The Best Credit Card Scanners For Your Restaurant

Tanu Chaturvedi Tiwari11/10/2021

What is a credit card scanner?

Credit card scanners allow you to accept credit card payments from your customers on the go. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, a credit card scanner can be a great addition to any business. A credit card scanner is a piece of hardware that allows you to process credit card payments from your customers. It can be a standalone device, or it can be software that you install on your phone or tablet.

What is a credit card scanner?

A credit card scanner is a device that reads the magnetic stripe on the back of a credit card, which is the data that stores the card number, the card holder's name, the card's expiration date, and other information. A credit card scanner is used in retail stores and restaurants to scan the credit card's data, which is then transferred to the store's payment system.
There are several ways to accept credit cards for your business. One of these is a credit card reader. This is a device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet and lets you swipe credit cards as if they were physical cards. You can use a credit card scanner to process credit card payments for your business, as well as track how much money you have coming in from this source.
Credit card scanners are attached to point sale systems and are used to quickly and accurately scan credit cards to ensure that the customer's information is captured correctly. Credit card scanners are a key tool for any business that accepts credit cards. If a customer hands over a card, a credit card scanner can be used to quickly and accurately scan the card to ensure that the customer's information is captured correctly.

Why you need a credit card scanner for your retail business?

Retailers who are looking to improve their business operations should consider investing in a credit card reader. Just like any other business, retailers need to know how much they are bringing in to continue operating. This can be difficult if your store does not have a POS system. So, how should retailers track sales without a POS system? A credit Card Swipe machine can be a great solution. It allows retailers to track sales without the need for a POS system.
Here are some of the reasons why you need a credit card reader-

Faster and Convenient

Accepting payments via a credit card reader is faster and convenient as you do not need to think about counting the currency notes or returning the change. Credit card readers accept the exact amount billed, which is an easier and faster way of credit card processing. With a credit card scanner, with some terms used you will be able to accept every major credit/debit card including MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Maestro.

Eliminate risk

Credit card scanners are safe for credit card processing as you can eliminate the risk of accepting counterfeit banknotes. When you accept payment via credit cards, the payment goes to your merchant account directly, meaning you do not need to worry about fraudulent notes as they are difficult to track once accepted.

Secure your cash

When you accept payments using a credit card reader, you do not need to keep a lot of cash in your cash drawer. You can make and accept payments digitally without the fear of theft or robbery. Plus, your payments are directly sent to your merchant account that reduces your trips to your bank to deposit or withdraw cash. Retailers pay nominal monthly fees to the bank for credit card processing. Also, credit Card Swipe readers are safe from hackers and online thefts as they use various online security measures.

Improve customer satisfaction

Customers do not like to stand in long queues to make payments at the billing counters. Credit card scanners can accept payments faster that will cut down on long queues and waiting time, making customers happy and improving customer satisfaction as a result. Plus, credit card scanners are a safe way of transaction that boost customers' trust as a result, especially if you have a new business.

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Track payments

You can easily track and record your transactions with credit card readers. Credit card scanners are attached to POS systems that allow you to generate and analyze sales reports daily. You can easily gather sales data and identify your best products and determine the products with low sales volume. You also receive regular reports on your transactions from the bank where you have your merchant account.

Types of Credit Card Scanners

You will find a host of credit card scanners in the market that cater to different needs of a wide range of industries and businesses. For example, in a busy restaurant environment, a portable credit card scanner will allow you to accept customer payments on the go, while retail stores need stationary countertop scanners.

Here are 4 different types of Credit Card scanners that cater to the different needs of various industries.

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Mobile credit card scanners

Mobile credit card scanners allow small businesses to accept payments on the go. If you operate a business that has a busy environment like a restaurant, or a pop-up store, or have limited counter space, you can use a mobile credit card swipe machine that is portable and can be taken to a customer instead of a customer coming to a POS terminal to accept payments. You can convert smartphones, tablets, or iPads into mobile card readers that are connected to the Internet and process payments via GPRS technology.

Virtual card scanners

Virtual credit cards allow retailers to accept payments through credit cards when the card is not present physically. A customer can purchase an item by sending credit card information through a phone call, email, or text. Virtual credit card scanners allow retailers to store customer data manually on the POS system. Retailers need an active internet connection to operate virtual credit card scanners.

Countertop credit card scanners

Countertop scanners are stationary devices that are placed on the counter of a retail outlet. Typically, retail stores utilize countertop scanners where customers make payments at the checkout. Countertop scanners are connected to POS systems for payment processing.

SoftPOS apps

SoftPOS apps are Android operating system-based software that allows retailers to accept contactless payments via digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. SoftPOS apps do not require additional hardware like POS terminals or mPOS. Retailers can download softPOS apps on mobile devices to convert them into payment acceptance devices.

Payment Methods Accepted by Credit Card Scanners

Below is a list of some of the common payment processing methods which credit card scanners accept-
Magnetic stripe
Magnetic stripe cards are encoded with thousands of tiny, iron-based particles that produce a magnetic field. These magnetic strips store specific information including the customer's name, bank account number, card's expiration date, etc. Magnetic stripe cards are becoming outdated as it is prone to fraudulent activities and easy abuse of the information stored on the card.
Chip and PIN cards
Chip and PIN cards include a microchip that requires a cardholder to enter a personal identification number to authorize the transaction. Cardholders insert the card into the retailer's POS terminals that read the customer's bank information stored on the microchip. The POS system then asks the customer to enter their PIN, to authorize the transaction.
Contactless payments
Contactless payments are made when a customer taps or swipes a contactless chip card over a credit card scanner. Contactless chip cards utilize Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to read the customer information on the card and then send it to the bank where you have your merchant account to process the transaction.
Mobile wallets or e-wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay allow customers to pay for goods and services purchased using mobile payments. Customers store their bank details in a virtual wallet that is secured through the tokenization process. Digital wallets are ideal for online shopping as well as in-store purchases. Many digital wallets use Biometric Data that is stored by Biometric Scanners on some smartphones.

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Best Credit card Scanners for Restaurants

Today, many credit card scanners are available to suit your specific business requirements. Every card reader has its advantages and disadvantages. It is important to analyze your options before you make your choices.

Below are the top credit card scanners for you to consider-

1. Plum

Plum credit card reader is one of the best credit card scanners that offer a multi-technology, multi-format credit card scanner that can read magnetic stripe cards and is RFID, NFC and Bluetooth enabled. It is compatible with smartphones. It comes pre-configured with Plum POS systems. It accepts all payment forms including credit cards, debit cards, cashless and contactless payments.

2. Square

Square credit card reader is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Square offers a free credit card reader with no monthly fees and can work in an offline mode. However, it charges a flat processing fee of 2.75% per chip swipe transaction.

3. Clover

Clover offers an array of entry-level to full-featured card readers. Clover Mini credit card reader has a compact and customizable countertop design that is suitable for small businesses such as restaurants. Clover Go contactless reader allows various card payment options including swipe, tap, and dip.

4. Shopify

Shopify offers a chip-and-swipe credit card scanner that is portable and can be mounted on a counter. A credit card scanner from Shopify can accept major credit and debit cards, as well as supports EMV chip technology. Shopify Credit card reader can connect with iOS and Android phones wirelessly using Bluetooth.

5. Helcim

Helcim offers a full-featured credit card reader that can accept all major debit/credit cards and mobile wallets. It is compatible with smartphones, desktop computers, and tablets. Helcim charges no monthly fee, while its processing fees are based on a sliding scale, meaning the higher the number of transactions, the lower you pay in card processing fee.