what is virtual terminal

7 Best Virtual Terminals for Small Business in 2024

The Rising Importance of Virtual Terminals in Small Business Operations

Virtual terminals are essential for small businesses, offering versatile payment acceptance and remote transaction capabilities. They save costs, boost efficiency, and integrate with various tools. Enhanced security features reduce fraud risks, while also supporting on-the-go payments via mobile devices. These terminals adapt to changing payment trends, providing scalability for business growth.

Virtual terminals empower small businesses by streamlining operations, expanding reach, and meeting customer expectations for convenience and security.

Why Choosing the Right Virtual Terminal is Crucial for Success and Growth

Opting for the correct virtual credit card terminal holds paramount importance in steering business success and expansion. A well-chosen terminal cultivates a seamless payment experience, embracing diverse methods and broadening the customer base. Its scalability accommodates growth, while integration of the virtual credit card terminal with merchant services minimizes manual tasks and maximizes efficiency.

Robust security ensures data protection and insightful reporting from the virtual credit card terminal informs strategic decisions. Reliable support for the virtual credit card terminal prevents disruptions, and cost-efficiency aligns with budgets. Adapting to trends maintains relevance, fostering customer trust and credibility. Streamlining operations with the virtual credit card terminal empowers business expansion and positions it to flourish in a competitive landscape. It's an investment that catalyzes growth and secures success.

What is a Virtual Terminal?


A Virtual terminal is nothing but an online payment processing platform where you can easily process transactions without depending on the physical card terminal. It is a web-based interface accessible via computers, laptops, mobile, and smartphones. Virtual terminals offer several key features.

They facilitate real-time authorization of transactions, provide detailed reporting on sales and transactions, and streamline the handling of credit card transactions. These platforms are essential for businesses looking to expand their payment options and enhance customer convenience.

payment gateway virtual terminal

Payment Processing: Virtual terminals facilitate the seamless processing of payments by allowing merchants to manually input customer payment details, such as card numbers, expiry dates, and security codes, and integrate with a payment processor for secure transactions.

Payment Variety: In addition to credit and debit cards, virtual terminals often accommodate diverse payment methods like electronic checks, digital wallets, and electronic fund transfers.

Recurring Payments: Some virtual terminals support recurring billing models, making them suitable for subscription services, membership renewals, and installment-based payments.

Integration Capability: Virtual terminals frequently integrate with other business tools such as accounting software, CRM systems, and e-commerce platforms, streamlining overall operations.

Accessibility: The flexibility of virtual terminals ensures accessibility from any location with an internet connection, allowing businesses to process payments on-the-go or from various sites.

Compliance: Adhering to industry standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), virtual terminals ensure secure handling of customer payment data.

Enhanced Security: Prioritizing data protection, virtual terminals implement encryption and tokenization methods to safeguard sensitive customer payment information and minimize data breach and fraud risks.

Invoicing: Many virtual terminals empower businesses to create and send electronic invoices to customers, a boon for services and products offered remotely.

Reporting and Insights: Comprehensive transaction reports and analytics provide valuable insights into sales patterns, customer behavior, and financial performance.

Customer Convenience: Virtual terminals prioritize a smooth payment experience for customers, enabling them to provide payment details conveniently over the phone or through online forms.

Remote Transactions: Businesses can conveniently accept payments from customers who are not physically present, covering scenarios like phone orders, mail-based purchases, and online transactions, thereby expanding their market reach.


Advantages of Using Virtual Terminals for Small Businesses: Virtual terminals provide distinct advantages for small businesses, fostering operational efficiency and enabling growth:

Advantage of virtual terminal payment processing

Cost Savings: Virtual terminals eliminate the need for costly physical card terminals and associated maintenance, reducing financial strain for small businesses.

Integration Flexibility: Integration with accounting, CRM, and e-commerce systems streamlines operations and minimizes manual entry.

Recurring Payments: Some virtual terminals support recurring billing models, making them suitable for subscription services, membership renewals, and installment-based payments.

Customer Convenience: Customers can conveniently provide payment information over the phone or through online forms, enhancing satisfaction and loyalty.

Security Assurance: Reputable virtual terminals employ robust security measures, such as encryption, to protect customer payment data and avert breaches.

Scalability: Virtual terminals can seamlessly handle growing transaction volumes and expanding clientele as small businesses prosper.

Time Efficiency: Automated payment processes and reduced paperwork liberate time for core activities and strategic initiatives.

Diverse Payments: Small businesses can cater to customer preferences by accepting various payment methods like credit cards, electronic checks, and digital wallets.

Remote Access: Businesses can broaden their customer base by accepting payments from remote sources, including phone orders and online purchases.

User-Friendly: Virtual terminals feature intuitive interfaces, requiring minimal training for efficient payment processing by business owners and staff.

Invoicing: Many virtual terminals empower businesses to create and send electronic invoices to customers, a boon for services and products offered remotely.

Efficient Invoicing: Inbuilt invoicing features simplify the process, allowing businesses to generate and send electronic invoices, minimizing administrative tasks.

Adaptability: Virtual terminals keep small businesses aligned with evolving payment trends and customer expectations for seamless transactions.

Informed Decisions: Transaction reports and analytics empower business owners with insights into trends, aiding strategic decision-making.

Professional Image: Offering secure payment options through virtual terminals bolsters the business's credibility and customer trust.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Virtual Terminal


Opt for a virtual terminal with strong security features to protect customer data, including encryption and compliance with industry standards.


Choose a terminal that integrates smoothly with your existing systems, such as accounting and CRM software, for streamlined operations.

Payment Diversity

Select a virtual terminal that supports various payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and digital wallets.

User-Friendly Interface

Prioritize an intuitive interface that requires minimal training for staff, ensuring efficient payment processing.


Look for a virtual terminal that can handle growing transaction volumes and adapt to your business's expansion.

Customer Support

Opt for a provider with reliable customer service to address any issues promptly and minimize disruptions.


Evaluate the pricing structure, including transaction fees and setup costs, to ensure it aligns with your budget and business needs.

How to choose a Virtual terminal?

You need to follow A few steps to choose the right virtual terminal for your business. The first step is to check the fees associated with the service. Look for transparent pricing without any hidden costs. Secondly, security is the most important consideration.

Ensure that the terminal is PCI compliant, which means it meets certain standards to protect your customers' credit card information. When it comes to usability, it should be easily understandable for the user and integrate smoothly with your current setup.

Also, check if it supports various payment methods like credit cards, e-checks, or mobile payments. Lastly, read reviews from other customers to learn about their experiences with the virtual terminal. Making an informed decision and taking proper precautions will help streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

Lastly, you'll need to open a merchant account to use alongside your virtual terminal. This is where the credit card funds are held for processing and clearance before they're transferred to your business bank account. Fortunately, most providers offer both functions, but you should always double-check before finalizing any contract.

The 7 Best Virtual Terminals for Small Business in 2024

Square Virtual terminal


Square Virtual Terminal, offered by Square, serves as a versatile solution for businesses of all sizes, streamlining payment processing for credit card payments. Its user-friendly interface eliminates the need for physical terminals, enabling efficient payment processing across diverse scenarios, whether in-person or remote.

Unique Features

Versatile Payment Acceptance:
The Square Virtual Terminal offers versatile payment processing, including seamless handling of CBD payment processing, allowing businesses to meet the varied preferences of their customers.

Web-Based Convenience:
Accessible through web browsers, Square Virtual Terminal eradicates the need for additional software or hardware installations.

Multi-Channel Capability:
Seamlessly integrated with Square's broader payment ecosystem, businesses can manage payments across varied channels, spanning online stores to brick-and-mortar retail.

Security Priority:
Square upholds robust security through end-to-end encryption and compliance with PCI DSS regulations, assuring the protection of customer payment details.

Customer Profiles:
Square Virtual Terminal facilitates customer profile creation and management, fostering personalized experiences and seamless repeat transactions.

Real-Time Insights:
Real-Time Insights: Providing real-time transaction reporting and analytics, businesses gain insights into sales volumes, customer behaviors, and financial performance.

virtual terminal


Authorize.net stands at the forefront as a leading payment gateway solution, empowering businesses to streamline online payment processes with efficiency and security. Renowned for its reliability, Authorize.net is a cornerstone for businesses seeking seamless payment acceptance.

Unique Features

Versatile Payment Methods:
Authorize.net supports an array of payment options including credit and debit cards, e-checks, and digital wallets, catering to diverse customer preferences.

Simplified Integration:
With an intuitive API and developer tools, Authorize.net simplifies integration with various e-commerce platforms, websites, and mobile apps.

Subscription Excellence:
Facilitating subscription models, Authorize.net excels in managing recurring billing, trial periods, and flexible subscription arrangements.

Enhanced Security Measures:
Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDS) and Address Verification System (AVS) emphasize security, guarding against fraudulent transactions.

Customer Information Manager:
Businesses can securely store customer payment details, ensuring seamless future transactions and enhancing customer convenience.

Virtual POS:
A virtual point-of-sale system empowers businesses to conduct in-person transactions directly from their computers, fostering convenience.

Mobile Payments:
Authorize.net's mobile app enables on-the-go payment acceptance, increasing flexibility and customer convenience.

Efficient Invoicing:
Authorize.net offers invoicing tools for streamlined billing and payment tracking, optimizing business operations.

Real-Time Analytics:
Comprehensive reporting tools provide real-time insights into transaction data, sales trends, and customer behavior, aiding strategic decisions.

Authorize.net's developer resources, encompassing APIs and SDKs, allow businesses to tailor payment solutions to meet unique requirements.

PayPal virtual terminal

Paypal Virtual Terminal:

PayPal Virtual Terminal PayPal Virtual Terminal serves as a solution for businesses to accept payments using diverse methods, such as credit and debit cards, by manually inputting payment details into the PayPal interface. This proves particularly beneficial for businesses involved in scenarios like phone orders, mail orders, and instances where cards are not physically present in the payment system.

Unique Features

Diverse Payment Methods:
PayPal Virtual Terminal supports various payment methods, allowing businesses to cater to diverse customer preferences, including credit and debit cards.

Seamless Integration:
Integration within PayPal's broader ecosystem enriches the payment process, enabling businesses to manage online, in-person, and mobile transactions through a unified platform.

Transaction Security:
PayPal prioritizes security through encryption and adheres to industry benchmarks like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), guaranteeing safeguarding of customer payment information.

Enhanced Customer Experience:
The feature enables businesses to establish and manage customer profiles, streamlining future transactions and enhancing customer interactions.

Real-Time Insights:
Real-time transaction reporting and analytics offer insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and financial performance.

Tailored Invoicing:
Businesses can create invoices directly via PayPal Virtual Terminal, simplifying billing processes and payment tracking.

Mobile Adaptability:
With a dedicated mobile app, businesses can accept payments while on the move, enhancing convenience for both enterprises and customers.

stripe virtual terminal


Stripe stands out as a versatile online payment platform that empowers businesses to manage transactions for their products and services effortlessly. Renowned for its user-friendly interface, security measures, and seamless integration capabilities, Stripe offers a developer-friendly payment gateway solution. Businesses can also benefit from transparent payment processing fees, ensuring clarity and cost-efficiency in managing their financial transactions.

Unique Features

Developer-Centric Approach:
With an API-first strategy, Stripe allows developers to create customized payment solutions that cater to unique business needs.

Global Accessibility:
Supporting transactions in over 135 currencies, Stripe proves advantageous for businesses with international operations.

Unified Solution:
Businesses benefit from a unified platform that encompasses payment processing, subscription management, and revenue optimization, simplifying operations.

Swift Fund Access:
Stripe's accelerated payout schedule enhances cash flow management, ensuring timely access to funds.

Subscription Management:
Excelling in subscription models, Stripe facilitates recurring billing, trials, and flexible subscription management.

Advanced Fraud Prevention:
Employing machine learning, Stripe's Radar feature detects and prevents fraudulent transactions, bolstering security.

Fattmerchant virtual terminal


Fattmerchant Virtual Terminal empowers businesses to accept payments manually, catering to scenarios like phone orders, mail orders, and in-person transactions where cards aren't present. This web-based solution streamlines payment processing, enhancing flexibility for businesses and convenience for customers.

Unique Features

Subscription-Based Pricing:
One distinctive aspect of Fattmerchant is its subscription-based pricing model, diverging from traditional transaction-based fees. Businesses pay a monthly subscription fee based on their processing volume, providing predictable and potentially cost-effective pricing.

Diverse Payment Acceptance:
Fattmerchant Virtual Terminal supports various payment methods, including credit and debit cards, enabling businesses to accommodate diverse customer preferences.

Secure Transactions:
Security measures such as encryption and tokenization protect sensitive payment data during manual entry, ensuring transaction security.

Real-Time Reporting:
Comprehensive reporting tools offer real-time insights into transaction data, sales trends, and customer behavior, facilitating informed decision-making.Integration Capability:

Integration Capability:
Fattmerchant's virtual terminal seamlessly integrates with other Fattmerchant payment solutions, creating a unified payment ecosystem.

Customizable Interface:
Businesses can personalize payment forms to align with their brand, maintaining consistency and enhancing the customer experience.

Recurring Billing:
Fattmerchant Virtual Terminal supports recurring billing arrangements, making it suitable for subscription services.

Customer Management:
The platform allows businesses to create and manage customer profiles, streamlining future transactions and fostering personalized interactions.

Bluepay or clover virtual terminal


BluePay is a leading payment processing company that excels in simplifying payment acceptance for businesses of all sizes and industries. Emphasizing security, efficiency, and adaptability, BluePay offers versatile solutions to streamline transaction processes and enhance the payment experience.

Unique Features

Versatile Payment Acceptance:
BluePay Virtual Terminal boasts an inclusive approach to payment acceptance, supporting a wide array of payment methods. This encompasses credit and debit cards, ACH payments, and digital wallets. This extensive range empowers businesses to cater to diverse customer preferences, enhancing overall convenience in payment processing.

Efficient Recurring Billing and Subscription Management:
BluePay's Virtual Terminal excels particularly in subscription-based models by offering advanced capabilities for managing recurring billing and subscriptions. Businesses can effortlessly establish automated recurring payment setups, making it an ideal solution for memberships, subscription services, and routine transactions. This streamlined feature not only simplifies revenue collection but also enhances customer retention.

Robust Data Security and PCI Compliance:
BluePay prioritizes the security of sensitive data by strictly adhering to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. Through the implementation of encryption and tokenization techniques, the Virtual Terminal ensures that confidential payment information entered manually remains fully protected. This commitment to security fosters customer trust and guarantees the safety of financial data.

Merchantech virtual terminal


Merchantech Virtual Terminal plays a pivotal role within its suite of payment solutions, offering businesses a seamless method to manually manage transactions without relying on physical card terminals. Particularly useful for phone and mail orders, as well as situations where cards aren't present, this feature is designed to enhance flexibility.

Unique Features

Versatile Payment Methods:
Merchantech's Virtual Terminal enables businesses to accommodate a range of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, through manual input on their platform.

Integration and Centralization:
A notable strength lies in its integration with the broader Merchantech payment ecosystem. This allows businesses to consolidate their payment processing needs within one platform, catering to various transaction types.

Security Focus:
Merchantech prioritizes security in Virtual Terminal transactions, employing encryption and tokenization to safeguard sensitive payment data entered manually.User-Friendly Design:

User-Friendly Design:
The Virtual Terminal boasts an intuitive interface, ensuring easy navigation for businesses and their teams, enhancing operational efficiency.

Real-Time Insights:
Businesses gain access to real-time transaction reporting and analytics, offering valuable insights into payment trends and customer behaviors.

Customization Capability:
While adhering to security protocols, businesses can customize payment forms, ensuring branding consistency and aligning with user preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a virtual terminal, and why do small businesses need one?

A virtual terminal is an online tool that empowers small businesses to process payments manually by securely entering customer payment information into a web-based interface. This solution proves valuable for small businesses as it eliminates the need for physical card terminals, making it ideal for phone orders and remote transactions.

Q2: How do virtual terminals ensure secure payment processing?

Virtual terminals prioritize security through advanced measures like encryption and tokenization, safeguarding sensitive payment data during manual entry. This ensures the protection of customer information and upholds secure transactions, adhering to industry standards such as PCI DSS.

Q3: Can virtual terminals be integrated with existing business tools?

Certainly, virtual terminals are designed to seamlessly integrate with a range of existing business tools. These include accounting software, CRM systems, and various platforms, streamlining business operations and enhancing overall efficiency.

Q4: Are there any transaction limits or additional fees?

Transaction limits and fees may vary based on the chosen virtual terminal provider and the selected plan. It's important to carefully review the terms and pricing details of the specific virtual terminal service to gain clarity on potential transaction limits or associated charges.

Q5: Can virtual terminals support international payments?

Absolutely, many virtual terminals are equipped to handle international payments by facilitating transactions in multiple currencies. This feature caters to businesses with a global customer base, enabling them to expand their outreach and provide seamless payment options to customers worldwide.

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