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Get Started with Virtual Terminal

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Square Virtual Terminal allows you to quick charge or build itemised baskets without any hardware – all from your laptop or desktop computer. Virtual Terminal is ideal for remote billing or taking card payments over the phone. You can also connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal to create a seamless and wireless in-person checkout experience.



There are several ways to accept payments with Virtual Terminal:

Payment Type Fee per transaction
Manually-entered card payments 2.5% + VAT
Card on File payments 2.5% + VAT
Manually entering Square physical or eGift cards 2.5% + VAT
In-person payments when you connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal 1.75% + VAT per card-present transaction
Record cash payment^
Record cash payment^
SMS Payment Links 2.5% + VAT

^ 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 is exchanged directly between you and your customer and will not be transferred by Square.

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.

Connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal

  • For in-person payments, when you connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal, the processing fee is 1.75% + VAT for every contactless or chip and PIN transaction. Pay 2.5% + VAT when you key in a credit or debit card number manually.

Accept Payments with Virtual Terminal

To manually enter card payments, card on file or gift cards and record cash or other tender transactions:

  1. from the Virtual Terminal Overview page, select Take a Payment.

  2. Choose Quick charge or Itemised sale.

  3. Under ‘Transaction details’, enter a custom amount, search your item library, create new items or scan a barcode.

  4. If applicable, add any relevant discounts, service charges or tips.

    • Optional: you can also add a note for your customer. There is a 500-character limit.

  5. Under ‘Payment details’, choose your payment method. You can also Split payment across multiple payment methods.

    • Optional: you can also add a customer to the sale.

  6. Review the transaction details, then click Charge.

  7. After you see ‘Payment Recorded’, you can send a digital receipt to your customer via email or text message. You can also print the receipt on a connected printer or via the Square Terminal printer if your Terminal is connected.

You can view your transaction history, send confirmations and process refunds from the Virtual Terminal Overview page.

Create an Open Order

An open order will be completed when your customer collects their order at a scheduled time. Your customer can pay for their order in person, with a card on file, or through a payment link. 

To create an open collection order:

  1. log in to your online Square Dashboard and click Orders.

  2. Click Create Order and add the order details.

  3. Click Add a customer under Payment Details. This is the customer who is placing or paying for the order and will be specified as the collection recipient by default.

  4. Under Fulfilment details, click Add collection.

  5. Enter the name, date and time of collection then click Done. You can change the name of the collection recipient if they are different from the customer in the Payment Details.

  6. Click Create Order

Edit an Open Order or Take a Payment

You can view all open orders in the Order Manager section of your Dashboard. To edit an order or take the order payment:

  1. click the three dots next to the order status and select View details

  2. From here, you can click the three dots to mark the order as In progress, Ready or Collected.

Click Edit & Pay to process payment or make a change to the order. Note: edits to the line items or collection details can only be made while the order is unpaid.

Keyboard shortcuts

Check out even faster with our keyboard shortcuts on Virtual Terminal.

  1. Start typing in an amount or enter the name from your item library. Automatically add it to the sale by pressing Enter or Return.

  2. Once you’ve completed building your basket, press Enter from the ‘Add an amount or item’ field to proceed to the payment details screen.

  3. Press Tab until you reach the payment type, then press Enter twice.

Additional Payment Methods

Accept Split-Tender Payments with Virtual Terminal

You can split a transaction into multiple payments of any tender in Virtual Terminal. When processing a customer’s purchase:

  1. Go through the checkout flow from Virtual Terminal.
  2. Add an optional note to the sale and select the reporting location. Click Next.
  3. Click Split payment in the top-right corner.
  4. Enter the first payment amount. You can select from Manually enter card, Customer card on file, Manually enter gift card, Record cash payment or Record other payment. You can also connect Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal for contactless in-person payments.
  5. 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 Reset split in the top-right corner.
  6. If the payment failed, you can review the payment details to try again.
  7. 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: Split payments do not currently support tips. To include a tip in a split payment, add it to your basket as a custom amount before selecting the ‘split payment’ option.

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 custom amounts or itemised sales for your repeat customers.

To accept recurring payments using Virtual Terminal, add a customer with a valid email address and Card on File. Learn more about best practices for accepting card-not-present payments.

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 your online Square Dashboard > Invoices. Your customer will receive a digital receipt for this and all subsequent recurring charges.

Learn more about scheduling recurring payments with Virtual Terminal.

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.

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.

Send SMS Payment Link

Send a link via text message for your customer to complete checkout using Square Online Checkout.

Learn how to send a payment link via text message using Square Terminal.

Configure Virtual Terminal Settings

Virtual Terminal Overview Page

The Virtual Terminal Overview page will show you all the transactions you’ve taken at a specific location. You can switch between locations using the location drop-down menu.

To filter your transactions, use the ‘Filter Activity’ drop-down menu to easily find transactions based on a date range or transaction type.

If you select a specific transaction, you’ll be able to view more details, as well as send the receipt or issue a refund.

Settings for Checkout

Go to Settings > Checkout from the Virtual Terminal Overview page to configure default transaction types and enable/disable service charges.

You can customise the payment method types you accept and arrange them in the order you’d like them to be displayed. The payment types you enable and disable will be reflected on the payment details in Virtual Terminal.

Customise Transaction ID on Your Customer’s Statements

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

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

If you’re interested in this feature, contact Square Customer Success so we can activate it on your account.

Add Service Charges

To create service charges for Virtual Terminal payments:

  1. go to Settings > Account & Settings on your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click Business information > Service charges and click Create service charge to enter the service charge information:

  • Enter the name for your service charge (eg packing fee)
  • Enter the percentage or amount
  • Choose whether or not the service charges will be taxable
  • Choose the location(s) where this service charge will apply, click Save and select Add.

To add the service charge you created to the sale:

  1. from your online Square Dashboard, select Virtual Terminal > Take a payment. If you don’t see Virtual Terminal, select Payments > Virtual Terminal > Take a payment.
  2. Choose whether you want to charge an Itemised sale or process a Quick Charge. Under ‘Transaction details’, choose the purchased items or manually enter the amount to be charged. Note: you can edit the taxes to be charged for each item by clicking on the item name.
  3. Select Add service charge.
  4. Choose the service charge you created, or Create service charge.

Important: make sure to let your customer know about any service charges before you proceed.

  1. Click Add to add the service charge to the sale, then enter Payment details, customer information and choose payment method.
    Note: you can select Add additional service charge to add more than one service charge to the sale and repeat the process.
  2. Click Charge to charge the total amount, including applicable taxes and service charges. The service charge will show up as a line item in your customer’s invoice and receipt and in your report details.

Disclaimer: this guidance is general in nature and doesn’t constitute legal, VAT or any other type of professional advice. If you’re unsure about your legal obligations or where to find the relevant information, we advise you to consult with a professional.

Give Team Member Access to Use Virtual Terminal

You can configure your Advanced Acess settings to grant your team members 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 from your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Select the permission set the team member is assigned to.
  3. Bill Use Virtual Terminal. If applicable, bill 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 on how to set up their account. Team members will only be able to see the account elements to which you have granted access.


Plug a compatible USB barcode scanner into your computer, click the barcode scanner icon during checkout and easily add items to your basket.

Note: Bluetooth barcode scanners are currently not supported in Virtual Terminal.

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.

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