A virtual processing terminal, also known as a virtual terminal or an internet-based terminal, is a computer software program for retailers that enables them to accept electronic payments with a debit or credit card, in particular a credit card. The terminals are arranged on a network and have terminals installed on them. These allow retailers to process electronic payments at customer’s locations, on the Internet, or both.
Payment terminals can be used to take electronic payments from customers. This means you can have a virtual terminal at a customer’s location that accepts credit cards. In this way, the customer does not need to carry money or a card and the retailer saves on costs and man-hours. It also saves on staffing costs, such as staffing salespeople to handle transactions and take the money and change it. This eliminates the need for costly employee training.
Virtual terminals can help decrease fraud and delay in processing credit cards by reducing the risk of over-limit and under-limit charges. The processing terminal is a gateway through which data is transferred between the retailer and credit card processor. The terminal receives authorization from the credit card processor to process a transaction, and the processor validates the authorization and deposits the agreed amount into a payment account. From the payment account, the processed data is transferred to the sales team for notification of the customer.
A virtual processing terminal connects to the Internet to process transactions. Some terminals do this by means of a wireless connection and others through a wired connection. A merchant only needs to have a high-speed Internet connection for processing and data transfers. Some virtual processing terminals have a feature to connect to a phone line through which an incoming call can be made.
To make a virtual transaction work, both parties need to be authorized to be performing financial processing. When a customer or the authorized representative requests to pay for goods or services, a deposit is usually made into a special account. This deposit normally takes the form of a bank overdraft. The virtual transaction terminal then performs a ‘credit check’ to authenticate the information and make the transaction official. This check is run against records stored in the processing company’s system to confirm the details provided by the customer and the authorized representative.
After confirming the transaction, a record is created. The virtual processing terminal keeps track of all details received from both parties and reconciles these details using a manual system to ensure accuracy. The record is usually sent to the client or the retailer using a fax or a direct message. Alternatively, it may be transmitted automatically through email. In some cases, payment is sent to the customer’s account immediately.
The virtual processing terminal has a number of advantages over traditional terminals. It is fast and allows for convenient transactions because it only needs a minimum amount of hardware and software to start operating. It also provides greater value to customers by providing them with real-time processing, reduced costs and improved service quality. It eliminates the need for a third party or an agent, therefore reducing operational costs. It also eliminates the need to hire personnel that would otherwise have been required to perform monitoring functions. It eliminates many of the potential errors that traditional payment processing methods can make.
However, the main disadvantage of using a virtual processing terminal is that it is limited as far as bandwidth and security is concerned. It is important for businesses to take note that their data should be protected at all times. For this reason, it is advised that virtual processing terminals are used only for high volume and sensitive data. Also, it is important that customers use virtual terminals that do not allow any unauthorized access to their data.