Clara's best Credit Card Machine.
What Is the Best Credit Card Machine?
i) How much revenue you make on a monthly basis.
This dictates if you should use a card reader with lower % and a higher monthly fee.
You need a card reader for your small flea market stall which earns $400. Lets say you can choose a card reader that charges 2%, this would equal = $8 a month. This is better than a credit card machine that charges 1% and $20 a month fee ($24 in total.)
ii) The payment types you accept
Some payment processors pass on fees from the card schemes (Visa, Mastercard.Amex, Discover etc ) and the and the so called 'intercharge fee' which are largely dictated by the card type (premium, personal and corporate.) Typically rewards and premium (elite and platinum type cards) and corporate cards cost the most whilst Debit cost the less to process.
Other payment providers charge flat rates. So if your business does process a lot of the more expensive card types it would make sense to work with a card reader that charges a flat rate.
Best Credit Card Machines for Variable Low Fees
PayJunction - has one of the highest tech card readers, with a large screen built into a what resembles a computer keyboard. It takes swipe,chip, NFC and contactless payments. You connect it to the internet via Ethernet cable and you're ready to process payments. If you process more than $10,000 the $35 monthly fee is waived. They also offer to "match or beat your existing rates from your current provider". They'll also provide the terminal free if you average $25,000 a month.
Their average fees are:
Swiped Debit Card - 0.8%
Keyed Debit Card - 0.8%
Swiped Credit Card - 2.26%
Keyed Credit Card - 2.55%
ACH Check processing - 0.75%
Transaction fee - $0.07 (which is added to every transaction)
However their pricing is variable, they do charge the interchange rate + a small markup on every transaction.
Stax by Fattmerchant - Has three credit card readers the Chipper 2X BT, Stax’s Chipper BT and the Stax’s EMV terminal. They charge some of the lowest fees for credit and debit card processing. Their fee structure is the interchange fee + $0.08/$0.15 so the fees for various cards are:
Average Debit Cards - 0.30% + $0.08
Average Credit Cards - 1.51% + $0.15
They also charge a monthly fee of $100.
These are just the average though, the issuing banks dictate the interchange fee as does the card type and card scheme (Mastercard, Visa etc.) So if you're looking for reliable and consistent fees than it's better to choose a flat rate card reader, that will only charge based on the type of card.
Best Credit Card Machines for Flat Rate Low Fees
Helcim - has their own card reader too, which looks a bit like a calculator and is more portable than PayJunction's Zero Touch. Their fee structure really only makes sense for businesses that process a lot of personal cards and:
i) that have a lot of monthly revenue or
ii) have higher average transaction amount.
If you process an average amount of $100 per transaction (with no minimum processed) mostly personal Visa and Mastercard you'll pay 1.45% + $0.08.
If you process an average amount of $50 per transaction (with no minimum processed) mostly personal Visa and Mastercard you'll pay 1.60% + $0.08.
If you process an average amount of $25 per transaction with $25,000 - 50,000 mostly personal Visa and Mastercard you'll pay 1.79% + $0.07.
If you process an average amount of $25 per transaction with $100,000 - 250,000 mostly personal Visa and Mastercard you'll pay 1.73% + $0.06.
They lower their prices for companies mostly based on the average transaction sized but also based on your revenue (although your revenue lowers the fees less than than higher average transaction fees.)
Best Credit Card Machine for Small Business
Square - offers one of the all round best flat fee plans for small business. Their fee of 2.6% is higher than the QuickBooks 2.4% but they have a lower transaction fee which is $0.10 versus QuickBook's $0.25. So if you process a lot of high volume payments with a low number of transactions then Quickbooks may be a better value for your business.
Swiped/Chip: 2.6% + 10¢
Keyed in: 3.5% + 15¢
The most versatile card machine is the Square Reader for Contactless and Chip. It's compatible with Android and iOS and costs a one off $49 fee.
PayAnywhere - "Within one business day of the sales processed by 5 p.m. EST."The Smart Terminal Mini costs $250 and they charge a flat fee of :
Swiped, Dip, or Tap: 2.69%
Keyed: 3.49% + $0.19
It includes a 5" HD touchscreen, 4G and wifi connectivity, and barcode scanner camera. It comes with 24/7 customer service. It runs on Android software. They charge $9.95 a month fee as well.
QuickBooks - "Deposits are sent to the bank account linked to your QuickBooks Debit Card in up to 30 minutes." The QuickBooks Chip and Magstripe Card Reader cost a once off $19. The reader accepts chip, swipe and contactless. They charge a flat fee of:
Swiped/Chip or Tap : 2.4% + $0.25
Keyed in: 3.4% + $0.25
If your monthly revenue exceeds $7,500 you can also lower your fees.
Square - "Payments taken before 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET will be available in your bank account the next business day. Payments accepted on Friday before 5 p.m PT will post to your bank account by Monday morning." Square’s free credit card reader works with the free Square Point of Sale app and connects to your iPhone or Android device by the audio jack or charging point (for newer iPhones.) It won't accept contactless cards. They charge a flat fee of:
Swiped/Chip: 2.6% + 10¢
Keyed in: 3.5% + 15¢
Best Credit Card Machine for Accepting Crypto
GoCrypto - is the only credit card machine that lets your customers pay in crypto (or via WeChat, Alibaba, Valu and normal cards.) They charge 1.25% for accepting Crypto and you accept 40+ cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Tezos (XTZ), GoCrypto token (GoC)and Viberate token (VIB). They also charge from 0.99% for accepting credit and debt cards, but that's on their starting rate.
What are the Key features to look for in a credit card reader?
- Ease of use: For you and your users you should find a credit card machine that is easy to use, is the screen big enough, does it take contactless payments? Do you need one for swipe cards?
- POS Connection: If you use software POS services you will want a credit card machine that can seamlessly connect to your POS system.
- Payment security: It's key your credit card machine is PCI compliant (this basically is just how the credit card machine processes and stores your customers card details.) If your machine isn't it can mean you can liable for any fraud or payment issues processed by your card reader.
- EMV and NFC compatibility: EMV is a the chip card and is one of the most common type of cards these days, and NFC allows you to take contactless and Apple/Samsung pay.
- Portability: How portable is your credit-card machine? How portable does it need it be? For restaurant or a foodtruck it helps that it can move from the base, as a store then it's fine for it to sit at the counter. So it pays to work out if you want a card machine that can connect to your phone or is portable.
- Payouts: It's also key to work out how long it takes to pay out. The higher % fees card machines may pay out faster but cost more, so you need to work out if you need payouts faster, because you'll end up paying for it.
- Connectivity: How does your machine connect to the internet? Does it use a sim card, connect via your phone or iPads internet or connect via an ethernet cable?
- Ability to print receipts: Do your customers need receipts printed? Or would you prefer to be more green and skip the paper receipts altogether?
- Hardware Cost: Does the machine have an upfront cost or a monthly fee? A monthly fee with lower processing fees makes sense if your revenue is higher, whereas a no fee once off purchase makes sense if your revenue is lower.
Processing fees: Each credit card machine competes on fees, each card type (debit, credit) and then payment type (swipe, chip, NFC) have different costs and each credit card machine prices it differently so be sure to understand what fees will be charged on the payment types and card types you most commonly accept. Also many readers have PCI fees, refund fees, chargeback fee, statement fees and leasing hardware fees, so be sure to check these to understand the true cost of the machine. Our full list of credit card machines here can help you understand these. Also some machines have contracts with minimum so be sure to understand this too before jumping into a card machine.
What is a Credit Card Machine?
To find the best credit card machine for your business, so you can accept card payments compare all the vendors fees, payout times, and cards accepted here.
How Credit Card Machines Work?
The functionality of these machines differs slightly on the kind of card you own. Much like its name reveals, magnetic stripe cards store payment information in the magnetic strip on the back. After swiping the card, the information is sent to the reader and then the acquiring bank. Magnetic stripe cards have become less popular because of their more vulnerable to fraud . The strip contains static information, which is easily obtained with credit-card skimmers and accessed by fraudsters. Chip (EMV) cards have largely replaced magnetic stripe cards due to their encrypted data feature. The chip, which contains cardholder information, and the reader allow for the encrypted data to change for every transaction, making it more secure and less accessible to fraudsters.
There are also credit card readers for near field communication (NFC) or contactless payments, which usually involve holding a smartphone or wearable device over a reader. Like chip cards, NFC payments are safer than magnetic stripe cards because they utilize encrypted and changing data for each transaction. Apple Pay or Samsung Pay are examples of NFC payment apps that have become increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
How to Accept Credit Card Payments?
There are a number of factors you'll need to take into account before selecting a credit card machine. The first how much revenue you process a month, what cards and payment types you'll need to accept and where you'll be taking payments. These are key questions as the amount of revenue you have will dictate if you want a higher % lower monthly fee machine or vice versa. Also the kinds of cards you want to accept will also determine which credit card machine you should get.
Each different credit card machine comes with different terms, some charge higher % of a transaction and lower monthly fees, whilst others have lower fees but charge a monthly subscription that is higher. Check out the full comparison of credit card readers here.
If you're looking to take online payments you should check out our Payment Gateways list.
The Square Credit Card Reader
The Square virtual terminal is not a credit card machine but a payment gateway to take remote payments (either via the internet, email or phone call.) The Square virtual terminal is great for your businesses ecommerce payment needs but won't solve the same problem a credit card machine will so we recommend you use both if you sell online and in store.
What is Square Up ?
Square Up is just the domain name of Square. You'll find their full list of products for accepting payments in person and online at Squareup.com
What are some Square alternatives?
The main Square competitors in the U.S are Stripe, PayPal, Clover, Sumup and Poynt. Each different company offers different transaction fees and monthly fees so we recommend you compare all the vendors on our credit card reader comparison table here.
Can I buy the Square reader Walmart?
Yes, you can buy the Square Reader for Contactless and Chip for $41 or the Square Credit Card Magstripe Reader for $6. It always pays to check the Square website as they may send it one free if you sign up for their software services.
Can I buy the Square reader Walgreens?
Yes you can but seemingly not online, only in store, again we recommend you check Square's site first
Can I buy the Square reader Best Buy?
Yes, you can buy the Square Reader for Contactless and Chip for $42 or the Square Credit Card Magstripe Reader for $7 from Best Buy. It always pays to check the Square website as they may send it one free if you sign up for their software services.
Credit Card Reader for Android
Are there any Wireless Credit Card Machines?
Where to buy PayPal card reader?
Where can I buy PayPal here printer?
PayPal doesn't offer it's own receipt printer, but you can pick up a receipt printer from Amazon, Best Buy, NewEgg or any number of physical or ecommerce stores.
PayPal Here for iPhone and iPad (iOS) supports the following receipt printers:
- Star SM-L200 (Bluetooth)
- Star SM-S220i (Bluetooth)
- Star SM-S230i (Bluetooth)
- Star SM-T300 (Bluetooth)
- Star SM-T300i (Bluetooth)
- Star TSP 113 (LAN)
- Star TSP 143 (LAN)
- Star TSP 650/654 (Bluetooth or LAN)
- Star mPOP (Bluetooth)
- Epson TM-T20 II (LAN)
- Epson TM-T81 II (LAN)
- Epson TM-T82 (LAN)
- Epson TM-T82 II (LAN)
- Any other printer that is AirPrint or ePrint enabled
PayPal Here for Android supports the following receipt printers:
- Star SM-L200 (Bluetooth)
- Star SM-S230i (Bluetooth)*
How to Accept Credit Card Payments over the Phone?
What is a Magnetic Card Reader?
Remember that any card reader like this you buy you'll need to find a payment processor who can process the payment, the advantage of PayPal, Square, SumUp etc is they provide the hardware and the payment processing so you can focus on selling and not setting up payment flows.
What is the SumUp Card Reader?
The other credit card machine offered by SumUp is the Lite it is a small card reader with no interface it takes NFC, Chip and PayWave payments but doesn't take swipe cards. You need to pair it with your smart device. It charges via Micro USB and lasts for 300 transactions.
What is Stripe Card Reader?
Check out both credit card readers on our credit card readers list here.
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The Square Register is a full service POS that includes chargeback protection and 24/7 customer service. It comes with two screens one for you and one for your customers.Visit website
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Square’s contactless and chip reader enables you to accept chip cards, contactless (NFC) cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay anywhere. Connect wirelessly, accept credit and debit cards quickly, and get money in your bank account fast.Visit website
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Nayax’s VPOS Touch is a vending machine debit card reader. It provides an all-in-one solution for magnetic swipe, contact, and contactless and NFC ( so includes QR payments). It stays connected 24/7 using 4G or LTE.Visit website