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How to Take Card Payments Over the Phone

As a business, it’s important to think about ways to improve your customers’ transactional experience. One way of achieving this is to accept card payments over the phone. But what exactly does this involve?

In this article, we explain how to guarantee each remote payment is made safely and securely, the benefits of accepting card transactions over the phone, how to do so, and the associated costs.


Are you legally allowed to take card payments over the phone?

You are legally allowed to take card payments over the phone, no matter your business’ size, what you sell, or where you’re based in the UK. In fact, taking transactions over the phone has long-been a popular choice for SMEs and independent companies, particularly those that are based remotely.


Is it safe to take a card payment over the phone?

Taking card payments over the phone is completely safe and reliable. However, there are steps you can take to boost security, which will invariably result in improved customer trust:

  • Operate via a secure virtual terminal that encrypts sensitive customer data
  • Regularly monitor your security features
  • Ensure you/your payment solution provider are following the latest PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) guidelines


What are the benefits of taking card payments over the phone?

There are various benefits to accepting card payments over the phone, both for your business and your customers.

Business benefits

  • Quick payment processing

Being able to take card payments over the phone means you can complete transactions immediately, wherever you are and at any time of day; your customers need only get in touch.

  • Streamlined process

Once your customer makes contact, you’re simply required to log into your virtual terminal to complete their transaction. This ensures a swift sales process, and guarantees immediate payment.

  • Improved accessibility

Taking purchases over the phone opens your business to a wider market. Being able to take card payments remotely makes your brand more accessible, which will ideally result in further sales.


Customer benefits

  • A personal touch

Many customers favour completing a transaction over the phone, because it allows them to enjoy human interaction that more closely mimics an in-person purchase than simply clicking ‘buy’ on a website.

  • Can ask questions

Completing a transaction over the phone allows customers to ask any specific questions about your product or service at the point of purchase. This is often quicker and more reliable for customers than scrolling through your website’s FAQs.

  • Remote purchases

Taking card payments over the phone is convenient for your customers, allowing them to complete purchases from anywhere, whether they’re at work, on holiday, or travelling.


How can I take a card payment over the phone?

As is the case with any MOTO payment, taking card payments over the phone is simplified when you go through a virtual terminal. Not only does this guarantee a secure transaction, but you’ll also be able to track and keep on top of all complete and pending payments.

We’ve outlined the simple process you’ll follow when taking card payments over the phone:

  1. When your customer calls to place an order or make a payment, sign into your virtual terminal or mobile application.
  2. Enter your customer’s personal and payment details into the relevant fields, as well as the chargeable amount.
  3. Complete the payment. Your customer will receive a confirmation text from their bank, but you can also issue a digital receipt.

Completing a transaction over the phone is as simple as that. All you’ll need is access to a computer/smartphone and an internet connection.


What card details should I take over the phone?

Because a transaction taken over the phone is made without the cardholder being present, you are required to take a few more details than if they were making the payment in person. Required customer card details include:

  • Name as it appears on their card
  • 16-digit card number
  • Card expiration date
  • Security code


Do I need a card machine to take a card payment over the phone?

No, you don’t need a card machine to take a card payment over the phone, you can take a payment using a virtual terminal. A practical benefit of completing transactions over the phone through your virtual terminal is that you don’t require any bulky or expensive hardware, such as a physical card machine. This simplifies the payments process, and means all records are kept online and accessible via your browser-based personal dashboard.


How do I pick a virtual terminal for my business?

When choosing a virtual terminal for your business, the most important thing to consider is the security of your customers and their payment details. This means ensuring your provider is PCI-DSS compliant.

At SimplyPayMe, you’re always in safe hands. Each transaction you process through your personalised virtual terminal is encrypted, to guarantee privacy and safety and give your customers peace of mind with every purchase.


How much does it cost to take card payments over the phone?

Being able to take card payments over the phone should be as affordable as it is convenient. This is why our pricing model is structured with small and independent businesses in mind. After your free trial, it costs as little as £10 each month to enjoy unrestricted access to our complete range of features, including your own unique and easy-to-navigate virtual terminal and payment dashboard. From here, you’ll be able to:

Sign up to start your free, no-obligation trial today, and discover the benefits of taking card payments over the phone. Or for even more expert guidance and advice, check out the latest on our blog.



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