What is a Virtual Terminal?

Virtual Terminal

Do you need to take payments without being in front of the customer? In this case, a virtual terminal might just be what you’re looking for.

A virtual payments terminal is an online system which allows the customer to make payments over the phone, without the need of a physical card machine or for the customer to be present.

If you take payments on the phone, incoming or outgoing, an e-terminal can help you take card payments quickly and securely

How does a virtual terminal work?

In much the same way as a PDQ machine works, instead of using the actual card to take the payment, the card details are entered into the online system.

In the case of a traditional card machine, the customer enters their card into the machine and their pin will act as verification for the payment. In more recent times, contactless payments can do the same thing, quickly and easily.

When the customer is not present, a virtual terminal can be used by entering the relevant details:

Customers card number
Expiry date
CSV code
Name as it appears on the card
Modern virtual terminals can be used on all kinds of devices, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. All that is required is a connection to the internet.

In addition, all the providers on our comparison site offer multiple users and varying security levels. The typical monthly fee for a virtual terminal is generally very reasonable and include several transactions for free within the monthly fee.

Use our comparison tool to find out more

What are the advantages of using a virtual payments terminal?

Using a virtual payment terminal is extremely easy and most providers can set you up in a matter of days. But what are the other advantages?

1, Speedy Payments

If you take payments remotely or rely on customers paying via cheque or cash or worse waiting for your customers to come in to pay. A virtual terminal can process payments immediately on the phone, the easy layout of the payments page ensures a slick process.

If you have a call center full of staff which needs to take payments, that’s not a problem either, they can all log in quickly and easily using their own login on the same platform.

You can also make payments on the move, as long as you have the internet and a suitable device, you can truly take payments anywhere!

2, More payment options = more sales

Customers appreciate having as many payment options as possible. Ever walked out of a pub because they didn’t have a card machine? The same principle applies to making payments on the phone.

Customers who may have had to come into the store or cut a cheque may also appreciate the easier payment service you now offer.

3, Better than using a card machine

Many businesses use a card machine to take payments via the phone, which is fine if you take the odd card payment.

In the case of a busy business, for example, a food takeaway, this can be problematic.

One staff member may be taking a payment over the phone while a queue is developing instore. The staff member is under pressure not to make a mistake on the card machine which is more difficult to use than the virtual terminal.

A lot of busy shops now offer both methods of payments, so they have added flexibility

4, Take secure payment – which a more cost-effective.

Most providers charge extra if you do not take payments securely, this can happen using a card machine remotely if you don’t take the CSV details. The charge can be as much as 1% on top of you your normal merchant service charge.

A virtual terminal won’t allow you to take payments in this manner, insuring lower fraud and lower transaction costs.

How to choose the cheapest virtual terminal?

The truth is most virtual terminals are very similar and less you are a large corporation, don’t overpay using a brand such as Sumup or Paypal for example.

We would recommend using our comparison engine to find the cheapest virtual terminal package and speak to the provider about your individual needs.

If you need more help on what you require, just drop us a message and we will provide no-obligation advice, comparing the whole market.

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