Over 70,000 businesses are reportedly served by Paymentsense, a relatively sizable merchant account supplier in the UK. The biggest payment processor in the US, First Data (now Fiserv), has a presence in the UK under the name Paymentsense. If you are planning to avail of their services then our article with an honest and authentic review of Paymentsense can help.
For UK retailers, Paymentsense offers traditional countertop and online payment options as well as mobile payment apps. The business introduced Connect in 2018, a cloud-based solution that supports its payment processing network.
Paymentsense is formally classified as an Independent Sales Organization (ISO), which distinguishes them from other merchant account providers like HSBC or NETBANX.
Similar to other ISOs, Paymentsense collaborates with banks and merchant account providers as a third-party company. ISOs often serve two roles: first, they act as a “middle man” to bring in new clients for their partner companies; second, they typically manage the payment process and frequently provide technical support on banks’ behalf.
Paymentsense assists you in selecting the ideal merchant provider from its extensive list of partners in addition to these standard ISO functions and then manages the payments on your behalf. The major benefit for SMEs is that ISOs frequently outperform acquiring banks in terms of rates, as is the case with Paymentsense.
How Exactly Does Paymentsense Operate?
Paymentsense functioned as an Independent Service Provider rather than a financial institution. This indicates that the business collaborates with banking institutions to link you to the services you require, such as a merchant account. As a go-between, Paymentsense links clients with their partner businesses, and banks handle payments and offer clients technical support.
This is a very typical business feature because it enables micro, small, and medium-sized companies without the necessary transaction volume to apply for a merchant account or to negotiate fair prices with a third party. By providing more individualized and specialized service than the big bank could on its own and generating a significant amount of business for the bank, the objective is also to benefit organizing banks as well as business clients.
Paymentsense, however, has yet another function. Small businesses are frequently unable to negotiate acceptable transaction prices. Paymentsense can obtain far better rates than you could because they negotiate based on their total transaction rate from all of their clients. However, it is still crucial to evaluate Paymentsense in comparison to other organizations of a similar nature and merchant accounts for small businesses. The majority of accounts may start collecting payments in less than 5 days, so you can also anticipate a quicker setup time.
Products, Features, and Assistance of Paymentsense
Paymentsense services fall under three broad categories that include card, web, and phone payments. These options are a little more condensed than the bundles you’ll find with bigger merchant account providers, but that’s by design for ISOs as they’re made to complement the companies that give more.
- Card Machines: Paymentsense can offer you the finest card reader for your company, whether you want a fixed terminal, portable terminal, mobile terminal, or a combination of all 3. Additionally, they provide PDQ machines that accept Google Pay and Apple Pay contactless purchases. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Maestro are just a few of the widely used credit and debit cards that are accepted.
- Online Transactions: Paymentsense will set you up with a secure payment gateway so you may accept payments online. For your company’s convenience, the gateway works with more than 40 of the leading e-commerce platforms. A dashboard for reporting payments as well as fraud detection tools will be available to you.
- Payment Integration: Paymentsense is a very sophisticated integrated payments solution that sets you up with a fully integrated EPOS system. It does this by using an intelligent payment program called “Connect.”
Paymentsense Costs and Transaction Fees
The lack of fee clarity with Paymentsense is an irritating aspect. On their website, there are no precise prices listed, but we do know some information regarding the fees. The total cost of using Paymentsense’s services varies depending on the kind of business you run and how much revenue you generate annually. You’ll need to contact their staff for an accurate price since most of this depends on the merchant provider you accept terms with.
The kind of payment services you sign up for and the card terminals you select will also affect the final cost. Paymentsense does disclose pricing for their virtual terminal and online payment packages, although rates on the terminal vary:
- Starter: £9.95 per month (for businesses processing £50,000 annually).
- Basic: £14.95 per month (for businesses handling £250k annually).
- Pro: £19.95/month (for businesses handling £1.2 million annually).
Your fees are capped for the term of the contract when you engage in one with Paymentsense (the period of which varies greatly, from 18 to 60 months). When Paymentsense hiked these capped rates back in 2015 to cover the Visa Debit interchange fee rise and then some, there was a backlash from some of its clients. Their clientele was irate because the rise was out of proportion to the increase in interchange fees. However, given there hasn’t been any comparable action since then, these capped costs appear secure going forward.
When you get a quote from Paymentsense, there are numerous additional fees to consider. You must factor in expenditures for the following in addition to the standard fees for your payment gateway and virtual terminals:
- Fees for Card Machines (including rental)
- PCI DSS compliance
- authorization fees
- fees for using debit and credit cards
Advertising & Sales Transparency
Paymentsense, like the majority of ISOs, sells its services through independent sales agents, which is usually problematic for merchants. Once sales reps are involved, aggressive sales methods and misleading promises are practically assured, which frequently results in differences in prices, duration of contracts, and scope of services.
To be clear, all of this comes from the reps and not Paymentsense directly. Almost every company in the sector employs independent sales representatives to market their products. However, this does not make it any less vexing for business owners who fall for shady sales techniques. As always, we advise dealing directly with the company, getting everything in writing, and making sure you comprehend the terms before signing anything.
Customer support and technical assistance
With the assistance of its support staff, Paymentsense gets off to a fantastic start in terms of customer care. Then there is the crucial 24/7 customer support team, which is situated in the UK—a rarity among companies in the payments sector.
Existing clients have generally had favorable things to say about the level of customer service and technical assistance. Although there are a few issues we want to address right away, that’s very unusual for a company of this size. Paymentsense’s support system is a huge value to the company and its clients.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Paymentsense
Based on information from Paymentsense’s website and evaluations from Trustpilot and Review Centre, the following benefits and negatives have been listed.
- excellent client service
- rapid setup
- reasonable prices
- An intuitive system
- lock-in rate promise
- Locked-in agreements
- High cancellation costs for contracts
- Not many contracts are well explained
- Secret service charges
Feedback and Ratings
Paymentsense reviews are quite inconsistent across review sites, yet you can find recurring good and bad themes to guide your choice. Let’s look at a few of their results:
- Trust Pilot rating: 4.5 (4,797 reviews)
- Review Score: 2.3 out of 5 (149 reviews)
- CardPaymentOptions: 2.3 out of 5 for 129 reviews
The Trust Pilot rating is excellent; however, the other two ratings are not so good. However, if you check at Review Centre’s star ratings, for instance, you’ll notice that there are hardly any medium reviews, with customers exclusively offering Paymentsense raving 5 stars or ranting 1 star. Which reviews should you consider doubtful? That is up to you.
Summary of Review of Paymentsense:
- Excellent Low Rates Reviewers pointed out that several of Paymentsense’s rivals did not offer these competitive prices.
- Rapid delivery Reviewers lauded them for how quickly and easily their accounts were set up.
- Outstanding customer service. The fact that the support workers were mentioned by name by many reviewers should speak to how personable their service is!
Great customer service:
Many of the positive reviews are a result of Paymentsense’s overall customer care and support, and many of these mention support workers by name, which is always a good indicator.
“Professional, enlightening, knowledgeable, beneficial, and completely trustworthy. Hetal was an absolute pleasure to work with and was completely understanding of my tight schedule. Every business would prosper if all employees had Hetal’s work ethic. In addition to your business,” wrote UK Trustpilot reviewer Galen Vickerman.
However, there is a lot of criticism of Paymentsense online for a variety of reasons. Some businesses have complained about being pressured into signing a 5-year agreement with prohibitively large exit fees if they decide to terminate the agreement early.
There have been concerns regarding unanticipated charges, such as PCI compliance fees, terminal replacement fees, and statement fees, appearing on statements. Although these exit costs will have been included in the terms and conditions, it is crucial that you fully comprehend them before you consent to them for any goods or services you may be purchasing for your company.
It is alarming how many people have complained about Paymentsense. The negative reviews have common patterns that include:
- Aggressive salespeople don’t give all costs and conditions upfront.
- Hidden costs are discovered after the contract is signed.
- Even after agreeing to compensate its merchants when they break a previous card machine contract, doesn’t always follow through.
- refusal to allow contract termination without paying a hefty cost
- If you want to stop the auto-renewal, you must cancel by a certain date.
- Receiving a working card machine without any issues.
- Unclear relationship between the vendor and the customer (e.g. First Data, Paymentsense, terminal manufacturer).
- Poor or late solutions to problems
Poor customer service:
You won’t simply hear concerns about hidden expenses; even the sparkling customer service department faces criticism:
“I have gone ten days without a working card terminal. waited on the phone for hours while being handed from pillar to post. Many members of the technical support staff were clueless. Three replacement terminals have been sent out, all of which have the same issue.
On Friday, I was informed that everything would be operational by 6 o’clock; but, when I got home, nothing had changed. I was promised new power and Internet cables yesterday, which will take care of the issue.
According to reviews on Paymentsense, not even merchants whose businesses failed as a result of Covid-19 could terminate their contract without paying an early termination fee. However, we should point out that the majority of the fees that customers have cited are typical of a conventional terminal and card processing contract.
Given these issues, you should read the fine print carefully before signing any contracts to ensure that Paymentsense is the appropriate choice for you.
Who Is Appropriate for Paymentsense?
Paymentsense has a lot to offer, but its affordable full-service option stands out. You can get all the supplies you need from a single provider if you sell in-person as well as online. As a service targeted at small businesses, it may also save you a lot of money compared to negotiating a contract with a larger organization, particularly if you have a very low transaction volume.
Despite the challenges and complaints concerning sales methods and fees, this makes Paymentsense incredibly appealing to a variety of shops and sellers. You should weigh your options because Paymentsense isn’t the sole option for small business merchant accounts.
Our verdict: Uncompetitive for the majority of UK businesses
If you have read our honest, brutal and realistic review of Paymentsense then you might have decided until now if you want to take their services or not.
According to our standards, Paymentsense is a below-average merchant services provider. Although some reviews believe the company’s long-term equipment contracts with locked-in pricing are fair, the majority of dissatisfied customers complain about surprise costs, pushy sales tactics, and subpar customer support.
Because its sales and service offerings seem to be fairly similar to those of First Data (Fiserv), Paymentsense ranks roughly as well as its American parent firm. Due to the company’s contractual language, users of Paymentsense who seek to quit their subscription without incurring a cost may run into some challenges.