Maximizing the virtual terminal
When it comes to payment tools, the virtual terminal (VT) is a staple. Since inception, payment gateways have been packaged with a VT, first designed to give merchants a way to hand key customer card information into a point-of-sale system when needed.
Of course, in the early days, merchants who sold goods exclusively over the counter rarely needed the VT. Conversely, merchants who worked with remote consumers, used the VT daily to input card data for goods sold through MOTO (mail order and telephone order) channels.
"Virtual terminal technology is one of the most evolved systems used in the payments industry," stated Jim Parkinson, Chief Information Officer at North American Bancard (NAB). "It was initially created to supplement swipe terminals, but the advent of omni-commerce and automated payments has elevated its function within the merchant’s payment environment."
Next generation VT
Today's VT application is far more nimble, robust, and intuitive than its predecessor. Indeed, merchants are not only using the VT interface to accept transactions where a card or terminal is not present, but the VT is now also being used to accept card-present payments.
The VT is also valuable to merchants who take on-the-fly payments inside or outside the store, as well as online merchants, where customers access a public-facing VT interface to check out from the shopping cart.
Some VT applications are so robust, they can even synthesize transaction aging and activity, customer profiles and security into a single dashboard.
"NAB has always recognized how important the VT application is to a merchant, so we are continually updating our VT platform to keep it relevant to meet current market and business management needs," continued Parkinson.
Offering "virtually" everything!
According to Parkinson, the latest release of the NAB VT includes everything a merchant could need or want for managing payments, customer information and transaction activity.
The current virtual terminal application even includes a simplified PCI and EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) enhancement, reducing the merchant’s security scope for chip-card acceptance. To utilize this feature, the VT is paired with a free Ingenico iCT 220 terminal, preprogrammed with NAB's semi-integrated EMV solution.
The new merchant portal also allows for the setup of subscription services and recurring payments, securely storing cardholder information, so it can be leveraged to pay for recurring applications and services. The merchant also has the ability to customize contracts with add-ons, discounts, and periodic cycles.
Purchase levels have also been incorporated into the virtual terminal, enabling merchants to secure optimal Interchange rates by requiring purchase level information at the point of purchase. Level II data, such as “sales tax,” “customer code,” and “invoice number” are available, along with level III identifiers like “item product code,” “item price,” and “item description.”
The NAB virtual terminal dashboard can also be managed through a single sign on from anywhere, regardless of the number of locations or user logins. Additionally, a myriad of customer set up features, plus advanced reporting capabilities are included. Reports are easily configured by date range and a volume (versus transaction count) methodology is used to ensure the information is more relevant to the merchant.
Other key interface features include the ability to manage past orders, enabling a merchant to perform refunds, make an adjustment and/or print receipts. Transactions can also be set up to require enhanced security such as AVS (Address Verification Service) and CVV2 (Card Verification Value 2) to protect sensitive cardholder information.
Another innovative feature recently added to the NAB VT is the ability to accept card-present transactions through a mobile card reader, like NAB’s PayAnywhere 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 card reader. Simply connect the card reader to a laptop or mobile device and swipe, dip, or tap the card. The card information will automatically populate the VT fields and the payment can be processed.
More for the merchant
Ultimately, the VT application gives the merchant a faster and safer way to process payments without extra hardware or supplemental communication channels. Moreover, the NAB VT is already integrated with a multitude of existing POS and ecommerce solutions, making set up a breeze for the sales partner.
“Our sales partners love the VT because it’s easy to integrate, their merchants understand the user interface, and its functionality covers all the bases,” concluded Parkinson.
If you are looking to represent a progressive payments company that strives to continually provide its salesforce and merchants with market-ready payment technologies, NAB invites you to visit gonab.com, or contact the NAB partner support team directly at 888.229.5229.