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Virtual Terminal FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Virtual Terminal.

FAQ

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 the online Square Dashboard.

  • Invoices: 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 an emailed invoice and enter their payment card details on their end. Learn more about sending Square Invoices.
  • Virtual Terminal: 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
  • Billing Postal Code*

  • You will need to enter a postal code when processing cards issued in the United States, Canada or United Kingdom on the Virtual Terminal.

Note: Payments will not be processed without a valid postal code. Postal codes are used as an additional form of security to verify the credit card is being used by the cardholder or authorized person.

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 add a tip to a sale with Virtual Terminal?

Yes, when taking an itemized sale or a Quick Charge payment in Virtual Terminal, you can click Add Tip, then select an amount of 10%, 15%, 20% or add a custom tip amount. To enable Tipping in regions where Tipping is available, from the Virtual Terminal Overview page click on Settings > Checkout. Toggle on Collect Tips. Make any desired changes to settings and click Save. Add Tip will display in the payment page and be clickable once you add in an amount to the cart.

Can I split a payment with Virtual Terminal?

Yes, you can split a payment so your customer can pay by multiple payment methods. You can also record cash or other tender payments for record purposes.

If I split a payment with Virtual Terminal, will I be charged for each credit or debit card?

Yes, there is a per transaction fee for split payments on card. You will not be charged if you are recording the split payments as cash or other tender payment methods.

Can I add a tip to a sale using split tender payments with Virtual Terminal?

No, the Add Tip feature is not available when splitting tender payments. Simply add the tip to the original payment amount before splitting.

Can I schedule recurring payments with Virtual Terminal?

Yes, you can schedule recurring quick-charge or itemized sales using a customer’s Card on File. Learn how to schedule and manage recurring payments with Virtual Terminal.

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

You can manually enter and swipe credit card transactions from the Virtual Terminal Overview page in your online Square Dashboard by selecting Take a Payment. Swiped payments can be processed using a Square Reader for Magstripe with an Apple or Chromebook computer using Safari or Google Chrome.

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

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.

Can I customize how a transaction shows up on my customer’s card statement?

Yes, you can customize the Statement Identification field, also known as Billing Descriptor, for any transactions taken on Virtual Terminal. This Statement ID field has a limit of 20 characters, including spaces, to help you and your customer identify the transaction on their billing statements. If you are interested in this feature, please contact Square Support so we can activate it on your account.

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. Go to Team > Team Members from 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 on Access Team Dashboard.
  5. Tick Take Payments with Virtual Terminal. If applicable, tick 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.

Which cards can I swipe with Virtual Terminal?

You can swipe all accepted cards with a magstripe.

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

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.

Troubleshooting FAQ

I am trying to swipe cards via Virtual Terminal but unable to accept payments. How do I troubleshoot this?

If you’re having issues 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 Google 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.

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

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