Handepay Card Machine Review: Average Contract with Notable Benefits

Handepay provides card machines and remote payment solutions with simplified pricing plans. Geared towards small businesses, is the lengthy contract worth the cost savings promised? 

Pros 

  • Simplified cost structure 
  • Customised packages 
  • Includes a merchant account 
  • Can beat the customers current costs and buy them out of existing contracts 

Cons 

  • Lack of transparent fees 
  • Requires contract lock-in 
  • No EPOS or accounting software integrations 
  • Customer support can be unreliable 

Suitable for: 

Businesses seeking a basic card machine contract with potentially lower fees than their current provider. 

Overview 

How It Works 

Handepay is an independent sales organisation (ISO) offering card machine packages at competitive, straightforward prices. Merchants can also access a virtual terminal for telephone payments, payment links, and an online payment gateway. 

The company provides card terminals via Merchant Rentals, which shares the same ownership and address as Handepay. The card processing contract is typically with EVO Payments or Worldpay. 

Merchants with an EVO account gain access to the Business Resource Centre, an online portal for monitoring sales, reports, and chargebacks in real-time. 

If approved, merchants can start processing card payments typically within three working days. 

Card Machines 

Handepay offers a few card machine models from Castles Technology, suitable for portable, mobile, and stationary use. Previously, Handepay provided Spire Payments machines, but these have since been replaced by Castles Technology devices. 

  • Mobile & Portable Card Machine: Vega 3000 V3M2
  • Portable: Uses WiFi, 50m range
  • Mobile: SIM card connects with GPRS
  • Features: Wireless with long battery life, no EPOS integration
  • Countertop Card Machine: Vega 3000 V3C
  • Must be plugged in for power and connectivity via phone line or broadband
  • No EPOS integration

All card machines come with built-in receipt printers, backlit PIN pads, and colour displays. They accept various payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, chip and PIN, swipe, and contactless payments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay). However, premium card schemes like American Express may incur additional costs. 

Contractual Commitment 

Handepay’s contracts range from 12 to 36 months, with some merchants signing up for as long as four years. Contracts auto-renew for an additional 12 months unless cancelled at least three months in advance. Early termination fees apply, covering the remaining contract costs. 

Many customers have noted a lack of transparency regarding auto-renewal, so it is crucial to understand the cancellation terms clearly before committing. 

Handepay Fees 

While Handepay advertises “simple pricing with no hidden fees,” specific costs are not listed on their website. Merchants must contact Handepay for a bespoke quote. 

Handepay does not charge for: 

  • Monthly minimum card processing fees 
  • Registration and setup 
  • PCI-DSS compliance 
  • Chargebacks 

The costs include monthly terminal rental and transaction fees, which vary based on business type, turnover, and card type. Handepay’s “Price Challenge” promises to beat existing fees or pay £1,000, potentially buying out old contracts. 

Online Payment Tools 

Handepay offers various online payment methods: 

  • Virtual Terminal: Manual card payments via card machine or web browser 
  • Pay by Link: Send payment links via email, text, or social media 
  • Online Payment Gateway: Integrate online checkouts for ecommerce platforms 
  • Recurring Payments: Subscription services for an additional setup fee 

Online payment tools are available for a monthly fee, with plans starting at £9.99 + VAT. 

Customer Service and Reviews 

Handepay’s customer support is provided by EVO or Worldpay for merchant accounts, and by Merchant Rentals for card machines. Support is available 24/7. Issues are initially addressed through remote troubleshooting, followed by terminal replacement if necessary. 

Customer reviews are mixed, with common complaints about contract auto-renewal, unhelpful support, and deceptive sales tactics. It is advisable to thoroughly read contract terms before signing. 

Verdict 

Handepay offers simple pricing with no hidden fees, but transparency is a concern as specific costs are not readily available. The main downsides are the long contracts, auto-renewal, and lack of POS integrations. While the card machines meet basic needs, they are not as advanced as those from more popular brands. 

The £1,000 price challenge is a significant incentive for those seeking a better deal. However, businesses should carefully consider the commitment duration. Stable businesses may find the fixed package suitable, but newer or fluctuating companies should ensure they are comfortable with the contract length. 

Conclusion 

Handepay is a viable option for small businesses needing straightforward card payment solutions, provided they are aware of the contract terms and potential hidden fees. The price challenge offers a compelling opportunity to save on processing costs, but due diligence is essential before committing to a long-term agreement.