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Small Business Info Series – Credit Card Readers – How to find the right one

I’ve tried a few businesses on for size, but I never owned a business that required a Credit Card Reader!

As I child, I remember that while my grandparents owned a small retail store, they used the old swipe and make a carbon copy type of credit card reader.  Wanting to consider all aspects of business, I am excited to present the following information on Credit Card Readers!

Credit Card Readers – How to Find the Right One

When you have a business in which you accept credit cards for payment, one of the things that you need to do is to choose the right credit card reader for your business. Once you have started looking, you will discover that there are many different types of readers and many services that offer them to you. Let’s look at the different types of Magnetic Stripe Readers, or MSRs, that are available.

4 Types of Credit Card Readers

  • Single head versus dual head- Most of the MSRs are the single-head type; there’s only one sensor to read the data from the magnetic stripe. This means when you swipe cards, you have to turn it so that its stripe is facing the right direction. Some of the MSRs are created to be dual-head, meaning you are able to swipe either side.creditcardreader
  • Gift Cards – Readers that are made to read all of the tracks can also run the gift cards. These cards generally store information on the seconds and third tracks, meaning that you may need special configurations sometimes. Gift card stripes usually don’t store similar information as a credit card’s, but readers will read just about anything that has a stripe.
  • Encryption – Some of the readers available now have encryption so that they meet PCI standards. These kinds of readers have a special security key that’s specific to the POS system or the customer.
  • Touchscreens/Keyboards – Some of the touchscreen monitors and keyboards have a MSR put into them. These kinds of readers don’t function any different from the others usually, but they are attached to something else. This can save your business space.

If you are looking for a card reader, you are going to find a lot of different POS systems that offer them to you. So it can be hard to find the one that is right for your business. Because of that, we have provided you with some things that are essential to look at to help you find the right one straight from the PC Magazine Website.

What You Should Consider When Choosing a Card Reader

  • Pricing – When you are researching your different options, make sure that you are looking at the fees involved. Some of the services give you your card reader at no cost, while some of the others have a charge. Some of the services charge a fee for setting up your service, or they have service fees every month. Look at the transaction fees and find out if there’s a rate difference by transaction type.
  • Hardware Compatibility – Be sure that the selected service provides you with a card reader that can be attached to your phone. Even though some of the services have a mobile application that works, for processing cards, the actual reader is going to lower your transaction fees and give you more security.
  • Transaction Features – The mobile card reader have additional features to boost security and convenience, like being able to accept tips, capture signatures, calculate the sales tax, and send receipts through email from your phone to your customers. If you are looking for a completely functional POS solution, you need to choose a service needs the ability to accept cash too. You also need to find out if you’re able to collect payments if the Internet is down.
  • Security – Make sure that the service doesn’t store the information about the credit cards on your phone and that it’s using SSL encryption during credit card processing. The app from the service should also be protected with a password on your iPhone. Ask the service about encryption concerns and be sure that all data’s protected in transit. After all, with all of the problems that stores such as Jimmy Johns are having, based on the local news and the Huffington Post, you want to protect your customers.

With the amount of different breaches this year that have affected millions of people, finding the right credit card reader for your business is more important than ever. From the one back in March that was reported on the Krebson Security website that affected a California DMV to the more recent ones with Jimmy Johns and Home Depot, people want to know that you care about their safety.

If you are looking for a good credit card reader, make sure that you know everything about the company that is giving it to you. You want to protect your business and your customers and this means making it’s as secure as possible. If you want a good card reader and a service that you can count on, Shopify has both. Take a look at the different options and then see what they have to offer. Then you will have an educated idea of which one you should choose for your business. Choose one that you, your business, and your customers will be happy and secure to use.



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