If your business doesn’t work with customers face-to-face or if you want to offer more ways to pay for goods and services, a virtual terminal may be the solution for you. A virtual terminal enables businesses to accept credit card payments by phone or via email/text. This reduces wait time for transfers and allows businesses to process payments instantly. Once the transaction is complete, both parties are emailed or texted a receipt.

A virtual terminal is part of a payment gateway, which provides a secure connection between the merchant account and the bank. The payment gateway receives the customer’s credit card details, and encrypts and authenticates them before sending them to the acquiring bank for authorization. The acquiring bank then communicates its approval or decline to the payment gateway, which in turn relays this response to the merchant account and the customer.

Businesses in the hospitality and event management industry often use a virtual terminal for accepting payment from guests, event attendees or to pre-authorize a room reservation. Businesses that offer subscription-type services, such as software-as-a-service providers or membership clubs, also rely on virtual terminals to process recurring payments, invoices and renewals.

Any business that operates from a computer as its primary device or wants to accept remote payments via phone or mail can benefit from adding a virtual terminal to their merchant account. Many merchant service providers provide both a virtual terminal and a payment gateway solution in one, making it easy to add another way for customers to pay.  virtual terminal payment gateway