4 Orbital Virtual Terminal pitfalls for business to business

The Chase Paymentech Orbital Virtual Terminal and Gateway is a mature credit card processing solution for card not present merchants. In this article we expose the  shortcomings for B2B merchants using the VT as of June 2012.

1. The virtual terminal supports card-not-present transactions only.  The limitation reduces merchant flexibility.

  • Mobile payments has created a  new opportunity for B2B merchants to accept payments in person, mitigating risk,  potentially reducing cost of accepting credit cards, and providing benefits of electronically stored signed receipts.
  • B2B merchants also accept checks, but the Orbital Electronic Check function is available only to Paymentech merchants, and only to those merchants processing on the Salem platform. This severely restricts who can use the service and eliminates portability.
  • Paymentech does have the iTerminal for retail transactions, but it this is a separate program from the virtual terminal. Transactions key entered on the iTerminal are considered retail transactions requiring face to face and signed receipt.

2. The Orbital Virtual Terminal does not require additional data for Purchasing Cards.

  • Statistics prove over and over that virtual terminal users will consistently do what’s required and nothing more, putting merchant profit margins in the hands of their employees. Users simply bypass any fields that are not required. How does this impact profits? For example, the interchange rates for MasterCard commercial, Business Enhanced, Business World and Business World Elite cards issued in the U.S high end is 3.17% and $.10/transaction and the low end is Commercial Data Rate 3 at 1.92% + USD 0.10. Large tickets are as low as 0.70% + USD 0.00. One of the key factors to qualify for the lower rates is sending the right data with the transaction.

3. The Orbital Virtual Terminal stores transaction records for 6 months.

I think that’s a misprint, but that’s what their web site says. http://www.chasepaymentech.com/faq_orbital_virtual_terminal.html

4. There is no transaction search by customer name.

So simple, yet so annoying. Ask any merchant who does transaction research for troubleshooting issues and this is sure to be a top pet peeve.

How we fix these problems with the CenPOS virtual terminal and gateway:

  • CenPOS supports transactions from all inputs including mobile, virtual terminal, online payments, EBPP, retail, ecommerce. Equally important, CenPOS recognizes card present vs card not present, and delivers the appropriate transaction indicator code for processing. This will mitigate fraud risk, mitigate losses from disputes, and reduce the cost of accepting credit cards.
  • Does your gateway help you qualify for the lowest interchange rates possible? CenPOS prompts for exactly the information needed for every card type- including level III data. The user has no decision making power. At the other extreme, some gateways require all the extra fields get completed- what a collossal waste of time.  CenPOS prompts for just the right information for that card type- nothing more, nothing less.
  • Merchants can access real time reports for 7 years.
  • Merchants can search by many fields, including customer name, and custom fields that you create on the fly.

DISCLAIMER: This review uses publicly available information posted on the Chase Paymentech web site as of 6/5/2012. The review does not include the processor, just the virtual terminal. It is not a comprehensive review of all the positive nor negative points. Merchants should identify and talk to a sales consultant to determine the best solution for their situation. Contact 3D Merchant Services for both the Orbital and CenPOS solutions. Each has a place in the market and we’ll help guide you to the right solution for your business.


What do I need to accept payments for an online store?

The essential elements of an ecommerce store are the shopping cart, payment gateway, security certificate and merchant account. All payment processors that we work with now require a certified PCI Compliant shopping cart.

The store or shopping cart components include order and content adminstration, inventory managment, product management, customer management and search engine optimization among other elements.

The payment gateway is just that- a gateway that allows the secure transmission of credit card and debit card payments from the shopping cart to a merchant processor. The gateway is a standard security mechanism for the internet.

The security certificate is issued to a business. Digital security certificates provide two essential security functions: authentication and encryption.
The business is verified to be legimate. It also enables the SSL protocol,or secure socket layer for encrytion, which includes displaying HTTPS and the little lock symbol that appears in browsers.

The last element is the payment processor. Merchants accept credit and debit cards by opening a merchant account with a payment processor. Just like you can’t go to the federal reserve to do your personal banking, you can’t go to Visa and Mastercard to do your credit card processing. Payment processing is offered through banks, payment processing companies and independent service organizations (ISO). Sometimes the same company offers their services through all channels. For example, First Data offers payment processing  directly and also through banks they have partnerships with, and through registered ISO’s. Because of the complexities of the industry, the best prices and value are not necessarily achieved by going direct. In fact, indirect service thrives because of value added and volume partnership pricing.

In the past, processors required a secure gateway, however this has now been extended to the actual shopping cart software as well in some cases. One reason is that some carts allowed for storing card data unencrypted somewhere on a server. For some shopping carts, getting certified is a formality. For others, there are security issues somewhere within the process- whether front end or back end, and work is needed before the cart can be certified.

The quick solution for those carts that are not compliant has been to disallow credit card processing except for paypal and google payments.

Virtually every cart accepts authorize.net as a gateway and it’s one of the most popular. I recommend it, when appropriate. The Orbital Gateway may be a cheaper solution for those processing on the Paymentech platform, however not as many carts have Orbital integration.
Orbital Gateway Integration & Certification Program- Orbital is a Chase Paymentech gateway and only works with those processing on the Chase Paymentech platform. Merchants must complete either the shopping cart certification, or use a hosted payments solution such as CenPOS or CRE Secure.