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7 Best Payment Processors for Small Business

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Last editedFeb 20222 min read

In 2020 alone, 87% of UK individuals made an online purchase, a trend that continues to grow year-on-year. Your small business can take advantage of this ecommerce boom with a seamless online checkout and payment processor to complement any in-person sales. It’s important to keep in mind that not all payment processors are created alike, with some catering more effectively to small businesses than others. Here’s our roundup of the best online payment processors for small business. 


Whether you’re just launching a website or have an established retail presence, Square makes it easy to accept and process payments. To get started, all you need to do is set up an account and purchase a virtual terminal or card reader to use online or in-store. You’ll then be able to accept Chip and PIN cards, mobile payments, credit cards, and contactless payments. Transaction fees vary by payment type, ranging from 1.75% to 2.9% per transaction.


Stripe is often mentioned as one of the best small business payment processors due to its customisation potential. This all-in-one payment gateway and processor offers plentiful APIs, allowing you to customise your checkout page with the help of a developer and scale up as your business grows. There’s also an integrated service if you just want basic access to its services. You’ll be able to accept over 135 currencies and multiple payment types, with fees ranging from 1.4% to 2.9% per transaction, plus 20p surcharge.


Like other small business payment processors on this list, WorldPay offers a selection of packages suited to start-ups and SMEs. Pick and choose a pricing plan with accompanying equipment to match your needs. For online businesses, this entails a virtual terminal and app allowing you to accept a wide range of international payments, including all major credit cards. If you sell products in-person, you can also hire a terminal to support trips to trade shows or fairs and give your online business a boost. One thing to note is WorldPay charges a monthly fee starting at £4.99 per month, in addition to per-transaction costs.


Owned by PayPal, Zettle is one of the best online payment processors for small businesses with its comprehensive ecommerce platform. Features include full payment processing, an integrated checkout page, and real-time sales analytics. You can also manage inventory and follow up on abandoned shopping carts to improve conversion rates. In addition to credit card processing, Zettle handles invoice payments including embedded payment links and QR codes. Fees range from 1% to 2.5% per transaction, depending on the method and location.


GoCardless is also a great payment processor for small business with its user-friendly dashboard and streamlined integration. Rather than focusing on card payments, you can choose from two main payment mechanisms including Direct Debit and Instant Bank Pay. Instant Bank Pay is powered with open banking to enable one-off, same-day payments. Pull-based Direct Debit payments are ideal for recurring subscription payments and invoices, putting the merchant in control to reduce costly payment delays and failure. GoCardless also offers an intelligent retries tool called Success+ which automatically retries the payment if it fails the first go-round, saving 76% of failed payments.


For small businesses on a budget, Adyen is a good option as it doesn’t charge any monthly, set-up, or integration fees. You’ll simply be charged a set processing and transaction fee for every sale processed. This all-in-one gateway takes online payments directly from your website or mobile app. You can also send links by email or text and take recurring subscription payments. A robust fraud protection system keeps customer details safe. However, one thing to keep in mind is that Adyen is best for businesses that are established enough to generate a minimum of 1,000 transactions per month.


You might have heard of Sage Pay, which is now known as Opayo and offers many of the same services. It’s one of the best online payment processors for small business due to its tiered pricing plans, fraud screening tools, and extensive customer support. With 24/7 phone lines, you can ring up Opayo’s experts to help out with any technical issues – a bonus for ecommerce newbies.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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