Sunday, April 21, 2024

What is a Virtual Terminal and how Does it Work?


As the world becomes increasingly contactless, remote business is becoming more common. To grow their business, merchants can utilize virtual terminal solutions for credit card payment processing to keep up with their competitors.

What is a virtual terminal?

Virtual terminals are web-based applications that facilitate various types of payments, such as credit and debit cards, ACH, and eChecks, through a web portal. As they process credit cards without the card being present, they are excellent for online invoicing and remote billing. The result is that you can take digital payments instantly, from anywhere, and without any hassle.

Advantages of using a virtual terminal

Virtual terminal solutions offer a lot of advantages to their merchants, a few of them are:

  • The virtual terminal optimizes business operations by enabling greater convenience, mobility, and efficiency. With these modern systems, merchants can accept, track, and record payments faster and more easily, increasing sales and improving service. Businesses can benefit from being able to collect payments online and by telephone, regardless of how heavily they rely on cash transactions.
  • You can set up automatic shipments, offer flexible payment plans, and store billing information with a virtual terminal. Invoices can be sent one-time or scheduled by email or text and automatic reports can save you hours of bookkeeping work.
  • The process of chasing down payments from customers will no longer be arduous, exhausting, or endlessly waiting. Regardless of where they are, when they buy, and how they want to pay, they can do it.
  • Payments can be collected without a point-of-sale system or physical card machine for business using a virtual processing platform. By using virtual terminal solutions, you can reduce the costs and manpower needed for physical point-of-sale units.
  • If your computer is equipped with updated cybersecurity features, you can maintain transaction records digitally rather than storing paper receipts that can get damaged or lost. With virtual terminal solutions, customer payment information can be securely stored for future card-not-present transactions, as well as electronic signatures so that chargeback fraud can be prevented.

How does a virtual terminal work?

In virtual terminal solutions, the credit card information is manually entered to complete the transaction. virtual terminal solutions have the advantage of being accessible from any computer. With a few clicks, a transaction can be completed virtually anywhere without any additional hardware.

1. Quick charge

You can change quickly or itemize sales with most virtual terminal solutions. When you enter just the amount of the transaction, without any details or itemized items, it is called a quick charge. Depending on your business, this could be a single charge or a one-time charge. You can also set up an itemized sale with Virtual Terminal once you’ve created an item library for your items.

2. Input the transaction details

Accepting payments via a virtual terminal can be done in a few different ways. To complete a sale on a virtual terminal, you must manually type in the payment information. It may include name, address, currency type, phone number, invoice number, or amount, depending on your payment processing tool.

To complete a transaction, you generally need to enter the following information:

  • Billing zip code
  • Invoice or order amount
  • Credit card number
  • Expiration date
  • CVV

You can manually enter the customer’s credit card information as long as you have this information or you can text an online payment link so they can fill it in themselves. When dealing with card present scenarios, a USB card reader can help you avoid manually entering data into virtual terminal solutions. The USB card readers will speed up and simplify the process.

3. Charge

A receipt can be emailed, texted, or printed from your computer after the sale has been completed. By securely storing your customers’ credit card information on file and processing future payments automatically, you can bill your customers on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis if your business offers subscription-type services.

How to choose a virtual terminal for your business?

To get started on your digital journey, it is crucial to choose the right virtual terminal solutions. Decisions like this aren’t always easy to make. Hence, it is extremely important to ensure that you understand your very own needs before choosing a Virtual Terminal. For this purpose, we recommend that you keep these things in mind before evaluating acquisition service providers:

Monthly fees

Business owners, especially those who run small and medium-sized businesses, need to cut unnecessary costs to stay competitive. When researching Virtual Terminals, pay attention to the acquisition fees, as well as the monthly and initial fees. The merchants often pay for the setup of their virtual POS as well as a monthly fixed fee in addition to transaction fees.

Security and PCI-DSS Compliant Virtual Terminal

The security of customer data is one of the top concerns for every business owner, and credit card processors are doing everything they can to ensure this happens. Consider partnering with a Payment Gateway that complies with the highest security standards of PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Customer support

In many cases, a company doesn’t factor in customer support when choosing a Virtual Terminal until it encounters an issue and there is no one to resolve it. It can be frustrating to reach out to an acquirer’s customer support representative because most of their processes are highly automate or there isn’t one at all. It’s better to use a payment gateway that provides 24/7 customer support and resolves issues as quickly as possible.

Setting up your digital business requires you to select a virtual Point-of-Sale system that is right for you. It is therefore imperative that you do thorough research and take the time to determine what you require and which virtual terminal is right for you.

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