Do you own a small or a medium-sized business? Are you looking for alternative ways to improve the payment processing experience for both you and your customers? You have landed at the right spot. Whether you have a restaurant business or have a brick-and-mortar shop, you can process payments safely and easily with online terminals. Do you want to know how to process all your electronic payments through such terminals? Simply read on to find out more about this facility and its various helpful features. As a bonus, here you will also come to know about the benefits of using such terminals.

 

What is an Online Terminal?

 

An Online Terminal is a cloud-based or web-based software application. It helps you to accept online payments through a range of different mediums, such as telephone, fax, email, mail order, or in person. Any existing smartphone, desktop, laptop, or tablet can be changed into a POS system and that too, with no extra hardware!

 

In the case of in-person payments, you only need to use your card reader and connect it to a computer through a USB. However, this might not be always necessary. You can also successfully process credit card transactions as long as you have an authentic merchant account, a properly functioning payment gateway, a web browser, and reliable and stable internet connectivity.

 

What are the requirements for online terminals to work?

 

For a virtual terminal to work properly, three items are required. These are – a virtual merchant account, a smartphone or a computer, and a stable internet connection. Once you get all the required items in place, you can start processing online transactions, purchases through mail or telephone-orders.

 

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What are the features of an Online Terminal?

 

Such terminals are much more than simply a few online checkout forms. Most of these terminals come with unique products and useful features. These enhance your payment processing experience and enables you to accept payments more quickly and easily.

 

End to end encryption and tokenization:

 

Online terminal transactions occur through a payment gateway. Typically, such a gateway might apply the tokenization technology along with the system of end-to-end encryption. This will help you to protect sensitive data and keep it restricted only within the payment system that you use. These features also protect your privacy when the transaction process is in progress.

 

Under this system, when a customer furnishes his payment details, the PAN is substituted with a randomly generated number, called �token’. This liberates you from the hassle of storing private information in your system. It also helps to reduce the PCI liability and scope.

 

After this, the tokenized information is encrypted by the gateway. Following this, the payment processor receives it and routes the transaction via the credit card networks.

 

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Recurring payments:

 

Recurring payments can help both you and the customers. A common payment schedule makes the payment automatically come on time, for both parties. As a result of this, the cash flow is increased. It also makes sure that customers are retained in the business.

 

When you look at it from the customers’ experience, these features offer much flexibility and convenience to them too. However, not all online terminal solutions provide recurring payments.

 

Processing of levels 2 and 3:

 

Card issuing banks fix the interchange rates. These rates normally make up the biggest part of the processing costs. Several factors determine the rates, including whether the card was present, whether it was hand-keyed, dipped, or swiped. As you reduce the amount of information that accompanies a transaction, the interchange costs also get lowered.

 

When you accept B2B (business-to-business) or B2G (business-to-government) transactions, you need to add Levels 2 or 3 processing solely for your clients. These methods of credit card processing involve more data including tax amounts, customer codes, tax identifications, etc. This will help you to optimize your interchange costs and make the entire process easier for your clients.

 

Fraud managing tools:

 

Many businesses use online terminals for mail or phone orders. Before initiating such transactions, one should make sure that the customer is the authentic cardholder. Many fraud management tools like AVS (Address Verification Service), CVV (Credit Card Verification Value), Two-factor Authorization, and CID (Card Identification Number) help to confirm the real identity of the customer.

 

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Point-of-Sale System:

 

POS Systems having the functionality of virtual terminals will offer you the flexibility and the convenience of receiving payments even when you are separated from the physical POS. This feature helps you to process both payments and rewards, anytime and every time.

 

The PCI-compliant online terminals safely store all the information of repeat customers to ensure quicker, safer transactions. You can also make use of the collected information by increasing customer engagement via direct marketing and emails.

 

Payment Gateway:

 

Payment gateways are used commonly for accepting online payments for your goods or services. Presently, the technology of gateway has expanded. It aims to create a hassle-free purchasing experience across multiple channels and devices. You can also use a gateway for integrating all your payments successfully.

 

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What are the benefits of an Online Terminal?

 

Process all payments at reduced rates:

 

With an online credit card terminal, you can process all payments easily, no matter how you receive the information. Using such solutions, you will be able to set up a merchant account to accept transactions without cards at a qualified rate.

 

The rate is typically lower than the non-qualified, card-reader rate. This helps save quite a few bucks every month but that also depends on the total volume of your payment.

 

Helps to expand your business:

 

One of the best ways using which you can grow your business is by offering your customers a number of payment methods. When you offer more than one payment option, you tend to attract potential customers. Introducing and incorporating different payment options will make life easier for both you and your customers. Virtual terminals thus, help in business expansion.

 

The facility of recurring payments:

 

The feature of recurring payments offers great and beneficial functionality. The recurring payment is a great feature that is not offered by conventional credit card readers. Through online terminals, you can process all your recurring payments in simply a few easy steps.

 

Improved security and better data protection:

 

Consumers are often afraid of getting their private information leaked out while using payment gateways. Therefore, you as a business owner should make sure that you select such an option that will safely store all the personal information of your customer base. Virtual terminals can store all the customer data, following the PCI DSS regulations, as applicable.

 

Round-the-clock record access:

 

Owning and operating a business is a difficult and back-breaking task. Among busy schedules and late nights, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. When you use such terminals, you assume complete control over the entire payment procedure, from beginning to end.

 

Virtual payment terminals are great for balancing budgets. You can do it anytime and anywhere provided you have a ready device and can access important customer information along with the payment records. This kind of simple access provides you peace of mind and is sure to improve your efficiency.

 

Decreases costs and boosts cash flow:

 

Such terminals are cost-effective. By using them, you can ensure the smooth functioning of your business. For business owners who are still using the pen-and-paper method to draw up invoicing costs, the issue of delayed payments and inadequate funds is quite a headache. Online terminals include quick and easy payments that provide the ultimate clarity with regard to your cash flow.

 

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Are Virtual Terminals and Payment Gateways the same?

 

Many people confuse virtual terminals with payment gateways. Though both the products have more or less the same functionality, the payment gateways come with many additional features apart from just processing a transaction.

 

A virtual terminal co-ordinates your digital payments and processes all your electronic payments through your smartphone or computer using a stable internet connection. Virtual terminals are mostly used for orders made over the phone, mail, or in-person. They are not quite used for online store purchases.

 

Online payment gateways are mainly used for purchasing online. In this case, the customers initiate the process. Payment gateways are so designed that customers can process the sales on their own. Contrarily, virtual terminals need inputs by the merchant to finish a transaction successfully.

 

Depending on the kind of business that you may have, you can use both a payment gateway and a virtual terminal. If you decide to have both, you can buy an all-in-one system in which the virtual terminal and the payment gateway would be integrated. Such an all-encompassing system will enable you to process the different kinds of transactions.

 

In today’s world of digitalization, a virtual terminal is a practical solution that is often used, especially by small and medium-sized business owners. Some businessmen appreciate such solutions as they do not require any hardware and hence, save space and extra expenses. Thus, online terminals are a great option that lets you process transactions anytime and anywhere!

 

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