Best Credit Card Readers For Your Business

As a business owner, you may find yourself shopping around for modern credit card readers that not only help your revenue generation but also provide an all-around better customer experience.

Here are the best credit card readers of the year and how Stax terminals compare to other merchant service providers.

When it comes to finding the best credit card reader for your business, there are several factors to consider. As a business owner, you want a credit card reader that seamlessly integrates into your operations and enhances your ability to accept credit card payments.

Selecting the right credit card reader will help reduce your processing costs and increase your profits.  Finding a merchant services provider that can do everything in one platform is also appealing.

Table of Contents

Contactless Payment Limits and Capabilities

Contactless payments are gaining popularity due to their speed and convenience. However, it’s essential to understand the contactless payment limits and capabilities of your credit card reader. Some devices may have transaction amount limits for contactless payments, which can vary depending on the payment provider or country. Being aware of these limits will help you manage customer expectations and cater to their preferences effectively.

Learn More

NFC Technology: Enabling contactless payments

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology plays a vital role in enabling contactless payments. Confirm that your credit card reader supports NFC to allow customers to make secure payments by tapping their cards or mobile devices. Embracing NFC technology broadens your payment options and enhances the overall customer experience.

Multi-Currency Support: Expanding your global reach

For businesses serving an international clientele, multi-currency support is a valuable feature. Ensure that your credit card reader can handle various currencies, facilitating smooth transactions for customers worldwide. Multi-currency support can help you expand your global reach and cater to a diverse customer base.

Upgrade and Scalability: Future-proofing your investment

As your business grows, you may require additional features and capabilities. Look for a credit card reader that offers upgrade options and scalability to accommodate your evolving needs. Future-proofing your investment will save you the hassle of switching to a new system as your business expands.

Understanding Monthly Fees with Credit Card Readers

When it comes to credit card readers, one of the critical aspects that businesses need to consider is the monthly fees associated with their payment processing solution. Monthly fees are charges that businesses pay regularly to the payment processor or merchant services provider to maintain access to the credit card reader’s services and features. These fees are essential to understand as they can have a significant impact on your overall payment processing costs and profitability.

Types of Monthly Fees

There are several types of monthly fees that businesses may encounter when using credit card readers:

Monthly Subscription Fee

This is a fixed fee that businesses pay on a monthly basis to access the payment processing service. It usually covers the basic features and functionality of the credit card reader and is essential for businesses that process transactions regularly.

Transaction Volume Fee

Some credit card reader providers may charge a monthly fee based on the number of transactions processed during the month. This fee can vary depending on the provider and the volume of transactions, so it’s essential to understand how it will impact your overall costs.

Service and Support Fee

Some credit card reader providers may include a service and support fee in their monthly fees. This fee ensures that businesses have access to customer support and assistance for any technical issues or inquiries related to their credit card reader.

Additional Feature Fee

If you require access to specific advanced features or additional services beyond the basic package, you may encounter additional feature fees in your monthly fees. These fees are typically optional and depend on your business needs.

Evaluating Monthly Fees

When choosing a credit card reader for your business, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the monthly fees and consider how they align with your budget and payment processing needs. Here are some tips for evaluating monthly fees:

Transparent Pricing

Look for credit card reader providers that offer transparent pricing, clearly outlining the different types of monthly fees and their respective costs. Avoid providers with hidden fees or unclear pricing structures.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Consider the value you receive from the credit card reader services in relation to the monthly fees. Evaluate the features, security, customer support, and overall performance of the credit card reader to determine if the fees are justified.


If your business is growing, consider the scalability of the monthly fees. Look for a credit card reader provider that offers flexible pricing plans and can accommodate your evolving business needs without significant increases in fees.

Bundled Packages

Some credit card reader providers offer bundled packages that include various services and features at a discounted monthly fee. Assess these packages to determine if they align with your business requirements and can help you save on overall costs.

Choosing the Right Credit Card Reader

After evaluating the factors mentioned above, you’ll be well-equipped to find a top-notch credit card reader that aligns with your business needs and empowers you to accept credit card payments with confidence. Embracing the right card reader will not only enhance your payment processing efficiency but also contribute to an overall positive customer experience, making it a win-win for your business.

When narrowing down your choices, don’t hesitate to seek recommendations and reviews from fellow business owners. Their real-world experiences with different card reader options can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision. Online forums, social media groups, and industry-specific communities are excellent places to connect with other entrepreneurs and gather first-hand feedback.

Finding the perfect credit card reader for your small business requires a thoughtful evaluation of various factors. By considering your business needs, fees, security features, and customer feedback, you can identify the best fit for your payment processing requirements. Remember to prioritize credit card compatibility, particularly with chip cards, to ensure a secure and reliable payment experience.

If you’re on a budget, exploring options for a free card reader can be a cost-effective solution. With the right credit card reader in hand and a solid understanding of its functionalities, you’ll be well-positioned to elevate your small business and provide top-notch service to your customers.

Understand Your Needs

Begin by assessing your business requirements. Consider factors such as the volume of transactions, the type of business you operate, and whether you need a mobile or countertop card reader. Understanding your specific needs will guide you towards choosing the most suitable credit card reader.

Research Different Options

There is a wide array of credit card readers available, so take your time to research the options. Look for reviews, compare features, and examine the pricing models. Many providers offer tailored solutions for small business owners, including specialized small business card readers that cater to your unique needs.

Cost and Fees

It’s essential to analyze the pricing structures and monthly fees associated with each card reader. Look beyond the initial cost and consider any transaction fees, setup charges, or hidden costs that might impact your budget over time. Choose a card reader with transparent and competitive pricing.

Payment Options

Ensure the card reader you select can accept a variety of payment options. Apart from credit cards, customers might prefer using mobile wallets or contactless payment methods. Having a versatile card reader that supports multiple payment methods will cater to a broader customer base.

Security Features

Security is paramount when dealing with financial transactions. Look for a credit card reader that prioritizes data security with features like encryption technology and compliance with industry standards. Trust and peace of mind for both you and your customers are crucial.

Ease of Use

As a small business owner, you want a card reader that’s easy to set up and operate. User-friendly interfaces and straightforward setup procedures can save you time and minimize headaches in the long run.

Customer Support

Consider the level of customer support provided by the card reader provider. In case of any issues or questions, having reliable customer support can make all the difference in getting things resolved quickly.


Ensure that the credit card reader is compatible with your existing devices, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or POS system. Seamless integration will streamline your payment processing experience.

Integration with Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems: Streamlining your operations

Integrating your credit card reader with a compatible POS system can significantly streamline your operations. A seamless integration allows for easy inventory management, automated sales reporting, and simplified reconciliation of transactions. It enhances efficiency, reduces manual errors, and saves time, making it a valuable feature for businesses seeking comprehensive payment solutions.

EMV Compliance: Protecting against fraud

EMV compliance is crucial for safeguarding your business against potential fraudulent activities. EMV technology, also known as chip card technology, provides an extra layer of security by generating a unique transaction code for each payment. Ensuring that your credit card reader is EMV compliant will protect your business and customers from the risk of card-present fraud.

Portable vs. Stationary: Addressing your business’s mobility needs

Consider whether you require a portable credit card reader for accepting payments on the go or a stationary one for a fixed checkout location. Portable readers are excellent for businesses attending events, offering delivery services, or frequently changing their point of sale. Stationary readers, on the other hand, are more suitable for businesses with a permanent storefront. Weigh the pros and cons to find the best fit for your business model.

Customizable Features: Tailoring the payment experience

Some credit card readers offer customizable features that allow you to tailor the payment experience to your business’s brand and needs. Look for options to personalize receipt details, add a logo, or offer promotional messages during the checkout process. Customizable features can elevate your brand and leave a lasting impression on your customers.

Traditional Countertop Credit Card Readers

Countertop terminals are the most commonly used payment processing terminals. They are best suited for retail stores with checkout counters, restaurants, salons, and healthcare facilities that have a designated area for processing transactions. Costs for traditional payment terminals can range from just under $100 to $350 and above.

Countertop credit card terminals allow you to swipe your customers’ credit cards through a card reader to process the transaction. If you want to add a PIN pad you can also process debit cards and EBT cards.

For traditional retail terminals, Stax offers Clover POS systems.

Mobile Credit Card Reader vs. Countertop Card Reader: Which is right for your business?

Choosing between a mobile credit card reader and a countertop card reader depends on your business’s nature and requirements. A mobile credit card reader offers the flexibility to accept payments on the go, making it ideal for businesses with a mobile or delivery-based setup. On the other hand, countertop card readers are more suitable for brick-and-mortar stores with a fixed checkout location. Assessing your business operations will help determine which type of card reader suits your needs best.

RELATED: Choosing a Credit Card Reader for Your Business

Mobile Payment Processors

Mobile merchant services are a great option for businesses on the go. These terminals offer an alternative to invoicing your customers and waiting for payments. With a mobile credit card reader, you can process payments as soon as services have been rendered.

Stax Mobile App

With absolutely no additional equipment to purchase, all a merchant has to do is download the app on their mobile device, activate the application, and start processing. This mobile payment processing solution is compatible with iPhone and Android, and it’s supported by all major wireless providers.

Clover and Dejavoo Terminals Through Stax

Stax also offers the latest Clover POS options and Dejavoo QD2 and QD4 devices.

Whether you’re looking for a device that integrates seamlessly with our API or a standalone terminal to be used independently (via an authorized gateway or certified terminal). Stax has solutions for every business– swipe, dip, or tap and accept Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Square Mobile Terminal

The Square contactless mobile reader is $49 when you set up a business account. While the reader itself is cheaper than the Stax mobile credit card reader, the overall quality and cost per swipe more than pays for the initial upfront cost of the swiper. Businesses with higher risks of chargebacks and higher ticket prices should choose an EMV compliant reader for better protection from fraud and chargebacks.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payment options can help you increase sales by giving access to new customers. Wireless terminals offer flexibility and reduce operating expenses, saving you time. You can process payments wherever and whenever you need to with the same security, flexibility, and reliability as any other processing solution.

Now is the perfect time to add contactless payment solutions to your business. Having all the tools and features your business needs under one platform helps eliminate added costs that result from using multiple payment processing providers.


In the world of modern commerce, the integration of cutting-edge technology, such as contactless credit card readers, has transformed the way businesses process payments. The convenience and flexibility offered by these wireless credit card readers are second to none, helping enterprises save valuable time and reduce operating expenses. With the added advantage of processing payments securely wherever and whenever needed, businesses can ensure a seamless and reliable payment experience for their customers.

One of the key highlights of adopting contactless credit card readers is their ability to facilitate swift and secure contactless payments. Customers can now tap their credit cards or even use their smartphones, including popular solutions like Apple Pay, to complete transactions with unparalleled ease. The efficiency of these credit card readers is unrivaled, enabling swift checkouts and minimizing potential errors associated with traditional payment methods.

Embracing contactless payments through advanced technology like contactless credit card readers offers businesses many advantages beyond streamlined payment processing. By integrating these efficient solutions, businesses can significantly reduce operating costs, as they eliminate the need for multiple payment processing providers. Consolidating payment solutions under one platform not only enhances efficiency but also ensures seamless management and tracking of financial transactions, all within the capabilities of a single credit card reader.

As cash transactions become less common, contactless credit card readers start to become a crucial asset for businesses. These readers enable enterprises to adapt to the preferences of consumers, who are increasingly becoming inclined towards digital and contactless payment methods. By meeting the expectations of your customers and providing a hassle-free payment experience, businesses gain a competitive edge and foster customer loyalty, all facilitated by the user-friendly features of the credit card reader.

Businesses looking to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape can capitalize on the popularity of contactless payments. By embracing wireless credit card readers, companies can cater to the growing demand for quick, secure, and convenient payment options. The versatility of these readers allows businesses to process credit card payments on the go, making them ideal for pop-up shops, food trucks, and various events.


Security is of utmost importance when it comes to payment processing, and contactless credit card readers are no exception. These advanced readers incorporate robust encryption technology, ensuring the utmost protection of sensitive credit card data throughout the payment journey. This level of security fosters trust and confidence in both customers and businesses alike.

Security is an essential aspect of payment processing, and it becomes even more critical in the context of contactless payments. With the rising popularity of contactless transactions, ensuring the safety of sensitive credit card data is paramount for businesses. The advanced technology embedded in contactless credit card readers plays a crucial role in bolstering security throughout the payment journey.


Moreover, the convenience factor of mobile credit card readers takes payment options to a whole new level. These devices enable on-the-go payment processing, making them invaluable for businesses with mobile operations, such as food trucks, pop-up shops, and delivery services. Offering customers the ability to make payments with their cards wherever they are enhances customer satisfaction and increases sales opportunities, all made possible through the integration of mobile credit card readers.

The seamless adoption of contactless payments not only benefits businesses but also enhances the overall payment experience for customers. With quick and secure transactions facilitated by the credit card reader, customers can enjoy a hassle-free checkout process, reducing wait times and enhancing satisfaction. This positive experience can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, further driving growth for the business.

Advantages of Contactless Payments

The advantages of implementing contactless credit card readers extend beyond streamlined payment processing. By embracing such technology, businesses can significantly reduce operating costs, as they eliminate the need for multiple payment processing providers. Consolidating payment solutions under one platform not only enhances efficiency but also ensures seamless management and tracking of financial transactions.

In the ever-evolving digital age, where cash transactions are becoming less common, contactless credit card readers are a crucial asset for businesses. Embracing these readers allows enterprises to adapt to the preferences of tech-savvy consumers, who are increasingly inclined towards digital and contactless payment methods. By meeting customers’ expectations and providing a hassle-free payment experience, businesses can gain a competitive edge and foster customer loyalty.

With the convenience, flexibility, and security offered by contactless credit card readers, you can elevate your business to new heights, improve customer satisfaction, and future-proof your payment processing capabilities. Say hello to the era of seamless transactions and embrace the power of contactless credit card readers for your business today.

Mobile Card Readers

Mobile card readers are an innovative solution that’s revolutionizing how businesses handle payments. With a mobile card reader, you gain the flexibility to process payments wherever and whenever you need, all through one convenient credit card reader.

Imagine this: you connect the credit card reader to your smartphone or tablet, and voilà! You now have a secure and reliable payment terminal in the palm of your hand. Say goodbye to cumbersome machines and hello to streamlined payment processing.

What’s more, mobile card readers offer unparalleled freedom. Whether you operate a food truck, handle deliveries, or set up shop at events, these portable devices enable you to accept payments on the move. Gone are the days of cash-only sales – the mobile card reader empowers you to embrace a wider range of payment options.

Setting up these devices is a breeze. They boast user-friendly designs, making it simple for businesses of all sizes to get started. Whether you’re a small startup or an established enterprise, mobile card readers seamlessly integrate into your payment infrastructure.

Square Reader

The Square Reader is a compact and portable mobile card reader offered by Square, Inc., designed to provide businesses with a seamless and convenient way to accept credit and debit card payments. Whether you run a small retail shop, a food truck, or a service-based business, the Square Reader empowers you to process transactions on the go, turning your smartphone or tablet into a secure and efficient payment terminal.

Benefits of the Square Reader

Ease of Use: The Square Reader is easy to use for newer businesses, requiring minimal setup and no complicated technical knowledge. Simply plug the reader into your mobile device’s audio jack or Lightning port (for newer iPhones), and you’re ready to start accepting payments.

Support for Chip Cards and Contactless Payments: The Square Reader supports both chip cards and contactless payments, ensuring you can accommodate customers who prefer the added security of chip technology or the convenience of contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Affordable Pricing: Square offers a free credit card reader to get you started, allowing you to jump right into mobile credit card processing without any upfront costs. Additionally, Square’s processing fees are transparent and competitive, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.

How the Square Reader Works

Using the Square Reader is as simple as it gets. Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:

Plug and Play: Connect the Square Reader to your mobile device’s audio jack or Lightning port. For newer iPhones without a headphone jack, Square offers a Lightning connector model that ensures compatibility.

Swipe or Dip: When a customer is ready to pay, simply swipe their card through the reader or have them insert their chip card into the chip card slot. Alternatively, you can also accept contactless payments by having the customer tap their card or mobile device on the Square Reader.

Secure Transactions: All transactions processed through the Square Reader are encrypted and adhere to industry-standard security protocols, ensuring the protection of sensitive card data.

Expanding Your Business with Mobile Credit Card Processing

The Square Reader opens up opportunities for businesses to embrace mobile credit card processing and expand their reach. Here are some ways the Square Reader can benefit your business:

Increased Sales Flexibility: With the Square Reader, you can accept payments anytime and anywhere, which is especially advantageous for businesses that operate at events, fairs, or outdoor markets.

Enhanced Customer Experience: Customers appreciate the convenience of paying with their cards, especially when it’s contactless. The Square Reader enables a faster and smoother checkout experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Real-Time Sales Tracking: The Square app provides real-time sales tracking, inventory management, and detailed analytics, empowering you to make informed business decisions on the fly.

On-the-Go Invoicing: The Square Reader allows you to generate and send invoices directly from your mobile device, making it convenient for businesses that offer services or take orders remotely.

In Comparison: Stax Platform vs Paypal Virtual Terminal

Only available through the PayPal Payments Pro solution, the PayPal Virtual Terminal allows merchants to accept payments virtually anywhere they have Internet access, with no card swipe or software to install, and is ideal for merchants who receive orders by phone, fax, or face to face.

Stax’s state-of-the-art payments platform provides powerful solutions catered to your business needs. You can also Integration into apps such as QuickBooks Online, providing you with access to a single platform that can help you manage your payments online, from any device, at any time, anywhere.

Stax Pay Pricing:

For Businesses Processing Up to $500,000 Annually

Keyed: $0.15 per transaction and direct interchange

PayPal processing fees: 

Keyed: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction

Stax vs other Merchant Services Providers

Every cent counts towards improving your business operations. This is why Stax’s credit card readers provide optimized payment processing solutions and best-in-class support without costing your business a fortune.

To learn more about Stax payment processing services reach out to us for a free consultation today. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have and help you make use of our powerful all-in-one payments platform.

You Might Also Like: How Restaurant Supply Companies Can Improve Sales with a Credit Card Reader

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FAQs about Credit Card Readers

Q: What is a credit card reader, and how does it work?

A credit card reader is a device used by businesses to accept credit and debit card payments from customers. It works by reading the information encoded in the magnetic stripe or chip of the card. Once the reader captures the data, it securely transmits it to the payment processor for authorization. The funds are then transferred from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account, completing the payment process.

Q: Are credit card readers secure for processing payments?

Yes, modern credit card readers are designed with robust security features to protect sensitive financial data. They utilize advanced encryption technology to safeguard credit card information during transmission, making it difficult for unauthorized individuals to access or misuse the data. Additionally, many credit card readers comply with industry standards like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), further enhancing security.

Q: What types of payments can credit card readers accept?

Credit card readers can accept various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets. Most modern readers support contactless payments, allowing customers to pay by tapping their cards or using mobile payment services like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Accepting multiple payment options improves customer convenience and enhances the overall payment experience.

Q: Are there any monthly fees associated with using a credit card reader?

Yes, some credit card reader providers may charge monthly fees for their services. The fees can vary depending on the provider and the type of plan you choose. It’s essential to carefully review the pricing structure, including any additional transaction fees, to understand the total cost of using the credit card reader.

Q: Can I use a mobile credit card reader for my business?

Absolutely! Mobile credit card readers are a popular choice for businesses that need flexibility in payment processing. These portable devices can be connected to smartphones or tablets, turning them into secure payment terminals. Mobile credit card readers are perfect for businesses on the move, such as food trucks, pop-up shops, and delivery services, providing a convenient payment solution for both businesses and customers.

Q: Can credit card readers accept contactless payments?

Yes, many modern credit card readers are equipped to handle contactless payments. Contactless technology allows customers to make secure payments by simply tapping their cards or mobile devices on the reader. It’s a quick and convenient way to complete transactions, providing a seamless payment experience for both customers and businesses.