Simply put, a virtual terminal is a secure web page in your internet browser where you can process card payments online. It is called “virtual” because it functions like a credit card terminal, but through a non-physical software application rather than physical terminal.
Usually, the virtual terminal is embedded on a page you can access when you’re logged in to your payment provider’s account online. You process the payment by manually entering the customer’s card details – which you may be given over the phone, a mail order form or through an online chat – and submitting it for processing. The customer’s card will then be charged, and the money transferred to your payment provider account or bank account, minus applicable processing fees.
Manual payments are usually completed without the cardholder present, for example if you take a booking, reservation or order for a product over the telephone. In order to take a manual payment, you need to have three things – a virtual terminal, computer or mobile device, and an internet connection.