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Worldpay  Review

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In 2018, the UK company was acquired by US firm Vanity but will continue to operate under the name of Worldpay (technically, it’s now Worldpay, Inc. instead of Worldpay Group plc). 

The acquisition means things could change over the coming few years but early signs suggest Vanity is going to keep things moving in the same direction and expand upon the existing range of Worldpay services. 

Worldpay Products & Services

Face to Face
  • Card machines
  • Payment using a mobile phone
  • Integrated card payment services
  • Online payment gateway
  • Online payment methods
  • Online merchant account
By Phone
  • Virtual terminal
eCommerce expertise
  • Airlines
  • Digital content
  • Gambling
  • Travel
  • Video games
  • Retail
Online Solutions
  • Partnership Opportunities
  • Card Payments
  • Alternatives
  • Fraud & Risk Management
  • Treasury services
  • Gateway services
Multichannel & Face to Face
  • Payment methods
  • Tailored service
  • Integrated Card Payments

If you’ve already done some research on merchant account providers Worldpay’s offering of services will probably look very familiar. Unfortunately, the Worldpay / FIS website is not the most intuitive to navigate and it takes some clicking around to understand the different products as services offered for UK businesses.. 

We’re going to do our best to clear things up throughout this review, starting with a clear breakdown of the services Worldpay provides.

Merchant account services

One of the biggest advantages of working with Worldpay is that it’s a merchant acquirer which means it handles all of your transaction in-house – nothing is outsourced. Most payment services companies work in partnership merchant account providers to authorise and/or process payment, but this isn’t the case with Worldpay.

In theory, this should make your contract situation more simple (more on this later), as you’re only dealing with the one company.

It also simplifies the technical side of your business accepting payments, as the company you deal with actually handles everything for you – especially important if you run into any technical problems. Another benefit of this is that you only need to have a single merchant ID for all of your card transactions.

Normally, to accept card payments for different types of transactions (face-to-face, by mail, cheque or phone and online) you will need a different merchant ID for each. With a WorldPay online merchant account, you will only need one merchant ID for all types of transaction payments.

Worldpay Card Machines

Worldpay offers three different types of card machines for face-to-face transactions: countertop, portable and mobile. Essentially, the main difference between them is how portable they are and this decision mostly comes down to where you need to accept card payments.

  • Countertop card terminals: Designed for over-the-counter and till payments, these card readers are connected via phone/broadband, which means you can only use them at fixed locations. The upside is they generally take payments and print receipts faster than any other type of card reader.
  • Portable payment machines: More suitable for restaurants, pubs and cafes that need to accept payments at the till and customers’ tables. Bluetooth connectivity should give you enough mobility to accept payments within 50m from your base unit but you sacrifice a bit of speed and also need to keep the battery charged.
  • Mobile card machines: Allow you to take payments anywhere in the UK with a mobile network connection – ideal for businesses with no fixed premises or professionals visiting customers on-site or at home.

Worldpay has a decent selection of card machines, including popular models like the Ingenico Desk/5000 and Axium DX8000.

Worldpay’s range of card machines should be more than enough to meet your needs but there are better mobile card readers if you’re only processing a low volume of transactions every month. If this sounds like you, take a look at our iZettle and Square reviews for two of the best mobile card readers on the market right now.

One final thing we should mention is we highly recommend buying card machines up-front – if at all possible – rather than leasing them out. 

Contracts on card machines can be a messy affair without all kinds of cancellation fees and hidden costs. Companies like Worldpay don’t lease card machines out for the fun of it; they do it to make money and things can easily end up being more expensive for you in the long run.

This doesn’t only apply to Worldpay either, by the way.

Online Payments

Worldpay offers extensive online payment services for businesses of all sizes and you’re well-covered regardless of whether you’re an online-only venture or need to add online payments to your existing business.

Here’s what you get:

  • Payment gateway: Take online card and PayPay payments with Worldpay’s secure payment gateway.
  • Email payments: Save time chasing unpaid invoices with Pay By Link emails.
  • International payments: Accept payments from countries all over the world – ideal for online retailers targeting a global customer base.
  • Alternative payments: PayPal isn’t the only popular alternative payment choice and Worldpay supports a wide range of options to help you maximise sales.
  • Fraud and risk management: One of Worldpay’s biggest strengths is its fraud and risk management capabilities, helping you and your customers do business securely.
  • Data and analytics: You can also get detailed reports on how your business is performing online to help you spot opportunities for improvement.

Worldpay’s online payment services should cover all bases for most business types and the company is particularly strong when it comes to supporting payment types (international payments, alternative payments, etc.) and the security side of things.

Virtual terminal

Sometimes you need to accept payments over the phone or by mail and this is where Worldpay’s virtual terminal proves its worth. Essentially, it turns your computer into a secure payment point, allowing you to enter the card details your customer provides and process their payment in a matter of moments.

Keep in mind that you can also do this using a regular card machine and Worldpay’s virtual terminal will cost you an extra £9.95 per month. The advantage of having the terminal is that you can keep your card machine free for in-store customers to use and accept payments in other locations (you just need internet access).

You have to decide whether this adds value to your business or not.

POS System

Worldpay now offers a point of sale system, which it’s calling Worldpay Hub. This gives you a simple tablet-based checkout system designed for small businesses that only need a single or few points of sale. This is generally suited to pubs, restaurants, cafes and other small businesses such as small retailers and hairdressers.

WorldPay Online Merchant Account

Normally, to accept card payments for different types of transactions (face-to-face, by mail, cheque or phone and online) you will need a different merchant ID for each. With a WorldPay online merchant account, you will only need one merchant ID for all types of transaction payments.

WorldPay offers 24/7 UK-based support to its clients and has an online reporting tool to help you keep track of your transactions. It also has a suite of fraud prevention tools to keep your and your customers’ details safe.

Worldpay Fees

Like far too many payment service providers, Worldpay isn’t very transparent when it comes to fees. The company has improved somewhat over the years but it remains very difficult to get solid information without speaking directly to a sales rep – and that opens an entirely different can of worms. Pricing will vary depending on the turnover value of your monthly card transactions, but you can expect something in the region of this if you’re processing up to £300k in card payments

Compare Worldpay with out list of the best uk merchant account providers

Worldpay Contracts & Early Termination Fees

Worldpay offers a standard three-year contract with an auto-renewal clause that means you’ll be signed up for an additional year at the end of your initial contract. You’ll then be automatically signed up for a further 12 months at the end of every additional year-long contract on an ongoing basis.

The only way you can stop this from happening is by writing to Worldpay within 30 days of your contract expiration and explicitly telling them you don’t want it to be renewed. Fail to do so and you’ll be signed up for an extension and obliged to pay an early termination fee (normally hundreds of pounds) if you try to cancel it.

This is not a practice we condone in any way but it’s standard practice among payment service providers and a constant source of complaints from customers.

Takeaway: Read the small print and know your contract obligations.

Worldpay Sales & Transparency

Worldpay isn’t going to win any awards when it comes to sales and transparency. Its website is all but useless for anyone who wants to find out specific details about its services, pricing and contractual small print. Instead, you’re greeted with a bunch of slogans, taglines and numerous misleading promises (eg: it costs you nothing to leave).

As with many companies in this industry, Worldpay uses sales reps to get customers on board and this results in a lot of false information, pushy sales tactics and yet more misleading promises.

If you’re used to dealing with sales reps, you can normally get a straight and accurate answer out of them (eventually). Sadly, new business owners or those looking to work with a payment services provider for the first time are always going to be most vulnerable but plenty of businesses switching from another provider get caught out in this situation, too.

Once again, we should make it clear that Worldpay isn’t unique – this is a common problem across the payment services industry. A lack of sales transparency and lengthy auto-renewal contracts have become the standard and this is a really poor combination for merchants.

Note: If you are looking for a Streamline review you should be aware as of 2019 Streamline is no longer an independent brand and is now fully integrated into the Worldpay. 

Worldpay Customer Service & Technical Support

Worldpay is one of the few payment service providers to offer 24/7, UK-based customer support – both over the phone and via email. We don’t get to say this very often and it’s nice to know there’s always a support team available if you run into any technical issues preventing you from accepting payments.

There’s also an online support section on the Worldpay website that offers documentation for account management and common problems you might run into. This is the only part of the Worldpay site that offers any real value but at least we can say there’s a well-rounded customer service and technical support system in place.

In terms of the quality of this customer service, it’s fair to say experiences are mixed.

Worldpay Reviews & Reputation

Worldpay Trustpilot ReviewsWorldpay currently has a score of 3.5/5 from over 2,000 reviews on Trustpilot with 50% of reviewers giving the company just one star. For a payment company of this size, poor online reputations aren’t unusual and it’s worth remembering that happy customers are far less likely to leave feedback than those with a bad experience to report.

Also, their ratings have been increasing since we starting tracking them (their averaged just 2/5 when they had 1,116 reviews) so improvements are being made. For reference, 30% of reviewers say their experience with Worldpay has either been great (4%) or excellent (26%).  

As expected, most of the complaints come down to contract issues, problems with leasing card machines, hidden costs and merchant funds being withheld – all the usual stuff. There are also a lot of complaints from customers saying they were mis-sold services by sales reps.

When things are going right for Wordplay customers, they seem to enjoy the best of its customer service. But when there are issues with contracts, disputes over fees and complaints about sales reps, the quality of its customer service appears to drop significantly.

Worldpay Verdict

When it comes to payment services, Worldpay is a true industry leader and there isn’t much it can’t offer businesses of all size. Like many of the most established payment specialists, though, the company isn’t so competent when it comes to sales transparency, contractual practices or customer service.

When things go right with Worldpay, its customers appear to be very happy. Sadly, it’s when things go wrong that the company really starts to disappoint and much of this could be fixed by revising its approach to contracts and sales tactics.

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