Accept In-Person Payments on Your Computer

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With Square Virtual Terminal, you can swipe a credit or debit card to take a payment right from your computer. It’s a quick, streamlined way to accept payments from your Apple or Chromebook computer using a Square Reader for Magstripe. If you don’t have a reader yet, you can order one right from your online Square Dashboard or the Square Shop.

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 with accepting these types of payments.

Set Up Square Reader for Magstripe on Your Computer

To get started swiping cards to take payments from your computer, you’ll need the following:

Once you have all of your hardware, you can set up the Square Reader for Magstripe on Virtual Terminal by enabling the necessary permissions and performing a test swipe.

  1. Visit the Virtual Terminal section of your online Square Dashboard > Take a Payment.
  2. Under Payment Method, click Swipe Card.
  3. Click Allow Microphone Access > Allow in the permissions pop-up.
  4. Plug your Square Reader for Magstripe into the headphone jack of your computer. Note: If your reader is already connected, you may need to unplug it and plug it back in. If your reader is not auto-detected, click Reader Connected to continue.
  5. Follow the instructions on screen and swipe a card through your Square Reader for Magstripe. If successful, you will see the card brand and the last four digits of the card appear.
  6. Click Complete Setup and you will be ready to start swiping cards in Virtual Terminal.

Review troubleshooting steps for swiping cards in Virtual Terminal.

Swipe Cards in Virtual Terminal

Once you’ve swiped your test card and set up your account, you can begin processing swiped magstripe payments directly from your computer.

  1. Plug your reader into the headphone jack of your computer.
  2. Visit the Virtual Terminal section of your online Square Dashboard.
  3. Click Take a Payment.
  4. Under Payment Method, click Swipe Card. Note: After taking a swiped payment, you can click New Sale and swipe another card without having to select Swipe Card or clicking Charge.
  5. Swipe a card through your Square Reader for Magstripe. There is no need to collect or enter a signature or PIN.

Once you see Payment Successful, you’re all set and can print or send a digital receipt to your customer via email or SMS message. You can review and confirm this payment was successful from the Sales section of your dashboard under the Transactions tab.

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