Worldpay and iZettle are two very different companies with different approaches to card payments.
For a start, Worldpay has been around for decades offering traditional card machines and online payment solutions with tailored contracts. Founded in 2010, iZettle is much newer and easier to get started with, no commitment required.
Whether you’re out to save money or invest in the right long-term solution for your business, it’s important to know the main differences.
|Suitable for||Any size business willing to commit to long-term solution with tailored fees and services||Small or new businesses wanting a commitment-free, low-cost, easy payment solution|
|Lock-in||Yes, on all plans except for Pay As You Go||None|
|Card machines||Rented or purchased||One-off cost|
|Remote payments||Any type offered, all costs extra||Some offered free, ecommerce for monthly fee|
|Merchant account||Yes||Uses aggregate merchant account|
|Settlement||2-3 working days||1-2 working days|
|Card acceptance||Most popular cards included, Amex and others require extra contract||All card brands included without contract|
|Reporting||Costs monthly fee, integrations available||Free, integrations available|
|Customer support||24/7||Working hours|
|Any size business willing to commit to long-term solution with tailored fees and services||Small or new businesses wanting a commitment-free, low-cost, easy payment solution|
|Yes, on all plans except for Pay As You Go||None|
|Rented or purchased||One-off cost|
|Any type offered, all costs extra||Some offered free, ecommerce for monthly fee|
|Yes||Uses aggregate merchant account|
|2-3 working days||1-2 working days|
|Most popular cards included, Amex and others require extra contract||All card brands included without contract|
|Costs monthly fee, integrations available||Free, integrations available|
Worldpay offers many different card machines
iZettle has one card reader that can be suitable for till points but also sales on the go. It works with a simple point of sale (POS) app on your smartphone or tablet, with enough features to function as a mobile POS system on its own. This is generally the cheapest way for small-business merchants to accept card payments face to face.
You also get access to digital invoicing and pay-by-links in the free iZettle account. For a monthly fee, you can create an online store via iZettle E-commerce.
Worldpay has a whole range of different terminals, and an app-based card reader. If you want a completely unique setup with more comprehensive payment features, Worldpay can put together such a plan for you. This includes a virtual terminal (which iZettle does not have), software integrations and Ingenico card machines for stationary, portable and mobile use.
Charges are completely different
Worldpay’s pricing on their website is not very clear or transparent. You have to provide some information about your card turnover, business etc. to get an exact quote from a Worldpay sales rep.
The only exception is Worldpay Reader, which can be purchased upfront on a pay-as-you-go plan or used on an 18-month contract for a monthly fee. But even in this case, certain fees are not specified until you sign up.
None of the other terminals by Worldpay are purchased upfront. Instead, you rent a card machine (whether Mobile, Portable or Countertop) on a plan that suits your card sales volume and business requirements. There are four types of plans for card machines – Simplicity, Fixed Monthly, Custom and Pay As You Go – all with different costs.
iZettle’s approach to pricing is complete different. All fees are listed on their website without having to speak to a sales rep, and the card rate is the same for all businesses, card brands and sales volume. It’s only if you sell for more than £10k monthly that you can negotiate a custom rate.
|Early termination fee||Yes, varies||None||None|
|Monthly fees||Yes, varies||Yes, for reports||None|
|Card fees||~0.95%-3.5% + fixed fees||~1.75%-3.5% + fixed fees||In-person: 1.75%
|Terminal purchase*||n/a||£150 setup fee for card machines|
|Terminal rental*||£17.50-£23 /mo||n/a||n/a|
|Monthly min. charge*||Free-£15||None||None|
|PCI compliance*||£0-£29.99 /yr
Non-compliance: £9.99 /mo
Non-compliance: £9.99 /mo
*Prices exclude VAT.
|Early termination fee|
|Yes, vary||Yes, for reports||None|
|~0.95%-3.5% + fixed fees||~1.75%-3.5% + fixed fees||In-person: 1.75%
|n/a||£150 setup fee for card machines|
|Monthly minimum charge*|
Non-compliance: £9.99 /mo
Non-compliance: £9.99 /mo
*Prices exclude VAT.
Like other payment companies, Worldpay’s lowest card rates are for UK-issued debit and credit cards that are not corporate or premium. Foreign-issued, premium or business payment cards such as Amex incur higher fees. You also have to add a fixed authorisation fee or other charges (depending on plan) to transaction costs.
On Worldpay’s Custom plan, if you have not made the agreed minimum in card payments that month, you also pay a monthly minimum service charge of £15.
The monthly rental fees are determined by the card machine model. Countertop models are cheapest and portable ones in the medium price range. Usually, it is priciest to hire a mobile card machine – except for Worldpay Reader costing £4.99 + VAT a month on the Simplicity plan, but that’s because it’s a low-cost model that only works with a mobile app.
Apart from this, Worldpay adds a £4.99-a-month membership charge for reporting tools, £29.99 annual fee for PCI compliance on Custom, £9.99 monthly penalty fee if you haven’t completed PCI documents, and £150 setup fee on Pay As You Go. You pay additional monthly fees for a virtual terminal, online gateway for ecommerce, payment links and invoicing, and then the card rate will be higher since these are for key-in payments.
Worldpay can easily get expensive for a small or new business, but merchants with a consistent, medium-to-high card turnover – with a good understanding of what they need in a payment contract – can get some good rates on the Custom plan.
iZettle doesn’t charge for reporting, PCI compliance (you are not required to set this up), monthly minimums (no minimum sales volume required), or the invoice and payment links. Key-in transactions via the latter two incur a 2.5% fee, and card reader payments are always exactly 1.75% of the transaction amount.
Worldpay can get expensive for a small or new business, but merchants with a consistent, medium-to-high card turnover can get some good rates on the Custom plan.
In terms of commitment, most Worldpay deals have an 18-month contract with lock-in. This means if you decide to leave Worldpay before the end of your 18-month contract, you have to pay an early termination fee which can amount to hundreds of pounds. The Pay As You Go option has no such lock-in or cancellation fee – instead, you pay higher transaction rates and a £150 setup fee. iZettle, on the other hand, requires no commitment and is free to set up.
Emmanuel Charpentier, Mobile Transaction
iZettle Reader with its box contents.
As for mobile card readers, iZettle wins hands down
There’s no doubt the best card reader solution among the two is iZettle Reader. It’s the easiest (and free) to set up, least intimidating because pricing and terms are so transparent on the website, and the card rate is the lowest for a small business. iZettle Reader is cheap compared to Worldpay Reader, and iZettle Go (POS app) along with invoicing, payment links and sales reports have no ongoing costs.
Let us compare iZettle costs with Worldpay Reader (Pay As You Go subscription):
|Worldpay Reader||iZettle Reader|
|Card reader price*||£69|
|Transaction fee||2.5% + 4p||1.75%|
*Prices exclude VAT.
|Card reader price*|
|2.5% + 4p||1.75%|
*Prices exclude VAT.
Worldpay Reader simply is more expensive and doesn’t give you the same tools for free. Moreover, not all terms are disclosed until you chat to a Worldpay rep to sign up.
Worldpay has more remote payment options
iZettle provides two remote payment options that only cost a fee per transaction received: email invoices and pay-by-links. The former allows merchants to send very simple digital invoices for the customer to pay over an online payment page. The latter is for sending payment links online, to allow an unspecified recipient to pay through the link. For a monthly fee (£29 + VAT), you can sell through an online store powered by iZettle. There is no virtual terminal available through iZettle.
Worldpay also offers email invoicing, payment links and a virtual terminal, but these incur monthly fees and an added fixed gateway fee per transaction. Ecommerce integrations can be set up, but you may need help for this unless you’ve got the technical know-how. Worldpay has long been a popular payment gateway for UK-based online stores, but increased competition in ecommerce platforms now means there are easier ways for beginners to set up shop online (the user-friendly iZettle E-commerce is a great example).
iZettle great for POS, not a focus for Worldpay
Worldpay’s focus is card payments, whether through card machines or online payments. The focus is not till systems or tools for managing things other than payment processing (although there is a Worldpay POS bundle available). This can actually be an advantage if you choose a comprehensive POS system outside Worldpay and just want to a card machine to integrate with.
In contrast, iZettle is very keen on providing a self-sufficient point of sale system with card payments integrated. Basically, their app works on smartphones and tablets so you can accept most payment types, manage inventory and monitor sales anywhere including as a fixed till point (although in the last few years, iZettle is offering more online payment options too). Food service businesses can even subscribe to iZettle Pro, a more advanced POS system with features specific to hospitality.
Worldpay does have a POS app similar to the free iZettle Go, but it is not more impressive particularly if you consider the costs of Worldpay Reader.
Setting up is fundamentally different
If you fret sales reps, Worldpay is going to be a challenge. The only way to sign up is through speaking to a sales rep on the phone. You can begin the application online, but you’re forced to give your phone number and contact information.
After submitting the details, you will get a callback from Worldpay who will ask for more information about your business and needs. It is on this call you can ask questions about fees and terms, and you should also be prepared to give an estimate of your card turnover to receive the fairest card rates. Worldpay’s setup is more complicated than iZettle’s, because you get your own merchant account on most plans, which always comes with some sort of contract.
Worldpay offers a range of Ingenico terminals for the counter, shop floor or outside.
iZettle’s sign-up is simpler and requires no phone call. You just go on the website and complete an online form with personal, business and bank account details, during which you can order the card reader. Before this, you already know all the costs, since they are listed on the website and no negotiation is needed.
After signing up, it takes a few days for your bank account to be accepted and connected to receive payouts. You can download and log into the iZettle Go app on your mobile device in the meantime and start sending email invoices, if you wish. You don’t need to do anything else to accept payments through iZettle, because the system uses an aggregate merchant account for settlement to your business bank account – i.e. no contract required.
iZettle’s free reporting is more complete
While both companies provide sales reports, it differs how much is offered for free. Worldpay has a free option called Lite Membership of the My Business Dashboard, where you see details about fees and sales. This option is very basic. Alternatively, you can pay £4.99 a month for Full Membership (first three months are free) which gives you more advanced tools to analyse sales and the ability to export sales as documents.
With iZettle, you get basic analytics, detailed sales reports and the ability to export reports to Excel for free. There are no options within iZettle to upgrade to more advanced analytics, but you can integrate with Xero or Debitoor for more accounting tools. Worldpay also allows integration with Xero and other cloud-based business tools, but integration fees may apply.
Importantly: Worldpay’s dashboard only covers card payments, while iZettle allows you to register cash transactions and products sold in the POS app, essentially giving you a complete overview of all your sales.
Emily Sorensen, Mobile Transaction
Many small food businesses, like this ice cream parlour in London, use iZettle as a complete tablet POS system.
Customer service and reputation
Given how low-cost iZettle is, it’s no surprise that customer service is only available to phone on weekdays between 9am and 5pm. There is no support during weekends, but you can email them any time and expect a response during working hours.
Worldpay has round-the-clock support for all merchants by phone. If your card terminal breaks down, you can get a next-day replacement, but this costs extra.
Both companies have accrued quite a few complaints in customer reviews, saying the customer support can be slow or even lacking. It’s also apparent that Worldpay doesn’t always disclose all costs during sign-up, only to surprise the merchant being billed the extra fees.
It’s hard to say who has the best service, but most payment companies will have a good share of negative reviews, and we know that both companies overall are quite popular in the UK.
Who should choose iZettle vs. Worldpay?
A definite strength of iZettle is how much they understand the needs of face-to-face merchants. Cash-strapped businesses do not want a complicated setup with unnecessary costs when they do not know where they are in a year’s time – that’s the kind of merchant iZettle is really good for.
Worldpay has more in the way of costs and commitment, and the sign-up could result in a bad deal for the merchant who does not know what to look for in a contract. That said, those with a stable card turnover and with enough confidence in the future of their business can get the best kind of rates with a company like Worldpay.