Being able to accept credit cards is a crucial part of many businesses.

However, for different business types, how you accept credit cards may differ from other businesses. If you are invoicing clients, chances are you are taking payments over the phone or through a portal. These are called MOTO merchants (Mail Order/Telephone Order) and these business types are considered different from businesses that process transactions in-person.

What is MOTO?

This short video will explain what a MOTO merchant is:

There are some differences for businesses between retail and MOTO. The biggest difference is the risk level. An online/MOTO transaction is riskier than an in-person transaction because without the person paying in person, it is harder to detect a fraudulent transaction.

The Fees

Because of this added risk, Visa and Mastercard charge slightly higher interchange fees for keyed transactions. Below are links to the Visa and Mastercard Interchange rates:

What type of businesses usually process credit cards over the phone?

Essentially, if your business takes payments without the customer having to be with you physically then you take card-not-present transactions. Below is a list of some of the industries that card-not-present payments apply to:

Professional Services


IT Services







Accepting credit cards over the phone or online can make doing business with you, really convenient for your clients. Your clients can pay directly from home and you do not have to worry about picking up a cheque, or arranging a money transfer.

How to Key-in a Transaction Over the Phone

Let’s say you are about to complete work for a client, or you have just finished work for them and you send them an invoice. When the customer is ready to pay, they might call you to pay with their credit card. Then the client reads their credit card information to you, as you enter a ‘keyed-in transaction’. A Keyed-in Transaction is when a business owner takes a credit card payment over the phone by keying/typing in the client’s credit card details into a virtual terminal. A virtual terminal is a tool that a credit card processor would provide you to process keyed-in transactions.

The required information for a keyed-in transaction is as followed:

Name on Card

16-Digit Credit Card Number

Card Expiration Date

CVV/Security Code (On the back of the card) *Optional, but highly recommended

Street Address and Zip/Postal Code *Optional, but highly recommended

Once the transaction is complete, you can send the client an email receipt, usually right from the virtual terminal.

Accepting Credit Cards Can Solve Payment Difficulties

Being able to process credit cards over the phone is a huge asset to businesses in terms of their offering to their clients. There are countless payment difficulties that we hear every day; such as lawyers trying to arrange e-transfers, property managers losing checks, clients not having the cash to pay you just yet. All of these situations can be easily solved with a keyed-in credit card transaction over the phone. Accepting credit cards just enhances your customer’s experience with your business, and helps you get paid!