Processing offline payments (MOTO)
Amazon Payment's Services' MOTO channel enables you to process a range of transactions that do not follow the standard online shopping workflow.
For example, your customer may want to pay you offline. By sending an order in the post, by calling you, or indeed in a face to face transaction. You can process offline transactions using the MOTO channel.
Or, where you have already successfully processed a transaction using a customer's payment card, you can apply another charge to the customer's payment card -- without asking your customer to confirm their payment card details -- using the MOTO channel.
Through the MOTO channel you can easily accommodate customers that want to make repeat transactions, or offline transactions through in-person and telephone orders. The MOTO channel also lends itself to unique merchant use cases.
What are MOTO transactions?
MOTO stands for mobile order, telephone order transactions. It is a phrase used to describe processing transactions that occur outside of the typical online shopping environment.
In other words, where your customer is not present at the time of the transaction, or where you do not want to require your customer to confirm their payment card details at the moment they make the transaction.
Ordinarily, your customer will be on your website or mobile app when making a purchase and will have the opportunity to enter their payment card details to authorize a payment.
However, sometimes your customer may initiate a transaction over a different channel -- by posting an order, or by making a phone call.
With offline transactions you need to manually process the payment -- either by entering the payment card details that your customer supplied, or by charging payment card details you already hold. These transactions are performed across the MOTO channel.
You can also use the MOTO channel to process payments for a repeat transaction. When you use the MOTO channel you do not need to request that your customer re-confirms their payment card details when your customer performs a repeat transaction.
Under some circumstances your customer will find it frustrating to constantly confirm payment card details. For example, where repeated low-value transactions are typical of your transaction workflow -- such as food delivery, or taxi rides.
By using the MOTO channel, you can apply a charge to payment card details you already hold without requiring your customer to confirm their card details.
Note that choosing to use the MOTO channel can imply that transactions are more vulnerable to a successful chargeback. Chargebacks are more likely because at the time of charging your customer's card you did not verify your customer's card details. However, chargebacks may not be a big concern where transactions are low in value.
How do MOTO transactions work?
The MOTO channel facilitates any transactions that you are required to process manually, or where you want to process a payment using payment card details you already hold on file -- without asking your customer to re-confirm their payment card details.
There are two routes to processing a MOTO transaction. First, you can log in to the Amazon Payment Services back office and access the manual order page. Or, you can use the MOTO channel in our API to execute a transaction by making an API call from your server.
Manual orders in the back office
You can use the manual order page in the Amazon Payment Services back office to process a transaction that occurred offline. The process will look similar to the following:
You securely collect your customer's payment card details -- over a telephone call, for example.
You log in to the Amazon Payment Services back office and you enter your customer's payment card details on the Manual Order page and submit the data.
Amazon Payment Services will authenticate the payment details and return a confirmation.
Once you receive confirmation you can mark your customer's payment as received.
Figure Manually charging a payment card using the Manual Order page
The MOTO API
Amazon Payment Services provides an API that you can use to process MOTO transactions. To process a transaction you must include a MOTO action in a workflow that you custom-code into your website application.
By custom-coding a MOTO API interaction you can process orders taken on an offline channel, or process repeat orders where you have already charged your customer's payment card.
For repeat transactions the workflow will look as follows:
You have already processed a successful transaction with your customer's payment card and your customer has supplied payment card details and passed security requirements. As a result, you obtained a token for your customer's payment card.
Your customer returns for a repeated transaction and checks out online, or offline.
You send a server request to Amazon Payment Services using the MOTO API to initiate a repeat charge, including the token obtained in the first step.
Amazon Payment Services attempts to authorize a charge to your customer's card.
Your server receives a response from Amazon Payment Services confirming the outcome of the authorization request.
When using the MOTO API for a repeat transaction you will refer to a token that you have obtained when your customer successfully completed a transaction at a previous point in time. Amazon Payment Services will retrieve your customer's payment card details associated with that token and apply a charge to your customer's card without interaction from your customer.
Go to the full API reference
We've given you an overview of why you would want to use a MOTO transaction and of how MOTO transactions work. Developers should review the full API reference for complete instructions.
Need further help?
Want to know more about where and why MOTO transactions fit into your transaction workflow? Get in touch with the Amazon Payment Services team. Just message our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.