- Pros: Easy online interface, flexible packages, competitive fees
- Cons: Lack of fee transparency, deposit times vary
With a virtual terminal, you only need your existing computer or tablet and an internet connection to start taking payments. For example, you can ask a customer for credit card details over the phone and complete a charge using the virtual terminal. But which provider to choose?
If you are considering WorldPay’s virtual terminal, you are not alone.
In fact, it is the biggest payment processor in the UK and particularly popular among small and medium sized businesses, processing millions of pounds of transactions every month.
But with competitors like PayPal offering easier sign-ups and simpler contracts for virtual terminals, Worldpay increasingly has to justify its market position.
If you go online to find out how much a Worldpay virtual terminal will cost you then prepare to be disappointed. The provider doesn’t actually disclose their pricing and instead provides quotations on a ‘business by business’ basis. In short, enquirers request a call back from one of their representatives who will contact you to find out more about your business and payment processing requirements.
Worldpay will then provide you with a quotation based on the expected card turn over and the needs of your business.
Needless to say that this approach isn’t popular with everyone, such as those who may fear getting a ‘hard sell’ from the Worldpay rep (ever been to a timeshare presentation?) or just happen to prefer open and transparent pricing that they can peruse and compare on their own.
Lowest monthly fee: £9.95
Transaction fee: 2.75% depending on your volume
But if you don’t mind dealing with a Worldpay rep over phone then this provider could prove to be a good choice for your business.
Despite the lack of published information surrounding Worldpay charges, there are some things that we do know. First of all, the charges applied to in-store payments using a card terminal are different to the charges for online and telephone payments. This means that if you have multiple selling channels the charges you pay will depend on the type of transaction that you are processing.
Secondly we know that Worldpay does not commit to one specific rate and instead prefers to provide an offer based on the specific needs of your business. There are three options available:
|Pay as you go||Fixed monthly||Standard|
|Transaction fee||Fixed rate regardless of card|
Typical debit/credit: 2.75% + 20p
Premium cards higher fees
|Monthly fee includes transaction up to a threshold|
Premium cards higher fees
|Depends on card|
Typical credit: 2.75%
Premium cards higher fees
|PCI compliance||Included||Included||£29.99 per year|
|Inclusions||Online and phone payments||Online, phone payments, pay by link||Online, phone payments, pay by link|
|Suited for||Seasonal businesses, low volume of phone payments||Consistent monthly sales||High sales volume up to £300k/year|
Worldpay can process most major cards, but keep in mind that Amex and Diners Club will incur higher rates than Visa and MasterCard.
If you choose to use Worldpay for your telephone payment processing requirements then you can expect your merchant service charges to be passed on to you in the form of blended pricing. Worldpay almost always uses blended pricing which sees them charge merchants one rate that encompasses both the card issuers interchange rate and the payment processors own margin of profit.
While this is common practise, it also makes it easy for providers like Worldpay to sneak an extra few percent into their profits should the interchange rate change in their favour.
How the virtual terminal works
With no technical set up required and minimal training, the Worldpay virtual terminal literally just requires users to log in and enter their customer, credit card and product information to process the transaction. The interface itself isn’t the most attractive design on the market, and it is definitely not quite as user-friendly as some of its competitors.
However, there are a few useful features, including:
- ‘Card on file’ which supports the streamlined processing of future payments from an existing customer.
- Comprehensive transaction reports available online, anywhere and anytime.
- A payment portal that is customisable to fit with your business branding.
The Worldpay virtual terminal accepts all major payment types and the monthly fee option gives access to multiple users on one account.
How long will it take to receive funds?
Again there is a real lack of transparency with regards to how quickly you can expect to receive your funds. The advice from Worldpay’s own site states that, ‘dependent upon the acquisition method used, your account could be remitted in a matter of days’. This may work for businesses with a good cash flow, but isn’t such good news for those which rely on money clearing as soon as possible.
If you choose Worldpay for your payment processing requirements then you may be asked to commit to a fixed term contract. Again this may vary from business to business, but typically contracts with Worldpay are around 18 months long, after which it will be automatically renewed unless the 90 day notice period is activated.
If during that time you decide that Worldpay isn’t right for you after all then check your contract carefully. There is almost always a penalty for cancellation within the contract period.
Compared to many of its competitors, Worldpay has a fairly acceptable reputation in terms of customer support. Live chat is available during business hours, but the 24/7 telephone support is purely for existing customers. If you aren’t one you won’t be able to get through as a merchant ID is required to progress through the phone system.
Social media engagement is pretty low when compared to other payment processors.
Worldpay is trying to become leaner, less bureaucratic and offer more flexible packages. The virtual terminal offerings has gotten more attractive for some customers.
It’s safe to say that there are many reasons why Worldpay is the UK’s leading payment processor, but this doesn’t automatically mean it is the right choice for a virtual terminal for your business. Get an idea of what kind of package (above) is right for you, and request competitive rates.