Pharmacy Merchant Services

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Card payments facilities for pharmacies

The number of pharmacies in the UK continues to rise. When it comes to merchant accounts related to pharmacies these fall into two categories;

  • Face to face advised sales given in brick and mortar shops
  • E-commerce (Online pharmacies), which have become more popular over the last decade, following the COVID pandemic, providing a quick and easy solution for patients without having to physically visit a doctors surgery.


Pharmacy merchant Services in UK physical shops

Sourcing card processing for pharmacy shops is a little more straight forward than online alternatives. Please note that these do not fall under the high risk category and, whilst they can be more complicated than the average shop, compared to online stores they’re a lot more straightforward.

We work with providers who are used to handling applications for credit card machines within medical industries. Our experts will advise on the best providers for your application, while also saving money on your current processing fees.

Providing the business has the associated EU regulation documents, we have options available. Speak to one of our advisors today.


Online Pharmacy Merchant Accounts

Online pharmacies are seen as much higher risk than physical shops, the reason for this is the high amount of chargebacks experienced within industry. This is due to the fact that when a patient places an online order the payment is authorised but not actually charged until the medical information has been reviewed by a fully qualified doctor.

For this reason when setting up an internet pharmacy merchant account business owners can be made to jump through hoops to prove that they are running their online business in an ethical way, therefore reducing the risk.


Since January 2017 it has been a Visa requirement for card-not-present pharmacies to be certified and monitored by an impartial third party. Here at Merchant Advice Services we can help you obtain this certification which will enable you to be accepted for a merchant account. The certification is also recognized by major search engine advertising programs, including Google and Bing.


Online pharmacy checklist

Below is just one example of how things work, and what could be expected from you if you own an online pharmacy;

1. Customer selects medication and quantity.

2. Customer is then required to submit a medical questionnaire. Providing the symptoms and medical history are in line with the medication selected the customer can move onto the next stage. If for example they have selected a medication which is unsuitable for different reasons, such as age, sex or health history they will no longer be able to proceed with the purchase.

3. Following the submission of a satisfactory health questionnaire, it will then be sent to be reviewed by a doctor.

4. The Customer is then able to ‘check out’ and complete payment and delivery information. At this stage the payment is authorized but no money has been charged to the customer.

5. The customer’s questionnaire is reviewed by a qualified doctor who will also assess the suitability of the medication requested and contact the customer for further information if necessary.

6. Following the approval of the customer’s medication request the payment is then processed – completing the order.

7. Items are then dispatched, under recorded and signed for delivery.

Finding a merchant account for pharmacy businesses

Expectations of how the pharmacy business is run and elements of client confidentiality and safety will be considered when applying for a pharmacy merchant account. Speaking to an expert is vital when applying to a pharmacy merchant provider to make sure the process is smooth and efficient – as well as giving you the best chance of getting your application right first time.

For those wanting to open online accounts, we focus on helping our customers perform quality applications and have an over 90% approval rate, first time around with very competitive rates. If you are looking for one or more of the following, speak to our advisors today.


Terminated pharmacy merchant accounts

High-risk pharmacy merchants are regularly served noticed by their existing providers, or declined by new ones, this is common with the mainstream high-street banks such as Worldpay, First Data and Global Payments. The reason for this is that banks are constantly accessing their risk portfolio and ensuring their books remain balanced. Finding an alternative account doesn’t have to be difficult, we suggest doing so using a non-biased broker. A good merchant services broker will know where best to place a pharmacy business and should be up to date on a range of banks ever changing criteria and risk appetite.


Multi merchant accounts for pharmacies

Larger high turnover pharmacies may choose to use more than one merchant account when processing payments online. This counterbalances the risk of receiving immediate notice and therefore being unable to trade. Multi-merchant accounts work using the same high risk payment gateway with a percentage of transactions being authorised through each account. This means that should termination occur, pharmacy businesses have a reliable back up.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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