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Compare payment processors and secure the lowest credit card processing fees for your business

Virtual Terminals Harry Jones

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Updated 2nd April, 2024

UK Virtual Terminal Providers & Fees

If you are looking to take payments by mail or telephone (MOTO payments), you are likely looking for a virtual terminal to do the job.

What is a virtual terminal?

Virtual terminals refer to software that enables remote transactions, whether it’s taking payments over the phone or via mail order. Virtual terminals are not customer-facing and rely on businesses to manually enter the payment information themselves, often referred to as “keyed-in” payments, so they tend not to focus on the UX and can look a bit clunky.

Popular virtual terminal providers

Below are the monthly and transaction fees charged by the popular payment processors used by UK businesses.  You may also be interested in our guide to card processing fees which covers all the various types of fees you may be charged when using a virtual terminal to process MOTO payments. 
ProviderContract TypeMonthly FeePer Visa / Mastercard
Credit Card  Transaction


NoneNone2.50%View Website
SumUpNoneNone2.95% + 25pView Website
PayPalNone£202.90% + 30pView Website
WorldPayMinimum term contractNoneDepends on card turnover and business (i.e. retail business would expect near 1.9% for £25K turnover and 1.10% for £10M turnover).View Website

From 1.99% per transaction for £0 monthly fee.

From 0.99% transaction fee for £25 monthly fee.

View Website
BarclaycardMinimum term contract£20Depends on card turnover and business (i.e. retail business would expect near 2.75% for up to £240K turnover and 1.20% for £25-£50M turnover).View Website
Tyl by NatwestMinimum term contract£14.95+VAT

1.50% up to £50K card turnover.

Lower bespoke rates above 50K card turnover.

View Website
CloverMinimum term contract£0Depends on card turnover and business. They charge a 10p per transaction +  % of the payment total (i.e. retail business would expect near 1.46%-1.50% for up to £25K turnover and 1.01% – 1.05% for £2.5M turnover)View Website
Global PaymentsMinimum term contractNone, £5, or £15Depends on card turnover and business (i.e. retail business would expect near 1.7% for up to £25K turnover and 1.10% for £2.5M turnover)View Website


Virtual Terminals Square Inc. logo.svg

Square virtual terminal fees

While Square does not charge an additional flat fee or monthly fee, it does charge very high transaction fees (2.50%). There are no hidden fees or minimum monthly service charges, making Square’s pricing very transparent. The payment gateway and PCI DSS are free, meaning that this could be the cheapest option for side-hustles and micro-businesses.

Total Processed By Virtual Terminal£1K from one payment£10K from one payment£50K from 1,000 separate payments
Square’s Processing Fees2.50%2.50%2.50%
What You’ll Pay£25£250£1,250

Square Virtual Terminal

Square Virtual Terminal Features

Co-founded by Jack Dorsey, the previous Twitter CEO, Square is a fast-growing fintech that often resembles Stripe. The company prides itself on simplicity, and this is evident in both its pricing structure and its modern software design which makes it a very user-friendly terminal.

The Square’s virtual terminal can be accessed through a web browser, and there’s a keyed-in card entry in the official Square app on phone/tablet devices. Invoices can be shared via its URL and receipts can be issued via email or text. 

Square has strong omni-channel functionality and is rich in features, such as low-stock alerts and powerful inventory management integration. It’s also possible to request payments via text, along with splitting transactions across different payment methods.

However, this also poses a problem for businesses just using the virtual terminal. A lot of the benefits (which are paid for by the high transaction costs) are tools that you may not use, such as the powerful eCommerce API. Some may be very useful, such as setting up recurring payments, but its core USP is its ability to synchronise with their Square card readers and POS system.

Which businesses are best suited to Square?

With no minimum monthly service charge or contractual tie-ins, Square’s virtual terminal is worth considering for start-ups and businesses with a relatively low turnover, as the high transaction fees will make it an expensive option for most SMEs. 

Square’s virtual terminal is also likely to the best option for businesses already using their POS system, card reader or ecommerce tools. Is it is also worth considering for st  is great for those looking for modern software, strong integrations, and easy sign-up. However, when your sales begin to grow, it can quickly become one of the most expensive providers.


Virtual Terminals sumup logo

SumUp fees

SumUp is one of the most expensive virtual terminal providers. It takes a similar approach to Square in charging a high transactional fee (2.95%) instead of having any monthly or hidden fees. However, it also includes a 25p flat fee for its transactions, making it expensive for all company sizes.

While there are no monthly fees, the transaction fee is quite high, at 2.95% + 25p. PCI DSS and the payment gateway are included, for free.

SumUp Virtual Terminal Features

SumUp Virtual Terminal

SumUp is a global mobile payments company, founded in 2012. Its headquarters remains in London, but has since expanded around Europe and America. 

Being one of the most expensive providers, what do you get for your money? Similar to Square, the value comes from its modern software and user experience. SumUp’s dashboard is simple, easy to use, and responsive to both mobile and PC setups. The provider also covers all the security basics, along with basic features such as payment links.

Businesses can make use of a full suite of integrated SumUp products, including POS and API solutions, along with a great “Help” page for support. Its developer tools are strong, with good API documentation, easy-to-use plug-ins, and great reporting. But, not all virtual terminal users need them (some may, if the virtual terminal is just one of many payment methods).

SumUp openly states the potential for negotiating a better (potentially cheaper) service when annual sales are over £60,000. So, this virtual terminal may be suitable for high-turnover companies but their fees would need to come down considerably to match payment processors that charge a monthly fee. 

SumUp seems to target smaller companies instead regarding its free monthly fee, which is usually negligible for larger firms.

SumUp’s customer support team is via instant chat. While the sales team are available from nine to five on weekdays, customer support has been reduced since 2020.

Which businesses are best suited to SumUp?

Overall, SumUp doesn’t seem to have a strong USP for why you should choose their virtual terminal over competitors unless you are already using their card readers or POS.


Virtual Terminals paypal 784404 960 720

PayPal Virtual Terminal fees

First and foremost, Paypal charge £20 per month for access to their virtual terminal.

The transaction fees will depend on which fee structure your business qualifies for.

  • Standard payment using Express Checkout: 2.90% + 30p
  • Blended Pricing Fee: 1.20% + 30p
  • Interchange Plus: Interchange Fee + 1.2% + 30p

Paypal Virtual Terminal Features

PayPal needs very little introduction and its ubiquitous nature, for personal and business payments alike, can be reassuring to those taking on their first virtual terminal.

And with this presence, comes a very impressive infrastructure. PayPal says it will accept major cards from over 200 markets and you can get paid “in minutes”. This is PayPal’s competitive advantage, along with its easy onboarding and slick reporting.

What’s more, PayPal has a massive global presence in payment systems, so you can rely on fast transactions from anywhere in the world. Many businesses already rely on PayPal for invoicing and receiving online payments, so the virtual terminal would perfectly accommodate this.

Reliability and security are a given with PayPal, and the business has spent many years engineering strong fraud protection. Not only will your data be secure, but PayPal customers helpful instructions and support, and someone is available on the phone 8am to 6:30pm, Monday to Sunday.

However, PayPal’s infrastructure and position in the market come at a cost as standard transaction fees are high. 

Whether you’re receiving business payments, converting currency or processing MOTO payments, the fees are substantial. For its virtual terminal, both its monthly and transaction fees are some of the highest in the market. 

Which businesses are best suited to Paypal?

PayPal’ s virtual terminal is suited to low card turnover companies that already use PayPal’s other services, such as invoicing. It’s also suited to businesses that are looking for a solution that is quick and easy to set up with no contractual tie-ins.


Virtual Terminals worldpay logo small

Worldpay’s virtual terminal fees

Worldpay’s processing fees vary depending on the type of business, the average transaction value (ATV), the annual card turnover and the card being used. 

As a guide, the table below shows the typical transaction fees for virtual terminal payments a retail business with an ATV of £25 will be charged for debit, credit and business (Visa and MasterCard only) at different levels of annual card turnover. The higher the annual card turnover, the lower the transaction fees charged. 

Annual Card TurnoverDebit  CardsCredit  CardsBusiness  Cards

While the payment gateway is free, Worldpay has a minimum monthly service charge of £15 (the amount you pay if your monthly transaction charges do not meet a minimum agreed amount). PCI DSS is priced at £5 a month.

The trade-off for these lower fees is a monthly contract (the shortest period will be 6 months).

WorldPay Virtual Terminal features

Worldpay's Virtual Terminal

Worldpay offers an easy-to-use virtual terminal with a simple albeit slightly dated input screen. You can see the mandatory fields in the screenshot above and on their UK virtual terminal support page here. 

Their virtual terminal can be accessed via their online dashboard which also includes real-time transactions, sales reporting with detailed breakdowns and any chargebacks raised from customers

Worldpay Virtual Terminal Dashboard

Which businesses are best suited to WorldPay’s virtual terminal?

Worldpay’s virtual terminal is most suited to established businesses looking to scale up (and obviosuly those already using its other payment processing services as this will allow seamless omnichannel reporting). 

As annual card revenue scales up, transactional costs reduce to the levels significantly below those offered by Square, SumUp and Paypal. 


opayo payment gateway

Opayo Virtual Terminal fees

Opayo has many pricing tiers for their solutions, but virtual terminals require a simple choice between the pay-as-you-go service (£0 per month but with a £99 joining fee) and the fixed monthly service (£25 per month).

Transaction fees are 1.99% on their PAYG plan which is significantly more expensive than fees on their £25 package which vary by card turnover (see the table below which gives a guide to the card-not-present fees charged for a retail business at different levels of annual card turnover with an average transaction value of £21-£30).

Annual Card TurnoverDebitCreditBusinessDebitCreditBusiness
Under £100,0000.95%1.05%1.85%0.98%1.08%1.93%
£100K – £250K0.85%0.95%1.75%0.88%0.98%1.83%
£250K – £500K0.75%0.85%1.65%0.78%0.88%1.73%
£500K – £1M0.65%0.75%1.55%0.68%0.78%1.63%
£1m – £5M0.55%0.65%1.45%0.58%0.68%1.53%
£5M – £10M0.50%0.60%1.40%0.53%0.63%1.48%
£10m – £50M0.50%0.60%1.40%0.53%0.63%1.48%

Businesses receive 350 transactions free with the monthly plan, whilst there is a £0.12 gateway click fee for the PAYG plan. The £25/month plan will also avoid the expensive £99 joining fee.

There is a high Minimum Monthly Service Charge of £30, along with £6 a month for PCI DSS.

Opayo Virtual Terminal Features

Formally branded Sage Pay, Opayo’s virtual terminal is owned by Elavon. Their free and £25 a month virtual terminal packages include access to a gateway and merchant account, next-day settlement, multi-currency conversion, PCI DSS support, and 24/7 technical help. It’s also possible to send payment links, and all payments will go through “Featurespace”, which is a leading third-party fraud detection service which provides a score for every transaction.

There are strong features for large businesses that want multi-channel tracking and a dedicated account manager, but this is only available under enterprise pricing.

opayo virtual terminal

The virtual terminal, which still uses the Sage Pay legacy system, appears to be very dated. However, there is potential to customise security, such as turning on/off AVS/CV2 checks, along with blocking IPs, card ranges, and even countries. There is a good selection of payment methods and adequate reporting.

Sage legacy virtual terminal

Which businesses are best suited to Opayo?

A range of businesses may be interested in Opayo due to its pricing flexibility. However, the high joining fee along with both a convoluted brand and varied pricing makes them more suited to large firms.


Virtual Terminals Barclaycard Logo



Barclaycard Virtual Terminal Fees

Barclaycard charges a £15 Minimum Monthly Service Charge, a £20 per month gateway fee and as £5 per month for PCI DSS.

Their transaction fees will depend on the Merchant Category Code (MCC) and card annual turnover. Below are illustrative virtual terminal fees by card type for retail firms at different turnover levels with an at  ATV up to £40. 

 Debit CardsCredit CardsBusiness Cards
Under £240,0002.05%2.75%2.82%
£240,000 – £750,0001.49%2.40%2.82%
£750,000 – £6.6M1.00%2.05%2.75%
£6.6M – £25M0.95%1.25%2.25%
£25 – £50M0.85%1.20%2.25%

Barclaycard Virtual Terminal Features

Barclays offers multi-currency settlement solutions, next-day settlements, and having fixed FX costs when making sales in most currencies.

All major cards are accepted and their web-based virtual terminal is claimed to work on all major web browsers. Up to five users can process payments at the same time, but any more users will incur additional fees.

Which businesses are best suited to Barclaycard?

For those businesses only interested in virtual terminals, Barclaycard is best suited to medium-sized enterprises and above due to the MMSC, £20 monthly fee, and tiered transaction fees.

Tyl by Natwest

Virtual Terminals tyl natwest logo



Tyl by Natwest Virtual Terminal fees

Fees depend on the type and size of your operation. Pricing is split depending on whether your annual card payment value is under/over £50,000 (1.50% for firms under this threshold; custom pricing for over).

The 1.50% flat pricing transaction fee includes authorisation fees, while the custom pricing will separate them from the transaction fee.

The online gateway is £14.95+VAT per month (unless you sign up during a promotional period, where it can be free for 12 months).

There are also no extra fees for refunds, international card payments, or cancelling your contract. With no MMSC either, this makes Tyl a competitively priced option for small businesses.

Tyl by Natwest Virtual Terminal features

Tyl’s virtual terminal is accessible for new businesses, not just in the pricing clarity, but also the usability of the service. Refunds can be made easily on the terminal for free.

Because Tyl offers a full suite of payment processing services, you have many options. You can send your customers a simple payment link or even use the key in their card information on the Phone Sale app (when using a Clover card machine). Tyl has a strong portal which can track today’s sales, settlement pending, ATV, and many other reports.

Virtual Terminals image12

It’s also possible to filter your sales by payment method or location, giving you more insight into where your revenue is coming from.

There is a way to reward your loyal customers using card detail information as opposed to a loyalty card or log-in system. It’s also possible to integrate your portal with many of the major accounting apps.

The virtual terminal can be set up within a single working day and is available in eight languages. When it comes to fraud protection, you can blacklist certain names and card numbers, or set purchase limits. 

Which businesses are best suited to Tyl by Natwest?

Tyl by Natwest does a good job of appealing to businesses of all types and sizes. It has bespoke pricing for larger enterprises, yet remains affordable for startups. The monthly fee may appear expensive for very low turnover companies, but this is offset by its frequent promotions and lack of additional fees.


Virtual Terminals clover network inc vector logo 1



Clover Virtual Terminal Fees

There is a 10p gateway fee per transaction, as well as a 3.25p authorisation fee, which can be costly for firms making frequent, small-value transactions. They also have additional fees such as

  • Chargeback fee:  £25
  • Collections: £40
  • Termination (within six months of the agreement commencing):  £200
  • PCI DSS: £4.99
  • PCI DSS non-compliance: £35
  • Foreign exchange margin: Up to 3%
  • Minimum Monthly Service Charge:  £25

Their transaction fees will depend on card turnover and the MCC code. For example, the table below shows the Mastercard and Visa fees for a business with up to £25K in annual card sales, an average transaction vale of £25 and MCC code of 5999 (Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores).

Payment TypesDebit CardsCredit CardsBusiness Cards
In person0.68%1.25%2.19%
Online/Phone via Virtual Terminal0.83%1.50%2.47%

These fees are competitive for a micro business but when card turnover increases to £2.5 million their virtual terminal transaction fees reduce to 1.1% for Mastercard and  1.06% for Visa. 

Clover Virtual Terminal features

Clover is a subsidiary of Fiserv, making it the POS brand of First Data. The virtual terminal solution is much like all the others, with it being accessed through a web browser from any device and comes with the usual fraud management and security measures, such as blocking customer names and IP addresses along with end-to-end data encryption.

The major benefit of using Clover is that it is a widely used and reputable brand (Tyl uses Clover machines, for example). This makes troubleshooting easier, as there’s a larger community using it (e.g., a dedicated subreddit), but it also makes it easy to start accepting other payment methods. Clover also offers cash advances within 24 hours, and your virtual terminal sales may boost your chances of approval.

Virtual Terminals image9

Based on Trustpilot reviews, it seems the UK-specific customers using the virtual terminal have mostly 5-star reviews, praising its simplicity of everything from the set-up and customer support to taking the payments and reporting. On the global Trustpilot page, customer service reviews are much more mixed.

As shown above, the virtual terminal is simple but slightly dated. There is a currency field, making it just as easy to make an international sale as it is a local one. It’s equally easy for the customer to choose between their local currency or GBP, and the FX margin cost is clearly stated as a percentage.

Which businesses are best suited to Clover?

Clover’s virtual terminal is suited to businesses that want a reputable payment processor with great hardware and competitive pricing for higher turnover companies.

Global Payments

Virtual Terminals Global Payments logo



Global Payments Virtual Terminal fees

Using the Global Payments portal has no monthly fee, but you will need to pay £5 a month to access reporting features, or £15 a month to access their analytics and benchmarking. 

There is also a considerably high Minimum Monthly Service Charge of £30 and PCI DSS service for £25, making it expensive for micro businesses to use.

A retail business with up to £250K turnover and a £25 ATV would be charged 1.70% for Mastercard and Visa transactions. Surprisingly, this is the same amount for in-person payments, too, despite their lower risk. 

For firms turning over £2.5 million, the transaction fee drops to 1%.

Global Payments Virtual Terminal features

In 2019, Global Payments merged with TSYS, which they claim is helping increase authorisation rates, provide better fraud protection, and speed up transactions. This comes after acquiring payment processors from all around the world, bolstering their global presence.

The involvement of the dedicated account manager when setting up an account is a common theme behind the many positive reviews — many reviewers mention (and thus have remembered) their assistant’s name, highlighting the personable support available.

Global Payments accepts payments from customers in over 50 currencies. Dynamic Currency Conversion is used, meaning they can pay in their local denomination, which they claim minimises disputes due to pricing clarity. When sending a payment by link, the link can be shared in many different ways, from QR codes for your mailers to AirDrop.

Global Payments’ virtual terminal is marginally more modern than some of its competitors, with a clear user interface and visible buttons (bottom left) for customer support. You can issue refunds or rebates from the portal and view your full payment transaction history. Payment details are retained for future payments, but there’s also no need to store any customer card information on your system as this is taken care of.

Global payments virtual terminal

Global Payments has plenty of resources on its website, such as video demos of the virtual terminal. Settled transactions can be viewed on the dashboard based on currency, which is helpful for international businesses.

Global payments virtual terminal analytics

UK customer support is available over the phone from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, as well as a separate number for those with speech or hearing impairment. 

Which businesses are best suited to Global Payments?

Larger businesses with an international focus that take payments by phone will likely benefit from getting a quote from Global Payments.

Note: you may also be interested in reading our guide to taking payments over the phone. This covers the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard regulations (PCI-DSS) you need to be aware of how to start taking MOTO payments. 

Advantages of using a virtual terminal

Virtual terminals open up your sales to a broader audience. When making sales over the phone, as many cable companies do, it’s often faster and easier to make the payment there and then. 

It’s also important to consider that 11 million people over 65 in the UK, many of whom will prefer placing an order over the phone or ny mail order. Speaking to a person on a trusted phone number, where they can read their card details out loud (or send them via post), provides businesses with an opportunity to expand their sales channels. 

For example, when selling insurance over the phone it is often faster for both parties if the merchant takes the customer’s card details over the phone via a virtual terminal than emailing an invoice or payment link once the customer says they are ready to pay, especially if the customer isn’t tech-savvy.

Virtual terminals are crucial for mail-order businesses. Despite the growth of online shopping, mail-order businesses still generate a huge amount of orders. Many customers are happy to post their payment details and have them processed by the business (via a virtual terminal) without having any further contact with them.

Do virtual terminals require monthly contracts?

Some providers require monthly contracts with a minimum tie-in period (normally 6 months +) whilst others offer pay as you go. 

Pay as you go (PAYG) contracts are typically better for lower card turnover businesses as they have lower upfront costs and little to no monthly fees. The trade-off is higher transaction fees. 

Higher card turnover businesses will benefit more from providers that have minimum term contracts as they offer lower transaction fees than PAYG providers

How to choose a virtual terminal solution

You should consider the following factors who shortlisting the best virtual terminals:

  • Pricing structure
  • Contractual Tie-ins
  • Features
  • Support
  • Security

Begin by reflecting on your own sales volume, turnover, and average transaction value. From here you can decide on your pricing structure and contractual tie-ins. For example, small start-ups with low turnover will typically prioritise no monthly costs and or long-term commitments whilst larger businesses will focus on the transaction fees and software capabilities. 

From here, you can assess the features available. See if any companies serve your more specific needs, such as multi-currency settlement or integration with certain accounting software.

Typical fees for virtual terminal payments

Payment processors often charge the same transaction fees for virtual terminals and online payments which are collectively known as cardholder-not-present (CNP) fees. They are  more expensive that in person payment fees due as there is an increased chance of impersonation and fraud.

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