Does your small business need Clover Virtual Terminal?

Editorial Team

4 min read
Desk with laptop and Clover Virtual Terminal interface

A surprising number of small businesses in the US rely on paper checks to accept payment–about 50 percent, in fact. For those businesses, tools like TeleCheck offer secure processing. Other business owners, though, may want to offer more payment options to customers, but think that means investing in expensive systems or hardware.

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Now, there’s another option: virtual terminals. A virtual terminal offers a more affordable, convenient way to accept credit card payment without a machine. Here’s how this technology works and why your business could benefit from making the switch. 

What is a virtual terminal? 

Many businesses rely on countertop terminals and physical point-of-sale (POS) systems. These souped-up cash registers are great for ringing up customers in-store or taking orders over the phone. But, for some businesses, it doesn’t make logistical sense to invest in hardware to accept electronic payments. 

This is where virtual terminals can help. A virtual terminal is a web page in your browser that allows you to process payments anywhere using any device that has an internet connection. Virtual terminals live in the cloud, meaning merchants can accept credit card payments without machines. Clover Virtual Terminal can be accessed by logging into your Clover Web Dashboard from a smartphone, tablet, or computer. 

A virtual terminal can accept in-person payments, too. If you do decide to add hardware, you can connect a card reader via USB–but it isn’t necessary. This flexibility is one of the many benefits of adding a virtual terminal to your business.  

Benefits of using a virtual terminal

Virtual terminals are convenient, secure, and hassle-free; and, they can help make accepting payments easier. 

The immediate benefit of using a virtual terminal is the ability to accept credit and debit card payments directly on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Today’s customers have come to expect quick, easy, and flexible payment methods, whether that means credit or debit cards, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, or tap-and-go contactless payments. Clover Virtual Terminal offers a way for business owners to request customer payments by email and allow customers to pay you by credit or debit card online.

Likewise, Virtual Terminal can help streamline your payments and accounting. Take care of all incoming payments–in-store orders, mail or telephone orders, or invoices–through one platform. Store your regular customers’ card information securely for faster transactions. And, complete the entire process digitally by sending receipts via email. 

Virtual Terminal helps keep your payment environment PCI compliant and secure with end-to-end encryption. Clover helps protect against fraud with address verification service (AVS) and card verification value (CVV). Enjoy rigorous security protocols that aim to shield your customer payment information from fraud and abuse. And, in instances where your hardware is down, virtual terminals offer a backup plan if your normal payment system is interrupted.

Getting started with Clover Virtual Terminal

While there are many virtual terminals to choose from, it’s not an investment to be taken lightly. Joining the Clover system comes with a few key benefits that stand out from the crowd. 

Clover’s Virtual Terminal can do more than simply accept payments. In addition, merchants gain access to a customer database, order management, reporting and other features that are part of the Clover system. As part of Fiserv, Clover offers the latest security and fraud management tools to protect your customer and business data. 

Clover Virtual Terminal also offers unique features to make transactions easier. Card-on-file, invoice by email with online payment, recurring payments, and invoice manager are all tools we’ve integrated to make accepting payments more streamlined. Clover Virtual Terminal aims to provide an all-in-one payments and business management solution designed to meet your needs as your business grows.

How to set up a virtual terminal 

Setting up a virtual terminal is convenient for any type of merchant–from restaurants and retailers to services businesses who take payments over-the-phone or by mail. For existing Clover merchants, Virtual Terminal comes preloaded on your dashboard. Simply log into your Clover Web Dashboard to fire up Virtual Terminal and request or take payments.

For merchants who are new to Clover, it’s available free in the US and Canada. And, there’s no additional monthly fee to use it. Transactions are charged at card-not-present or keyed-in rates. Sign up for a Clover account to get started. 

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