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Get Started with Virtual Terminal

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Square’s Virtual Terminal gives you the option to manually accept card payments or record cash, gift card and other tender transactions – all from your laptop or desktop computer. You can also connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal to create a seamless and wireless checkout experience.

There are several ways to accept one-off payments with Virtual Terminal:

Payment Type Fee per transaction
Manually-entered card payments 2.2%
Card on File payments 2.2%
In-person payments when you connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal Tap, insert, or swipe a card for just 1.6%. Pay 2.2% when you key in a credit or debit card number manually.
Manually entering Square physical or eGift cards 2.2%
Record cash payment* -
Record other payment* -

*There is no fee to accept other tender types. When you accept other tender types, Square doesn’t process any funds and functions only as an organisational tool. Money for these transactions are exchanged directly between you and your customer and will not be transferred by Square.

To accept recurring payments using Virtual Terminal, add a customer with a valid email and card on file.

Note: No Square hardware is required to manually enter payments or accept card on file payments for one-off or recurring transactions using Virtual Terminal. A Square Terminal is required for in-person payments through Virtual Terminal.

Learn more about how processing fees and rates work.

Accept Payments with Virtual Terminal

Manually Enter Card Payments

To manually enter card details using a laptop or desktop computer:

  1. From the Virtual Terminal Overview page, click Take a Payment.
  2. Select Quick Charge to charge your customer a custom amount or Itemised Sale to add an item, modifier, discount, and tax to the sale.
  3. Add an optional note to the sale.
  4. Under “Payment Details,” select Manually Enter Card.
  5. Enter the card details provided by your customer.
  6. Review the transaction details, then click Charge.
  7. After you see “Payment Recorded,” you can print or send a digital receipt to your customer via email or SMS.

Best Practices: Ensure you have written authorisation from your customer before manually charging their payment card. Keep authorisation forms on file and store them securely to help prevent payment disputes.

Accept Square Gift Cards

To accept Square’s physical or eGift Cards using Virtual Terminal:

  1. Go to Take a payment.
  2. Enter the transaction details.
  3. Under “Payment Details,” select Manually Enter Gift Card.

Note: After a sale, any remaining gift card balance will display on the receipt screen and on your customer’s receipt.

If there are insufficient funds on the gift card, you can use Split Tender to complete the sale.

Connect Square Terminal to Virtual Terminal

Virtual Terminal on your laptop or desktop computer can wirelessly connect to one Square Terminal or many Square Terminal devices at a time for contactless in-person payments.

Learn how to connect Square Terminal to Virtual Terminal.

Record Cash and Other Tender Payments

To keep your payment records in one place, you can use Virtual Terminal to track cash and other types of payments such as cheques.

There’s no fee to accept other tender types. When you accept other tender types, Square doesn’t process any funds and functions only as an organisational tool. Money for these transactions are exchanged directly between you and your customer and will not be transferred by Square.

To accept cash other tender payments:

  1. Go to Take a payment.
  2. Enter the transaction details.
  3. Under “Payment Details,” select Record Cash Payment or Record Other Payment.
  4. After you see “Payment Recorded,” you can print or send a digital receipt to your customer via email or SMS.

Learn how to navigate the Virtual Terminal Overview page in Dashboard.

Accept Split Tender Payments with Virtual Terminal

You are able to split a transaction into multiple payments of any tender in Virtual Terminal. When checking out a customer:

  1. Enter a payment amount and add any discounts if required.

  2. Add an optional note to the sale and select the reporting location.

  3. Under Payment, click Split Payment.

  4. Enter the first payment amount. You can select from Manually Entered Card, Manually Entered Gift Card, Record Cash Payment or Record Other Payment. You can also connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal for contactless in-person payments.

  5. Enter the card details and select Charge. If the payment failed, you can review the payment details to try again. 

  6. Click Pay Remaining to continue processing the additional tender types until the entire sale has been completed. 

  7. You also have the option to edit the split or cancel a completed payment should you need to change the amount or payment method. If you cancel one of the payment methods, ensure you complete the sale, otherwise it will be voided entirely. To cancel, click Edit Split in the top right corner of the page.

  8. Continue processing the split payment amounts until the entire sale has been completed. You can send the customer a digital receipt via email or text message for the completed sale.

Note: The Add Tip feature can’t be used when splitting tender payments at this time.

Customise Transaction ID on Your Customer’s Statements 

When a customer makes a purchase from a Square seller, the transaction will show on their billing statement with an identification descriptor. By default, these descriptors begin with SQ followed by BUSINESS_NAME.

Virtual Terminal has a customisable Statement Identification field to personalise this descriptor per order. Simply enter in your 20-character descriptor during checkout to help your customer easily identify a past transaction at your business. 

If you are interested in this feature, please reach out to us so we can activate it on your account.

Save Customer Information with Virtual Terminal

Square’s Customer Directory and Card on File features make it easier to save and charge returning customers using your online Square Dashboard.

When you accept a payment using Virtual Terminal, you’ll be given the option to save the customer’s name and payment card to their profile in your Customer Directory for future payments. You’re also able to securely store a customer’s card on file from your Customer Directory.

Add a customer to a sale

Adding Customers to your Customer Directory allows you to take advantage of transaction history, charge cards on file and more. To add a customer to a sale:

  1. Take a payment with Virtual Terminal using the steps outlined above.
  2. Click Add a customer (optional).
  3. Create a new customer or select an existing profile from your Customer Directory.

Alternatively:

  1. Locate the payment in the Transactions tab of your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click ••• then click Add Customer.
  3. Search or create a new customer, then click Add Customer. This payment will be included in the customer’s directory profile.

Save a customer’s Card on File

To save a customer’s card on before a Virtual Terminal payment:

  1. Go to Customer Directory in your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Search or create a new customer.
  3. Click the new customer.
  4. From the side panel, click ••• next to “Card on File” > Add Credit or Debit Card.
  5. Enter the cardholder name as displayed on the payment card, the card number, the card expiry (MM/YY) and CVV, as well as the customer’s email address.
  6. Click Download Form to print. Send it to your customer to fill out and sign for written authorisation. Keep the signed form on file for as long as you store their payment card data.
  7. Click Confirm. At this point, this customer’s card will be stored to their profile in your Customer Directory.

You can also store a customer’s card on file using your Square POS app.

Charge a saved Card on File

  1. From the Virtual Terminal Overview page, select Take a Payment.
  2. Enter the transaction details.
  3. Add an existing customer. “Customer Card on File” should now appear as the payment method.
  4. Confirm the last 4 digits of the card with the customer to ensure their card is still valid.
  5. Click Charge.

Recurring Payments with Virtual Terminal

Streamline and automate your recurring payments right from your computer with Virtual Terminal. Save time, get paid on time, improve your cash flow and enhance customer relationships by easily scheduling recurring quick-charge or itemised sales for your repeat customers.

The only requirement to schedule your first recurring payment is to add or charge a customer’s Card on File. The processing fee for charging a Card on File is 2.2% per transaction.

Schedule recurring payments

To schedule a recurring payment series from the Virtual Terminal Overview page:

  1. Click Take a Payment.
  2. Click Quick Charge to charge a custom amount, or Itemised Sale to add an item, modifier, discount, and tax to the sale.
  3. Add an optional note to the transaction.
  4. Add a customer with a valid email and card on file to set up a recurring payment.
  5. Click Make this a recurring payment
  6. Select a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly interval, and add a unit — such as every two weeks, or every three months.
  7. Choose whether to end the recurring series on a specific date, after a certain number of payments, or never.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Review the recurring payment details, then click Charge to confirm.

Note: The first charge in the recurring series will occur immediately in Virtual Terminal. All subsequent charges will occur via recurring invoices which you can manage from Dashboard > Invoices.

Your customer will receive a digital receipt for this and all subsequent recurring charges.

Manage recurring payments

You can view and manage your recurring payments at any time from your online Square Dashboard. To do so:

  1. Go to Invoices.
  2. Click Recurring.
  3. Select a recurring series from the list to view, edit, or end.

Learn more about scheduling recurring payments with Virtual Terminal.

Give a Team Member Access to Use Virtual Terminal

You can configure your Team Management settings to grant access to Virtual Terminal. Before you can get started, you’ll need to create at least one team member.

Team members who wish to save customer information and charge a card on file using Virtual Terminal must have the following permissions enabled for their permission set:

  • View, Edit, Create and Delete Customer Directory Data

  • Add and Remove Customer Cards on File

  • Use Virtual Terminal

To give a team member access to Virtual Terminal:

  1. Go to Staff > Team > Permissions in your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select the permission set the team member is assigned to.

  3. Check Use Virtual Terminal. If applicable, check Add and Remove Customer Cards on File and View, Edit, Create and Delete Customer Directory Data to allow this team member to save and charge cards on file using Virtual Terminal.

  4. Click Continue > Select the access points that the team member can use their permissions at.

  5. Click Save.

Note: Changes made to permission sets apply to all team members assigned to that permission set. Learn more about managing permission sets and permissions.

After you grant Virtual Terminal access to your team member, they’ll receive an email with instructions for setting up their account. Team members will be able to see only the account elements for which you have granted access.

Note: Permissions are only available through Square’s Team Management.

Fees

The fee for transactions manually processed through Virtual Terminal is 2.2% per transaction. The same fee applies to Virtual Terminal payments accepted using a card on file.

The fee for in-person payments when you connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal is 1.6% per tap, insert or swipe. Pay 2.2% when you key in a credit or debit card number manually.

Learn more about Square’s processing fees.

Learn more about: Point of Sale

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