12 Things You Can Do With A Virtual Terminal
A virtual terminal is a fantastic tool that is available to businesses of all sizes. For high risk merchant accounts in particular, it provides a more robust security suite that includes a multi-step authentication process, detailed tracking and reporting software, and is accessible anywhere the internet is available.
Our team has put together some tips on how to utilize your virtual terminal to its fullest extent:
- Accept Payments Online – this is the basic function of a virtual terminal. It allows business owners to accept credit and debit cards as a form of payment by entering the card information manually into a computer’s web browser.
- Initiate a Direct API Connection – the virtual terminal isn’t just about manual input, it can also seamlessly integrate onto an ecommerce website, transforming any business into the next Amazon.
- Plug in an Encrypted Card Reader – accept EMV cards (also known as chip-and-pin cards), usually with a USB attachment. Chip-and-pin cards require a typed PIN when paying with an embedded chip card, adding multiple layers of security to the transaction.
- Process Batches of Transactions – many businesses have a high number of customers making single transactions, and they can be uploaded in Excel format or as comma separated values (CSV) to avoid transcription errors and save time.
- Store Card Information – the virtual terminal can store customer information securely so that users can create accounts and keep information on file for future transactions. These functions are typically PCI Compliant by storing the data remotely, but be sure to ask.
- Delay a Transaction – Authorizes a card after the job is done, or after services are rendered. This is necessary for some businesses that take time to take effect (e.g. credit repair).
- Generate Customized Reports – build your own reports, using the information you want to use and that is important to your business model.
- Create Multiple User Accounts – create accounts to track usage, restrict access according to PCI guidelines, and reduce clutter for employees.
- Set up recurring billing – many businesses have a high number of customers making regularly scheduled transactions, such as subscriptions. These can be structured in one of two ways:
- Unique billing schedule per customer – this allows the most flexibility in pricing and scheduling by allowing a user to set up individual plans per customer.
- Plan billing schedule – this assigns customers to plans, where they are all billed identically, which is ideal for businesses with large user bases.
- Send Electronic Receipts – gone are the days of paper. Go green by emailing your customers receipts automatically or manually. Most virtual terminals convert them to Portable Document Format (PDF) and email them directly to customers email addresses.
- Prevent Fraud – OK so you don’t actually to do anything for this one. Using real-time fraud detection software, your virtual terminal will guard your business from fraud by using a multi-step authentication process or by canceling the transaction.
- Pair with a Mobile Payment System – many virtual terminals can easily sync with a mobile payment device or app. Not every provider offers this, so be sure to check first!
PCI Compliance is always a factor when evaluating a virtual terminal for your business. Operating a virtual terminal reduces the contact points for some of the main triggers of PCI Compliance, but not all.
Hopefully these tips have opened new doors in your mind for your virtual terminal and will help you make the most of your merchant account.