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Virtual Terminals: Transition Away from In-Person Payments

There’s a relatively new phrase bubbling up among small businesses: “Virtual Terminal.” While that sounds high-tech and perhaps out of a future-looking movie, the truth is that virtual terminals have been around for a few years now and are poised to take over the payment landscape.

If you’ve ever ordered snacks at a food truck and paid via Square, then you’ve used a virtual terminal. Simply put, a virtual terminal is a payment processor that operates via a secure browser-based hosted payment page on your desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. It turns a device into a point of sale system, allowing merchants to set up a cashier interface, collect payments, and offer receipts.

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Virtual terminals are also adaptable for online businesses, as they can offer web-browser payment options and flexibility for payment options beyond traditional cards, such as PayPal and cryptocurrencies. Consumers can even set up recurring payments.

Virtual terminals are designed with cybersecurity in mind, with software features such as tokenization and encryption. That means that payment details are replaced by a randomly generated alpha-numeric code – the token – which means your system does not store any sensitive data. Encrypting the data before it is sent helps secure the data further.

Given that all signs point to contactless payments and mobile wallets taking over transactions in the post-COVID world, the virtual terminal is poised to become an integral part of the new wave in consumer spending. If the mobile wallet is the consumer’s take on post-COVID contactless payments, then a small business’s virtual terminal is there to make that process even easier.


PayTech Trust offers secure merchant accounts and web-based solutions for businesses of all sizes to use for payment processing needs. With our collaborative suite of services and best practices to integrate new payment trends, PayTech Trust has the experience and the expertise to help your business with expertly crafted merchant service solutions.

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