Best Credit Card Reader for iPhone 2023

card reader for iphone
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The iPhone is one of the world’s most popular cell phones, both among consumers and corporations. While Android may outperform iOS in terms of credit card reader compatibility, iPhone users who wish to accept credit card payments on the move have lots of options.

Read on to learn more about how these Apple card readers function and how much they cost to use.

What is a Credit Card Reader?

A credit card reader is a gadget that allows you to accept payments via credit and debit cards. Credit card readers exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to process card-based transactions. A POS system, which contains a credit card reader, a receipt printer, and often a cash drawer, is the most common type of credit card reader.

When you swipe a credit or debit card through a reader, the device will process the payment over either a wired or wireless connection. If you’re utilising a POS system, the reader will be linked to the cash drawer and receipt printer. If you utilise a mobile reader, such as those found with a smartphone or tablet-based POS systems, the reader will be Bluetooth-connected to your device.

After you swipe a card through the reader, the gadget sends the data to your processor, who then routes it to the card’s issuing bank. The transaction will be approved or declined by the issuing bank. The monies will be deposited into your account once the transaction is accepted.

Credit card readers are a must-have piece of equipment for any business that accepts card payments. There are numerous credit card readers on the market, so selecting the best one for your company is critical.

Best 7 Credit Card Reader for iPhone

We used a rigorous process to evaluate numerous mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems in order to identify the seven best credit card readers for an iPhone. Our ratings took into account essential variables such as price, the quality of features provided with the credit card reader, and a final review by our expert panel. Let’s take a look at the best iPhone credit card reader.

#1. Square

Square was one of the original iOS card readers and point-of-sale applications. It transforms your phone into a free back office. The platform provides one of the most comprehensive suites of services.

Square provides a free credit card reader that may be used to accept magstripe payments. It is compatible with the free Square POS app, which can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet. This card reader comes in two varieties. The first has a headset jack, while the second has a Lightning connector. To utilise it with an iPhone, you’ll need the latter.

You can use it for your pop-up shop, food truck, or other mobile company. There’s no need to bother about charging or batteries. It also works offline if you are unable to connect to WiFi.

Do you intend to accept contactless payments? Instead, you can get the Square reader for contactless and chip. It can wirelessly link to your iPhone. It accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, and chip card payments.

#2. PayPal Zettle

The PayPal Zettle card reader is simple yet strong, and when combined with PayPal’s capacity to accept all types of payments (from credit cards to bitcoin, Venmo, and cross-border payments), it ranks among the best mobile credit card processors on the market.

The PayPal reader has a PIN pad and can process chip-and-tap transactions. The price of your first PayPal Zettle card reader is reduced to £29.

PayPal is the greatest option for individual users since, while it is simple to use, its POS functionality for larger enterprises is limited. In addition, there are no monthly costs for inactivity.

#3. Stax

Stax compensates for the more stringent criteria with minimal processing fees. The platform also includes a robust POS app. There is a £99 monthly membership charge that covers both your online dashboard and mobile processing.

The Swipe Simple B250 Reader by Stax is compatible with iOS and Android devices. EMV, magnetic stripe, and contactless payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are all supported.

You’ll use it in conjunction with the Stax Mobile App, which transforms your device into a POS. Aside from accepting payments, the app also allows you to check reports and send invoices.

You can even scan your customer’s credit card with the smartphone camera. Then, via text message or email, send them a receipt for the purchase.

#4. Shopify

If you sell both online and in person, synchronising your systems will save you time and money. Shopify provides a robust e-commerce system as well as an iPhone credit card reader. When you combine the two, you have a powerful online and offline business.

Shopify provides two solutions for accepting credit card payments with your iPhone. You can utilise the Shopify Tap & Chip Card Reader or iPhone’s Tap to Pay.

You can accept tap-and-chip payments with the chip card reader. It communicates with your device via Bluetooth. However, unlike the other card readers, this one needs charging.

Tap to Pay on the iPhone, on the other hand, allows you to accept card payments without the use of any additional hardware. Simply select Tap to Pay at checkout when using the Shopify POS app. All contactless credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallet payments are accepted.

#5. Payanywhere 

Pay-as-you-go plans are sometimes required for small enterprises that do not accept credit cards. Payanywhere provides this option, as well as a free reader.

Payanywhere provides a three-in-one card reader. It accepts chip, magstripe, and contactless payments. It also connects to your iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth. To get started, simply download the Payanywhere app. You may even test out the interface before committing by choosing “Test Drive” on the login screen.

Offline payments can be accepted, consumers can tip and sign receipts, and digital or printed receipts can be sent. If you have many pop-up shops in different places, the mobile readers may even show you the location of each sale.

#6. SumUp

SumUp is a mobile-first payment processor designed specifically for small businesses. It does not impose monthly fees or require you to sign a long-term contract, making it one of the most economical merchant services providers in the business. It does not impose a set cost each transaction, making it ideal for firms with low-ticket sales.

SumUp has released upgraded card readers with enhanced payment processing features, resulting in a substantial improvement over our prior rating. It also includes a virtual terminal, basic inventory management capabilities, and dependable app functioning.

#7. Clover

Clover hardware is compatible with the majority of significant payment processors, therefore you’ll find it on the websites of many payment providers. Available POS capabilities are determined by the hardware you choose, so small businesses only pay for what they require based on the size of their business.

Clover is the best iPhone card reader for this unique functionality for merchants who desire to keep their present payment processor or merchant services provider but want to update hardware and POS software.

How To Choose the Best iPhone Credit Card Reader

When selecting a credit card reader for an iPhone, there are a few factors to consider. The first is features, followed by ease of use, cost, and customer service. Implementing a new system can be time-consuming and costly, especially if there is an onboarding fee (which is uncommon). This is why it is critical to select an iPhone credit card reader with care.

#1. Essential Hardware Features

There are a few key hardware components to look for when purchasing an iPhone credit card reader:

  • EMV chip reader: An EMV chip reader is required for every business that accepts credit and debit cards. The global standard for credit and debit card processing is EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. EMV chip cards are more secure than classic magstripe cards and have become the industry standard in the United States. Certain sorts of fraud may be committed if you do not have an EMV chip reader.
  • Magstripe reader: If you wish to accept credit and debit cards, a magstripe reader is an absolute must. Many people still use magstripe cards, which are the conventional sort of credit and debit card. These cards will not be accepted if you do not have a magstripe reader.
  • NFC reader: Any business that wishes to take contactless payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, needs an NFC reader. NFC, which stands for near-field communication, is the technology that enables contactless payments. You will be unable to take contactless payments if you do not have an NFC reader.

#2. Essential Software Features

Aside from hardware features, there are a few software features to look for in an iPhone credit card reader:

  • Payment processing: The ability to process payments is the most critical feature of any credit card reader. Payment processing is the process of delivering transaction information to your processor, who will subsequently route it to the issuing bank of the card. The transaction will be approved or declined by the issuing bank. The monies will be deposited into your account once the transaction is accepted.
  • Payment gateway: A payment gateway is software that lets you accept and process credit and debit card payments. Payment processors provide payment gateways, which allow you to collect payments online, in person, or over the phone.
  • Virtual terminal: A virtual terminal is software that allows you to handle credit and debit card payments manually. Virtual terminals are frequently used by enterprises that do not have a physical location, such as home-based firms or internet retailers.
  • Customer management: Customer management is a software feature that allows you to save customer information such as contact information and purchase history. Customer management can be beneficial for marketing and customer service.
  • Invoicing: Invoicing is a function of software that allows you to produce and send invoices to customers. Invoicing can be beneficial for organisations that sell recurring items or services, such as subscription-based businesses.

#3. Usability

The ease of use of an iPhone credit card reader is a key consideration. The last thing you want is to put in place a new system that is difficult to use, as this can lead to mistakes and dissatisfaction. When evaluating the usability of an iPhone credit card reader, consider the following factors:

  • User interface (UI): The user interface (UI) is how you interact with the credit card reader. It should be simple to use and allow you to effortlessly process payments.
  • Compatibility: The iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch should all be compatible with the credit card reader. It should also work with a variety of payment processors.
  • Installation and configuration: The credit card reader should be simple to install and configure. Additionally, it should be simple to add new users, such as employees or contractors.

#4. Fees and Pricing

Pricing and fees are essential considerations when purchasing an iPhone credit card reader. Is it necessary to pay for the card reader? Also, Is there a free alternative? Is there a discount if you sign a longer contract? When it comes to the pricing and expenses of an iPhone credit card reader, there are a few more things to consider:

  • Transaction fees: The majority of credit card readers charge a fee each transaction. The payment processor often charges this fee as a percentage of the overall transaction amount.
  • Monthly fees: Monthly fees are charged by some credit card readers. The payment processor normally charges a set amount for this service.
  • Setup fees: Some credit card readers require a one-time fee for installation. The payment processor charges this cost, which is normally a set rate.
  • Discount rate: The discount rate is the cost that the payment processor charges for processing credit and debit card payments. The discount rate is calculated as a percentage of the entire transaction amount and is normally levied monthly.
  • Hardware costs: In addition to the cost of the credit card reader, extra hardware costs such as a Bluetooth adapter or receipt printer may be incurred.

#5. Customer Support

Customer service is a key consideration. Is there a phone number? Do you have an email address? Is there a live chat option? What are their working hours? It might also be beneficial to browse online credit card reader reviews to see what other consumers have to say about their experience.

Can I Use my iPhone as a Credit Card Reader?

If the payment processor supports Tap to Pay, you can utilise your iPhone as a credit card reader. However, credit card readers can be connected to your iPhone via the Lightning port or Bluetooth. They accept chip, tap, and contactless payments.

Can You Take Card Payments Without iPhone Card Swiper?

You can accept card payments via your iPhone even if you don’t have a card swiper. Tap to Pay on iPhones enables contactless payments. You can also take keyed-in payments by entering your customer’s card information into your payment processor’s mobile app.

How Do Credit Card Readers Work on iPhones?

Through a Lightning connector, you generally connect credit card readers. However, some card readers use Bluetooth to communicate wirelessly. The device integrates with your payment processor’s POS app to securely process transactions.

How Much Do iPhone Card Readers / Card Swiper Cost?

The price of an iPhone card reader varies. Some payment processors provide one free of charge. However, expect to pay between £10 to £80. The price is also determined by the features or types of card payments that can be accepted.

How Much Does it Cost to Accept Credit Card Payments on an iPhone?

The cost is determined by your payment processor. Some subscription services include this option (for example, Shopify’s Tap to Pay). However, using a free iPhone credit card reader, your spending may instead be transaction fees.


The best credit card reader for iPhone is one that meets your requirements and falls within your budget. When selecting a credit card reader, consider the features, convenience of use, price, and customer service. We hope this advice assists you in selecting the best solution.

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