A virtual terminal card payment is a form of credit card processing that allows business owners to take credit or debit payments without having the customer present. This is useful for businesses that sell products or services over the phone or via mail order, home-run organizations, service-oriented businesses such as landscapers and plumbers, and traveling salespeople or independent contractors who need to process payments while on the go.
A typical virtual terminal is an online form that looks like most e-commerce payment forms, allowing customers to enter billing information and their credit or debit card numbers in a safe environment, then submit the transaction for approval. The processor, usually through a secure payment gateway, then communicates with the customer’s card-issuing bank to verify that the card is valid and belongs to the customer. If the card is approved, the merchant receives a notification on the virtual terminal and the customer is emailed or texted their payment receipt. Some virtual terminals allow you to also set up recurring payments, a good option for lawn care or plumbing companies that invoice clients on a monthly basis.
In addition to accepting credit and debit cards, many virtual terminal providers let you also accept ACH transactions, which are direct electronic bank transfers that can be completed remotely from a computer. These are typically cheaper to process than credit card payments, saving you money. This feature is also beneficial for business-to-business payments to vendors, suppliers and other business partners. virtual terminal card payments