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Online Payments

Are you looking to take card payments for the very first time, or are you already trading and looking for a better deal on your card processing?

Whether you are new to card processing or are already successfully trading online, Secure Hosting and Payments offers merchants from the simplest to the most complex of e-com environments 24x7x365 real-time online payment gateway service.

Linking your e-commerce platform to your merchant acquiring bank over the Internet, Secure Hosting and Payments offer as standard:

  • 24x7x365 real-time online payment service.
  • Vital authentication functionality to combat fraudulent transactions: AVS, CVC, 3D Secure.
  • Pre-authorisation functionality ensuring you can fulfil orders before taking customer’s funds.
  • Daily reports of payment submission files to your acquiring bank.
  • PCI:DSS Level 1 compliant – maximum level of card data security.
  • Preferential Merchant Account rates.
  • Straightforward, uncomplicated and secure integration.
  • All inclusive telephone, online chat and email support from UK based dedicated personnel.
  • Solid, robust system: Operating from multiple data centres with multiple bandwidth providers, our systems are rigorously assessed on a constant basis to ensure maximum security and performance

E-Commerce Checklist:

Secure Hosting and Payments offers a fully integrated service offering combining integral elements to enable you to accept and receive online payments:

1. Merchant Account

Firstly, you will need a Merchant Account; this is not your business bank account, it’s a financial contract with a merchant acquirer that provides your business with the facility to accept credit/debit card payments either via your website and/or by mail order, telephone and face-to-face.

We have negotiated preferential rates for our merchants with a number of banks and it is worth knowing that you do not always have to obtain a merchant account from your usual bank, making it possible to shop around for the most lucrative rates. CONTACT US NOW to secure your preferential merchant account rate.

2. Payment Gateway

Secondly, in order to process card payments, you need to be integrated with a secure Payment Gateway with connection to acquirers. Secure Hosting and Payments is a UPG plc Group Company; UPG was the UK’s first IP Payment Gateway built to serve the emerging e-commerce market in the late nineties, and is regarded to be the largest independently owned Payment Card Industry (PCI:DSS) Level 1 Gateway in the UK.

Processing over £4 billion transactions a year, Secure Hosting and Payments plc are capable of sustaining 1,000 concurrent authorisation transactions per second; securely processing payments, advising on fraud prevention and risk management and offering enhanced solutions to comply with PCI:DSS regulations.

Secure Hosting and Payments’ platforms are regarded as amongst the most technically advanced. The processing capacity of our system exceeds the capacity of any of the UK banks; we are the widest part of the pipe, often having to slow down traffic so the banks can cope!

Delivering a 24x7x365 real-time online service, the company is dedicated to total service availability. Investments in market leading technology and hardware have ensured that all of Secure Hosting and Payments plc’s services are securely deployed in an enviable industrial strength technical infrastructure providing continuity of service to our customers.

3. Secure Hosting eCom Account

If you don’t already have a Secure Hosting and Payments eCOM account, you will need to open one, this facility acts as a secure link between your website and the bank. Furthermore, the eCOM package provides you with a private login area to view, track and manage your card payments, as well as numerous other features.

The eCOM account is available on free trial for 14 days, but this period can be extended if you require more time for testing. It provides an area where you test your online store integration with our payment system. Once your merchant number is ready to go live, we will contact you and ask if you wish to switch your eCOM account from trial to live online processing.

For more information on our eCom accounts, please click here.

4. Shopping Carts

If you only have a small number of items for sale you can create a simple order form, or use the “Buy Buttons” feature included in our eCOM Standard service to quickly add shopping functionality to your site.

If you have a large number of items for sale you will probably need a shopping cart system to allow your customers to browse your items and add to a basket as they navigate around your online catalogue. Our service integrates seamlessly with all popular third party shopping carts, however if your requirements are more complex you can employ the services a web developer to build a custom cart system for you.

For more information on our integrated Shopping carts, please click here.

5. Transaction Credits

We have a unique charging structure within our industry as our transaction fees are based on a pre-pay credits system. The advantage of this is that you only pay for what you need, so you can start small and buy progressively larger blocks of credits as your transaction numbers increase. The larger the block of credits, the cheaper the cost per transaction. High volume merchants benefit from a cost per transaction lower than any other payment service provider.

For more information on our Transaction Credit bundles, please click here.

What to do next?

We go out of our way to make sure every aspect of your setup and ongoing experience is as smooth as possible.

We are well aware that the whole area of banks, merchant accounts and e-commerce throws up many challenges and queries and we are very happy to offer as much advice and guidance as you need on all aspects of e-commerce, not just the parts that relate purely to our service.

We can liaise with your bank to make sure you have the correct kind of merchant account for the type of payments you intend to take, or, if you don’t have a merchant account, we will contact a suitable selection of banks and request quotes for you. No other payment service provider offers this level of service!

So, if you need further guidance and assistance, please contact the Merchant Services Team on 0345 269 6645, place a question through our contact page,
or complete the online card processing application form, or open an Ecom account on a free trial.


We can help most businesses to obtain a merchant account, however there are certain categories of business that most banks won’t provide merchant accounts to. These ‘difficult’ categories include anything to do with gambling, lotteries, dating services, adult services, mini-cab firms, some travel companies, or any business which has a web site containing potentially offensive material or nudity. Also, if your business is not registered in the UK/EU it will be more difficult to obtain a merchant account from the UK banks that we work with.


Don’t let these restrictions put you off if your business is within these more difficult groups, as we process on behalf of clients in these markets. You should be aware that in these areas, the costs of card processing charged by the banks and payout restrictions will apply. We have a range of International banks that will be more open to these markets and more likely to support your business.