Best Credit Card Readers

Last update March 16, 2017
If you want to close every deal and not miss out on potential customers, then accepting credit card payments is a must. Tired of searching for the right card reader? Search no more! Our review will help you select the reader which will benefit your business most! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Warranty
Type
Functionality
Type of Connection
Reading Method
Types of Cards and Payments
Compatible OS
 
PROS
Allows performing diverse operations with magstripe cards, encode your own cards, create and manage a client database.
CONS
A user may encounter difficulties when working with Windows 10.
OUR VERDICT
A professional credit card reader and encoder offers a variety of solutions for virtually all existing types of magstripe cards, therefore has a broad scope of application.
detailed parameters
Warranty
1 year
Type
Stationary reader/encoder
Functionality
Reading, Writing/rewriting, Copying, Erasing, Comparing, Writing to file, Filing to write, Changing password
Type of Connection
Cable
Reading Method
Magnetic stripe
Types of Cards and Payments
Bank cards, Retail cards, Government cards, ID cards etc, AMMVA and DMV formatting standards
Compatible OS
Windows 8 and below, Mac OS, Linux/Unix, Android
PROS
Offers two convenient interfaces, allowing users to work either in HID or Keyboard Emulation mode. Efficient for optimal data entry and editing. Superior protection against fraud.
CONS
No audible beeping after swiping the card.
OUR VERDICT
Very convenient to connect, this credit card reader allows for bi-directional card reading. MagneSafe Security Architecture secures cardholder data and provides unparalleled protection to consumers.
detailed parameters
Warranty
1 year
Type
Stationary reader
Functionality
Reading
Type of Connection
Cable
Reading Method
Magnetic stripe
Types of Cards and Payments
Bank cards, Retail cards, AMMVA format
Compatible OS
Windows 10 and below, Mac OS
PROS
The device reads both magstripe and EMV chip cards. Accepts mobile contactless payments.
CONS
Intermittent connectivity. If the device stays idle for too long between the transactions, a user may need to restart the device to renew Bluetooth connection.
OUR VERDICT
This device gives you a possibility to accept the latest most secure forms of payments from your customers such as EMV chip cards and NFC contactless payments from mobile devices!
detailed parameters
Warranty
Amazon's 30-day return policy
Type
Mobile reader
Functionality
Reading
Type of Connection
Wireless (Bluetooth)
Reading Method
Magnetic stripe, chip reader, contactless
Types of Cards and Payments
Bank magstripe cards, EMV chip cards, Contactless payments via Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay
Compatible OS
iOS, Android
PROS
Comes in the set with a full version of operating software.
CONS
Needs a special power adaptor.
OUR VERDICT
This card reader and writer can process a broad range of cards and collect all the data from readings to let you conveniently manage your client or employee database. However, it will suit only Windows users.
detailed parameters
Warranty
1 year
Type
Stationary reader/encoder
Functionality
Reading, Writing/rewriting, Copying, erasing, Comparing, Writing to file, Filing to write, Changing password
Type of Connection
Cable
Reading Method
Magnetic stripe
Types of Cards and Payments
Bank cards, Retail cards, Government ID cards etc
Compatible OS
Windows 10 and below
PROS
Offers superior mobility owing to a super small and compact size. Minimum transaction fee.
CONS
Payment confirmation can take up to 72 hours.
OUR VERDICT
This highly portable and yet reliable device will allow you to settle financial transactions on the go. To accept a payment all you need is to plug the device into an audio jack of a smartphone or tablet.
detailed parameters
Warranty
1 year
Type
Mobile reader
Functionality
Reading
Type of Connection
Audio jack 3.5 mm
Reading Method
Magnetic stripe
Types of Cards and Payments
Bank cards
Compatible OS
iOS, Android, Windows Mobile

What is a Credit Card Reader

No matter whether you sell goods or provide services, you need to accept payments from your customers. Every year more and more transactions are being carried out with debit or credit cards. It has grown into a standard practice amongst most businesses and professionals to settle cashless financial transactions on the spot. With help of credit card readers you can start accepting debit and credit cards and make the payment process much easier and more convenient for you and your clients. With help of credit card readers, you can receive payments directly from your customer's account to your personal bank account. Neither you nor your customer needs to carry around wads of cash or hustle to find the nearest ATM. Having your own credit card reader is no longer a luxury but a vital determinant of your business's success. A convenient and reliable card reader will boost your sales, improve your customer satisfaction and help you achieve your business goals. 

If you are a businessman, merchant, retailer or a professional have a look at our other reviews on receipt printers, barcode scanners and business card scanners in order to find the necessary equipment to meet your business needs.

What To Look For

If you have decided to purchase a card reader then you need to find the one that fits your business needs best. Start by determining the scope of your device's intended use and specify the desired requirements. There is no need to pay for additional features you will never use. The primary question you may wish to consider is whether you intend to encode the data on magstripe cards for your customers, clients or employees or you simply need a terminal to accept payments. Certainly, the reader capable of encoding data on magnetic stripes is more pricey and normally stationary, which would deprive you of convenient portability of a reading-only device. Some card readers with a writing function can process not only debit and credit bank cards, but are also able to decode (or encode) the information from a wide variety of cards, such as membership ID, employee ID, government ID, retail gift, discount or loyalty cards, hotel room keys, driver licences, health cards and a lot more. Keeping this device handy will enable you to issue new cards to your clients upon demand or erase any data from the cards if necessary. Such versatile readers and writers offer incredible functionality and therefore provide a broad scope of application. Certainly, if all you want is to offer your clients an alternative method of payment to settle financial transactions then a reading-only device will do the job and save you money!

Contactless payments, as well as EMV chip cards, are gaining momentum these days. The US has moved towards EMV chip cards as the standard in place of traditional cards with magnetic stripes. EMV chip cards are widely recognized as a far more secure form of payment. All the countries that switched to EMV technology have seen a dramatic drop in credit card fraud and counterfeiting. With the US transitioning to the new EMV chip card standard, you need to set yourself up to accept EMV cards sooner or later. If you decided to meet the situation head-on, then choosing a card reader which accepts different forms of payments is a must. With EMV chip cards, instead of sliding the card the old-fashioned way, you need to dip the chip card in a special slot. Although being more secure, EMV transactions take more time to process and the lag time is quite substantial. If you have nowhere to rush - it may not matter, but it becomes a real problem if you have a line of customers waiting at the check-out counter. NFC technology comes in as a spectacular solution. It is as secure as EMV, but it is much faster and convenient. Your customers may upload their cards to digital wallets (such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay) and settle the financial transactions with their mobile devices in no time at all! If you believe that fast and convenient NFC transactions could boost your sales and take your business to a new level, then you definitely need the device which accepts payments via NFC technology - the contactless reader.

If you work at the counter a multifunctional stationary device would be a good choice! However, for those who need to travel, do their business on the go or deliver products or services to customer's location, the mobility of the device is a first and foremost priority. When choosing a device, pay attention to the compatibility of the device with different operating systems. Before you make your final call, make sure your selected reader is compliant with an operating system of your host terminal. In this case, you may also consider how the device is paired with the computer, laptop, tablet or phone. A wireless connection spares the inconvenience of being anchored to a particular spot as well as the nuisance of wires, but it may be a bit glitchy. With regard to the ease and convenience of use, perhaps, nothing compares with the mobile credit card reader. It can work in any place and requires only the presence of a smartphone or tablet to accept payments from your customer's account.

...Read more ...Read less
Review of Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader

Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader

Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader

More Than A Reader

Nowadays cashless transactions have dramatically improved the ease of doing business. Non-cash payments save valuable time of your customers and offer additional convenience, sparing them the trouble of carrying around wads of cash or queueing up for ATM withdrawals. Our team decided to find the best device for reading/encoding data and processing payment transactions. The Deftun MSRX6 is not only a reader but also an encoder/writer allowing you to create the magnetic cards for your clients or employees. The device works well not only with credit or debit bank cards but can also read and write employee ID cards, access control cards, hotel room keys and a lot more. This device has broad application. It can be used in any retail business to issue discount cards or loyalty gift cards to the customers. It can be used by government services or authorities to issue driver licenses, health cards or government IDs. Public schools, universities or other institutions will find it indispensable for writing Student IDs, membership cards or employee IDs.

We have discovered that this reader has excellent multi-platform support. Its software is perfectly compatible with Windows 98/2000/XP/vista/7/8, Mac OS, Linux/Unix and even Android. To communicate with a host computer all you need is a USB cable, which is included in a set. It also comes with the power adapter. For its advanced functionality, the reader has very compact dimensions of only 5.5x1.6x1.6 inches. It shouldn't be a problem to find the right spot for such a tiny but a versatile device on your personal desk or the counter.

Review of Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader

Almighty

The Deftun MSRX6 is a multipurpose device which can read the data from any magnetic card, encode blank cards, erase all data, copy, compare, save to file or file to write. To read the data from the magnetic stripe card, you need to slide the card manually in a specified direction. The machine is designed to support reading and writing for ISO7811/1~6, AAMVA as well as DMV formatting standards. You can issue your own discount or loyalty cards to clients or customers and accumulate large amounts of content/data in a single database to use in your business. The Deftun magnetic card reader and writer offers solutions not only for low coercivity (LoCo) but also for high coercivity (HiCo) cards. The latter type is more durable and better protected. The data encoded on HiCo cards is harder to erase and more resistant to damage when exposed to outside magnets. With a longer lifespan, you won't have to incur the costs of reissuing customers' cards at annoying frequency. Keeping this convenient multipurpose device at hand will help effectively run and operate your business on a daily basis.

Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader in the use

More Products to Consider

To issue more cards you will need to fill up the inventories of good quality durable blank cards for encoding. Our team would like to recommend you to consider buying 250 CR80 30Mil Blank White PVC Plastic Cards. Apply any design on the cards with a special card printer, encode the data on the magnetic stripes with the Deftun MSRX6 and your cards are ready to go.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
MSRX6
Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader
Deftun MSRX6 Smallest USB Magnetic Credit Card Reader
 
Review of MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader

MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader

MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader

Practical In Every Sense

After careful analysis and examination of the Dynamag USB Swipe Reader from MagTek, our team concluded that we found the most optimal and efficient device for reading any kind of data from magstripe cards. The device can read the data not only from bank cards but also retail cards which meet ISO or AAMVA formatting standards. As its main advantage, this model offers 2 convenient interfaces. It can be operated either in HID or Keyboard Emulation mode. When operating in the former mode, the reader establishes a direct communication path with the host application. If the user chooses to switch to the Keyboard Emulation mode, the reader emulates a keyboard, which allows host applications designed to acquire card data from keyboard input to seamlessly acquire the card data from the USB swipe reader.

The manufacturer ensured optimal performance, convenience, and functionality of the device. Therefore, this machine features useful colored LED status indicator as well as bi-directional card reading. If the reader is first plugged in, the LED indicator is solid amber. Following successful enumeration by the host and the authentication process (if required), the light turns solid green that tells you the machine is armed to read. Such compact, a little less than 4 inches, and still reliable design not only saves scarce space on your counter but also speeds up cashless transactions and customer service. The test results suggest that the accuracy of reading is essentially perfect, getting the error rate close to zero. Besides, MagTek readers take the leading position in the industry for highest first swipe read rates. Made from the durable materials and boasting reliable quality the MagTek reader is sure to last for up to 1 million swipes.

The practicality of the reader is even further improved with convenient mounting options. The device comes with a double-sided fastening tape which could be used after removing the adhesive protective cover. Alternatively, mount the reader by two screws through the surface attached to the bottom of the unit. When mounting the reader, make sure you leave enough room on either end of the device for swiping the card.

Keep your customers happy and satisfied by making your lines move faster with super efficient MagTek reader.

Review of MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader

Superior Protection

Just like other card readers from MagTek, this device meets all requirements on information security and even exceeds PCI (Payment Card Industry) regulations owing to MagneSafe Security Architecture. MagneSafe technology features the latest advancements in the field of data security, such as strong encryption, counterfeit detection or digital signatures, to secure cardholder data and provide unparalleled protection to consumers. The MagneSafe does not only protect the whole transaction but also safeguards each of its elements. The distinctive component of MagneSafe Security Architecture is a patented technology of card authentication - MagnePrint. The name of the technology is composed of two words: Magne from magnetic, and Prints from fingerprints. The term implies that magnetic stripes have unique physical properties, which remain unchanged for the lifespan of the card. This MagnePrint remains in the background of every magnetic stripe, while the user's data is recorded in the foreground. Just as human beings can be uniquely identified by their fingerprints, each card can be identified by its Magnetic Fingerprints. Therefore, all counterfeit cards will be detected as soon as you swipe the card.

MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader in the use

More Products to Consider

If you wish to improve customer service and renew your office equipment, check out our review on touchscreen monitors.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Magnesafe mini magnetic card reader
MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader
MagTek Dynamag Magnesafe Triple Track Magnetic Stripe Swipe Reader
 
Review of Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader

Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader

Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader

New Frontiers For Payments

If you own a retail store, a coffee shop, or run any other business, that involves a large number of on-the-spot transactions with your customers, you would definitely benefit from a mobile and versatile device to accept cashless payments. If you work in different locations and often far from the workplace, then you would need a compact and convenient device for easy transport. If on top of that you finally decided to offer your customers a possibility to pay with their mobile wallets, then you'll definitely find our next item, contactless and chip reader from Square, to be a real catch! A state-of-the-art contactless and chip reader will not only allow you to accept EMV and NFC payments but also it will not deny your customers the opportunity to pay the traditional way (as it comes in a set with a mini swipe reader, which can be plugged into an audio jack of your phone or tablet).

In a present-day fiercely competitive market environment, the success of your business will ultimately depend on how well you keep up with the pace of modern technological advances as well as on your ability to satisfy your customers' needs. If you ponder for a moment, people increasingly rely on their smartphones in managing their day-to-day lives - from daily correspondence to personal banking. Everything becomes easily accessible via your mobile device - all you need is just at your fingertips. It should come as no surprise to you that growing number of people start keeping their wallets in their smartphones! If you decided to stay abreast of new developments then buying such a phenomenal device as A-SKU-0113 will give you a head start! With this contactless and chip reader, you can spare your customers the need to carry around their wallets stuffed to the brim with cards or cash. Did they leave their wallets at home? – No problem! All they need is their smartphone, which is with them anywhere they go anyway.

Review of Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader

How It Works

Intrigued? We would like to give you more details on such an incredible device as A-SKU-0113 reader. Credit and debit cards are gaining a new look. The magnetic stripe we are all used to is on the way out. You definitely need a device such as this contactless and chip reader to process EMV transactions! As said earlier, besides reading any EMV bank cards equipped with a chip, this device accepts contactless payments via mobile phones. Payments have never been easier, quicker and more convenient! The NFC technology allows your customer’s smartphone to establish wireless communication with the reader when being in close proximity (usually a few inches or less) to the payment terminal. For such payments, the customers need to install digital wallet services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay and upload one or multiple cards to their device. To initiate the payment your customer needs only to hold the device up to the reader and verify the transaction by scanning his fingerprint. It all takes only a few seconds for two devices to pass the encrypted information back and forth to each other at an incredible speed to complete the payment.

Besides accepting NFC payments and EMV chip cards, Square contactless and chip reader comes in a set with a mini magstripe reader which allows you to accept payments by swiping cards the old-fashioned way. Square stripe reader can be plugged into an audio jack of your phone or tablet. Contactless and chip reader, as well as a stripe mini-reader, are so compact in size that they may both fit perfectly into your pocket and can be carried around wherever you go.

You may run your business from your phone or tablet with free point-of-sale Square Register which is available for both iOS and Android platforms. The Register takes care itself of installing updates as soon as they are released. You can download this application by following one of these links: for iOS and Android

If you set your heart on buying the contactless and chip reader from Square you'll be delighted to know that there are no fixed fees, long-term commitments or monthly payments. Pay as you sell! Regardless whether you dip or tap, every purchase is charged a small transaction fee of 2.75%. For instance, if the customer pays $100, then your bank account will receive only $97.25.

Keep your nose to the wind and stay ahead of your competitors with Square contactless and chip reader. NFC technology is picking up steam and EMV chip cards are replacing good old magstripe cards as you read these lines.

Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader in the use

More Products to Consider

To keep your contactless and chip Reader in place, charged and always ready for quick and seamless payments, just slide it into a Square A-SKU-0120 Dock. The dock gives a home to your reader on your counter. With this Square Dock, your Square reader will always have a special spot on your countertop.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Square Contactless + Chip Reader for Apple Pay, Android Pay, NFC, and EMV - [Review]
Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader
Square A-SKU-0113 Contactless and Chip Reader
 
Review of Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

Easy Solution to Many Problems

We decided to explore another model from a reputable manufacturer of quality office equipment, Deftun. This model of the credit card reader and writer pleased us with its ease of use. The reader communicates with a host computer or laptop by using a USB cable and comes in a set with a full version of the ready-to-install reading and writing software. A small drawback is that the software is not compatible with Mac computers, but ordinary PC users of Windows XP/Vista/7 operating systems will definitely enjoy working with this versatile and highly functional device. 

Just like other models MSR605 reader and writer processes the information from the magnetic stripe when you swipe the card in one specified direction and is able to read or record any magnetic stripe card which complies with ISO formatting standards. It verifies the data on up to 3 tracks simultaneously in a single swipe. Besides reading and encoding data, this device can save to file or file to write, and even change passwords on cards! It offers reading and writing solutions both for High and Low Coercivity magstripe cards. Select HiCo or LoCo encoding circuitry on screen before swiping the card. As we discussed earlier, LoCo cards offer less durability and can be permanently damaged even after a brief contact with magnets. If you offer your clients cards for temporary use only, LoCo cards will do the job. However, if you want your magstripe cards to last then HiCo cards will be your best option. The operating life of this reader and writer exceeds impressive 1,000,000 card swipes regardless whether you read or write.

This reader and writer is furnished with the LED indicator that signals the operational status of the device. The green light indicates that the device is ready for use as well as notifies you when the transaction is completed successfully.

 

Review of Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader

Possible Applications

This reader and writer will suit anyone who wants to easily manage the magstripe cards of their clients or employees and effectively run their business. This device enjoys such broad application that whenever you think of using the magstripe card there will definitely be a need for this reader and writer. It can be unquestionably applied in financial banking for credit or debit bank cards. It can be used in retail to produce gift, discount or loyalty cards for the customers. It is ideal for producing magstripe cards to control access, recognize employee ID, collect data on employee's time or attendance. Besides, it is an excellent device for writing temporary ID cards for such events as conferences and exhibitions. Even if you work for a public or government organization this device will provide you with great service encoding magstripe cards for any purpose. No matter the intended use, MSR605 is sure to meet your needs and exceed your expectations!

Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader in the use

More Products to Consider

If you intend to encrypt your own cards, then you will surely need an embosser to engrave the numbers and identification on every card you produce.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Best Review of MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Card Reader Writer Encoder
Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader
Deftun MSR605 HiCo Magnetic Stripe Card Reader
 
Review of Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper

Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper

Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper

Always With You

Finally, the last but not the least device that we suggest for your consideration is a great mobile credit card reader from PayPal. It may seem inconspicuous but it is only on the outside. With its compact size, it offers an immense potential that will definitely exceed the expectations of many users. Plug this device into an audio jack (standard size of 3.5 mm) on your phone or tablet and you are ready to accept payments even on the go.

The device reads standard magnetic stripe cards when you swipe the card manually through the reader. Note, that there won't be any long-term commitment, monthly fees or processing minimums. Pay only as you use the device with the servicing fee of just 2.7% per swipe. You can create your own payment account and manage it at your convenience, adding up to 1000 additional users if necessary. Provided software will help you manage and categorize your inventory list as well as generate customized sales reports by date, item, or salesperson.

The reader is perfectly compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. You can obtain the full list of compatible devices at the manufacturer's website. Software can be downloaded easily by following one of these links: for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile

Stay safe with PayPal, as it guarantees the increased security of the cardholder's data along with protection against fraud.

Review of Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper

Who Are the End Users?

If you are not sure this device is right for you, we will help you make up your mind! For starters, consider the following questions. Have you ever been in a situation when your customer had no cash on him to settle the bill? Have you ever thought that traditional card readers are no good as they offer little convenience in transport? Do you believe portable card readers quickly run out of steam and charging is an issue? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions then you are sure to find this super lightweight and compact mobile card reader indispensable in your work. Slip the reader into your pocket and travel with ease and convenience wherever you need.

So, who could be the end users of this super handy device? This reader will definitely suit people with a dynamic lifestyle. If you are an entrepreneur, merchant, dealer or a contractor who is always on the move providing services or delivering goods to your customers at their locations, you will definitely benefit from the portability of this mobile device. Just slip it into your pocket and forget about it until your customer asks for a cashless payment. The device will absolutely suit insurance, sales, or travel agents, couriers and taxi drivers allowing them to accept any payments on the spot.

Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper in the use

More Products to Consider

If you need to keep your money safe or need a special case for their transport, we suggest buying First Alert 3026F Deluxe Cash Box with Money Tray.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Using PayPal Here Mobile Credit Card Reader
Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper
Paypal Mobile Credit Card Reader/Swiper
 
Sources:

1. How to Choose the Right Credit Card Terminal, TransFirst.

2. Sara Angeles How to Accept Credit Cards Online, In-Store or Anywhere, Business News Daily. March 9, 2016.

3. Christopher Alexander How to Choose the Best Credit Card Reader for Your Business, Business 2 Community. July 11, 2016.

4. Steve Nicastro How to Choose a Credit Card Processing Company, Nerdwallet. May 8, 2015.

5. Credit Card Processing Basics, Intuit.  

6. The Ultimate NFC Guide, Square.

7. How Do Credit Card Readers Work? Square

8. Kiona Smith-Strickland Everything You Should Know About the New EMV Chip Credit Card Payment System, Gizmodo. October 1, 2015.

9. Hal Bundrick Credit Card Processing Explained and Mobile Readers Reviewed, The Simple Dollar. September 11, 2014.

10. Mobile Payment, Wikipedia. December 11, 2016.