A virtual terminal is equivalent to the credit card terminals one might find in a physical store. It is a point of sale (POS) system that is used by employees of a business in order to process customer payments. This is especially useful for merchants and companies who do not offer a customer-facing side to their business. Most companies use a form that the merchant accounts use to help clients enter and save credit card data in order to complete a transaction. Customers can also call the merchant and give their credit card details to an associate over the phone. The associate then completes the transaction by entering the customer’s credit card data into the form. Small businesses tend to benefit greatly from setting up a virtual terminal because it means that they can begin accepting credit cards as a payment method in just a matter of minutes. The fees associated with using these terminals tend to be quite reasonable.
Virtual terminals are also designed with built-in protection for both the customer and the merchant. With many terminals, the customer’s full credit card data is often made anonymous immediately after the transaction is complete. Any data stored with the merchant accounts after the purchase will remain anonymous as well. This reduces the risk of sensitive information being lost or stolen in a potential data breach.
Virtual terminals are a great credit card processing option for online merchants because they create another payment option for customers without having to establish a physical presence. Instead of having to swipe credit cards in order to receive and process payments, the funds can be sent directly to the merchant accounts associated with the business. This is especially helpful for those companies who tend to offer services for sale via the phone or the Internet rather than physical objects that can be sold in a shop. Merchants who rely on the Internet to market their services to customers need to have a safe and reliable way of processing credit card payments, and having a virtual terminal is the easiest way for them to accomplish this goal.