Starting your own online business is an exciting prospect. However, regardless of what you choose to focus your business, you will need to cover one simple need. How will you accept payments and what is a virtual terminal?
No matter what you sell or offer you’ll need to be able to accept payments to get any sales. But how can we accept credit card payments online? Just like physical sales rely on payment terminals your business will need a virtual terminal to accept payments, And if you need a virtual terminal for your business you should probably be considering CardPointe.
CardPointe is a common example of a virtual terminal. This software allows business owners to accept credit card payments in a variety of ways. So keep reading and find out how to receive online payments with ease.
What is a Virtual Terminal?
The simplest way to look at a virtual terminal is to say that it’s a payment-processing platform that doesn’t require physical interaction with the credit card. Traditional payment terminals that are used in-person require the owner to either insert or slide the card on the device. Something that is just not feasible with online payments.
Virtual terminals are web-based applications that allow clients to input their credit card information online and then request the payment from their bank provider instantly. If you’ve ever bought anything online you’ve crossed paths with a payment page, and that “payment page” is a virtual terminal. Cardpointe is a common example of a virtual terminal and is the solution Payline sets up most of its clients with.
However, it’s important to note that despite appearances very few websites build their own virtual terminal. Payment processing is an elaborate and complex task, and it wouldn’t be feasible nor responsible to force every single online retailer to build their own processing platform. As such online business owners rely on the service of established virtual terminal providers instead. While there’s no shortage of terminals in the market today we’ll focus on CardPointe, whose ease of use and features make it one of the best picks for online businesses regardless of size.
Developed by CardConnect, CardPointe is one of the premier virtual terminals in the current market, but what does this exactly mean? What does CardPointe offer? And why should you consider it before other alternatives? It all comes down to the key features the system provides, so let’s take a closer look at them:
- Straightforward client experience: Perhaps the most important consideration with a virtual terminal is that it’s intuitive for your potential clients. After all, being able to process payments won’t mean much if the process is long and complex. CardPointe allows you to easily add a “Pay Now” button to your website and the payment process won’t take more than 5 minutes due to the simple to follow instructions
- Multiple payment channels: One of the key features of CardPointe is that it accepts all the traditional payment channels. This means that while the web-based virtual terminal is the main focus it can also process payments from a physical terminal and its corresponding mobile app. This allows your business to keep all its payments under a single platform, simplifying the process and lowering costs.
- Real-time access: Through the CardPointe Portal you’ll be able to review all the payments and movements that have taken place on your platform at any time. This information is updated in real-time as well so you’ll have superior control when it comes to your finances. Whether you need to write down a report, print a receipt, or issue a refund you’ll have access to all the information you need in real-time.
- Improved security: Security is one of the most important features of any payment-processing platform, and CardPointe has taken several steps to ensure all information it processes is 100% safe. CardPointe counts with both Tokenization and Point-to-Point Encryption to protect its information. The former replaces sensitive data with tokens that are useless to any third parties, while its Encryption ensures that the data transmission is protected in every step of the transaction.
Cost of CardPointe
The exact cost of a virtual terminal can be hard to summarize. As a whole, virtual terminals generally tend to have two main expenses: Their handling fee and their processing fees. Or in other words the payment for having access to the service and the payment for processed payments. In the case of CardPointe, you should expect your monthly payment to amount to $10 from the CardPointe Monthly Fee while the Processing Fees are roughly 1.95% of each transaction. Overall, you should expect a monthly minimum of $20, which is on the low-end, and also comes with the advantage that CardPointe does not ask for yearly payments and allows you to terminate the service at any time.
Do keep in mind that additional fees can come up due to banking laws, but these apply to any virtual terminal and not just CardPointe specifically.
How to get set up
Setting up CardPointe is as simple as going to the CardPointe website and logging in as a Merchant. Once you’ve paid and registered as a CardPointe Merchant you’ll be able to configure your login credentials and register on the website. After inputting your information you’ll be able to access the CardPointe platform and look at your balance, recent movements, and more.
Once your CardPointe account is active you can also add a “Pay Now” button to any website by requesting a Hosted Payment Page from a representative. This will create a unique payment page linked to your ID which allows the platform to process any payments directly to your merchant account.
Which terminals sync up with CardPointe?
Payline offers its CardPointe Credit Card Terminal for seamless integration between physical payments and your CardPointe platform. But beyond that, the Ingenico Tetra Desk/3500 and Desk/5000 are also recommended by the company and are expected to work without issues.
The above models also include support for both EMV and NFC which means any of these devices are future-proof and are up to par with modern payment-processing standards.