Virtual Terminal Payment Gateway

Aug 3, 2022 | Payments

Virtual Terminal vs Payment Gateway


When it’s time to find a payment processor to accept credit cards, it’s important to understand the difference between a virtual terminal vs a payment gateway. Here we describe the subtle differences between the two technologies to help you decide which will be best for your business.

How Does a Payment Gateway Work?


A payment gateway is an online application that has extensive payment features. For example, when you log in to a payment gateway your merchant profile shows chargebacks, pending transactions, and payment history.

Overall, an online payment gateway one-stop program that displays everything relevant to your business’s transaction. Additionally, the best payment gateways have reporting features so you can access pending or completed payments. Moreover, you may also see features like recurring billing or chargeback prevention which are useful tools to help keep your merchant account in good standing.

What’s a Virtual Terminal?

On the other hand, a virtual terminal is a mobile and web-friendly tool that’s used to place orders. It can be for both online or in-person credit card payments. As a merchant you can accept multiple forms of payment with this virtual technology. For example, if you want to accept cryptocurrency at your store location, you’ll need to have a way to transfer it. You can use an online wallet or a virtual terminal with a built-in ability to exchange crypto.

Virtual Terminal vs Payment Gateway
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When to Use a Virtual Terminal 

A virtual terminal is an online tool that works like a physical terminal at a brick-and-mortar store. In this case, the virtual terminal takes credit, debit, or ACH information exchanged on an ecommerce website. 

Much like a payment gateway, virtual terminals connect customer bank accounts to a business merchant account. This process requires secure integrations to protect customer data. As a software, all of the information passes through payment channels in order for a purchase to occur.


Integrating A Payment Gateway

Payment gateways integrate with a number of shopping carts and website builders. Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce website creators, and it works with many different companies that provide payments. Their goal is to bring as many merchants to their Shopify Payments program. However, savvy business owners should look for other types of payment processing that have lower fees and fewer restrictions. 

Payment gateway integrations can be for more than just websites, they naturally link to bank accounts. In addition, some can integrate with various CRMs, marketing tools, or invoicing programs. The gateway’s purpose is to make the payment portal easy and informative.


Virtual Terminal Credit Card Processing

In order to process payments with a virtual terminal you’ll need to have one that easily integrates into your merchant account. At Signature Payments, we have a wide-range of virtual and physical terminals that you can use to accept credit cards. 

Clover is a popular brand among stores who are looking for a card-present transaction. Alternatively, the SGX payment gateway plugs into your online store and gives you full access to multiple features.