What is a virtual terminal?

Published: 03/01/2019

Ever thought about taking payments remotely? Well, a virtual terminal can help you do just that.

It’s a web-based payment system that you can use to take payments from customers over the phone, without them needing to be physically there with you.

If you run a business that takes orders over the phone or from a catalogue, for example, it means your customers can give you a call to place an order and make payment.

How do virtual terminals work?

They work in a similar way to a physical card machine – think of them as an online version.

With the physical version, the customer puts their card in, enters their PIN to verify the payment, and then the funds are automatically processed for you. Or if they have contactless (all our machines come contactless-enabled as standard), they can tap their card on the machine to pay. It’s simple.

With a virtual terminal, it’s just as easy. You simply need to:

  • Log into the system online
  • Fill out your customers’ details on the secure payment form (you can do this whilst they’re on the phone)
  • Submit the transaction and get paid.

That’s it.

You can access a virtual terminal from any device connected to the internet, like your computer, laptop, tablet or phone, wherever you are, so it’s really flexible.

Plus, you can have multiple users with different levels of authority added to your system, so your staff will be able to take payments too!

What are the benefits of a virtual terminal?

Our virtual terminals are easy and quick to get set-up. We’ll send you a username and password, so that you can access the system.

Let’s take a closer look at how your business could benefit:

1. Take faster payments

If you don’t have a business premises, you won’t be limited to just cash payments, or have to rely on sending out invoices or processing cheques.

Instead, you can process card payments through a virtual terminal there and then.

Plus, if you want your team of staff to be able to take payments, you’ll be able to set-up multiple logins. Not only that, but you can also use the virtual terminal from any device that has the internet, so you can take payments wherever, whenever.

2. Reach new customers

Not only will you be able open up this service to your existing customers, but you can reach out to customers who may not have been able to pay you before. Which will hopefully mean more sales!

It also means that you can run an advert or promote your business on social channels for example, helping you to reach out to a wider pool of customers, no matter where they are around the country.

3. Safe and secure transactions

With a virtual terminal, you can relax knowing you’ll be taking payments safely and securely.

It uses AVS security (which stands for Address Verification System) to check that the customer using the debit or credit card actually owns it.

How does it do this? Well, it asks the customer to provide their billing address details and matches this to what’s stored with the cardholders’ bank. So long as it matches what is on the system, the payment will be approved and processed.

This helps to protect your customers against card payment fraud, as it helps to check that the person you’re talking to on the end of the phone is who they say they are!

Our virtual terminal also uses the latest PCI DSS security to ensure your payments are secure. If you already take card payments, you’ll know what this means, but for those of you who don’t know, let’s take a quick look at PCI compliance.

Simply put,  it is a security standard that makes sure that your business has the correct controls in place when you take card payments, protecting you and your customers. You can read our blog on what PCI compliance is to find out more.

4. Run smarter payment processes

If you’re already taking phone payments without a virtual terminal, you’re probably using the card machine that you have in your shop. So, what happens if a customer wants to pay over the phone but you have a big queue in your store?

Well someone’s going to end up having to wait. By having a virtual terminal, you won’t need to worry about that. You’ll have more flexibility to take payments the way you want.

And, as we said earlier, you don’t have to have a physical shop to take card payments. You can use a virtual terminal for many different businesses that take card payments over the phone.

How to get started with a virtual terminal

If you’re interested in taking payments with a virtual terminal, we can help get you set-up.

We’re dedicated to supporting growing businesses like you with their payment solutions. That’s why we have a team of local payment specialists who will come to meet you and discuss the best deal for your business.

With a wealth of local business knowledge, they’ll create a bespoke pricing package personalised to your business needs.

We can also help get you PCI compliant. We have a dedicated team who can guide you every step of the way to ensure that both you and your customers are protected against card payment fraud.

If you choose Payzone, there’s no set-up fees when you join and no exit fees if you choose to leave at the end of your contract. We also provide one of the shortest contracts available on the market – just 12 months.

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