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Saturday, 25 February 2017 02:51

Square launches virtual terminal for payments


Payments technology company Square has launched a virtual terminal that allows businesses to accept payments directly from a Web browser on the Square dashboard.

According to Square, if a seller is manually keying in a transaction, they no longer need a separate device to process the payment – they simply log in to the dashboard, enter the details and the payment will be completed in seconds.

Square promotes virtual terminal as the ideal tool for service providers, contractors, accountants “and all those who run their entire business from their computer and don’t regularly accept payments from their customers face to face”.

The company says the virtual terminal was built using seller feedback and designed to extend the company’s ecosystem empowering sellers to accept every payment – whether it’s using Square Reader for face-to- face card acceptance, Square Invoices to bill customers, Square API for e-commerce for online payments, and now virtual terminal.

The new tool incorporates features to simplify how sellers accept keyed-in card payments:

•    No need for extra devices: Accept mail order, telephone and business payments quickly and securely from your web browser or Dashboard. No additional hardware required.

•    Send digital receipts: Personalise your digital receipt and send via SMS or email.

•    Empower your workforce: Enable employees to accept Square payments from their mobile devices or laptops while they’re on the road, without investing in new hardware.

•    See every payment: Track every payment you accept alongside every other payment processed with Square (whether that’s face to face, online or using Square Invoices) in your Dashboard.

Australian sellers can now use Square point of sale and reader for counter-top/face-to-face sales, mobile PoS for mobile events, Square Invoices to bill customers, e-commerce and APIs for online payments, and now virtual terminal to manage mail, telephone orders and back-office payments.

One of the first small businesses to use virtual terminal in Australia is InstallEx, an event and exhibition installation company.

InstallEx was processing card payments manually in-app, but has since transferred the bulk of  transactions to virtual terminal.

InstallEx general manager Jeremy Turner says the company uses Square virtual terminal to simplify the process of accepting keyed-in card payments.  

“We have both site staff and office staff, and it’s easy for the site staff to accept payments from clients on their phone using Square Reader. On the other hand, the office staff are usually taking a payment over the phone – previously, you had to call in every payment, and a staff member in the head office had to stop what they’re doing to push the payment through.

“Using virtual terminal, office staff can take the payment faster, in multiple locations, and they can stay on the phone with the client without having to use the app. Not only do we pay lower fees, but we’ve got a dozen people all taking payments at the same time on-site and in the office using Square.“

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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