The future of payment processing

Small Business Advice 12 April 2012

Getting phone payments is pretty much becoming the normal thing these days, and there are two main ways of doing it. The first is through a virtual terminal, and this has been a reliable source for many years now. The second is quite new, and this is payment via mobile phones – to mobile phones.

The virtual terminal

The virtual terminal only exists to the customer virtually. This is because when they’re paying via the phone they cannot be present at the point of sale like they would if they were actually in a high street retail store. They cannot enter their card into a card terminal and they cannot then enter their four digit PIN number either. Payment over the phone with a virtual terminal has to work differently because of this.
Instead of entering a PIN number in the terminal, the customer paying by phone simply gives the operator or automated service, the number they require from their payment card. This will usually include the 16 digit number from the front of the card, the expiry date and the security number on the signature strip. To get paid by phone, the operator or automated service needs to take these numbers and enter them manually into a terminal in order to get a decision from their card processing company. When the payment is allowed it will be processed in the same way as though the customer were actually there at the point of sale.

Phone to phone payments

Now you can get paid by phone by simply sending money to another phone. This is the latest technology that is going to take off in the UK and it’s a good idea for those who are in the business of taking payment cards to retrain themselves and learn about the new technologies as they come out. You can be sure that the younger crowd, and those who depend on their mobile phones, are going to want to use this technology – especially if it doesn’t cost them any money. This is still a relatively new technology in the process of being introduced, so it’s a good idea to talk to your payment processor about it and see how they can help you out, or whether or not you even need to update yet.

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