MOTO transactions: How to accept orders via email or telephone?

In some cases, you might need to accept a transaction on behalf of the customer, process payments remotely when the customer or card is not present, or simply you don’t have an integrated payment gateway on your website.

This is where the MOTO payment system can help you to take orders without a card presence.

They’re fast, simple, and convenient – but what exactly is MOTO payment processing?

Table of contents:

  • MOTO transactions definition

What is MOTO transaction?

MOTO transactions refer to Mail Order/Telephone Order transactions. MOTO Payments are card-not-present transactions that allow you to accept remote payments.

These are card payment card transactions where you, as a business owner, manually enter cardholder’s information into a payment terminal or a virtual terminal. In other words, they’re credit or debit card payments taken over the phone, by email, fax, or post.

This is best suitable for purchases that your customers, subscribers, made through mail, telephone, or online without the card being physically present. Usually, MOTO transactions are considered higher risk for fraud compared to transactions where the card is present, like in-store purchases, and may require additional security measures.

However, accepting orders through email or phone involves transaction authorization with the card network and issuing bank to apply anti fraud measures. 

MOTO payments can also involve other methods like customers sending paper checks, providing bank account information for a bank transfer, or paying with cash on delivery or post-purchase invoicing.

How ordering through email or phone works?

You can process MOTO transactions by using a virtual terminal. This is a secure web page provided by your payment service provider, say Stripe, which you can access on any internet-enabled device.

This is how the MOTO payment system process typically looks:

  1. Customers decide to order a product or service over the phone or via email.
  2. They provide their payment details verbally or on a form, including the card number, expiration date, and CVV code.
  3. The business manually enters these details into a payment terminal or virtual terminal, say, provided by Stripe. 
  4. In this case, Stripe communicates with the card network and issuing bank to authorize the transaction, checking the card’s validity, funds availability, and applying anti-fraud measures.
  5. After authorization, the transaction is queued for settlement, and funds are earmarked for transfer.
  6. The business finalizes the payment by entering the details into Stripe’s virtual terminal.

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!

Are MOTO transactions a right fit for your business?

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

Generally, MOTO transactions are useful for businesses that usually 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 Offering payments by card over the telephone or email can help your business grow:

Convenient payments

Customers can make purchases without being physically present, which can be convenient for remote or out-of-town customers. They’ll be able to shop remotely without the need to physically present their payment card. 

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 your 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.

Flexible payment options

MOTO transactions allow for various payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, checks, bank transfers, and cash on delivery, accommodating different customer preferences.

By implementing the MOTO payment process, you can accept all the leading debit and credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, or American Express.

Greater efficiency

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!

You can make your business available for customers who prefer not to shop in-store or who are located in areas where physical stores are not available.

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 increase 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.

Are MOTO transactions secure?

MOTO transactions are undoubtedly one of the simplest, fastest, and cheapest solutions for businesses to remotely accept payments and process credit or debit card transactions without the physical presence of the card.

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.

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 accept 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.

Refer to our support article to get the WordPress filters for implementing MOTO transactions on your payment forms.

Generally, you need to put the 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, you can consider using the Code Snippets plugin that provides a fail-safe solution.