Square has introduced a product that is likely to provide merchants and small business owners with the flexibility to work with their current infrastructure. Instead of forcing its customers to purchase its Square Stand or other hardware, Square’s Virtual Terminal offering enables payments to be accepted through any regular computer. This is being rolled out now starting with U.S. merchants.
Ever since the commerce company went public in 2015, it has been working on ways to expand its appeal beyond its perceived closed system. Over time, Square has shown an openness to move past its iconic card reader and hardware, granting merchants the liberty to mold their own systems. Its Virtual Terminal is one such solution, catering to people who run their business on computers. Using a computer made running Square less convenient, because you had to use different applications on each platform, and those applications didn’t necessarily share information.
Not anymore. “We’re always in touch with our sellers to hear what tools they need to run a successful business,” explained a company spokesperson. “We heard that being able to accept a payment on a computer was an important need for our sellers, so we built Virtual Terminal.”
Merchants can now accept payments through any computer using the Square dashboard. It makes perfect sense for retailers to have a Square Stand or some other point of sale solution, but for professionals like lawyers, accountants, and contractors that don’t want to whip out an iPad for billing, Virtual Terminal streamlines the experience.
Even if Virtual Terminal is being used, merchants can also still have a POS system and sync the data between the two devices through Square’s dashboard. There is a 3.5 percent commission plus $0.15 per transaction fee associated with using this offering. Instant Deposit is also supported, so payments can be doled out in real time if needed.
Virtual Terminal is only available in the U.S., but there are plans to roll it out to other markets worldwide.