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Credit Card Processing Explained

Credit Card Processing Buyers' Guide

The first UK credit cards appeared in June 1966 and were very different to those we find in common use today. They had a limit of just £100, for instance, which in rare circumstances became £250. Moreover, you couldn't apply for a credit card; you had to wait for an invitation based on the recommendation of your local bank manager.

The Credit Card Boom

In the years since then, the UK credit card market has developed dramatically. There are more then 1,300 credit cards available, and a total of 74 million in use. Annual purchases with the cards amount to around £120 billion.

Every business, whether it takes orders in the high street, online, via the phone or by post, must therefore consider accepting credit card payments. Even business to business transactions increasingly involve credit cards.

Obtaining a Merchant Account

The purpose of this BuyerZone Credit Card Processing Buyer's Guide is to

  • examine the pros and cons of accepting credit cards
  • explain merchant accounts
  • provide guidance about credit card processing companies
  • give you an idea of the likely costs
  • offer you useful advice about the credit card processing system

By then you'll be ready to contact credit card processing companies to compare services and obtain free quotes. (Though there's nothing to stop you doing that right now - our helpful telephone staff will be happy to guide you through the options.)

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