MOTO transactions explained: accept orders via email or telephone

Are you a small business owner without a webstore looking for ways to accept online payments? Or are you an established online seller looking to increase your customer base and reach a wider audience? Accepting MOTO transactions might be an excellent idea in either case!

If you’re unfamiliar with this payment option, don’t panic!

In this post, we’ll answer all your questions to help you get started!

MOTO transactions – Definition

They’re fast, simple, and convenient – but what exactly are MOTO transactions?

Mail Order / Telephone Order (MOTO) payments are card-not-present transactions allowing businesses to accept remote payments. In other words, they’re credit or debit card payments taken over the phone, by email, fax, or post.

The process is simple: shoppers provide you with their order and payment details, giving you permission to process the transaction. Accordingly, the seller, aka you, takes the responsibility to enter these details into a virtual terminal to finalize the payment.

Are MOTO transactions a right fit for your business?

Now that you’re familiar with the meaning of MOTO transactions, let’s see if they’re a good fit for your business.

Generally, MOTO transactions are useful for businesses that take orders over the telephone or by email. These might include:

  • travel agencies and hotels;
  • takeaway food services;
  • health and fitness services;
  • repair services;
  • catering companies;
  • florists; or
  • online retailers.

MOTO transactions can also be useful for businesses like nail salons or massage therapists to issue vouchers over the phone.

However, integrating MOTO transactions might be a smart choice for any type of business that wants to have access to a wider customer base by removing barriers for buyers who can’t shop in person.

Furthermore, it’s a brilliant solution for small businesses or startups without a webshop that engage in selling products or services remotely and wish to accept online payments.

Moreover, MOTO transactions are an excellent solution for merchants who want to keep their overhead low, as these types of transactions can be completed by only using a desktop, tablet, or smartphone with internet access.

Merchants can accept MOTO payments by only using a desktop, tablet, or smartphone with internet access.

Why is it worth accepting MOTO payments?

MOTO transactions bring a number of benefits to companies of any size.

Here’s how they can help your business thrive:

Simple process

Sitting in your favorite coffee shop, chilling on the beach, or working from home – if you’re a small business owner, you’ll love the fact that MOTO payments can be accepted from anywhere! All you need is your smartphone or laptop and a stable internet connection.

Convenient payments

Your customers will love MOTO transactions as well! They’ll be able to shop remotely without the need to physically present their payment card. The payment experience is fast and convenient, particularly for phone payments.

Once a buyer has made a MOTO transaction, the system securely saves customers card details, making the payment process even quicker next time.

Furthermore, MOTO transactions allow customers to split their payments into multiple tenders. Besides debit or credit card payments, you’ll also be able to accept vouchers or gift cards in a matter of seconds.

Trusted payment option

MOTO transactions allow you to accept all the leading debit and credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, or American Express.

Greater efficiency

Waiting weeks for invoice processing or transferring funds between different banks?

Forget the hassle!

Once your buyer’s bank checks the funds and authorizes the payment, you’ll receive your money quickly.

This way, MOTO transactions enable you to worry less, have more free time, and focus on the areas that matter most to improve the bottom line of your business!

Wider customer base

Offering a broader range of payment options will inevitably help you reach more customers!

As the only way to pay remotely with a card, MOTO transactions help you remove barriers for potential customers by providing an alternative for those who aren’t able or willing to visit your business in person.

Increased sales

Broadening your payment options also means you’ll be able to boost your sales!

Remember: your competitors are constantly working on ways to better meet consumers’ needs. Keeping up with them means you’ll be able to save yourself potentially lost sales.

Multi-user access

Finally, multi-user access allows authorized employees to access the MOTO system and take payments from multiple locations seven days a week, taking a burden off your shoulders.

Sounds great! But how do MOTO transactions exactly work?

Well, it’s simple.

You can process MOTO transactions by using a virtual terminal. This is a secure web page provided by your payment service provider.

You can access it on any internet-enabled device:MOTO transactions can be processed quickly and easily by using a virtual terminal.

To accept MOTO payments, all you have to do is follow the below steps:

  1. Log in to your virtual terminal.
  2. Input your buyer’s details, such as name, address, and card details.
  3. Submit the transaction.
  4. Once it’s approved by the customer’s bank, you’ll get a confirmation message, and the buyer will receive a digital receipt.

And that’s it, the payment is complete! The funds will be typically settled to your bank account within a working day.

Pro tip
If you want to make MOTO transactions available for your buyers, we recommend partnering with an experienced and trustworthy payment service provider such as Stripe to facilitate the payment!

So far so good, but are MOTO transactions secure?

MOTO transactions are undoubtedly one of the simplest, fastest, and cheapest solutions for businesses to remotely accept payments.

But let’s not sugarcoat it: they do have some potential drawbacks you should be aware of!

First of all, you should know that these kinds of payments carry extra risks because there’s no way to prove that the buyer is actually the rightful cardholder.

If a dispute is raised for a MOTO transaction, it will be your liability to prove that the rightful cardholder authorized the payment.

What if the evidence provided is insufficient?

Well, in this case, you’ll be liable for the chargeback and may have to refund payment received for the items that may have already been delivered.

What are the red flags to look out for?

Better safe than sorry, right?

These are the red flags you should be aware of:

  • Urgent orders – In hope of quick resale, fraudsters will often put you under pressure to deliver the illegally obtained items.
  • Overseas orders – Be careful when receiving orders that need to be shipped to another country.
  • Multiple orders with the same card number – Multiple MOTO transactions coming from the same card number within a short period of time are most likely a scam.
  • Multiple orders with the same delivery address – Orders submitted with the same delivery address across multiple cards, particularly when only the last few digits change, should always cause you to raise an eyebrow!
  • Changing customer data – Pay attention when a customer changes their email address or phone number at any point during the ordering or payment process.
  • Different payer – If you receive a request to let another company initiate a MOTO transaction on the customer’s behalf, it may not be a genuine order! Make sure to check who the contract is between.
Fraudsters may initiate MOTO transactions by submitting orders with the same delivery address across multiple cards.

Tips & tricks to protect your business:

  • Secure your deliveries – Make sure the courier company returns the delivery acknowledgment after delivering the goods. This way, the signature of the recipient can be verified.
  • Configure a capture delay – Setting up a delay between the authorization and the automatic capture of the payment gives you time to cancel the authorization in case you have second thoughts about the transaction.
  • Check the billing and delivery address – If the billing and delivery address don’t match, make sure to ask your customer to provide photographic proof of the front and back of their card, as well as an image of their ID. This way, you can make sure the details match.
  • Make a refund – If you’ve already processed the payment but think the order is fraudulent, you can make a refund back to the card. Ask your bank to assist you with this.
  • Record interactions – Save email correspondence and any recorded phone calls with your customers initiating MOTO transactions.
  • Contact your bank – Ask your bank’s help instantly if you think a behavior is suspicious.
  • Report the incident to the appropriate authorities – The police will be able to provide advice and help you prevent future attacks.

Tip for secure payments
For more tips and tricks on how to prevent fraud and hackproof your website, make sure to read our blog posts on how to fight credit card testing attacks and how to create secure forms!

What are the costs of MOTO transactions?

MOTO transaction fees are somewhat higher compared to standard card payments.

Transaction fees for card payments entered manually in the Stripe Dashboard cost 3.4% + 30¢ per transaction for businesses on standard pricing based in the US. Fortunately, the gap isn’t huge, as currently, Stripe asks 2.9% + 30¢ for standard card payments.

The somewhat higher fees for MOTO transactions reflect the cost of higher fraud rates associated with collecting sensitive information over the phone or other unencrypted sources. Directly typing in customer data bypasses much of the security features (such as the smart fraud prevention tool Stripe Radar, for instance) built into Stripe’s online payments.

How to start accepting MOTO payments with the help of WP Full Pay?

If you’re using Stripe as your payment service provider, the first step to getting started will be to contact Stripe support to enable MOTO transactions for your Stripe account.

If you’re using the Stripe payments plugin WP Full Pay for your WordPress website to accept payments, you’ll simply need to implement a WordPress filter depending on what type of payment form you’re using.

For inline forms, use the following WordPress filter implementation:

function paymentIntentParameters( $params ) {
$result = $params;
$result[‘payment_method_options’] = [
‘card’ => [
‘moto’ => true
return $result;
add_filter(‘fullstripe_payment_intent_parameters’, ‘paymentIntentParameters’, 10, 1 );

view rawmoto-payment-inline-forms-v6.2.php hosted with ❤ by GitHub

In the case of checkout forms, use the following:

function checkoutSessionParameters( $params ) {
$result = $params;
$result[‘payment_method_options’] = [
‘card’ => [
‘moto’ => true
return $result;
add_filter(‘fullstripe_checkout_session_parameters’, ‘checkoutSessionParameters’, 10, 1 );

view rawmoto-payment-checkout-forms-v6.2.php hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Generally, you can put the above code snippets into the functions.php of your active WordPress theme. However, unless you’re a developer, we don’t advise it, since adding these code snippets incorrectly can break your website.

Instead, we recommend using the Code Snippets plugin that provides a fail-safe solution.

Make sure to ask your developer’s help if you’re unsure about the process.

MOTO transactions – Final thoughts

MOTO transactions are one of the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient solutions to remotely accept payments – for small business owners and established companies alike! Now that you got familiar with the topic, it’s time to sit down and consider the benefits of incorporating MOTO payments into your business. Remember to keep an eye out for any potential red flags as well!