How to Take Card Payments Over the Phone


Customers nowadays like to pay whenever and wherever is most convenient - and if that’s at the other end of a phone line, then so be it!

In fact, many businesses up and down the country rely on taking payments over the phone.

Some businesses just like to include this method of payment alongside the more conventional face-to-face transactions - just to give their customers as many ways to pay as possible.

Being able to take card payments might be more straightforward than you think (if you don’t take them already).

We’re going to explore the basics of taking card payments over the phone - answering all of your burning questions right here.

Can you take payment over the phone?


Yes - taking payments over the phone is common.

As long as you’re set up by a provider that enables you to carry out these types of transactions in a safe and secure manner - you can take phone payments, no problem.

There are a couple of things you need in order to take phone payments - which we will explore further down the page.

But in the meantime, you might be thinking “why would I take phone payments?”


Why take payments over the phone?


It’s a good question.

Some merchants don’t need to accept phone payments just due to the nature of their business - such as delivery companies, for example.

However, the businesses that can and do accept card payments find that there are a number of benefits.

First and foremost, consumers appreciate the flexibility.

Your customers will be grateful for the number of options provided when it comes to different payment methods available.

But in terms of advantages for the business - it opens up a wider geographical area of accessibility.

The customer no longer needs to come ‘straight to your door’ - so to speak.

On the phone

Group around a laptop

Virtual Terminal


As we touched on above, you need more than just a phone to be able to facilitate these types of payments.

In a typical phone payment scenario - a virtual terminal enables the merchant to enter to process the payee’s card details through a laptop or tablet device.

Essentially, this is a secure form that enables the merchant to enter the relevant payment information into the form while conferring with the customer over the phone.

Once the payment is complete, the merchant can provide confirmation there and then.

It’s that simple!

Card Machines


Some card machines are capable of enabling the merchant to process a payment over the phone, also.

In order to do this, the merchant will need to manually enter the customer’s card number using the keypad.

Then, all they need to do is enter the payment amount and security number to finalise the transaction and accept the card payment. Again, it’s all very straightforward… but is it safe?

Card machine

Secure payments over the phone

Is it safe to take card payments over the phone


Yes, it’s safe to take card payments over the phone - provided you do so in a responsible manner.

Card processing across the board (from phone payments and online payments to face-to-face transactions) is all regulated to protect consumers.

As long as the business follows the correct security procedures and phone payment regulations and the buyer is confident in the business they are buying from, it is safe to make payments over the phone.

Phone payment regulations


Merchants should always follow PCI DSS compliance in relation to accepting, storing, processing and transmitting cardholder data during card transactions.

Failure to comply can result in financial action taken against the business - so it’s in their interests to ensure that customer’s payments are always done safely and securely at all times.

In many cases, the provider for company’s card processing will deal with compliance to ensure that any concerns are dealt with.


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


This varies from provider to provider - but typically, a percentage of the overall transaction (as per what is processed through the virtual terminal or “card not present” transaction) will be charged.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the security measures in place to cater for payments where the cardholder isn’t physically present is likely to impact the fees from your payment provider also.

Again, we stress that this is all calculated on provider by provider basis - so it’s always worth checking with them directly.

What are the benefits of taking payments over the phone?


We’ve covered most of the main benefits above, but here’s a quick re-cap:

  • Better accessibility for customers - more ways to pay
  • It can help to boost sales
  • Suitable for a wide range of businesses
  • Safe and secure way to facilitate transactions while the customer isn’t present


Start taking phone payments today


If you feel like accepting card payments will add another string you your bow, then why not explore your options today?

There are plenty of providers out there. All you need to do is decide how you go about taking these payments.

Do you go down the virtual terminal route? Or, are you happy to make full use of your card machines with card not present transactions?

Whichever way you decide, we’re here to offer any advice you need to make an informed decision.

See our phone payments page for more information - or get in touch today.

Date Published: 21/09/2020