A virtual terminal is a software program for merchants that enables them to take payment from their customers with a debit or credit card and not have the actual card present. To complete the sale, the customer doesn’t have to complete a transaction on a payment terminal, like at a traditional retail location. A virtual terminal accepts a pre-loaded image of a virtual credit card on a memory card and displays it on a screen. In other words, the virtual terminal serves as the ‘virtual’ payment terminal that processes credit cards instead of cash.
Virtual terminals can be purchased as a standalone unit or as part of a more extensive network for processing multiple types of payments. Virtual terminals usually come preinstalled with software that allows them to process various payment methods such as credit cards, checks, e-checks, money orders, prepaid visa/master cards, and e-wallet payments. They may also be configured to allow users to specify which methods they prefer. Virtual terminals are used for point of sale (POS) processing, where the terminal accepts credit or debit card transactions and redirects them to the appropriate company account. This system is used at convenience stores, malls, and other point sale venues.
Some virtual terminals are configured to process payments at specified intervals automatically. These transactions are usually referred to as “real-time” transactions. For instance, a hotel would set up a virtual terminal that allows its guest to use a card to pay for their room each morning. This feature is useful when a hotel wants to ensure its guest of their transaction after the transaction has been made and the room is booked, and when a business merchant wants to run an ad that will appear in the window of a customer’s room.
Some virtual terminals also connect to a virtual merchant account. With a virtual merchant account, a business owner only needs to have one type of internet connection. Payments are handled based on credits or debits that are placed into a particular account. The virtual terminals receiving these transactions can process these payments automatically without a need for a human to process payments.
Virtual terminals can be accessed through a website that contains all of the required software components. A business owner can then select which services they want to participate in. This may include debit cards, e-checks, and credit cards. A virtual terminal can process these card payments by simply accepting debit cards and e-checks from customers’ computers.
A virtual terminal can process transactions by using either a web browser or a specific application. Most businesses will choose to use the web browser interface because it is more convenient. However, the Internet Explorer web browser can also process transactions. Users can select which application they prefer. This type of application is easier to use because many businesses have been trained to navigate this type of interface.
Virtual terminals are perfect for companies that do not have storefronts on their websites. It allows businesses to process card transactions in the same way it would be done if the businesses had a storefront. In-person transactions may be more challenging when a company does not own a physical location. In-person transactions can be much faster when processed through a virtual terminal. Businesses will find that these terminals are very convenient for card payments and other types of in-person transactions.
Many virtual terminals allow users to make changes to the information that is stored in the database. This is convenient for businesses that need to make changes to the information. These terminals also make it easy for businesses to enter the processing information for their specific types of card payments. By using a virtual terminal, businesses will discover that this convenient processing of online card payments is beneficial.