Accepting IVR payments

Here we take a look at IVR payment processing and how it can work effectively for your business.

What is an IVR payment?

At Merchant Advice Service we often get asked ‘what is IVR payment processing?’ Here our short guide explains how payments are made and the benefits of offering customers payment via IVR.

So, what does IVR stand for?

IVR means Interactive Voice Response, in payment terms these are made via the telephone. Examples of IVR credit card payments are businesses accepting invoice payments over the phone, call centre payments – normally sales based transactions and in some cases payments for rent be it privately owned estate agency homes or housing association.

How does IVR payment work?

An IVR payment is processed in the same way as any other MOTO payment. Companies can accept IVR card payments in one of two ways;

The most straight forward and cheaper IVR payment solution is where a business has a dedicated phone number for clients to call in on and complete the transaction. This is done via a unique reference number, normally printed on the bill. The client will call the payment phone number, enter the reference and then the amount owed will be confirmed. The customer then keys in their card details, including the long card number, expiry date and CVV on the back of the card. No card details are stored by the telecom company or handled by a person, making the transaction safe and secure. This method can also work well when using automated phone options.

The alternative is an agent led calls such as calls made to call centres or debt recovery agencies, the caller will transfer the customer to another line where payment is made. IVR bill payments are normally made in this way, which have proven to be effective when chasing late payments or managing client debt recovery.


What do you need to accept interactive voice response payments?

IVR payment systems are normally provided by a telecommunications company, however to process card payments you will need a separate merchant account.  A merchant account provider is the bank who will approve transactions and send the money from the customer’s bank account to your business banking.

You will also require an IVR friendlypayment gateway. The payment gateway acts as a safety net for customer details, encrypting them and ensuring they do not fall into the wrong hands. Secure IVR payment system work alongside the payment gateway enabling you as a business to remain PCI compliant. For more tips on finding the best payment gateway for your business CLICK HERE.

Finding the correct combination of providers from the merchant account to the payment gateway coupled with a reliable telecoms company will create a streamlined and efficient way of accepting transactions meaningthat your customers feel confident in making IVR payments.

IVR payments and PCI Compliance

What is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance is an industry standard to ensure the security of your customers card details. Remaining compliant is your responsibility as a business, however often the merchant account supplier will help you to do so, in the nature of forms and procedures which are submitted every year.

When it comes to accepting  telephone payments, obtaining PCI compliance and continuing to remain complaint can be difficult because there are more risks involved compared to accepting transactions face-to-face.  IVR payments help ensure that payment data never reach your systems, due to the client keying their information directly onto their keypad rather than the agent asking for the data. Choosing an IVR company with high standards of compliance is crucial when setting up a telephone payment system. To read more on PCI Compliance, check out our short guide.

High risk IVR payments

Some businesses may struggle to obtain a merchant account for IVR payments, not knowing that they are deemed high risk. Depending on the nature of your business, our specialists may be able to help. Example of companies helped in the past include;

Pharmacies and medical companies

Direct Sales

NHS and Government services


Debt Collections companies

Parking fine enforcers

Adult websites


Benefits of using an IVR payment gateway

The advantages of using IVR payments have been widely reported in recent years, some of which include;

  • The ability to accept payments 24/7 outside of office working hours.
  • Saving costs ordinarily spent on staff to handle card processing.
  • Safe and secure processing due to data being encrypted and not stored.
  • Convenient for customers to make payments when it suits them.
  • Easy reporting to enable businesses to keep track of their payments.

Costings for IVR payments

IVR telecoms companies normally charge per transaction, this can be on a percentage basis or at a fixed rate. They prove to be a cost effective way to accept payments, however do quote on an individual basis. The reason behind this is that IVR gateways can integrate with back end CRM and booking systems. To find out more information please contact us directly.


Make a quick enquiry

Speak to us directly and get any questions you have answered. Submit your details and we’ll be in touch shortly.


    Tick this box to allow Merchant Advice Service and partnering firms to contact you in relation to your enquiry and associated services. Note we do not use pre-ticked boxes or any other type of default consent. We may use the data on this form to to pass you onto an advisor who suits your specific needs. You may withdraw your consent at any given time.

    We will keep record of your data and consent granted to us. Your consent will be reviewed on a five yearly basis to ensure that our relationship and the purpose of the data have not changed.

    We act on requests to withdraw the information we hold on you as soon as we can.

    For further information please refer to our full terms and conditions HERE.

    Scroll to Top

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to our use of cookies. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.