The Ultimate Breakdown: Comparing 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.

Businesses are transitioning to mobile and contactless payment options with the use of mobile credit card readers and full-featured POS apps. 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.

Stax Mobile Credit Card Readers

Stax offers an EMV compliant mobile credit card reader ideal for merchants processing a higher volume (typically over $10,000 per month). You 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.

RELATED: 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.

Swiped: $0.08 per transaction
Keyed: $0.15 per transaction

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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. 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 the headphone jack in 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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