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Card-not-present transactions

Understand what a remote purchase CNP is and what the transactions can be used for.


What is a Card-not-present transaction?

A remote purchase card-not-present (remote purchase CNP) transaction is one where the cardholder and the card are not present at the point-of-sale. Alternatively, when both the cardholder and card are present the transaction referred to as a present transaction.

Remote purchase CNP transactions can be used for:

  • Mail order
  • Telephone order
  • A sale made over the internet

Mail order transactions

Mail order transactions see merchants receive instructions in the post or by fax from customers to make a purchase. The instructions must include their card details (except for their PIN) and signature. Acquirers can help merchants identify the correct card details to be captured and explain how these can be processed as a card transaction through your terminal.

Telephone order transactions

Telephone orders are similar to mail order, except that merchants are taking cardholders' orders by telephone and will not have their signature to confirm their agreement to the transaction. However, you’ll have an opportunity to ask supplementary questions, such as asking for the card’s Card Security Code (CSC) that is on the back of the card, to help guard against a potential fraudulent transaction.

Internet sales and transactions

To accept transactions over the internet, a special agreement is needed with your acquirer. You will also be given a separate internet merchant number, which is different to the number you use to process card present, mail order, or telephone order transactions.

Once you have a website or 'virtual shop' window set up for your customers to visit, you will need services of a payment service provider (PSP) who will provide a ‘till’ or ‘payment gateway’ to securely take consumers' card details on a payment page and pass these onto your acquirer for processing. Your acquirer may have their own payment gateway product or can advise which PSPs they can accept card details from.

Your acquirer can provide further details about trading on the internet, what your website needs to do to conform to card scheme regulations, how to use the standard tool set of AVS / CSC, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, and how you can integrate these into your website and business operations.

For more detailed information about MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa visit Financial Fraud Action UK.

Your acquirer can also provide assistance on what fraud screening tools they would recommend to help a business guard against potential fraud transactions.

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