Sage Pay is the European payment arm of software giant Sage (Sage Payment Solutions being the US equivalent). The firm started out as a UK payment service provider (PSP) called Protx, before it was acquired by Sage in 2006. Rebranded as Sage Pay, the firm has grown into one of the leading payment providers in the industry and probably one of the first names you’ll come across.
Sage Pay’s 50,000 customers range from startups to major corporations, and the company processes millions of payments every month. Its services range from simple payment solutions for small to medium businesses, all the way to tailored packages for corporations.
With a solid reputation for providing some of the best services around, Sage Pay offers the full package of payment options for businesses of all sizes. Unlike some firms in the industry, you won’t be forgotten as a small business owner under Sage Pay, which explains why this is the first (and often last) payment provider smaller firms go for.
Sage Pay’s aim is pretty simple: to make it as easy as possible for your customers to make payments and for your to receive your money – just the way it should be. So let’s dig a little deeper to see how close the UK firm comes to delivering on its promise.
Products & Services
Sage Pay’s merchant account service comes bundled with a payment gateway to help you get started. You can choose which type of merchant services to go for: online payments, mail and telephone payments and, of course, card machines. Importantly, there is no setup fee with Sage Pay and transaction charges are incredibly competitive.
The bundled package means you don’t have to shop around looking for separate merchant account and payment gateway providers, which gets things off to a convenient start. In terms of key features you can expect the following;
- Card payments: With support for all the major credit and debit card providers.
- Alternative payments: including PayPal in 25+ currencies.
- Payment gateway: Fully customisable with checkout pages to match the look and feel of your website.
- Fraud prevention: tools to protect your business at no extra cost.
- Quick payment processing: to have funds in your account within two business days.
- Analytics: A cloud portal where you can view all of your customer data and insights into your business’ performance.
- Platform integration: Including Shopify, WooCommerce, Opencart, Prestashop and a whole lot more.
- Virtual terminal: For seamless payments over the phone and by mail.
- eInvoicing: For payment collection at the click of a button, reducing the number of outstanding invoices.
Face to Face Payments
- Card machines: Countertop and portable terminals to suit all business types.
- Plug in and go: Preprogrammed terminals mean you can start taking payments right out of the box.
- Integration: Integrated PED, Integrated Terminal and Cloud Connect bring extensive payment options to all your tills and card machines.
- Mobile payments: Supports high value contactless and mobile payments.
- Certified: PCI DSS Level 1 compliant and PIN pads are PTS 3.0 certified with secure encryption to protect cardholder data.
- Reward schemes: Including gift and loyalty cards for you to keep your most valuable customers coming back for more.
Large Business Solutions
- Multi-channel tracking: So you can see the journey your customers take through the buying process.
- Fraud and risk management: For firms that take large, high-risk or international payments on a wide scale.
- Priority support service: To help keep the many wheels of your large business moving in the right direction.
- Dedicated account manager: So you always have someone on call who understands the individual needs of you and your business.
- Custom reporting: Giving you access to the information you need most, when you need it.
- Partner directory: To help you choose from a library of third party service providers for specialist business needs.
- Business growth features: A number of advanced payment features to help you expand your business and reach a wider audience.
Sage Pay is one of the most transparent payment providers when it comes to disclosing its payment structure – a refreshing change to say the least. You find more details on its website or by calling for quotes on a customised package. The basic structure is as follows:
- From £19.90/month
- 350 transactions per month
- Free advanced fraud screening tools
- eInvoice and phone payments included
- 24/7 telephone, email and Twitter support
- From £45/month
- Flex features
- Fast-Pass support
- 500 “Single Click” purchases per month
- European payments set up
- AMEX SafeKey set up
- Price on application
- 3,000+ transactions per month
- Custom fraud screening tools
- Dedicated account manager
- Priority support
Card machines start at £13/month and you can get a more accurate quote by speaking to the sales team directly. As we already mentioned, there are no setup fees with Sage Pay and transactions are charged at 1.99% for credit cards and 40p for debit.
The standard contract length from Sage Pay appears to be a three year deal and we’ve heard cancellation fees can be pretty high. That said, numerous business owners we’ve spoken to have said they were able to sign up to shorter contracts and waver the termination fees altogether – so try your luck.
As always, we recommend you discuss terms with their sales team directly and get everything in writing so you know where you stand. If you’re not too sharp on the legal stuff – or you’re too pressed for time – then invest in some legal aid so you know exactly what your obligations are before you sign.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Like most payment service providers Sage Pay uses independent resellers to extend its reach. This is where you need to be careful about who you speak to – we always suggest you talk to the firm directly.
Independent resellers are renowned for playing hardball and that typically means attractive rates that quickly rise or never materialise at all. It’s worth noting these figures don’t come from Sage Pay itself and we hope the firm doesn’t condone any underhand sales tactics. Either way, these things do happen and it’s something you aught to be aware of.
Customer Service and Technical Support
One point Sage Pay is highly credited for is its customer service and you’ll find plenty of positive reviews from happy customers who have dealt with its support team. That’s impressive too, because people tend to be much quicker to complain online than they are to leave positive feedback.
Reading a little more between the lines, the fact people actively leave positive reviews about the firm’s customer service says a lot about how they deal with smaller business owners. Unfortunately, smaller businesses can slip down the pecking order with some payment firms, but Sage Pay earns its reputation as a top service provider by making an effort to look after all of its customers.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
With that in mind it’s no surprise you’ll find scores of positive reviews with little more than a Google search. Not many of the large payment providers can say that – especially when it comes to customer service.
“Very quick service. I called and got served straight away and then also emailed as requested to remove some options that was dealt within 30mins.
super quick service I have ever got. Thanks 🙂” – Mani, UK.Trustpilot.com
Getting served right away is no joke in this game and you can see how many customers mention support staff by name in their reviews over at UK.Trustpilot.com. Sage Pay isn’t only credited for its customer service though; the firm has an equally good reputation from existing customers for providing quality payment solutions at competitive prices.
“Just want to add a vote towards SagePay. They are very good as a gateway solution, used them a LOT of times to for our clients. The thing about them is that you can try to get a really good rate, they are more inclined to negotiate with you – especially in case you have an established business with a reasonable turnover that they can see they will get or loose if you go elsewhere.” – Vadym Gurevych, Ukbusinessforums.co.uk
Negative Reviews and Complaints
So it’s all good new on the Sage Pay front, right? Well, not quite – you can’t please everyone when cold hard cash is on the line and Sage Pay doesn’t quite make the exception. Most complaints are about technical faults, although there are the occasional grumbles about held transactions and fee hikes (the latter of which could be down to those pesky third party salespeople).
Here’s a taste of one customer’s bad experience:
“We use Sagepay for our online payments gateway. That was, up until an hour ago. Two days ago, a potential customer called us stating there was a checkout issue. Turns out this ‘2015’ is an issue at Sagepay (confirmed by Sagepay). Nearly 48 hours later and a huge loss in sales as we still cannot take payments!” – john_scott_cothill, Resellerratings.com
We can’t read too much into this, as even the best firms are vulnerable to technical hiccups from time to time. The trouble for payment firms and their customers is hiccups often mean money down the drain, so you can understand the frustration.
Sage Pay is consistently rated as one of the most trusted payment providers in the UK, due to the high level of security for its clients and their customers. Unlike some other well-known providers, it doesn’t come with any setup fees, which is another major plus for many business customers, in addition to their competitive prices. Most customers have only good things to say about the company, its fast responses and helpful staff with their the technical problems affecting a relatively small proportion.
All in all, SagePay is a great, customer-focused merchant account provider and well worth putting on your shortlist. Contact us if you would like to get like for like quotes from their main competitors.