Virtual terminals are the future for many credit card merchants. They are necessary especially when conducting business online, and can save you a ton of money and improve your business process in the long run. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of implementing the solution below.
What is a Virtual Terminal for Credit Card Processing?
A virtual terminal is a way merchants process credit cards. With the implementation of this credit card processing solution, the processing of your business’s transactions does not occur in your office. Instead, the transaction process occurs at another location, which allows you and your business to benefit from the security and features available through the other location.
A virtual terminal is a service that you can access through a web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.). When you access it, it appears just like a web site, and you log in to access your data. Depending on which one your business utilizes, it might also run without you being logged in. For example, a regular monthly charge can be running automatically, and invoices generate on their own at a time of the month, week, or year that you specify.
However, a virtual terminal is not considered a web site— it is considered an application just like Microsoft Word, Quickbooks credit card processing, or Adobe Acrobat. What you don’t see are the benefits the application has to offer.
The Advantages of Using a Virtual Terminal
- You have easy control of your customers’ credit card numbers without having the actual numbers inside your network, like in your point of sale system.
- You may continue using your point of sale system as before, only now your business has an integrated gateway by processing transactions inside the application
- Recurring charges can be easily handled with automatic invoicing that saves you time – it is convenient to access records of previous billing statements and services provided.
- You and your business can make things easier for your customers with services like automatic emails to clients that a credit card is soon to expire, or did not go through.
- Clients can log in to their account to change credit card numbers or make other changes.
- Other advantages depend on which virtual terminal you may use, and what is useful for your business.
What you Need to do when Implementing a Virtual Terminal
- You need to adapt your business to using it. Perhaps you would need to use both a point of sale to track client records, and would use the new solution just to run the charge and keep those records.
- You have to enter client information.
- Learn how to use the virtual terminal, and how to integrate it with your point of sale system
- If you choose to integrate the solution with your point of sale system, it will save you time and money.
- Implement a highly secure network when storing cardholder data inside your business’s local network.
When choosing a solution for your credit card processing, it is imperative that you access which solution best fits your business’s needs. Choose a virtual terminal that seamlessly integrates with your point of sale system—based on the benefits previously discussed.