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Best Credit Card Readers

(Image credit: Amazon)

More and more people are using credit cards. Even some venues have gone completely money free. Your business needs to be able to process credit cards in order to keep up with demand and the competition. Here are several options from bolted down terminals for brick and mortar shops, to USB readers to bring along to trade shows, and mobile readers that connect to your phone. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

Square Contactless Chip Reader

 Best Overall

The best credit card reader is from Square. This particular reader can be used to both swipe magnetic stripes or read chipped cards. The Square Contactless also processes Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other NFC payments. It fits in the palm of your hand and doesn’t require you to physically connect it to any device. Instead, it uses Bluetooth connectivity to access bank information. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

Square Reader Lightning Connector

 Best Mobile Card Reader

This credit card reader from Square connects to your cellphone for a truly portable option. The Lightning Connector connects to Apple devices using its USB port and reads cards using magstripe. You do need to enable the proper software on your mobile device, but once done this credit card reader is fast to gather, read and process credit card information and deposit it into your business account. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

Deftun Magnetic Card Reader

 Best for Magnetic Stripe

This plug-n-play card reader plugs into your digital register or keyboard using the included USB cord. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers and doesn’t need any software in order to use it. The device isn’t much longer than a cellphone and both reader and tracks other cards as well, such as ID cards. This makes the reader a useful tool for some businesses, such as bars, that need to process payments and check IDs. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

This Square credit card reader is designed to sit next to your register and allow customers to swipe or insert their card for quick payment. The display screen shows a digital keypad for those who wish to use a debit card and need to enter in PIN information. This device doubles as a register, allowing you to ring up orders, too. When transactions are complete the Square Terminal prints out paper receipts or can be set up to email them to customers. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

Verifone Vx520 EMV CTLS Terminal

 Swivel Card Reader w/ Stand

This credit card reader from Verifone attaches to the counter of your store. Its swivel base allows customers to move it into a position that is comfortable for them to use, but you can also move it around to face you if your clients need any help. The card reader itself recognizes magnetic stripes and has a chip reader. And for those patrons paying with a debit card, this reader also has a keypad to enter PIN numbers. 

 Let’s show you the money 

The Square Contactless credit card reader is easy to use and is quite versatile. It works with both magnetic stripe and chip cards, and it accepts NFC payments including Apply Pay and Android Pay. Because it is small, you can take it along with you as you travel with your wares, or keep it on the counter next to your till. You do need to set up a Square account for this credit card reader to work and make arrangements with your bank or credit card company to accept payments and funds transfers.

If you’d like a more traditional setup, we recommend Square Terminal. This card reader device doubles as a register to ring up orders. And when you’re done and payment processed, this terminal card reader prints out sales receipts.

Nicole Johnston

Nicole writes for multiple Future Publishing brands covering topics from antivirus to kitchen appliances to SAS. She has over 15 years of research and writing experience, including eight years of testing and reviewing consumer products. Nicole earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Political Science with a focus on empirical research. In her spare time, Nicole serves as a member of several school councils and volunteers for a local arts board.