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Lloyds Bank is one of the leading names in European banking, so it comes as no surprise it provides merchant account services to thousands of firms across the continent and beyond. Their 2022 data showed they processed over 1 billion transactions a year with a total value of £6.1 billion.
The merchant services themselves are provided by a firm called Cardnet, a joint venture between Lloyds Banking Group and First Data, which combines the latest technology in payment solutions with flexibility for businesses of all types and sizes.
This starts with simple packages for smaller businesses that only process a low volume of card transactions. Where it ends depends on the size of your business – all the way up to major international brands that process thousands of transactions per week or high-value transactions that leave no room for error.
You don’t have to be a customer of Lloyds Bank to use Cardnet.
Lloyds Cardnet offer the following card payment machines:
Lloyds Cardnet offer a hosted ‘off the shelf’ payment gateway solution. Customers will need to leave your website to enter in their card details although it can include your branding.
They also offer the ability to integrate their payment gateway software on your own website via an API. This gives you more flexibility on the design but requires specialist coding skills.
An omnichannel payment gateway is also offered for businesses who would like to combine the transactions made online, in person or over the phone so they are easier to track and manage.
Pay by link is also offered as you’d expect. This allows you to send out links in emails which will open up a payment screen hosted by Lloyds.
They offer a virtual terminal for taking payments over the phone. This is a secure web page where you can accept payments without the customer being present (using their card details).
All you need is an internet connection to get started. There is no separate phone lines, hardware or software to worry about.
The indicative fees for LLoyds Cardnet are shown below. These fees are for a retail business with an average transaction value of £25. The fees charged will be lower for businesses with higher annual card turnover. We’ve given a range from £25K to £2.5M as a guide but there will be further tiers between these values.
The rates charged for Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards are the same. It is only business cards that differ with Mastercard charging significantly more.
|Mastercard Fees||Annual Card |
|Debit Cards||Credit Cards||Business Cards|
|Online / By Phone||£25K||1.06%||1.51%||2.31%|
|Online / By Phone||£250K||0.80%||1.36%||2.25%|
|Online / By Phone||£2.5M||0.62%||1.00%||1.96%|
|Visa Cardnet Fees|
Annual Card Turnover
|Debit Cards||Credit Cards||Business Cards|
|Online / By Phone||£25K||1.06%||1.51%||1.31%|
|Online / By Phone||£250K||0.80%||1.36%||1.22%|
|Online / By Phone||£2.5M||0.62%||1.00%||1.16%|
Additional fees will also be charged:
There is no minimum contract for their mobile card readers. It is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Contracts with Lloyds Bank Cardnet start at a minimum 6-month service contract although most will be offered with an 18-month minimum period.
Another piece of information we normally like to get our hands on is the total termination fee for cancelling contracts early or without the required months’ notice.
While the big banks tend to offer relatively expensive merchant transaction fees, they attract a high volume of businesses due to their brand awareness.
They also have a relatively low tolerance to risk and some businesses would be better off approaching a specialist high-risk merchant account provider.
We haven’t heard any reports of hidden charges or underhand sales tactics although it would be nice to be more transparent about rates on their website. The truth is these firms don’t really need to operate with aggressive or misleading marketing techniques.
Customer service is always tough for a firm of this size and the legions of customers it has to look after. So, unsurprisingly, there are some complaints about the standard of Cardnet’s customer care.
Their customer helpline number is 01268 567 100.
There are surprisingly few reviews for Lloyds Cardnet given that they are used by over 50,000 businesses. They don’t look to proactively collect any customer reviews as the balance of reviews they do have is more negative than positive (a firm that requests reviews can obtain far more positive reviews by asking customers they know are satisfied for a review).
The main issues that businesses complain about are:
An example is this Trustpilot review from Jennie Russell Smith in Aug 2023:
“Seriously poor service! I’ve had an account with them for quite a few years and they still have no concept of the business I run. The customer service team range from institutionalised incompetence to down right rude. I’m waiting for payments that are 8 days late and have been on the phone to them for the last five days.”
That said, for a firm this big we’d expect to find far more reviews and complaints which suggests Cardnet’s massive base of customers must be relatively happy with the standard of service they receive.
There are better merchant account providers than Lloyd Cardnet. Their fees are not that competitive and their current services don’t warrant paying more.
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