Benefits of Using a Virtual Payment Terminal

Whether your clients pay for services by card or through ACH bank transfers, a virtual terminal offers convenient and secure processing. PCI-compliant, they save repeat consumer information for faster and safer purchases.

Businesses typically log in to the virtual payment terminal through a standard web browser to process payments. They can swipe credit cards or manually key in their information for fast and easy data entry.
Streamlined Payment Processing

Businesses that operate from home or who take credit card payments remotely via phone, email, or fax can benefit from the streamlining of payment processing offered by a virtual terminal. This allows them to more efficiently collect payments and manage them from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

Once the customer’s information is manually entered, it is sent online to a payment gateway for authorization. The gateway communicates the transaction approval or decline status back to the merchant, who then faxes or emails the digital receipt to the customer.

Depending on the provider, virtual terminals are equipped with security features like end-to-end encryption and PCI compliance to ensure sensitive customer data remains secure throughout the payment process. This can also help reduce fraud risk by ensuring the card number is not exposed. A virtual terminal can even allow the business to conduct recurring payments, automatically billing customers on a weekly or monthly basis.
Reduced Risk of Fraud

When you use a virtual terminal, it helps you avoid costly chargebacks and fraud. In addition, it is easier to track and manage payments as they are made.

This tool is particularly useful for processing card-not-present transactions like phone and mail orders. These CNP transactions typically cost more than in-person transactions and can be more difficult to verify the cardholder’s identity. With a virtual payment terminal, you can ask the customer to provide their billing address and compare it to what is on file with their card-issuing bank. You can also use other fraud tools to make sure the transaction is valid, such as asking for a two-factor authentication code or request an AVS verification.

Using a virtual payment terminal requires a merchant account, payment gateway and a computer or mobile device with a web browser. You can then login to the payment interface, enter a cardholder’s information and process the transaction. The funds are usually deposited in your business account within a day or so.
Increased Customer Satisfaction

Many small business owners don’t accept credit cards in person, and a virtual payment terminal can help them expand their sales model by making it easy to process mail order, telephone, or email (MOTO) orders. Virtual terminals are also a great tool for small merchants that sell their products at offsite events, or in remote locations such as gyms.

A virtual payment terminal isn’t the same as a shopping cart for your website, though they are often used together. A shopping cart is typically customer-facing, whereas a virtual terminal looks like an on-line form that allows you to manually enter billing information and credit card information for payment authorization.

The virtual terminal then sends this data to the merchant’s payment processor, which communicates approval or decline back to the business. Then the payment is settled, with funds deposited into the business’s bank account. Streamlining these payments saves time and money for both parties. The result is greater satisfaction for customers, and increased revenue for the merchant.
Increased Efficiency

The best virtual payment terminals offer a variety of features to optimize business operations. Those that support recurring payments enable businesses to track customer payment information and automate the billing cycle. In this way, they can avoid the time and cost associated with tracking down customers to receive payments manually each month.

To use a virtual terminal, merchants simply log into their online dashboard or payment gateway and enter the customer’s credit card or bank account details for authorization. Many virtual terminals come with a USB card swiper to facilitate quicker and more accurate data entry. This allows them to process a transaction even when the card is not physically present, such as over the phone or via mail. This feature can be especially helpful for professional services providers like doctors, accountants and lawyers who see clients in their offices but also take payments over the phone for medical bills, tax preparation and legal fees, respectively.

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