Taking Payments Online and Over the Phone

Social distancing and self-isolation rules have hit businesses hard since the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. No face-to-face meetings or shopping might mean that your cash register or card machine have been worryingly silent.

If you’re now exploring what methods are available for taking payments remotely via the internet or over the phone, you may be overwhelmed by choice. To help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your business, and to support you in remaining as operational as possible, we’ll go through some of the most popular payment handling options.


This payment handler introduces itself as a VISA solution, which gives it some pretty heavyweight credibility.

It can be used as an integration on your website to accept online payments, and works particularly well on some eCommerce platforms.

As a payment handler, it’s a good all-rounder, and supports payments from customers who are using debit or credit cards as one would expect, but also from Apple Pay and PayPal.

It even has a separate facility to accept phone payments. You’ll need to take down the relevant payment details, and then upload them through a secure terminal in order for the payment to be taken from your customer and passed on to you.

Subscription to this service costs around £20 per month with an additional percentage per transaction which depends on which plan you sign up for.


Probably the most well-known name on the list, PayPal is the favoured payment system for many businesses and individuals.

The good thing about PayPal is that there aren’t any setup or cancellation fees, and you will only pay anything when you receive payment.

The fees per transaction typically have a flat fee of around 20-30 pence with a percentage of about 2.90% per transaction.

Customers don’t even really need to visit your website to use it. If they have your PayPal details, they can transmit the money using the app.



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Another big name out there is Stripe. This option is a favourite of web developers because you can integrate a payment system into a website through Stripe’s API.

Stripe also offers a pay-as-you-go pricing structure with a fixed rate of 20p and 1.4% on each European transaction or 2.9% for non-European ones.

While it’s simple enough to sign up, if you wish to integrate it into your website, this could take a while to set up. If you’re looking for a fast setup solution, perhaps another payment method would be better suited.

Google Pay

If you are looking for an alternative to PayPal, you might want to try out Google Pay. Google Pay lets customers pay through an account which is connected to their Google account. It’s a fast, secure and easy way of collecting payments.

The whole thing takes a few days to set up, which is ideal if you need to move to online payments for goods and services quickly.

The good thing is that these days, most people have a Google account. However, this option might turn some of your customers away if they aren’t willing to sign up.

Are you moving to online payments due to the COVID-19 outbreak? Or were you already selling online and looking for a new method? Let us know in the comments below.

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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