Virtual terminals for processing credit and debit cards

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

What is a virtual terminal for processing credit and debit cards?

The definition of virtual terminal is simply an online version of a standard point of sale system. Meaning, the virtual terminal will allow you to process payments online through its advanced software, more often than not on the service providers server. Most commonly used in customer not present transactions, virtual terminals allow the user to input customer payment details into an online form to process the transaction.

What is a virtual terminal server?

Almost any computer running software can act as a server, however in most cases including virtual terminal providers, the server processes requests and delivers data back to the other computers. The server is the heart of how systems like virtual terminals work, therefore when looking for a provider its worthwhile bearing in mind the server performance. Virtual terminal credit card processing reviews are readily available online.

What do virtual terminals look like?

To the user, virtual terminals look like the forms a buyer would fill out when purchasing through an e commerce store. An example of which can be seen below. The forms are self-explanatory and really easy to use, once complete simply click ‘submit’ and the payment will be processed in the normal way.

How does a virtual terminal work?

Virtual terminals process payments in the same way as any payment made through an e commerce store online. To accept virtual terminal payments, you will require a payment gateway and merchant account. The virtual terminal payment gateway acts as a safety net to ensure the customers payment details do not get into the wrong hands. The gateway encrypts the data entered into the virtual terminal i.e. the long card number, security code etc. To find out more about how payment gateways for virtual terminals work CLICK HERE.


Advantages of virtual terminals

Payments can be taken anywhere with an internet connection

Payments are processed quick and easily, without the customer being present

Virtual Terminals are pretty inexpensive to run

Virtual terminal fees

It’s hard to know what to expect when considering the costs involved in accepting virtual terminal payments. When securing the cheapest virtual terminal credit card processing you need to bear in mind all three overheads; the payment gateway, merchant account and the virtual terminal itself. Some companies offer free virtual terminals when signing up to their merchant account, the reason for this is a commission is earned on the amount a business turns over in card transactions. Other suppliers will offer virtual terminals with no monthly fee, however it’s important to look at all costings involved as the well-known saying goes…there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Most merchants focus on the monthly fee alone, and this is where they go wrong LET OUR EXPERTS HELP! Most UK and international merchant services providers will have their own virtual terminal, meaning that if you sign up with them the virtual terminal may be free. Virtual terminal fees normally cost a small amount per month and then are charged per transaction. Be aware that some companies put a limit on how many transactions can be processed per month.

Virtual terminals – instant approval

Some merchants are in a hurry to get their terminal set up, we understand that. Although approving a virtual terminal is a quick process, finding the correct merchant account to support to terminal takes a little longer, as you need both to run your virtual terminal, in our opinion there is no such thing as an “instantly approved virtual terminal.”


Accepting international payments through a virtual terminal

If you are wanting to accept multi-currency payments through your virtual terminal, it’s important you speak with an industry expert. Most virtual terminals, accept all major credit and debit cards. Providing your acting legally, this is something we can arrange on your behalf. Our advisors deal in the following, CALL TODAY;

International virtual terminals
Multi-currency virtual terminals
Offshore virtual terminals

Sourcing a virtual terminal with bad credit

Finding the best virtual terminal when you have adverse or bad credit can be a little daunting. As with any type of ‘lending’ different account providers will accept and decline certain types of applications. Having said that there are some merchant account and virtual terminal suppliers who will accept clients with a less than perfect credit history. SPEAK TO OUR HIGH-RISK EXPERTS TODAY.


Finding the best virtual terminal for credit and debit card processing

Our advice?? There are many different providers both in the UK and worldwide, virtual terminal reviews are readily available online so do your research! Are there some that have more ‘downtime’ than others? Are some more competitively priced? Our experts can guide you through any questions you may have, WE’RE HAPPY TO HELP.

Virtual terminal PCI compliance

As with all payments, especially customer not presents ones, its paramount that your company remains PCI compliant. Our guide will help explain a little more about this. Choosing a virtual terminal provider which will help you remain PCI compliant is strongly advisable and something you should bear in mind when comparing suppliers.

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Can virtual terminal accept recurring payments?

Most standard virtual terminals come with the ability to set up reoccurring payments, this is a quick process which can be manually entered on to the system. Your new provider should be able to help you with this, should you have any further questions.

Can I get a virtual terminal with bad credit?

Depending on the timeframe and severity of your adverse credit this can be feasible. Speak to an advisor who regularly deals with high-risk applications, that way you have the best possible chance of being accepted for a merchant account and virtual terminal.

Are virtual terminals available for Android and Apple?

Yes! This is one of the most common ways of our customers using a virtual terminal when off site, at trade shows or events. Most larger companies offer a virtual terminal app which tend to be just as simple to use.

Can I get a virtual terminal without a merchant account?

No! To process card payments in any way be it face to face with a PDQ machine or customer not present transactions, you will need a merchant account. To find the best merchant account for your business speak with our experts today!

Do I require a virtual terminal for my e commerce store?

Most e commerce businesses have a standard shopping cart and check out process. However, if you wish to advertise products online and then accept orders and payment over the phone via a virtual terminal, this can be possible. Some companies use this as a backup, for example if the payment cannot be processed through the website for some reason. If you wish to source a virtual terminal for your e commerce business, give us a call

Are virtual terminals just for MOTO transactions?

Virtual terminals are mainly used for customer not present transactions; however, some have the ability to work alongside side a plug-in chip and pin machine. This is perfect for businesses who mainly process ordered over the phone or online, but also occasionally have the need for a face to face solution such as pop up shops or trade events.

Our expert advisors know the in’s and out’s when it comes to virtual terminals, we are UK based but have clients internationally. If you have any further questions then get in touch today.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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