Taking Credit Card Number Over The Phone? - Advice needed

by Mr.S
15 replies
I did some search around but I did not see answer to question above. What services do you use to take credit card over the phone. I have noticed I do have people interested in my offers but after I send them email it seems like their interests dies out. Customer disconnect with you because of time passing.

I do not want to set any appointments with my prospects. My offer is structured to be closed over the phone but when it comes to taking that credit card payment I am stuck. How do you have it set up, what services do you use?

Do you have a closer telemarketer that takes and processes credit cards? How do you have it set up.

Security is important so I wouldn't want anybody to be handling credit cards. Do you know of call center that would take and process that credit cards.

Thank you in advance for your help.
#advice #card #credit #needed #number #phone #taking
  • Profile picture of the author Dave Lianelli
    Mr S, what you need is a so-called Virtual Terminal.

    It allows you or your employees to type in the CC information and have them charged.

    PayPal is a company that offers this service:
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  • Profile picture of the author margocales
    Can you not use Paypal and other similar payment processing companies?

    Some time ago I took credit card payments over the telephone which were linked to a machine in the office in which the details were entered at the time of the call and payment confirmed whilst talking to the customer.

    Your Bank should be able to help.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    Thank you Dave and margocales. I am researching good virtual terminals. Yes I will apply for virtual paypal but there are so many horror stories with paypal freezing money that I would like to have an alternative. Maybe local bank although way more expensive will offer that. I will check
    Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
    Mrs. S
    We have done this in the past.

    You can setup your own merchant account and as someone mentioned above, you can get a virtual terminal to process the transactions.

    Once setup, you simply process the information yourself over the phone or have a trusted employee do it for you.

    One thought...and this obviously depends on the way you are setup...but why not close over the phone by talking them through an online order form?

    I'm sure you'd have to test this first...but I'm wondering if it would actually increase your close rate because people would feel more secure about typing the information in themselves over a secure connection?

    Just a thought.

    All the best,
    Jack Duncan

    P.S. This is one company we used in the past with good success. http://www.transfirst.com/

    The setup was very simple, and the fees were almost identical to PayPal when you do the math.

    Never had any problems with them over the years either...and you'll have a rep you can call anytime if you need help.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaymentMaven
      Mr. S,

      I agree that you can setup a virtual terminal to take credit card payments over the phone. If you rather not use PayPal, you can use a full-service merchant account provider. Jack Duncan mentions FastTransact (FYI, FastTransact has been bought by Front Stream Payments)... I also recommend them, too.

      For full disclosure, I am an independent merchant account broker and I represent FastTransact/Front Stream Payments, PowerPay, Cocard, so depending on your needs, I can match you up. You can surf my website in my sig for more info and contact to talk to you....no strings.
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    • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
      Depending upon the market of people your products/services apply to, some people who are more Internet oriented would prefer just placing the order online while others who do not trust the Internet prefer only to give their ccard info to a real human.

      One of the services we offer seems to be purchased by people who better like giving their orders to a live human being in which case either myself or our service provider takes the order by phone.

      I generally either have an order form printed out so I can fill in the info as they give it to me or go to the page online and fill it out as they are giving it to me and submit it after the call ends.


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  • Profile picture of the author rickfrazier1
    As Dave and Jack have indicated, a Virtual Terminal may be the answer you are looking for.

    12 or 14 years ago when I set up a merchant account for my consulting business, I got a virtual terminal set up at the same time. (You may still be able to get a merchant account for a decent discount rate if you are a Costco Business Member... that's where I initially got mine). Setup was simple and easy through the Costco connection, and iTransact handles the virtual terminal (which also supports recurring billings). Through Costco, the discount rate is pretty good too. I have a lower discount rate than many much larger businesses, and the whole process was much easier than through my own bank, where I'd been a customer for years (personal and business accounts were at the same bank).

    The Virtual Terminal allows you to enter and process credit card transactions in real time using your computer and internet connection. After settlement (around midnight) the money hits your business account about 72 hours later.

    I've also had online shopping carts and such in place over the years, with mixed results in both consulting and physical products businesses. Strangely enough, I've had a fair percentage of customers that seem to prefer giving me the numbers over the phone, instead of enteriing the same information into an online form. I don't see the same pattern with digital products in the IM fields, becasue we rarely speak to people in the IM sales process.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    Thank You Jack Duncan for an idea of walking them through. That should help. I know not all of them have access on the spot but some do, so thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    @rickfrazier1 Costco is also a good idea I will check them out. Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    Mr. S. You were given some good advice earlier when someone mentioned Virtual Terminal. That is the technology you need.

    In addition to the technology, you need the right type of merchant account. You need a MOTO Account. Thats's a Mail Order / Telephone Order merchant account.

    You can find a few online or call your bank.

    You want to avoid using a regular merchant account for MOTO use. You risk getting your account terminated if you if you use a non-MOTO account only for card-not-present transactions.

    The banks charge higher fees for MOTO due to the increased number of chargebacks and fraud found with card-not-present transactions and if they catch you trying to sidestep that by using a regular account it can get pretty ugly.

    Good luck with it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    good to know thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Originally Posted by Mr.S View Post

    Security is important so I wouldn't want anybody to be handling credit cards. Do you know of call center that would take and process that credit cards.
    OK, THIS doesn't make sense! One moment you say "security is important", next you say basically FORGET IT!

    And yeah, a virtual terminal, or actual credit card terminal, would be the way to actually PROCESS the charge. Paypal offers one for a modest monthly charge which includes your own merchant account.

    One bit of advice! Technically, it is ILLEGAL, and it is MORONIC to pass credit card numbers via http, ftp, or email. They are just NOT secure! And frankly, most will NOT want to deal with email, and will avoid http. If any company even offers that as an option, they never get MY business. Besides, credit card companies, like Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and discover, are starting to crack down.

    And unless the company is a full service fulfillment house you can trust, you should FORGET the idea of having anyone else do it. They may make a mistake, steal, or do something else wrong, and it would destroy YOUR reputation. ALSO, unless it is a WELL KNOWN company, YOUR company, or you specify UP FRONT how it will be charged, using another service encourages chargebacks.

    Regarding what headfirst said, a CARD PRESENT transaction requires an actual credit card terminal, or a card reader and credit card software! The virtual terminals HAVE to fully support CNP transactions though because they CAN'T support card present transactions, and are NOT for your customers! BTW ALL internet charges people do from their homes are CNP! They MAY test the CV codes, and use AVS, but those are merely further verification methods. The way a card present transaction is done is they run the magnetic strip against a reader and NOW, due to magnetic "cloning", they often require you to type in part of the number as well. It can't be done without a card actually being there. That is what they do in stores.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    What I meant was merchant account centers not call centers that would take credit cards and process it.

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  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    I have been using PayPal Pro, with the Virtual Terminal, since it first became available, around 2002 I think. I have put a ton of transactions through it with no hint of a freeze. It can happen, but they have 250 million customers, so it is rare. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is reread the PayPal Terms of Service.

    One important change to the TOS is the use of American Express. You can no longer accept it in a bricks and mortar situation. Doing that may get you a freeze as will any indication of fraudulent activity. Remember, bank credit card merchant accounts get frozen too.

    I used to have a bank merchant account, but canceled it due to it's high price. You will see that fees are noticeable whether you use it not. There are sign up fees, minimum fees whether you use it or not, gateway fees, a monthly fee and transaction fees... and they add up. That's a lot to pay for backup when PayPal treats most people decently. Notice all those PayPal "scare sites" are just affiliate sites offering expensive alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.S
    Thank you donh . I have been using paypal since 2000 and haven't had any troubles either.
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