Most brick-and-mortar retailers use point-of-sale (POS) terminals to capture and process credit cards. However, what if you don’t have the resources to invest in a system?
Many smaller businesses and home-based freelancers want the ability to process credit cards; yet they don’t necessarily need or want the hassles and costs involved with purchasing equipment and having it implemented.
If any of this sounds familiar, you might consider using a virtual terminal instead.
What Is a Virtual Terminal — and How Does It Work?
A virtual terminal operates a lot like an e-commerce checkout cart. However, instead of having the customer fill out his or her credit card details, you — the merchant — key in this payment information from your end.
Once you’re ready to generate a new sale, you simply:
- Open your favorite web browser.
- Log into a secure virtual terminal.
- Enter the relevant details.
- Click the “submit” button.
Voila — you’ve just made a successful sale.
The beauty of this setup is that there are no hardware costs involved. You don’t have to install or maintain any type of software either. As long as you have access to a web browser, you can securely accept payments online. Your virtual terminal comes with everything you need to get started.
What Kind of Businesses Benefit Most From Virtual Terminals?
Anyone can use this payment technology. A virtual terminal might be an optimum solution if you process transactions as a:
- Home-based business
- Mail order merchant
- Telephone order business
This payment solution also appeals to those who frequently sell products and services at off-site events like trade shows. Remember that you don’t have to lug around a POS machine or invest in wireless terminals. If you have access to a computer or tablet, you can easily generate sales on the go.
Getting the Most Out of Your Virtual Terminal
Virtual terminals represent one of the easiest ways for those with limited resources to begin accepting credit cards. Though as with all payment technologies, security is paramount. In fact, virtual terminal technology requires taking even greater precautions since your customers are entrusting you with their credit card information via phone, mail order or email.
This is why we’ve designed our virtual terminal technology around the latest PCI-compliant data security standards. In addition, we offer a number of extra fraud prevention tools to ensure your customers’ payment data remains safe from unauthorized access. These additional features include:
- Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) for card-present transactions
Our virtual terminal solutions also come with batch processing capabilities, allowing you to send all of your credit card authorizations at once — usually at the end of the sales day. Reducing the frequency of data transmissions helps to limit access to your customers’ sensitive financial information.