For decades people have plugged their credit and debit cards into physical payment terminals, punched some buttons, and waited anxiously for the machine to beep before whisking away their new purchases. A customer swiping a credit card at a cash register is an iconic image of American shopping, right out of a 1980s movie montage. However, today not all purchases with a card are made this way.
What Are Virtual Payment Terminals?
The need for flexibility in payment methods has made virtual payment terminals popular. These terminals turn a computer into a device to accept payments via web-based applications. Virtual payment terminals will transform your simple computer into a machine in the gears of commerce. You can be anywhere, at any hour of the day, and as long as you have your computer, you will have a way to process customer payments.
Who Should Use Them?
Back in the day when most shopping was done at the mall or on Main Street, it made sense for vendors to have a 30-pound cash register, complete with a credit card payment system. That works fine if you’re staying in one place, but if you happen to be an artist on your way to the city art festival, good luck strapping that 30-pound box to your back. Sure, there will be the occasional artist that also lifts large rocks for fun, but most people would probably cherish the convenience of a virtual payment terminal. There are many circumstances where this ease of payment could come in handy.
Much of the world of commerce has moved away from the traditional brick and mortar store. Even the nature of jobs themselves has become more fluid in location, with offices and workspaces leaning toward the mobile and temporary. A professional writer may meet with a client in person or may chat over the phone. The same holds true for lawyers, consultants, and financial advisors. A designer may enjoy the convenience of carrying a laptop to a client meeting to take notes, draw up ideas, and also take payment, all on one device.
How Do Virtual Payment Terminals Work?
Virtual payment terminals are ideal for instances when business owners find it easier to collect a client’s payment info and don’t have the client’s credit or debit card physically present. This type of transaction is called a card-not-present transaction and typically requires that credit card data be manually entered. The transaction will be secure because it passes through a payment gateway, which uses data encryption tools to secure the client’s information. Further security can be added by authenticating the transaction with address verification or inputting the card CVV number.
As you can see, the process of using a virtual payment terminal is both easy and secure. Because of their convenience and mobility, these systems can be great options for many types of business owners.