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Potential Drawbacks of Web Based Credit Card Merchant Account Terminals

Many businesses sign up for merchant accounts where they want to be able to process credit cards through their computers via the internet.  This can be a great alternative to traditional merchant account systems which typically require expensive purchase or lease terminals and the requirement to add a separate phone line for transmission of the data.

Once approved, the merchant is given a user name and password that they use to log into their web portal merchant account web page also known as a “Virtual Terminal”.

The page(s) of the Virtual Terminal have fields for data entry of the customer name, credit card number, expiration date, security code, billing address and transaction amount and details.

Some virtual terminal systems such as Chase PaymenTech also allow for the addition of a low cost credit card reader so that the cumbersome data can be easily “swiped” into the system. This will not only save on time but also errors in data entry.  However, many systems that do allow for a “swiper” system require only that particular merchant processor’s own expensive reader which can sometimes be quite cost prohibitive.

Some of the drawbacks of this Virtual Terminal system need to be taken into consideration before deciding on this type of credit card processing system.

One of the biggest problems a merchant can experience with this type of system is what happens when the internet goes down for whatever reason.  When a web based credit card processing system loses internet, the entire system is rendered Worthless! Because the system is web based, losing internet loses all data entry and all processing capabilities.  This can be devastating and amount to profit loss for a business.

Also, logging in to the virtual terminal can sometimes be a long and tedious process depending on the speed of your internet and how busy the processors servers are.  The other problem which can be a real nuisance is that if there is any period of time where you are not doing transactions, many virtual terminals will log you off which will then require you to re-log back in.

A second problem with this type of system is the lack of receipt printing formats.  Again, because it is web based, the only “receipt” a merchant can print is the actual web page itself. This will require a laser or inkjet printer which will end up being expensive for not only 8.5 x 11 printer paper, but also for toner.  Also, depending on the type of printer being used, this can be a slow process that customers do not want to wait for.

It is extremely important for a merchant to print a receipt not only to give to a customer but also to get signed for their own chargeback protections.  There are a very few web based virtual terminal type systems that have formats built into them that will allow printing receipts to smaller thermal receipts such as the type you are used to seeing at a typical store that also has a signature line for customer signatures as well as some of the other formatting that will make a business look more professional.

Another drawback to these systems is that most have no bar code scanning capabilities.  Many businesses with a lot of products benefit from being able to do bar code scanning for fast point of sale checkout.  A virtual terminal system will typically have no provision for this or even a drop down list of products, descriptions, or pricing.  All information typically must be entered in for each transaction manually. This can result in wasted time and productivity.

The System solves all of these problems in a cost effective easy to use credit card processing solution.  Because the system is software based, should internet be lost for any reason, all the transactional information is saved in the system.  That way, when internet returns, those transactions can then be processed.  Also, the system incorporates bar code scanning and professional custom receipts with a full line of 2.25” portable and rechargeable receipt printers.

Also because you are not logged into any web based system, you do not have to worry about being logged off and having to take the time to re-log back on to those web based servers which can sometimes take a long time and customers do not like to wait.

In addition to this unique software based system, USBSwiper offers a full line of competitive low rate merchant account options giving any business cost savings and flexibility not found in most other systems.  The USBSwiper merchant account options also offers ecommerce integration at no extra gateway fess which saves considerable amount of money for all inclusive merchant credit card processing features.

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