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Stronger CNP Security Can Lower Processing Fees

Understanding card-not-present payments

What Exactly is a Card-Not-Present Payment?

A card-not-present (CNP) transaction is any payment where the magnetic stripe isn’t swiped, the EMV chip isn’t inserted, or a mobile wallet isn’t tapped against a physical terminal. In other words, any payment made over the phone, online, or through fax is considered a card-not-present transaction. Examples of CNP transactions include eCommerce shopping carts, online invoices, automatic billing, phone orders, and website payments.

Even with this simple definition, there are still areas of confusion for merchants. Sometimes business owners think that any time a customer is present with their card, the transaction is considered card-present, but that is not always true.

For example, when a business manually types credit card information into a payment terminal, even if the customer is standing there with their card, the transaction is still considered CNP. For a transaction to be considered card-present, the card itself must come into contact with the payment terminal.

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