Virtual Terminal FAQs

How is Virtual Terminal different from using Square Invoices?

You can use both Square’s online invoices and Virtual Terminal to bill your customers via your online Square Dashboard.

Invoices are ideal for sellers who don’t need to instantly collect payment, want to bill their customers via email or set up recurring payments. Customers will receive the emailed invoice and enter their payment card details on their end.

Learn more about sending Square Invoices.

Virtual Terminal is suited for sellers who want to immediately charge their customers using a computer, either in person or remotely for orders received over the phone or email.

Square’s standard processing fee for processing Invoices is 2.9% + 30¢. For Virtual Terminal payments, the fee is 3.4% + 15¢ per manually entered payment and 2.65% per swipe.

Learn more about Square’s processing fees.

What are the fees to accept payments on my computer?

There are no additional fees to swipe credit cards on your computer beyond Square’s processing fee. The fee for swiping a card on Virtual Terminal is 2.65% of the total amount being charged. If you’re manually entering the card details, the fee is 3.4% + 15¢ due to the higher risk involved in accepting this type of payment.

Learn more about Square’s processing fees and why fees for manually-entered transactions are higher.

How do I charge a card using Virtual Terminal?

You can take a payment with Virtual Terminal by manually entering the credit card details or by swiping a card on your Apple or Chromebook computer using the Square Reader for Magstripe.

What payment details do I need to collect from my customer to manually enter a payment?

You’ll need the following information to accept a manually entered payment with Virtual Terminal:

  • Card number
  • Expiration date
  • CVV/CVV2

We also provide you a field to include a note for your records, with a length of up to 60 characters. Note: The note field is for your records and you should not record personal, card or other sensitive information in that field.

If your customer has requested a digital payment confirmation, you can enter their email or mobile number. This will be used to automatically send your customer a customized digital payment confirmation of the transaction.

Can I add items, taxes and discounts to a sale with Virtual Terminal?

Yes. You’re able to add existing items from your Item Library to a sale — including modifiers, taxes and discounts. You’re also able to apply discounts and taxes to a single-use custom amount or item using the Itemized Sale option.

Can I use Virtual Terminal to swipe, dip or tap payments?

You can manually enter and swipe credit card transactions using Virtual Terminal from your online Square Dashboard. Swiped payments can be processed using a Square Reader for Mag-stripe with an Apple or Chromebook computer using Safari or Chrome.

Note: Interac Debit cards cannot be used with Virtual Terminal. Learn more about our hardware which allows you to process Interac Debit cards in our Support Centre.

How do I see transactions processed through Virtual Terminal?

Payments processed using Virtual Terminal will be included in your sales reports. Visit the Reports section of your online Square Dashboard to view you sales reports. You can also visit the Transactions section to view full transaction details, including the payment source, by exporting your Transactions CSV.

Should I provide an email or a mobile number for my customer?

You should only provide a customer email or mobile number if your customer has requested a digital payment confirmation. This email or mobile number will be used to automatically send your customer a digital payment confirmation of the transaction.

How can I process a refund for a transaction taken through Virtual Terminal?

You can process refunds directly from the Transactions section of your online Square Dashboard or Square app in the same way as any other payment. Learn how to process a refund.

Can my team member access Virtual Terminal if they do not have access to Square Dashboard?

Team members need to have access to the online Square Dashboard to use Virtual Terminal. Should you prefer limiting their access to taking payments, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Team Members section of your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Select the name of the team member whose permissions you’d like to update.
  3. Click Edit next to Permissions.
  4. Select a role which has Access Team Dashboard enabled, or click Edit Permissions and toggle Access Team Dashboard on.
  5. Check Take Payments with Virtual Terminal. If applicable, check Manage Customer’s Cards on File and Use Customer Directory and Feedback to allow this team member to save and charge cards on file using Virtual Terminal.
  6. Click Save.

Does Virtual Terminal work with Card on File?

Yes, you can securely store and charge a customer’s card on file using Virtual Terminal by manually entering or swiping your customer’s card.

Which cards can I swipe with Virtual Terminal?

You can swipe all accepted credit cards with a mag-stripe.

Note: Interac Debit cards cannot be used with Virtual Terminal. Learn more about our hardware which allows you to process Interac Debit cards in our Support Center.

Can I swipe card payments while I’m offline?

No, your computer must have an internet connection in order to sign in to your online Square Dashboard and process a payment using Virtual Terminal.

Can I use an extension cable to make swiping easier?

Yes, you’re able to use an audio jack extension to help make swiping easier.

The Square Reader for Magstripe has the standard 3.5 mm headset plug and there aren’t variations in size.

Audio jack extenders or extension cables aren’t officially supported so we can’t guarantee compatibility, but some sellers have had success with the following:

Sellers have also found laptop stands useful for making swiping ergonomics easier.

Troubleshoot Swiping Cards with Virtual Terminal

  • Confirm you’re using an Apple Macbook Pro, Macbook Air or Chromebook computer.
  • Confirm you’re using a supported browser, either Safari or Chrome.
  • Confirm you are using the Square Reader for Magstripe.
  • Confirm you’ve allowed your browser access to your computer’s microphone, as this enables access to the headphone jack where the reader is connected.
  • Confirm your computer is connected to the internet.
  • Clear your browser’s cache.
  • Restart your computer, internet browser and log in and out of your online Square Dashboard.
  • Confirm you’re swiping an accepted credit card.

Note: Interac Debit cards cannot be used with Virtual Terminal. Learn more about our hardware which allows you to process Interac Debit cards in our Support Center).