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What is a Virtual Terminal?

What is a Virtual Terminal?


Abdullah Abdelkafi


16 Sep 2019

Read time

3 Minutes



Accept Card Transactions Over The Phone

Many business owners, freelancers and other professionals worldwide continue to take phone payments, despite the growing world of eCommerce. Taking card payments over the phone with a secure virtual terminal allows you to easily add your customers’ card details and is vastly convenient for settling invoices or taking prepayments for orders. As a result, MOTO payments accounted for £48bn of spending within the UK in 2016.

What are MOTO payments?

MOTO payments stands for Mail Order/Telephone Order payments and is the process of taking credit or debit card payments while the card isn’t present, via either over the phone or by mail order. A necessary element in taking phone and other card-not-present payments, such as those by post, is a virtual terminal. A virtual terminal is literally a virtual rendering of a credit card terminal or card reader with no hardware components.

A virtual terminal sits atop a payment gateway that can process card payments and acts as an internet-based card machine interface for merchants to interact with, and take card payments from, within the portal between customers and their acquiring bank.

Taking card payments over the phone is easy with a virtual terminal, allowing your customers to simply call with their credit or debit card details to pay you. It’s simple to use and easy to set up with real-time reporting and no setup fees. As it sits atop of the payment gateway, Total Processing clients can also see their POS and e-commerce transactions with Total Control.

What is Total Control?

Total control is an optimised CRM system that consolidates customer data for ultimate management and engagement by the merchant, for added convenience and functionality. Within Total Control, your MOTO payments will be combined with the 198 available payments methods processed via Total Processing’s gateway for your business.

Total Control also features the capabilities needed to process refunds and reverse transactions, as well as capture pre-authorisations. Total Control is also equipped with card updater facilities for Visa and Mastercard customers, automatically fetching new card information as it enters the gateway.
With all your payments in one place, access endless insights and live reports regarding your present transactions, filtering them to your customised needs.

How it Works:

Like a customer-payment sheet, wherein a customer manually enters their credit card or debit card details, a virtual terminal is almost identical in requiring the same information. You will be able to take payments from customers using all the main credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express.

To facilitate the processing of a payment, a virtual terminal requires an internet connection. Once the merchant has logged in, they can then begin to enter the required information:


The login is provided by the payment processing provider.

When setting up a payment with the customer, the merchant is prompted by the form presented to them within the virtual terminal.
Once the information is filled out, they can submit the form and then the payment is charged securely using the processor’s integrated securities.

The Benefits:

Being able to take credit and debit card payments over the phone will allow you to reach out to potential customers that are outside your local area and expand your customer list. Virtual Terminals are also a lot easier to set up than an online shop or website, allowing you to simply take the cardholder’s details over the phone without the need for your customers to use a web browser.

With Total Control, you can also take remote payments from your customers from anywhere in the UK. All they need to do is call with their card details and for you to enter them into the virtual terminal. Not only does taking payments over the phone allow you to take payments from anywhere, but it is also a quicker way for your customers to pay.


Payments taken via a virtual terminal utilise AVS – address verification security – to clarify the identity of the cardholder on behalf of the merchant. Provided by processors and issuing banks, an AVS check will provide a match estimate against the billing address provided by the customer to the merchant, with the one provided to the bank account. This will determine whether the payment will be accepted or declined.

A CVC or CVV code is also used to securely process payments. Referring to the 3 digits on the back of a cardholder’s debit or credit card; the card verification code is used to verify physical possession of a card in card-not-present transactions. When taking a payment, this information will be correlated with the issuer for a match.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, commonly known as PCI DSS compliance, is integrated throughout our terminals and gateway to ensure that your payments are secured to the highest level. Be assured that your payments are handled with the utmost trust, with no downturn on speed and efficiency.

Including 3D secure measures, these methods verify identity in card-not-present situations and thereby reduce chargebacks. The security built within Total Processing’s virtual terminal aligns with other protective measures such as rolling reserves and upfront bonds necessitated when setting up a merchant account.

Secure And Simple Phone Payments With Total Control

Customers increasingly expect both large and small businesses to provide multiple secure payment and engagement options. With Total Control, you can start accepting all traditional (and most alternative) payment methods, including ApplePay, Paypal and more.

Total Control boasts industry-leading security, ensuring PCI compliance and guaranteeing your customers’ data is safe, giving them the comfort they need to transact with you.

In choosing Total Processing to process your MOTO payments, experience tailored fees per transaction suited to your business. Our pricing is totally clear, with no minimum processing required, or any exit or hidden transaction fees, so you’ll know what you’re paying every month.

For more information, visit our Virtual Terminal service page or contact us today to get started with a quote!


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