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Virtual Terminal Questions



What is a virtual terminal?

A virtual terminal enables you to key in and process credit card transactions using a computer, iPhone, BlackBerry or any type of internet enabled computing device. It is a secure web page that you log into using a standard web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox). From within your control panel you simply key in and process orders. The virtual terminal is extremely easy to use and highly secure.




How does the virtual terminal work?

The virtual terminal works over the internet. You start by logging into your secure control panel where you go to process credit card sales. The control panel can be accessed using any standard web browser and is not just limited to computer use. Any mobile device such as an iPhone or BlackBerry that is capable of browsing the internet can be used to process payments with the virtual terminal.

Once logged into your secure control panel the system will enable you to click on a "Make Payment" link. From this page you enter the cardholders name, address, credit card number and expiry date. As soon as you press the submit button the payment is processed in real time. Once processed you do not need to retain any credit card information because you will receive a unique reference number for that transaction. This reference number can be used in the future should you need to perform a refund or pull up the details of the transaction. As a result there is no storage of sensitive credit card information. Virtual terminal payments are among the most simple, efficient and easy to use of any method of processing credit card payments.




Can I process mobile payments with my virtual terminal?

Yes, you can use the virtual terminal anywhere that an internet connection is available. This includes any mobile device such as a BlackBerry or iPhone. Using the internet, you simply log into your secure control panel and key in the order. Mobile payments are a snap and only take a few seconds to process with the virtual terminal.




Is the virtual terminal secure?

The virtual terminal runs on exactly the same system as our industry leading e-commerce payment gateway. When using the virtual terminal you do not store any sensitive cardholder information. All data is encrypted with strong SSL encryption. The virtual terminal is an extremely secure way of processing credit card sales. Click here to learn more about our e-commerce security features.

At the transaction level, the virtual terminal supports some of the most advanced fraud screening tools available. When entering the order you have the option of including your customers billing address. If you type in the billing address it will enable an AVS (address verification) check to see if the address that the customer supplied matches the information that the card issuing bank has on file for that cardholder.

Every credit card has an additional three digit security code called a CVV (card verification value) number written on the back. If you get the customer to provide the CVV number we can run an additional CVV check to make sure that it is a legitimate transaction. These options are always available, but never required, so if you have a repeat customer and are looking to process the sale as quickly as possible you do not need to collect the billing address or CVV number.

When you type in the credit card number you are entering it directly into a page that is hosted by the banks payment server. You don't ever store any credit card information of any kind on your computer system. Although you don't store the credit card number you can still do recurring billing without having to store your customers credit card information on your own system.




Is automatic / recurring billing supported with the virtual terminal?

Yes, recurring billing is fully supported. With the recurring billing service you can automatically charge a customer in any amount, on any billing period you desire. You don't need to store any credit card information in order to do it. Our payment server will store all of the sensitive information and simply send you a transaction report each day for your accounting purposes. This is great for businesses that have a subscription model and want to automate the recurring billing of customers, without having to store sensitive cardholder data. You are also able to do subsequent or 1-off additional payments to any customer that you have billed previously.




Do I need a website in order to use the virtual terminal?

No, a website is not needed in order to use the virtual terminal. You access it by logging into the secure control panel which you are given access to once your merchant account application has been approved. There are no special requirements. Any business can quickly and easily begin processing virtual terminal payments.




If I start with a virtual terminal, can I later add e-commerce payments to my website?

You can upgrade your account to add e-commerce payments to your website at any time. In fact, this is a very common course that our clients take because they can begin using the virtual terminal immediately while their website is under construction.

When upgrading your account you only have to pay the difference in the setup fee. Any fees that you paid towards the setup of your virtual terminal account are fully credited towards the cost of upgrading.




What is the difference between using a virtual terminal and a POS system?

The main difference between a virtual terminal and a POS system is that with the virtual terminal you don't physically swipe the credit card through the reader. The only major functional difference between POS hardware and the virtual terminal is that in Canada people cannot use their Interac debit card with the virtual terminal because they must enter their pin number. For this reason virtual terminal payments are limited to credit card payments only. Aside from this one limitation the virtual terminal is functionally identical as a POS system and eliminates the hardware cost.




Where can I find more information about the virtual terminal?

More information about the virtual terminal can be found here.