Do you find the best Virtual Terminal for Small Business?
Virtual terminals provide a flexible solution for small businesses to handle transactions without the customer’s physical presence. They facilitate the input of credit card details via online platforms or specialized physical devices for virtual payments. Ideal for businesses engaging in telephone or mail orders, or operating temporary setups like pop-up stores, these systems adapt to various sales environments.
With a wide range of virtual terminal providers available, we’ve analyzed and identified the top choice for small businesses, ensuring efficiency and convenience in customer payment processing.
What Is a Virtual Terminal?
A virtual terminal is an online system for processing payments made via the Internet, phone, or fax. It’s a secure method for handling credit and debit card transactions without a physical terminal. Key features include an internet connection and web browser use. Typically used by businesses without a physical store, like online marketplaces, it’s also suitable for phone or fax payment processing.
Virtual terminals often come with a subscription model and include features like recurring billing, fraud detection, and customer management tools. Choosing the right virtual terminal payments involves comparing these features to meet specific business needs.
Why Use a Virtual Terminal?
- Enables payments via Internet, phone, or fax.
- Operates without a physical terminal or machine.
- Requires only an internet connection and web browser.
- Often available through subscription services.
- It is essential to compare providers to find the best fit for specific business needs.
Best Virtual Terminal for Small Business In 2024
Here are the best Virtual Terminals for small business in 2024:
- eHopper POS: Tops for free card processing.
- ShopKeep by Lightspeed: Ideal for multichannel businesses.
- Clover: Preferred for mobile business operations.
- Toast: Specially tailored for restaurants.
- Square POS: Excellent for managing invoices. It is a virtual credit card terminal.
- SumUp: Stands out for providing efficient payment links.
- PayPal Zettle: Recognized for its comprehensive metric tracking capabilities.
- Clearent: Unique small business features.
- CenPOS: Specialized services for diverse operations.
- Heartland: Payment processing capabilities.
- Paya: Tailored small business solutions.
- Cardpointe Virtual Terminal: Transaction-specific features.
- Transaction Express: Specializes in small business needs.
- First Data: Business-friendly functionalities.
Find the ideal virtual terminal for your small business. Discover top options for efficient payment processing.
eHopper stands out in the virtual terminals market primarily because it offers free processing and a complimentary plan for merchants with lower transaction volumes. This platform is also known for its extensive integration capabilities, simplifying the process of connecting the terminal with other business systems. Its free processing feature operates through a cash discount or credit surcharge model, allowing businesses to choose between absorbing the processing fees themselves or passing them onto their customers.
|Free processing for cost efficiency
|Utilizes a cash discount or credit surcharge model
|Extensive integration capabilities
|May require businesses to pass processing fees to customers
ShopKeep by Lightspeed:
ShopKeep by Lightspeed excels as a virtual terminal solution for multichannel businesses. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly across various sales channels, making it a versatile tool for businesses operating both online and offline. Its functionality supports diverse sales environments, streamlining the process of managing sales and inventory across different platforms. This makes ShopKeep an ideal choice for businesses looking to unify their sales channels under one efficient system.
|Ideal for multichannel business integration
|May be complex for businesses with simple needs
|Streamlines sales and inventory management
|Could be more costly than simpler systems
Clover Virtual Terminal:
Clover stands out for its suitability in mobile business operations, offering a highly versatile virtual terminals solution. Its design caters specifically to businesses that require mobility and flexibility, such as service providers or vendors at different locations. Clover’s system is adept at handling transactions on the go, making it a top choice for businesses that are not confined to a single physical location. This mobility aspect of Clover is particularly beneficial for dynamic business models.
|Highly mobile and flexible for on-the-go operations
|May not be as ideal for stationary retail settings
|Perfect for businesses with multiple locations or service areas
|Potential additional costs for mobile hardware
Toast is a virtual terminal that’s uniquely designed for the restaurant industry. It offers specialized features that cater specifically to the needs of restaurants, such as tableside ordering, menu management, and integration with kitchen operations. This makes it an ideal choice for restaurant owners looking for a seamless, efficient way to handle transactions and enhance customer service.
|Tailored features for restaurant operations
|May not be as suitable for non-restaurant businesses
|Supports integrations like tableside ordering and kitchen management
|Potentially more complex setup due to advanced features
Square POS is highly regarded in the virtual terminals space, especially for its proficiency in managing invoices. It serves as an efficient virtual credit card terminal, simplifying the invoicing process for businesses. This feature is particularly beneficial for companies that deal with a high volume of invoicing, streamlining their billing and payment collection processes.
|Specializes in invoice management
|Maybe less focused on other non-invoicing features
|Streamlines billing and payment collection
|Potentially less suited for businesses with minimal invoicing needs
SumUp is recognized for its efficiency in providing payment links, making it a standout choice for businesses needing quick and easy online payment solutions. This feature is particularly useful for companies that engage in remote transactions, allowing them to send secure payment requests to customers via links.
|Efficient and easy-to-use payment link generation
|May not have extensive features beyond payment links
|Ideal for remote and online transactions
|Could be limited for businesses needing more comprehensive POS solutions
PayPal Zettle is highly valued for its comprehensive metric tracking capabilities, making it an excellent choice for businesses focused on data-driven decision-making. Virtual PayPal terminal allows for detailed analysis of sales and customer behavior, aiding in strategic planning and performance improvement.
|Advanced metric tracking for informed decision-making
|May be more complex for those seeking simple payment solutions
|Useful for analyzing sales and customer trends
|Potentially higher cost for advanced analytics features
Clearent provides a comprehensive range of services to businesses, encompassing credit and debit processing, virtual terminals for online transactions, electronic check and ACH processing, gift card processing, and even wireless payment options. Its offerings are designed to cater to various aspects of a business’s financial needs, making it a versatile choice for different industries.
|Wide array of services for diverse business needs
|May not be as cost-effective for businesses with minimal processing requirements
|Versatile solutions for various industries
|Could have pricing complexities depending on the services utilized
CenPOS is distinguished by its specialized services catering to diverse business operations. The platform offers simplicity, flexibility, and security in payment processing. CenPOS provides multiple payment methods, including online payments, mobile transactions, EMV card reader support, and virtual terminal usage. Additionally, it allows businesses to send invoices via email or text and receive payments through credit, debit, or check. CenPOS is supported by Elavon Inc., a global processor of card transactions with a wide presence across more than 30 countries and serving over 1,000,000 merchant locations worldwide.
|Specialized services for diverse business operations
|May not be as cost-effective for businesses with basic processing needs
|Versatile payment methods and invoicing options
|The pricing structure may vary depending on the specific services used
Heartland Virtual Terminal:
Heartland offers businesses the convenience of a virtual terminal for processing payments, particularly useful for phone-based transactions. This feature simplifies payment processing during conversations, catering to professionals and clients who may not have online payment access. The virtual terminals boast an intuitive interface for user-friendly operation while maintaining robust security measures to protect sensitive client data. However, Heartland’s pricing may be on the higher side compared to some competitors.
|secure phone-based payments
|Potentially higher pricing
|Integration with Heartland’s POS software
Paya offers tailored solutions for small businesses, including its web-based Virtual Terminal for processing credit card and virtual check transactions online. This versatile platform integrates with various Windows-installed software applications and is PA-DSS certified for data security. Paya’s offerings include e-commerce support, recurring billing, and a proprietary Virtual Terminals that can turn your computer into a credit card terminal. While it provides convenient invoicing options and extensive integrations, some users may find that specific features require the use of Paya Exchange.
|Tailored solutions for small businesses
|Certain features tied to Paya Exchange
|PA-DSS certified for data security
Cardpointe Virtual Terminal:
Cardpointe Virtual Terminal offers transaction-specific features for processing payment cards through your computer’s web browser and an internet connection. It ensures the security of transactions through CardSecure, a patented data encryption and tokenization solution. While Cardpointe provides a secure payment processing solution, some users may find that it lacks certain advanced features compared to other virtual terminals.
|Secure payment processing through CardSecure
|May lack advanced features
|Accessible to all merchants
Transaction Express specializes in meeting the payment processing needs of small businesses. It offers a Virtual Terminal Gateway that enables merchants to accept credit cards and signature debit cards through any Internet-connected device. With real-time transaction processing, multi-merchant and multi-user support, and advanced report search capabilities, Transaction Express empowers businesses to efficiently manage payments. However, some users may find that certain features like mobile payments are labeled as “future enhancements,” indicating potential limitations.
|Payment processing via any Internet-connected device
|Some features labeled as “future enhancements”
|Real-time transaction processing
First Data Virtual Terminal:
First Data offers a Virtual Terminal that provides various business-friendly functionalities for payment processing. Users can access it through an internet-enabled laptop or computer and customize their receipt headers and footers. The platform allows users to process Sales, Recurring Payments, and Refund transactions with ease. Additionally, administrators can manage users and permissions, making it suitable for businesses with multiple users. However, some users may find that certain features are limited to administrators, and password reset options are only available to the administrator.
|User-friendly interface for transaction processing
|Certain features are restricted to administrators
|Customizable receipt headers and footers
|Certain features restricted to administrators
How To Choose the Best Virtual Terminal?
Selecting the appropriate Virtual Terminal is a crucial step in your business’s digital transition. This decision, integral to online Virtual Terminal credit card processing, requires careful consideration. It’s not just about finding a provider but understanding your unique business needs. To make an informed choice, consider these key aspects: the range of services offered, costs involved, security measures, customer support, and technological capabilities.
A thorough evaluation of these factors will guide you in choosing a terminal credit card processing that aligns well with your business objectives and operational needs. When choosing a Virtual Terminals for your business, consider these key aspects:
Multi-Acquisition: Look for a terminal that can integrate with various credit card processors, offering flexibility for different payment methods and technologies.
Cost Considerations: Be aware of transaction fees and any initial setup or monthly fees—factor in additional costs like fraud management, chargebacks, and delays in settlement.
Security and Compliance: Ensure the terminal is PCI-DSS compliant for maximum data security and supports SSL certificates and CVV2 verification.
Customer Support: Prioritize terminals with strong, responsive customer support for technical issues and inquiries.
Technological Focus: Choose a terminal with powerful, adaptable technology for features like recurring billing, online invoicing, and easy API integration.
These considerations will help in finding a terminal that meets your specific business needs and supports your digital journey effectively.
Conclusions Easy Virtual Terminal for Small Business
In conclusion, when choosing the best virtual terminals for a small business, it’s essential to evaluate factors such as compatibility with multiple payment methods, cost efficiency, security, PCI-DSS compliance, the availability of robust customer support, and the terminal’s focus on technology and innovation. A terminal that aligns with these criteria can significantly enhance the efficiency and security of a small business’s digital transactions, offering a more streamlined and customer-friendly payment process.
Do I need a virtual terminal?
You may need a virtual terminal if your business processes card payments online or over the phone, especially for card-not-present transactions, and if you require flexibility and security in handling payments. Evaluate your business needs to determine if a virtual terminals is necessary.
How much does a virtual terminal cost?
The cost of a virtual terminals varies depending on the provider. Some offer free options, while others have monthly subscription fees that are typically under $100 per month.
How do I set up a virtual terminal?
Setting up a virtual terminals is typically a straightforward process that varies by provider. Some, like PayPal Zettle, can be set up in minutes and used immediately. Others may require you to fill out a merchant application, obtain credit approval, and complete additional paperwork, which could take a few days. Be sure to inquire about the specific setup process with your chosen provider.
Can I accept international payments with a virtual terminal?
Yes, many virtual terminals support accepting payments in multiple currencies, making it possible to accept international payments. It’s essential to check with your chosen provider to confirm the currencies it supports to ensure you can accommodate international customers.