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In Business Operations Last updated: April 24, 2023
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One of the most effective and secure ways to accept payments is using credit card readers.

What Are Credit Card Readers?

Have you ever seen a tiny swipe gadget or machine like the one below in a store? That is referred to as a card reader or credit card reader.

Card readers are responsible for reading the data from a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe or microchip and transferring it to the payment processor while gathering data from the customer’s bank. The transaction is accepted if the card reader recognizes the funds available.


Therefore, in terms of technology, the credit or debit card’s chip or magnetic stripe, which is present, holds information about the cardholder. The card reader reads that information and allows or refuses the transaction based on the information provided.

One of the most practical ways to make purchases is to carry a credit card or debit card rather than cash.

According to a recent survey, 1,115.83 million Americans are predicted to use credit cards by 2025.

As per Statista data, the market size for credit card transactions in the United States has increased more than twice between 2012 and 2020, as shown in the image below, and it is predicted to reach more than 65 percent by 2025.

Source: Statista

How to Select the Best Card Reader for Your Business

Having a credit card reader on board is essential whether you’re trying to start a new company or grow your current one.

While some merchants provide free credit card readers, others let you purchase or rent the equipment. From standalone to multi-store cloud-based and their features affect the cost. The price depends on whether you buy the machine outright or rent it.

The most basic credit card readers typically cost between $100 and $200. Credit card processing, monthly service, gateway, and compliance fees are additional expenses.

Let’s look at some information in this part that will assist you in choosing the best card reader for your business.

Transaction Method

A card reader is required for various transactions, such as card swiping, dipping, card tapping, and mobile payments. This reader must support near-field communication (NFC) and be powered by a digital wallet payment provider, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Standalone card readers are available with various features, including or without a screen. To provide greater convenience and differentiate these devices from traditional or countertop point-of-sale (POS) setups, these devices are frequently engineered to be wireless.

A cloud-based card reader is best if you need one for multiple locations or stores spread out geographically.

Payment Network

This network facilitates processing payments and enables you to receive related payments via the card reader. The card reader should support all significant payment networks, including but not limited to Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, and Discover.


It is crucial to ensure your company employs end-to-end encryption (E2EE) transactions, a fraud protection feature, PCI-DSS encrypted credit card readers, etc.


The card reader provider should have a solid market reputation and cutting-edge features, including accessibility, usability, and an easy-to-use interface. The company should offer you equipment at fair market value prices and other transaction expenses that aren’t excessive.

Now, let’s explore the list of top credit card reader providers.


An excellent tool for accepting card payments is the Squareup credit card reader. It is the ideal option for small enterprises that require a simple and economical means of transaction processing.

Everyone can accept payments on their smartphone or tablet due to Square’s free credit card reader and Square Point of Sale app.

Squareup Credit Card reader

It is a simple, safe, and secure system with no setup or ongoing costs. It allows you to accept all major credit and debit cards quickly and is made to function perfectly with your current device(s).

Additionally, it features an encryption feature that shields users against fraud. Businesses can also use it to track sales, analyze statistics, and use other features to help them run their operations more effectively.

Its flexible payment options allow you to pay when you swipe your card, and, more crucially, offline mode operates without a connection.

You can sell and process payments wherever your business takes you with the Square Card Reader, which is small enough to fit in your pocket and doesn’t require a battery. You will only be charged 2.6% + 10 per swipe.


The ideal option for companies seeking a safe, efficient, and user-friendly is a Paypal card reader. A mobile card reader device allows users to accept and process credit cards, debit cards, and other payment methods.

Paypal Card Reader

With the ease of a physical card reader, businesses may instantly and conveniently process consumer payments. Additionally, the system is connected to the PayPal app, enabling users to send invoices and handle their funds directly from the app.

Business owners may easily and quickly collect payments from clients with this card reader. Almost any point-of-sale system, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, can be used with this card reader.

The card reader is simple to set up and operate. It has a wide range of capabilities like fraud protection, quick transaction processing, and access to reporting and analytics to assist company owners in maximizing their acceptance of payments.

A business may easily handle all facets of its transactions thanks to the card reader’s effortless installation, lack of monthly fees or contracts, and integration with Paypal’s other payment solutions.

PayPal card reader has no long-term commitment and no monthly fee, and your first card reader can be bought for $29.


Businesses that need to accept card payments can get a Plus Card Reader from SumUp, a well-known online payment service provider. This card reader is safe and reliable for taking payments from customers. The card reader features are NFC (contactless), Bluetooth, and an inbuilt Li-ion battery.

Connecting to the SumUp app is simple, enabling users to accept and handle card transactions easily.

Sumup Card Reader

Additionally, it provides quick setup and cheap merchant fees, making this service an affordable and effective option for businesses to accept payments.

Any business may take Visa and Mastercard payments with a quick plug-and-play setup without altering their current processes.

Giving consumers access to an online dashboard enables businesses to keep track of their fees and transactional information.

It contains a receipt printer, a built-in anti-fraud mechanism, and the capacity to store customer information. Additionally, transactions are completed in a matter of seconds.

It supports many currencies, enabling businesses to accept clients’ payments regardless of location. Its starting price is $39, and there are no monthly minimums or subscription fees; you only pay 2.75% for each transaction.


Helcim card readers provide speedy, secure, and low-effort credit card payment processing for businesses of all sizes.

The reader is a versatile and user-friendly gadget that can be connected to any laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Since it has chip and pin technology, companies can take payments from clients who use EMV-enabled cards.

Helcim Card Reader

Additionally, it facilitates contactless transactions and is integrated with all leading payment systems, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.

Their services are simple to use, safe, and credible, and there are no additional fees or hidden costs. They also provide many features and advantages, such as quick approval processes and real-time account access.

It offers various capabilities, including batch history, email receipts to save paper use, inventory management, customer tracking, analytics, and reporting. All popular credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, are supported.

Additionally, the service offers one-on-one customer support, making it simple and quick for you to create an account and use their services. No pricey leasing and monthly fees; a card reader costs $109.


A point of sale (POS) solution called Stripe terminal enables businesses to accept payments through Stripe. Using Stripe Terminal, you may conduct in-person transactions or receive payments online.

YouTube video

It comes with a Stripe Reader M2, a minimal gadget that can accept contactless and credit card payments. It is an intuitive mobile card reader created for quick, secure transactions.

EMV chip support, contactless technology, and swipe payments are some of its significant features. Through Bluetooth, it can communicate with any platform.

It is EMV certified, secure, complies with the highest industry standards, and has both point-to-point (P2PE) and end-to-end (E2EE) encryption. It can be quickly connected to mobile devices for convenient use when traveling. 


Payanywhere is the best online source for all types of payment processing hardware. It provides excellent hardware choices for businesses of all sizes. Whether you are a startup company looking for the newest technologies or a large enterprise, it has something for you.

YouTube video

It offers a wide range of products, such as portable card readers, point-of-sale systems, and terminals, to simplify managing your business.

The company’s all-in-one handheld portable credit card terminal combines cutting-edge features like a 5″ touch screen, built-in printer, barcode scanning, internet connectivity, etc., with the convenience of a fully functional terminal.

It also has a state-of-the-art smart keypad that can process any payment method, including PIN debit, EBT, and contactless payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

The Smart Flex’s portable point-of-sale terminal is loaded with features and promises lightning-fast and secure transaction times. The business may accept contactless payments, EMV chip cards, credit cards with magnetic stripe readers, etc.

The Smart Flex would be the best option for a company that needs the most significant amount of mobility and the power of a robust point of sale.

Due to its 3-in-1 Bluetooth credit card reader, your smartphone or tablet can be utilized as a mobile payment device.


Accepting credit card payments is made easy with Podium’s Payments Card Readers. It would help if you did not worry about compatibility issues because these readers work with all standard credit cards. Contactless, chip, and magstripe cards enable businesses to swiftly and securely take customer payments.

YouTube video

You can manually enter purchases using the app or receive payments over the phone using Podium’s reader. Additionally, these readers may be used to accepting payments in person, which is fantastic for mobile enterprises.

Their user-friendly platform, which includes fraud protection and encryption, enables businesses to accept payments swiftly and securely. Additionally, Podium provides a range of add-ons, such as loyalty programs and rewards, to further streamline the checkout process.

The user-friendly, effective, and secure payment solutions from Podium enable a seamless and safe payment experience.

A 14-day free trial of the Podium card reader is available, after which one of its three pricing tiers—Essential, Standard, or Professional—can be selected.

Housecall Pro

The Housecall Pro card reader is ideal for companies who need to secure and rapidly handle payments. Customers can choose from a variety of card readers to meet their needs.

Among their characteristics are PCI compliance, safe encryption, and secure communication protocols. Additionally, customers can set up recurring billing and automatic payments.

YouTube video

Housecall Pro‘s technology allows businesses to accept credit card payments from anywhere. With this cutting-edge solution, you may get paid swiftly and securely without relying on expensive, cumbersome credit card terminals.

With the card reader hardware, software, and logistics all included in one package, and businesses can accept payments directly from customers using their mobile devices.

Because the card reader hardware is secured and safe, clients’ information is protected, and they may shop confidently.

Businesses may keep track of transactions and customer histories with this simple system, which will help them deal with customers in the future with more knowledge. The platform’s user-friendly interface also makes it simple for anyone to use.

Final Words

The card Reader is one component of the payment system that is developing with technology to make transactions as seamless as possible. Card readers are valuable devices for companies of all sizes and types.

The majority of card readers offer similar features and functions with minimal differences. You can choose a card reader depending on the nature and extent of your company, and this information mentioned above will make it easier for you to narrow down your options.

Next, you can check out payment platforms for freelancers and bloggers.

  • Satish Shethi
    I have been in the IT industry for more than 20 years. I have served Fortune 100 company in a senior role looking after projects related to US Banking, BFS, Mortgage, Insurance, and FMCG. Apart from IT, I like to read books, especially spirituality… read more
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