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How to Process a Credit Card Payment Over the Phone

If you are a small merchant, you can increase your sales by accepting credit cards as well as cash payments for your products or services. With a few new products that can be used with either a land line or cell phone, any small merchant can accept credit card payments.

Advantages of Telephone Processing

Processing credit card payments by phone doesn’t require a bulky terminal or a manual credit card imprinter. You can process payments with a standard phone or a cell phone. If you only have occasional sales or operate a low volume business, you are not burdened with credit card machines and the fees associated with them. If you have a mobile business like selling at trade shows or craft fairs, the only equipment needed is a phone. No more worrying about internet connections or finding an electrical outlet for credit card machines. Most merchant accounts can be reached by using a toll free number.

How it Works

A credit card processing company will provide you with a toll free number provide the credit card information. You provide the card number, expiration date and sale amount. In some cases, the customer doesn’t even have to have the card present to complete the sale. However, it is a good practice to ask for identification in these cases. The sale is approved or declined within one minute.

The processing company charges a fee for every transaction and may charge a monthly fee. Some monthly fees are as low as $10 a month. Transaction fees can be a flat fee like twenty five cents per transaction or a percentage of sale like 2.75% per transaction. You receive a monthly statement showing all credits and debits, returns and cancellations to the account.

Cell Phone Attachments and Apps

If you have a smartphone you can purchase an attachment for the phone to swipe the card. You simply swipe the customer’s credit card and the customer signs by writing his or her name on the screen of the phone. The sale is approved or declined in seconds. There is usually a fee for purchasing the swipe device and a charge for every transaction. There may also be a monthly charge for the service.

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