A Payment Processor (also called a Virtual Terminal) is an online credit card processor. A more nerdy response is, a software device that connects an Internet merchant to their processor. It translates between protocols so that computers on the connected networks can exchange transaction data. You can have a merchant account (typically known as a bank account) and not a processor, but you cannot have a processor without a merchant account. All internet merchants (CNP) need some sort of Payment Processor.
How can I get a Payment Processor?
All you need to do to get a processor is have the provider set you up with one. There are many companies out there that can accomplish this. The easiest way is to click on the 'Settings' button that looks like a wheel in your account then click 'Add Payment Processor'. There you can either select our in-house processor, Webconnex Payments and get setup automatically, or select a custom processor and plug in your merchant details after signing up with their payment processor through their direct website. NOTE: there is a 1% fee to use a custom processor.
Why do I need a Payment Processor?
A payment processor is needed in order to process credit cards. Processors are the link between your bank account and your registration form. The processor is the means that requests money to be transferred between your registrant's bank account to yours.
How long does it take to setup a Payment Processor?
If you go with Webconnex Payments, you can start accepting payments instantly. Other processor such as Paya, Authorize, etc typically take 1-2 business days to get approved and setup.
Here are some other Help Articles that dive deeper into more information on Processors!