Our rating(3.6/5)
Barclaycard Business offers 18-month contracts with card acceptance and terminal rental.
Barclaycard terminals have some of the better rates among merchant service providers, but you still commit to a contract for a steady sales volume. The bank caters to small, medium and large businesses with packages to suit any payment needs.
  • Highs: Competitive transaction rates. Good quality card machines. Popular acquiring bank. Help with PCI compliance.
  • Lows: 18 months’ commitment. Costs can rack up. Long waiting times on the phone for support. Faster settlement requires Barclays bank account.
  • Choose if: You want a traditional card machine from an acquiring bank that understands small businesses.

How it works

Barclaycard Business is a major acquirer in the UK that caters to any size business, small or large. Several merchant service providers actually offer card machine contracts with Barclaycard handling the card processing behind the scenes, but Barclaycard also offers contracts directly without the overly-eager sales tactics seen elsewhere.

Card machines on offer include mobile, portable and stationary models with a contract of 18 months. There is also an app-based card reader, but this is functionally different and with different fees. In addition, you can add a virtual and online payment gateway with separate costs.

The contract includes a merchant account, terminal rental and optional merchant agreement for American Express acceptance. The application’s approval is subject to your financial circumstances and borrowing history. Some small, new or/and higher-risk businesses may be rejected.

To receive payouts from in-store card payments, you need a business bank account in your name from any bank, so you don’t necessarily have to bank with Barclays to qualify for a merchant agreement. However, settlement time will be faster with a Barclays account (2-3 working days) compared to other banks (up to 7 working days).

Mobile Transaction reviews card reader machines – including those from Barclaycard – in different areas: product, pricing, transparency and sign-up, value-added features, reviews and support, and contract.

Each criteria gets a score ranging between 1 and 5, resulting in one overall star rating reflecting Barclaycard Business’ value for a small business.

A card machine’s primary function is to take card payments in person, so the device quality and experience of payment acceptance have a higher weighting – this falls under the product criteria.

We have thoroughly researched and analysed Barclaycard Business’ card machines and the bank as a wider service to establish scores for the other rating categories.

Card terminals

Barclaycard card machines are Ingenico models commonly seen in shops around the UK. They are all set up to accept Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club and Discover – and American Express if you have a separate agreement for that. They also accept all common card technologies including chip and PIN and contactless (NFC) cards as well as mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Let us have a look at the main differences.

Mobile card machine

  • Ingenico Move/5000 model

  • Can be used on premises, outside or on the go

  • Wireless and portable

  • Takes up to 700 transactions on a full charge

  • Bluetooth, WiFi and GPRS connectivity

  • Connects with O2, Vodafone and EE

Barclaycard card machine Move 5000

The mobile terminal is an Ingenico Move 5000 model. Photo: Barclaycard

Desktop card machine with separate PIN pad

  • Ingenico-branded

  • Includes terminal for merchant and PIN pad for customers (ideal for social distancing)

  • Stationary model with wires

  • With PIN pad shield

  • Works best with broadband

Barclaycard desktop terminal with separate PIN pad

A separate PIN pad can be more convenient for the till. Photo: Barclaycard

Desktop card machine with integrated PIN pad

  • Ingenico iCT250 model

  • Fixed-location card machine that’s always plugged in

  • A single countertop terminal that the merchant would need to pass to the customer for PIN entry

  • Works best with broadband

  • Soft PIN pad buttons that are backlit

Barclaycard desktop terminal with integrated PIN pad

The desktop model has a backlit PIN pad. Photo: Ingenico

Portable card machine

  • Ingenico iWL model

  • Wireless and portable within 100m range on your premises

  • Bluetooth connection with base unit that can connect with up to three terminals at once

  • Manage tips through ‘waiter total’ feature

  • Ideal for restaurants, bars and cafés

Barclaycard card machine

The portable card machine is manufactured by Ingenico. Photo: Barclaycard

There is also a mobile card reader connected to a mobile app, which is for merchants who only need a basic, commitment-free solution for payments on the go. To read more about this, see our Barclaycard Anywhere review.

Barclaycard card machine fees and contract

Barclaycard merchant services give you a standard merchant account, card processing agreement and terminal rental in one package. The contract length is 18 months, starting with a £150 setup fee.

If you decide to leave the service earlier than 18 months, an early cancellation charge of £115 + VAT applies. This isn’t actually bad compared to other traditional terminal providers that typically ask the merchant to pay the remaining fees of the contract to leave early.

Barclaycard Business pricing
Contract length 18 months
Setup fee £150
Terminal rental per month Desktop: £15 + VAT
Portable: £20 + VAT
Mobile: £25 + VAT
Monthly minimum charge Depends on contractual agreement
Early termination fee £115 + VAT
Transaction rates Depends on your sales volume and business type
Refunds Fixed fee
Chargebacks Fixed fee
PCI compliance Costs depends on your circumstances
Contract length 18 months
Setup fee £150
Terminal rental per month Desktop: £15 + VAT
Portable: £20 + VAT
Mobile: £25 + VAT
Monthly minimum charge Depends on contractual agreement
Early termination fee £115 + VAT
Transaction rates Depends on your sales volume and business type
Refunds Fixed fee
Chargebacks Fixed fee
PCI compliance Costs depends on your circumstances

The card machines cost a fixed monthly fee to rent. A mobile terminal is priciest at £25 + VAT monthly, a portable card machine costs £20 + VAT, and any desktop terminal – whether with or without a separate PIN pad – costs £15 + VAT per month.

Like most card processing contracts, you are charged a monthly minimum fee if you do not make above a certain threshold during a month. The minimum sales volume limit is based on your turnover.

Transaction fees vary according to the card brand, type (e.g. debit, credit, business), your sales volume and type of business. The only way to know the precise rates is to request a quote from Barclaycard directly. They will ask questions about your requirements and business before you are presented with fees.

Average card rates tend to be 1.5%-2.5% + fixed fee for a small business, but Barclaycard Business tends to offer lower rates than most merchant service providers. Debit card rates can go as low as 0.6% for personal debit cards and above 3% for premium cards.

Accepting American Express requires a separate merchant account with Amex, which is the case anywhere you go to rent a card terminal. Barclaycard can help set this up. Amex rates are typically high, around 2%-3%.

Refunds cost a fixed fee each, and so do chargebacks. There are likely to be other costs associated with the service.

We recommend close-reading the fee tables before committing to Barclaycard, as it is common with unexpected charges in merchant contracts.

Image: Barclaycard

Barclaycard Data Security Manager

The Barclaycard Data Security Manager costs a monthly fee, but helps with PCI compliance.

Then you have PCI-DSS compliance with a whole separate cluster of charges depending on the complexity of your business. Barclaycard automatically enrols you on a portal called Data Security Manager that helps you set up PCI compliance for a monthly fee (around £2.50/month). The portal will determine what steps are required for you to become compliant. Expect to pay fees for an application and then the annual renewal of the PCI-DSS status.

You have 90 days to achieve full PCI-DSS compliance. If you don’t, you are moved to a different portal called Proactive Security Service (PSS) for a higher monthly cost. If you opt out of PSS and choose not to use a third-party supplier instead, Barclaycard will charge non-compliance fees in the form of a % rate per transaction (unless you are considered compliant in your circumstances).

In other words, card security comes at a cost – whether you are taking the compliance route or not.

Additional features

Businesses can also add a virtual terminal for over-the-phone payments. This comes at a monthly cost that includes a set number of transactions a month. Up to five users can process virtual terminal transactions at the same time on either the web, tablet or phone. For an additional cost, you can also accept multiple currencies.

You can also add a payment gateway for your website. Again, this comes at a monthly cost and may also require some work on your website to implement. The Barclaycard online checkout page can be customised for your brand and comes with a fraud prevention tool that reduces cart abandonment. The checkout can accept the major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal.

Customer service

Merchants can contact customer support by phone or submit a query through a contact form on the website. The Barclaycard website doesn’t make it easy to find a contact number or email address for support, instead encouraging you to find answers yourself from their online resources.

You can expect long wait times on the helpline at the moment as they are busier than usual (according to the website), so it may be best to resort to the contact form, then await a callback. Customer reviews generally indicate frustration at slow responses from Barclaycard.

Our verdict

Is a Barclaycard Business terminal right for you? You need to be a relatively stable business to benefit from a Barclaycard agreement, because you’re committing to 18 months and card rates are better the larger your monthly turnover is. It is also beneficial to bank with Barclays, as payouts are faster with an in-house bank account.

Small businesses shouldn’t be afraid to contact the bank, as they are relatively upfront about terms and deal with a lot of small businesses. However, the bank can be stricter than others when it comes to accepting high-risk business types and startups with an uncertain future.

That being said, Barclaycard offers great anti-fraud measures, complete terminal packages with a full-fledged merchant account, and remote payments combined with the card machines. It does cost a setup fee to create an account, though, and all the little fees for refunds, PCI compliance and so on can add up.