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How to Select a Virtual Terminal Payment Gateway

A virtual terminal payment gateway lets merchants manually key in card information for online and phone-in sales without a physical POS card reader. While it’s not ideal for retail customers, a virtual terminal can help businesses such as reception-based offices and service-based companies (such as photographers or home repair professionals) process payments quickly and efficiently.

Unlike a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which enables in-person card swipes or dips, virtual terminal transactions are considered to be card-not-present, so they typically attract higher processing fees. To help reduce these charges, a virtual terminal may include tokenization technology that replaces the card’s personal account number with a unique ID (known as a token) that’s meaningless to anyone except your payment processor.

To get started, log into your virtual terminal via an internet browser and enter the sale amount and other details. Then, hand-key the customer’s credit or debit card number and other info, if needed. Many virtual terminals also support scanning or using a mobile device camera for faster data entry. Once the transaction is complete, both you and your customer are automatically emailed a receipt.

Different virtual terminal providers have varying fees and services, so it’s important to carefully compare offerings before selecting one. However, most work on a similar model: a percentage processing fee and a per-typed-in transaction fee. Some providers may also charge a monthly fee in addition to these costs. Ultimately, you should select the best virtual terminal payment gateway based on the services and features that are most important to your business. virtual terminal payment gateway


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