Online Virtual Terminals: Three Advantages for Small Businesses

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In the last decade, the chip and pin card reader has become the number one most popular method of completing transactions in physical stores. They are used almost exclusively along with traditional cash payments across all of retail and food services. There are some limitations to this method, though. The primary one is that you’re not able to take payments when someone isn’t physically there to type in their PIN to the machine. If this is a service you need to be able to provide, if you need to take payments over the phone, for example, then a virtual terminal may be the best solution. This is especially true as two popular payment methods provided by Google Checkout and WePay aren’t an option any longer.


Take payments from people calling at a low rate

If you own a physical store, the most cost-efficient method of taking payments aside from standard cash is through credit card hardware. These are now readily available at a reasonable cost, but they have their own limitations. Not all businesses can have physical contact with their customers at all times and may need to take a deposit payment over the phone, for example. This is where a virtual terminal shows its real advantage. Using a virtual terminal to take payment is simple. You simply log into your provider of choice’s software and type in the card details as given by the customer. This is then added to the system, and the transaction takes place, with funds being transferred in 2-3 working days. If you’re a remote business that needs to take payments, then this service is a must.


Set up recurring payments

Another key advantage of having a virtual terminal system available to use is that you can set up recurring payments. This isn’t something you can do with physical card readers, so it’s a clear benefit of having this type of system. To do this, you add the card details to the system as usual, but add in a recurring date for the transaction to take place. If you work with clients on a retainer basis or have a subscription service that delivers goods every month, then this is a very simple way of ensuring that you get paid every month. For contractors and freelancers, chasing invoices and payments is a regular part of your day-to-day activities and can have a big impact on cash flow. If you’re thinking of using a virtual terminal for recurring payments, then you can read more here.


Store information for additional transactions

Having a secure place to store customer payment information is key for business owners that need to take ongoing payments. To do this compliantly, you need to use a PCI-compliant system and can be a risk if you don’t. Virtual terminals are all regulated by this body and are fully compliant, meaning you’re safe from any issues.


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