Pretty much every time we make a payment online, we’re doing so thanks to a virtual terminal.
For many of us, most of our shopping is now done online – it beats queuing up in John Lewis at Christmas time!
As a business, it’s vital that you offer your customers a virtual terminal, so they can pay without being present.
But what service provider should you use?
It can be hard to pick the right virtual terminal for you. To help you out, we’ve made a list of our favourite virtual terminals.
What is a virtual terminal?
A virtual terminal is a web page used for entering card details and processing card transactions. This lets someone who isn’t physically present make a debit card payment or using their credit payment cards. A virtual terminal can also be used via mail order/telephone order.
It also means you don’t need to pay for a physical point of sale card machine if you don’t use it.
For a more in-depth guide on what a virtual terminal is, check out our article here.
To help you choose the right virtual terminal and payment service for your business, here’s a list of our top 5 favourite virtual terminals!
Top 5 Best Virtual Terminals:
WorldPay is one of the biggest payment solutions providers in the world. They offer a few price plans that include virtual terminals so you can process payments online:
- Simplicity: This costs £9.95 per month plus transaction fees. The latter are custom and depend on your business.
- Fixed Monthly: Available from £49.99 a month, this includes your transaction fees up to a certain amount. This requires a minimum 18-month contract. Again, your total price and transaction fee threshold will depend on your business.
- Custom: This is an entirely bespoke arrangement. You can contact WorldPay to get one of their experts to provide you with an exact quote and agreement. This is best suited to well-established businesses, who process a large volume of transactions.
Transaction Fee: Dependent on the plan and card type.
Monthly: From £9.95 (not including VAT).
- 24/7 customer service.
- Reasonable transaction fees and monthly rates.
Perhaps the best-known payment gateway on the planet, PayPal inspires confidence in your customers due to its popularity.
The virtual terminal is highly secure and does the job well. It accepts the usual card payment options – Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro. However, there’s no PCI compliance included – so you’ll need to organise this yourself.
There are a few different price points for a PayPal virtual terminal:
- For a monthly turnover of less than £1500: 3.4% + 20p per transaction.
- For a monthly turnover £1500.01-£6000: 2.9% + 20p per transaction.
- For a monthly turnover of £6000-£15,000: 2.4% + 20p per transaction.
- For a monthly turnover of £15,000 or more: 1.9% + 20p per transaction.
It’s important to note that these are for domestic payments only. For transactions using a foreign card, there’s likely to be a cross-border fee. This is typically between 0.4% and 1.5%.
There’s also a monthly operating fee of £20, regardless of turnover.
- The payment settles very quickly.
- The well-known brand inspires consumer confidence.
Square is perfect for a business that wants to get going fast. With rapid registration and no commitment, Square is ideal for a growing business or Start-up.
With no monthly fees, all you pay is a percentage of the transaction fee on your virtual terminal.
Square is a straightforward platform and is designed to be extremely easy to get set upon.
Here are a few benefits of this simple plan:
- You don’t pay anything if you don’t use your virtual terminal.
- No contract so you’re not committed.
- Accepts Visa, Visa Electron, American Express, Maestro, Mastercard, and V Pay.
Monthly cost: None!
Transaction fee: 2.5% for all cards.
- Sign up is really fast and straightforward.
- App and web-page are user-friendly.
Founded in 2009, Card Cutters aims to offer small businesses and start-ups a card solution at the kind of competitive pricing that’s usually reserved for big companies.
While not as big a name as others on this list, it’s comforting to know that they have a huge partner. Card Cutters are partnered with Global Payments, which helps them offer significant features at a small price.
Card Cutters most popular package is the E-Commerce package. This includes a virtual terminal and offers the following:
- Nothing for the first 350 transactions.
- Afterwards, £0.12 per transaction.
- Flat £25 per month operating fee.
- The option of custom payment plans for high volume customers.
This comes at an incredibly cheap cost, but you need to compromise on flexibility: you’re tied into an 18-month contract.
As such, this might not be a good option for new businesses who don’t have a regular income yet.
If you want the virtual terminal alone, you’ll pay:
Transaction fee: Nothing for the first 100 transactions then £0.15 per transaction.
Monthly fee: £15
- Helpful and fast customer support.
- Competitive prices.
Owned by PayPal, Braintree Payments is a popular online payment processor for businesses to accept mobile and web payments.
As well as payment methods like Visa and Mastercard, Braintree also accepts popular new payment methods, like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
The company has a pretty impressive client list: including Uber, Github, and Airbnb – so you can rest easy knowing you’re in reliable hands.
BrainTree has two account options:
- Standard: Ideal for newer businesses looking to grow. There’s no contract, so no early termination fee if you change your mind. This merchant account charges 1.9% + 20p per transaction. There’s no extra charge for credit card processing fees.
- Enterprise: If you’re a more established business and are processing a large volume of transactions, then this is the account for you. This merchant account’s pricing is tailored to your business model – so you’ll need to contact Braintree for an exact quote.
- How easy the mobile payments app and website are to use.
- The cheap transaction fees.
A virtual terminal is no longer an optional extra but is a crucial part of any business.
More and more of us Brits are shopping exclusively online. By not having a virtual terminal to accept these payments, you’re alienating a huge percentage of potential customers.
Our top 5 Virtual Terminals are great options for all kinds of businesses, whether they’re small or large.
If you want to add even more functionality to your business, consider adding a direct debit service!