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The Best Portable Credit Card Reader

Buyer's Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Portable Credit Card Reader

Ready to stop waiting in lines and get paid faster? Simply start accepting credit and debit cards in person. A portable card reader is a perfect way to accept payment on the go. Plus, they’re so easy to use! You can also add your smartphone or tablet for unlimited reading opportunities. This article will teach you everything you need to know about portable card readers, such as how they work and how to find the best one for you. Read on for a comprehensive look at this new way of paying with plastic.

Portable Credit Card Reader

Portable card readers how they work

In the past, if you wanted to accept credit or debit cards from your customers, you would have to invest in a card terminal. This is a machine that connects wirelessly to a company's banking system and processes payments. These terminals can be expensive, starting at about $550 for an entry-level machine.

A portable card reader is a device that plugs into your smartphone or tablet via its headphone jack. It allows you to swipe the card through the reader and process the payment right there on your device. In fact, some models even allow you to take a photo of the customer holding their ID for verification.

Best of all, these devices are extremely affordable! You can purchase one for as little as $50 and they work with all major credit and debit cards. You can also use them internationally with any currency. They're so easy and convenient: simply attach it to your phone and enter in the purchase amount!

How do portable card readers work?

Simply put, portable card readers are lightweight devices that allow you to accept credit and debit card payments anywhere.

But how do these little gadgets work? Unlike traditional credit card terminals, they don't plug into your phone or tablet. Instead, you use the device's built-in camera to take a snapshot of the customers' card details. Once you've got all the information, it'll automatically convert it into an e-commerce system.

This means that your customer will no longer need to swipe their card or enter their PIN number into your phone or tablet. Instead, they'll simply show you their credit or debit card and then provide their signature for verification purposes. All of this is done with one tap on your reader.

After verifying the customer's signature, payment will be processed onto the mobile device (smartphone or tablet) where it can be stored securely until ready to use.

What are the benefits of using a portable card reader?

Portable card readers have tons of benefits to offer your business. First, you don't have to worry about waiting in long lines anymore. Customers can use their credit or debit cards to pay at the point of sale and then swipe out when they're done.

The other major perk is that a portable card reader makes it easy for customers to pay with a variety of payment options. If they don't have cash on hand, they can easily use their credit card. And if their credit card has expired, they can use their debit card instead!

This is especially helpful for businesses that are looking to get new customers on board with them quickly.

Types Of Credit Card Readers

There are types of card readers you can choose from:

Portable card readers

These are credit card reading devices that attach to your smartphone or tablet. They're easy to use, have a rechargeable battery, and the best part is the price.

Mobile credit card readers

Mobile credit cards offer a more traditional payment option for your business. The devices are designed with a slot for swiping cards and they include an LCD screen so customers can review their purchase before signing.

Credit vs. Debit Cards: Which is better?

One of the most common questions we get at Elite POS is, “Which card should I accept for payment?” The answer can be complex and it's understandable if you're not sure. So let's break down your options.

When it comes to accepting cards as a merchant, there are two types: debit and credit.

A debit card has the same type of transaction as withdrawing cash from an ATM. It will withdraw money directly from your bank account and then debit that amount from the customer's account.

Conversely, a credit card will work like a line of credit. If you charge someone $100 on their credit card, they'll owe $100 to the bank, but they'll need to pay back $120 after 30 days (interest). With this in mind, it's easy to decide which to accept - accepting debit cards means you'll get paid immediately, whereas with credit cards you'll need to wait up to two weeks for payment.

However, one thing to note is that when customers swipe their debit card they are limited by the daily limit on the withdrawal amount pulled from their checking account each day.

Features To Consider Before Buying Portable Credit Card Reader

If you're looking for a new, portable credit card reader, there are plenty of options. Before you decide on the best one for your business, it's important to consider these features.

Pick your device type

Hardware or Software

You need to decide whether you want a hardware device or a software system. If you want to take your business on the go, you'll need a portable card reader. These usually come with an EMV-certified chip which can be used for contactless payments. When choosing your device, make sure it's EMV-certified and has an audio jack for swiping cards.

You also have the option of selecting a software system that is compatible with your smartphone or tablet. You can download this software for free from the App Store or Google Play Store, but some systems may require some purchases to use certain features.

Consider cost and features

You'll need to consider the cost and features of your portable card reader before investing in one.

Many companies offer affordable options for businesses that want to switch from accepting cash or checks. You can get a quality card reader for under $100.

However, if you're looking for more advanced features, such as encryption and Bluetooth connectivity, you might need to pay more.

It's also important to think about the frequency of use when determining what card reader best suits your business needs. Some card readers allow you to swipe cards while others require you to insert them into the device. Swipe-only devices are often cheaper, but they aren't as reliable and don't provide higher levels of security as insert-only devices do.

If you're unsure about which features will work best for your business, ask your business advisor or accountant for help choosing the right option.

The Type Of Reader You Want (Contactless Or Swiping)

Your first decision is what type of card reader you want. There are two types: contactless and swiping. The difference between the two is that contactless readers can read your card without you having to insert it into the reader. Swiping readers, on the other hand, require you to insert your card every time.


Contactless payment is a modern and convenient way to pay for goods and services. This method eliminates the need to carry cash, cards, or even a wallet while shopping.

Instead of swiping a card or handing over cash, contactless payments make it possible to simply wave your device in front of a machine to pay with plastic. In some cases, you may be able to use your smartphone as well. It's called Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay.

Contactless readers are great if you're running a business with lots of customers coming in and out of your store or restaurant. They make it quick and easy for customers to pay with their credit or debit cards, which means they'll be more likely to stick around for longer.

Swiping readers are best if you're primarily using them at brick-and-mortar stores where people need to go inside and wait in line to purchase something (or if they're trying to pay by cash). Swiping readers give people more opportunities for payment, which can help increase sales!

Battery Life

A portable card reader is powered by a battery. This means you have to charge it, so the battery life will play a large role in your search for the right card reader. The larger the battery, the longer it will last. But beware of sacrificing portability for battery life!

What kind of card reader are you looking for? If you want something that can get through your transaction quickly, then you'll need to find one with a long-lasting battery. On the flip side, if you're looking for something more portable, then find one with less power consumption. The perfect balance between these two qualities is what will keep your transactions moving fast while keeping your audience happy.

The Size And Weight Of The Card Reader

The size and weight of the card reader are some of the most important things to consider. You don't want a card reader that's too heavy or bulky because it will make it difficult for you to complete transactions.

It's also important to take note of the battery life on your card reader. You want to make sure that you can use your card reader for an entire shift without worrying about running out of charge. This way, if the power goes out, you won't have any problems completing transactions with your customers.

Feature That Connects To Your Smartphone

The first thing to consider when choosing a card reader is whether or not it can be connected to your smartphone. If you plan to be out in public, it may be helpful to have your credit card information on hand. This way, you don't have to bring your wallet with you.

However, if you're in an area with poor cellular service or there's no WiFi available, this would not work for you. For the best experience, invest in a portable card reader that can sync with your phone for payment processing needs.

When deciding which portable card reader is right for you, take into account the factors listed above. For example, if you're looking for a lightweight card reader that connects to your phone, you might want to consider this card reader with a magnetic stripe.

Frequently Asked Questions About Portable Credit Card Reader

Are portable card readers safe?

Portable card readers are safe and easy to use, but there are a few things you should know before investing in one. Before you go out and buy a card reader, make sure it's EMV compliant. This means that it can read chip cards and has the capability to encrypt your information while it's being transferred.

You'll also want to make sure your card reader is supported by the software your business (or customers) needs to use. For example, if you're using Square software to accept payments, then you should buy a Square-compatible device.

It's important to find a portable card reader that suits your needs and environment. That way you won't have any problems down the line. Make sure the card reader is durable and fits well in your hand or pocket so it's easier for you to take with you when needed. If you plan on taking customer orders outside or need something extra-portable, choose a small device that can clip onto your smartphone or tablet.

Can portable card readers be hacked?

This is a question that many people have asked about these new portable card readers. It’s understandable to wonder if they are safe to use or not.

There are numerous benefits of accepting credit cards in person, especially for small businesses with time constraints. But the question remains: What are the risks?

Luckily, you can rest assured knowing that portable card readers are safe and secure. When you sign up for a service like Square, they provide you with a secure card reader that will not be hacked by criminals. This is because Square asks for your CCV number before processing any transactions through their system. The company also provides valuable customer support to allow you to address any concerns about your business’s security issues.

As long as you use a secure card reader, you should never have to worry about being hacked when accepting credit cards in person.

What is the best part about contactless payment?

You can do it without ever having to hand your card or phone over! When you use contactless payments, you give the merchant consent to take payment from your account using radio frequency identification (RFID). There's no need for them to swipe your card. All they have to do is "wave" their device in front of yours within inches.

Portable Credit Card Reader


A reliable credit card reader company is essential for all your transactions.

Finding the right company is narrowing down what type of company would be best suited for your needs. There are two main types of companies: those that offer limited features and those that offer a more comprehensive service. If you're not sure which type of company would suit your needs, it's best to research both types before deciding which one to use.

There are many companies out there, but it's recommended that you look for a reputable company with experience in this field. This will ensure that you have someone on your side who will answer any questions or fix any problems if they arise. And most importantly, give you peace of mind when accepting credit cards in person.