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There’s a saying, “Cash is king.” Well, we aren’t so sure about that anymore. Look in your wallet right now — how much physical cash do you have on you? It’s obvious that cards have taken over as the preferred transaction tool for any sort of purchase. With that in mind, how do small businesses survive in a world where cash is becoming rarer and rarer? Mobile credit card readers bring small businesses or whatever service or product you are selling into the modern world where cards are king.
Mobile credit card readers are an incredible tool for any merchant who sells products or services. Let’s say you clean carpets for a living. You can provide your service, plug the mobile card reader directly into your phone via headphone jack or your iPhone’s lightning port and take payment right then and there. All you need is a mobile card reader, your phone and a smartphone app and you’re all set. What a world.
What Else Should I Know About Mobile Card Readers
There are essentially three types of mobile card readers available today:
- Magstripe readers
- EMV chip card readers
- Mobile wallets
Magstripe readers are your classic case of sliding the magnetic strip on your credit card through the slider to pay. As we all know, technology moves at an incredible rate, and even this style of card reader is becoming less common because of the potential for credit card fraud. These will obviously work with any credit card, but EVM chip readers are becoming the standard.
EMV chip readers are a far more secure way for both the merchant to receive payment and for the customer to protect themselves from fraud. EMV chip readers are those mobile credit card readers that allow you to insert your card into the device and it reads the chip inside of your card for payment. This is a much more secure method of payment and can protect both parties, especially the merchant who may be responsible for stolen credit card information if they don’t use an EMV chip reader.
Mobile wallets are essentially the next step in the evolution. Many people are leaving their wallets at home and choosing to pay with contactless payment on their phones or smartwatches. These mobile wallets use NFC to receive contactless payment. Not only is this a speedy way to pay for products and services, but you also don’t have to touch anything which feels more important post-2020.
What Are The Best Mobile Card Readers
In the mobile payment world, Square sits on the throne providing many options for your business. But there are a handful of other options from companies like Paypal and Shopify that provide convenient and safe mobile payment receivers.
Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best mobile card readers.
1. Square Terminal
The Square Terminal is a robust payment-taking option, but not quite as portable as the Square options that plug into your phone. That being said, this is a more versatile and secure payment capturing tool with swipe, chip and contactless payment. It prints receipts straight from the terminal for your customers and you can receive bank payouts in a single business day.
2. Square Reader for Magstripe
PHONES WITH HEADPHONE JACK
This mobile card reader fits in your pocket and conveniently plugs into your phone’s headphone jack. It accepts all major credit and debit cards as customers swipe the mag strip on their card for payment. Fees include 2.6% + $0.10 for every swipe. Pair this is the Square Point of Sale app and you can see a complete transaction history of all your sales.
3. Square Reader for iPhone
BEST FOR IPHONE
New iPhone users will happily pay the extra $3 to use this Square mobile card reader since it provides the capability to plug the card reader into the lighting port instead of the headphone jack. All of the same processing fees and payment processing applies from the headphone jack Square card reader. The only real difference is the initial price and how it connects to your phone.
4. Payanywhere Card Reader
NO PROCESSING FEES
There are plenty of small businesses that don’t want to deal with mobile card reader processing fees. Payanywhere offers a monthly rate of $9.95 for services. Depending on the size of your business, it could be cheaper to go with this monthly rate. You’ll need to set up an account with SWYFTPAY, but then you receive the benefits of a mobile card reader that can read magstripes, EMV and contactless payments. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket.
5. Shopify Card & Swipe Reader
Admittedly, it can be a little annoying to constantly plug mobile card readers into your phone and then unplugging them when you don’t need them. The Shopify Card & Swipe Reader connects to your mobile phone or integrates with your POS system via Bluetooth, so you don’t need to physically connect anything to your phone. Customers can swipe their cards or have the chips read for extra protection. You can even capture signatures using the Shopify POS.
6. Paypal Chip and Swipe Reader
GREAT FOR RECORD KEEPING
This slim and convenient mobile credit card reader is great for on-the-go service and product providers. It weighs less than two ounces and is slim enough to conveniently fit in your pocket. The mobile card reader accepts chip and swipe card payments, but in conjunction with the mobile app, you can even send invoices and record cash transactions.