COVID-19 has left its devastating, indelible mark on literally everyone around the globe, changing not only how people interact but how people live, how they shop, and how they pay for their purchases.
And with the accelerated rate of COVID-19 transmission, this pandemic accelerated a major increase in the rise of digital payments.
In response to these “newly established norms”, there has been a radical shift towards making more online purchases, in favour of contactless and the use of digital payments over traditional cash alternatives. This impact has reverberated across conventional brick-and-mortar retail businesses, causing unprecedented closures, increased stay-at-home orders, and accelerated the rise of safer, remote interactions, to uphold government-mandated health and safety measures.
As COVID-conscious protocols are legislated across the nation, people are actively seeking to avoid handling cash and even touching conventional payment terminals, at the point-of-sale. This increase in contactless payment has propagated the availability of non-contact digital payment options, along with a general increase in the contactless transaction limits – from $100 to $250 for some credit cards – and the introduction of new payment alternatives, such as QR codes.
Online Virtual Payment Trends
In September of 2021, the annual Payment Methods and Trends Report* (CPMT) was released by Payments Canada. This report analyzed an astounding 20 billion payment transactions – totaling a whopping $9.4 trillion sales in Canada, in 2020 – and examined trends in the payments landscape. It confirms that COVID-19 has “accelerated the move away from cash” and spurred on the rise of digital payments and other progressive payment options.
So how does this impact you and your business?
By making it easier for customers to interact with your company, – when-ever / where-ever – your business will generate more traffic, turn browsers into buyers, buyers into repeat customers and advocates, and ultimately, grow your business.
In analyzing the CPMT’s published report on digital and contactless payments, the renowned Canadian and (global powerhouse) law firm FASKEN LLP noted that:
- “43% of Canadians stated that the pandemic had changed their payment preferences to digital and contactless for the long term;
- 67% of Canadians made more retail purchases online in March 2021, a significant increase from the 38% who did so in March 2020; and
- 58% of Canadians used less cash during the pandemic and 40% indicated they were uncomfortable handling cash”
Read the full report here
To provide you with further insights into the convenience of contactless transactions via Virtual Payment Terminals, your financial experts at the MONEXgroup have compiled this handy reference guide that follows below, for you.
So, What is a Virtual Terminal?
According to WIKIPEDIA*, “A virtual terminal is a software application for merchants which allows them to accept payment with a payment card, specifically a credit card, without requiring the physical presence of the card.”
Therefore, a virtual terminal in essence turns your computer, your mobile phone or laptop into an online payment terminal, which has the capability of accepting debit and credit card transactions. Especially with the COVID pandemic still looming large, virtual payment terminals are the perfect solution for remote billings.
What is Virtual Terminal Credit Card Processing?
Using the traditional way of processing credit card transactions, when accepting payment through a conventional payment terminal, the presence of the payment card is required. However, when a customer wants to pay with the same credit card for a Phone Order or a Mobile Order purchase (PO / MO), MONEXgroup’s virtual terminal enables the merchant – or the person accepting payment, such as a call-center agent – to enter the customer’s credit card information to take a payment. The details of the payment are then sent to the virtual payment processor automatically, to complete the transaction.
While it’s impossible to present the physical card to the merchant over the phone, the customer authorizing the payment should still be in actual possession of the card. To verify this, as an added security step, MONEXgroup’s virtual terminal requires the Card Verification Value (CVV) code to be entered, which the customer must supply. As a time-saving option for merchants and their customers, rather than having a repeat customer repeatedly provide their credit card information every time they have a transaction, MONEXgroup’s credit card vault is utilized to securely store their customers’ card information.
What is Virtual Terminal Payment?
A Virtual Payment Terminal is web-browser-based access to an acquirer – which is typically a financial institution or processor, or third-party service provider website. It is created to authorize payment card transactions, where the merchant manually enters payment card data on a securely connected web browser. Unlike physical terminals, virtual payment terminals do not read data directly from a payment card. Because payment card transactions are entered manually, virtual payment terminals are typically used instead of physical terminals in merchant environments with low transaction volumes.
How Does a Virtual Terminal Work?
provides you with the ease and convenience, and the flexibility of processing transaction payments as well as refunds, regardless of your location. Simply connect from a smartphone, tablet, or computer and you’re ready for business anytime, anywhere.
Literally any business can use a Virtual Payment Terminal to securely process credit card and debit card transactions. This can range from retailers in diverse vertical markets, to service providers, restaurants and more: virtually any business which takes payments over-the-phone or by mail.
In addition, when technical difficulties arise, using a virtual terminal gives your business a backup plan in case your normal payment system is interrupted.
Can Your “Remote-First” Company Benefit from Virtual Payment Terminals?
During the COVID pandemic, your company may also have adopted a “Remote-first” organizational strategy, through which, working remotely is the primary option for most or all of your employees. By definition, Remote-first means that few (if any) of your staff are regularly required to perform their jobs from what may have once been a centralized office. Employees instead work from another location, such as a home office or co-working space. While the “Remote-first” is not a brand-new approach, it has received a lot more attention due to COVID-19, which has forced many companies to re-evaluate and rapidly adapt their business operations to accommodate most or all of their staff working from home.
If your company has now become a Remote-first focused, you may have had to re-tailor your operations in order to create a consistent employee and consistent buyer experience, regardless of where your staff is working.
Therefore, this is where the consistency of Virtual Payment Terminals would indeed be of great benefit: streamlining and standardizing the individual and recurring payment processes, across all touchpoints of your merchant base.
What is the process for using a Virtual Payment Terminal?
With the objective of clarity and simplification, we have broken down the various facets of the VPT process, in order for you to gain a better understanding of the input and the outcome of each facet.
Payments made over the phone or via email can be processed through MONEXgroup’s Virtual Terminal, utilizing any display platform. Whether you have a PC, tablet or smartphone device, you will get an instant response by entering in the credit card information.
A green-alternative to paper receipts, you will be able to send fully customized and automated email receipts to your customers at the touch of the send button, facilitating automated communications.
Utilizing MONEXgroup’s recurring billing option – with automatic email notifications set up at specific time intervals – you can collect ongoing, repeat payments on schedule, thereby improving your cash flow.
Credit Card Vaults
For these recurring transactions, a credit card vault becomes a vital tool, one that will store customer credit card numbers securely. No more flimsy Post It notes, messy spreadsheets or notebooks to store customer payment information, nor manually having to retrieve card numbers at time of payment, resulting in expedited transactions.
We have reduced the potential fraud risk through our integrated e-fraud tools and cardholder verification programs. You can view our comprehensive list of fraud-reduction measures, by visiting our site.
Our proprietary, online payment gateway technology was created to meet your business needs, with totally customizable merchant accounts. This includes various payment functions that show transaction details, refunds or voids, and is tailored to function for diverse user roles, regardless of whether they are administrative, sales or managerial staff.
What Are the Benefits of Using MONEXgroup’s Virtual Terminals?
Your Virtual Terminal enables you to take control and run your business, virtually… and literally, from anywhere! Furthermore:
- It provides you with the transactional capabilities to sell your products or services 24 / 7. It enables you to accept and process credit and debit card payments directly on any computer, tablet, or smartphone, whether you are a sole proprietor or have multiple employees, in multiple locations, within your Remote-first company.
- When processing payments in the hospitality industry, the VPT also allows you to add a fixed amount of tips directly onto the sale, thereby speeding up the payment process, resulting in a seamless customer experience.
- Furthermore, with a MO / TO indicator, a merchant is able to identify whether the transaction was received via mail order (MO) or telephone order (TO), and thereby track and analyze the source of transactions. This will enable merchants to collect contact information to better engage with their customers and plan the appropriate business strategies for growth opportunities.
- In addition, through the fast and simple data entry of cardholder ID – utilizing an intuitive user interface – you will benefit from the convenience of keyed-in transaction information, followed by immediate fulfillment. This reliable and expedient payment processing results in having access to your funds, in only 2 business days!
- Furthermore, having a better processing rate for card-not-present transactions that are done through a virtual terminal, you are provided additional security checks that most conventional POS machines don’t have. You can also protect against fraud with each major brand’s own card verification value (CVV).
- These merchant portals allow business owners to check transactions and track sales reports effectively, right down to being able to track transactions for each employee. All this plus having taxes separated out on your receipts, makes VPTs the ideal and vital business tool, to save time, money and provide a hassle-free, expedient transactional experience for your customers.
What is the Role of PCI Compliance?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – PCI DSS – was established by / on behalf of the major credit card companies, in order to serve as the guardian and watchdog for online e-commerce. In its simplest form, it is a set of rules and processes created to reduce the risk of fraudsters, hackers, and thieves from stealing sensitive card information. The requirements set forth by the PCI SSC are both operational and technical, and the mandate of these rules is always to protect cardholder data, through its 12 key requirements.
According to the PCI Security Standards Council, the ongoing security of cardholder data affects everyone within the buying / selling spectrum.
The theft of cardholder data affects the infrastructure of the entire payment card process. If customers suddenly lose trust in merchants or financial institutions, their credit can be negatively affected, resulting in enormous personal liabilities. Merchants as well as financial institutions can lose not only their credibility, but their ongoing business as well, since they are also subject to numerous financial liabilities.
Adopting and being compliant with the PCI Security Standards is more than just good business. It is vital to the health of your business, since they help to ensure trustworthy payment card transactions for the hundreds of millions of users worldwide, that utilize their cards every day.
How to Get Started with Your Own Virtual Payment Terminal?
Looking for a virtual terminal? Simply contact us for your FREE personal quote. Our sales team will work diligently to customize the best solution that will meet your business needs while enabling future growth of your business and get one step closer to upgrading your POS payment processing solution.