Mobile Credit Card Readers

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology means consumers have more choices when it comes to how they pay. Whether you’re using a mobile card reader with your phone or a terminal, using mobile readers for your business transactions can streamline your payment process.

Mobile credit card readers offer your business a convenient way to take credit card payments without investing in an expensive POS system. You can also add additional mobile payment devices such as a smartphone or tablet to further optimize the customer experience at checkout.

Today, many businesses are transitioning to mobile and contactless payment options with the use of mobile credit card readers and full-featured POS apps as a result of their many advantages. With thousands of mobile credit card processing companies to choose from, finding the right fit for your business may seem daunting.

We’ve compared five well-known and well-used credit card processing companies offering mobile credit card reader services. If you don’t know which solution works best for your needs, here you’ll find the ultimate breakdown when comparing mobile credit card readers.

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Expanding Mobile Payment Options

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology has revolutionized the way consumers make payments and how businesses process payments. Gone are the days of being limited to cash transactions or traditional point-of-sale systems. Today, businesses have a plethora of options to accept credit and debit cards securely and efficiently.

Mobile credit card readers stand at the forefront of this transformation, offering businesses a convenient and cost-effective way to accept credit card payments. These portable devices can be easily integrated with smartphones or tablets, allowing businesses to process transactions on-the-go. By utilizing a mobile card reader provider, businesses can obtain not only the hardware but also the necessary software and support to seamlessly accept card payments.

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Streamlining Payment Processes with Full-Featured POS Apps

Alongside mobile credit card readers, businesses are embracing full-featured POS apps to further streamline their payment processes. These comprehensive applications offer a range of functionalities, from inventory management to customer relationship management, providing a holistic solution for modern businesses. Integrating mobile card readers with these apps allows merchants to centralize their operations, leading to increased efficiency and reduced chances of errors during transactions.

Choosing the Right Mobile Credit Card Processor

With many mobile credit card processing companies in the market, finding the right fit for your business can be difficult for new business owners. To make an informed decision, you should consider factors such as:

Transaction Fees: Compare the transaction fees offered by different providers to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rates that align with your business volume.

Free Credit Card Reader: Some providers offer free credit card reader options, which can be a cost-effective way to get started. However, be sure to review any associated fees or transaction costs to ensure it truly suits your business needs. Oftentimes these options are best for small businesses that are just starting out.

Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential, especially during critical moments. Choose a mobile credit card processor that provides prompt and efficient assistance to resolve any technical issues that may arise.

Compatibility: Ensure the chosen mobile card reader provider supports your existing hardware and mobile device operating system to avoid potential compatibility issues.

Security and Compliance: Prioritize providers that adhere to industry security standards and compliance regulations to safeguard sensitive customer data during credit card payments.

A Comparison of Mobile Credit Card Readers

To make the decision-making process simpler, it’s important to compare and contrast different mobile credit card readers. Look for reputable mobile credit card processor comparison guides that outline the pros and cons of each provider, including their pricing models, features, and customer reviews.

The landscape of payment processing has significantly evolved with the advent of mobile credit card readers and full-featured POS apps. These technologies have provided businesses with the flexibility, convenience, and security needed to adapt to modern payment preferences.

As the competition among mobile card reader providers continues to grow, businesses can take advantage of this thriving market to find the ideal solution that suits their needs and helps enhance the overall customer experience.

By making an informed decision and partnering with the right mobile credit card processor, businesses can stay at the forefront of the payment revolution and meet the demands of their customers.

The Advantages of Using Mobile Credit Card Readers for Businesses

The evolution of mobile credit card processing technology has brought about a myriad of benefits for businesses looking to optimize their payment processes. One of the most significant advantages of using mobile credit card readers is the increased flexibility and choice it offers to both merchants and customers.

Whether you prefer a standalone credit card reader device or a full-featured POS app, the options available cater to different business needs and budgets.

With mobile credit card readers, businesses can accept payments from virtually anywhere, breaking free from the constraints of traditional point-of-sale systems. This level of mobility allows for greater versatility, making it ideal for on-the-go businesses like food trucks, market vendors, or service providers who visit customers at their locations.

Moreover, integrating mobile card readers with a mobile device provides additional conveniences for both the business and its customers. For instance, businesses can use smartphones or tablets to manage inventory, generate digital receipts, and offer personalized customer service, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Cost-Effectiveness and Flexibility of Mobile Credit Card Readers

One of the primary concerns for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is the cost associated with payment processing solutions. Mobile credit card readers offer an attractive cost-effective alternative to investing in expensive POS systems.

Rather than paying substantial upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees, businesses can obtain affordable mobile card readers that charge minimal monthly fees or transaction-based pricing structures.

This cost-effectiveness, combined with the flexibility of mobile credit card readers, provides an appealing option for businesses seeking to accept credit card payments without breaking the bank.

Moreover, businesses can easily scale their payment capabilities by adding more mobile card reader devices or integrating them with their existing infrastructure, adapting to their evolving needs and growing customer base.

Embracing Mobile Payments

As more businesses recognize the advantages of using a mobile credit card reader and the growing trend of mobile and contactless payment options, the shift towards this payment revolution is becoming increasingly prevalent.

From small retailers to established enterprises, many businesses are now integrating a mobile card reader and mobile payment solutions into their operations.

The convenience, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced customer experience provided by mobile credit card readers are driving factors behind this transition.

As the technology continues to evolve, it’s likely that mobile credit card readers will become an even more integral part of the payment ecosystem, reshaping the way businesses and customers interact during transactions.

Embracing this mobile payment revolution is not just a business decision but also a strategic move to stay competitive and meet the evolving expectations of the modern consumer.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payments have revolutionized the way businesses accept credit cards and how customers make payments. This technology allows for fast, secure, and convenient transactions, making it an integral part of any mobile credit card reader.

How Contactless Payments Work with Mobile Credit Card Readers

Mobile credit card readers are small, portable devices that can be attached to a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. These readers are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling them to accept contactless payments from customers’ NFC-enabled cards or mobile wallets.

When a customer wants to make a purchase, they tap their NFC-enabled card or smartphone on the mobile card reader, and the transaction is completed within seconds. This seamless process eliminates the need for physical card swiping or manual entry, saving both the customer and the merchant valuable time.

Benefits of Accepting Contactless Payments with Mobile Card Readers

Speed and Efficiency: With contactless payments and mobile credit card readers, transactions become significantly faster. The quick tap-and-go process ensures shorter queues and reduces waiting times for customers, leading to improved overall customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Security: Mobile card readers that support contactless payments adhere to the same security standards as traditional chip-and-PIN transactions. Additionally, customers retain possession of their cards throughout the transaction, reducing the risk of card cloning or fraud.

Versatility and Mobility: Using a mobile credit card reader is ideal for businesses that operate on the go, such as food trucks, pop-up stores, or delivery services. The compact and wireless design of these readers allows merchants to accept payments anywhere with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

User-Friendly Interface: Integrating contactless payment capabilities into a mobile payment processing app can provide an intuitive and user-friendly interface for both customers and merchants. This helps streamline the payment process and minimizes the chances of user error.

Increasing Customer Adoption of Contactless Payments

As contactless payments become more widely accepted, customer demand for the convenience they offer is on the rise. Shoppers appreciate the ease of tapping their cards or phones to make purchases, without the hassle of carrying cash or searching for their wallets. Businesses that embrace mobile credit card readers and contactless payment technology position themselves favorably in the eyes of tech-savvy consumers.

Future Growth and Trends

The future of contactless payments and mobile credit card readers appears promising. As technology continues to evolve, these solutions will likely become even more secure, faster, and compatible with a broader range of devices.

With advancements in biometric authentication and increased integration with mobile wallets, the reliance on physical cards may decrease further, making contactless payments the preferred method of transaction for many consumers.

Contactless payments have transformed the payments landscape, and mobile credit card readers have played a significant role in enabling businesses to accept these convenient and secure payment methods.

Embracing this technology allows merchants to offer an enhanced customer experience, improve transaction speed, and stay ahead in the competitive marketplace. As consumer demand for fast and contactless transactions continues to grow, adopting mobile card readers and contactless payment capabilities will become a crucial aspect of modern business operations.

The Role of NFC (Near-Field Communication) Technology in Mobile Credit Card Readers

NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology plays a crucial role in enabling seamless and secure in-person payments through mobile credit card readers. This short-range wireless communication technology allows data transfer between an NFC-enabled mobile device and a compatible credit card reader within close proximity, typically a few centimeters.

Simplifying Contactless Payments

NFC technology is at the heart of popular mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. These mobile wallets allow users to store their credit card information securely on their smartphones, and with the help of NFC, they can make purchases by simply holding their phone near an NFC-equipped credit card reader. The transaction is swift and secure, offering an effortless payment experience for both customers and merchants.

Enhancing Security and Privacy

The use of NFC technology in mobile credit card readers ensures a high level of security during transactions. When a customer initiates a payment, the NFC-enabled device creates a one-time token, a unique encrypted code, that is sent to the credit card reader. This tokenized approach adds an extra layer of security as the actual credit card information is never shared during the transaction. As a result, sensitive card data is safeguarded from potential hackers, significantly reducing the risk of fraud or data breaches.

Compatibility with Mobile Devices

The widespread adoption of NFC technology in modern mobile devices has driven the popularity of mobile credit card readers that support contactless payments. Both Android and iOS devices come equipped with NFC capabilities, making it accessible to a broad range of users. This compatibility ensures that businesses can cater to a larger customer base, regardless of the type of device they use.

Expanding Payment Acceptance

For businesses, incorporating NFC technology into their payment process enables them to accept various mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, expanding their payment acceptance options. By offering customers the choice to pay with their preferred mobile wallet, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

Cost-Effective and Free Mobile Reader Options

With the increasing popularity of NFC-enabled payments, many payment processors offer free mobile readers that support NFC technology. These free mobile reader options are often compact and easy to use, making them an affordable and accessible solution for businesses of all sizes.

NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology has transformed the landscape of in-person payments and is a key driver behind the success of contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Its role in mobile credit card readers has made it possible for businesses to process payments securely and efficiently while enhancing the overall customer experience.

As NFC technology continues to evolve and gain traction, its integration with mobile devices and credit card readers is likely to become more prevalent, reshaping the way we interact with payments in the future. Businesses that embrace NFC technology and offer contactless payment options position themselves to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of mobile payments.

Stax Mobile Credit Card Readers

Stax offers EMV-compliant mobile credit card readers, ideal for merchants processing a higher volume (typically over $10,000 per month). You also have access to 0% markup processing compared to companies offering high flat rate percentages.

Stax contactless payment tools offer a robust series of features outside of accepting EMV transactions such as sending invoices, accessing business analytics, setting up recurring payments, and pulling up saved customer data anywhere in the world.

With the use of the Stax all-in-one payments platform, there are inventory capabilities for restaurants, bars, and retail locations to replace a traditional POS solution. Stax mobile card reader solution works for every business type needing to accept payments on the go.

How to Choose the Best Card Readers for Your Business

Stax Payment Pricing

Stax offers the industry’s first subscription-based pricing model with pricing plans starting at $99/month. How much you’re paying for credit card processing depends on your payment solutions provider. Many payment processors like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and bank merchant services offer flat-rate processing. Some others, including Stax, offer subscription-style processing that gives you access to the lowest rates of interchange.

Interchange Fees

Interchange fees are transaction fees charged by card-issuing banks to the merchant’s acquiring bank for processing credit and debit card payments. These fees are a crucial part of the payment ecosystem, as they facilitate the transfer of funds between financial institutions involved in a card transaction. In other words, interchange fees compensate the card-issuing banks for the risk and operational costs associated with providing credit or debit cards to consumers.

It’s important to note that interchange fees are not collected by your payment processor or bank; they go directly to the card-issuing banks. Your payment processor, however, plays a role in facilitating the transaction and deducts its own processing fee from the overall charge.

Why Interchange Fees Matter for Mobile Credit Card Readers

For businesses using mobile credit card readers to accept payments, interchange fees directly impact their bottom line. The fees are typically expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount, plus a flat fee per transaction. Since these fees are unavoidable when accepting card payments, understanding them is essential for merchants to manage their costs effectively and optimize their pricing strategies.

Factors Influencing Interchange Rates

Interchange rates are not fixed and can vary based on several factors. The exact structure and rates of interchange fees are set by card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and are subject to change periodically. Some key factors that influence interchange rates include:

Card Type: Different card types carry varying levels of risk and benefits, leading to different interchange rates. For instance, rewards cards or corporate cards generally have higher interchange fees compared to standard consumer credit cards.

Transaction Method: The way a transaction is processed can affect interchange fees. Transactions made via chip and PIN or contactless methods may have different rates than traditional magnetic stripe transactions.

Industry Type: Certain industries may be subject to specific interchange rates, depending on the perceived risk associated with their business. High-risk industries may experience higher interchange fees than low-risk ones.

Transaction Size: Interchange fees are often structured in tiers based on the transaction amount. Larger transactions might have different rates compared to smaller ones.

Merchant’s Processing History: The merchant’s track record and processing history can also influence interchange rates. Merchants with a history of chargebacks or fraudulent activity may face higher fees.

Understanding interchange fees is crucial for any business utilizing mobile credit card readers. By better understanding the factors influencing interchange rates and implementing smart strategies to manage these fees, merchants can optimize their payment processing costs and focus on providing a seamless and convenient payment experience for their customers.

Clover Payments

Clover provides point-of-sale hardware and software along with payment processing. As far as mobile payments, the company offers Clover Go, a compact mobile card reader that accepts all payment types as long as you have WiFi or data connectivity. The device also syncs with your Clover account and other devices, so all payments made through Clover Go can be tracked and accessed through your dashboard. Clover payment processing rates

In-person transactions: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

Pro tip: If you’d still like to use Clover devices but want to access better processing rates, you can work with a third-party reseller like Stax. As their name suggests, resellers sell Clover’s POS solutions to merchants. However, instead of requiring you to process using Clover’s rates, resellers offer their own processing fees.

Square Mobile Credit Card Readers

Square is one of the most established companies in the mobile payments space. Its small mobile card reader connects to Android and iOS devices. Micro merchants and retailers who only use their mobile readers occasionally benefit the most from this product, due to the high flat fees charged per swipe. This payment processing method works with or without a connection, making it convenient for convention halls and other areas with poor connectivity.

Square Pricing

In-person and mobile card payments: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction Online payments: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction Keyed-in and invoice payments: 3.5% plus $0.15 per transaction

Intuit GoPayment

Intuit’s GoPayment service lets you accept and track payments including PayPal, cash, and checks through their mobile app. It also syncs up with your QuickBooks account. To use GoPayment, you’ll need a QuickBooks account. GoPayment allows users to choose between two pricing plans. The first plan is called Pay-As-You-Go and is targeted at businesses with sporadic or low processing volume. The second plan is called Pay Monthly & Save and is targeted at higher-volume businesses.

Intuit GoPayment Pricing

Intuit pricing for GoPayment’s Pay-As-You-Go option:

Swiped: 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction Keyed: 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction

GoPayment’s Monthly account gives users the option to pay a $19.95 monthly fee in exchange for per-transaction lower rates.

Swiped: 1.6% + $0.25 per transaction Keyed: 3.2% + $0.25 per transaction

PayPal Here

PayPal expands its online payment service with two mobile credit card readers and a flat-rate processing fee. The first reader connects to your device’s headphone jack and accepts swiped credit cards. The other option is a Bluetooth reader that’s EMV compliant and also accepts Apple Pay. Its app supports Windows, Android, and iOS. You benefit the most from this service if you’re a low-volume merchant looking for a way to accept chip cards and be EMV compliant.

PayPal Here Pricing

Swiped: 2.7% per transaction. Keyed: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction

PayPal Transactions: 2.9% + $0.30.


Shopify’s service helps micro-businesses set up e-commerce stores, and they’ve branched out into mobile credit card readers as well. Its card reader works with Android and iOS mobile devices through the audio jack. It uses the same payment processor as your online Shopify store, so you get the same flat rate percentages through both channels. If you already use the Shopify platform, and you have an occasional need for a mobile payment process, you can get a lot out of this service.

Shopify Pricing Plans:

Shopify Basic costs $29 per month, with 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction. Main Shopify Plan costs $79 per month, with 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction. Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month, with 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction.

Mobile credit card readers give your business a convenient, pay-anywhere option that customers enjoy. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of mobile payment solutions cater to micro-merchants/low-volume merchants. Be sure to explore options such as Stax if you are a higher volume as the percentage markups most mobile payment solutions charge can seriously cut into your bottom line. You may take some time figuring out the best service for your unique business needs, but it’s worth the trouble to find a service capable of helping you grow your business.

At Stax, our modern payment services focus on going beyond ordinary merchant accounts. The all-in-one platform allows for mobile swipe capabilities through our Stax Mobile app. You can also key in payments or add the optional mobile reader to start swiping. Enjoy the ease and convenience of sending invoices and storing payment methods within the dashboard.

Contact us at Stax to request a custom quote and to learn how our solutions can help you keep up with mobile payments. We will be happy to help you find the right solution for your enterprise.

RELATED: The Best Mobile Card Readers for Small Business

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FAQs About Mobile Credit Card Readers

Q: What is a mobile credit card reader?

A mobile credit card reader is a small, portable device that attaches to a smartphone or tablet, allowing businesses and individuals to accept credit card payments on the go. It enables secure transactions through the mobile device, making it convenient for vendors, small businesses, and freelancers to accept card payments anywhere.

Q: How does a mobile credit card reader work?

Mobile credit card readers use technology like Bluetooth or a headphone jack to connect to a mobile device. When a customer swipes, inserts, or taps their credit card on the reader, it captures the card information securely. The reader then communicates with a mobile app, processing the payment and sending the transaction for authorization.

Q: Are mobile credit card readers secure?

Yes, reputable mobile credit card readers are designed with security in mind. They use encryption to protect card data during transmission, making it difficult for unauthorized individuals to intercept and misuse the information. However, it’s essential to choose a well-established and trusted provider to ensure the highest level of security.

Q: How much does a mobile credit card reader cost?

The cost of a mobile credit card reader can vary depending on the brand, features, and additional services offered. Some readers may be available for free or at a nominal cost, while others might have a higher upfront price. It’s essential to consider not only the initial cost but also any transaction fees or subscription charges associated with the reader.

Q: Are there any transaction fees associated with mobile credit card readers?

Yes, most mobile credit card reader providers charge transaction fees for each payment processed. These fees are typically a percentage of the transaction amount plus a small flat fee. Transaction fees can vary, so it’s crucial to compare rates when choosing a mobile credit card reader.

Q: What types of businesses can use mobile credit card readers?

Mobile credit card readers are well-suited for various businesses and industries, including retail stores, food trucks, pop-up shops, service providers, event vendors, and more. They offer flexibility and convenience for businesses that need to accept card payments on the move or at remote locations.