For many business owners, using a physical credit card terminal is a hassle. If you take credit cards over the phone, you have to manually key in the information, and at the end of the day, you have to print out a batch receipt and reconcile it with your accounts receivable records. It’s inefficient, costly, and annoying.
Is there a better way?
Fortunately, yes. Merchants can migrate to a virtual terminal—so here are four reasons you should ditch your physical terminal and switch to a virtual terminal.
But first, let’s talk about what a virtual terminal is.
A virtual terminal is an online alternative to a physical terminal. Instead of swiping a card, merchants log in to a webpage and type in the payment information. In terms of function, virtual terminals are identical to physical terminals (minus the paper receipts and button mashing), allowing merchants to run and accept payments from credit cards.
So why should you ditch your physical terminal in favor of a virtual terminal?
Physical terminals are expensive. Each machine can cost hundreds of dollars, and if the machine breaks, merchants have to call someone in to repair it, halting business operations and footing a hefty bill. And as the EMV chip card update has proven, replacing terminals can also be a source of frustration. With a virtual terminal system, on the other hand, merchants don’t have to worry about fixing or replacing machines. Their system is always up and accessible from multiple devices.
2. Data storage
One of the joys of using a physical credit card processing terminal is waiting until the end of the day when the machine spits out a batch report. The merchant then gets to take this slip of paper, reconcile it with their records in their accounting system, and then carefully file it away in a special folder. Thrilling, right?
What if you didn’t have to do any of that? A virtual terminal eliminates the need for storing scraps of paper in a file cabinet. No more punching in 16-digit numbers, no more fat finger mistakes, and no more filing.
Unlike a physical terminal, virtual terminals provide incredible reporting tools, allowing merchants to drill down and gather useful data about the number and types of credit card transactions over a period of time. Merchants can also issue voids and credits, view details on transactions, email receipts, and monitor their batches in real time.
With a physical terminal, merchants are restricted to accepting payments within their brick and mortar store or location. A virtual terminal, on the other hand, can be accessed from any mobile device with an internet connection, meaning that merchants can accept payments on the go—at trade shows, events, or in the field—expanding their reach and increasing their profits.
So there you go. It’s time to ditch your clunky physical credit card terminal. Embrace the brave new world of virtual terminals, and say goodbye to your physical credit card terminal for good.