GladstonePay: a Gateway to a World of Payment Flexibility

Jemima Walker
16-Dec-2021 11:22:30

You may have seen in the news that Amazon has announced they will no longer be accepting Visa Credit as a form of payment from 19th January 2022. Why? Supposedly, the decision is based on Visa’s high credit card transaction fees. So how does this relate to the leisure sector? Although global e-commerce giant Amazon might seem a far cry from your gym or leisure centre, it opens up an interesting conversation around consumer choice and transaction fees.  

The payments landscape is rapidly evolving, and this has only been accelerated by Covid and the rising demand for payment flexibility. Amazon’s decision to restrict consumer choice is an interesting one and one which we wouldn’t recommend in our industry.  Instead, this should be the time to be more fluid and adaptive in your approach to payments. 

Payments in leisure tend to have small transaction values but are processed in significant volumes. This results in leisure operators being particularly exposed to the costs of processing card payments. We have seen examples of operators paying up to 2% per transaction or racking up significant fees associated with PCI compliance or failing to reach certain volume thresholds.  

Many large acquirers will tie their merchants into long contracts which can be tricky to get out of. Much like phone or broadband contracts, it often looks like you’re getting an impressive deal at the start but as the market fluctuates over time, the contract can quickly become a tie rather than a great deal.  


At Gladstone, our payment gateway is designed to address these challenges whilst providing your members with a seamless and consistent payment experience across multiple channels. We want to give the control back to our operators. That’s why we offer our GladstonePay payment gateway, powered by Cardstream. As a trusted payment solutions provider, Cardstream offers over a hundred different payment methods, extending far beyond just Visa and Mastercard, which operators can pick and choose to include in their offering. But that doesn’t mean you have to offer loads of different payment methods. By selecting the ones that work best for you and your customers, you can build a collection of the best-suited methods which can vary over time as ‘trends’ come and go.  

Cardstream also offers services that allow international students to pay without a UK bank account, which is particularly useful for universities. 

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And there’s no obligation to go with a specific acquirer. Our gateway gives you the ability to choose an acquirer and negotiate the best merchant fees with them. And this isn’t a one-off choice that you’re then committed to - you can always choose to shop around for a better deal next year to ensure you’re still getting the best deal you can. We’ve got your back! We don’t want you to feel trapped, so this flexibility lets you keep your options open and be more adaptable in the shifting payments landscape.  

Not using the GladstonePay gateway? Why not find out more and book a demo… 

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Do you want to check your merchant bank acquiring fees? We offer a free service to all operators, not just Gladstone customers to see if you’re getting the best deal. We’ve saved operators thousands in the past!  

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