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Why do card payments matter?

The amount of card transactions made in the UK is increasing year-on-year as more and more consumers expect to pay by card. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit by accepting card payments and offering a convenient way for their customers to pay for their goods and services.

Advantages of taking card payments

Increase your sales potential

Consumers now expect the convenience of paying by card wherever they shop.

Understand your customers

Learn more about spending habits through real-time sales data and online reporting tools.

Improved security

By accepting card payments you'll have less cash to look after or worry about.

Gain access to finance

Taking card payments with Cardnet means you can apply for a Merchant Cash Advance.

Talk to us

No matter how simple or complex your payment processes need to be, we can find a solution that suits the way your business operates.

Request a call back

How do card payments work?

1: Payment & Authorisation

A customer pays by either inserting their card or touching it onto a payment terminal. The acquirer, for example Lloyds Bank Cardnet, then sends the payment information to the customer’s card scheme who authorise the transaction and then send this on the customer’s issuing bank to check whether they have sufficient funds to make the purchase.

2: Clearing & Settlement

If approved, the transaction is completed and following the clearing process, the acquirer credits the merchant’s account (typically within three-to-five days from the transaction).

How much does taking card payments cost?

Although some business operations might look the same, most can be quite different. The cost of taking card payments can depend on a number of factors including the volume and type of payments you take, the solutions you select and any additional options you add on to your service. Lloyds Bank Cardnet will work with you to ensure you get the right service at the right price.

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What can contribute to the cost?

The payment solution you choose:

Some card machines include a monthly rental and associated contract terms. If you wish or need to break out of the contract early, some fees may apply. 

Card fees:

For every transaction you take, there is a merchant service charge applied to cover the costs of processing those fees. These can differ dependent on the type of card used, for example, debit or credit card, the method of accepting that payment, either face-to-face or online and potentially which country the card being used is issued from. All associated charges are detailed and explained to you as part of your application process. 

Frequently asked questions

Who’s involved in taking card payments?

Your customer.
The person who owns or is using the payment card. Also known as the ‘cardholder’.

Your company.
The business making the sale, i.e., you. Also known as the ‘merchant’.

Your payments company. 
Usually known as the ‘acquirer’, e.g., Lloyds Bank Cardnet. They provide merchant services, including supplying a card machine, processing payments for you, and putting the money in your bank account.

The Customer’s card scheme.
This is the payment network the customer’s card is linked to, e.g., Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Card schemes link the acquirer and the issuing bank.

The Customer’s bank.
The bank that issues your customer’s credit or debit card.

  • Any business that processes card transactions is required to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. PCI DSS is a set of industry standards designed to ensure merchants store and process cardholder data securely.

    Find out more about PCI DSS

  • Processing card payments isn’t that different to cash. Whether you take payments using a card machine or through your website, or even over the phone, it’s easy to see what you’ve taken at the end of each day through our reporting tools. In terms of your set-up, taking card payments only requires a phone line or a computer or tablet with internet connection, so even businesses without a premises are able to process payments quicky and easily.

  • There are the six things you need to do before you apply for Lloyds Bank Cardnet:

    Get a business bank account. To set up your Lloyds Bank Cardnet merchant account, we'll need your business bank account sort code and account number. You don't have to bank with Lloyds Bank or Bank of Scotland.

    Have your start date ready. It's worth allowing 10-15 working days from the date of your application for your Lloyds Bank Cardnet account to be set up.

    Complete your business plan. To make sure we set up the right facilities, we like to see a recent business plan and financial forecasts showing how you plan to grow or sustain your business.

    Know your turnover. Lloyds Bank Cardnet is suitable for all types and size of business, but makes most sense if you're taking at least £1,000 in card transactions per month.

    Be prepared to trade securely and be compliant. Businesses accepting cards must comply with mandatory card industry security standards known as PCI DSS. We have an online portal where you can certify your compliance, or, if you are not already compliant, there is an online tool to help you become validated (subject to payment of a fee).

    If you want to trade online, please have all the information required available. You will need to link our card acceptance facility with your website and integrate with your chosen Payment Service Provider (PSP). The PSP in this instance can be Lloyds Bank Online Payments from Lloyds Bank Cardnet, or a 3rd party PSP of your choice.

  • Your customer.
    The person who owns or is using the payment card. Also known as the ‘cardholder’.

    Your company.
    The business making the sale, i.e., you. Also known as the ‘merchant’.

    Your payments company. 
    Usually known as the ‘acquirer’, e.g., Lloyds Bank Cardnet. They provide merchant services, including supplying a card machine, processing payments for you, and putting the money in your bank account.

    The Customer’s card scheme.
    This is the payment network the customer’s card is linked to, e.g., Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Card schemes link the acquirer and the issuing bank.

    The Customer’s bank.
    The bank that issues your customer’s credit or debit card.

  • Any business that processes card transactions is required to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. PCI DSS is a set of industry standards designed to ensure merchants store and process cardholder data securely.

    Find out more about PCI DSS

  • Processing card payments isn’t that different to cash. Whether you take payments using a card machine or through your website, or even over the phone, it’s easy to see what you’ve taken at the end of each day through our reporting tools. In terms of your set-up, taking card payments only requires a phone line or a computer or tablet with internet connection, so even businesses without a premises are able to process payments quicky and easily.

  • There are the six things you need to do before you apply for Lloyds Bank Cardnet:

    Get a business bank account. To set up your Lloyds Bank Cardnet merchant account, we'll need your business bank account sort code and account number. You don't have to bank with Lloyds Bank or Bank of Scotland.

    Have your start date ready. It's worth allowing 10-15 working days from the date of your application for your Lloyds Bank Cardnet account to be set up.

    Complete your business plan. To make sure we set up the right facilities, we like to see a recent business plan and financial forecasts showing how you plan to grow or sustain your business.

    Know your turnover. Lloyds Bank Cardnet is suitable for all types and size of business, but makes most sense if you're taking at least £1,000 in card transactions per month.

    Be prepared to trade securely and be compliant. Businesses accepting cards must comply with mandatory card industry security standards known as PCI DSS. We have an online portal where you can certify your compliance, or, if you are not already compliant, there is an online tool to help you become validated (subject to payment of a fee).

    If you want to trade online, please have all the information required available. You will need to link our card acceptance facility with your website and integrate with your chosen Payment Service Provider (PSP). The PSP in this instance can be Lloyds Bank Online Payments from Lloyds Bank Cardnet, or a 3rd party PSP of your choice.

Useful information

Glossary

To understand what happens when processing each card payment, it helps to learn the common terms used by the card payment industry.

Key terms explained

How do you want to take payments?

Illustration of making a payment using a card reader

Card readers

For businesses that need to take payments face to face at the till, at a table or away from their premises.
 

Card readers
Illustration of making a payment on a laptop

Online

For businesses who rely on taking payments through their website or other digital channels, including pay by link.

Online payments
Illustration of making a payment on a mobile phone

Over the phone

For businesses who need a secure way to take payments when a cardholder is not present.
 

Over-the-phone payments

Important legal information

Cardnet® is a registered trademark of Lloyds Bank plc.

We may monitor or record calls to make sure we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve the quality of our service.

Please remember we cannot guarantee the security of messages sent by email.

Lloyds Bank plc and Bank of Scotland plc (member of Lloyds Banking Group) are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Authorisation can be checked on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk