Best Virtual Terminal vs. Credit Card Reader

Best Virtual Terminal vs. Credit Card Reader

“Virtual” and “terminal”: two fancy words that describe something that’s rather simple. Virtual Terminals offer all the functionality of old-school processing terminals but record information digitally, as opposed to on physical paper.

We know what you’re thinking: Then what’s the advantage of a Virtual Terminal over a traditional one?

Let’s run through the many benefits of the best Virtual Terminal.

Virtual Terminal Benefits

  1. It reduces paper waste. By recording transactions as they come in, businesses can move away from paper batch reports and receipts. The benefits of that are threefold:
    • First, this eliminates storage units, filing cabinets and boxes full of receipts, which are difficult to manage.
    • Second, all that storage costs money, as do the materials to print receipts. We’re talking about a good $883 in initial equipment as well as $348 in monthly supplies and rental costs.
    • Third, paper receipts have a devastating impact on the environment and your health. Ten million trees are cut down annually, in the United States alone, just to print paper receipts. Plus, they’re printed on thermal paper that can’t be recycled and contain BPA, which is harmful to human health.
  2. It makes searching transactions easy. Backtracking to look at past transactions or search for a particular receipt in the event of a chargeback is a nightmare when dealing with paper receipts. Because a Virtual Terminal stores transaction records in the cloud, it’s easy to search for a transaction or, in some cases, a digital signature, as well. Furthermore, you have a copy of your batch reports for future reference, if needed.
  3. It’s secure. Unlike paper receipts that can get lost, stolen or simply mismanaged, the best Virtual Terminal is one that's proprietary to a Level 1 PCI-compliant provider. This means the provider accepting, transmitting and storing cardholder data adheres to the highest security standards put in place by the credit card issuers. (Ideally, the provider handles your PCI compliance for you too).

We mentioned that a super-powered Virtual Terminal is capable of even more. Let’s dive into that.

The Best Virtual Terminal Goes Above and Beyond

  1. Easy Deposit Reconciliation

    Most businesses have to line up their batch reports against their bank deposits daily to make sure no unethical billing or chargebacks are occurring. Usually this is only done monthly, resulting in missing funds that aren’t easily accounted for. PayJunction makes this process simple, detailing all fees.

  2. Beautiful Reports

    Make smarter business decisions and move away from spreadsheets that are tedious to manage and susceptible to human error. Our reports show year-over-year transaction volume broken up by month so you can easily see your business’s performance.

  3. Cards on File

    Make life easy for your repeat customers by storing their credit card information safely through tokenization, and never ask them to swipe their card again.

  4. Proof of Purchase

    PayJunction offers two ways to obtain a digital signature: the Smart Terminal for in-person transactions and remote signature capture via email for phone and online orders. Always obtain a signature, no matter where the transaction occurs and receive authorization before putting in large over-the-phone orders.

  5. Account Access Customization

    Prevent cashiers from issuing refunds to reduce your risk of employee refund fraud or from viewing reports. Every action in the system is recorded with the time and user noted, providing clear accountability throughout your business.

See the best Virtual Terminal for yourself.


Is your business still using an old-fashioned credit-card reader? Would you benefit from a Virtual Terminal? Tell us how in the comments section below.

About Christina Lavingia

Christina is the content marketing manager for PayJunction. She oversees editorial voice and style across departments.