You need a mobile credit card reader to avoid losing out on customers carrying only credit and debit cards because many people go without cash. Smart business owners invest in mobile credit card processing because clients are getting more tech-enabled and starting to expect them to accept all credit cards and digital money.
So what are the best mobile card readers? Read on to find out.
Most payment options: PayPal here
If your business has both a large online and in-person presence, the PayPal Here mobile card reader and mPOS app are a great option. You’ll pay $15 for a basic PayPal Here swipe reader. You can buy a $25 EMV reader or $60 NFC reader to accept chip or contactless payments. There’s a really great low-cost option – a $79 three-in-one reader. All three of these products are Bluetooth enabled, which means you can accept payments from anywhere.
With PayPal Here, you can accept checks through the mobile Android, iPhone, or Windows app. And of course vendors, customers, and anyone else can use their own PayPal accounts to send and receive funds. PayPal Here doesn’t have next-day funding out of the gate, but there is an alternate solution you can choose. You can get your payments as quickly as one business day if you sign up for the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard.
Most recognizable reader: Square
There’s a good reason the Square reader and iPhone or Android mobile app are the most recognizable and popular mobile card reader. For a free and easy-to-set-up reader, low and simple fees, and funding as fast as one day, Square is the best for small businesses who need a cost-effective, quick, and user-friendly way to accept credit card payments on the go.
This system gives you a free card swipe reader and access to the free Square mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) app. This POS system’s fees are the simplest. It’s just a flat 2.75% for all swiped credit card transactions without monthly fees or extra per-transaction fees.
Square works on iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices and accepts all major credit cards, including American Express. You need to buy their adapter for newer iOS devices without a headphone jack. The mPOS service includes access for multiple users, inventory management, personalized email receipts, and a simple tipping interface for retail and service businesses that accept them.
Best for modern pop-ups: Shopify
An increasingly trendy way to run a business, pop-up shops allow online small-business owners to try out in-person sales, a new revenue stream. If you’re one of the myriads of online retailers selling clothes, art, or jewelry, setting up a kiosk or booth could boost your brand and your profits. Enter Shopify. This platform has consistently offered retailers a place to sell their goods online and also offers an in-person sales solution.
Shopify’s robust online store, mobile app, and mobile card readers will let you sell products and processing payments wherever your customers are. The basic plan of Shopify’s POS service starts at $29 per month, which includes up to two users, retail reports, shipping label support, and a free swipe card reader.
Compared to other brands, Shopify is slightly costlier, but for occasional in-person sales, it’s a good investment. Actually, it’s better than most. Moreover, you can lower your fees by buying more advanced plans.
For example, the fees for the $79 per month plan are only 2.5%. This plan is super affordable if you plan to expand your physical retail presence and set up a more permanent store.
Best if you use QuickBooks: GoPayment
Coming to you from the giant Intuit, a financial software corporation, QuickBooks GoPayment is the best mobile card reader for businesses already using QuickBooks sales and accounting software. There are two ways to get started with GoPayment.
The first is the monthly payment option, which costs $20 per month, but transaction costs are just 1.6% plus $0.25 per swipe. The second option doesn’t require a monthly fee or subscription, but it charges you 2.4% plus $0.25 per transaction swipe. If your business does a lot of small-value transactions, those per-transaction fees can become expensive.
The first option is more lucrative particularly if your transactions tend to be in the $80 range.
Of course, the biggest advantage to the GoPayment reader and app is its compatibility with Intuit’s QuickBooks software. A lot of companies use QuickBooks to manage sales, payroll, inventory, and other functions, so it’s a major plus to be able to integrate your mPOS system with the accounting software.
On the downside, GoPayment doesn’t have the fastest funding time. You might have to wait up to 5 business days to get a deposit. However, its QuickBooks integration might make up for the funding delay because all transactions are recorded and synced with your bookkeeping software automatically.
Lowest transaction fees: PayAnywhere
The cheapest of all the readers reviewed here is PayAnywhere. The transaction fees are unbelievably low. What is more, you avail of next-day funding. You also get a free PayAnywhere credit card reader and are not charged any monthly subscription fees at all. So what is the transaction fee? Just 2.69% per transaction – the basic package. Our previous choice does offer a lower 2.4% rate for its basic QuickBooks GoPayment plan, but you’ll be charged an extra $0.25 for each GoPayment transaction. Those per-transaction fees could add up if your business will be taking a large volume of mobile payments.
For example, you’d pay $403.50 in PayAnywhere transaction fees if you did 1,000 transactions at $5 each in one month. GoPayment would leave you with $1,110 in fees. That’s really not the same!
Your transaction costs drop even more if you sign up for the PayAnywhere Storefront monthly subscription – just 1.69% per swipe. This plan, which costs $13.95 per month, lets you rent an EMV-enabled stand, touchscreen tablet terminal, a cash drawer, and receipt printer.
The PayAnywhere app’s mPOS services also include inventory management, personalized receipts, customer purchase reporting, multilingual customer support, and online resources —all at no extra cost.
Thank you for reading our review of the best card readers. We hope we’ve been helpful!