Credit Card Reader for Small eCommerce Businesses in the UK

A credit card reader is a device that accepts and processes payments and decodes information contained in a credit or debit card microchip. Modern card readers are electronic plastic cards embedded with a barcode or magnetic strip or a computer chip. There are four types of card readers that you can find in the market today;

  • Smart card readers – this electronic device reads smartcards and is located in personal computers, some keyboards, and some laptop models. This model enables the user to read and write a fixed address on the card.
  • Memory card readers – this device features a USB interface for accessing the data on a memory card or a MultiMediaCard.
  • Assess control card reader – this device features physical security systems that perform by identification technology.
  • Banking card readers – some banks will issue hand-held smartcard reader to their customers to support different electronic payment application.

Many processors offer low-cost readers and charge the user monthly and transaction fees. Your customers can benefit from card readers and make it possible for them to purchase using credit and debit cards.

Today, credit card readers are more flexible, smaller and portable. The payment processor that issues card readers charges a small transaction fee to make a profit. Here are the top three picks of smart credit card readers that you can find in the market today that we will review based on features, rates, and ease of use.

But before we do so, let’s look at some features that you will consider when choosing a credit card reader.


The security of a credit card is a top concern for customers and business owners. You need to ensure that the credit card reader of your choice is PCI DSS compliant and uses end-to-end encryption.


Knowing how much you’re going to pay is essential when running a small business in the UK. When choosing a card reader service provider, you need to ensure that you read through and clearly understand the terms and condition so that you won’t end up paying for hidden charges.


Ensure that the credit card reader is compatible with your website and can connect with Bluetooth and offer apps for iOS and Android devices which are the most popular operating systems for apps and credit card readers.

Ease of use

Contemporary credit card readers are flexible and easy to use and include POS system apps with your reader and account that allow you to manage your business such as data analysis and inventory management.


Square is the most reliable eCommerce credit card processing service provider that enables you to sell physical good, digital goods, restaurant carryout orders and tickets. Besides, Square supports variations of products at different price points. 

This card reader features a free magstripe reader, 24/7 customer support, tipping functionality, sales analytics, inventory management,  and recurring payment. Besides, Square will also offer you one to two days of funding fold and also works efficiently when offline.

In terms of compatibility, it works with iOS and Android systems and is compatible with major eCommerce platforms. It’s also compliant with PCI and comes with end-to-end encryption. Square comes with a fraud protection feature and will offer you with two-step verification for added security. 

2. Shopify Reader

Shopify is a top-rated eCommerce solution that goes beyond online stores to credit card readers and payment apps. This app syncs offline inventory with the checkout page for your Shopify online store. The credit card reader from Shopify charges a monthly fee, but you can also get a free plan when you sign up for an account. The highest monthly plan features low processing fees and other incentives. 

The most significant advantage of choosing a Shopify reader over other credit card reader payment processors is that you get an eCommerce website together with a card reader and payment processing. Besides, your inventory and customer profiles will sync seamlessly.

Shopify Reader allows you to process magstripe and EMV chip credit cards making it a more secure solution than competitors in its class and category. Besides, Shopify Reader works with iOS and Android devices making it a versatile solution. 

Additionally, this app will allow you to split tenders, add tips and manage the business. Shopify credit card readers will also analyze some points of data, will enable you to manage inventory, automatically sync with your online store data, track sales and add customer profiles. However, unlike Square which features an offline mode, Shopify POS didn’t include this function which can be frustrating for some people. 

3. Chase Merchant Services Reader

Chase Merchant Services reader allows you to customize payments such as tips and receipts so that they can appear together with your business logo. You’ll also be able to set up your inventory and view a summary of your transactions.

In comparison to Shopify POS, Chase Merchant Services is a little on the higher price point side and is lacking in many helpful POS features that you can find in the other options. They feature excellent customer service although the wait time can be long although they have adequate tech support.

Chase Merchant services credit card reader will allow you to choose between a simple swipe, EMV chip or a wireless card reader all in one solution. Besides, the rates are comparable to Shopify reader payment processor, and you can negotiate for a lower price.

In conclusion

There are many credit card readers in the market right now that offer free or low-cost processing fees so that you can start accepting magnetic strip cards. When you set up your online store for the first time, some credit card readers will begin to push you to start adding items right away. However, with any credit card reader, its good to figure out how much you need to charge for sales tax or how you want to categorize items.

Shopify is the best credit card reader for small businesses because it’s easy to set up and use right away and trusted by more than half a million companies worldwide. On the other hand, Square keeps the transaction fees and processing pricing low with no monthly fee or variable rates from month to month.