Virtual Terminal Definition

Merchant Account Virtual Terminal Explained:

What is a Virtual Terminal? A virtual terminal is a web-based application that allows merchants to accept credit card payments using their internet-connected computers. Like the traditional credit card terminals that you see at most retail stores, virtual terminals can accept both swiped and keyed transactions. In order to accept swiped transactions, merchants must use a virtual terminal that is compatible with a card reader that plugs into the computer’s USB port.

Virtual terminals offer many advantages over physical terminals such as the ability to access them from any computer, no equipment leases, real-time processing, tracking and reporting, recurring billing and employee sales monitoring, and many other dynamic features. Virtual terminals are best for office/call center businesses (non-profits, mail/telephone order, etc), small retailers (jewelry stores, furniture stores, etc), professional services (doctors, beauty, etc), and multi-location businesses.

There are many different companies that supply virtual terminals and they can be used with a prepackaged merchant account, or paired with other third-party processors.

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services sales agent who believes the industry has been overrun by people who engage in fraud and deception in order to steal from hard working business owners. He created this website to help you avoid the bad players, save money on fees, and to get peace of mind with your merchant account. If you would like to help support his work, learn more about our cost reduction service. We can evaluate your statement, tell you exactly how much you're overpaying, and then help you dramatically reduce your fees with your current credit card processor. Looking to switch instead? See our list of the best merchant account providers.

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