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As it becomes apparent that COVID-19 will be with us for a while longer, companies are adjusting their business practices to adapt to the “new normal.” Office jobs are transitioning to telework, restaurants are shifting to takeout and delivery only, and businesses that have been deemed essential are figuring out how to get the job done while practicing social distancing. For many companies, the part of their work that requires the closest contact between employees and the general public occurs at the point of sale. This is where remote payments come in. Finding ways to collect money from your customers without being physically near them is crucial during this time. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Set Up a Virtual Terminal

A virtual terminal is a browser-based remote payment method that can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection. It’s usually offered as a free or inexpensive add-on to your current payment processing setup and should be simple to use. With a virtual terminal, you key cards in manually rather than swiping or dipping them. Your customer can call you with their card information while you are safely at home or even inside your business with the doors locked! A virtual terminal is a must-have even during non-pandemic times as a backup method of taking payments.

Pay Attention to AVS

Once you start using your virtual terminal heavily, you might get sticker shock when your statement arrives unless you take some precautions. Keying in cards that aren’t physically present increases your risk of becoming a fraud victim, so your rates will be higher unless you take some extra steps to protect yourself. The Address Verification System, or AVS, is one key way to make taking remote payments safer – and less expensive. We wrote an entire post on it here, but in a nutshell you’re going to be inputting additional address information that you receive from your customer in order to prove that the transaction is legitimate. It takes a few extra seconds to do but can really pay off (literally)!

Get Text-to-Pay

OK, we know this is a shameless plug, but over the past few weeks we’ve heard from so many business owners about how Text-to-Pay has made it possible for them to continue doing business during this outbreak. With Text-to-Pay, you can send your customers their invoice via text message and they can pay it from their phone when it’s convenient for them. There’s no need for them to come into your business and no need for personal interaction with your staff. It’s the perfect solution to let you keep your business running responsibly. (Note: Text-to-Pay is currently only available to certain integrated customers in the automotive industry. Click here to see if you qualify.)

We’re in This Together

The coronavirus will continue to dominate the national conversation for a while, but we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. We hope that these remote payment tips help make things a bit easier for you, but if your current processor isn’t supporting you adequately during this time we’d love to offer you a better experience. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website if you’d like to chat.

PS – Here are some more of our top tips for navigating coronavirus.

PPS –  Working from home for the first time? Check out our tips.