Manual credit card processing

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Libby James
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Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Understanding Manual Credit Card Payments and Enhancing Security

Manual credit card payments, often referred to as card-not-present transactions, involve the manual processing of debit and credit card transactions. These transactions, which can be deemed high-risk due to potential fraud, are commonly conducted over the phone or through virtual terminals. In this article, we explore the nature of manual credit card payments, security measures, the role of virtual terminals, processing times, benefits, risks, and strategies to avoid chargebacks.

Manual Credit Card Payments – An Overview

Manual credit card payments, known as card-not-present transactions, pose a higher risk of fraud. They include online transactions via virtual terminals and over-the-phone payments using chip and pin machines, commonly referred to as MOTO (mail order, telephone order) payments.


Security Measures for Manual Transactions

Ensuring security is paramount when accepting manual credit card payments. Beyond basic information, businesses can take additional steps to prevent fraud:


Enter the cardholder’s billing address, including postcode.

Verify that the billing address matches banking records.

Request the CVV code on the back of the card.


Virtual Terminals: Efficient Online Payment Processing

Virtual terminals serve as online payment processing systems, enabling businesses to accept card payments without physical terminals. By manually entering customer card details or using secure online forms, businesses can process transactions from any location with an internet connection. This seamless process ensures the protection of customers’ payment data.

Processing Times and Benefits of Manual Payments

While processing times for manual payments vary, they generally take longer than automated payments. Despite this, manual payments offer several benefits, including catering to customer preferences, expanding market reach, and suiting certain industries and large B2B transactions.

Risks Associated with Manual Payments

Manual payment processing comes with challenges and risks, such as human errors and fraud. Proper authentication procedures are crucial to mitigate these risks. While manual processing can be beneficial, automating payment systems is generally recommended to reduce processing times and fees while improving cash flow.

Avoiding Chargebacks

Chargebacks are a common challenge in manual credit card transactions. Even with well-trained staff, companies may face unexpected chargebacks. To avoid these, businesses can implement strategies outlined in a guide provided by Merchant Advice Service (MAS).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Commonly Asked Questions
What is a virtual terminal?
A virtual terminal is an online payment processing system allowing businesses to accept card payments without a physical terminal.
How long does a manual payment take to process?
Processing times vary but may take 1-3 business days for credit card and ACH payments.
What are the benefits of manual payments?
Manual payments cater to customer preferences, expand market reach, and suit specific industries and transactions.
What risks are associated with manual payment processing?
Risks include human errors and fraud; proper authentication is essential to mitigate these risks.
Can virtual terminals be used for international transactions?
Yes, virtual terminals enable businesses to process international transactions, expanding their customer base.
Is it safe to collect and store customer payment information manually?
Ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and using secure encryption methods enhances the safety of manually collected payment information.
What is the CVV code, and why is it important for security?
The CVV code is a three-digit security code on the back of credit cards. It adds an extra layer of security by verifying that the person making the transaction physically possesses the card.
How can businesses prevent chargebacks in manual credit card transactions?
Implementing thorough authentication, using secure payment methods, and maintaining clear communication with customers can help businesses prevent chargebacks.

How MAS Can Help

Merchant Advice Service (MAS) collaborates with industry experts to provide advice on accepting manual credit card payments. Their team of advisors can discuss options, assist in minimising chargebacks, and help businesses navigate secure and efficient payment processing.

Understanding the nuances of manual credit card payments, implementing robust security measures, and exploring the benefits and risks associated with this payment method are crucial for businesses. Merchant Advice Service offers valuable guidance to ensure secure and efficient payment processing. For more advice and insights, explore our blog page.


Understanding manual credit card payments is key for business owners. This involves processing payments without a card reader, such as over the phone or online. Security is a big concern with these transactions. To stay safe, it’s important to check details like the card number and address.


Using a payment gateway can help. This tool makes sure that keyed in credit card details are safe. It’s a good way to accept credit card payments without risking fraudulent transactions. Remember, processing credit card details this way can have higher processing fees.


For businesses, manual payments offer flexibility. But, they need to be careful with credit card numbers and fraud risks. To help with this, they can use secure methods for processing payments. This is important for both the business and its customers.


If you’re a business owner thinking about using manual payments, remember these tips. Keep an eye on security, understand the risks, and use the right tools. This will help make processing credit card payments smooth and safe.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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