Nowadays, Virtual POS Terminal is a must-have solution for any retailer. If you want to sell items or services online, having a fast, reliable, and accessible checkout experience for your online shoppers is essential for any business. With over 50% of all transactions made online in 2023, you cannot afford a lackluster POS system if you want to grow your business this year. Let’s discover why this tool is more favored than traditional sales methods.
What is a Virtual POS Terminal?
A virtual POS terminal is a web-based program that allows you to handle electronic payments via phone, mail order, fax, email, or in person, similar to an online checkout form. You can turn any existing desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet into a POS system without buying or installing any additional hardware or software. You can attach a card reader to a PC through USB input for in-person payments, although it isn’t required. Virtual terminal credit card processing is available if you have a merchant account with a payment gateway, an Internet connection, and a web browser.
|Differences||Normal POS||Virtual POS Terminal|
|Hardware||Dedicated POS hardware costs money to purchase, maintain, and upgrade.||Separate POS software to install on any electronic device with a user interface (phone, tablet, computer…)|
|Features||Card ReaderNFC ReaderBarcode Scanning||Normal POS featuresOmnichannel IntegrationCustomer Self-CheckoutRemote Payment On Demand|
|Cost||The average normal POS system with hardware included ranges from $1,000-$6,000 yearly, not including additional maintenance costs.||The average Virtual POS Terminal costs range from $500-$2,000 yearly.|
How important is a virtual POS terminal?
Compared to typical offline payment methods, Virtual POS terminals have many features that make them more flexible.
No faults and no maintenance
Statistics show that 8 out of 10 retailers will experience POS hardware problems once every year. The typical physical POS terminal is a gadget that can develop flaws like any electronic hardware. If you drop it, a technician or even a terminal replacement could take a few days to weeks to get it fixed. Whereas with a Virtual POS Terminal, there is no point of failure with hardware because there is no physical hardware. If your tablet goes out of service, you can transfer the POS to another electronic device or use your phone in a crunch.
In addition, a virtual POS terminal is constantly updated, supplemented with new functions, and improved to respond promptly to all payment requirements. With a physical POS system, you might have to get it serviced or upgraded at a designated location. Therefore, the virtual POS system can save physical retail stores on unforeseen maintenance and replacement costs.
Various payment methods
Today, selling on digital platforms means providing customers with many payment alternatives. While some digital alternatives to cards are available at physical terminals, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, the number of options available online is rapidly growing. Traditional POS methods take time to update, and some are locked due to hardware limitations to only a few payment options.
Hundreds of alternative payment methods are extensively used all around the world. Alternative payment methods are regional because they have mainstream approval or are better suited to certain needs. With a virtual POS, you can stay proactive with choosing and updating your checkout options to meet your customer’s unique preferences.
Management of remote payments
One of the benefits of a virtual POS terminal is that it can be accessed at any time, from any location, and any device. Nowadays, shopping experiences are becoming customer-friendly, emphasizing accessibility for all customers. Your buyers expect to be able to switch between physical and digital contact points. The virtual POS terminal does not require the customer’s actual presence in the establishment. So ask yourself, can your traditional POS terminal be accessed from any location?
An example of a virtual POS system successfully implementing an on-demand remote payment method is ConnectPOS. This virtual POS terminal can be used anywhere and sync orders and customers’ information to your physical store in real-time. This unique feature saves additional time on manual data entry that traditional POS hardware requires.
Top 3 notable virtual POS terminals
ConnectPOS is an industry-leading virtual POS provider with many features that will elevate a typical physical store to an omnichannel retail powerhouse. ConnectPOS not only has built-in support for existing POS hardware, making upgrading your outdated POS systems a breeze. It also offers a quintessential virtual POS in the form of an award-winning customer-facing PW Consumer App. This highly customizable app is designed to work seamlessly with almost any electronic platform: phones, tablets, or computers. A novice store owner can easily pick up ConnectPOS and instantly improve their checkout experience today with a generous 14-day free trial for the service.
- Omnichannel support: ConnectPOS offers seamless integration with your existing application suite, streamlining inventory synchronization and order management with its automated process. This comprehensive approach ensures that your customers have a consistent shopping experience, whether they browse in-store, online, or on mobile devices.
- Limitless Integration: Designed to integrate with any eCommerce platform quickly, ConnectPOS boasts remarkable flexibility. You can also implement it as a standalone product. This should allow businesses to customize their system for optimal results.
- Hardware Compatibility: This POS terminal stands out for retailers seeking to upgrade their checkout system because of its wide compatibility with multiple hardware systems. For example, it works well with barcode scanners, receipt printers, and cash drawers, which makes the transition process smooth and simple
- Lack of Proprietary Hardware: While ConnectPOS is highly versatile in integration and compatibility, it does not offer proprietary hardware solutions. Stores looking for an all-in-one POS system that includes native hardware should consider this limitation when considering ConnectPOS. However, the advantage of this approach is that businesses can choose from a wide range of hardware options to find the best fit for their needs.
Payline Data works with a wide range of companies. However, it specializes in the medical field, offering HIPAA-compliant tools, ACH transfers, and customized pricing. Nonprofit and educational services are also given special consideration. Payline, like Payment Depot, provides substantial fraud and chargeback protection.
- Strong defraud and chargeback protection system for safer transactions: Payline Data offers an advanced fraud detection system to protect its clients from unauthorized payments and chargeback risks. This feature effectively minimizes your business’s likelihood of financial loss and facilitates secure transactions.
- Healthcare-centered design: Tailored specifically for the healthcare industry, Payline Data simplifies compliance management concerning HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards. This helps keep patient data secure and safe.
- Flexible rate and pricing: Another advantage of Payline Data is its versatile pricing model. That accommodates growing businesses by offering various plan options, ensuring cost-effectiveness.
- No warehouse or inventory management tools: This POS terminal’s lack of inventory management tools and warehouse support can create operational challenges for businesses with extensive inventory requirements.
- Limited customer-facing features like reward programs, self-checkout, and on-demand virtual POS: Payline Data lacks several customer engagements features common in other payment processing solutions. That’s why its appeal to businesses requiring these functionalities is limited.
With the virtual terminal, QuickBooks Payments will stream immediately into your QuickBooks accounts if you utilize QuickBooks. This may be a no-brainer for businesses that only want a simple virtual terminal to accept payments over the phone. Indeed, the low cost of invoicing makes it an excellent alternative for B2B and other invoice-type sales.
- Seamless integration with QuickBooks: This is a key advantage of this POS terminal, as it allows businesses to consolidate their accounting operations and eliminate manual bookkeeping effortlessly.
- A focus on US-based payment methods: These include PayPal, Venmo, American Express, and others. This ensures quick transactions and an enhanced payment experience for customers. In case you don’t know, Statista reports that in 2021, PayPal handled nearly 4.5 billion transactions, with fast transaction times being a key factor in its popularity.
- The lack of compatibility with existing POS systems: This may require an additional investment in new equipment for businesses adopting the platform.
- The absence of dedicated tools for cultivating customer relationships: It falls short of reward schemes, integration of customer data into CRM systems, and support for non-US payment options.
Virtual POS, In a nutshell
The virtual POS terminal is the future of retail and eCommerce businesses. This innovative take on payment eliminates the friction of traditional, physical POS systems and provides more customer-friendly features for faster, safer, and more engaging shopping experiences. If you want to know more about Virtual POS or want to try out one yourself, contact us today for a free hands-on demo of our leading POS system.