Hip to be Square?

Have you noticed how many customers don't carry cash like they used to?  Most people instinctively reach in their wallet for a debit or credit card when making purchases and may be caught off guard (and not able to pay) if a retailer or restaurant is cash-only.  Portable card readers are becoming more common in small businesses.  Simple swipers that plug into your smart phone or tablet's headphone jack are often offered for free when you sign up with one of the many companies who are offering this portable alternative to the traditional point-of-sale system. Portable card readers are secure, convenient and offer a paper-free sale by emailing receipts to customers.  The apps are customizable so that you can enter your products, track inventory, sales and tax.

We've done some of the research and have compared the features and benefits for the leading providers:

Card Reader Chart


Some definitions:

  • Card Reader: device used to scan magnetic strip of credit cards.  Attaches to headphone jack of electronic device.
  • Swipe: refers to the card being present at time of purchase and run through the card reader
  • Keyed: card number is entered manually, whether magnetic strip is damaged or card information is given over the phone
  • Fund Deposit: refers to when payment is sent to your bank account

Click here for a printable version of the chart.

Still not sure if you should join the world of portable card swiping?  We'd love to help you weigh the pro's and con's.  Click here to start the conversation.