What is a Virtual Credit Card Terminal?

Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses and consumers have grappled with the frustrations of global supply chain issues. More than two years later, supply chain disruptions persist—causing global inventory outages of products ranging from baby formula to POS systems. Unfortunately, economists predict we can expect at least another year of supply chain headaches. 

As a small business owner, making the decision to transition or upgrade your POS system isn’t one you make lightly. And when you do decide to make the jump—or worse, your system bites the dust—the last thing you want to find out is that your POS equipment of choice is unavailable.

Finding the right solution for credit card processing can be a challenge, and thanks to global supply chain disruptions and inventory shortages, finding the right solution that’s actually in-stock can be even more difficult.

Enter the latest in credit card terminal upgrades: virtual credit card terminals. In this article, we’ll answer the question, “what is a virtual terminal,” how it can help your business, and more.

What is a Virtual Terminal?

Every business, no matter the size or type, has one thing in common—they need to securely accept credit or debit cards. The way in which they do that, whether through a credit card terminal or countertop POS system, is up to the business owner. A virtual terminal is just another, very useful, option.  

While it might seem complicated, it’s actually very simple. A virtual terminal turns your computer, phone, or tablet into a credit card terminal. It’s an easy, safe way to take credit cards over the phone and bill remotely.

A virtual terminal is essentially a terminal in the cloud that lets your process transactions through a web-based application. You can take payments anywhere from any device with an internet connection, whether the customer is there in-person, ordering over the phone, or their card is saved on file.

The best thing about a virtual terminal is that there’s no additional equipment needed. Have a smartphone? You’ve got everything you need. With a virtual terminal, you can transform any laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet into a simple POS system—and you won’t need additional hardware or software.

If you want to take swiped or chip card-present payments, you can connect a USB card reader to your computer for a simple plug-and-pay experience. While it’s not necessary to use the card reader to take payments in the virtual terminal, it can lower your cost of payment acceptance to have the card data physically captured by the reader device. In addition, virtual terminals that support EMV chip card readers can provide better protection against chargebacks than if you always key in the card number.

What Kinds of Businesses Can Use Virtual Terminals?

The short answer? Every business. A virtual credit card terminal is a simple solution for any business to accept payments. It’s also a great backup option. If you’re using a larger, more robust POS system, a virtual terminal can support you when your system goes down. Simply pull out your cell phone, log in, and never stop accepting payments.

A virtual terminal is a good fit for:

  • Quick-service restaurants
  • Retail shops
  • Professional services (doctors’ offices, lawyers, dentists, landscapers, and any business with accounts receivables or over the phone billing).
  • Freelance or independent contractors

If you sell goods or services to other businesses or government entities, a virtual credit card terminal is also a good fit for you, especially one with Level II and Level III interchange optimization to ensure the best rates on business cards.

How do I Accept Payments with a Virtual Terminal?

With the Beyond One Virtual Terminal, accepting payments is simple. Go from brick and mortar to brick and click in a single payments package—without buying a special device or downloading complicated software. Here’s how you can accept virtual payments:

  1. Sign up and log into your Beyond One client portal 
  2. In the upper-left corner of your dashboard, click Virtual Terminal and then “new sale”
  3. Enter the payment amount followed by your customer’s card number, expiration date, CVV and billing ZIP code 
  4. Enter a note for your customer or describe the purchase (optional)
  5. Voila, you’re finished! Get your funds as soon as the next day.

A virtual terminal is a simple, streamlined solution. You can also export virtual terminal transactions to accounting software, download and analyze reports, and create customer profiles, add notes, and view purchase histories.

While there are a lot of complicated things that come with running a business, accepting payments shouldn’t be one of them. A virtual terminal is a streamlined and easy-to-use option for accepting payments wherever your business is.

Waiting around for an inventory restock? Learn more about Beyond One Virtual Terminal today—and start accepting payments tomorrow.

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