Fin-Tech

How Can Virtual Payment Terminals Help Entrepreneurs?

As an entrepreneur, whether you conduct your business from home, on the road, or over the phone, you’ll need a way to process payments. But, with different options out there, it can be difficult to find the right system to suit your needs. Thankfully, there’s one very simple answer: virtual payment terminals.
Martin K.
5 min to read

As an entrepreneur, whether you conduct your business from home, on the road, or over the phone, you’ll need a way to process payments. But, with different options out there, it can be difficult to find the right system to suit your needs. Thankfully, there’s one very simple answer: virtual payment terminals.

Useful in a wide range of different business settings, virtual payment terminals make it easier for merchants to process transactions. Sitting somewhere between a traditional point of sales system and a payment gateway, they offer busy business owners the best of both worlds.

What Are Virtual Payment Terminals?

Virtual payment terminals are basically an online version of traditional POS systems. Such systems have been used in brick-and-mortar establishments for decades. Recently, though, more and more businesses have been making their operations remote. In such cases, in-store credit card terminals can quickly become redundant.

So, a lot of businesses have started relying on virtual payment terminals instead. These are online applications that allow merchants to accept payments without the need for a physical credit card. For the transaction to take place, the merchant simply has to enter the customer’s card details through the secure payment portal.

This sort of payment solution is ideal for the entrepreneurs who have to take payments from customers who aren’t present. It also works well for mobile merchants who travel to different events. In fact, for all these sorts of businesses, they often aren’t just useful, but necessary, too.

How Do Virtual Payment Terminals Differ From Payment Gateways?

Sometimes, people confuse virtual payment terminals for payment gateways. However, they are two quite different things. You see, a payment gateway is a portal that processes a payment for you. As such, you will often find them built into the websites of online shopping brands.

As convenient as payment gateways are in some instances, they don’t work for all business models. They’re really only useful for online stores. For those whose businesses are remote or mobile, rather than entirely online, a virtual payment terminal is the best way forward.

4 Benefits of Virtual Payment Terminals

There are plenty of reasons to consider introducing a virtual payment terminal to your business. For one thing, they facilitate the transactions that keep your company afloat. Not only that, but they also come with a wide range of other benefits.

1. Flexibility

One of the key benefits that virtual payment terminals bring is flexibility. This is because they can be used anywhere and at any time, as long as you have an internet connection. In contrast, physical terminals are often limited to a specific location and payment gateways are digital-only. Virtual payment gateways fill the gap between these two payment solutions with ease.

Say, for example, you’re on the phone with a potential client. It will be far easier to make a sale at that distance if you can take their payment then and there. If, however, they can only pay by going online themselves or meeting with you in person, chances are they’ll lose interest.

2. More Control

With a virtual payment terminal, you also have a lot more control. When using this method to take a customer’s payment, it’s up to you to input the information. As a result, you can always be sure that a customer really has paid when they said they would. Keeping control of your income is much easier that way.

3. Cost-Effective

Another advantage is the fact that virtual payment terminals are cost-effective. While different virtual terminals will carry different costs, for the most part, they are all quite cheap to run. Payment gateways and POS systems are, on the other hand, expensive solutions from start to finish.

Generally speaking, you will only have to pay for the virtual terminal itself, although you can also purchase one as part of a payment package. Meanwhile, payment gateways usually charge through the nose for each transaction. Similarly, POS systems typically require a large lump-sum payment for hardware and carry monthly charges for the software.

4. Easy Reporting

A huge perk of virtual payment terminals lies in the fact that they do far more than just process transactions. In addition, they can also generate instant sales and stock reports. Such reports are invaluable for businesses of all sizes, but especially smaller businesses that need to keep costs down.

Plus, they allow you to view the details of a day’s transactions, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it far easier for you to track trends and stay on top of the numbers at all times.

Do I Need a Virtual Payment Terminal?

Depending on the type of business you own, you might need a virtual payment terminal to keep things running smoothly. While perhaps not necessary in physical shopping environments or certain online stores, they are a definite boon to remote and over-the-phone business owners.

With a virtual payment terminal, merchants can take payments from customers no matter where they are. This affords entrepreneurs flexibility and control, both of which are invaluable when running a business. They’re also really cost-effective, especially when you consider their additional reporting features. So, all in all, there’s a lot they can offer to entrepreneurs like you.

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