If you own a company that needs to take payments over the phone, then a solution like a virtual terminal will be paramount to ensuring that you are successful. Some good examples of this are when you need to take a deposit for a hotel booking, accepting orders that need to be picked up and when products have to be shipped overseas. The question is, how do you make a payment when the customer isn’t there to give you cash or swipe their card in your chip and pin machine?
There are a few steps that you need to take to give your company this service, primarily a virtual terminal and PCI compliance. In order to do this, the first thing to do is to choose a virtual terminal partner.
Picking a provider
The first decision you need to make is choosing your virtual terminal partner. There are many on the market, and all have different features and price points, so doing the research to ensure that you are picking the best fit for you is essential. You may find that when doing your research, you will see ‘card not present’ transactions referenced as a service, which is just another term used interchangeably with a virtual terminal. You will often have to get in touch with the providers before you get any information on costs, so take some time to contact at least three to get a good idea of the market.
It may be tempting to choose only the largest providers like Worldpay or Sage Pay as they are very well established and often have lots of other services that may be useful to you. Ensure that you contact some of the smaller providers as well though, as if you are a smaller business, these might be a better fit for you. Also, do not be pulled into features that aren’t needed in your situation. While being able to access many different services from one provider may seem like a good idea, if you only really need a select few of them, you could be saving a lot of money by avoiding them. In general, providers will charge a monthly fee that isn’t too expensive, but doing your research will make sure that you get the best offer and service for your individual needs. The type of business that you have may impact your choice, as a more high-risk business may want more security. If you aren’t sure, then this PaymentCloud blog article
Once you have chosen your virtual terminal, you’ll also need to make sure that you comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard to ensure that all of your payments are secure. This is due to card payments being more vulnerable to in-person payments, and fraud is a serious issue that you need to avoid. Most providers are PCI compliant, and this is something that you should check before signing up.
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Photo Credit: Celeste Lindell, via Flickr.