All businesses operate in a way that best suits their particular needs. The most critical facet of their business is their ability to accept debit and credit card payments. Not only must this be done efficiently, but it also must be done securely.

Some businesses rely on point-of-sale systems (POS) or countertop credit card terminals. However, other businesses have no contact with their customers and yet they still must be able to accept electronic payments. So what’s the solution?

A Virtual Terminal.

What Is A Virtual Terminal?

A virtual terminal is basically a “terminal in the cloud”, a web page in your internet browser that enables you to process transactions regardless of time, location, and on any device equipped with an internet connection.  

Almost identical to an online checkout form, a virtual terminal is a “web-based application” that authorizes you to process electronic payments by mail order, telephone, email, fax, or in person. 

You can convert any laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet into a POS system. You don’t need to purchase any additional hardware or install any new software. If there are in-person payments, you simply can connect a card reader to a PC through a USB input, but it is not required. 

If you have a merchant account with a payment gateway, access to the internet, and a web browser, you have all that you need for a virtual terminal credit card processing solution.

Pinwheel Offering A Virtual Terminal For Square Merchants

Pinwheel, a full-service Payment Service Provider (PSP) and certified Square partner, now offers a virtual terminal for Square merchants. This virtual terminal has been designed in order to carry out manual payments when a transaction is not going to be processed via your shopping cart. 

Here are the steps that are needed in order to utilize this virtual terminal by using Pinwheel:

1. Login to Pinwheel using this URL: https://paybypinwheel.com/ using your username and password.

2. On your Dashboard, to the left, you will see the “Credit Cards” section. Click on it and it will give you a drop-down menu, choose “Virtual Terminal.”

3. Under “Transaction Details”, enter the dollar amount that you wish to charge as well as the type of currency.

4. Under “New Transaction”, you will then enter the following information:

  • The credit card number
  • The card’s expiration date
  • The CVV (Card Verification Value) number  
  • And the zip code related to the card

5. Click “Pay”

Do take note that this payment will not be shown within your shopping cart. These payments will need to be managed directly from the Pinwheel portal. The other option is to update them manually in your shopping cart. 

The main difference between this and the “Standard Virtual Terminal” is that the standard one requires you to enter additional customer-related information such as:

  • Customer’s First and Last name (as it appears on the card)
  • Their e-mail address
  • The amount of the sale
  • Their phone number
  • The billing address that matches the address on their card

Virtual Terminals Are Beneficial

Using a virtual terminal may not be your primary method of accepting credit card payments. However, one thing certain about business is change. Your business can shift into a new direction, the economy can change, and you will need to quickly pivot your business in order to accept card-not-present (CNP) payments by phone or by e-mail. 

Therefore, it is always wise to have additional methods for accepting credit card payments.