14 Surprising Benefits That Virtual Terminal Payment Processing Offers Small Businesses

If you are a business that is ready to explore flexible payment solutions, learning more about virtual terminals and their many benefits can significantly increase your earning potential.

Virtual Terminal Versus Physical Terminal

All small businesses are unique. They operate according to specific individual needs. However, whether you own a family restaurant, a healthcare facility, a small design shop, or an eCommerce store, you share a common need. The ability to easily accept digital payment- debit card, credit card, and ACH – efficiently and securely.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems and countertop payment terminals might be the best solution for some businesses. But it might not be for others. These solutions are best suited for in-person payments.

However, many small businesses today operate solely online. Therefore, physical terminals may not be the best option.

Additionally, some businesses may operate in person, but offer the option for their clients to pay online. Or even set up recurring payments. In these situations, merchant virtual terminals may be the best solution.

Virtual Terminals for Small Businesses

Large corporations have efficient transaction experiences. To compete, small businesses need to be quick to react to their customer’s needs. Luckily, with modern-day advancements, payment processing options for small businesses are increasing. Using virtual terminals to process payments can be one of the simplest solutions.

Let’s take a look into the specifics of what virtual terminals are, how they work, what their features are, and who can best benefit from using them

What is a Virtual Terminal For Processing Credit Cards?

A virtual terminal is a software or application that allows businesses to accept credit card payments right from their computer. It turns merchants their their customers’ computers or smart devices into an online payment terminal.

Virtual card payment processing requires no additional equipment such as a physical terminal. Additionally, merchants will not need to pay for their software or application. Simply put, virtual payment terminals are a no-hassle, web-based payment platform. Allowing merchants to easily accept online payments.

Merchants and customers can complete a transaction anywhere and anytime. So long as they have:

  • an internet connection
  • a web browser
  • a merchant account through a merchant services provider
  • a payment gateway

Can Virtual Terminals Process ACH?

Virtual terminals are a great solution for ACH processing. Rather than collecting paper checks via mail or in person, merchants can use their virtual terminal service to collect bank account and routing information.

It is a quick and easy process. One that will rack up fewer payment processing fees compared to credit card transactions. Especially card-not-present transactions.

Card-Present Vs. Card-Not-Present Virtual Terminal Transactions

Physical payment terminals generally facilitate card-present transactions. Whereas, a virtual reader can complete card-not-present transactions. This means cards are not dipped, swiped, or tapped to process a payment. A merchant or customer would simply key in their card information to the payment screen.

Keep in mind, with manual card entry, the transaction is considered a card-not-present. Even if the customer is present and has their card on them.

Virtual terminals allow merchants to process electronic payments. Regardless if the cardholder is in person, on the phone, or online. If a merchant chooses to, they may process in-person payments through their virtual terminal. Card-present transactions avoid the larger credit card fees from their payment processor.

All a merchant would need to do is attach a physical card reader to their computer with a USB. The merchant can then swipe, dip, or tap the physical card and run the payment through their online payment gateway.