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What Exactly is a Virtual Terminal?

Few businesses can survive without offering their customers the option of paying with credit cards. Business owners often find it overwhelming to wade through the dozens of payment processing options. Technology has changed rapidly over the past decade, creating a myriad of choices. Most merchant account providers have contracts, set-up fees, and cancellation penalty charges, so before opening a merchant account, be sure to explore a variety of providers, and research them well.

The rising star in payment processing options is the virtual terminal. This method of accepting credit cards is extremely convenient for both the consumer and the seller.

What exactly is a virtual terminal?

1. A virtual terminal is a secure online payment processor accessed through any browser.
2. It looks like going to a website, but it is actually a secure application.
3. It is a method for merchants to process credit cards away from the physical site of their business.

Why use a virtual terminal?

1. A virtual terminal is accessible 24/7, from any location.
2. A merchant can process orders securely without swiping the actual card.
3. Encrypted credit card information ensures secure transactions.
4. It is convenient for seller and consumer.

What you should look for when choosing your virtual terminal provider?

1. Choose an interface that is easy to navigate.
2. Make sure the merchant account provider is reputable and secure.
3. Make sure funding time is no longer than 2-3 days.
4. Shop around and make sure you get the most competitive rate.
5. Online data and reports that are accessible, clear, and concise.

Opening a merchant account and deciding the type of payment processing right for you is a lengthy process. Most reputable merchant providers will allow you to access their virtual terminal home page and navigate a mock charge before you sign up. Look at the type of reports you can access and the back up and export capabilities. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions. Some companies will offer discounted rates with volume and others have maximum monthly limits. Armed with the right questions, you can easily choose the merchant provider that is best suited to your particular needs.

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