If you own a business, you might wonder if you should be using a virtual terminal for credit card processing. This depends on how you do business: If you most of your sales take place in a store, then you might need a countertop credit card processing terminal or POS system at your brick-and-mortar location. If you need something more mobile; for example, you sell your goods at a farmers market or craft fair, then a mobile credit card processor could be a better fit for you. If you frequently sell products online, then a virtual terminal is worth a closer look.

What Are Virtual Credit Card Processors?

Virtual credit card processors help you to accept payments online by facilitating the transaction between you, the seller, and the customer’s credit card company. These transactions all happen online through a virtual interface, rather than swiping a physical credit card through a reader, like you would at a retail store.

Clients fill out and submit a form on your website with their credit card and billing information. An online credit card processor takes the information and securely transfers it through a payment gateway. Each transaction is encrypted, so you do not have to worry about your business’s or client’s information being compromised.

Benefits of Using a Virtual Credit Card Processor

There are a few benefits of using a virtual credit card processing system. One benefit is that virtual credit card processors give you an easy way to sell your products to a broader audience. If you are ready to make the leap to reach a nationwide, or a global market, then a virtual credit card processor can help you make that jump smoothly.

Online credit processors should offer a hassle-free payment system for your guests. Guests should be able to make a one-time purchase without setting up an account, and you should just as easily be able to establish recurring payments. This is useful if your business offers monthly services or deliveries.

Finally, virtual credit card processors should be simple to set up. There is no equipment to lease, and you should be able to link the service to your online store and connect it to the shopping cart or buy button on your website.

Who Needs a Virtual Credit Card Processor?

If you primarily sell products through your business’s website or online store, then you need a virtual terminal for credit card processing. When customers shop online, they expect the same convenience they get when shopping in a retail store. If you fail to provide a seamless online shopping experience, you could quickly lose customers and revenue.

If you think a virtual credit card processor is the best fit for your company, check out our review of the best processors that allow you to accept credit cards online. If you are actively looking for a credit card processor but aren’t sure which one is best, read our articles about accepting credit cards or download our free worksheet, “How to Negotiate with Credit Card Processing Companies: The Four-Step Plan of Attack.” This worksheet outlines specific questions to ask representatives when you contact companies.