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boisdevie1

Taking card payments by phone

Does anyone take credit/debit card payments by phone? Can anyone recommend a company that offers such a service?
Thanks.
Green Man

Your bank should be able to set you up with a terminal. You can still do manual slips but they can still bounce.
Stacey

It's not quite as easy as the bank just setting you up with a terminal. There's a set up fee of a few hundred quid and a monthly fee for the terminals. There's usually also a percentage taken of the sale.
Green Man

This is true, but well worth the benifits of getting that booking deposit in the bank. Build in any costs to your final price per night.
boisdevie1

Problem is that most times I ask for a deposit by cheque and that works very well. It's only last minute bookings that I'd need to take a deposit by card over the phone so it wouldn't be something that I'd have to do that often. So I'm loath to spend a couple of hundred quid on something that I don't need to use intensively. OK, I could take all deposits like that but I'm not prepared to lose a percentage of my revenue.[/code]
Stacey

I think the cheapest way of doing it is via the federation of small businesses - I got told that on here IIRC.
Green Man

The ability to pay over the phone is a lot handier for your customers, and gives you a more proffessional service. You also have card details in case they do a 'Moonlight' or damage a room that you don't notice until they have booked out.
It will authorise good cards at time of booking out also, so you don't need to worry about bounced cheques.
You can also use it for selling on e-bay without the Pay-Pal fees. Wink
Stacey

Agreed but you have to have the turnover to justify it IMO. I know I certainly don't.
dougal

From when I last looked at this, the facility to process payments "customer not present" (ie by phone) was regarded by the banks as a big step beyond simply accepting card payments from the customer in person.
boisdevie1

I just don't like the idea of banks taking say 3 percent of my business takings if I can do things another way.
sean

dougal wrote:
From when I last looked at this, the facility to process payments "customer not present" (ie by phone) was regarded by the banks as a big step beyond simply accepting card payments from the customer in person.


I don't know about that, I do know from bitter experience that the Merchant Service Operator/Card Owner will rat you out on the payment at the slightest excuse if the cardholder is not present.
nettie

As of June the law will be changing to say that companies cannot hold written details of credit card numbers. We are having to change all our systems at work and won't be able to take payment on the phone unless we directly input it into the computer while speaking to the customer. Something to bear in mind.
Stacey

boisdevie1 wrote:
I just don't like the idea of banks taking say 3 percent of my business takings if I can do things another way.


I think it adds up to a lot more than 3% when you factor everything in.
Penny Outskirts

It's unlikely they'd give you a cardholder not present facility unless you'd been with them for a year, were willing to part with about 100, and could supply profit and loss for the previous 12 months.

Quite funny really, as we found that our terminal would do it without going through all this - so we've been doing it for years now, they just think they've agreed it Very Happy
dougal

Penny wrote:
It's unlikely they'd give you a cardholder not present facility unless you'd been with them for a year, ...

I had that as "had a {plastic card} 'merchant account' for a year" - and that was from the bank I'd been with for twenty five years or so...
Helen_A

Hmm - well having just dropped the FSB scheme one - its a 3 year contract that is why it is lots cheaper per month than other versions.

The most affordable ones I've found that do non-internet are HSBC, but until you will be using them for >15000 per year you are going to have to pay them around 25 a month and some scary percentages of the take as well (until you are doing 15K plus per annum they want 4% of transaction as well). Hence why I'm currently using paypal for online etc.

What you could do is find out if someone can get online. Then you can invoice them through the paypal system and take the deposit that way on their card. Unfortunately you shouldn't take over the phone orders that way and process through the paypal system (even though, as paypal have a 'no paypal a/c' option for payments you could, um, technically do this just not entirely ethically...) I do know of a few peeps who do this for customer non-present but its against the agreement that you sign up for when you sign up for your paypal a/c so... on your own head etc.

Helen_A
Green Man

Many people, especially non computer types will have never heard of Pay Pal far less trust it. Bite the bullet and get a card machine and pass on the cost instead of worring about it. People expect it nowadays.
Stacey

Paypal are doing a 'Virtual Terminal' here

https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_vt-trans-start

It's usually 20 a month but they're waiving that until July 07 and they take a small percentage plus 20p per transaction. Might be worth a go for a few months to see how it works?
Chell

This is something I need to look in to so I can sell off line but at the moment I just don't have the sales/income to justify it.

My friend who runs www.knotjustjigs.co.uk does a lot of toy fairs so she is able to take payments.
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