Any business that accepts payments directly from its customers can benefit from offering virtual terminal payment options. Virtual terminals have been described as software that serves as a “terminal in the cloud.” However, the systems also accept electronic payments on orders received over the phone, by email, or in-person in addition to working with the store’s website and mobile app.
Virtual terminal software runs on desktops and laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The systems connect to credit card terminals and other POS peripherals via cable or wirelessly. They require only a merchant account with a payment gateway, an internet link, and a web browser or mobile app. Retailers can use them to accept one-time payments or recurring payments on a predetermined schedule.
Implementing Virtual Payment Systems
There are three important steps when preparing your business to accent virtual payments through your POS. These steps will ensure that your business is equipped to handle the number of payments through a variety of sources.
Step 1: Upgrade Your POS to a Cloud-Based System
All the components necessary to support virtual terminal payments are built into modern cloud-based POS systems which accept a variety of payment types from any location. Storing and managing your store’s valuable data in the cloud improves security and accessibility while saving your business the cost of expensive POS hardware and software.
Step 2: Prepare Your Store for Mobile Operations
More and more consumers rely on their smartphones and other mobile devices when they shop which means businesses that don’t accommodate mobile shopping and payments could lose sales. In addition to making your staff more productive and your processes more efficient, supporting mobile shopping lets your customers know that you are ready and willing to conduct business how they prefer.
Step 3: Choose a Payment Acceptance Service
The cost of choosing the wrong payment acceptance partner is having to pay exorbitant fees and overcome glitches that slow or stall sales transactions. Make sure the fees the payment merchant charges are fixed and reasonable, and consider virtual payment providers such as US Bank and Elavon for their ease of use, security, and reliability.
Top Virtual Terminal Features to Consider
When deciding to transition to virtual terminals, there are many features these days to consider. You must understand what your business needs and what your customers want, but these are the most common features across any industry that will ensure a smooth and profitable transition.
The single most important consideration when choosing a virtual terminal payment option is finding a cloud-based POS system that makes it as easy to set up and run online operations as it is to accept payment at your brick-and-mortar store. The system must support a range of contactless payment options including digital wallets and virtual terminals. It must also be prepared to work with new payment types and other technologies that arrive in the future.
Secure Data Analytics and Storage
Along with finding the right POS vendor to partner with, you’ll need to select a solution that can process and store data from many different sources and that can easily produce insightful sales reports based on that data. Cloud-based POS systems allow retailers to get a clear, up-to-the-minute view of their sales and other performance metrics. This helps the business identify processes that can be made more efficient and products that require more promotion.
Common Virtual Payments
Some very popular virtual payment options include Apple Pay and Google Pay. Make sure that whichever virtual payment types you support are the ones your customers are most likely to use. Choose a POS system whose virtual terminal and other features are built to scale easily so they’re able to meet your business’s needs today and tomorrow and without requiring any large upfront investments in hardware and software.
Convenience and Mobility
Lastly, even if your business is firmly rooted, consider the ways a virtual terminal payment system presents new opportunities to reach customers by going mobile. Virtual terminals connect to your cloud-based POS system from any location with a network link. They also run on the hardware you and your business already use including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Your store’s entire product catalog is available with a few taps or clicks.
Virtual Terminals Help Small Businesses
Being able to accept payment without a physical credit card or with a digital wallet allows any business to conduct operations from any location with internet access. In addition, by linking directly to your cloud-based POS system, virtual terminal transactions are integrated with other processes automatically such as updating your customer information database, invoicing system, inventory tracking, and sales totals.
Virtual terminal payment systems feature built-in encryption and other security measures. They also make it easy to establish an ongoing relationship with your customers because they capture their phone numbers and email addresses for sending receipts and invoices via text or email. The data the system collects about your customers helps you gain insight into their preferences and interests so you can personalize the promotions and other offers you pitch to them.
Thinking about offering virtual terminal payments? Partner with talech because we customize plans around your budget and unique business needs. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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