Our rating(4/5)
Takepayments’ 12-month contracts are an attractive deal for small businesses.
Takepayments (previously Payzone) offers card machines and online payments to UK-based merchants. Popular among small businesses, are there any trade-offs to the short contract?
  • Highs: Short contracts compared to competition. Multi-user terminal available. Online payment options. Free next-day settlement.
  • Lows: Complaints about auto-renewal and exit fees. Customer service issues. Only integrates with Epos Now. No online reports.
  • Choose if: You want the shortest card machine contract and have a high average transaction size.

What is Takepayments?

Takepayments is a UK-based independent sales organisation (ISO) offering card machines, online payments and card processing contracts for small businesses. It is one of the fastest-growing card payment companies in the UK, with 45,000+ merchants under its belt.

The company has been around for over 25 years, previously trading as Payzone. In 2019, it started transitioning into Takepayments for card payment solutions, leaving the brand Payzone to focus on payment hubs for utility bills and services.

Note: There is a different company with bad reviews passing off as “Take Payments Group Ltd” (www.takepayments.co.uk). This article is reviewing “takepayments Limited” (www.takepayments.com), which is a legit company.

Card machines

Takepayments has a card machine for every purpose: one for a fixed till point (Countertop), one to carry around on premises (Portable) and one to use independently on the go (Mobile).

They all accept contactless, chip and PIN and swipe card payments including the mobile wallets Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Visa, Mastercard and Maestro are accepted as standard, while American Express can be added with an additional agreement.

Countertop card machine

  • Ingenico iCT250 card terminal

  • Works with power cable, so only suitable for fixed countertop

  • Needs plugging into a broadband or phone line to accept cards

  • With built-in receipt printer and backlit keypad

Takepayments countertop machine

Portable card machine

  • Wireless Ingenico iWL250 terminal for table-side payments

  • Connects to internet within 50m of base via Bluetooth

  • Battery lasts all day per charge

  • Lightweight, with built-in receipt printer and keypad

Mobile card machine

  • Wireless Ingenico Move/3500 card terminal for on-the-go merchants

  • Inbuilt SIM card connects to mobile network via 3G to process payments

  • Built-in receipt printer and backlit keypad

  • Battery lasts all day from full charge

Takepayments mobile machine

You can print daily transaction reports from any terminal. Otherwise, the only sales reports you get are a monthly statement from your acquirer. There is no online dashboard to log into to manage card machines, view transactions, payouts and account settings. This could be an issue if you need to integrate with Xero or other accounting software.

There is also a smart POS terminal (‘Multipay’) that is both a card payment machine and touchscreen checkout in one portable device. This is geared towards professionals sharing a card machine, as it can be used by six different users with their own logins to distinguish their activities. What’s more, the tipping feature allows you to allocate tips to ensure each merchant gets what they personally earned.

This makes it perfect for barbers, hairdressers, beauticians and hospitality businesses working at the same location but wanting to cut costs by sharing a terminal.

‘Multipay’ card machine

  • Wireless PAX A920 smart POS terminal for up to 6 users

  • No physical keypad, just a large touchscreen that’s easy to clean

  • Accepts cards via WiFi, Bluetooth or 4G (with optional SIM card)

  • Built-in receipt printer

Multipay reconciles transactions in the cloud so individual transactions can be allocated to the right team member. However, only one merchant account and bank account can be attached to the terminal, so in the end, the one and only account holder still has to manually transfer payments to the correct individuals.

The other card machines also record transactions in real time through the cloud, but not with multi-user functionality.

The credit card machines can be integrated with the Epos Now till software for a monthly fee and up to three years’ contract. No other POS systems can currently be integrated with Takepayments, which could be an issue for businesses with specific till preferences.

Those requesting a different POS system will have to use the card machines independently alongside the till software, manually confirming transactions on the till after the terminal has processed a card. Later in 2021, Takepayments hopes to offer other EPOS integrations.

Takepayments fees and contract

One of the main draws of Takepayments is the 12-month contract for a card machine package, which is shorter than the typical industry norm of 18-60 months. There is no setup fee, and the company takes pride in stating all fees upfront to avoid surprises later on.

Takepayments will set you up with two contracts:

  • Takepayments: Covers equipment and products (card machine rental, online payments, EPOS Now package).

  • Merchant account (Barclaycard or Elavon): Covers cost of processing transactions.

The exact costs are tailored around the individual business and not listed on the website. Instead, Takepayments encourages you to request a quote through their online form and get a visit from a local sales consultant.

We can, however, state the following costs:

Takepayments Pricing
Contract length 12 months
Setup fee None
Card machine rental From £10 + VAT/mo per terminal
Merchant account fees No monthly or annual fees
Transaction rates 0.3%-2.5% (depending on card) + flat fee
Monthly minimum charge £10+/mo
PCI compliance Takepayments fee: £35/yr (optional)
Barclaycard fee: £15/mo (mandatory)
Chargebacks £9 each
Payouts Next-day w/Barclaycard: Free
Elavon: 30p each
Refunds 30p each
Early termination fee Equivalent to buying out remaining contract
Online payments Annual or monthly fee + transaction charges
Take-
payments
Pricing
Contract length 12 months
Setup fee None
Card machine rental From £10 + VAT/mo per terminal
Merchant account fees No monthly or annual fees
Transaction rates 0.3%-2.5% (depending on card) + flat fee
Monthly minimum charge £10+/mo
PCI compliance Takepayments fee: £35/yr (optional)
Barclaycard fee: £15/mo (mandatory)
Chargebacks £9 each
Refunds 30p each
Payouts Next-day w/Barclaycard: Free
Elavon: 30p each
Early termination fee Equivalent to buying out remaining contract
Online payments Annual or monthly fee + transaction charges

Whereas other acquirers charge monthly and annual fees for card processing, the merchant account from Barclaycard Business has no monthly or yearly account fees. You are only paying fees for card machine transactions, chargebacks, refunds and a monthly PCI-DSS compliance charge to Barclaycard. There’s no charge for the paper statements from the bank.

Transaction charges

Transaction fees are tailored to the merchant’s needs. The main things that determine the card rates are the transaction value and sales volume. If your average transaction value is low, like £5, your quoted fees would be higher than someone accepting high transaction values like £100. This means cafés and convenience stores, for example, probably won’t find that Takepayments is the right fit. Car dealerships, beauticians, restaurants and independent retail shops would, on the other hand, get competitive fees.

Transaction fees are composed of a variable rate associated with the card type/brand, plus a fixed authorisation fee. Takepayments splits the range of fees into four groups: 1) domestic debit cards, 2) domestic credit cards, 3) business debit cards, and 4) business credit cards. Domestic cards have the lowest rate – as low as 0.28% – while a business/corporate card typically costs 1.8%-2% but can go as high as 2.5% plus the fixed authorisation charge.

You can also expect a monthly minimum service charge, which is an agreed amount (say, £20) required in transaction charges every month. If you accept few card machine payments during a month so the total transaction charges are, say, £10, your transaction charges will still amount to £20 in that case.

American Express acceptance requires a separate agreement – it is not automatically accepted until this is set up through your acquirer.

If your average transaction value is low, like £5, your fees would be higher than someone accepting high transaction values like £100. This means cafés and convenience stores, for example, probably won’t be the right fit.