In today’s digital world, a modern credit card reader is a must-have for most businesses — small or large. It’s a device that enables businesses to accept cards and contactless payments easily and conveniently. Manual credit card imprinters, also known as knuckle-busters, and magnetic stripes are increasingly relics of the past.

Now, businesses need internet-connected credit card readers that can accept microchips and contactless payments. In addition to being easy to use, the latest credit card readers have enhanced security and faster processing. Let’s explore why businesses need modern credit card readers and some of the top options on the market.

What Is a Credit Card Reader?

A credit card reader is a device used by businesses to accept payments from customers. It enables businesses to take credit and debit cards as payment quickly. The latest card readers are Internet-connected, meaning transactions can be completed instantly.

Credit card readers now come with the ability to accept microchips or contactless payments for added convenience and security. These devices are essential for any business that wants to make accepting payments easier for their customers and themselves.

Credit card readers work by scanning and processing credit card information from a magnetic stripe or microchip. The reader is connected to the merchant’s point of sale (POS) system and takes the customer’s information from the magnetic stripe or microchip.

The card reader then sends this data to the issuing bank for authentication and the merchant’s POS system. Once the transaction is approved, the customer’s account is charged, and the funds are transferred to the merchant’s bank account. It’s as easy as that.1

Types of Credit Card Readers

The types of credit card readers merchants can consider include EMV chip readers, contactless RFID chip readers, and magstripe readers. Here’s a breakdown of these options.

An EMV chip reader accepts credit and debit cards with an EMV chip. Instead of swiping the card, customers insert their card into the credit card reader. The act of inserting the card is also called dipping. This type of card reader is faster and more secure than magstripe readers.

The next option is a contactless RFID chip reader. With this device, customers can simply wave their cards or digital wallets over the reader to make payments. This convenient type of payment system works with digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The last credit card reader is a magstripe reader. Magstripe readers are an older style of card reader, so they’re outdated in terms of speed and security compared to newer options. These readers use magnetic stripes on the back of credit and debit cards to read data.2

Consider picking a card reader that can handle EMV chips, RFID chips, and magnetic stripes. But keep in mind that credit card companies are currently phasing out magnetic stripes.3

Upgrading to a Modern Card Reader

Upgrading from an old-fashioned magstripe reader to a modern card reader is essential for businesses large and small. The latest card readers are Internet-connected and capable of completing transactions efficiently and securely.

The convenience of a modern card reader doesn’t just extend to customers. Business owners can also benefit from upgrading. For instance, many options allow you to process payments using computers, tablets, and smartphones easily.

Additionally, the latest card readers securely process customer data using payment tokenization. This technology helps protect your customers from hackers and your business from accepting fraudulent cards. As a result, you can build trust.

Overall, a modern card reader is an essential tool for many businesses. Not only does it make transactions more convenient, but it also makes them more secure. Making the upgrade is beneficial for both customers and business owners alike.

Top Credit Card Readers To Consider

As the world increasingly moves away from cash payments, modern credit card readers are indispensable. But which card readers should merchants consider? Here are some of the top options on the market.

  • Square Card Reader: Square is one of the most popular card readers on the market today. Depending on the model you choose, Square can tap, dip, and swipe various forms of payment. The free option can be a great entry-level option, while the other models are more sophisticated.
  • Clover Mini Reader: This is another great choice for businesses looking for a reliable and secure card reader that can handle multiple forms of payment. It’s a portable device capable of accepting chip, contactless, and magnetic stripe cards. The company also makes the Clover Station Solo.
  • Helcim Card Reader: Helcim is also worth considering. It similarly enables tap & pay and chip & pin payment. It’s an interesting option for businesses because of its low-cost processing rates. As a result, it’s worth having on your radar if your business has a high volume of card transactions.

These are just a few of the top options on the market to jumpstart your search. Keep the unique needs of your business in mind as you compare top credit card readers.

Stay Competitive With the Right Card Reader

Businesses need to stay competitive in the market, and having a modern credit card reader is essential. The latest card readers make payments easier and more secure for customers and merchants alike. You can find options that accept chip-enabled cards, contactless payments, and magnetic stripe cards.

No matter which credit card reader you purchase, make sure it meets your needs. By investing in the right credit card reader for you, businesses can benefit from increased security and faster payment processing. In short, your business will be well-equipped to accept payments of all kinds with an up-to-date card reader.