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Business support

Since 2010 we have been helping businesses grow with low-cost card payment processing

We’re here to help

At Active Payments we like to help our customers keep fully informed about anything card payments related.
Whether you are new to card payments, thinking about switching providers or just need to a little bit more information, we’re here to help.


Getting the best out of your terminal.


Understanding online and phone payments.


Understanding PCI and GDPR for your business.


You get rewarded for each successful referral.

FAQs to help you

Got a question? Take a look below at our frequently asked questions.

PCI compliance

Q: What is PCI Compliance?

A: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a security standard that sets out requirements for the handling of card holder data such as payment receipts and stored card details.

 Q: Do I have to become PCI Compliant?

A: PCI DSS compliance is compulsory for all businesses and individuals processing card payments.  By being compliant you are protecting your business from card fraud and minimising the chance of a card holder data breach. Processing card holder data in a compliant manner and completing the required PCI DSS assessment also protects you and your business from large fines in the event of a data breach.

 Q: How do I become PCI Compliant?

A: You have 90 days from when your acquiring account is opened to become PCI Compliant, after the 90 days you may incur PCI non-compliance fees. Within the first 14 days of your acquiring account being opened you will receive instructions on how to become PCI Compliant, if you have any problems with this please give us a call on 03332 400 833.

 Q: I need help becoming PCI Compliant, what do I do?

A: Please give us a call on 03332 400 833 for assistance.

 Q: What happens if I am not PCI compliant?

A: If you have not completed or failed the PCI questionnaire you will incur non-compliance fees and may be liable for large fines in the event of a cardholder data breach.  Our managed PCI programme is available in order to help prevent this from happening.

 Q: Where do I go to become PCI Compliant?

A: First Data:


Your account

Q: How do I find my merchant number?

A: You can find your merchant number on the front screen of your card terminal, on a receipt generated by the card machine or a statement from your acquiring bank.

Q: What is my AP reference?

A: Your AP Reference is the number we use at Active Payment to identify you. You will find this on an invoice from us and it is also part of your payment reference for your direct debit.

Q: I have moved address what do I need to do?

A: Give our Admin Team a call on 03332 400 833 and they can talk you through the process.

Q: I have changed bank details what do I do?

A: As soon as you know you are going to change your bank details give our Admin Team a call on 03332 400833 and they will sort out the change.

Q: My business is closing, what do I do?

A: Please contact our Retention Team on 03332 400 833 as soon as possible.

Q: When will I be billed by Active Payments?

A: You will be direct debited monthly on the 15th of the month or the next working day. This will be shown on your bank statement as a payment to Active Merchant Services ltd. You will receive a direct debit notification and invoice prior to your direct debit being taken.

Q: I have been approached by a competitor, what should I do?

A: We strongly advise that you contact us on 03332 400 822 immediately before making any commitment to another provider in order to avoid any unnecessary costs or service disruption.


Q: My terminal isn’t working what should I do?

A: Give our Technical Helpdesk a call on 03332 400 833

Q: Can I offer my customers Cashback?

A: This is a function that is available on our terminals, it does need to be added to your software please give our Technical Helpdesk on 03332 400 833 a call and they will arrange a download on your machine.

Q: I have run out of paper rolls for my machine, where can I get some more?

A: Give our Customer Service Team a call on 03332 400 833, place an order and we can despatch for next working day delivery.

Q: Can I accept American Express?

A: Our terminals are set up to accept American Express, but you need to apply for an American Express Merchant number first, give our Sales Team a call on 03332 400 822 and we can get this sorted for you.

Q: Can I accept Apple/Android Pay?

A: Yes, our terminals are setup to accept Apple Pay and Android Pay, the transaction limit can vary depending on the security settings your customer has on their device.

Online and phone payments

Q: Can I take payments over the phone?

A: If you have over the phone payments set up on your account, yes you can take payments over the phone. If your business model has changed and you now need to take payments over the phone, please give our Customer Service Team a call on 03332 400 833 to update your account.

Q: Can I take payments through my website?

A: Yes, Active Payments have a fully PCI certified payment gateway solution that can be integrated into your website. Give our Sales Team a call on 03332 400 822 to discuss your options.

Q: Can I take online payments if I do not have a payment terminal through Active Payments?

A: Yes, we can offer online and face to face payment solutions independently of each other. Give our Sales Team a call on 03332 400 822 to discuss your options.


Flexible price plans

Q: What is a flexible price plan?

A: Our flexible price plans are our unique method of offering a business the option of switching pricing plan as the business needs change. You will need to be up to date with your payments.

Q: How do I change plan?

A: Give our Customer Service Team a call on 03332 400 833 and discuss the best plan for your business going forward. You will need to have been on your current plan for at least 6 months.

Q: Will I be charged for changing plans?

A: No additional charges will be made to switch plans.

Q: Does this mean I can cancel my contract after 6 months?

A: No, you can switch between plans only. If you wish to cancel your contract, then the relevant terms of your current plan will apply.

Refer a friend

Q: I have a friend or associate who would like a card machine?

A: Brilliant, give our Sales Team a call on 03332 400 822 and pass their details on and we will give them a call. Alternatively complete the referral form on our website here.

Q: When will I receive my Refer a Friend reward?

A: Once the referred account has been activated you will receive your reward

Q: Are there any conditions to me receiving my reward?

A: Our referral terms and conditionals are here.

Q: How many people can I refer?

A: There is no limit on how many referrals you can make but you can only refer someone once.

General questions

Q: What are Non-Qualifying/ Non Secure Transactions?

A: These are transactions taken when the card holder is not present. There is a greater risk when taking a transaction without the card holder being present as you do not know if it is the card holder that has provided you with the card details for payment

Q: What does PDQ stand for?

A: PDQ stands for ‘Process Data Quickly’, a payment terminal can often be referred to as a PDQ machine.

Q: What is meant by my Acquiring Bank?

A: Your acquiring bank are the bank which processes the card payments taken through your payment solution and release the money to your business bank account.

 Q: What is Chip & PIN?

A: This is the name of the method used for a customer to insert their card with a Chip into a terminal and then be prompted to enter their PIN.

 Q:What is Contactless technology?

A: Contactless technology enables a cardholder to pay for a transaction of under £30.00 by holding their contactless enabled card over a card terminal for approximately 5 seconds.

Q: What is a Payment Gateway?

A: A payment gateway is a secure server that processes online card payments, it encrypts the sensitive card data information in order to process the transaction through the different parties.

Q: What is a Chargeback?

There are two types of payments:

Card present

When the physical card is used to buy something in a shop, restaurant, bar or market.

Card not present

When the card details are used, but the physical card itself isn’t passed from the buyer to seller. CNP payments can happen by mail or on the phone, but mainly happen online.
Online payments are a prime target for fraudsters as they don’t even need to have the real card, they only need the card details which can be stored digitally. It’s also easier to get away with it, because it’s so much harder for the seller to verify who is really making the purchase.