Merchant Services for Estate Agents and Letting Agents

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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.

Navigating the Realm of Estate Agent Merchant Services: A Comprehensive Guide

The UK’s property market continues its ascent, with the average house price increasing. Despite industry hurdles such as increased stamp duty on second homes, the real estate industry remains a lucrative sector. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how estate agents can optimise their financial transactions with the right merchant account.

Can Sellers Pay Estate Agent Fees with a Credit Card?

The property market landscape is evolving, with over 200 Estate Agents in London alone, and the rise of online Estate Agency businesses. Online estate agents often prefer upfront, fixed fees over traditional invoicing. As a result, homeowners are increasingly paying estate agent fees with credit cards, either by phone or online. This approach not only saves time for the seller but also streamlines the process for agents. Additionally, there’s now an opportunity to pay stamp duty by credit or debit card, a convenience that wasn’t available before.

Rental Properties

When it comes to rental properties, most landlords typically require tenants to set up standing orders for monthly rental payments. However, some tenants prefer the flexibility of making payments via debit or credit card, particularly if their paydays vary. The majority of rental deposits are also paid using debit or credit cards. Furthermore, offering tenants the option to pay their first month’s rent and deposit in advance using a credit or debit card adds convenience to the renting process.

Seasonal Lettings and Student Lets

In the case of seasonal lettings, such as holiday or student accommodations, shorter merchant contracts that span weeks or months are common. These short-term rentals can be cost-effective, and many customers prefer the security and convenience of credit card payments, especially for high-value rentals. Providing this option can significantly enhance your sales.

IVR Payments for Letting Agents

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of rental payments made over the phone. This shift is due to changing payday schedules and the prevalence of zero-hour contracts among employed tenants. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) payment lines for rental estate agents allow tenants to make payments by card over the phone, even outside office hours. These services operate 24/7, 365 days a year.


The IVR system works by having the tenant enter their card details directly into the telephone keypad, eliminating the need for staff to take card information over the phone and enhancing security. Most IVR systems integrate with customer databases, ensuring real-time updates and benefiting both businesses and tenants. Rental records can be updated in seconds, saving administrative time and freeing up main telephone lines for future sales.


Merchant Accounts for Housing Authorities

In addition to estate agents, housing authorities can also benefit from merchant accounts to facilitate rent collection and streamline payments from tenants. These accounts can ensure a secure, efficient, and convenient way for housing authorities to manage their finances and improve their services to tenants.


Commonly Asked Questions
What are the benefits of paying estate agent fees with a credit card?
Paying estate agent fees with a credit card can provide convenience, security, and flexibility for both buyers and sellers. It streamlines the payment process, allowing for quicker transactions.
How does the option to pay stamp duty by credit card work?
The option to pay stamp duty by credit card or debit card is now available, making it easier for property buyers to fulfil this financial obligation. It simplifies the payment process and adds convenience.
What are the advantages of offering tenants the option to pay with credit or debit cards for rental properties?
Allowing tenants to make rental payments via credit or debit card offers flexibility and convenience. It accommodates varying paydays and enables tenants to pay their deposits and rent securely in advance.
Are there any special considerations for student lets when it comes to merchant accounts?
Student lets often require shorter rental contracts. Merchant accounts with flexible terms can be cost-effective and attract more tenants by offering the added security and convenience of credit card payments.
How do IVR payment systems benefit both letting agents and tenants?
IVR payment systems allow tenants to make payments over the phone 24/7. Tenants can enter their card details directly into the telephone keypad, ensuring security and efficiency for both businesses and tenants.
Can estate agents benefit from mobile payment options?
Estate agents can enhance their services by providing mobile payment options, making it more convenient for clients to pay for services.
What should estate agents consider when choosing a merchant account provider?
Estate agents should consider factors such as transaction fees, security features, customer support, and compatibility with their specific business needs when selecting a merchant account provider.

How Merchant Advice Service Can Help

At Merchant Advice Service, we understand that finding the best merchant account for estate agencies can be a daunting task. Our mission is to simplify this process for you. We have a team of experts who specialise in estate agency card payment solutions, and they’re here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re new to the industry or seeking to optimise your existing contract, we offer personalised assistance to match your unique needs. We evaluate a wide range of merchant account providers to find the one that aligns perfectly with your requirements, whether you’re an estate agent, a housing authority, or a property manager. With our expertise, you can streamline your payment processing, enhance convenience for your clients, and ultimately boost your success in the competitive real estate market. Let us be your trusted partner in finding the best merchant account solution for your estate agency.


Navigating the UK property market requires estate agents to offer flexible payment solutions. Debit card payments have become increasingly popular for covering estate agent fees, deposits, and even stamp duty. 


This shift towards card transactions is especially beneficial for both sellers and tenants. It offers convenience and security. Offering card payment options can significantly enhance customer service. 


These payment services can help in effectively managing sales. Whether it’s about the sale price for potential buyers or assisting first-time buyers in selling their property. Estate agents in England and Wales who adopt these modern payment methods can expect long-term benefits. Their service will improve and it simplifies the financial transactions for their clients. 


Merchant accounts play a vital role in this process. They ensure efficient payment service and client satisfaction in the dynamic real estate market.


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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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