To use VTSwipe, you need the following.
- Firefox Web browser, available on just about any platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
- The PayPalVTSwipe plugin, available directly from Firefox add-ons here, or on this jsorm site here.
- A PayPal Virtual Terminal account. The PayPal Virtual Terminal is an interface that allows one to directly enter one or multiple credit cards directly into PayPal, as opposed to the usual fashion, where the actual purchaser enters his or her own credit card information. PayPal Virtual Terminal is included with PayPal Website Payments Pro, and is available as an add-on with additional monthly fees to PayPal Website Payments Standard.
- A credit card magnetic stripe reader. One can easily be purchased from POSWorld. The credit card reader must be a keyboard emulator, rather than some special driver.
Note that PayPalVTSwipe does not require PayPal Website Payments Pro. It simply uses Virtual Terminal directly.
Installation is straightforward.
- Download Firefox for your platform, if you do not already have it. Note that PayPalVTSwipe has only been tested with Firefox 3 and up.
- Download and install the PayPalVTSwipe add-on, either from the Firefox add-ons site or from the jsorm site. The easiest way to do this is simply to download the add-on directly from Firefox, which will recognize and install the add-on.
- Go to PayPal Virtual Terminal. The plugin will automatically recognize the Virtual Terminal page and become active.
Normally, PayPal Virtual Terminal requires a user to manually enter the card type, card number, first name, last name and expiration date, as well as additional information. Of course, all of this information is present in the magnetic stripe on the card, which is why it never needs to be entered in a real terminal, but rather just swiped.
PayPalVTSwipe allows you to swipe a credit card using an attached card reader. When the add-on detects the PayPal page and is active, you will receive two indications.
- The first time you access the page, a pop-up will warn you that the add-on is active, and that you can hit the hotkey of Ctrl- (hold your control key and then press the - minus key) to swipe a card.
- The credit card logo in the Firefox status bar, on the lower-right hand side, will turn from grayed out to coloured.
To swipe a card
- Make sure you are using Firefox with the PayPalVTSwipe plug-in installed.
- Go to the PayPal Virtual Terminal page.
- Press the hotkey Ctrl- or press the credit card logo on the Firefox status bar. This will cause a pop-up window to indicate it is ready to read a card.
- Swipe the card. The contents of the swipe will temporarily appear in the textbox of the pop-up window.
- When it detects that the read is complete, the pop-up window will disappear, and the Virtual Terminal will have the correct fields filled in.