- Pros: Easy online interface, packages more flexible than before, competitive fees
- Cons: Lack of fee transparency, deposit times vary, poor customer reviews
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 is best 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.
In short, enquirers should request a callback from one of Worldpay’s 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 turnover and the needs of your business.
Needless to say, this approach isn’t popular with everyone, such as those who 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 the phone, then this provider could prove a good choice for your business.
Despite the lack of published information around Worldpay charges, there are some things that we 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 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. According to information that was previously public on Worldpay’s website, there are three options available:
|Transaction fee||Fixed rate regardless of card|
Typical debit/credit: 2.75% + 20p + 10p (gateway fee)
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, 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 practice, it also makes it easy for providers like Worldpay to sneak an extra few percent in to their profits, should the interchange rate change in their favour.
How the virtual terminal works
With no technical setup required and minimal training, the Worldpay virtual terminal 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’s definitely not quite as user-friendly as some of its competitors.
There are a few useful features, though, including:
- ‘Card on file’ which supports the streamlined processing of future payments from an existing customer.
- Comprehensive transaction reports available online, anywhere and any time.
- 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 who rely on money clearing as soon as possible.
If you choose Worldpay for your payment processing requirements, 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 automatically be renewed unless the 90-day notice period is activated.
If during that time you decide that Worldpay isn’t right for you after all, check your contract carefully. There is almost always a penalty for cancellation within the contract period.
On Trustpilot UK, Worldpay has a “Bad” status, with an average rating of 0.6 out of 10. Running themes in these reviews include poor customer support, high termination fees and other unexpected charges, and overly eager sales reps signing them on too quickly before passing security checks (resulting in account freezes and transaction money held by Worldpay). Based on these reviews, we advise caution when you phone the sales team, making sure you consider all the contract details and charges before signing on.
On the plus side, Worldpay has 24/7 telephone support for existing customers. If you’re not a customer, you won’t be able to get through to this support, since 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, but it’s clear from customer reviews that there is still a long way to go. Compared to past packages, the virtual terminal offerings have got more attractive for some customers.
It’s safe to say that there are reasons why Worldpay is the UK’s leading payment processor, but this doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right virtual terminal for your business. Get an idea of what kind of package (above) is right for you, and request competitive rates.