Should My Business Accept Card Payments Over The Phone?

Seeking the missing piece in your customer journey? Discover more about why accepting card payments over the phone could be the answer…

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Published on: 20 April 2018

Card payments are fast becoming the most popular way for consumers to make a purchase.

A recent study from Barclays found that 32% of consumers would actually walk away from a purchase if they couldn’t pay by card. Soon enough, cash payments will be a thing of the past.

In 2016, the number of merchants accepting card payments broke 1 million, and the number continues to grow year-on-year.

To keep on top of the high demand for cashless payments, businesses, especially SMEs, are having to make the shift towards accepting a wider range of payment solutions.

With consumers making changes to the way they buy, it’s now becoming essential that your business offers POS, online and contactless payment options. But, have you considered the benefits of also taking payments over the phone, without the associated risk?

The Missing Piece In Your Customer Journey


Despite the growth of online payments, payments over the phone are still in huge demand. In a world where self-checkouts and online robots are taking over POS, consumers are still yearning for personal, human interaction when making a purchase.

Offering to accept card payments over the phone gives your customers the opportunity to ask questions that are usually hidden in long terms and conditions documents online.

This process instills a sense of confidence that if anything was to go wrong, they have a record of a named person they spoke to, and not a long list of referral numbers and letters.

If you’re looking to evaluate your current customer retention strategies in line with user behaviour, presenting customers with the opportunity to converse with a human being during the payment process is guaranteed to reap positive results. 

Phone transactions also offer the opportunity for businesses to capture those impulse-purchases that result in quicker sales cycles. All too often online and in-store purchases allow a consumer to consider, and potentially talk themselves out of, a purchase.

From a sales perspective, your customers will be able to have all of their questions and objections answered right away – without losing them to a competitor.

Aren’t I At Risk If I Accept Card Payments Over The Phone?

 Many vendors steer clear of phone payments, due to the proposed risk of a data breach that could get them blacklisted by compliance regulators.

With a growing number of regulatory bodies requiring companies to record and store phone conversations for compliance, there is a wide assumption that card payments on the phone are non-compliant with PCI DSS.

This is not the case.

With the right security in place, phone payments can not only be extremely safe for you and your consumers, it can also improve their overall customer experience with your business.

PCI Regulations On Telephone Card Payments

Along with fundamental PCI DSS procedures, the security standards stipulate that the three or four digit code printed on the back of the card (known as the CVV2, CVC2, CID or CAV2) cannot under any circumstances be retained after authorisation.

Having fully recorded phone calls may mean companies are unintentionally holding these details without knowing.

The PCI Data Security Standards also state the following guidance for merchants wishing to take phone payments: 

  • Always follow standard PCI DSS requirements
  • Ensure any transmission of data across public networks is encrypted
  • Adhere to a strict information security policy
  • If calls are being recorded, ensure media is clearly labeled, inventories are rendered unreadable following PCI security standards
  • Implement proper user authentication for staff
  • Display no more than the first six and last four digits of PAN data
  • Render PAN data as unreadable when stored

Improve customer loyalty with cardassure

For a cost-effective and PCI compliant method of taking payments over the phone, and boosting your customer loyalty, why not consider cardassure?

cardassure eliminates the need for a merchant to put themselves at risk, as there is no need for them to ask for card details to be transferred verbally.

The system connects to a secure network, and requires the caller to use their phone keypad to input their details. The caller still has the peace of mind that they’re in a call with a human being, but also that their details are fully secure.

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