The 10 Best Professional Service Merchant Accounts

The landscape of processing payments for professional services has vastly changed since the advent of online and mobile payment options. Now more than ever, it’s easier for small and emerging businesses to provide a wide variety of payment options for their clientele.

But not all payment processors work the same or offer the same services, even when prices are comparable. The size of your business and the industry it’s operating in can mean a big difference in your business’ needs that not every processor can satisfy.

To help you find the best one for your business, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best professional service processors in the UK.

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Founded in 2009, Helcim is headquartered in Alberta, Canada, however, it provides merchant accounts for merchants both in the US and Canada. Besides credit and debit card processing, Helcim also offers mobile payment solutions, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, support for multiple currencies, as well as POS equipment. 

The Pros

Helcim features include month-to-month contracts, complete with interchange-plus pricing. It does not have long-term equipment leases. Additionally, there are no early termination fees, PCI Compliance fees, or monthly minimum fees. Merchants can buy their point-of-sale equipment at cost or rent it at an affordable monthly price.

The Cons

Helcim does not provide an EMV-compliant mobile card reader. For merchants processing less than $1,500 per month, this is a costly solution. The only ones found said that the onboarding process was poorly carried out as it delayed activation of their account by two months.

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SOAR Payments

Soar Payment is a merchant account provider that specializes in high risk credit card processing in the US. Founded in 2015, it offers its merchants POS, a virtual terminal, mobile payment, and eCommerce tools. Partnered with, Soar is able to equip its merchants with valuable resources to handle any disputed payments.

The Pros

For low risk merchants, Soar offers interchange-plus pricing structures with month-to-month contracts. It also offers free terminals to standard risk merchants. There are no application or setup fees, they have quick underwriting, and an automated application process. It integrates with accounting and CRM software like QuickBooks, Salesforce, and Zoho. Great customer support as each employee has a direct line. They will help you setup your hardware or gateway.

The Cons

At this time, Soar does not support CBD oil merchants. Complaints include costly tiered pricing and a limitation of hardware options. 

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SMB Global

SMB Global is a merchant account provider that was founded in 2016. It works primarily with high risk businesses. Partnered with 15 domestic as well as offshore banks, SMB is equipped to work with businesses as varied as adult, e-cigarette, firearms, collections, travel and online gambling, just to name a few.

The Pros

Some of the perks that SMB offer include offshore merchant accounts, payment gateways for ecommerce businesses, third-party online shopping cart integration, ACH payments, a suite of chargeback prevention services, and business loans. Customer support is available by phone and email out of their Utah office.

The Cons

No transparency on pricing. Processing rate plans and account fees cannot be found on their site. There is no mention of SMB processing for CBD or hemp products. Although customer support is provided “in-house”, hours are not specified. Therefore, hours could be limited.

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CDG Commerce

Recognized as a top-rated merchant service provider, CDG Commerce was founded in 1998. It offers payment solutions such as wireless and e-commerce processing tools. CDG also has a free payment gateway as well as a virtual terminal called the Quantum Gateway. It provides integration with QuickBooks.

The Pros

CDG can offer interchange-plus pricing to merchants who process more than $10,000 per month. It offers a month-to-month contract agreement without a cancellation fee. It offers a flexible and transparent pricing structure. It offers 24/7/365, US-based customer support for its merchants. There are no annual or membership fees. CDG also provides a certified PCI & GDPR compliant solution.

The Cons

The few complaints that were found about CDG were mostly in reference to difficulties signing up, problems with seasonal merchant accounts, and a misunderstanding about the types of industries it supports.

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Square Payments

Started in 2009, Square is known to be abundant in features and having a state-of-the art mobile processing solution without a monthly fee. It can also be used as a countertop POS. There is a fee of 2.75% for all card-present transactions. Merchants also receive a free magstripe credit card reader.

The Pros

Square offers its own Point-of-Sale (POS) software, inventory management, a mobile app, invoicing and billing, a virtual terminal, as well as an API for custom solutions. There are no statement fees and no monthly minimum. It is also transparent with its affordable pricing. A great draw for fledgling businesses without a processing history. 

The Cons

Since it is a “third-party payment processor”, Square has been known to terminate accounts if they deem the merchant too much of a liability. The account can be frozen if fraud is suspected– a death sentence to an ecommerce business.

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Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma Merchant Services is a merchant account provider that was founded in 2007. It is certified as a green eco-friendly business that donates a portion of its profit to non-profits. It is considered a “low-cost payment processing option” for the healthcare industry. It serves hospitals, EMS, rehab clinics, occupational therapists,  veterinarians, and more. It has partnered up with Clover to offer mobile phone processing and tablet-based POS solutions.

The Pros

Interchange-plus pricing is offered. There are no annual fees or monthly minimum. Dharma offers month-to-month billing without any early termination fees. For qualified non-profit organizations, they feature discounted pricing. It also offers a virtual terminal and payment gateway services. They provide an email form and free customer support phone numbers.

The Cons

Not suitable for business processing less than $10,000 a month. Does not support businesses in high risk industries or international merchants.

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National Processing

National Processing, established in 2007, is a merchant account provider that offers a varied selection of Clover brand terminals. All support EMV payments. It also has the Clover Go reader for mobile processing. It also provides a payment gateway and ACH/eCheck Processing. Other services include recurring billing, online payment gateway, and a virtual terminal.

The Pros

No account setup fees or annual fees. There is no monthly minimum required. If no free terminal is needed, there is month-to-month billing and no early termination fee. Provides clear and transparent pricing for all its processing plans. They also offer interchange pricing. All rates are locked in for the full length of the contract term.

The Cons

To receive a free terminal, long-term contracts are required. Some complaints against the company include abrupt account cancellation, faulty machine functionality, and poor customer service.

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Relatively new, iZettle was founded in 2010 and was acquired by PayPal in 2018. Provides excellent processing solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. They supply a mobile credit card processing app and card reader similar to GoPayment and Square. It also accepts chip-and-PIN cards.

The Pros

Clear pricing available on their website with month-to-month contracts. Works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. No early termination fees. The software includes many benefits, including easy integration with 3rd-party POS systems, in-app invoicing, and basic employee management.

The Cons

No 24/7 customer service available or online chat functions.

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First Data

First Data is a US-based processor that was founded in 1971 and has grown to include many countries. They offer lower rates to businesses with high volume. Reviews cite fees ranging from 2% – 3% and 21p to 33p per transaction, depending on the transaction type.

The Pros

Full line of Clover terminal, mobile and POS systems, including EMV and NFC-based payment methods available. Easy-to-use website builder available. Good support for businesses looking to expand digitally.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. High equipment rental fees have been referred to in online reviews, as well as a liquidated damages clause in the contract, which could extend as long as four years.



Worldplay has been operating since 1989 and was at the forefront of online payment options. Pricing plans are a combination of tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans. Merchants who process a high volume of transactions may qualify for rates as low as 2.70% + 8p per transaction.

The Pros

They offer rentals on card machines and smart tills. They also include a virtual terminal and payment gateway. Customer service agents are available 24/7 via phone or online.

The Cons

No clear information on pricing policies. Reviews state that early termination fees can be over £245 per location. The standard three-year contract and an automatic renewal clause lock you in. Some issues have been cited in reviews with integrating into POS systems.

Provider of the Month

Why Helcim

We designed Helcim Commerce to be used by anyone. You don’t need to hire a programmer, developer or web designer. Every feature was designed to be intuitive and easy use. We want you to do things that you thought were out of your reach, and compete with the savviest competitors. Build the business you want in a few clicks.

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