Set up payment links to avoid card not present problems

If a card is not present during payment, verification is difficult. Improve security and customer experience by setting up payment links for your small business via text, WhatsApp, email, or social media for the exact payment amount.

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Set up payment links to avoid card not present problems

10 March 2022

card machines

What is a card not present payment?


In order for a purchase to be made with a debit or credit card, you need a customer, a card, and a merchant. A card not present, also known as customer not present transaction is one that takes place when all three are not in the same location. Some examples include:

  • Online transactions where the customer has the card, but the merchant is elsewhere.
  • Telephone transactions where the customer is paying for products or services remotely.
  • Mail-order purchases where the customer fills in an order form with their card details.
  • Card on file payments where a customer has provided authorisation for their card details to be used on a recurring basis.


Why are card not present transactions considered unsecure?


If the card is not present during a card payment, a fundamental part of the process is missing and therefore it makes verification of the payment difficult. This means that the transaction is considered high risk and unsecure. In 2020 79% of fraud losses on UK issued cards were due to CNP transactions.  


What are the risks to merchants of card not present transactions?


Card not present transactions are convenient for customers and merchants alike, but it is widely acknowledged that they are particularly vulnerable to fraud, customer complaints, and chargebacks. There are common types of fraud that merchants need to be mindful of:

  • False chargebacks, are when a customer disputes a transaction with their bank, claims a refund and then keeps the product.

  • Friendly fraud, where a customer cancels a payment but still receives the goods.

  • Card theft, where a thief uses a stolen card to purchase remotely.

  • Identity theft is when someone uses someone else’s data to apply for, receive, and use a card in someone else’s name.

  • Digital credit card information theft by online scammers or phishing emails.

  • Data security breaches by a merchant that risks the theft of customer data.

As well as the fraud risk, chargebacks and fraudulent transactions of this type are almost impossible for merchants to claim back from their bank. With fees for card not present transactions set higher, it makes sense for merchants to consider alternative ways of processing card payments when the customer or card is not present.  


How to improve security and reduce the risk of fraud for card not present payments.


There are a number of tactics you can employ as a merchant to reduce the risk of fraud;

  • Any goods purchased with a card not present should be delivered to the cardholders address only. If the cardholder wishes to collect their goods in person, delay payment until collection.


  • Be mindful of purchasing behaviour, paying particular attention to first time customers placing multiple orders, or multiple purchases of the same goods on the same card.


  • Make sure you protect your customer data adequately by keeping up to date with PCI compliance


How to make card not present transactions more secure and reduce transaction fees.


Our Pay by link facility allows you to quickly set up a secure payment link to send to your customer via text, WhatsApp, email, or social media for the exact payment amount. Your customer then clicks on the link to settle their bill. Each payment link is unique to them, making it easier to stay on top of what has or hasn’t been paid for. Invoices can be sent directly to a customer’s email.

Zero technical integration is required and set up is swift and simple. Not only will you guarantee more secure payments, but the transaction fees will be more favourable.


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Ways that being able to generate payment links benefit small businesses.


  • Create payment links to send via different channels quickly.
  • Recurring payments are easier to set up than Direct Debits or Standing Orders.
  • Add a link button to your invoices making it easier for customers to pay.
  • Alternative to a payment gateway if product and service offerings are limited.
  • Remind customers to pay overdue bills.
  • More professional than sending bank details.
  • Easier for customers to pay.


How to set up payment links for your small business.


Everything you need to know about setting up payment links for your small business can be found on our Pay By Link webpage.