Virtual Terminals and Payment Processing


Whether your customers shop in-person with you or place orders online, a virtual terminal can help you complete payments. These payment processing solutions allow you to accept credit and debit cards as well as eChecks (ACH) for a convenient and cost-effective way to get paid.

Unlike point-of-sale (POS) systems, virtual terminals can run on any computer or mobile device that has an internet connection. In-person card payments are processed by swiping, dipping or tapping the credit card, but online and phone/email transactions are keyed in manually through the virtual terminal. The transaction data is then sent to your payment gateway, which encrypts and authenticates it. The gateway then sends the information to the card-issuing bank for verification, and the processing system either approves or declines the purchase. If approved, the funds move from the cardholder’s account to your merchant account, and you will receive a notification on your virtual terminal.

Most virtual terminals also include two-factor authentication to further protect sensitive customer data. And some offer tokenization, which replaces a cardholder’s personal account number with a unique set of characters known only to the processor and the card-issuing bank. Many also allow multiple users with individual login credentials, and provide comprehensive transaction history to support bookkeeping, refunds, or analyzing sales data. In addition, you should carefully review a provider’s fee structure. Some charge a monthly subscription, while others may only charge per-transaction fees. Getting a good understanding of how these fees work can help you choose the best virtual terminal credit card processing for your business. virtual terminal payment processing