contract with Worldpay and Payzone.

Worldpay’s merchant contracts are 18 months. They also offer a Pay As You Go plan which has no lock-in, but then you pay a £150 + VAT setup fee for the card machine and higher transaction rates.

Payzone’s contracts are 12 months, which is the shortest commitment you can expect from a merchant service provider. The company is not transparent about fees until you chat with their sales team – but then, Worldpay does not reveal all fees either until you’ve given them details about your businesses.

To accept American Express, a separate agreement needs to be created whether you’re with Payzone or Worldpay. This comes with its own lock-in and costs added on top of the card machine contract.

Whether you’re with Payzone or Worldpay, beware that you cannot cancel your contract any time. Payzone requires you to do it two months before the end of the contract term, otherwise it will renew for another 12 months. Worldpay has similar rules where you must cancel within a time window disclosed in your documents. If you forget about cancelling when the time comes, you are liable to a (possibly) hefty early termination charge covering the months of the renewed contract.

Costs similar, but Worldpay has several price structures

The two companies have similar card rates and monthly fees, but the key difference is that Worldpay has a number of different price structures to pick from. Payzone requires the same types of costs for everyone.

Here are the plans Worldpay offers in connection with card machine payments:

Worldpay logo red text
Pay As You GoSimplicityFixed MonthlyCustom
No contract18 months’ lock-in18 months’ lock-in18 months’ lock-in
No monthly fee for terminal rental, pay mainly just card fees when you take a paymentMonthly fee for terminal rental and transactions, single transaction rate for all cardsPay an advance monthly fixed fee covering transactions and terminal rentalTailored fees based on your business turnover and needs
For seasonal businesses, startups or those with uncertain turnoverFor businesses with a consistent monthly card turnoverFor merchants preferring a predictable monthly charge for everythingFor bigger businesses with good knowledge of future turnover and contract terms
Worldpay logo red text
Pay As You GoSimpli-
city
Fixed MonthlyCustom
No contract18 months’ lock-in18 months’ lock-in18 months’ lock-in
No monthly fee for terminal rental, pay mainly just card fees when you take a paymentMonthly fee for terminal rental and transactions, single transaction rate for all cardsPay an advance monthly fixed fee covering transactions and terminal rentalTailored fees based on your business turnover and needs
For seasonal businesses, startups or those with uncertain turnoverFor businesses with a consistent monthly card turnoverFor merchants preferring a predictable monthly charge for everythingFor bigger businesses with good knowledge of future turnover and contract terms

If you’re a medium or large business with a good idea of how much you’ll make in the next 18 months, the Custom plan, where you negotiate all the fees, can be the most beneficial plan. Merchants wary of commitment can opt for Pay As You Go without the lock-in or early termination fee. Simplicity and Pay Monthly are best for merchants with a relatively stable card turnover.

Let’s compare Worldpay with Payzone in general.

Specific card rates depend on the cards accepted (debit or credit, domestic or foreign, premium or regular payment card), card turnover and your type of business. With Payzone, you pay a percentage of the transaction plus a fixed fee, which you also do with Worldpay on Pay As You Go and Custom plans.

Card terminal rental has similar monthly fees between the two providers, varying slightly depending on the terminal model chosen (countertop, portable or mobile). Again, you pay no monthly fee on Pay As You Go even for rental.

Costs*Payzone logoWorldpay logo red text
Setup feeNoneNone on most plans
£150 for Pay As You Go
Terminal rental£20+/month£17.50-£23/month
Transaction fees0.6%-2.5% + flat fee0.75%-2.75%
Flat fee added on some plans
Monthly minimum feeYesYes, except on Pay As You Go
PCI complianceAdditional costAdditional cost
ReportingFree£4.99/month
Early termination feeYesYes, except on Pay As You Go

* Pricing excludes VAT.

Payzone logoWorldpay logo red text
Setup fee
NoneNone on most plans
£150 for Pay As You Go
Terminal rental
£20+/month£17.50-£23/month
Transaction fees
0.6%-2.5% + flat fee0.75%-2.75%
Flat fee added on some plans
Monthly minimum fee
YesYes, except on Pay As You Go
PCI compliance
Additional costAdditional cost
Reporting
Free£4.99/month
Early termination fee
YesYes, except on Pay As You Go

* Pricing excludes VAT.

There’s no starter fee with Payzone, nor on most of Worldpay’s plans except for Pay As You Go that has a £150 + VAT terminal setup fee. If you’re getting an Amex agreement, however, there might be fees associated with account creation.

When you create an account with either of them, they will suggest suitable card rates and a monthly minimum sales volume. Both on Payzone’s and some of Worldpay’s plans, you will pay a charge for the months you have not reached that minimum in card earnings.

Payzone charges for PCI compliance, costs of which they disclose during sign-up. Worldpay charges a monthly fee for PCI non-compliance if you have not completed the required documentation, and an annual fee of £29.99 on the Custom plan.

As for sales reporting, this is not free with Worldpay. You pay £4.99 + VAT monthly for the ability to export sales reports, analyse transactions and print end-of-day reports. Payzone does not talk about sales reports on their website, so it may or may not incur extra fees.

An early termination charge applies to any contractual commitment except for Worldpay’s Pay As You Go package. This could amount to the total of the remaining costs you would’ve paid for the rest of the contract.

There will be other fees associated with each company, which are – characteristically for many merchant service providers – hidden until you speak on the phone.

Furthermore, you can add a virtual terminal, pay by link or other payment methods for additional costs – or choose to opt for any combination of remote payments if you don’t need a card machine.

Payzone’s value-added services boost footfall and earnings

Perhaps Payzone’s best-known draw is the option to be a Payzone SuperAgent, which allows you to give gas cards and electricity keys to customers who can then top up credit for them. This will put your shop on Payzone’s map of places where people can pay utility bills locally, potentially drawing customers into the shop who would otherwise not have come.

With a Payzone Tablet, you can also sell mobile top-ups, SIM cards, transport tickets, international calling cards, lottery tickets, online gaming vouchers, prepaid debit cards and accept parcel deliveries for pick-up.

Offering these value-added services can earn you a commission on each sale – and it is free to set up. It is essentially an extra product provided to boost your sales with little effort on your part.

Worldpay has no such commission-based services, instead focusing on the core payment solutions and card acceptance.

Worldpay support is 24/7, Payzone prioritises onboarding

Worldpay offers a round-the-clock customer helpline by phone, which is to be expected by a merchant account provider. Payzone’s phone support is 7 days a week, but only during these hours:

  • Monday-Thursday: 8am-7pm
  • Friday-Saturday: 9am-5pm
  • Sunday: 9am-1pm

When it comes to quality of service, both companies suffer from bouts of poor customer reviews. Users of either provider report hidden fees that weren’t made clear on sign-up and poor handling of issues with the support team.

Payzone goes the extra mile during onboarding, as they may designate a local payment consultant to come and speak with you face-to-face about your merchant needs. This is a great personal touch, but not so good if you just want a quote and the ability to say no without pressure. Once signed up, they help you set up PCI compliance, which is not easy to get your head around.

payment consultant visit

Payzone has a network of UK-based payment consultants who can meet in person to set up the contract.

Worldpay offers a next-day terminal replacement service if your existing one stops working, but expect a fee for this.

A thing to emphasise is Worldpay’s in-house merchant accounts, meaning you do not deal with different helplines if you have a transaction issue. Payzone, on the other hand, may refer to Barclaycard if your merchant account is handled there, which could lead to more complexity while trying to resolve an issue with payments.

Want cheap card readers with no lock-in? Compare the best card machines

Which is best for whom?

Payzone is aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses, and their deals reflect that. That is, a 1-year contract is better than the industry norm of 18 months, two or three years, because you may not know where you are in a year’s time.

Worldpay, on the other hand, has several contract structures to pick from, so any size business can sign up for a relatively fair deal.

Convenience stores are generally best off with Payzone, given the value-added services that fit right in with their customers’ needs. But don’t be mistaken – Payzone can be a good fit for most face-to-face businesses who may or may not need additional online payment options down the line.

Worldpay caters to nearly all types of businesses, for example multi-store outlets, restaurants or independent shops with few staff. We cannot really say that Worldpay is best for one specific industry, only that it can offer you pretty much any combination of payment services.