The best credit card reader for Android phones and tablets makes it easy for merchants to sell and accept credit cards, from food trucks to trade shows. With the advanced POS technology of various services and robust credit card reader for Android, you can even use them in your physical store.
What Is the Best Credit Card Reader for Android in 2023?
In the fast-paced world of technology, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements, especially when it comes to financial transactions. The best credit card reader for Android in 2023 is a powerful tool that enables you to accept payments, manage your finances, and boost your business’s efficiency.
But what makes a credit card reader the best for Android in 2023? Let’s break it down:
- Compatibility: The ideal credit card reader should seamlessly integrate with your Android device, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free payment process.
- Security: In an era where data breaches are a growing concern, the best credit card reader for Android in 2023 should prioritize security, safeguarding both your and your customers’ sensitive information.
- Functionality: It should offer a range of features, such as contactless payments, inventory management, and sales analytics, to streamline your business operations.
- Affordability: While seeking the best, you shouldn’t break the bank. The top Android credit card readers should offer value for your money.
- User-Friendly: Nobody has time for a complicated setup. The best credit card reader for Android should be user-friendly, allowing you to get started quickly.
Now that we have a clear picture of what to expect from the best credit card reader for Android in 2023, let’s explore some of the top options available on the market.
The best credit card readers for Android are:
- Square: Best overall, especially for those who need a robust POS
- PayPal Zettle: Best for occasional sales, such as craftsmen selling at trade shows
- Down Payment (SwipeSimple): Cheapest credit card processor for businesses processing over $10,000 in sales each month
- Stax by Fattmerchant: Best Mobile Billing & Recurring Billing for Businesses Processing Over $20,000 Monthly
- Shopify: Best for online businesses that also sell in-person
Looking for a more personal mobile payment processor? If you prefer a peer-to-peer payment processing solution, consider Venmo. You can request payments with QR codes without monthly fees and costs from 1.9% + 10 cents per transaction. There are also options to create a business account.
Don’t have Android? Check out our recommended credit card readers for iPhones.
Square: The best general-purpose credit card reader for Android
- No chargeback fees
- Powerful free POS system
- User-friendly, versatile
- Free dispute management, active fraud monitoring, and notifications
- Blocked in square payments
- Customer service is only available on weekdays
- Common Customer Complaints About Long-Term Money Retention
- Gift card: 2.6% + 10 cents
- Typed: 3.5% + 15 cents
- Chargeback Fee: $0
- Card reader: $49 for chip and touch (a free swipe reader worth $10)
- POS System: Free
Square works with phones running Google Android 4.0 and above. It is an excellent credit card reader for Android phones, but it also includes a POS system and other options that can work not only for the common user but also for the whole store, service company, or restaurant. The mobile app itself is one of the most top-rated in our list of providers for this roundup.
With 4.65 stars out of 5, Square is rated our #1 credit card reader for Android. The price is excellent as there are no monthly fees and there are no minimums, which makes it good for the casual user. It has an excellent chargeback policy and a complete POS program, also suitable for full-time businesses. You can send invoices, complete transactions offline, and much more. Users rate it highly for its ease of use and features.
In addition to our recommended credit card reader for Android, Square is also our top pick for mobile credit card processing.
- Best Feature: Square’s free online POS system is great for merchants who have the occasional weekend trade show. It’s also powerful enough for restaurants or brick-and-mortar stores. If you need scheduling, appointment scheduling, and customer management, you can get these features at an additional cost.
- mPOS app: 4.6 stars on Google Play, with about 140,000 users. In addition to receiving payments, you can manage your inventory, issue and track invoices, and analyze trends. Users especially praise reliability and convenience. The few one-star reviews were mostly about customer service issues or closed accounts.
- Payment types: credit cards, contactless, online, gift cards, international but not international cards (meaning you must be in the country where you activated your Square account). Electronic controls are available at an additional cost.
- Business Management Tools: You can create customer lists with contact details and notes and send messages to customers through the app. The POS system is robust enough for restaurants and service businesses, with categories, photos, and scheduling tools.
- Fraud Protection: Square offers free dispute management, active fraud prevention, and suspicious activity notifications. You can add risk management for 6 cents per trade.
Where is square missing
By choosing to use Square’s software credit card reader for Android, you’re also stuck with Square’s native payment processor, Square Payments. And while it offers very competitive transaction fees, some businesses may prefer an alternative like Shopify (fee), where they can process payments with third-party processors.
PayPal Zettle: Best for One-Time Sales
- Free POS with no minimum usage
- Very easy interface
- Pay directly with PayPal
- No offline mode
- No free mobile card reader
- Does not integrate with PayPal’s online store and virtual terminal
PayPal Zettle Pricing
- Gift card: 2.29% + 9 cents
- Typed: 3.49% + 9 cents
- Chargeback Fee: $20
- Card reader: $79 (first $29)
- POS System: Free
PayPal Zettle mobile credit card reader for Android offers more features compared to other readers on our list, even Square. It has a PIN to process chip, tap, or swipe transactions at a discounted price of $29 for your first device. Zettle’s simple POS solution and zero monthly fees make it the perfect solution for occasional sellers, such as artisans attending trade shows and selling at farmers’ markets.
PayPal Zettle ranks second on our list with a score of 4.18 out of 5 stars. It achieved high marks for payment types and our expert rating but lost points due to the lack of offline payment processing and limited customer support. You should also look for an alternative like Square if you want a more reliable way to accept ACH payments.
- Best Feature: Zettle offers same-day deposits to PayPal, so you can access your money faster with daily direct deposits to your PayPal account. Keep in mind that Square only allows you to get a same-day deposit to your bank account at an additional fee of 1.5% on the amount deposited.
- POS Registration: You can track cash receipts and accept other forms of payment such as gift cards and bitcoin, or even receive payments via QR codes. You can also generate order tickets, tip customers, print receipts, and make full or partial refunds.
- Mobile app: Zettle has 3.9 out of 5 stars on the Google Play Store from over 39,000 reviews. Some customers say the platform is easy to use, while complaints include problems using the reader after a mobile app update and unscheduled updates that occur during business operations.
What PayPal Zettle Is Missing
Unfortunately, the PayPal Zettle credit card reader for Android does not support offline payment processing, which can slow down your business if you sell in remote locations for trade shows and exchanges. Consider Square as an alternative if you need this feature.
Payment Depot: The Best Cheap Credit Card Processor for High Volume Sales
- Exchange rates more
- Integrates with SwipeSimple mobile payment processing
- Offers a 90-day money-back guarantee
- The complicated process for resolving chargebacks
- Not a native mobile POS solution
- US-based sellers only
- Deposit prices/payment SwipeEasy
- Monthly Subscriptions: $79 – $199
- Transaction costs: exchange + 7 cents to 15 cents, depending on the subscription
- Chargeback Fee: $0
- Card Reader: $49
- POS System: Varies
Payment Depot uses CardFlight’s SwipeSimple mobile app to process cards. SwipeSimple is a highly regarded application used by many payment processors. Payment Depot charges a monthly fee in exchange for lower transaction and interchange fees. If you’re processing more than $10,000 monthly, you may find this credit card processor more affordable, even with the monthly fee. Traditional trading accounts such as Payment Depot also offer greater account stability.
This payment processor is unique on this list because it uses an exchange-plus pricing model rather than a flat fee. So instead of paying the same fee for every transaction, Payment Depot charges the interchange fee directly. This is the fee charged by credit and debit card issuers. Then Payment Depot charges a small fee of 5 to 15 cents per transaction. This model usually offers very competitive rates.
In our review, Payment Depot scored 4.15 out of 5 stars, and while it’s affiliated with Stax by Fattmerchant (another subscription-based price payment processor), both are good for several reasons. Payment Depot has more stable mobile features and allows the use of virtual terminals at no additional cost, but is not considered user-friendly. SwipeSimple’s POS app handles the main functions and also has an offline mode. It is better with Android 5.0 and above.
Payment Depot features
- Best Feature: We rarely find customers praising a payment company’s customer service, but Payment Depot reviews on Trustpilot consistently praise the customer service staff for responding quickly and taking the time to answer questions and resolve issues.
- mPOS (SwipeSimple) app: 4.3 stars on Google Play with about 850 reviews. Record cash and credit card sales, request tips, track inventory, and support multiple merchant accounts. The mobile app works offline, so you can process transactions without an internet connection.
- Payment methods: Credit cards, touchless, online, international, and international.
- Business Management Tools: The SwipeSimple app has inventory and checkout features. Payment Depot also offers commercial loans.
- Fraud Protection: Fee protection, chargeback monitoring, and risk monitoring, plus data breach protection (popular plan and above).
Which deposit is missing
Payment Depot credit card reader for Android does not have a native mobile POS app and instead integrates with SwipeSimple to offer its customers a mobile payment solution. That said, SwipeSimple is highly rated by its users as being easy to use, even though card reader pairing issues are occasionally reported. If you prefer a solution that offers integrated mobile payment features, consider Square as an alternative. Consider Shopify for ecommerce businesses.
Stax by Fattmerchant: Best for high volume retailers who need billing and recurring billing tools
- Low-Cost ACH Processing
- Wholesale Payment Processing Fees:
- Same-day financing
- One of the highest monthly fees for subscription-based payment processors, unsuitable for small businesses
- Billing and billing features require a subscription upgrade
- You must request access to ACH resources
Stax by Fattmerchant Prices
- Card presentation costs: Exchange + 8 cents
- Card not present costs: Exchange + 15 cents
- Chargeback Fee: $25
- Card reader: $75 (first one is free)
- Monthly Fee: $99 – $199
Stax by Fattmerchant has one of the most transparent payment processing fees on the market today. Like Payment Depot, it offers subscription-based pricing in exchange for more fees for wholesale interchange pricing and low-cost ACH processing. Prices are slightly higher than Payment Depot, with plans ranging from $99 to $199 per month depending on your business needs.
For this roundup, we recommend Stax by Fattmerchant for businesses processing at least $20,000 monthly sales volume and needing access to billing and recurring billing tools from their mobile app. It provides customers with powerful billing and collection software tools, including recurring and stored payment options, ideal for medium-sized retailers and professional service companies. While Stax offers low transaction costs, it has a high monthly fee that is more practical for established and growing businesses that can offset the costs with constant sales volume.
Overall, Stax by Fattmerchant scored 4.15 out of 5 stars, taking third place with Payment Depot. It scored better on mobile features but lost points due to poor access to quality customer support and payment type flexibility, whereas Payment Depot scored perfectly.
Stax Resources by Fattmerchant
Best Feature: Stax Pay is Fattmerchant’s payment toolkit that includes a mobile POS app and Bluetooth card readers for iOS and Android. It turns your mobile device into a terminal that allows you to accept credit cards, send digital receipts and manage invoices for customers.
- Mobile App: The Stax Pay app on Google Play is relatively new and has only about 10 user reviews so far, earning it 2.8 stars.
- Invoicing: In addition to submitting digital receipts, you can also create and manage digital invoices directly from the Stax platform. It also allows you to schedule recurring charges (as well as automatic payment reminders) that you can send to customers via email or text message.
- Saved Payment Options: Stax includes features that allow you to create and save complete customer profiles. This includes giving your customers the option to save their credit card or payment information for automatic payment processing. The system also integrates with third-party CRMs such as NetSuite, Salesforce, and Infusionsoft.
What the Fattmerchant’s Stax is missing?
Stax by Fattmerchant stands out in our list of the best credit card reader for Android for its billing and recurring billing features. However, these tools are only available if you upgrade to Stax by Fattmerchant’s mid-range plan, meaning it can be expensive for small businesses with low sales volume. For full access to payment processing tools, including invoicing, consider Payment Depot.
Shopify: Best for Online Business with Personal Selling
- Industry-leading omnichannel capabilities
- Customizable Mobile Checkout
- User-friendly mobile app
- Requires a Shopify eCommerce account subscription
- Requires Shopify Payments to use a mobile card reader
- Limited offline functionality
- Shopify Pricing
- Personal: 2.4%-2.7%
- Online: 2.4%-2.9% + 30 cents
- Chargeback Fee: $15
- Card Reader: $49
- POS System: $0-$89
*Requires a Shopify ecommerce account subscription ($29-$299 per month) to access the free POS
Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that includes a free mobile POS system with every account. Their credit card processing fees are competitive, but what sets Shopify apart is the convenience. All online and in-person sales are synced to the Shopify dashboard, so your sales, inventory, and customer data are always up to date — perfect for brick-and-mortar retailers who also sell online. It is better with Android 5.0 and above.
Shopify made our list 4.0 out of 5 stars. Like Payment Depot, it lost points for not having a free or discounted mobile card reader. You also have to pay a monthly fee, although you take advantage of Shopify’s excellent eCommerce/POS system. (If you want to avoid monthly fees, check out Square.) Card transactions are simple and inexpensive percentages compared to most card readers. The deposit speed is slower than most on our list of best credit card readers for Android. However, users praise the ease of use.
- Best Feature: Shopify is among the best for ecommerce. In addition to a complete POS system, it offers other selling options and processes cash payments to bitcoins. While Shopify is best known for e-commerce, it has a robust POS platform for mobile and in-store sales, making it an ideal solution for multi-channel merchants. Shopify integrates with over 2000 different apps and programs.
- mPOS app: 2.8 stars on Google Play out of about 1,400 reviews. In addition to managing your online store (some limitations), it allows you to receive payments, including cards or cash. Users loved the convenience, but some complained that it looked more dated on Android than on iPhone and there were connectivity issues.
- Payment methods: credit cards, contactless, online, gift card, international, bitcoin, and more. Shopify deposits money into your bank account within one to three days. Shopify doesn’t accept card payments without an internet connection.
- Business management tools: shipping management, inventory management, sync with Shopify POS, Facebook store, analytics, and reporting.
- Fraud protection: EMV and PCI certified readers, fraud analysis, and fraud prevention recommendations (Shopify plan and above).
What Shopify lacks
If your business regularly accepts credit card payments, not having access to a reliable internet connection can become a problem. Shopify can only process cash and digital wallet transactions when they are offline. If you need full offline payment functionality, consider Square or Payment Depot.
How We Rate Credit Card Reader For Android?
Most people think of iPads when they think of mobile POS systems, but many payment processors offer great options for Android as well. Some also have trading accounts. We chose reputable payment processors that also have highly-rated apps in the Google Play Store. We then looked at prices, features, and how quickly you could get paid to determine the best options.
Next to the best card readers for iOS, Square was ranked #1 for Android systems. It has great rates and a fantastic mobile, tablet, and web POS system that can grow with you.
What is a great credit card reader for Android phones and tablets?
The same features that make a good mobile card reader for Android phones and tablets are generally good card readers. Let’s see what you want from your Android-based card reader.
If your mobile card reader supports Bluetooth, you can connect wirelessly to your phone or tablet, making mobile processing easier. Of course, that means keeping your device charged.
Early mobile card readers were usually only magnetic stripe readers (Square still offers a free magnetic stripe reader), but in today’s fraud-conscious world, being able to accept chip card (EMV) transactions is a must. Your customers are likely to become increasingly wary of stolen transactions because of the security vulnerabilities associated with these transactions.
With consumers increasingly using their smartphones to make purchases through mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, accepting NFC transactions will position you well for the future.
FAQs: Your Burning Questions Answered
Now that we’ve explored some of the top contenders for the best credit card reader for Android in 2023, you might have a few burning questions. Here are some FAQs to guide you:
1. How Do I Choose the Right Credit Card Reader for My Business?
Choosing the right credit card reader depends on your business’s specific needs. Consider factors like the type of payments you’ll be accepting, your budget, and any additional features you require.
2. Are Android Credit Card Readers Secure?
Yes, Android credit card readers prioritize security. They use encryption and tokenization to protect your and your customers’ data during transactions.
3. Can I Use My Android Phone as a Credit Card Reader?
Some Android credit card readers allow you to use your phone or tablet as a card reader, while others come as standalone devices that connect to your Android device via Bluetooth or USB.
4. What Are the Costs Associated with Android Credit Card Readers?
Costs vary depending on the brand and features. Some credit card readers offer competitive pricing with transparent transaction fees, while others might have monthly subscription plans.
5. Do I Need a Merchant Account to Use an Android Credit Card Reader?
Some Android credit card readers require a merchant account, while others, like Square, offer payment processing without the need for a traditional merchant account.
6. Can I Accept Contactless Payments with Android Credit Card Readers?
Yes, many Android credit card readers support contactless payments, such as NFC (Near Field Communication) transactions, making the payment process even more convenient for your customers.
To find a great mobile credit card reader for Android, you should first look at the best payment processors such as Square Payments, PayPal Zettle, and Payment Depot. Each has strengths and pricing structures that make it best for specific business types and sizes. Since there are a wide variety of Android devices, make sure your favorite credit card reader is compatible with your device.
Square, our top pick, works for Google Android 4.0 and above. It’s a cost-effective payment processor with great features for phone app sales, as well as in-store, online, and more. Get started with Square credit card reader for Android today.