For small business owners, individuals who work from home or any business that takes regular payments by mail or phone, virtual terminals can become an important tool for running your operation. A virtual payment terminal is the equivalent of a physical payment terminal or point-of-sale (POS) machine, but on your laptop, desktop or mobile device. These web-based or “virtual” terminals are basically software applications that are hosted online, usually through a provider’s web servers, that can be accessed from any computer or web browser.
Virtual terminals are a popular option for many organisations nowadays, as they allow users to input credit card information directly into a payment form which can be processed quickly and easily. Just like the form that you fill out when submitting payments on an ecommerce site, these terminals are designed to be both user-friendly and secure.
Benefits Of Virtual Terminals
There are many benefits to taking payments via virtual terminal. These card-processing apps offer several advantages, including:
- They can process payments from anywhere, any time;
- The terminal programs make recurring payments easier;
- They help businesses take phone and mail payments more efficiently;
- They can become a solid backup for main POS systems;
- And virtual terminals can be setup and with minimal effort.
Other Additional Benefits
As mentioned above, a virtual credit card terminal can be fast and easy to use, making it a popular choice, but another plus for these terminals is that they can be installed without hassle, too, so companies can start taking payments without jumping through hoops.
Another benefit of a virtual terminal is that it allows for multiple users on the same account. When one person is taking or entering payment information, another person can be doing the same on their computer and another user could be checking payments on their device, and so on, allowing multiple transactions simultaneously that can all be deposited or assigned into a single account.
Plus, virtual terminals allow companies and users to take payments from anywhere with an internet connection, making remote and mobile payment processing more accessible for businesses.
Virtual terminals also help both the user and client because these programs typically offer instant confirmation on payments. This allows for a more seamless payment interaction and gives payees the option to quickly email or print and send customised receipts to payers.
And, for an added bonus, virtual terminals make tracking and cataloging payments a simpler task, typically storing them online if needed at a later date. This can help with invoicing, tax filing and can help reduce fraudulent activity.
What Types Of Businesses Should Use A Virtual Terminal?
Over the past couple decades, virtual terminals were typically used by mail order or telephone order (MOTO) companies, mainly because they didn’t have access to the physical credit card. But this has changed in recent years, as a much wider variety of organisations have begun to use virtual terminal technology.
With the addition of USB card readers, many virtual terminals can be turned into physical terminals that allow for card-present transactions. This development has helped MOTO companies add a payment method to their catalogue and allowed businesses who typically process card-present transactions to start utilizing virtual terminals instead of their previous methods, which often required the company to rent or buy an expensive credit card processing terminal.
Virtual Terminal Costs
Below is a list of some costs associated with the most popular virtual terminals in the UK. These prices can vary based on many factors, but these should give you a good general estimate.
- PayPal: Charges 3.4% + 20 p for every credit or debit card transaction with no monthly fee
- Shopify: Charges 2.2% + 20 p for every debit card transaction and 2.4% + 20 p for every credit card transaction with a monthly fee starting at $9
- Stripe: Charges 1.4% + 20 p for every credit or debit card transaction with no monthly fee
- Square: Charges 1.75% for every credit or debit card transaction with no monthly fee
- iZettle: Charges 1.75% for every credit or debit card transaction with no monthly fee
- Merchant Account: Charges 0.39% + 2 p for every debit card transaction and 0.65% + 2 p for every credit card transaction with a monthly fee starting at 15 £
How Do Virtual Terminals Work?
A virtual payment terminal is really as easy as it seems. Here is a step-by-step process for taking a payment with this kind of terminal:
- Customers call, mail or fax you their order details and card information.
- Log in to your online virtual terminal.
- Enter the payment information from your customer into the correct fields.
- Click “submit” to process the payment.
- The customer’s card is charged, and you receive the corresponding funds directly, minus the terminal fees.
Virtual Terminal Providers
There are more and more virtual terminal companies appearing on the market every day, but most organisations with experience would agree that there are only a handful of these applications that are worth using. Here are a few options to get you started:
- Get more details, click here: https://noirepay.com/virtual-terminal/.
- For more information, visit https://squareup.com/gb/en/payments/virtual-terminal.
- Details about their virtual terminal options here: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/phone.
- Learn all about Shopify: https://www.shopify.co.uk/.
- For more about this terminal, visit https://www.izettle.com/gb/sell-online.
- Get more information at https://stripe.com/gb.
In the end, with so many virtual payment terminal options, it may be best to consult the experts for more insight. Contact our team by calling 0330 1220 864.