How a Mobile Credit Card Reader Can Help Your Small Business

Did you know that 77% of people in the USA prefer to pay with plastic?

Any kind of business today need to be able to accept credit card payments or they are risking of losing a vast majority of their customers.

Luckily, the market has successfully responded to this trend with a variety of affordable, modern, and intuitive solutions.

We are talking about a mobile credit card reader – a mechanism attached to a mobile phone or tablet that allows the device to process card payments.

How Does a Mobile Credit Card Reader Process Payments

The mobile credit card reader can process credit/debit card payments in three ways:

1.EMV Chip

EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa. EMV is the standard for secure card payments. The data on EMV cards is dynamically encrypted. Dynamic means the encryption is constantly changing and it is much harder to get access to or steal. For a mobile credit card reader to get data from the EMV card, the card must be properly dipped into the card reader. Once the transaction is complete, the EMV card re-encrypts the data.

2. Magstripe

Magnetic stripe or Magstripe stores data that is affixed to the back of the credit/debit card. Data stored includes the name on the account, a primary account number, expiration date of the card, and PIN code on the account. The credit or debit card must be swiped through the mobile card reader so it can retrieve the data. The card reader passes that data along to the payment processor. Magstripe technology is prone to fraud and that is why is being phased out.

3. Contactless

Contactless pay is possible through eWallet apps like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and others that allow a customer to store credit and debit card information on the phone.

When paying using the eWaller, you must hold your phone to the mobile card reader and use your fingerprint to complete the transaction.

The mobile card reader extracts the credit card information using technology like NFC or near field communication.

The credit card data is re-encrypted after the transaction is over.

3 Best Mobile Credit Card Readers

Looking for a mobile card reader? Here are 3 best recommendations for startups and small businesses:


One of the largest and oldest mobile payment companies on the market. Square, basically, invented mobile payments.

They offer one of the most affordable and feature-rich options.

You will get free magstripe reader, chip and contactless card reader for $49, 24/7 customer support, sales analytics, inventory management, recurring payments, digital receipts, and more.

Square mobile card reader is PCI compliant and works with both iOS and Android devices.


GoPayment is a mobile credit card reader is designed by Intuit, the same company that has designed the popular accounting software QuickBooks.

You will get free magstripe reader, an all-in-one reader for $49, 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support, digital receipts, payroll, inventory, and sales management via Quickbooks integration.

The mobile card reader works with both Android and iOs devices.

Shopify POS

For small ecommerce businesses who want to do in-person sales, Shopify POS is a great solution.

Shopify has four different pricing plans, three of which offer access to a Shopify ecommerce site. The more expansive plans offer more functionality.

Shopify POS works with both Android and iOS devices.

Streamline Your Payment Processes with a Mobile Card Reader

Using a mobile card reader has a lot of benefits over how your small business deals with payment processes. One of the main benefits of a mobile card reader is that it allows you to sell your items whenever and wherever. This could help you if you are just starting out and you don’t want to invest in physical or brick-and-mortar location.

A chef might open a food truck and start selling his famous foods to establish a market. Once the market is being established, the chef is ready to build a restaurant.  Whether it is a food truck or restaurant, the chef can accept credit or debit cards using a mobile card reader.

Other businesses owners use a mobile card reader because they sell from different locations. For example, from conventions, trade shows, pop-up shops, festivals, and more. The mobile card readers are also used to collect donations during a campaign or fundraiser, door-to-door sales, and etc.

Today, it is normal to see mobile credit card readers used in physical stores together with a POS terminal allowing merchants to service different customers at the same time. This is usually done in the food industry for managing an invasion of customers.

Another great benefit of mobile card readers is the backend support and infrastructure they provide. The merchant service providers today, know that with so much competition, accepting credit/debit card payments is not enough. This is the reason why many also offer mPOS software at little or no cost.

High-quality mPOS (Point of Sale) software can perform a variety of services for your business including customer, inventory, and employee management, distribution of email receipts, sales analysis, ecommerce integration, tipping options, and the ability to work offline.

A Final Word

Mobile credit card readers are changing the game. The need to accept card and mobile payments is a fact of business life today.

The customers are carrying less and less cash and find using credit cards or other payment methods like Android Pay and Apple pay much more convenient. This way is also better for managing personal finances.

Before, a conventional credit card terminal would not have been the best solution for startups and small businesses with low transaction volumes because of terminal rental costs and monthly expenses.

The best mobile card readers on the market work anywhere you have 3G, 4G or WiFi connection for your tablet and phone. There are no monthly contracts. You can download the Android or iPhone app that operates the card reader.

The low price of mobile card readers is a key reason why anyone with a business should consider getting one.

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