A Review of the Top 5 Virtual Terminals

What is a virtual terminal and why do you need one? A virtual point of sale (VPOS) terminal is the web version of a physical credit card terminal or POS machine. It’s a software application that is hosted online, usually on the service provider’s servers, that can be accessed from any web browser. Some providers also offer a USB credit card reader that connects to your virtual terminal so that you can process card-present transactions right through your computer.

The advantage of using a VPOS is that you won’t have to buy, rent or lease a traditional credit card terminal if you’re processing credit card transactions without a signature. One of the most significant benefits of this type of system is convenience. If you would like to sell products or services at a trade show, festival, or pop-up shop, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection with access to a virtual terminal.

If you’re looking for a practical solution for credit card processing, here is a review of the top 5 virtual terminals on the market today.

Network Merchants Inc. (NMI)

Network Merchants helps merchants process transactions from any internet-connected computer with the virtual terminal included with an NMI gateway. NMI is primarily a payment gateway provider, but also offers machine, mobile, telephone, and virtual payment terminals.

On the virtual terminal, merchants can manually enter transactions or use an optional encrypted card reader for card-present transactions. If cards are being entered manually, the terminal’s real-time field validator highlighted invalid fields that need to be fixed. NMI’s terminal also allows for storing data securely for future billing.

Pros:

  • Month-to-month contracts
  • No sign-up or cancellation fees
  • Accepts multiple currencies

Cons:

  • No account fees or processing rates listed on the website.

Cost: Contact the company for pricing

Payeezy

The Payeezy Gateway, offered by First Data, includes a user-friendly virtual terminal that lets business owners easily log-in to process phone orders, or void and refund existing transactions. Payeezy Gateway has all the features necessary to accept payments and keep customers’ data secure. Its web-based interface allows merchants to accept card-not-present payments swiftly and conveniently so merchants can focus on operating and growing their business.

Large businesses tend to have a better experience with First Data as a whole, while smaller ones might end up paying for services they don’t need.

Pros:

  • User-friendly

Cons:

  • Service can be more expensive for small merchants.
  • No account fees or processing rates listed on the website.

Cost: Contact the company for pricing.

CardPointe

The CardPointe Virtual Terminal, also offered by First Data, is a browser-based, point-of-sale system that comes complimentary with a CardPointe account. It allows businesses to accept both card-present and card-not-present transactions in-person or over-the-phone.

The terminal is secure and can be paired with devices protected by its PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE). Merchants can also integrate a Bolt P2PE device to their virtual terminal for transactions protected by EMV or chip card technology. Merchants may also want to connect an optional USB or Bluetooth card reader to swipe credit cards, making them eligible for lower costs and increased security by swiping instead of manually keying in cards.

Pros:

  • No long-term contracts
  • Robust security features

Cons:

  • Mixed customer support reviews

Cost: Access to the platform is $15 per month.

Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net’s browser-based, virtual terminal allows merchants to enter transactions on a computer securely and efficiently. Any Authorize.Net merchant can use the service, which is exclusively available for Windows computers. Once the virtual POS is installed on the merchant’s computer, all that is needed is a supported card reader and downloaded software to process credit card payments. The newest Authorize.Net’s virtual point of sale version uses the BBPOS Chipper card reader, which can accept both magstripe and EMV cards. Keep in mind that the card reader only supports EMV transactions through certified processors.

Authorize.Net also offers broad support for multiple currencies and robust security and anti-fraud features.

Pros:

  • Free software
  • Accepts chip card payments for select processors
  • No long term contracts
  • Support for multiple currencies

Cons:

  • Software available for Windows only

Cost: $98 for the credit card reader, plus $17.50 for a micro-USB cable.

Sekure has established a special Authorize.net offer for our customers, with no setup fee, a $5 monthly gateway fee and $0.05 transaction fee.

Payments Hub

Payments Hub, owned by North American Bancard Holdings (NAB), is a web-based system that does not require any software to be downloaded or installed.

The terminal, provided free to every business signed up for the company’s payment processing service, allows merchants to accept online, phone, and other card-not-present payments. Its reporting and management tool provides a central location with advanced features to help merchants optimize their business. Purchases can be entered manually or swiped with an optional card reader.

Pros:

  • Free virtual terminal
  • No software download or installation required

Cons:

  • No account fees or processing rates listed on the website.

Cost: $14.95 per month.

Virtual terminals are generally an easy and inexpensive solution for merchants. Choosing the right one will depend on computer software compatibility, the size of your business, your business goals, and your budget.

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