Safely Process Payments Over the Phone

July 17, 2019

By giving customers the option to pay over the phone at the moment of the sale, you eliminate the need to send invoices or email links to payment pages. This doesn’t mean that all of your payment processing should be done over the phone, but taking payments definitely complements e-commerce and point-of-sale (POS) payment processing, giving you and your business more flexibility.

Phone transactions have taken a backseat to e-commerce, and the primary reason for this is security. E-commerce and in-person transactions have more built-in security features that may be lacking in phone transactions. Essentially, phone transactions are known as “card not present” transactions, since you are unable to see the cardholder or the card itself. As technology increases, merchants are required to have the latest security and technology to prevent fraud and theft. Since 2014, the liability has shifted from banks to merchants if it can be shown security measures weren’t appropriate for credit card processing. This makes phone transactions murky, but there are ways to ensure security even over the phone.

To take payments over the phone, you will want to have a virtual POS service where you can manually enter card information as it is given to you. The better your POS service, the more secure the credit card processing will be, Host Merchant Services makes sure you have a service with the latest security and technology. HMS also works with mail-order merchants and provides solutions for phone orders.

When taking information, make sure you get the complete card number, the expiration date, the name that is on the card, the CVV number on the back of the card, and the complete address and phone number associated with the card. You won’t be able to get a signature, so you’ll need to document that the order was placed via phone on the signature line.

If the information does not match, the best practice is to deny the order. This is very important in today’s growing threat of cybercrime and identity fraud, where not being security-minded with consumers’ personally identifiable information or PII can get merchants into a lot of financial trouble.

Cover yourself and your business by requiring signatures for any deliveries. This will not only be a way to get a signature, but it is an extra security device that can help you identify criminals if incidents of fraud occur. You should also track delivery as well. All of this gives you a paper trail to be used as evidence that you did your due diligence with regards to compliance and security.

If you’re still unsure of phone transactions, the best solution would be to email customers an invoice so they can pay online.

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