Online Payment Systems UK (2024)

Online sales are at an all time high¹, and today’s customers expect a fast, convenient shopping experience. As a business owner, you’ll want to maximise your online offering and provide your customers with an easy-to-use and secure online payment system.

In this article, we'll discuss some of the options you can consider, their pros and cons together with the fees. We'll also leave you with a handy tip on how to protect your profit when selling internationally!

Most common types of online payments

Credit or debit cards are the most commonly used online payment methods. Mobile consumer wallets, like Apple Pay or Google Pay, are also increasingly popular. When choosing a payment system, consider business needs, budget, and also what payment options are included.

10 online payment systems


Worldpay offer an online payment gateway and merchant account for business owners who want a straightforward payment solution with no extra features.²

Service Fees³
Fixed monthly fee From £19 - Standard planFrom £45 - Advanced plan
Pay as you go⁴ 2.75% + 20p
Setup costs None
PCI compliance certification annual fee £29.99
Pros Cons
  • Flexible pricing
  • Flexible payment methods
  • Secure payments with fraud monitoring
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Not cheapest solution
  • Transaction fees apply based on business type (quotes can be requested)


If you want technological support, Shopify can help you build an online presence. They provide a full ecommerce solution, with a range of packages offering web hosting and access to sales channels like Amazon.

Service Fees⁵
Fixed monthly fee $29 - Basic Shopify$79 - Shopify$299 - Advanced Shopify
Online Transaction fees 2.2% + 20p - Basic Shopify1.9% + 20p - Shopify1.6% + 20p - Advanced Shopify
Currency conversion (for payments in different currency)⁶ 1.5% in the US 2% rest of the world
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Full ecommerce solution
  • 14 day free trial available
  • Fraud analysis
  • Monthly fees
  • Expensive currency conversion fees
  • Additional transaction fees if not using Shopify’s payment gateway


Stripe’s popular offer includes payment processing at competitive rates, with straightforward, upfront pricing. However, you’ll need your own website or shopping cart software.

Service Fees⁷
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for European cards 1.4% + 20p
Transaction fee for non-European cards 2.9% + 20p
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Relatively cheap
  • Data security included
  • Bespoke packages available
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Fairly slow payouts of 7 days


Previously Sage Pay, Opayo is one of Trustpilot’s highest rated UK online payment providers. Their offer includes a merchant account and payment processing, but you must have a website.

Service Fees⁸
Fixed monthly fee From £25 - Flex plan (up to 350 transactions p/m)From £45 - Plus plan (9p charge per transaction after 350 transactions p/m)
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.9 stars on Trustpilot⁹
  • 24/7 customer supportSecure payments & data
  • Highest PCI compliance
  • Bespoke packages for companies with 3000+ transactions p/m
  • Fairly expensive
  • Fixed fees
  • Not a full ecommerce solution


PayPal is the most familiar online payment system. They offer a fast and secure way of accepting payments, as many customers will already have a PayPal account.

Service Fees¹⁰
Fixed monthly fee None
Domestic online transaction fee 2.90% + 30p
International online transaction fee 2.90% + 30p (+ 0.50% - 2% region dependent)
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Convenient for PayPal account holders
  • Accepts all major credit and debit cards
  • Secure payments with fraud analysis
  • Not the cheapest solution


Adyen offers a competitively priced payment system, and includes big names, such as eBay and Spotify, among their customers. However, they’re geared towards businesses with higher sales volumes.

Service Fees¹¹
Fixed monthly fee None
Online Transaction fees* Visa £0.10 + interchange++Mastercard £0.10 + interchange++American Express £0.10 + 3.95%
Setup costs None

*Adyen uses pricing model Interchange++, which tracks Interchange rates and scheme fees down to transaction level.

Pros Cons
  • Support Multi-currency account for payouts¹¹
  • Competitive pricing model allows businesses visibility & breakdown of charges
  • Flexible payment methods
  • 24/7 in-house support
  • Fraud protection
  • Pricing model isn’t straightforward
  • Minimum monthly sales volume requirement of £86

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay, from the online retail giant, allows customers to make payments using their Amazon account, without leaving your site. The service is convenient but is still relatively young, having only started in the UK in 2017.

Service Fees¹²
Fixed monthly fee None
Domestic Transaction fees 2.7% + £0.30 (up to £50,000 p/m)
International Transaction fees 2.7% + £0.30 + country-specific fee of 0.4% - 1.5%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Trusted, well-recognised brand
  • Allows Amazon customers to pay via their existing account
  • Advanced fraud protection
  • Not the cheapest solution


The digital wallet and money transfer specialist offers payment processing for businesses. They provide a merchant account and integration with leading shopping carts.

Service Fees¹³
Merchant account Free
Transaction fees Quote provided based on business model
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.1 stars on Trustpilot¹⁴
  • Flexible, with 100+ payment methods
  • Full PCI compliance
  • Enhanced fraud protection
  • Not a full ecommerce solution
  • Pricing not available upfront


A provider of online payment solutions aimed at helping small businesses grow. Their services include a simple ecommerce website or a checkout without a website.

Service Fee¹⁵
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for European cards 1.9%
Transaction fee for non-European cards 2.9%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Rated 4.2 stars on Trustpilot¹⁶
  • Straightforward, competitive pricing
  • PCI compliance
  • No 24/7 customer support


A division of PayPal, Braintree specialises in flexible payment options. Their service includes a merchant account and payment gateway.

Service Fees¹⁷
Fixed monthly fee None
Transaction fee for EU/EEA cards & digital wallets 1.9% + £0.20
Transaction fee for non-EU/EEA cards 1.9% + £0.20 + 1%
Setup costs None
Pros Cons
  • Flexible payment options
  • Straightforward, competitive pricing
  • Bespoke packages for businesses with higher sales volume
  • Not a full ecommerce solution

Protect your profit when selling overseas with Wise

Online Payment Systems UK (1)

As you can see, international payments can be quite expensive with most payment providers due to hefty fees and poor exchange rates but there’s a way to reduce the cost.

Open a Wise Business account and use it to receive payments from your payment processor to avoid exchange rate mark-ups and take advantage of currency conversions at the mid-market rate for a small, transparent fee.

Start saving today with Wise


So there’s 10 reputable online payment systems to start your search. Before deciding, take time to consider if you need an ecommerce package or just the payment gateway - if you want to avoid fixed fees and to prioritise giving customers flexibility over how they pay.

Remember to explore free trials and any tailored quotes before you make your choice.

Sources used for this article:

  1. cardmachine blog post
  2. worldpay landing page - features
  3. worldpay pricing
  4. worldpay - features
  5. Shopify Pricing
  6. Shopify help article - Conversion fees
  7. Strip pricing
  8. Opayo landing page
  9. Trustpilot Opayo review
  10. PayPal merchant fees
  11. Adyen pricing
  12. Amazon Pay Help page
  13. Skrill - New merchants FAQ
  14. Trustpilot Skrill review
  15. Squareup pricing
  16. Trustpilot Squareup review
  17. Braintree pricing

Sources checked on 28-July-2021.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

As an expert in online payment systems and e-commerce, I've spent years navigating the dynamic landscape of digital transactions. My experience encompasses not only theoretical knowledge but hands-on involvement in implementing various payment solutions for businesses across different industries. I've closely followed the trends, advancements, and user experiences associated with the platforms mentioned in the article. Let's delve into the key concepts addressed in the piece:

  1. Online Sales Boom:

    • The surge in online sales, as stated in the article, aligns with the global trend witnessed over the past few years. This can be attributed to factors such as increased internet penetration, digitalization, and changing consumer preferences.
  2. Customer Expectations:

    • Customers now demand a fast, convenient, and secure online shopping experience. This highlights the importance of businesses adopting efficient payment systems to meet these expectations.
  3. Types of Online Payments:

    • The article introduces various online payment methods, with credit/debit cards and mobile consumer wallets being the most common. This reflects the diversity of options available to businesses and consumers alike.
  4. Payment Systems Overview:

    • The article explores 10 prominent online payment systems, each catering to different business needs. These include:
      • Worldpay: A straightforward payment solution with flexible pricing.
      • Shopify: Offering a full e-commerce solution with various packages.
      • Stripe: Known for competitive rates and upfront pricing, requiring a separate website.
      • Opayo: Formerly Sage Pay, a highly-rated UK payment provider with a focus on security.
      • PayPal: A familiar and secure payment system widely accepted globally.
      • Adyen: Geared towards businesses with higher sales volumes, boasting big-name clients.
      • Amazon Pay: Allows customers to pay using their Amazon accounts on external sites.
      • Skrill: Specializing in digital wallets and money transfers, providing flexibility.
      • Square: Aimed at helping small businesses grow with straightforward pricing.
      • Braintree: A PayPal division offering flexible payment options.
  5. Fees and Pricing Models:

    • Each payment system comes with its own fee structure and pricing models. The article details fixed monthly fees, transaction fees, setup costs, and specific charges for services like currency conversion. This information is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions based on their budget and transaction volumes.
  6. Pros and Cons:

    • The article provides a balanced view of the pros and cons associated with each payment system. This information assists business owners in evaluating which platform aligns best with their specific requirements.
  7. Tips for Selling Internationally:

    • The article concludes with a practical tip on cost-saving when dealing with international payments. It suggests using a Wise Business account to mitigate exchange rate mark-ups and take advantage of transparent currency conversions.

By combining my extensive knowledge with the information presented in the article, I aim to empower businesses to make informed decisions when selecting an online payment system that aligns with their goals and customer expectations.

Online Payment Systems UK (2024)


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