36-month contracts are offered as standard, but we’ve seen reports of 18-month and 48-months contracts too. In any case (except for pay-as-you-go, perhaps), contracts need to be cancelled within a specific timeframe to avoid auto-renewal. Hefty cancellation fees apply for exiting a contract early.
We’ve seen very different transaction fees quoted, none of which explain exactly which cards they apply to. We were quoted 0.4% for “debit cards” and 0.95% for “credit cards”, but such low fees typically only apply to domestic Mastercard and Visa cards, whereas premium, business and foreign-issued cards have higher fees. Other quoted charges range between 2.65%-3.75% + 19p depending on the type of card being used.
An Elavon merchant agreement should include American Express acceptance. If you go for a Global Payments merchant account, you’ll need to set up Amex acceptance directly with Amex at an additional cost.
While some of the quoted transaction fees appear low, RMS reportedly always adds extra fees on top – and in the end, RMS is actually pricier than the competition.
A monthly minimum service charge typically applies for months you make less than an agreed amount in card payments. Some users have said there are separate monthly minimum service charges from RMS and Elavon – RMS may only mention its own, so do ask the sales rep about this outright.
You can expect monthly and annual fees for the merchant account, PCI-DSS compliance costs, terminal replacement or setup fees, chargeback fees, admin fee, paper statement fee, currency exchange, and more. Separate charges also apply to online payments and EPOS integration.
Standard settlement takes up to 7 days to process to your bank account, but 1-day settlement is available for an additional fee (£3+ per payout).
The variety of costs makes it important to ask for full disclosure of all fees from all parties involved, including RMS, the merchant account provider (most likely Elavon, maybe American Express), and the card machine provider (Verifone or Ingenico). All these parties have separate costs which RMS does not want to disclose upfront unless pressured to do so. You should ask for a description of transaction charges and which cards exactly they refer to, and ask for the full contract to read in your own time before signing up for anything.