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 the Square Dashboard.

Invoices are ideal for merchants 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 3.5% + 15¢ per manually entered payment and 2.75% per swipe. Learn more about Square’s processing fees.

Seller Community: When to Use Invoices vs. Virtual Terminal vs. Card Not Present.

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 2.75% of the total amount being charged. If you’re manually entering the card details, the fee is 3.5% + 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 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 Zip Code

We also provide you a field to include a note for your records, with a length of up to 60 characters. If your customer has requested a digital payment confirmation, you can provide their email or mobile number. This will be used to automatically send your customer a customized digital payment confirmation of the transaction.

Note: The note field is for your records and you should not record personal, card or other sensitive information in that field.

Can I add taxes or items to a sale with Virtual Terminal?

Not at this time.

How do I charge an international card using Virtual Terminal?

You can charge an international card by entering the cardholder’s billing postal code, or entering 5 zeros (00000) instead of a postal code.

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

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

To accept chip and contactless payments with a Square Contactless and Chip Reader, download Square Point of Sale on an iOS or Android device.

Can Virtual Terminal payments be deposited using Instant or Same-Day deposits?

Yes, Virtual Terminal payments can be sent to your linked bank account using any of Square’s deposit options.

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.

Square’s processing fee for Card on File payments is 3.5% + 15¢.

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. Connect the Square Reader for magstripe to the extension cable, then connect the cable to your computer’s headphone jack.

The Square Reader for magstripe has a standard 3.5mm 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 merchants have had success with the following:

Sellers have also found laptop stands useful to make swiping easier.

How do I see transactions processed through Virtual Terminal?

Payments processed using Virtual Terminal will be included in your sales reports. Visit the Sales section of your online Square Dashboard and click Transactions. You can also 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 employee access Virtual Terminal if they do not have access to Square Dashboard?

Employees 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 Employees section of your online Square Dashboard.
  2. Click the name of the employee whose permissions you’d like to update.
  3. Click Edit Role.
  4. If it has not been checked already, toggle Access Employee 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 employee 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.

Troubleshoot Swiping Cards with Virtual Terminal

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 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.

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