What are card not present fees and why do I pay them?

If you’re accepting card payment it’s possible to do so without the customer or card being present. But you’ll need to know about these fees


A card not present transaction happens when neither the cardholder or the payment card are physically present at the time a payment is made.

They’re also typically common is recurring payments like standing orders or direct debits, even if the first payment is made in person.

With the increase of online shopping and more customers using digital wallets like Apple and Samsung Pay, card not present transactions are becoming more common and a type of payment businesses are expected.

The most common types of card not present transactions you’ll be expected to accept are:

  • Online payments
  • Payments from customers whose card details you have on file (members/ subscribers etc)
  • Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay etc
  • Payments over the phone
  • Direct debits, standing orders and other recurring or regular payments

If your business is going to accept card not present transactions, then you could be charged an additional fee.

Can I protect my business?


Yes you can.

There’s a few things your card payment machine provider can do to help you keep your business safe and reduce the risk of fraud for customers and potential chargebacks.

Payment gateways


A payment gateway allows you to take card not present payments without holding your customers’ sensitive information - taking the responsibility of data protection away from your business.

For online payments it essentially takes on the role of the card machine.

Most card providers offer a payment gateway - Verified by Visa, for example - which requires the payee to enter a separate password before a payment is confirmed if buying something online.


Person on a laptop


Person sat at laptop with a card payment in their hand

Virtual Terminal


A virtual terminal is another secure way of accepting remote, card not present transactions, particularly if customers are paying over the phone.

If your customer is paying over the phone, all you have to do is log in to your virtual terminal and enter their card details into a secure form. The terminal will then automatically check the payment details match the customer’s bank information.

Why am I paying more?


The main reason you pay more for card not present transactions is because there is a higher risk of fraud because the payee and card aren’t present at the physical sale.

Because the card and cardholder aren’t present, it’s almost impossible for merchants to identify fraud until they’re notified later.

UK Finance reports that CNP transactions consistently make up the majority of card payment fraud.

If you’re going to accept payments online or over the phone, you should work with a partner to establish how to protect yourself and your customers from fraud.

Two people looking at a screen together

Taking your payment security seriously


With online payments, phone payments and digital wallets on smartphones becoming more popular, especially in the last 12 months, your business is going to be under more pressure to start accepting different payment types.

Which means putting systems in place that allow you to accept these payment types, but to do so securely.

There are several things you can do to improve security of card not present payments.

Things like asking customers to verify specific information like addresses and security numbers all help.

But the best things you can do is set up a payment gateway or virtual terminal, which can take the stress and security problems out of your hands and deal with information handling automatically.

At Handepay we offer secure and reliable payment gateways and virtual terminals for customers preparing themselves for the future.

Our full support team is available to get everything set up for so you can start accepting payment quickly however you want to.

Ready to start taking more payments and making more money for your business?


Financial disclaimer:

Terminal hire contracts are provided by Merchant Rentals Limited, who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Consumer Hire under FRN 720500. Terminal hire can be for consumer hire and non-regulated hire contracts. Please check your contract carefully for details. Regulation of all consumer hire fall under the control of the FCA.

Handepay Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA for Consumer Credit under FRN 673564. Handepay is a credit broker for consumer hire not a lender.

Handepay acts as an introducer of card acquiring services on behalf of EVO Payments UK, the card acquiring service provider. EVO Payments UK is the trading name of EVO Payments UK Ltd, a payment institution that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN number 959332).

Existing Cards Businesses- The one-month rolling terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are switching from their current acquirer to EVO Payments UK arranged through Handepay.

New to Cards Businesses- The 12-month terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are new to card payments and wish to receive acquiring services from EVO Payments UK, arranged through Handepay.

The Next Day Banking Settlement service provided by EVO Payments UK incurs an additional fee of £4 a month on top of your acquiring service charges and fees. Provided your card machine performs a reconciliation before 12am (midnight), you’ll receive settlement of funds the next banking day.

Editorial disclaimer:

The information we provide does not constitute financial advice and might not apply to your business. Always carry out research into your business’ needs when choosing a new merchant services provider.

Sometimes, we link to other third-party websites to provide you with additional information. At the time of publication, we consider the information accurate, however, we do not have control over their content and are not responsible if any information on these websites change.

The products we display on our website are for illustrative purposes only - if your business requires additional facilities, you may receive a different model than advertised.

All of the information contained on this website, including fees, services and functionality, are correct at time of publishing. E&OE.