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More convenience for your customers, more sales for your business—discover the benefits of accepting card payments, how the process works and how to get started.

Why card payments matter

  • 76% of all retail sales in the UK are made by card.
  • The average card transaction value is around £43.
  • In 2016, total card spending was £647 billion.
  • Card payments are growing by more than 4% every year.

Sources: The UK Cards Association and Card Expenditure Statistics December 2016

How do card payments work?

A card transaction is made up of two main stages:

  1. Authorisation
  2. Clearing and settlement

Stage 1: Authorisation

  • A customer uses their card to pay for a product or service.
  • The acquirer (e.g. Lloyds Bank Cardnet) transmits the payment information securely to the card scheme (e.g. Visa).
  • The card network checks with the issuing bank to see whether the customer has enough funds to make the purchase.

Stage 2: Clearing and settlement

  • If authorised, the acquirer credits the merchant’s account and transmits the transaction information to the card scheme for settlement.
  • The card scheme pays the acquirer, subtracting interchange fees, and informs the customer’s bank to deduct the payment amount from the account.

What equipment do you need?

The tools you need to accept card payments depends on how your business operates.

  • Face-to-face paymentsYou’ll need a physical card machine. Your options include standard countertop machines, portable Bluetooth machines and mobile SIM card handsets.
  • Over-the-phone and mail order paymentsYou’ll need a virtual card machine to securely process the card information customers’ provide over the phone.
  • Online paymentsIn addition to an eCommerce-enabled website, you’ll need a payment gateway to process the transactions and an acquiring bank to settle the funds in your account.

What is PCI DSS?

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

How much does it cost to accept card payments?

As no two businesses are the same, Lloyds Bank Cardnet works with you to ensure we provide the right service at the right price.

  • Your joining fee covers setting up your account and includes a minimum 6-month agreement (you can cancel this contract before the 6 months are up, but there will be a fee applicable – for more information see our terms and conditions).
  • Credit cards are charged as a percentage of the value of payments.
  • Debit cards are charged as a pence or percentage for each transaction.
  • Your card machine rental will depend on which model you choose. Please note that the card machine rental contract is usually longer than the minimum 6-month agreement term for your merchant account. A typical minimum term for the card machine agreement can vary between 18 – 48 months. A full range of options will be provided to you by the Cardnet representative.

We can discuss our charges with you in more detail when you contact us.

Find out more about accepting payments with Cardnet

Interchange fees explained

For every card payment you accept, you’re charged a processing fee by the issuing bank. These ‘Interchange fees’ are set by the card schemes — Visa, Mastercard, etc. — and differ depending on a range of factors, including card type and the country where the transaction is made. For credit cards, you typically pay a small percentage of the transaction amount. For debit cards, it’s often a flat fee.

As part of the Cardnet service, we integrate Interchange charges into your merchant service fee and pass them on to the issuing bank. For more information on how Interchange fees contribute to your monthly statement, call us on 01268 567 100 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) to speak with a member of our team.

What you pay

Our table document summarises the various Visa and MasterCard Interchange rates for transactions made in the UK, within the European Economic Area (Intra) and elsewhere in the world (Inter).

Download the table of Interchange rates (Accurate as of June 2018)

Rate changes

Interchange rates are currently under discussion within the European Commission, with MEPs recently voting to cap fees across Europe. Negotiations are ongoing, but the new legislation is expected roll out in mid to late 2016.

Read more about how the fee cap might impact your business