Getting started with card payments

How does Flobot’s card payment system work?

Flobot connects to the SagePay gateway which in turn connects to your merchant account provider in order to facilitate card payments. In order to use Flobot’s card payment features you need:

  • A subscription to Flobot
  • An account with SagePay
  • A merchant account (e.g. WorldPay, Barclays Merchant Services, First Data)

What is SagePay’s payment gateway and why do I need it?

When a client wishes to pay you via a debit or credit card (using Flobot in this case), SagePay’s gateway connects to the cardholders bank to obtain an authorisation. You can think of a payment gateway as a replacement for an electronic chip and PIN machine that is connected to our system. Here’s a quick diagram of what happens when you take a card payment:

Card payment chart

What happens when a card payment is processed

  1. Your client gives you their card details
  2. You enter them into Flobot
  3. Flobot passes them to SagePay
  4. SagePay checks the card details with your merchant provider
  5. The merchant provider checks with the cardholder’s card issuer if the card is valid and if there are funds available authorises the transaction and all of this information is passed back to Flobot (the whole process take seconds)
  6. The client’s bank releases the funds
  7. The funds are passed to your merchant provider
  8. The merchant provider deposits the funds into your bank account

The only difference between this process and that using a chip and PIN machine, would be that instead of SagePay sending the data to your merchant account, the chip and pin machine would send the data to them.

Are there costs associated with SagePay?

Yes – in the same way that you must pay to hire a chip and PIN machine, you must also pay SagePay for them to pass card data across to your merchant provider.  The fee to use the service varies on how many transaction you process every month but it starts at £25 per month (a similar cost to what you are already paying for your chip and PIN terminal). You can find out more about SagePay here:  or calling them on 0845 322 8620. They are very friendly and helpful and can answer any questions you have.

How do I get a SagePay account?

You can apply for a SagePay account directly with SagePay at the above address, or we can apply for a SagePay account on your behalf. In order for us to apply on your behalf you should contact us with the following information:

1)      An e-mail address to receive correspondence (this is where SagePay will send any information to you by email – if we’re setting you up, please forward any correspondence on to us so that we can log in and complete set up)

2)      You should supply us with the bank details where your merchant account funds are deposited from your merchant provider. We need the bank name, account number and sort code. This account will also be used by SagePay to collect your monthly fee.

3)      The name of your merchant provider

4)     We need to know if your merchant account allows you take payments using a Chip and PIN terminal, by Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO), or by E-Commerce. You may have a different merchant number for all three, you may just have one that allows you to use your merchant number with Chip and PIN terminals, or you may have a merchant number that allows you to take Terminal Payments and MOTO payments under the same merchant number. If you do not know, call your merchant provider and ask them the following question:

‘I wish to take mail order and telephone order payments using SagePay, can you confirm if my merchant number is set up for this?’

If the answer is ‘yes’ please let us know and we can continue. If the answer is ‘no’ please ask them to set you up with a ‘Mail order Telephone Order Merchant Number’. You cannot use a chip and PIN merchant number with SagePay


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