Virtual Credit Card Processing Terminals

Merchant Warehouse |

December 7, 2010

Credit card processing terminals that are in the “virtual realm", or software-based, and happen to be among the safer and more efficient ways to process credit card transactions. They are the best means for businesses that accept credit card payments online as well as via fax, phone or e-mail. Virtual credit card terminals are browser-based with an interface as familiar as the business person’s office PC, and that alone is very attractive to a computer-savvy merchant.

Virtual credit card processing terminals are used to authorize, process, batch and otherwise handle single and multiple credit card payments using any compatible computer that operates with an Internet connection. They can now run on any of the popular operating systems (OS’s), such as Windows, Macintosh and Linux. There is no need for a manual credit card terminal to be present in this case.

Ease of Use

The fact that virtual credit card terminals reduce the complexity and expenses of physical terminals make them suitable for businesses of all sizes. Utility companies like PG&E, a large energy provider in the Pacific states, use them in their billing and customer service departments. Mail order companies, call centers, newspaper divisions, magazine companies, insurance companies, charities and service companies also reap tremendous cost savings with the use of software instead of costlier hardware.

As you can clearly conclude, virtual terminals do not discriminate among users. Virtual credit card terminals allow for merchants to manually enter credit card numbers for mail and phone order sales, and the software can be customized for more automated processing when used with online ecommerce systems. They also have the ability to refund transactions to customers, bill customers automatically for recurring charges, check the status of a payment and run a selection of reports, as well as capture prior authorizations and payments.

Basics and Options

Virtual terminals, then, are software-based credit card terminals that enable merchants to process transactions in a timely fashion or in real time. Once the transaction in completed, the merchant will receive an authorization number and the server then stores it in complete detail. The transaction is then settled at the end of the business day and the reports are generated within two to three business days.

When you make the comparison to POS terminals (Point of Sale), the virtual credit card terminals are much faster, operating at broadband speeds. The virtual terminal features include address verification services, customer and merchant e-mail notices, recurring payments and a detailed, often customizable reporting capability. Automatic item sub-total calculation, credit card swipe card option, automatic tax calculation, automatic shipping calculation, item discount calculator, billing and shipping data fields, and coupon or rebate calculator are the additional features you can expect from virtual terminals. It is clear that they can be a real help when trying to ad convenience and completeness to the customer shopping experience.

The Past and the Future

Unlike their predecessors that included older and slower software packages, virtual terminals today are built to accept ongoing upgrades from the software developers. They don’t require costly upgrades, electrical troubleshooting and customer service calls for repair or replacement, as physical terminals often co. The only associated costs and fees are determined by the authorization and processing of actual credit card payments, meaning your negotiated payment arrangement for monthly fees and transaction charges will not be puffed up by service calls for malfunctioning terminals.

Many software-based credit card terminals utilize flash memory to store their software, making the upgrade simple, straightforward and understandable to most tech-savvy people. There are many key factors and positive elements to virtual terminals. Many businesses depend to a great extent on the fact that they operate quickly, safely and efficiently. Making the transition to the virtual world is not that hard to imagine, and not that difficult to achieve. If you have online business, and get a good number of orders in a “card not present” manner – mail and phone orders, Internet, e-mail – you should seriously consider taking a step toward the future and entering the virtual realm for your credit card processing needs today. A few phone calls and e-mails and you can be on your way.