What Is a MOTO Payment and How Does It Work

What Is a MOTO Payment and How Does It Work
MOTO (Mail Order Telephone Order) are systems that allow businesses to take payment transactions over the telephone or via email or via a written request.
Jun 04, 2021 — 3 min read
What Is a MOTO Payment and How Does It Work

MOTO (Mail Order Telephone Order) are systems that allow businesses to take and manage card transactions remotely. This web-based payment system facilitates payment transactions that can be taken over the telephone or via email or written requests.

Many businesses can benefit from a MOTO payment system, including online retailers and takeaway food outlets. MOTO payment systems are low-cost and fast and simple to set up, benefiting businesses everywhere in an increasingly contactless payment landscape.

What is a MOTO payment?

A MOTO payment is a virtual transaction that works in the same way as if the customer were purchasing something online by entering their credit card details into a form. However, in this instance, the customer is providing their credit card details to the retailer and the retailer is entering them on behalf of the customer. The MOTO system contacts the bank of the customer to ensure funds are available before authorising the payment.

The retailer logs onto a virtual terminal and then keys in the relevant data – this includes the card number and the customer’s name, address and email address. Once the customer’s bank has authorised the payment, the retailer receives the confirmation and the customer is automatically emailed a receipt for the MOTO transaction. Like regular card readers, the funds are typically received by the retailer within a few working days, or if you’re with Square – the next day.

MOTO systems are particularly useful for businesses that take orders over the telephone or by emails, such as professional services, retail, home and repair services, and the health and fitness industry. takeaway food services and online retailers.

What are the benefits of taking MOTO payments?

The ability to process payments remotely can bring plenty of benefits to entrepreneurs and small business owners:

Convenience: Customers are provided with a fast, secure and convenient way to pay for goods or services without having to physically present a payment card.

Simple: A MOTO payment system is easy to set up and use. The retailer can access the virtual terminal from any internet-enabled device from anywhere with an online connection.

Efficient: Streamlining payment processing systems leaves business owners with more time to focus on other aspects of the business.

Multi-user access: Virtual terminals can be set up for multi-user access, allowing authorised employees to access the MOTO system and take payments from multiple locations 24/7.

Reach more customers: Offering payments by card over the telephone, by email or in writing allows businesses to broaden their customer base and reach a wider audience.

Save details: Once a customer has made a MOTO transaction, the system securely saves their card details for next time provided Instant Profiles is enabled. This speeds up the payment process later, increasing convenience for the customer and retailer.

Split payments: The integrated payment processing system allows for payments in multiple tenders, including eGift cards, and customers can also split the cost of any transaction quickly, easily and without hassle.

Get paid: Each payment is authorised by the customer’s bank before being processed to check the funds are available and retailers receive funds in a fast time frame.

How much do MOTO payments cost?

MOTO payment fees from Square are fully transparent. Square takes the same as online transactions for simplicity, which goes directly back into funding features and tools to help your business flourish.

Card processing fees are set by banks and networks but these are included in the low-cost fees set by Square. Each fee consists of several components. These include interchange fees, assessment fees and risk and PCI compliance fees. The lower the risk for each transaction, the lower the overall fee.

There are various types of transactions that can take place as card-not-present. These include using our virtual terminal for mail order telephone order transactions and are charged at 2.2% per transaction.

How can I set up MOTO payments?

Business owners can set up a virtual terminal in minutes, with no initial cost and no monthly fees – there is just a small processing fee for each transaction. Once signed up, the Square terminal can be used for MOTO payments. The virtual terminal can be used by any member of staff you choose and each transaction takes no more than a few minutes to complete.

Customers automatically receive a receipt directly to their inbox after each transaction and all data is securely stored in the dashboard for your benefit.

Square users can also take card-present payments with a wireless Square terminal linked to their computer to provide smooth transactions in any format.

The virtual terminal can be seamlessly integrated into your business along with other Square solutions such as Square Invoicing, Square Point of Sale and Square Register for a smooth online shopping experience.

Virtual terminal transactions can be exported quickly and easily to popular accounting software platforms, such as Xero or downloaded for rapid analysis.

Getting started with taking MOTO payments via Square is fast and simple, and MOTO can help you reach more customers, take payments from multiple locations by multiple employees, and give you a helping hand with payment records and reporting.


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