What are MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) payments?

How can your business benefit from offering them?

You are probably aware that the payments industry is littered with acronyms and jargon. One acronym, that you may have heard, may be MOTO. This stands for Mail Order/ Telephone Order card payments. It is important that your business considers accepting MOTO payments, as over HALF A BILLION are processed each year in the UK. The Coronavirus outbreak highlighted how essential it could be to be able to take telephone payments. To accept MOTO payments it is necessary for a merchant to have a MOTO merchant account.

A MOTO payment is a debit or credit card payment that is taken via telephone or through the mail including the conventional postal service, fax, and email. These payments are also sometimes referred to as 'Cardholder Not Present' (CNP).

These payments are also sometimes referred to as 'Cardholder Not Present' (CNP). The business collects the necessary card information and processes the payment using a physical card terminal or an electronic portal which is called a virtual terminal. Click here to read about SOTpay+.

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These processes usually involve the business asking the cardholder to read their sensitive payment card data over the phone. The terminal (either physical or virtual) connects to the merchant’s payment processor to authorise the payment, which it does by connecting to the bank that issued the card to the customer. The bank carries out security checks on the card and establishes whether it has been reported lost or stolen and whether there are adequate funds available in the cardholders account. If the card is valid and funds are available, a message is returned that the payment has been authorised, otherwise the payment may be declined.


Because, the business has no idea of whether the voice on the other end of the phone, is indeed the genuine cardholder or a fraudster using compromised/stolen data, they become liable for fraud related chargebacks, should the cardholder challenge the transaction, claiming that they never authenticated the payment.

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Last year (2019) in the UK, over £620.6m was lost to fraudulent transactions using UK payment cards. It is therefore suggested that you should only deliver goods or service to the 'registered cardholders address'

Because of the associated risk of fraud, acquirers will tend to charge you a higher rate to process the transaction. This is often referred to as a 'non-secure' transaction rate.​Another consideration, is that by asking the cardholder to read their details out to you, triggers your PCI DSS requirements to protect them and increases the risk of damage to your reputation.

If you cannot evidence to your acquirer that you are PCI DSS compliant​, you may be charged additional fees each month.

VISIT OUR How to take payments over the phone guide to learn more.

Another Option is to use out multi-award winning, SOTpay technology.

How does our innovation help?

Our cloud​-based technology does not require any additional hardware or amendments to existing telephony or ​network set up and is Acquirer and Payment gateway agnostic. Totally eliminating the need for capital expenditure, SOTpay can support businesses of all shapes and sizes in any sector.

SOTpay​ eliminates the risk of fraud related chargebacks for businesses, by authenticating MOTO and​Omni channel CNP transactions and processes the payment in a PCI compliant manner, converting a risky ‘non​-secure’ transaction into a ‘secure, authenticated, compliant’​transaction in the eyes of the acquiring partner, the merchant can see significant savings in their​Merchant​ Service Charge's.​ We have seen businesses save in excess of £40,000 per annum,​following the deployment of SOTpay.​

SOTpay enables you to send out an electronic payment request in real time, via email, SMS, web chat or electronic invoices.

The flexibility of the SOTpay technology enables the merchant to accept secure and compliant​ transactions across numerous channels, boosting business by allowing cardholders to complete​ transactions in their desired channel of engagement. For example, if someone is engaging with the​ business on Facebook, SOTpay allows the business to take payment within the Facebook Messenger​ environment.

By preventing cardholder data in its entirety from entering the merchant environment, SOTpay makes achieving and​maintaining PCI DSS compliance easier and more manageable for your business. With liability for fraud related chargebacks eliminated the merchant can also deliver to an alternative​ delivery address, instead of just to the registered cardholder’s address.

As a disruptive payment technology, the PCI SSC updated their Global ‘Protecting Telephone Payments’​ guidelines to include our innovative approach, which gave us tremendous credibility within the​ acquiring industry. We have subsequently become partners to some of the largest payment​ organisations in the world, helping to protect and support​ their merchants against the challenges that business face.

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