Our rating(4.1/5)
Versatile card machine packages from industry-leading payments company.
Worldpay (now merged with FIS) is a household name for high street chains and independent shops alike in the UK, but are their terminal solutions worth the charges and commitment?
  • Highs: Payment processing at its best. Card machines are advanced. 24/7 customer support every day of the year. Remote payment options.
  • Lows: 18 months’ lock-in with most plans. Fixed costs add up. Problems with customer service.
  • Choose if: It’s important to have a terminal solution from a large, international payment company that can tailor your rates.

The lowdown

Worldpay is a decades-old card machine provider for businesses of all sizes. In 2019, it was acquired and merged into the American company FIS (Fidelity National Information Services), so it is now referred to as Worldpay from FIS.

Although we will focus on the terminal solutions for brick and mortar merchants, the breadth of services handled by Worldpay means you can use it as a single provider for online, remote and face-to-face payments.

With their card terminals, you can accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, UnionPay, Diners Club, Discover and JCB. It is also possible to accept American Express, but this requires a separate agreement. Card payments take on average 2-3 working days to settle in your business bank account.

The card machines come in one of four packages: Pay As You Go, Simplicity, Fixed Monthly and Custom. Which plan you pick depends on how predictable your card takings are, preference of fee structure, among other things.

Card machines and add-ons

Regardless of the card machine package, the contents are by and large the same. You get a choice of desktop, portable and mobile terminals by Ingenico or a smart POS terminal by PAX.

Countertop Portable Mobile
Worldpay countertop Ingenico terminal Worldpay portable Ingenico terminal Ingenico Move/5000 mobile terminal
Uses phone/internet cable connection Uses WiFi or Bluetooth up to 100 m from base In-built SIM connects to 3G, 4G or WiFi
Works with power cable Uses rechargeable battery Uses rechargeable battery
Ingenico iCT 250 Ingenico iWL 258, iWL 252 & PAX A920 Ingenico Move 5000
Counter Portable Mobile
Worldpay countertop Ingenico terminal Worldpay portable Ingenico terminal Ingenico Move/5000 mobile terminal
Uses phone/ internet cable Uses WiFi or Bluetooth up to 100 m from base In-built SIM connects to 3G, 4G or WiFi
Works with power cable Uses rechargeable battery Uses rechargeable battery
Ingenico iCT 250 Ingenico iWL 258, iWL 252 & PAX A920 Ingenico Move 5000

All the terminals have a built-in receipt printer and accept chip and PIN and contactless cards as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. They can also add tips, process cashbacks and give refunds directly from the terminal.

Each terminal comes with cables or charger (as relevant), decals showing accepted card brands and one receipt roll. It is highly recommended you order extra receipt rolls right from the start if you plan on using the terminal fairly regularly.

Countertop terminals are suitable for a stationary location like a till point on your sales premises. They have to be connected to a router or telephone line through a cable for an internet connection (required for processing payments). A countertop terminal also has to be plugged in to a power socket at all times.

Portable terminals are ideal for places where it’s best to carry around the terminal and take payments where the customer is. This makes it perfect for restaurants, pubs and cafés especially. These terminals are powered by a long-life battery recharged through an adaptor.

The Ingenico iWL 258 model connects to the internet through WiFi for card processing, and Ingenico iWl 252 uses Bluetooth (within 100 metres of the source) to connect to a device such as a mobile phone or router connected to the internet. The PAX A920 terminal uses WiFi.

Mobile terminals work anywhere with mobile coverage, making it ideal for market stalls, cab drivers and tradespeople on the move. It comes with a built-in SIM card that automatically connects to any available EE, O2 or Vodafone network. In addition, it has WiFi built in, so you are thoroughly covered in terms of connectivity. The mobile card machines are also powered by a rechargeable battery made to last for multiple hours’ transactions.

In addition to the terminal service, you can add the ability to take phone payments, send email invoices and accept online payments, each costing an additional fee per month.

Popular now: Ingenico Move 5000

Mobile card machine with keypad and touchscreen display.

  • Accepts NFC (contactless), EMV (chip), magnetic stripe cards

  • Large colour touchscreen with stylus for signatures and navigation

  • Access to app market with pick-and-choose add-on features like customer loyalty, split bills and promotional displays

  • Inbuilt camera, GPS, barcode scanner

  • 4G, 3G, GPRS, Bluetooth, WiFi

The Ingenico Move/5000 terminal is one of Worldpay’s mobile card machines and can be rented on any of their price plans.

Increasingly popular: PAX A920

Portable Smart POS terminal for mobile payments or integration with POS.

  • Accepts NFC (contactless), EMV (chip), magnetic stripe cards

  • Large, 5-inch colour touchscreen

  • Powered by Android with access to app market (should use Worldpay UK app or POS integration)

  • Inbuilt camera (for barcode scanning) and receipt printer

  • Works with WiFi, 4G or GPS

PAX A920 SmartPOS terminal

The PAX A920 SmartPOS terminal can be rented on Worldpay’s plans.

Worldpay costs and fees

Worldpay’s most popular plan for card machines is the Custom package, which is geared towards bigger businesses with a good knowledge of their card payments. This is because you have to negotiate fees (get a quote here), and the higher your transaction volume, and the more you know about your sales volume, distribution of payment cards accepted and overall requirements, the better the deal you can get. Otherwise, you may be given higher rates than what you can get through another package.

That said, smaller businesses making less than £300,000 a year through card payments could benefit from the Simplicity and Pay As You Go plans – let’s compare the plans.

Compare with low-cost, no-commitment option: SumUp vs. Worldpay

Price plans compared

The Custom plan has a variety of costs, but out of all plans, it is the most adaptable. Card rates depend on your turnover and the distribution of card types normally accepted in your business.

It comes with an 18-month terminal contract and typically interchange++ fees including a monthly minimum charge of £15/month if your turnover does not exceed the agreed monthly minimum. Debit and credit cards have different rates. As opposed to other plans, PCI management is paid for (£29.95 a year) on top of terminal and transaction costs.

Until 30th November 2020, new Worldpay customers on a Custom pricing plan only pay £1/month for terminal rental for 9 months followed by £22/month for 9 months. (Note: the offer excludes integrated solutions that work with EPOS tills.)

Simplicity is for businesses with a stable volume of sales month-on-month. It comes with an 18-month contract. You pay one fixed monthly fee that covers terminal hire and acquiring costs. This starts at £17.95 + VAT a month for a countertop model, with mobile terminals being the most expensive (up to £23 + VAT a month). Then you pay a fixed transaction rate of 1.5% for all card payments.

Pay As You Go does not come with lock-in, but then you pay multiple card fees that do not apply to Simplicity. In theory, you only pay when there is a card payment, but there is a £150 + VAT setup fee and higher card rates. Domestic Mastercard and Visa card transactions have a lower fee than premium cards like Diners Club, business and corporate cards. This plan may be better suited for startups and seasonal businesses with occasional or unpredictable card sales.

Custom Simplicity Pay As You Go
18-month contract 18-month contract No contract lock-in
Setup fee
May apply £150 None
Monthly fee
£17.95-£23*/mo depending on terminal £17.95-£23*/mo depending on terminal None
Card transaction fees
Custom Visa, Mastercard & premium cards: 1.5% Via, Mastercard: 1.75%
Premium cards: 2%+
Authorisation fee applies
Monthly minimum charge
£15*/mo None  None
Reporting & analytics
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
PCI compliance
£29.95* annual fee £9.99*/mo non-compliance fee £9.99*/mo non-compliance fee
Early termination fee
Yes, amount varies Yes, amount varies None

*Excluding VAT.

Custom Simplicity Pay As
You Go
18-month contract 18-month contract No contract lock-in
Setup fee
May apply £150 None
Monthly fee
£17.95-£23*/mo depending on terminal £17.95-£23*/mo depending on terminal None
Card transaction fees
Custom Visa, Mastercard & premium cards: 1.5% Via, Mastercard: 1.75%
Premium cards: 2%+
Authorisation fee applies
Monthly minimum charge
£15*/mo None  None
Reporting & analytics
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
£4.99*/mo
(first 3 months free)
PCI compliance
£29.95* annual fee £9.99*/mo non-compliance fee £9.99*/mo non-compliance fee
Early termination fee
Yes, amount varies Yes, amount varies None

*Excluding VAT.

Alternatively, the Fixed Monthly plan allows you to pay a fixed cost in advance of each month (from £49.99 + VAT monthly), which covers terminal rental and all transaction fees up to a particular turnover threshold. This is for merchants with a very stable card turnover, as otherwise the deal can turn out to be more costly. Fixed Monthly comes with an 18-month contract.

It’s possible to accept American Express, but this requires a separate merchant agreement with Amex, which can be connected with your Worldpay card machines. Amex transactions are typically pricier than domestic Visa and Mastercard transactions.

All Worldpay pricing plans have 3 months’ free access to the online My Business Dashboard where you can view, export and print sales analytics and reports. After the first three months, it costs £4.99 + VAT a month to keep this access, although there is a Lite version with limited functionality that is free.

PCI non-compliance fees also apply to any plan if you do not fill in the required PCI paperwork. If you have completed the required documents to fulfil PCI-DSS security requirements, there should be no further costs for PCI management in the card machine packages.

Accepted cards

VisaVisa ElectronMastercardMaestroDiners ClubUnion PayDiscoverJCB

Receipt rolls are paid for separately, either through Worldpay or an online store selling compatible receipt rolls.

With any of the plans, there is an optional next-day terminal replacement service, except for when you request a replacement on a Saturday which will give you a terminal the following Monday. This service costs extra.

With any contractual commitment, significant early termination fees apply if ending the Worldpay contract sooner than you signed up for. This does not apply to Pay As You Go which has no standard contract.

Reporting and My Business Dashboard

So where do you view transaction details and sales reports? All Worldpay packages initially include full membership to My Business Dashboard, which is the backend account showing transaction information on all payments received through the card machine.

The Dashboard is accessible in any internet browser. With the full membership comes detailed analyses of sales, and the ability to export transaction information or print end-of-day reports.

After the initial free trial, you can choose to downgrade to the free Lite Membership – with limited functionality – or continue the full membership for a monthly fee.

Mobile payment on Ingenico terminal in a cafe

The terminals are all future-proof, since they accept contactless and mobile payments.

Integration with point of sale

The card machines work as standalone terminals for card payments with transactions and payment data viewable in My Business Dashboard. This data is separate from cash transactions.

It is, however, possible to integrate the terminals with EPOS systems to allow automatic communication between POS software and card machine, and to gather all payment types into the same sales reports. This is arranged through the Worldpay Total team, who will refer you to specific POS software providers offering complete end-to-end payment solutions.

One such partner is Epos Now that offers an out-of-the-box integration with Worldpay terminals. Some technical help may be required to set up some of these POS integrations.

Worldpay POS system

A Worldpay countertop terminal connected with an EPOS system.

Remote payments

A great thing about Worldpay from FIS is its add-on payment methods for remote transactions.

Apart from the card machines, you can add a Worldpay Virtual Terminal for over-the-phone payments. This contract costs a monthly rolling fee of £9.95 + VAT and can be cancelled any time with 30 days’ notice. It includes access to Pay by Link which allows you to create payment links for email invoices or messages to customers.

There is also a Worldpay online gateway, which is basically an online checkout for your ecommerce business. This may require technical know-how to install on a website, but some website builders, such as EKM, already have a preconfigured setup with Worldpay to ease implementation.

Customer support and Worldpay reviews

Round the clock, 365 days of the year, you can call customer support for help with the card machine. The next-day terminal replacement service is a great service as well, provided you can afford it.

Unfortunately, we have seen many customer reviews expressing grief from their experience with Worldpay. If you consider their vast number of users, it is natural to also see more reviews (negative ones included) compared to less popular providers. However, several valid concerns are repeated:

  • Lack of transparency about all costs and contract terms during sign-up.

  • Unexpected charges that are nonrefundable.

  • Complaints process is long and tedious, sometimes without resolution.

  • Poor or nonexistent communication when Worldpay needs to look into a complicated matter related to the account.

In general, the website does not communicate all the details about fees, products and pricing plans. Since merging with FIS, the website has even got more confusing (sometimes inaccessible due to website errors) so it is even harder to find the right information. For this reason, it is important to close-read any new contract or agreement given to you by FIS/Worldpay and ask for clarification about charges before committing to anything.

Who is it best for?

Worldpay from FIS is most popular for businesses that want to get good card rates on a Custom plan. Those who can predict a consistent, monthly card sales volume below £300,000 a year may be interested in the Simplicity or Fixed Monthly plans.

There are cheaper and perfectly viable solutions available for less money and no commitment if your business takings are low or unpredictable. That being said, Worldpay is a trusted acquirer in the payments industry – undoubtedly a draw for merchants sceptical of newer, more techy payment solutions.

Multichannel businesses may prefer the flexibility provided by Worldpay, as well as the trust consumers have in the Worldpay brand (we’ve been assured that FIS has no plans to stop calling the service “Worldpay from FIS”).