Here's the Scoop on Virtual Terminal Credit Card Processing
If you're tired of trying to keep up with the latest technologies, you're not alone. Technologies seem to emerge at a pace that can feel like rapid fire with the latest gadget making yesterday's hot technology obsolete before you've even had a chance to try it out. It can be frustrating to be confronted with change when you're already dealing with a huge to-do list as it is. But when it comes to payment processing, new technologies can actually help you tackle that to-do list and grow your business, while keeping investment and adjustment at a manageable level. One such technology is virtual terminal credit card processing.
What You Should Know
If you have a computer with internet access, then you have the potential to run this form of credit card processing. You won't need to purchase software or buy a traditional swipe machine, which can be a huge savings. A virtual terminal is a payment application that runs on a browser -- a webpage that allows you to manually input credit card information and the amount of a sale before submitting it to the payment processor for authorization.
Standard credit card terminals are a must-have in certain settings, but some business models are flourishing without the need for them. Certain types of small retail businesses, for example, can operate smoothly without a terminal or POS system. Particularly those that don’t regularly process a high volume of payments, or that don’t have a brick and mortar location. Seasonal kiosks, and street vendors fall into that category. Some small online merchants are also using virtual terminals with success. Since there isn’t a need (or ability) to physically swipe a card when making sales online, it's becoming more and more popular among e-commerce retailers and service providers. It's also been used by merchants who take credit cards over the phone or through mail orders.
Convenience and Options to Grow Your Business
Computers have made it possible for us to make money and stay connected at any hour of the day, which means that if you're on the move, you can still take care of credit card processing through an easily managed application. Not only can you work from anywhere you can access the internet, but you can also offer options you may not have been able to before, like international currency acceptance, and recurring billing. Virtual terminals can print or email receipts and generate reports, so you can view daily details, or even track trends over time. It’s also common for small businesses with slightly higher volume to purchase a card reader as an add-on to the virtual terminal when sales increase.
Does it Matter Which One I Use?
A virtual terminal is only as solid as the credit card payment processing solution backing it. When considering which to use, it’s helpful to assess the services and support offered by the processor. Are you getting fair rates? Is customer service available 24/7? Do they offer any security features to protect cardholder data? Ask the same questions that would ask if you were going to use payment processing with a POS system or terminal. Lastly, ask about options for upgrading to a different solution if you grow out of a virtual terminal credit card processing solution and decide to implement a POS system. Will they allow you to use the system of your choice or will you be limited to their proprietary solution?
Depending on your current business operations, and your goals for the future, adopting this new technology could give your business the leg up it needs in order to meet your and your customers’ needs.