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Mail Order & Telephone Order Payments

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Last editedJul 20232 min read

Ecommerce is amazing. But not all customers prefer to make payments via your website or mobile app. Many customers, especially older customers, prefer to make payments over the phone, via email, or even through the post. With the aid of a virtual terminal, businesses like yours can accept payments from these customers.

MOTO payments can remove barriers to sales between your business and customers who prefer not to use ecommerce. Here we’ll look at how these transactions work, what type of companies they’re best suited to and the advantages of making them available.

What is a MOTO transaction?

MOTO is an acronym for Mail Order / Telephone Order (MOTO) transactions. These are a type of card not present (CNP) payment. They can be accepted with either a POS terminal or a virtual terminal. They do not require a physical card to be present, nor do they require customers to fill in any forms on your website.

For a long time, these were the only ways in which payments could be accepted without the card present. While MOTO transactions have declined in popularity with the advent of e-wallets and online payments, they are still fairly popular among SMEs where on-site or online payments are not an option. 

How do MOTO payments work?

MOTO payments are fairly simple. The customer provides you with their payment card details over the phone, via email or in a letter. In doing so, they permit you to process the transaction through a virtual terminal. This is a web-based payment application that is provided by your payment service provider (PSP).

Instead of swiping a card, the card data is entered into your system manually. This can be done via a conventional card terminal as well as a virtual terminal.

The transaction data is then sent to the issuer for authorisation automatically, and a receipt is sent to both you and the customer once the transaction is approved.

How much do MOTO payments cost?

Because they are a form of CNP payment, MOTO payments are seen as high-risk by PSPs. As such, they are charged at slightly higher rates. The exact cost of each transaction will depend on your PSP.

What sort of businesses use MOTO payments?

There are lots of businesses that take MOTO payments as an alternative (or addition) to accepting payments online. They can be used by any business that accepts mail or telephone orders. MOTO payments tend to be popular among:

  • Restaurants and takeaways

  • Online and physical retailers

  •  Travel agencies

  • Professional service providers. 

The benefits of accepting MOTO payments

In a business climate where ecommerce is king, you may be unsure as to whether or not accepting MOTO payments is the best move for your brand. However, doing so can be beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • It’s easy to set up and access your virtual terminal from any device

  • It’s a fast, secure and frictionless experience for customers

  • It’s readily accessible for customers who prefer not to conduct business online.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether or not your customers would benefit from accepting MOTO payments. After all, nobody knows your customers better than you. For a certain type of customer who prefers not to use ecommerce sites or apps, accepting MOTO payments can remove the barrier to commerce and make your business, products and services more accessible.

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GoCardless is a global payments solution, setting people and businesses free from the frustrations and cost of outdated payment methods. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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