Virtual terminal credit card processing, also known as virtual POS (point of sale), allows you to accept credit card payments over the phone or by mail. It transforms any computer, tablet, or smartphone into a POS system without the need for expensive hardware gadgets and software. Whether you’re a small business that doesn’t have the budget to invest in a full-featured POS system or an established retailer that wants to offer customers a convenient payment option, a virtual terminal is a great fit for your business needs.
The way a virtual terminal works is similar to that of an online checkout form, except it allows you to manually input the customer’s card details and submit them for processing. It then transmits those details to an integrated payment gateway over a secure, encrypted connection for the highest level of security.
As a result, this method is often used by merchants that take payments by phone or mail. This includes professional services providers like accountants, doctors, and attorneys who may have a client in their office but also accept payments over the phone for taxes, invoices, or other services.
Using a virtual terminal over the phone or by mail is not only fast and easy but it helps protect sensitive card information from breaches and theft. That’s because instead of storing the customer’s personal account number (PAN), your payment processor substitutes it with an alphanumeric token that’s meaningless to everyone but your merchant account provider. virtual terminal credit card processing