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The 10 Best Restaurant Merchant Accounts

As a restaurant owner, it’s important to save money without sacrificing service. The same is true of finding the right processor for your business transactions.

While there are several good options available in the UK for payment processing, it’s important to consider the unique needs of your restaurant. Are all of your transactions happening in person, or do you want to make online ordering an option? What about selling and shipping some of your dishes or ingredients?

Inversely, it’s important that you’re not signing up for any additional services that your restaurant doesn’t need. If you only run cards in your restaurant, additional bells and whistles will only drive up the price that you’re paying.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best restaurant processors in the UK to help you save time while becoming informed on what processor is right for your restaurant.

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Flagship has been offering services to small to medium-sized businesses since 2001. While they don’t readily disclose their fees, reviewers have placed their fees around 4% and higher.

The Pros

There are no setup, application or early termination fees. Will reprogram your POS terminals for free as part of your setup. Offers payment gateway and virtual terminal options. Mobile processing and Clover POS options are also available.

The Cons

Lack of information about their fees and a concentration of bad reviews about pricing practices. No online chat feature.

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ProMerchant was founded in 2018 and is an affordable option for merchants who have monthly transactions upwards of £4,200. It offers interchange plus fixed rate and interchange plus flat monthly fee pricing options.

The Pros

There are no application or account setup fees and monthly contracts can be terminated at any time with no penalties. Offers EMV-compliant, Bluetooth-connected mobile card readers.

The Cons

No online chat support features or specific pricing disclosed on their website.

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Helcim has been in business since 2006. It’s good for small to medium-sized businesses with consistent revenue. Helcim provides interchange-plus pricing models and is transparent on its website with pricing and fees.

The Pros

With Helcim, you are not tied into any long-term contracts and don’t have to worry about early termination fees. Easy integration with third-party POS systems. Well-rated customer service support.

The Cons

Not a cost-effective option for merchants conducting monthly transactions below £1,300. Does not offer an EMV-compliant mobile card reader.

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Card Cutters

Card Cutters has been providing practical transaction solutions to smaller businesses since 2009. While there is not a lot of information available online about transaction fees, packages can start at £9.99 per month, not including rental fees.

The Pros

No sign-on fee. Back-office reporting, cash advance options, and a GoogleAdwords credit can help emerging restaurants get started.

The Cons

Termination fee if you are renting equipment. Some reviews cite unknowledgeable sales reps and slow response times from customer service.

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Barclays was founded in 1966 and serves businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries, though they may not be the best option for smaller businesses. They also provide international services. Expected transaction fees range from .75% to 1.5%

The Pros

In-person, over the phone and online transaction solutions available with high security and anti-fraud features. Knowledgeable tech support. Potential for better deals if you have a business bank account through them.

The Cons

18-month contract with high termination fees. Potentially long holds for customer service.

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iZettle is a Swedish company founded in 2010. This option is especially good for the hospitality industry due to its more advanced capabilities. You can expect a flat rate of 1.75% per transaction and a 2.5% fee for invoicing.

The Pros

The reader works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices and accepts magstripe, chip, and contactless payments. The software integrates well with third-party POS systems. iZettle offers pay as you go contracts and there are also no termination fees.

The Cons

Limited customer service hours that can only be expanded by paying an additional monthly fee.

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Lloyds Bank Cardnet

Lloyds Bank Cardnet is a leading name in European banking and their merchant services are fulfilled by Cardnet. If you hold a Lloyds Bank business account, you can also qualify for extra bonuses with your merchant account.

The Pros

A 12-month minimum contract. Offers smart till rental, countertop machines, wireless and mobile, and contactless payments for transactions under £20.

The Cons

Early termination fees and sign-up fees. These can be reduced or eliminated with a Lloyds Bank business account.

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Payzone is a UK-based processor that was founded in 1989. It currently only serves businesses in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Rates vary between .6% to 2.5% plus a flat fee based upon estimation.

The Pros

No setup fee and a 12-month standard contract. Offers online payments, mobile card machines, and portable PDQ terminals. Flexible contracts that allow you to choose the services you want. 24/7 customer service.

The Cons

No clear pricing policy. While they advertise no early termination fees, online complaints say that this is misleading. While their customer service is available 24/7, reviews have complained that the service provided is less than great.

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First Data

Operating since 1971, this US-based processor has expanded to include many countries. While a good option for small businesses, it does offer lower rates to businesses with high volume. Rates are not disclosed on their website, but reviews cite fees ranging from 2% – 3% and 21p to 33p per transaction, depending on the type.

The Pros

Offers a full line of Clover terminal, mobile and POS systems, including EMV and NFC-based payment methods. An extensive online knowledge base, including access to a website builder. Good support for businesses looking to expand digitally.

The Cons

High equipment rental fees and recurring account fees can add up over the span of the four-year standard contract. There is also a liquidated damages clause.



A large, international processor that has been operating since 1989 and was one of the first in the business to offer online payment options. They offer a combination of tiered and interchange-plus pricing plans. High volume merchants may qualify for rates as low as 2.70% + 8p per transaction.

The Pros

Card machine and smart till rentals are available. They also include a virtual terminal and payment gateway. Customer service via phone or online is available 24/7.

The Cons

Some issues with integrating with different POS systems. Standard three-year contract duration and an automatic renewal clause locks you in long-term, even if you are dissatisfied. While undisclosed on their website, reviews state that early termination fees can be over £245 per location.

Provider of the Month

Why Flagship

Flagship is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses looking to expand their revenue by adding credit card processing to their accepted payments. Their services also include mobile payment processing and secure payment gateways. Flagship is backed by BBVA Compass Bank and is partnered with Paysafe Group.

See Our Full Review
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