Why small businesses should invest in a virtual terminal if they haven’t already

While advancements in payment technology have allowed small business owners and independent contractors the ability to accept card payments and contactless card payments in recent years,virtual terminals remain a mystery to many of them.

This isn’t ideal, given that businesses everywhere take advantage of virtual terminals to process payments from their valued customers every day - an opportunity that is very much open to small businesses in 2024.

But what are virtual terminals? Will they make a difference in your small business? And how does one go about onboarding a virtual terminal?

AtHandepay, we’re experts in card transactions, card machines and related technology - which also includes virtual terminals. With this in mind, here are a few things you might want to know about virtual terminals, so you can make an educated decision as to whether or not the technology is right for you and your small business.

How does a virtual terminal work?

Virtual Terminals

A virtual terminal is a software-based environment that allows businesses and sole traders the chance to accept payments from their clients and customers despite no physical point of sale being available. This includes recurring payments for ongoing services, too.

This includes accepting payments over the phone or via email - ideal for small business owners reaching out to their customers to chase late payments, or simply for those business owners who are unable to reach their client base in person. All a customer needs to do is enter the relevant payment information - often their credit or debit card details - and the transaction will be processed exactly the same as your standard online order with a major retailer.

With a virtual terminal, your business can accept phone payments, remote card payments and other methods of payment quickly, easily and securely in a matter of minutes.

How a small business would benefit from a virtual terminal

How a small business would benefit from a virtual terminal

Freedom of location

With the world shifting to an ever-remote way of working, it is understandable for those individuals offering products and services to customers to barely ever need to interact with said customers in person in order to serve them - if at all.

When it comes to collecting payment at the end of a job or a product being delivered, this can create a disconnect between the small business owner and the customer. Especially if there is a large distance divide between the two.

But the beauty of virtual terminal payments is that they can be accepted from virtually anywhere, at any time, in a variety of methods. As long as the customer has access to an internet-connected device (such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet) or can offer the payment information verbally or in writing, their details can be entered into a virtual terminal system and their payment can be processed effectively. 


It’s true that the majority of customers in the digital age are happy to pay via card payments or contactless payments if the physical terminal is available - with 90% of retail spending now being made with credit and debit cards, according to theBritish Retail Consortium. But if, for whatever reason, this technology is not to hand, virtual terminals offer a convenient solution.

By simply offering the payment details to the vendor in question, with the vendor entering said details into the virtual terminal on the customer’s behalf (or the customer entering the details themselves if working with a digital device) payments can still be made without the use of a card machine.

Recovered sales/payments

When paying a small business it is understandable that some customers may be dubious about handing over their payment information, especially if the business owner in question is not an established name in their field.

But thanks to a virtual terminal, customers have the option to enter their details in a system that presents a professional and legitimate appearance, backed up with security protocols designed to keep their sensitive financial data safe.

This opens small business owners up to a world of payments that may have otherwise been lost, allowing them to continue to raise profits year on year as the business grows.

Contact Handepay for all your virtual terminal needs

If a virtual terminal sounds like something you could utilise within your small business to complete more transactions,speak to Handepay today. Our team of experts will guide you through the process of onboarding a virtual terminal and assist you in the technical aspects of its operation should you run into any difficulty.

Transitioning to a new piece of technology can be a worry - with questions about monthly fees and data security always being at the forefront. But the team at Handepay only offer the best value deals with no hidden fees and will be there to guide you every step of the way.

Financial disclaimer:

Terminal hire contracts are provided by Merchant Rentals Limited, who is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for Consumer Hire under FRN 720500. Terminal hire can be for consumer hire and non-regulated hire contracts. Please check your contract carefully for details. Regulation of all consumer hire fall under the control of the FCA.

Handepay Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA for Consumer Credit under FRN 673564. Handepay is a credit broker for consumer hire not a lender.

Handepay acts as an introducer of card acquiring services on behalf of EVO Payments UK, the card acquiring service provider. EVO Payments UK is the trading name of EVO Payments UK Ltd, a payment institution that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN number 959332).

Existing Cards Businesses- The one-month rolling terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are switching from their current acquirer to EVO Payments UK arranged through Handepay.

New to Cards Businesses- The 12-month terminal hire contract from Merchant Rentals is only available to businesses that are new to card payments and wish to receive acquiring services from EVO Payments UK, arranged through Handepay.

The Next Day Banking Settlement service provided by EVO Payments UK incurs an additional fee of £4 a month on top of your acquiring service charges and fees. Provided your card machine performs a reconciliation before 12am (midnight), you’ll receive settlement of funds the next banking day.

Editorial disclaimer:

The information we provide does not constitute financial advice and might not apply to your business. Always carry out research into your business’ needs when choosing a new merchant services provider.

Sometimes, we link to other third-party websites to provide you with additional information. At the time of publication, we consider the information accurate, however, we do not have control over their content and are not responsible if any information on these websites change.

The products we display on our website are for illustrative purposes only - if your business requires additional facilities, you may receive a different model than advertised.

All of the information contained on this website, including fees, services and functionality, are correct at time of publishing. E&OE.