best virtual terminal for card not present

Which is the best virtual terminal for card not present merchant accounts? I’ve looked at and used many including Paypal, Orbital by Paymentech,, and CenPOS. I created a spreadsheet to compare them, and it’s still hard to put into plain english why I like one so much more than all the rest.

I’m going to eliminate any small business discussion for detailed comparison because the needs are vastly different. Paypal Payments Pro Virtual terminal and are fine for small businesses. Orbital can only be used if you have a Paymentech merchant account. CenPOS can be used with any merchant processor, but it was created for larger businesses so they have a high minimum to keep the client base on target.

In this article I show why I like CenPOS more than any other for day to day user management. Even where virtual terminals have the same function, I prefer the easy navigation and user interface of CenPOS.

Easily add, delete and modify users. Total control over what permissions each user has. You can decide who can perform voids, refunds, auths, force and much more. You can set parameters for dollar thresholds to alert management via email for refunds over a certain dollar amount. There are probably dozens of ways to set up a user, but most importantly, I can do the most common tasks- who has access, and resetting passwords, in about a minute.


    Figure 1. CenPOS Basic fields to add a new user, including security control for transaction types. Sale= card swipe. MOTO = key enter. There are more advanced controls on a second page if desired. This user is allowed to process key entered transactions, voids ( delete a transaction same day), look up past transactions, and pull a report of their sales dynamically for any date range.   This type of tight security is perfect for new employees and other scenarios where you want to limit job functions.

    virtual terminal add users
    If you check Return, the user can only complete a refund if the original transaction (any user) is recognized, and it cannot be credited for more than the original charge.

    Let’s compare the above to 2. adding a new user with “User Role- Administrator”. The administrator adds new users by first adding what type of role the user will have.  The group of options are pre-determined based on the role. This image shows the permissions automatically assigned for the administrator role. There is no option to edit them.

    virtual terminal add users

    How much protection do you have from internal fraud? In CenPOS, you can provide just the right access to data needed, without giving the users access to anything more. Certain controls are at the merchant level (not shown), not the virtual terminal administrator level. The controls can be set for all merchant accounts within an entire organization, within a division, or at the merchant account level.  Plus, with the CenPOS Executive Dashboard, management can also quickly identify potential internal fraud with dynamic graphic illustrations.

    Figure 3. adding a new user with “User Role- Transactions”. Part 1, Select role type. Again, all checked boxes are standard- you can manually turn any of them off. virtual terminal add users options

Figure 4. adding a new user with “User Role- Transactions”.  Part 2, enter the user information.

virtual terminal add users options

Note the significant differences between the level of permission choices for this type of user, vs even the basic permissions you have for the CenPOS user? Especially In a larger organizations, these types of controls are essential to reduce risk.

This is part one of a series on Virtual Terminals.

What is CenPOS? CenPOS is an innovative host-based payment processing platform. It is not a gateway and it’s compatible with all major processors. Although there are many features and benefits, at the heart of the technology is the intelligent switch. It routes payment processing via the least cost method by identifying what it is and knowing the least cost way to process it. This all happens faster than a traditional desktop credit card terminal.

Merchants have hit a wall in reducing credit card processing costs via negotiating reduced merchant discounts. Real cost management today is achieved through interchange management which CenPOS does intelligently and automatically. CenPOS resides virtually between the merchant and the Acquirer- ie the merchant payment processor (merchant account), Amex, check processor, loyalty card etc. All transactions hit CenPOS via high speed internet connection before being routed automatically. Real time cash flow reports, fraud prevention, and PCI Compliance are other key benefits.

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