A virtual terminal can take any business to a new level. It allows the business to process debit and credit card orders as well as orders received via fax, phone, and mail. Most virtual terminals allow merchants to accept both keyed and swiped transactions.
There’s little question that virtual terminals offer advantages for small businesses, but there are questions when it comes to choosing the best virtual terminal. Many merchants are a bit unclear about what to expect regarding fees related to credit card processing and other issues. This article will explore some of the concerns related to selecting a virtual terminal.
Let’s Get Physical
At a brick-and-mortar store, most credit card transactions are conducted via a traditional terminal located at the cash register. These terminals offer affordable rates for merchants and fast and easy transactions for customers. In addition, the transactions are safe and secure.
It’s a Virtual World
Online payments need to be as convenient and accessible for the merchant as they are for the customer. After all, like the customer, the merchant isn’t tied to a storefront or cash register. This means the merchant should have the ability to process credit card payments anywhere – as long as he/she has an Internet connection, it should be possible.
Narrowing Your Options
There are obvious benefits to having a virtual terminal for processing credit card payments. But with so many choices available, it is important to narrow your options.
One way to ensure you are providing excellent service to your customers is to only consider virtual terminals that are extremely secure. This not only protects your reputation as a merchant, it also helps ensure your profits. Choosing a virtual terminal that offers cutting-edge security features offers customers the protection they crave, and it protects you, too.
Another way to narrow your choices is according to the fees charged. However, this can be confusing. You may find there are transaction or swipe fees, statement fees, annual fees, monthly fees, service fees, return fees, a PCI fee, and variations on any of those charges.
Some companies keep charges very simple and others don’t. But in some cases, the simplified systems are not the least expensive. It is worthwhile to carefully evaluate the needs of your business and consider how you will use the virtual terminal. What makes the most sense for one business may not be best for another one.
Compare and Select
You now have all the information you need to do a thorough comparison of the virtual terminals you are most interested in. Compare and contrast all the features and benefits you found. Then take things a step further. Look into the product’s as well as the business’s reputation.
Be sure to consider the company’s customer service. Online reviews and customer comments and other feedback can provide great product information. In many cases, it will answer questions about things you are truly interested in.
Below are seven pointers for selecting the right virtual terminal for your business:
1) Know your needs.
2) Only consider extremely secure virtual terminals
3) Narrow choices according to fees charged
4) Compare features and benefits
5) Check out online reputations
6) Investigate the company’s customer service
7) Consider your own preferences
Do you agree that this list of pointers will help you select a great virtual terminal? If you have other suggestions to add to the list, please mention them in the comments.
Debbie Allen is a freelance writer, online marketer, and blogger. Many of her articles focus on small business topics. She also writes about matters related to beauty and fashion, health and wellness, and home décor.