Mar 13, 2023

Accept online payments with virtual terminal

Dojo’s newest feature allows businesses to accept payments remotely, without a card necessarily being present. It’s quick to set up, secure and ideal for payments you need to take instantly.

But don’t just take our word for it, we’ve put together a handy guide to explain everything you need to know about Dojo’s virtual terminal, so let’s get started.

What is a virtual terminal?

A virtual terminal essentially turns your operating system, whether that be a phone, laptop, computer or tablet, into a digital payment card terminal. It’s an ideal payment method for accepting credit and debit cards over the phone or for remote billing.

What equipment do I need for a virtual terminal?

Systems from different providers will vary but typically you’ll need:

  • Access to wifi or internet
  • An operating system (laptop, tablet, desktop, mobile phone)
  • A merchant account

How does a virtual payment terminal work?

The below 4 steps provide a very basic overview of how a virtual terminal typically works, however, this can vary by provider:

  1. Using your account details, log into either your payment processor account or the virtual terminal portal
  2. Find the virtual terminal tool, usually under remote payments, and input your customer’s card details and name into the designated fields
  3. Submit the transaction
  4. Wait for confirmation of payment and voila! Remote payment paid.

Read our guide on how to take card payments over the phone or our help centre article on virtual terminals for a step-by-step breakdown of how Dojo’s virtual terminal operates.

What are the benefits of virtual terminals?

It allows your small business, or medium-sized business, to process remote payments alongside physical face-to-face payments via a card machine. This can be truly beneficial in allowing you to:

  • Take more flexible payments: The virtual terminal allows your business to accept payments from anywhere as long as you have an operating system and internet access. You can work and take payments where it’s convenient for you.
  • Reach new customers: Say goodbye to invoices and process cheques for payments that could be taken remotely. With the virtual terminal you can offer your customers instant payment solutions that are secure and PCI DSS compliant.
  • Improve efficiency: Remote payments are a great way to streamline cash flow as you can take payments in real time. It can also help streamline your operation; you can simultaneously take payments over the phone whilst another member of staff serves customers in-store.

Is a virtual terminal a secure way to take payments?

We know security is paramount for small and medium businesses. You’ve worked hard for your money and you want to make sure it’s protected. Rest assured, we use secure technology that creates end-to-end encryption between our web server and your browser, helping keep both yours and your customers’ details safe.

All payments processed through Dojo’s virtual terminal are PCI DSS compliant and can be checked by Address Verification System (AVS).

We don’t stop there, we also use tokenisation to protect your customer’s card details. This just means that we help keep your customers’ private data safe by encrypting sensitive information to make it hard to decipher.

What is AVS?

AVS is a security check performed by the cardholder’s issuing bank during the authorisation process that asks customers to confirm the debit or credit card’s associated billing address. It can be a useful indicator of fraud but if you or your staff are unsure about a transaction it’s always worth asking for additional identification from your cardholder.

What can I actually do with Virtual Terminal?

The virtual terminal is part of our online payment offering, allowing you to accept online payments instantly, securely and with peace of mind. You can use the virtual terminal to take customer payment, refund transactions and track remote payments. You can also itemise your payments by printing receipts for both you and your customer.

Can I accept payments over the phone with a virtual terminal?

Yes, a virtual terminal is designed to accept online or remote payments. This means you can process secure payments via telephone without having to worry about your security being compromised.

The virtual terminal is just one way to accept remote payments. If you’re signed up for a Dojo Go card machine contract, you can also access payment links.

Who would use a virtual terminal?

Virtual terminals are perfect for businesses to securely take payments in real time and are ideal for any business taking payments for goods and services over the phone where a payment link or online checkout slows down the speed of their service, and in-person payments aren’t practical.

Here are some great use-case examples of when a virtual terminal could be useful to process payments for small businesses:

  • If you’re a takeaway service and you want to take payment before you deliver, you might take the payment over the phone using a virtual terminal
  • If you’re a restaurant taking a booking for a table and require a deposit
  • If you’re a breakdown mechanic charging for an emergency appointment
  • If your business has multiple locations and you need an additional ‘card machine’ for a busy location without having to physically transport a machine between different places.

How much does a virtual terminal cost?

For each transaction you take with your virtual terminal you will be charged +0.5% on top of the face-to-face rate, plus a 5p Secure Transaction Fee. The face-to-face rate just means the rate you would be charged per transaction if you were taking payment with a physical card machine. This is to keep your transaction safe against potential fraud which can be a higher risk with CNP, or card not present, transactions.

Read on to understand why virtual terminal transactions are priced differently to chip & pin and contactless transactions.

Why are Virtual Terminal transactions priced differently to contactless and chip & pin payments?

The payment details taken via virtual terminal are usually keyed-in and manually entered as the cardholder isn’t standing directly in front of you to tap their card. Chip and pin, or contactless, payments allow for vendors to ask for ID or a pin to authorise a sale. This is not possible with CNP (card not present transactions) so card networks deem this to be potentially higher risk in terms of fraud; so they charge you a slightly higher fee for protection.

How can I get started with Dojo Virtual Terminal?

First things first, in order to take remote payments or payments over the phone, you need a merchant account. Dojo provides a merchant account for free when you sign up to a card machine contract with us.

if you’re not already a Dojo customer you’ll need to sign up for a Dojo account and card machine. Our virtual terminal can be accessed by signing in to your Dojo account on desktop or mobile, under the “Payments” button. If you don’t see that option in the app, please reach out to our customer service team and ask for authorisation to take “card not present transactions”.

Switching from another payment provider?

If you’re looking to switch from another card payment provider to Dojo we can help - just fill out the short form here and we’ll be in contact within 24 working hours to set you up with a pricing package that suits your business.

If you’re not quite ready to talk to one of our friendly advisors yet, you can find more information on our pricing here.