Gone are the days where businesses rely purely on face-to-face payments. First came mail order card transactions (MOTO accounts) and then internet payment (IMAs). However in taking payments from cards when the customer is not present, you need to have the capacity to accept CNP (card not present) transactions.
Even high street stores will likely have to deal with CNP transactions. Indeed any business that has an ecommerce site will have to understand the intricacies of accepting payment when the customer (and their card) is not present. Security with these transactions has historically been an issue, but as a Merchant Account holder you are able to ask additional security questions either over the phone or via fields in an internet form.
For a CNP transaction to take place you need to have established a virtual payment gateway, replacing the usual point-of-sale terminal, allowing you to process card payments if you have the necessary information. The exact information you will need depends upon the provider your accounts are with, but in all cases you will need the long number across the front of the customer’s card, the expiry date, issue number and CVV number. You then input this information into your virtual payment gateway, who then communicate with the bank to process payment.