What To Look For In A Card Reader

Card readers are essential to a wide range of businesses. These devices enable companies to process credit and debit card transactions easily and quickly.

As an entrepreneur who is running a physical retail store, a card reader can be an essential payment feature.

It’s crucial that you pick the right card reader that suits your business needs.

In order to make the right decision, here’s everything you need to know about a card reader as well as the considerations when looking for such a device.

What is a Card Reader?

In its simplest terms, a card reader refers to a security device which reads the information contained on a credit or debit card’s microchip.

It’s typically battery-powered, and there’s no need for it to be attached on a computer.

Primarily, both businesses and consumers can benefit from card readers.

These devices make it possible for companies to provide goods and services and for customers to make purchases using credit or debit card payments.

The card reader will decode the information on the card and send the info to the payment processor.

Then, the processor will verify if there’s adequate funds to finish the transaction.

cart reader

What Should You Consider When Choosing A Card Reader?

If you’re wondering how to get a card reader for your business, the process is typically simple if you know what you need.

Selecting the right device is crucial for your business.

If you pick the wrong card reader, it may cost an unnecessary fortune for your business such as missed sales, additional service hours, and many more.

To know which option is best suited to your business needs, below are the things to look for in a card reader:

1. Pricing

This is one of the critical factors to consider when looking for a card reader.

When it comes to pricing, you need to take the fixed and variable elements into account.

Fixed costs, for instance, are those costs that remain consistent each month regardless of the volume of transactions completed.

Variable costs, on the other hand, are those which change depending on the volume of sales.

Typically, when variable costs are higher, the fixed costs are low.

Given this setup, determine how much volume your business plans to process and their corresponding fees before you choose a card reader.

2. Type of Card Reader

There are many available card readers today.

Depending on the nature of your business, below are the types of card readers you can get for card payments:

Mobile Card Reader - Thanks to technological innovations nowadays you can use a card reader that offers a mobile payment solution. If you’re doing business in the field or trade shows, mobile card readers can be essential as they work well with mobile devices.

These devices can be easily plugged into a smartphone and connect with the payment software to process payments. With mobile swiping, you’ll get paid quickly, and you can offer a better experience for your customers.

If you think about using these devices, specifically the famous square card reader, read some online reviews before you make your selection.

Countertop Card Reader - If you’re running a physical store, you should look for a countertop card reader. This device is usually plugged into an electric socket to operate. As it allows you to take card payments face to face, a countertop card reader is perfect for retailers, shops, and other businesses with a reception area.

Portable Card Reader - When you operate a restaurant, bar, and other related businesses, using a portable card reader can be the best option. It’s lightweight and small, making it possible for you to take it directly to the customer. Moreover, the charging base of the portable card reader can be left at the counter while you can bring the handset with you.

3. Security Features

With the increasing number of card fraud nowadays, another thing to look for in a card reader is its security features. Make sure the device performs better business transaction security to prevent possibilities of fraud and theft.

For example, check how the card reader reads. The best devices use cryptographic processing that enables powerful validation and authentication of payments.

In other words, determine if the entire process is strongly encrypted that will protect your customers against thieves and hackers.

Why Should You Use A Card Reader?

If you’re running a business, you may need to consider using credit or debit cards in your payment methods to help you stay ahead of the competition.

With the advent of modern technology, a lot of your competition has set up card payments.

After all, more customers have started paying by card too.

Below are the reasons why using a card reader can benefit your business.

Convenience - Again, a card reader allows you to process credit or debit card payments. With such a device in place, you can accommodate customers who expect to pay by card. Plus, you can encourage them to make purchases in your store without being limited to the cash available in their wallets.

Speed - Compared to accepting cash, taking payment by card is faster. With the help of a card reader, the next thing to do is for the customer to insert their card, enter their PIN, and the transaction is complete. By using a card reader, you can get the most out of quicker payments, which also means serving more people quickly.

Safety - When you use a card reader for card payments, you can minimize the possession of cash in your business premises and give rise to fewer opportunities for fraud or theft against your business. Moreover, most card readers these days are equipped with the latest security features which are beneficial for you and your customers’ protection.

Plenty of Options - There are many different card readers on the market. So, whatever business you operate, you can choose the perfect business for you. For example, you can use card readers for taking payments through GPRS or around the premises.

Flexibility - Using card readers comes with great flexibility. Even if you don’t have a physical address for your business, you can accommodate a card payment wherever you are through the use of a card reader.


If you’re ready to take the next step in your business’ payment infrastructure, keep this article in mind to help you get started.

With the evolution of technology, card readers will undoubtedly benefit your business in many ways.

As long you know what to look for in a card reader, then you have no reason to stick with the traditional methods of accepting payments.