As a business owner or manager, you understand the need to perfect the process of accepting payment from customers. In the past, cash registers were the most important machines in any retail outlet. Things are changing continuously, however. Even though there are still some people that shop with cash, many have embraced the use of cards fully. This means the traditional cash register is no longer the only machine needed for payment collection. As more customers move away from the traditional way of making payments (cash and check), businesses have been adapting. Most businesses accept credit and debit cards and need credit card readers in their retail outlets.
Credit card payment solutions have evolved with time. Your business will have to deal with different customers making use of different digital payments and chip cards. Before you start considering the best credit card reader to buy for your business, it is important that you understand the latest types of credit card payments: NFC and EMV.
Near field communication (NFC)
This is a smart payment solution that allows customers to make payments using software like Apple Pay and Google Pay through their smartphones and other smart mobile devices. This payment method is also called contactless payment.
Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV)
This is an internationally standardized method of making payment with widely accepted micro-chip enabled cards. It is a major improvement on the traditional magstripe payment solution and is more secured.
Factors to consider before buying a credit card reader
Your Specific Need
You should know that the type of credit card reader you will buy needs to align with your business setting and acceptable payment methods. There is need, however, to be flexible with payment options as you need to cater for different kinds of customers. The fact remains that a mobile business will need a mobile credit card reader while traditional retail stores can cope better with stationary credit card readers. Define what you truly need for your business and buy a card reader that will serve your need.
Ease of Use
You don’t want to buy a credit card reader that is hard to use. It will not only frustrate you or whoever is at the payment terminal but can also lead to transactional errors. Credit card readers with bright display and easy to use buttons are great for all kinds of applications. It is also better when credit card readers feature user-friendly and private PIN pads.
You need a credit card reader that is flexible. As has been stressed previously, you will have to deal with different customers that have their preferred ways of making payments and it will be a lot easier when you have a credit card reader and payment terminal that can handle the different kinds of payment solutions. There are some card readers that can best be described as all-in-one payment solutions. Some are swipe ready and accepts EMV chip cards and contactless payments. Such card readers can be very helpful in your business.
There are several credit card readers that you can connect through USB to a PC, POS terminal, or any useful USB-enabled device to receive payment and document sales. Some can also be powered through the same established connection and are very easy to use.
Associated Costs and Transaction Fees
In most cases, the amount you will spend to purchase a credit card reader will not be the only cost factor that comes with it. So many of the card readers you will find in the market will have associated costs in the forms of subscription cost and transactional fees. Be sure to be aware of all associated costs and fees before buying any credit card reader.
Top 10 Best Credit Card Readers
1. Datio Cash Register
This is an all-in-way payment solution for retail outlets, restaurants, cafes, salons and other small businesses. It comes complete with a cash drawer, printer, scanner, and credit card reader to cater for all forms of payments and POS software. The software the device operates with is quite easy to use and is compatible with iPad. Sales reporting from the device can also be viewed from a laptop or any mobile device, and you can equally view the detailed reports from the POS App.
Setting up this all-in-one POS base is very simple but may take you time to get everything done: you just have to add items, name them, and enter amounts. You can add modifiers or options to each item. The card reader is flexible, supporting integrated payments using credit card swipe, chip cards, EMV, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. It requires subscription for software update, though.
2. Square Contactless Chip Reader
This is a simple and affordable square credit card reader. It is perfect for all sorts of small businesses and will let you take payment from customers anyhow they want it. It runs of the Square Point of Sales app so you might want to download it and enjoy the updates that provide the latest features for free. It works with iOS and Android devices and setting it up is as simple as you can imagine. If you have a square stand and dock for square reader, just plug in or you can connect the device via Bluetooth.
The Square contactless and chip reader is quite flexible. It accepts payments via swipe cards, EMV chips, magstrip cards, Apple Pay, and Android Pay right out of the box. No monthly fees or subscriptions are attached but you will pay just 2.75% per swipe, dip, or tap for MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. The card reader boasts of serious security, too.
3. 2xhome Postmate USB Mini Credit Card Swiper
This is another affordable credit card reader that offers genuine payment solution to all sorts of businesses. It is fully programmable and widely compatible. It works well with all versions of Windows and Mac Operating Systems to make taking payments easier. The device also comes with three tracks. You can use it for payment collection, data collection, access control, identification verification, or time keeping.
One of the reasons this mini credit card reader is attractive is its simple nature. Using it is quite easy. No installation is needed; with the USB interface, you simply need to plug in and get started. It has bi-directional reading capability and the green LED indicator light helps to make using it easier. This small card reader is not for you, however, if your system requires encrypted reader.
4. MagTek Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader
This is a triple track magnetic stripe reader with USB interface cable. Looking at the device, you will know that it was built to last. In terms of functionality, the heavy duty stationary credit card reader performs excellently. It is equipped with bi-directional reading capability and reads encoded data that meets ANSI/ISO/AAMVA standards. Using it is also simple as the secure red, green and amber LED lights indicate transaction status at all times.
This MagTek credit card reader is hardware compatible with any computer or terminal that has USB interface. It can also use standard windows HID driver for communications. It is a highly secured card reader, too, and can help you prevent frauds, thanks to its clear text confirmation data.
5. VeriFone VX520 Smart Credit Card Machine
This is the perfect solution for those that are not just looking for a simple credit card reader. It is a perfect credit card machine and offers mobile credit card processing in the most interesting way. The device is ergonomically designed and employs the industry’s fastest processor in handling its task at an incredible speed. It comes integrated with a contactless reader to make it very flexible in terms of supported payment options.
Using this machine, you have a wide range of connectivity options with choice of dial, dial and Ethernet, Ethernet and GPRS. This is also a highly secured mobile credit card reader. With ‘Verishield Protect’, you will get end-to-end encryption for the protection of your customers and your business.
6. IT OSAYDE 605 Magnetic Card Reader
This is a multipurpose machine from Osayde that you can use for Credit Card, Debit Card, Gift Card, and all Magnetic Swipe cards transactions. From the design of the product to its capabilities, you have a professional handy machine that can change so many things in your business place. It lets you read, write, and erase magnetic stripe tracks. This means it is applicable in different areas of your processes including accepting payments from credit cards and debit cards, too.
The IT Osayde 605 Magnetic Card Reader can encode and verify three tracks of data simultaneously. In the package, you will get the card reader with power adapter, 20 free blank cards, a cleaning card and a USB connector.
7. Ingenico iCT220 EMV/Smart Card Reader
This is a traditional credit card terminal that features a smart card reader. It remains a reliable machine that will let you accept payment from most of your customers. The manufacturer, Ingenico, is a well-respected POS solution provider and this is definitely one of the all time best credit card readers they have made. It offers flexibility in terms of the payment options it accepts. It can process EMV-enabled cards, accept swipe, chip and contactless payment like Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The Ingenico iCT220 card reader is quite easy to use. It features a bright display as well as easy-to-read buttons. It is also very compatible so you can connect it to any POS system you already own through Ethernet cable or cellular communication. You will be able to use it with any major credit card processing provider.
8. MagTek 21040145 Card Reader
This is one of the most flexible credit card readers you will find in the market. The SureSwipe card reader will read the magnetic stripe on the back of any credit card, debit card, or another magnetic stripe card. It is also an affordable option that is compatible with different devices including PCs, Macs, and POS terminals.
This MagTek SureSwipe credit card reader is a dual-head triple-track magnetic stripe card reader and allows swipes in any direction. It also features a built-in USB cable that can be easily connected to a host system. It will also get power from the USB connection. Setting it up is simple and straightforward: plug in the 6 foot USB cable directly and launch your POS software. The two magnetic heads allow swipes in any direction.
9. PayPal 4029USRTAM Here V2 Mobile Card Reader
PayPal is a reliable online payment solution with over 180 million users worldwide. The company made this little mobile payment system to help small businesses using their services to accept payment from credit cards and debit cards users. It includes a combination of a free mobile app and a small card reader that can be plugged comfortably into a smartphone.
This simple mobile credit card reader can accept payment from credit card and debit card holders. It can also be used to track cash, check payments, and send invoices. It supports US card swipe, chip and contactless transaction at the cost of 2.7% per transaction. It is a highly secured card reader from a reliable company.
10. Deftun MSR90 Credit Card Reader
This is one of the best mini credit card readers in the market. The most important thing about this card is that it is extremely versatile. Using it as a credit card reader in your business is simple: connect the device to your PC through the USB cable port and get started. It needs no additional software or power supply.
The Deftun MSR90 Credit Card Reader is compatible with all versions of Windows and Mac Operating Systems. It also has three tracks that are ISO7811, CA DMV and AAMVA-compatible. Other features that make it a great credit card reader are the LED indicator light, Bi-directional reading capability and the compatibility with other USB capable operating systems.