VIRTUAL TERMINAL MERCHANT SERVICES
Virtual terminal merchant services harness the benefits of the cloud
They process credit card payments quickly and simply, and their transaction fees are as much as a full percentage point lower than conventional merchant fees.
They make it easy for customers to set up recurring payments.
They provide businesses with 24/7 access to their sales records from smartphones, tablets, and any other network-connected device.
They reduce the risks related to late payments, bad checks, and cash management.
They store customer data securely to speed up future transactions.
What are virtual terminal merchant services?
When a business signs up to accept credit cards from customers, it must establish a line of credit account with a third-party merchant service rather than with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or other credit card company. (Note that American Express creates its own merchant accounts for its business customers.)
|Visa, Mastercard, and Discover require that a merchant account be created with a bank, financial service provider, or independent agent that is registered as an independent sales organization (ISO). (Mastercard refers to ISOs as Mastercard Service Providers, or MSP.)|
|Merchant accounts are treated as lines of credit by banks because the business receives the funds for the purchases before the money is collected from the customer.|
|To qualify for a merchant account, a business may need to provide a copy of its business license and financial documents; it may also require a personal credit check or a signed personal guarantee.|
|Merchant accounts typically limit the amount of a single transaction and/or the amount that the business charges per day, although limit increases can be requested on a case-by-case basis.|
Visa, Mastercard, and Discover require that a merchant account be created with a bank, financial service provider, or independent agent that is registered as an independent sales organization (ISO). (Mastercard refers to ISOs as Mastercard Service Providers, or MSP.)
Merchant accounts are treated as lines of credit by banks because the business receives the funds for the purchases before the money is collected from the customer.
To qualify for a merchant account, a business may need to provide a copy of its business license and financial documents; it may also require a personal credit check or a signed personal guarantee.
Merchant accounts typically limit the amount of a single transaction and/or the amount that the business charges per day, although limit increases can be requested on a case-by-case basis.
What differentiates terminals from traditional card readers is that they don’t require the card’s physical presence to approve transactions. In this way, they offer customers new ways to pay and businesses more avenues to facilitate payment.
The right hardware makes this transition seamless
It may feel strange to discuss hardware and the cloud together, but some transitions must be made. If you are maintaining a physical location, you need devices that are compatible with cloud-based operations. Even if you go all-in on the cloud, the device used to access point of sale (POS) tools must be a consideration.
✔ Replace legacy tills with mobile devices: The tried and true legacy cash register was great while it lasted. However, it no longer serves a purpose when it comes to web-based POS technologies. You need devices with maximum versatility and devices that were built for cloud use. This makes the mobile device, the tablet, in particular, the optimal choice in this scenario.
✔ Say goodbye to the receipt printer: How often will customers ask for a paper receipt when they place an internet order? Even those customers visiting you internally have slowly been growing accustomed to digital receipts. The most effective web-based POS software solutions offer online invoicing. This is the perfect solution for moving from physical to digital receipts as you move into the cloud.
Mobile-friendly software adds versatility
Moving any portion of your business online makes doing the same with your POS software the right decision. The cloud-based POS tools used should be mobile-friendly and include access from laptops to smartphones. This presents you with a high degree of versatility both in running your business and in the engagement of customers.
The virtual storefront forms the cornerstone of any cloud-based business operations. This matches perfectly to mobile-friendly POS features which are housed in the cloud.
The benefits of this technical arrangement improve drastically when the online store you use is provided by your POS partner. This makes customer engagement seamless and ensures the integrity of business data.
With data a driving factor in nearly every business today, you will need to access your information on demand. The cloud offers you exactly this, and any POS solution you consider must include on-the-fly reporting capabilities.
Harnessing your information should be easily accomplished via your choice of device and with confidence in its accuracy.
Web-based POS software, with its advanced data management and instant accessibility, is perfect for inventory controls. With the precision of web-based data, you can build an inventory model that is automatically updated for proactive changes in ordering.
Doing so reduces the waste and risks that come with excessive ordering, and keeps your products aligned to customer tastes.
Data gains integrity and value
Although we have touched on data in a web-based POS system, this is a topic that warrants additional insight. The power and usefulness data holds in today’s business world has enough of an impact on a cloud-based business to determine its success. Data acquired using a web-based POS system offers advantages over other types of POS platforms including:
You can realize the value of cloud-based data even with just this short list of options at your disposal. A web-based POS software solution provides you with nearly limitless options for building and growing an online following. Profitability improves, as does the reach of your brand with your new ability to reach a wider audience.
How do virtual terminal merchant services benefit businesses?
Virtual terminals support all the functions of a standard credit card terminal without the need for any special hardware. Instead, they use software running on PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and any other internet-connected device to enter the customer’s credit card number and other information. This is called a “customer not present” (CNP) transaction.
|A CNP transaction doesn’t entail swiping the card, inserting an EMV chip, or using an NFC/contactless reader.||CNP transactions include e-commerce shopping carts, online invoices, automatic billing, and orders placed over the phone or via a website.|
|There is a higher risk of fraud occurring with CNP transactions, but the risk can be mitigated by collecting sufficient information about the card and the customer||The information that must be collected includes the card number, expiration date, CVV security code, and name as it appears on the card, as well as the customer’s phone number, email address, and home and shipping addresses.|
|A CNP transaction doesn’t entail swiping the card, inserting an EMV chip, or using an NFC/contactless reader.|
|CNP transactions include e-commerce shopping carts, online invoices, automatic billing, and orders placed over the phone or via a website.|
|There is a higher risk of fraud occurring with CNP transactions, but the risk can be mitigated by collecting sufficient information about the card and the customer|
|The information that must be collected includes the card number, expiration date, CVV security code, and name as it appears on the card, as well as the customer’s phone number, email address, and home and shipping addresses.|
With the appropriate processes and security measures in place, virtual terminal merchant services offer many advantages for businesses:
This is the primary reason why retailers and other businesses choose software-only virtual terminals over credit card readers. Cloud-based POS systems feature software that offers all the functionality of card readers plus easy upgrades as new technology and capabilities become available. In effect, the software converts any network-connected device into a credit card terminal.
Most virtual terminal merchant accounts require little or no upfront expenses and instead charge a fee per transaction. The fee includes the ISO or MSP markup, the pass-through rate that is paid to the issuing bank, an interchange fee paid to the issuing bank, and an assessment fee paid to the company that issued the card. While the standard per-transaction fee for merchant services is 3.5%, most virtual terminal transaction fees are lower:
- Visa: from 1.15% plus $0.05 per transaction to 2.7% plus $0.10 per transaction
- Mastercard: from 1.15% plus $0.05 to 2.75% plus $0.10
- Paypal: 3.1% plus $0.15
- Shopify: 2.9% plus $0.30
Businesses of all sizes can boost their revenue by accepting recurring payments that charge a customer’s credit card for either a preset or changing amount at a regular interval. Setting up recurring payments requires gaining the customer’s permission and paying a setup fee to the business’s payment service provider. In addition to improving cash flow management, recurring payments reduce administrative costs and the need to collect late payments or nonpayments.
The security features built into the virtual terminal software included with modern POS systems protect the private data the business stores about its customers, including their payment information. Subsequent transactions are fast and secure because there’s no need to re-enter the credit card number and other payment information.
The increased reliance of retailers and other businesses on their online operations means the stores are open at all hours of the day or night, and every day of the year. Managers and other employees are able to use virtual terminal software to access their merchant services accounts and all other data, including sales figures and inventory levels, from any device that runs their custom app. This boosts worker productivity and empowers managers.
Two of the best ways for retailers to increase revenue and profits are by improving sales conversions and reducing waste. By giving managers greater insight into where their cash resources are languishing, virtual terminal software improves their ability to optimize their cash flow to enhance inventory management and identify lost sales opportunities.
While accepting CNP payments introduces new avenues of potential fraud in credit card payments, taking advantage of two specific secure-payment technologies goes a long way toward reducing the risk. The Address Verification System (AVS) and Card Verification Value (CVV) allow banks to confirm that the customer’s information matches what they have on file. The AVS and CVV data is passed to the bank along with other transaction data, and the banks’ approval response includes AVS and CVV codes that confirm the information.
- Level 2 data may include a purchase order number, destination address or zip code, the tax amount, and the requestor’s name.
- Level 3 data adds information such as the item’s ID number or SKU, its unit price, a description of the item, a commodity code, or a line discount.
A useful feature of virtual terminal software for many businesses is the ability to create employee accounts with different permission levels. This allows an employee to take on different responsibilities in the course of a shift or during different shifts. For example, permissions can be set by register activities, such as the ability to apply discounts and refunds, as well as by the store or business, including manager access to change user accounts, edit employee timesheets, and activate gift cards.
Virtual terminal merchant services and you
The ability to take full advantage of virtual terminal merchant services and other POS technologies can spell the difference between success and failure for retailers and other businesses that accept payments from their customers. Identifying the best combination of POS tools and features for your operation requires partnering with a vendor such as talech that works with you to craft a solution that’s tailored to your specific needs.
See for yourself how virtual terminals and other cloud-based POS technologies can help your business achieve its goals by signing up for a free demo.
VIRTUAL TERMINAL CREDIT CARD PROCESSING
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VIRTUAL TERMINAL MERCHANT SERVICES
Accepting a credit card? Virtual terminals allow this anywhere you are
In addition to helping small businesses retain the freedom of engagement with their customers, they also serve to help address commonly seen process shortfalls. This is because the POS technology that is required to utilize virtual terminals provide—almost immediately—avenues for improving some very important aspects in almost any small business structure.
THE BEST TERMINAL MERCHANT SERVICES
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Determining which features to look for when searching for the best virtual terminal for your business’s needs requires a close look at your current online operation and how it can be improved through the use of a virtual terminal.