Credit cards are electronic payment cards that have plastic as the primary material. In addition, they have a magnetic strip that stores data for machine recognition. Every time you swipe your card, the information inside the strip enters the reader system. Some card readers can utilize smartphones to process information. A credit card reader for phone uses a particular app downloadable from the relevant websites.
For your understanding, a credit card reader is an electronic device that can read credit card information and process the relevant data as per the given instructions. A credit card reader detects data stored in the card’s magnetic strip. The readers connect directly to a central server point over a strong network. The card reader can send data simultaneously for capturing by the relevant servers.
Credit card readers are popular with wholesale retailers as well as other forms of businesses. The machines help in making shopping more comfortable as well as avoiding the menace of lacking change when customers purchase items. Credit card owners can also send money to friends and relatives as long as they know how to transfer money using the routing number and account number with precision.
How do Credit Card Readers Work?
Since the introduction of CHIP and PIN technology in 2004, credit card readers have occupied a significant position in business transaction activities. Many businesses and more so wholesale shops such as supermarkets and hyper stores have these machines to cater for their customers who come to shop with cards.
A Credit card reader machine works by detecting the information on the card and processing data as instructed. Several activities take place during the process. First, the device performs payment authentication. It reads data stored in the card’s internal chip, and as soon as payment authorization occurs, then the merchant bank receives the payment request instantly.
The next step is where your bank submits the transaction details to the cards service provider who may be MasterCard or Visa. The service provider verifies the data send and then allows the bank to continue with the transactions. The bank verifies that you have enough credit to complete the transaction.
Your bank then sends back signals to the card service provider, who then prints a receipt showing proof of payment via the merchant’s card reader. It happens remotely and automatically. The merchant receives money in their account within three days. Your bank then credits your account as well. If you are using a debit card, your bank deducts the spend amount immediately.
An almost similar procedure occurs when one uses the card to make online payments using the card number. You can send money with checking account number to the merchant’s account when making an online payment from stores such as Amazon and Walmart.
Is it Safe to Use a Card Reader for Payments?
Sometimes back, card readers used to read card data upon swiping the magnetic stripe on the card. However, the method was risky as fraudsters developed a way of accessing credit card information and stealing money from people.
Due to that concern, card manufacturers devised the CHIP and PIN technology, which sealed the loopholes that fraudsters used to steal people’s money. The technology allows the card to read the CHIP in the card, which detects the four-digit PIN stored in it. When you insert your PIN, the card reader matches the dialed PIN and the stored PIN before authorizing the transaction.
So, in that matter, it is safe to use a card reader since the process has high-security operating measures. However, never tell anyone you’re PIN. Anyone with your PIN can use it to withdraw money from your account or make payments of goods. Always be the one to key in the PIN.
Which are the 9 Best Credit Card Readers For a phone?
The best card readers in the market include the following.
1. Square Reader for magstripe (Lightning Connector)
If you are used to large card readers that lie on the cashiers’ desks, then understand the new developments of small card readers that utilize a smartphone to read card information. Square Reader for magstripe works with iOS. It uses gadgets such as iPhones and iPads.
The card reader is tiny. It is easy to carry from place to place. And accept payments on the go. Bus operators who allow credit card payments can find it easy to use these small readers as they cannot get tired of holding them.
The card operator, Square, ensures that the transactions have high encryption to enhance the security of both the card owner and the merchant. The costs are low, and the funds reflect the following day into the seller’s account. The card operator charges no monthly fees whatsoever.
- It is easy to use
- Encrypted for security
- Low-cost transactions
- It is Portable
- Has no tangible receipts
2. PayAnywhere PAR-1 Mobile Card Reader
You will get $10 upon activation for free in your PayAnywhere account. Again, using the card is cheap as the company charges 2.69% per swipe. The card reader has no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no cancellation fees at all.
Again, there is no minimum balance required in your account. Just have what you have managed to sell, no matter how small it is. Moreover, since it uses a mobile phone app, the customers can always select a tip for you. You can as well choose discounts for your customers.
Again, just receive your receipts via SMS or email address. You can also decide to print them wirelessly using a wireless printer. The receipt shows details such as amount spend, tips given, discounts offered, item paid for as well as the customer’s signature.
- Easy to set up
- Free $10
- Detailed receipts
- Remote printing of receipts
- Has no setup fees
- Cannot work without a smartphone
3. PayPal Mobile Card Reader
The item is returnable to Amazon. Moreover, you can get free support from Amazon technicians. The card works with windows iOS and also Android operating systems. Furthermore, it is very cheap to use as it charges just 2.7 percentage of the transaction amount.
Again, receive 24/7 customer support all the time you need their care. Maintenance fees are zero. You will not pay monthly fees. Again, no cancellation fees applying for any wrong transaction canceled by the customer. With this device, you can track payments.
Lastly, keep in mind that the card reader is easy to carry. It is tiny and light, not forgetting about its convenience. Again, card usage has high security from PayPal, which is a reputable company since time immemorial. Transactions are free from fraudsters.
- Works with a variety of operating systems
- No hidden charges
- No cancellation fees
- It is easy to use
- 24/ customer support
- The buying price is a bit high
4. Shopify Chip & Swipe Reader (Chip & Swipe Reader)
The device is reliable in its operations. Moreover, its app pairs easily with other devices such as printers via Bluetooth technology. The only disadvantage one this that it works with Spotify shops in America. Again, the payments are secure as the machine has good security against fraud.
The card complies with the latest VISA ready requirements to ensure secure payments. You should note that the item requires you to ship it separately from other goods. No additional shipping fees will add to your shipping protocol.
Interestingly, the reader accepts a variety of cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Moreover, you receive a one year warranty upon buying the item. You can always contact Shopify for any query via [email protected].
- It has one year warranty
- It accepts various cards
- It is easy to use
- It is highly secured
- It is reliable
- Can only work with Shopify in the US
5. Rocke metek Type C Smart Card Reader
The card works with various operating systems such as Android, Windows, and iOS. If you have a laptop, an iPad tablet, or a smartphone, you can use the device easily. The card is refundable. In addition, you can receive free Amazon support upon buying it.
The card is highly secured with a high-level security system to ensure that no fraud can happen. Due to that fact, many government organizations and private companies have put a lot of trust in the machine, thus making it popular.
Interestingly, the card reader detects motion. As soon as you remove the card, it can automatically go off if not under usage. It switches on immediately upon inserting a card. Buy this card reader and get an 18-month warranty. During the period, you will get free support in case of anything.
- 18-month warranty
- Compatible with various OS
- Easy to maintain
- Motion detector
- Easy to maintain
- A bit costly
6. Geekgo Micro SD Card Reader
The card reader works with various operating systems such as windows, android, and IOS. The ability to work with multiple operating systems makes it among the best machines to use for your business. Again, you should have a phone with OTG function to run it well.
Interestingly, the card has two card reader slots. Apart from reading payment cards, it can also read memory cards. It can support an SD card of up to 256 GB. It makes it very efficient to have since it is multipurpose.
With the card, you can easily back up your important files such as current transactions, music, documents, and others. It works with a file management app called IUSB Pro. Moreover, enjoy the free amazon support provided upon buying the card reader.
- Works with various operating systems
- Has two card slots
- Has IUSB Pro
- Free amazon support
- Easy to sue
- Phones without OTG function cannot accommodate the reader
7. IDWare iMag Pro II Credit Card Reader
The machine only works with iOS. It means that with devices such as iPads, iPhones, and iPods touch, you can use the device conveniently. It is a magnetic stripe reader. It can read a variety of cards, including credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, electronic driver’s licenses, electronic Identity cards, among others.
The card reader is super-fast. It can read three tracks at a go. Above all, it consumes battery power efficiently. The card reader has an estimated 100,000 card swipes in its entire life.
In order to ensure the security of any transaction, the card has encryption technology to ensure that no fraudster can access information from the customer’s card. Above all, you can trust the reader since other operators have proved it successful.
- It can read a variety of cards
- It has 100,000-lifetime card swipes
- Encrypted for data security
- Easy to use
- It is reliable
- Can only work with iOS
8. MSR605 & 206 Magnetic Card Reader
The card reader works with Windows operating systems such as Windows 98, Me, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It connects to the windows devices with the USB end. It has MSR605 Magnetic Card Reader that can read three tracks.
On the issue about the portability of the device, you can be sure that the reader is easy to carry from one place to another. It is just a small gadget you can put in your pocket and get moving. However, details about its warranty are not precise, but you can always contact amazon in case of anything.
The security of this card reader is just on another level. Be sure to have all the information well secured when using this machine. There are rigid measures to ensure security on any transaction.
- Highly secured
- Easy to use
- It is fast
- Has attractive design
- Only works with Windows OS
9. Square Reader for magstripe (with headset jack)
The card reader can accept credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Above all, it is fast and secure, feel free when doing transactions using the card since there is no danger of using them at all.
While using this card reader, you only pay 2.6%+10c per swipe. Moreover, the device works alongside the square Point of Sale app, which allows you to track your payment history. Again, you will receive $10 in free processing the first time you use the device.
The card reader can support both Android and iOS smartphones. It gives you a broader choice on which gadget to buy to use with this machine. Moreover, there are no monthly payments for the machine.
- It can accept a variety of cards
- It is easy to set up
- Has no maintenance fee
- Supports both android and iOS
- Fast and secure
- Does not work with windows
Card readers are fundamental machines. A credit card reader for smartphones is the best since it is easy to carry.Moreover, good credit card readers should allow you to print receipts. They also have high security to protect the user from fraud. Also, credit card readers that support all operating systems are the best since they are convenient. Lastly, a good card reader lasts for long.