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How to Accept Over-the-Phone Credit Card Payments

No matter what type of business you are, to accept credit cards over the phone, you will need a merchant account. With your provider, you can take phone payments by manually inputting credit card information into a terminal on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. If you have a POS system that allows you to enter this information, you can also take phone payments using the machine.

What You Need to Accept Credit Card Payments Over the Phone

Before you can begin accepting credit card payments over the phone, there are a few things you need.

A Merchant Account

A merchant account provider or payment service provider is absolutely crucial for your business to accept credit card payments over the phone. Both will provide you with the right tools, including a bank account, software, and hardware, that will let you take credit card payments, process them, and receive the funds.

The important difference between merchant accounts and payment service providers is this: a merchant account provider will give you an account for your business along with all of the necessary tools for accepting credit card transactions.

Payment service providers, on the other hand, don’t provide you with a unique merchant account. Instead, they put all of their customers’ funds into one merchant account and transfer the funds to your business bank account.

Choosing between the two options will be up to you, so it’s important to take into account the specific needs of your business.

Using a Virtual Terminal

To accept payments over the phone, you will need a virtual terminal. This is online software that lets you input and process a customer’s card information when the card is not physically available.

Virtual terminals can be accessed with any device with the internet, including your computer, smartphone, or tablet. They include security measures and the ability to send electronic receipts.

Make sure to check if your merchant account provider offers a virtual terminal and can help you accommodate transactions over the phone when the credit card itself is not physically present.

POS System

While you’ll mostly need to access a virtual terminal to take payments over the phone, if you’re using a point-of-sale (POS) system, you might be able to process transactions over the phone.

When using a POS system to accept credit card payments, you will use the system as a virtual terminal by entering the credit card information given to you over the phone and then submitting that information.

How-to Accept Over-the-Phone Credit Card Payments

1. Gather the Appropriate Credit Card Information

Once you have an ecommerce merchant account and access to a virtual terminal, you’ll need to gather the appropriate credit card information to accept card payments. Each provider and terminal will have different requirements.

2. Take the Customer’s Order

Once you have the details, you can talk to customers and start taking orders over the phone. When taking an order, you’ll need to input your customer’s order details into the system and calculate the total cost of the order. Make sure to include any sales tax and shipping costs. After, you’ll need to let the customer know the final total before proceeding.

3. Obtain Credit Card Information

Next, you will key in the credit card information into your virtual terminal and submit the payment. Once all of the information is entered into the system, you can submit the payment. Your terminal will tell you whether the transaction has been approved.

4. Send the Customer a Receipt

Now that the order is submitted, you can send the customer a receipt. Finally, you’re ready to begin fulfilling the customer’s order.

Accept credit cards over the phone by applying for an ecommerce merchant account today!