How To Take Card Payments: Step BY Step Guide 2023

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Are you a small business owner considering taking credit card payments online? Or perhaps you’re interested in learning how much taking card payments on your phone will cost you. You’re not in the wrong place. Allowing your customers to pay with a credit card is a simple way to improve the customer experience and increase sales.

This article will go over the procedures for taking card payments, the benefits and costs of taking card payments over the phone, and the best method for taking card payments over the phone.

Procedures For Taking credit card payments

Taking card payments is very vital for businesses. Let’s look into the procedure for taking card payments

#1. Select an EPOS System

You can accept card payments at the point of sale with an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system, such as a PDQ machine or mobile card reader. That’s a great way to enter a market that’s becoming increasingly cashless. The best EPOS systems track inventory, track sales, and provide a consistent customer experience. Some EPOS systems include the ability to accept card payments. This type of all-in-one  EPOS system provides a straightforward approach. A single supplier provides you with a complete EPOS system that includes card payment processing. These systems also typically have simple, flat-rate transaction fees.

#2. Open a Merchant Account

Whether you’re taking card payments over the phone, online, or in person, you’ll need a merchant account. Credit card payments are processed through merchant accounts. Banks take a fee and then transfer the funds from your merchant account to your separate business account. You can open a merchant account with an acquiring bank or service provider (such as Worldpay). You can also obtain one from a third-party card payment processor, such as PayPal.

#3. Get a Payment Gateway and a Virtual Terminal

To take credit card payments on the phone, you’ll need a payment gateway. It authenticates and secures payments made through your website in the same way that a ‘virtual EPOS system’ would. A virtual terminal is a secure website that allows taking card payments on the phone. You simply log in from your device, enter the card information of your customer, and take payment.

When you are approved for a merchant account, you can add a payment gateway and a virtual terminal. If you choose an all-in-one solution for accepting card payments, a virtual terminal service should come standard. Payment gateways, on the other hand, aren’t always included. Don’t worry if this is the case; simply set one up separately with a third-party provider.

#4. Begin Taking Credit Card Payments

When a customer pays with a credit card, the merchant’s credit card terminal or website transmits the cardholder’s information to the bank or processor. This information is then sent to the appropriate credit card network (e.g., Mastercard) and then to the customer’s bank for payment authentication. The bank checks to see if the customer has enough money in their account to make the purchase. The bank also employs security measures to verify the cardholder’s information and look for signs of fraud.

Best Ways for Taking Credit Card Payments For A Small Business

The cheapest method for taking card payments will entirely depend on the type of small business you run.

#1. Card Machines

If you run a face-to-face, physical business, card machines are ideal. Specifically, hospitality and retail businesses.  

#2. Payment Gateways

For online stores, payment gateways are ideal for taking card payments. If you are an e-commerce business, there is no need to purchase a card reader or hardware, which can significantly reduce costs (though you must consider the cost of running a website).

#3. Virtual Terminals

Although some card machines do have this function available, businesses with contact centres or no face-to-face customer interaction will find taking payments via virtual terminals a good option.

How Does One Obtain a Virtual Terminal?

The first step is to open a merchant account; if you don’t already have one, open a merchant account. For any small business taking card payments, a merchant account is necessary. It’s not the same as a business bank account; rather, it’s a virtual holding pen where funds are authorised and cleared before they can be accessed.

A merchant account can be obtained from a traditional merchant services provider, such as Clover, take payments, Worldpay, or an acquiring bank (we recommend Barclaycard). Payment facilitators such as Square and SumUp provide less expensive and simpler alternatives for smaller businesses.

Virtual terminals are either included as a standard feature of your merchant account or are available as an optional add-on service. They are sometimes bundled with other e-commerce services, such as one of the best payment gateways available today or a pay-by-link tool.

Procedures For Taking Credit Card Payments On the Phone

So, let’s get back to the process. Taking credit card payments over the phone is simple. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of a typical transaction:

  • Log in to the virtual terminal interface using your web browser.
  • Enter the sale price and press manual card entry’ (or a variation of this on your terminal).
  • Have the customer read out their credit card information and enter it directly into the portal.
  • Enter the card’s address, which is important because virtual terminals use AVS (Address Verification Service) to verify transactions.
  • Click confirm, and hey! You just earned some money

Costs Of Taking Card Payments on Phone

Different suppliers have different fee structures and pricing for virtual terminals. Some merchant service providers provide their virtual terminal service for free, with only a flat percentage-based fee applied to each transaction processed through it. This pricing strategy is more common with payment processors like SumUp and Square.

Other suppliers, typically traditional merchant account providers, charge a monthly fee plus transaction fees: Worldpay, for example. Depending on the overall sales volume of your business, that monthly charge may include a set number of free transactions or operate on a noticeably different sliding pricing scale.

With so many options, it’s a good idea to figure out what’s best for your business based on your overall requirements. To obtain quotes, simply select the features you require using our simple cost comparison tool.

Top Tips For Taking Card Payments

Here are some tips to help you when taking card payments, especially as a small business owner

#1. Sales Environment

Our first piece of advice? Consider where you’ll be accepting card payments. Your sales environment determines how you take credit card payments. Because they can take card payments without wifi, mobile card readers are better for remote businesses. Countertop card machines are ideal for retail businesses, whereas restaurants require a more mobile solution.

#2. Volume of Sales

We’ve already said it, and we’ll say it again. Your sales volume will always make a significant difference when it comes to card payment fees. Let us quickly review:

Do you have increased sales volume? Consider using a dedicated merchant account, such as Handepay or TakePayments. Fixed monthly fees, along with low transaction fees, make it more cost-effective in the long run.

Reduced sales volume? Consider taking payments with SumUp and Zettle if you have a mobile card reader. They also provide EPOS add-ons and are excellent all-in-one solutions for taking in-person payments. The fees for card payments are higher, but the lack of setup or ongoing monthly costs makes it worthwhile.

#3. Customer Support

Think about it before you sign up with a merchant account provider or start looking into EPOS systems. Do they provide a personal account manager? What about round-the-clock customer service? Is it possible to get credit card payment advice over the phone or only online? Can you contact them over the weekend?

It may not appear to be a big deal right now. When you’re dealing with a long queue and your card machine breaks down, you’ll want the best and quickest help available.

#4. Contract Duration

This is the one mistake new merchants make when taking card payments for the first time. Less scrupulous merchant account providers will offer fantastic deals to lock you into long-term contracts. All we’ll say is that no new business should have to deal with exorbitant early termination fees and lengthy contracts. So read the small print carefully.

Advantages of Taking Card Payments on Your Phone

Accepting card payments via a dedicated mobile app can significantly improve business efficiency and sales. Discover the primary advantages of mobile transactions:

#1. Spend Less Money

A mobile payment system is more convenient and useful for merchants than other common options, and in many cases, it is as simple as installing a smartphone app. A merchant can now manage and process transactions by scanning a customer’s card, eliminating the need for traditional, bulky payment infrastructure.

#2. Increase Your Sales

Using a mobile payment system will not only reduce your expenses but will also increase your sales. Furthermore, it increases consumer engagement because most customers seek a seamless payment experience before making a purchase. This gives you a competitive advantage, putting you in a better position to attract target audiences and increase conversions.

#3. Increased Security

While the risks of a data breach or fraud are high with outdated payment options, mobile payments provide the necessary security to keep your small business safe from threats.

When it comes to security features, mobile payments come out on top, with developers constantly introducing new fraud-prevention tools to assist merchants.

#4. Simple Integration

Unlike complex programs and technologies, mobile payment systems are simple to integrate into your small business, with numerous third-party plug-ins available to help you complete transactions smoothly. These plug-ins are simple to download, install, and use, so you can get started quickly.

I Want to Take Card Payments; Do I Need a Business Bank Account?

Thanks to fintech companies, individuals can now have a card machine without a business account. They created mobile card readers that can be connected to smartphones or tablets, allowing people to accept card payments while on the go.

Is There An App That Can Take Card Payments?

MyPOS Glass is a software POS app, or softPOS, that allows you to take payments on your mobile phone using cards, mobile wallets, and NFC wearable devices. With a myPOS merchant account that includes instant settlement, you can get your money in seconds.

What is the Minimum Card Payment Law in the United Kingdom?

Businesses that set a minimum charge that does not correspond to their interchange fee will almost certainly lose money on every card payment processed through their system. Setting a minimum card payment is perfectly legal in the UK; however, it is typically used by small businesses (such as cafes, off-licences, and small shops).

Is Charging 50p for a Card Machine Illegal?

It is now illegal to charge a fee for using a credit or debit card, but some businesses have already found a way to continue charging customers. The ban on credit and debit card charges goes into effect today, but one company appears to have found a way to continue charging you that extra 50p.

Can I charge the customer for credit card fees?

Credit card surcharges are optional fees that a merchant may charge customers who pay with a credit card at the time of purchase. Surcharges are acceptable unless state law forbids them. Businesses that choose to implement surcharges must adhere to strict protocols to ensure complete transparency.

What is the Minimum Card Payment Law in the United Kingdom?

Businesses that set a minimum charge that does not correspond to their interchange fee will almost certainly lose money on every card payment processed through their system. Although it is entirely legal to set a minimum card payment in the UK, small businesses (such as cafes, off-licences, and small shops) frequently do so.


Small business owners must master the art of taking credit card payments on their phones. You can easily embrace the convenience and security of card transactions if you have a clear understanding of the process. As a small business owner, now that you have an idea for taking card payments on your phone or online, go ahead and implement it with confidence and stride into the future of commerce.


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