Virtual payment terminals are easy and convenient for businesses to receive payments effortlessly from customers.
Previously, cash used to be the only source of payment for most businesses. But today, most people use credit cards, debit cards, or retail store cards for payment in most stores, whether it is small or large.
With technology advancing, these cards have also evolved, enabling customers to use them without being physically present at the stores.
To incorporate such payment services in your business, you must utilize virtual terminals, which allow you to put in the customer’s card information for payment when the customer isn’t physically available.
So, if you plan to install one, this article is useful.
Let’s talk about what virtual terminals are and some of the best options you have in the market.
What Are Virtual Terminals?
Virtual terminals are web applications that act as digital card readers and allow businesses to accept card payments from customers over the phone, email, internet, or fax. It serves as a convenient and secure way to process credit or debit card information from any device, and that too without needing a physical terminal.
It doesn’t require you to have any additional equipment or dedicated point-of-sales hardware and phone lines for processing the cards. You just need a stable internet connection and web browser to use the virtual terminal, and it can be accessed from any device, whether it is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Virtual terminal interfaces are fast and easy to use, ensuring you can process a lot of information daily. It is a better alternative to costly credit card readers and POS systems that are sometimes questioned for security measures.
Through these secured payment terminals, you can either put the card information manually or use virtual card readers that automatically read the card information for processing. Nowadays, some virtual terminals even come with physical terminals for faster processing of virtual terminal payments.
E-commerce sites, web stores, or businesses that lack physical retail stores primarily utilize virtual terminals as they need to take payment over different mediums. Even though the transaction fee is slightly higher than normal physical card transactions, the high sales volume and numerous transactions on a daily basis compensate for it.
Virtual terminals work in a simple manner where it utilizes an exclusive payment application to process all the payments. It isn’t that different from physical card transactions, but it makes it easier for small businesses to tackle large amounts of transactions at an affordable rate.
All virtual terminals come with a subscription model you need to take to use the service. To take the payment, you first need to log in to the account of the virtual terminal and head to the payment page. There, you will put in your card information and then submit the transaction for payment processing.
You will need to generally enter the card number, valid through date, CVV/CVV2 number, customer’s name, and zip code. Once you enter all the details and give permission to proceed, payment gets processed within a few seconds, and a small transaction fee is automatically deducted.
The payment from customers usually reflects in your account within 24 hours, but it depends upon the bank you are using. During the payment processing, you can provide notes and payment confirmation to your customer through email or SMS. The bills are automatically generated and sent to your registered email.
Importance of Virtual Terminals
Small businesses can reap many benefits by incorporating virtual terminals in their payment processing ecosystem.
#1. Processes Large Volume of Transactions
Many small businesses utilize virtual terminals to process a lot of transactions from customers instantly. Whether you are using a computer, smartphone, or tablet, it can turn any device into a fast payment processing hub.
You can even process payments by manually putting the card details in the virtual terminal once you obtain them from customers.
#2. Lower Processing Fee
Another point that draws businesses toward virtual terminals is the low processing fee. Most virtual terminals charge a small percentage for processing a payment, and it is dedicated automatically before the payment is credited to your account.
The processing fee generally varies between 1 to 3.5% and varies from terminal to terminal. Some terminals don’t charge anything due to the surcharge and cash discount options it offers.
#3. Recurring Credit Card Payment Option
Some virtual terminals allow you to set up recurring credit card payment options. You just need to enter your credit card information along with a recurring payment date, and the terminal will automatically deduct the required amount. It ensures a reliable cash flow and helps you offer the best service to your customers.
#4. Secured Transaction and Data Storage
Well-known virtual terminals are highly secured as they are protected by high-level security encryptions.
The chance of any scam or fraud during the transaction is almost nil, and there is a low probability of failure. In addition, you can also store credit card information for future transactions using a virtual terminal, but you must comply with PCI DSS regulations.
With virtual terminals, you can process payments from anywhere in the world. All you need is a stable internet connection and your account to process the payment.
In addition, you can access virtual payment terminals 24/7 through your smartphone or laptop. It’s beneficial for small businesses as they receive orders at any time of the day and requires accessing their payment records like sales reports, inventory levels, etc., so they can do the needed tasks.
#6. Send Invoices Virtually
Once payment is processed, you can automatically send the purchase virtually to your customer through email or text. Moreover, virtual terminals allow you to send invoice details to your audit team, who looks after your finances. Some virtual terminals, like QuickBooks, also give you the option to explore all the transaction details.
#7. Reduce Costs
Virtual terminals have been instrumental for small businesses in reducing certain costs. When you use it, you won’t have to run after customers for late payments or think about paying hefty transaction fees. All the invoices are stored digitally and distributed to the appropriate teams, thus, reducing miscellaneous costs.
Now, let’s talk about the best virtual terminals that you can use for your business.
Helcim is undoubtedly one of the best virtual terminals widely used by retail businesses. It has been designed in such a way that suits all types of retail and can handle a high volume of transactions.
Processing transactions from customers is relatively easy with Helcim’s simple interface, and you can easily do it with a few clicks. A large number of small businesses or growing retailers prefer this over other virtual terminals because it doesn’t involve any long-term contract and monthly account fee.
Moreover, you can automatically get a volume discount, a feature that has attracted a lot of attention. Apart from processing credit and debit card payments, it is also compatible with ACH transfers and international transactions.
It is well-protected by Helcim fraud defender and PCI Data Security Standards, so you won’t have to worry about card information theft or costly fraudulent transactions.
Global Payments is also a leading name when it comes to virtual terminals for performing secure payments from any device. The interface design of this virtual terminal is straightforward, and it doesn’t require setting up any hardware to accept payments.
Setting up the account is pretty easy too, and with the help of a product engineer from the brand’s side, your virtual terminal can be set up quickly. This virtual terminal makes it easy for you to accept payments on a large scale both over the phone and by mail.
Whether you want to store card details for future payments or issue refunds, this virtual terminal will let you perform many essential tasks with ease. Your account will be protected by PCI DSS-compliant technology which not only allows you to store numerous card details but also saves you from multiple fraud checks.
Global Payments uses the subscription model, and the pricing varies according to your requirements.
By having OmniFlex integrated into your business as a virtual terminal for processing payments, you can safely accept any card type from anywhere you want. It is a web payment solution that lets small businesses process high amounts of transactions with ease.
If you have a new e-commerce business and find it difficult to handle high transaction volumes, using OmniFlex can greatly help. All the payment processing is secured by a proprietary fraud management feature, making sure no one can dupe you with payments.
Furthermore, you won’t face a hard time adapting to this web-payment tool, and the credit partially goes to its compact interface. Like other virtual terminals, it also works on a subscription model and charges a minimal percentage for processing all card payments.
Ever since it entered the industry, Square has always been a popular choice among organizations, especially small businesses. It is typically favored for its in-person payment processing, but in recent years its virtual terminal has earned a lot of reputation among business owners.
From new businesses to stores that are going online, it is designed to serve an extensive array of customer bases. To make the virtual payment process more convenient, the organization has integrated it into Square POS and made it free with every Square POS account.
Square entirely streamlines your cash flow by allowing payment processing from credit/debit cards, payment links, and ACH transfers. With the Square dashboard, you will also get the added benefits of storing card information and managing your inventory.
Another great thing about this virtual terminal is that it only charges per transaction without involving any monthly or annual subscription fees. You just need to pay a flat charge of 3.5%, along with 15 cents per transaction.
SimplyPayMe is a reputed virtual terminal payment processor that has incorporated no hardware technology to ensure a seamless card processing service. It is absolutely safe and fast to process heavy payment volumes from all your vendors and customers.
This virtual terminal is powerful yet efficient and can turn your mobile into a secure payment terminal so that you can accept card payments from your traders and merchants whenever you want with security and convenience.
Besides card payments, it also accepts payment over the phone, QR codes, and Paylinks, giving you and your customers the flexibility to perform transactions by different means.
SimplyPayMe can manage transactions and invoices and issue receipts either by email or text. Using this virtual terminal doesn’t require you to opt for a subscription model; just pay some bucks per transaction, and you are done.
If you are looking for a virtual terminal that’s convenient and has no-hardware payment processor, Clover is a good option. It’s recommended by experts and is a popular POS system.
With its monthly plan, you get a meticulously designed dashboard and an end-to-end encryption payment service. In addition, you can accept payments from a variety of merchant accounts, including the ones with high risks.
Moreover, it allows you to integrate it with your CRM, which will automate payment processing and also improve customer dealing. If you already use Clover’s POS system, you can easily integrate it for handling recurring payments, which is highly beneficial for maintaining cash flow.
With every account, Clover provides a $100,000 liability protection. So, if there is any data breach, you will be entitled to compensation. You can get Clover by paying $14.95 a month.
Want to accept payment from vendors by just entering their card details?
Try Cybersource. It is considered one of the pioneer virtual terminals, allowing you to accept payment just from your computer. Like any leading virtual terminal, it is also a fast and secure application that allows you to handle a large number of transactions daily.
Cybersource is highly flexible when it comes to transactions, as you can take payment from eCheck as well. With this virtual terminal, you can opt for credit refunds which is an extremely important requirement in modern businesses.
Furthermore, Cybersource has a user-friendly interface so that people with little knowledge of payments and transactions won’t face difficulty in using the application. The whole payment processing is secured by a multi-level inbuilt security system that protects from fraudulency and scams.
However, if you are still facing difficulty in accepting payment or your payment is stuck in the middle, Cybersource’s efficient customer support is always ready to help you.
CardPointe is a popular web-based virtual terminal that allows you to accept virtual and card-not-present payments through its effective system. Not only PC browsers, but you can also use your smartphone or tablet to accept payments.
All you need is to enter basic card details in the virtual terminal while accepting the payments. Once you submit the details, the payment will be completed within a split second. Whether you are accepting a regular payment or a recurring one, CardPointe will automatically generate electronic receipts and send them to the recipients.
When you integrate this virtual terminal with your systems, you also get the option to store your customers’ data, which comes helpful in providing loyalty points and generating recurring billing.
Virtual terminals have made it effortless to make card payments through phone, email, or any other electronic form. It is not only easy to use but also highly secure, as most of the terminals are protected by industry-grade encryptions.
With so many virtual terminals in the market offering amazing features and deals, it gets difficult to shortlist and choose one. Thus, read about the above options and choose the best virtual terminal based on your business requirements and budget.
Durga Prasad Acharya is a Freelance Technical Writer who loves writing on emerging technologies, such as AI & ML, Cybersecurity, Web Hosting, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and more. Besides writing, he’s a web designer and is passionate about… read more
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