When it comes to payment processing methods, a customer has a lot of options. For those with a brick and mortar store, they can accept credit cards or cash because all they need is a merchant account and POS terminal. For e-commerce stores, on the other hand, you’ll need a payment gateway. But what if you don’t fit into any of those payment methods?
The payment option that will then be preferable to you is the virtual terminal.
What is a Virtual Terminal?
A virtual terminal is an online hosted payment solution where you can take payments quickly and safely, anywhere, and at any time. This gives you 24/7 access to transactions from any device, be it your computer, smartphones, or tablets, as long as they have an internet connection. Also, a virtual terminal is a secure web page in the internet browser that will help you process your card payments online. It has the same functions as a credit card terminal except that it is made through a non-physical software application.
You can also often find the virtual terminal embedded on a page that you can access when logged in with the payment provider’s account online. The payment processing is done manually by entering the customer’s card details, which may be given by phone or mail order form, among others. And then, it will be submitted for processing. The card will be charged, and the money will be transferred to the payment provider’s account. Furthermore, manual payments are usually made without the cardholder present.
What are the benefits of a Virtual Terminal?
- The reason why so many merchants prefer a virtual terminal is because of its simple setup. They won’t have to buy a POS reader or expensive software. It is also very low maintenance.
- It offers a secure payment as long as you have an internet connection to have access to a browser.
- For the merchants, they will also have complete control over the transaction process. This is because customers won’t have direct access to the virtual terminal interface.
- Virtual terminals are also known for having recurring payment functionality. Physical card terminals don’t have this. The only things that need to be done are to enter the credit card information and schedule the recurring payment date. The virtual terminal will help you enjoy the enhanced cash flow that the recurring billing will provide. This is highly beneficial for those businesses that make use of recurring payments.
- For future transactions, a virtual terminal helps store customer data securely. For all businesses, managing their customer’s credit card information is an absolute must. They must not be physically storing credit card information because it would be violating the laws. But, if it were a virtual terminal, it will store the customer data in case of future purchases. It will be in compliance with the laws and will not put you at risk of data breaches.
- The merchants will be able to get the payments without the presence of the customer. But, if the customer was indeed present, they should have a card reader so that they can perform a chip or a contactless transaction as security measures.
The transaction process for buyers and merchants alike has progressed over the years. With the rapid improvements in technology, the payment processing experience has never been the same.