If you want to start taking orders and payments over the phone or via mail you will need to have a virtual terminal to enable you to take payments safely and securely without physically having the payment card.
Or maybe you are currently taking payments over the phone or by mail and are thinking of switching providers. Read on to see what some of the leading virtual terminal and phone payment providers can offer you.
The table below gives a quick price comparison of the top UK providers of virtual terminals and phone payments.
Company Card Processing Fees
Worldpay 2.75% (credit cards) & 0.75% (debit cards)
Barclaycard Not stated
Sage Pay Not stated
PayPoint Not stated
Payzone Not stated
Paymentsense Not stated
Global Payments Not stated
Retail Merchant Services Not stated
Handepay Not stated
datacash Not stated
nochex Not stated
CyberSource Not stated
EVO Payments Not stated
card cutters From 15p per transaction after first 100
BlueSnap From 1.4%
Cardstream Not stated
* The facts and figures included here come from each company’s website and were accurate at the time of writing but may have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be apples to apples comparisons as each provider offers different solutions. This guide should be used as a starting off point for more research on your part.
Below we profile each of the companies’ services and features in a bit more detail.
Note companies are ranked in no particular order and this no way indicates one solution is better than another.
Some of the features and benefits of Square’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Use your computer to take payments
- Simple sign up with no complicated setup
- Instant payment confirmation
- Email customised receipts to your customers
- Secure data storage for repeat customers
- Fast deposits by the next business day
- Accept payments through most channels, in-store, online and virtually
- Dedicated support by phone, email, tweet and online guides
- Sales reporting tool and real-time analytics available
- Inventory management tool
Square is a payment processing provider who offers services for in-store, online and virtual payments. Their virtual payments system is simple to use and to set up as you only need to sign up for a Square account online to start taking payments. You can use any computer to use the virtual terminal and you don’t need a new device.
Square’s virtual terminal not only allows you to accept payments, but it will also show instant confirmation of receipt of funds and it can generate customised receipts to send to your customers. It also includes an inventory management tool that helps you track your stock and run reports.
Some of the features and benefits of WorldPay’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Simple and transparent pricing
- Quick and easy to use web interface
- User-friendly interfaces designed for ease of use
- Accepts a wide range of payments
- Multiple channel provider who support in-store, online, email and telephone payments
- Flexible pricing plans
- No joining fees
- 24/7 UK based support
- Secure service offering advanced fraud protection and risk management
- A large well-known provider with vast experience
WorldPay is one of the leading payment processing providers who provide all types of payment processing to businesses across the globe. They offer virtual terminals that allow businesses to accept and take payments over the phone and through the mail.
WorldPay has set up a secure web interface to take virtual payments from customers without the card being present, you just need a computer or tablet to take the payments. Their user-friendly interface design offers a quick and secure method to take payments which can be easily set up with no technical requirements needed. The system can also offer real-time reporting to help track payments.
Some of the features and benefits of Barclaycard’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Competitive and transparent merchant service
- Flexible service with volume rated charges
- Easy to set up with no technical set up
- Access via computer, tablet or smartphone
- Accept all major credit and debit cards in multiple currencies
- No integration is required
- Can be used by up to five users at no extra charge
- A flexible system that enables payments and refunds
- Proactive security for card verification and anti-fraud protection
- Cater for a wide range of businesses and sizes
Barclaycard is a payment processing provider that offers a range of payment support which includes in-store, online and virtual payments. They provide their services to businesses of all sizes and types. They are a trusted brand that offers a secure and safe service.
Barclaycard’s virtual terminal solution is easy to set up and you will not need any technical experience to set it up. Once set up you can access the payment portal from laptops, tablets and smartphones from almost anywhere. It is a flexible solution that allows up to five users at no cost and can process payments and refunds.
4. Sage Pay
Some of the features and benefits of Sage Pay’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Fast, simple and secure payment solution
- Multiple payment route solutions
- Offers deferred and recurring payments
- Accepts payments in over 25 currencies
- 24/7 support that is UK based
- Anti-fraud screening
- Accept invoice payments over the phone
- Integrates with Sage accounting software
- Real-time reporting
- High level of security
Sage Pay is a payment processing provider that offers in-store, online and virtual payments which can be integrated with Sage’s accounting software for added benefits. Their virtual terminal offers a fast, simple and secure payment solution that accepts payments in over 25 currencies.
Sage Pay’s virtual terminal also offers recurring payments to allow you to automatically repeat payments such as subscription fees. You can also defer payments by checking that the customer has sufficient funds before accepting the sale and taking the funds once the service is delivered. They also enable you to pass on the transaction cost to the customer.
Some of the features and benefits of PayPoint’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Multi-channel payment solution
- Easy to use portal to manage all payment channels
- Managed phone line for payments
- Bespoke call centre scripts
- Tailored process for your needs
- Provides receipts and references
- Fully PCI compliant
- Real-time reporting
- Provides solutions for online, app, direct debit, phone and text payments
- Established payment provider
PayPoint is a payment processing provider that offers a wide range of payment solutions to businesses and they can help reduce your overheads by combining your payment solutions. PayPoint’s phone payment service is a hosted payment service where they take the payment call for you.
PayPoint offers a fully PCI compliant call centre payment solution that will offer bespoke scripts for your calls and they will tailor their processes to meet your needs. All transactions will be given a receipt reference, so the transaction can be traced and tracked.
Some of the features and benefits of Payzone’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- A provider who supports online, in-store and virtual payments
- Offers a solution for phone and mail payments
- Accept most credit and debit cards
- Access the virtual terminal through computers and tablets
- Multiple users
- Can also incorporate invoicing payments
- Real-time reporting
- 7 day a week UK based support
- No set up fees for card payments
- Highly rated on Trustpilot
Payzone is a payment processing provider that offers solutions for online, in-store and virtual payments. Their virtual terminal allows businesses to receive payments from their customers over the phone or through the mail.
Payzone’s virtual terminal offers a secure and safe payment service for taking credit and debit card payments that are supported by a team of specialists that will help guide businesses to find the right solution for them. They provide 7 days a week customer support service. They offer 12-month contract and tailored pricing packages with no joining or exiting fees.
Some of the features and benefits of Paymentsense’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Low-cost merchant and card payment processor
- Use any computer, tablet or mobile to take payments
- Generates receipts
- Set up in as little as 3 days
- Short term contracts available
- Fast and secure
- Online dashboard for tracking and managing your transactions
- Performance reports
- 24/7 UK based support
- Used by over 60,000 UK small businesses
Paymentsense is a low-cost merchant and payment processing provider that offers services for payment processing for online, in-store and virtual payments. They support small businesses and offer them better rates as they utilise their combined buying power to negotiate better rates for everyone.
Paymentsense’s virtual terminal is accessed online through a computer, tablet or mobile where you enter the card details and the billing address to process the payment. You can also generate and send receipts when you take payment. Accounts are set up in as little as three days and their online dashboard makes it easy to manage and track payments.
8. Global Payments
Some of the features and benefits of Global Payments’ virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Accept payments anywhere on any device or channel
- Browser-based hosted payment page to accept payments on any device
- User-friendly interface
- Instant transaction verification
- Safely store customer payment details for repeat customers
- Can schedule payments
- Secure software
- Includes anti-fraud tools
- Includes a reporting tool that gives valuable insights
- Simplify reconciliation and reduce admin
Global Payments is a software driven payment processing provider who offers multiple payment channels including in-store, online and virtual terminals. They offer a global service accepting payments around the globe in over 140 currencies and they are particularly good for businesses that operate internationally.
Global Payments’ virtual terminal is hosted on a browser-based web page that allows you to log in from any device and from anywhere to take payments over the phone. They have made their virtual terminal user-friendly so that anyone is able to use it easily. Their software incorporates anti-fraud tools, instant transaction verification and it can store payment data and schedule payments.
9. Secure Trading
Some of the features and benefits of Secure Trading’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Omnichannel payment solution provider
- Secure payment environment
- No integration required
- Fast setup
- Real-time payment authorisation
- Payment tracking
- Multi-currency with dynamic currency conversion
- Reporting portal
- Supported onboarding process
- Dedicated account management
Secure Trading is a global payment processing service that provides omnichannel solutions for receiving payments which include in-store, online and virtually. They offer a payment processing solution that deals with multiple currencies and handles them dynamically to get the best conversion rates.
Secure Trading’s virtual terminal solution offers a secure payment process to collect and process customers’ card details over the phone. It offers businesses security as it delivers a real-time response to payment authorisation to allow quick payments with peace of mind. You will not need to integrate their software, you just need to register with them to get up and running.
10. Retail Merchant Services
Some of the features and benefits of Retail Merchant Services’ virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Low-cost payment solution
- Accept card payments over the phone or by mail
- Access the payment platform from anywhere
- Accessible through a computer, tablet or smartphone
- Payments are passed through the payment gateway
- Same day settlement
- Real-time tracking of payments
- Reporting facility
- Rated excellent on Trustpilot
- Offers exclusive membership benefits
Retail Merchant Services is a payment processing provider who offers a wide range of payment solutions to aid businesses to take payments in-store, online and virtually. They cater their services towards small businesses who they want to deliver a fairer service to.
Retail Merchant Services’ virtual terminal solution allows businesses to accept payments over the phone using their software which processes the payment through their payment gateway to create a secure environment to collect payments. They offer real-time payment tracking as well as reporting facilities to help you manage and monitor your payments.
Some of the features and benefits of Handepay’s merchant account and payment processing.
- Handepay pledge to pay your switching fees
- Fast and secure transactions
- Low rates, simple pricing with no hidden fees
- No joining fees
- No minimum monthly service charge or authorisation fees
- Offer card machines that take cardholder not present transactions
- Hosted virtual terminal
- Access through a computer from anywhere
- 24/7 service and support
- Highly rated on Trustpilot
Handepay is a low-cost payment processing provider who delivers a wide range of payment processing solutions including online, in-store and virtual payments. They uniquely offer to pay your switching fees and they state customers can save up to 36% by switching to them.
Handepay offer two over the phone payment solutions, the first through their card payment machine using the card not present option, or the second through their web hosted virtual terminal. Their virtual terminal can be accessed through any computer anywhere and it is a safe and secure payment method.
Some of the features and benefits of nochex’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Free account set up
- Accept all leading credit and debit cards
- Easy and quick to set up
- Simple and safe payment processing
- Fast access to payments
- Payment gateway and merchant account all in one
- Recurring payment processing
- UK based support team and account manager
- Customisable solution
- Provides services to a wide variety of businesses
Nochex is a payment processing provider who offers both merchant accounts and payment gateways to support businesses in accepting payments in-store, online and virtually which means they can deliver a single solution for you.
Nochex’s virtual terminal solution is quick and simple to set up as well as free and has no limit on the number of users. Through Nochex’s virtual terminal you can accept all major credit and debit cards with confidence as the system is fully PCI compliant and secure as well as receive the payments quickly into your account. They offer transparent pricing and UK based customer services support and account management.
Some of the features and benefits of CyberSource’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Payment solution that caters for all business sizes
- Offers payment processing online, in-store and virtually
- Payment gateway connects to over 100 acquirers and processers
- Accept all major credit and debit cards
- Comprehensive payment management service
- Offers reoccurring billing
- Operate in 190 countries
- Handles multiple currencies
- Reconciliation reports
- Caters for businesses of all sizes
CyberSource is a payment processing provider who offers a payment solution that connects with over 100 acquirers and processers so that they can deliver a solution that is broad reaching and flexible.
CyberSource’s virtual terminal caters for businesses of all sizes and needs as it can be a standalone service or combined with in-store, mobile and online payment processing. Through their virtual payment terminal, you can accept all major credit and debit cards in the UK and abroad as they accept multiple currencies. They also have the capability to set up reoccurring billing and subscription services.
14. EVO Payments
Some of the features and benefits of EVO Payment’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Integrated payment solution for cross-channel payments
- Competitive pricing
- Web-based virtual terminal
- Secure and safe service
- Scalable solution that can grow with your business
- Supports a wide range of industries
- Dedicated customer support
- 150 currencies
- 50 global markets
- Delivers for over 550,000 businesses and processing over $100 billion per year
EVO Payments is a payment processing business that offers standalone or integrated payment processing for businesses of all sizes and types via online, in-store, mobile and over the phone. To accept payments over the phone EVO Payments has a web-based virtual terminal where you can enter all the customer card details and complete the payment.
EVO Payments’ virtual payment terminal is competitively priced and designed for businesses of all sizes and allows both UK and international payments to be taken as they accept over 150 currencies. Their safe and secure virtual terminal offers a quick and easy payment solution that is combined with dedicated customer support.
15. Card Cutters
Some of the features and benefits of Card Cutters’ virtual terminal and phone payments.
- Offers integrated payment processing in partnership with Global Payments
- Simple set up with no hardware requirements
- Log on to the virtual terminal from anywhere on any device
- Email receipts
- Real-time transaction monitoring
- Reporting facilities
- Offers a stock management and booking systems
- Secure and professional virtual terminal services
- 24/7 customer support
Card Cutters is a UK based payment processing provider who provides their services in partnership with Global Payments. They offer an integrated solution for payments in-store, online and virtually to businesses of all sizes and types.
Card Cutters’ virtual terminal is simple to set up and there are no technical or hardware requirements to sort out. Once you have set up your Card Cutters’ virtual terminal account you can log onto the service from any device and from almost anywhere. They offer a multilingual service and 24/7 customer service support. The system also allows you to track transactions, run reports and stock management.
Some of the features and benefits of BlueSnap’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- All-in-one payment platform for all channels
- Offers a payment gateway and merchant account solutions
- Web-based secure payment service
- Accepts all major credit and debit cards
- Approve more transactions and get paid quickly
- Offers reoccurring and subscription management
- Collect invoice payments
- Connects to 30 global banks
- Includes a dashboard and reporting facilities
- Fraud prevention and risk management
BlueSnap is a payment processing provider who delivers an integrated payment solution across many channels including in-store, online, mobile and over the phone. They offer a combined solution which includes both the payment gateway and merchant accounts.
BlueSnap’s virtual terminal allows businesses to accept payments over the phone in many currencies safely and securely with their built-in fraud prevention tools. They also offer reoccurring and subscription-based services to help businesses with different payment models. Their solution allows you to monitor transactions, run reports and review your sales on a management dashboard.
Some of the features and benefits of Cardstream’s virtual terminal and phone payments.
- White label payment gateway provider offering online, mobile and virtual payments
- Service for resellers only
- Single integration point
- Cloud-based platform
- Offers interactive voice response payment solutions for automated phone payments
- Processes both over the phone and mail order payments
- Management systems
- Global network and scalable solution
- Safe and secure service
- Provides the platform behind many payment processing businesses
Cardstream is not a mainstream payment processing provider but is the business that provides the platform and services for many well-known providers. They provide their services for resellers only as a white label solution that can be re-branded. Their solution offers all digital and virtual payment solutions.
Cardstream’s virtual payment terminal is designed to accept both over the phone and mail order payments and they can also accept payments via their interactive voice response payment solution which takes automated payments over the phone. They offer a safe and secure system that incorporates management and reporting capabilities.
* Please note we have affiliate relationships with Worldpay, iZettle, Square, Shopify and Nochex. This means they pay us a commission if you sign-up with them via our site. However, this comes at no cost to you and helps keep our site free. We also may get a fee if you use the Expert Market quote form at the top of this page.
How do you take card payments over the phone?
To take card payments over the phone, you will need a virtual terminal. In essence, this is a secure webpage or web-based portal where you can accept card transactions.
All you need is an internet connection, a phone, and a setup merchant account.
Getting phone payments is quick and easy. First, you will need to open your virtual terminal and sign in.
Then select the “take a payment” option, ask for the customer’s card details and fill them into the various payment fields.
You will then need the billing address, check the details with your customer, and then hit the “confirm” button.
Is it legal to take payments over the phone?
Yes, it is.
There is no law against it, but there are specific regulations, standards, and consumer rights that affect the legitimacy of these transactions. You will need PCI-DSS compliance; this ensures that there are proper processes in place for handling sensitive information.
There are also consumer rights that you should note, and each transaction should be given consent. Otherwise, the merchant will incur chargebacks. There are several safety laws and protocols in place to protect both the business and the consumer.
Is it safe to pay over the phone?
Yes, it is as long as you are using a legitimate company. All businesses must have standard security measures in place to ensure that payments are safe.
Small businesses should be PCI compliant to maximise security. PCI sets specific requirements for processing and holding cardholder data. The use of a virtual terminal also makes it very safe.
How much does a virtual terminal cost?
The cost of virtual terminals depends on the pricing model that the processor uses. But the fees could include processing fees, terminal fees, monthly fees, interchange fees, assessment fees, and margin fees.
For example, Square charges a flat 2.5% fee per transaction for phone payments taken via their virtual terminal.
We have made a great list of virtual terminal providers so you can compare fees and find a plan that suits your company.
The monthly fee you have to pay depends on the processor and the volume of all your credit card transactions. Some processors don’t charge a fee, but their transaction fees may be higher.
You can start by estimating the number of your monthly transactions and then assess which processor is more affordable and fit for your needs and budget.
How do I process a virtual credit card payment?
You can process them through your virtual terminal as it ultimately turns the computer into an online credit card terminal and can work anywhere, at any time, with good internet access.
To process a payment, you will first need to log into your virtual terminal to process the payment.
Next, you will need to enter the customer’s information, like their credit card details and complete order details. Once you have done that, you can process the transaction, it is done in real-time, and the funds are transferred automatically.
What is the difference between a virtual terminal and a payment gateway?
A virtual terminal is usually only used by the merchant. In contrast, a payment gateway is generally used for e-commerce transactions which include a customer-facing interface and are generally in the form of a virtual shopping cart.
A virtual terminal makes the payment process for telephone and mail sales much easier and saves merchants money. A payment gateway lets merchants accept payments online via debit and credit card payments.
A virtual terminal facilitates electronic payments, while a payment gateway facilitates the routes that go to and from the processor and is actually integrated into your website.
Can I take Sum Up payments over the phone?
Yes! Sum Up works primarily through its app by connecting a mobile phone to a credit card reader via Bluetooth, it accepts in-person, online payments, and phone based transactions which are then processed through the app.
How much does PayPal charge for a virtual terminal?
Their transaction fee is higher than most. Moreover, to use PayPal’s virtual terminal, you will need to pay a monthly fee of £20.
However, there is no contract between you and PayPal, so you can also move on easily if it isn’t the right fit.
PayPal does not have any setup charges, but there is a per-transaction charge. Most transactions are at a fixed rate of 20p.
There is also an additional percentage that depends on how many card payments were processed by you the month before.
There are also cross-border fees, so it’s worth doing some research to find out if this payment provider suits your business.