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Choosing The Best Credit Card Reader For Small Business

Find out why a credit card reader for small businesses is a must. Learn the benefits it has to offer your new enterprise.

An infographic showing the benefits of using a credit card reader

Guide to Choosing the Best Credit Card Reader

A credit card reader machine is essential for any small business owner. It allows you to accept customer card payments and process them quickly and efficiently.

Small business owners use credit card reader machines to take payments in person, as it transmits information from the credit card directly to their bank account without needing a cash register or third-party software.

Numerous benefits are associated with using a credit card reader, including increased security, reduced fraud risk, faster transactions, and lower financial costs.

When choosing the best credit card reader for small business, there are a few things to consider. First, you must decide if you want a portable card reader or a machine plugged into your computer.

The portable card reader will be easier to use and set up if you have it on-site. However, the machine is better suited for your needs if you want one that can process transactions from multiple locations.

Factors When Buying a Credit Card Reader For Small Business

An infographic shows the card reader machine

Credit card readers are a requirement for any business that accepts credit cards as payment. This can be problematic for small businesses, which may not have the budget to purchase a reliable and up-to-date machine.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a card reader machine for your small business, so it is essential to make an informed decision before making the purchase.

The first thing to consider is the size of the credit card reader. A small business may want a portable card reader they can take on the go. If you are sitting in one place, you may want a machine that accepts multiple cards at once.

When purchasing a credit card reader, you should consider what type of payment method you will be accepting. If most of your customers are paying with cash or debit cards, you will want a portable card reader that can easily be moved around and plugged into any device with an SD slot. However, if most customers pay with credit cards, you will want something more reliable and permanent.

The second thing to consider is whether or not you have an existing POS system. If so, it will be easier for you to buy a card reader that plugs into your system because it will already have all the software and hardware needed for it to work.

Benefits of Using a Credit Card Reader for Small Business

Credit card readers are a great way to make your small business more efficient. They allow you to accept credit card payments without needing a cash register, so your customers can leave with their purchases as quickly as they want.

A credit card reader is essential for any small business owner who wants to take payments in person. The machine reads the card and transmits the information to the company’s bank account.

The benefits of using a credit card reader for small business include:

  • You don’t have to worry about expensive equipment and paying someone to install it.

  • You can accept all major types of credit cards, and you don’t have to worry about running out of cash or change.

  • It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any training.

The Best Credit Card Readers for Small Businesses in 2022

Choosing the best credit card reader is not an easy task. There are a lot of factors to consider, like the size, weight, and price of the device. But if you want to make your life easier, we have created this guide.

We have compiled a list of the best portable card readers on the market today. You will find out which is right for your business by reading our reviews and buying guide below.


Favorite among small businesses, Square has long been an excellent option for tiny or newly-established enterprises, especially those that just need to accept non-cash payments on occasion. Square has progressed from a simple, mobile-only payment processing solution to a full-featured payments ecosystem.

Why choose Square?

Square is one of the most popular processing systems for small businesses, thanks to its free card reader machine plugged into a smartphone or tablet, mobile app, and clear price structure. Square’s pay-as-you-go billing mechanism enables businesses who couldn’t otherwise afford a merchant account to take credit and debit cards.

Square keeps expenses low by grouping accounts together rather than assigning each user a separate Merchant ID number. As a result, you will not receive a real full-service merchant account, but you will most likely be authorized for one shortly. The trade-off is that your account is more likely to be frozen or canceled without notice if fraud is suspected.

Square’s product portfolio now includes more than simply a simple mobile processing solution. Although the firm covers all the bases for retail and eCommerce enterprises, certain services aren’t as adaptable or advanced as others. Also, Square’s flat-rate pricing method might be more expensive at more significant processing volumes than a full-service merchant account.

Learn more about Square now!


Helcim differentiates itself from many other suppliers by providing no long-term commitments, exclusive interchange-plus pricing, and no monthly account fees — all disclosed on the company’s website. It also offers various benefits to merchants conducting most of their sales remotely, even internationally. Interchange-plus pricing from Helcim rewards more significant transaction volumes, saving you even more money on credit card processing fees

Why choose Helcim?

Helcim maintains low prices and is one of the few full-service merchant account providers that does not charge a monthly fee. As a result, it is an excellent alternative for very low-volume and seasonal enterprises. While simple, the proprietary Helcim Card Reader provides all the features required to process in-person transactions. A mobile application used on smartphones and tablets. Helcim also offers eCommerce capabilities, such as hosted payment pages for safe online checkouts, menu embedding, and buy-now buttons.

Learn more about Helcim now!

Clover POS

While the Clover ecosystem is one of the most feature-rich systems available, it is not inexpensive. Many small companies find it prohibitive due to hefty monthly rates and expensive hardware expenditures. We’d also want to point out that Clover terminals and POS systems are proprietary, which means you cannot reprogram them to function with the payment network of any other processor.

Why Choose Clover?

Clover is one of the most reputable and well-known POS system vendors in the payments business. Clover hardware obtained through their current merchant account provider provides essential payment processing services.

Clover, a subsidiary of Fiserv (previously First Data), offers a popular range of credit card processing equipment, including mobile terminals, intelligent terminals, and fully-featured POS systems. Clover’s hardware selection includes the most recent advances in payment technology, including a wireless connection, color touchscreens, and an app store that allows you to extend the capabilities of your Clover device.

Learn more about Clover now!


PaymentCloud collaborates with a network of back-end processors and acquiring banks and specializes in setting up merchant accounts for high-risk enterprises. While the firm cannot always position every merchant, it has a greater success rate than many competitors. Most importantly, PaymentCloud performs the additional effort necessary to accept a high-risk account without charging you any application or account setup costs. Like other high-risk experts, the firm does not reveal any defined processing rates. To understand how the company’s offer compares to other suppliers, you’ll need to request a price from the sales staff and conduct some bargaining.

Why Choose PaymentCloud?

PaymentCloud offers its retail merchants an EMV-compliant credit card terminal that is free to use as long as your account is active. It also provides payment gateways such as Authorize.Net and USAePay. However, its processing technology is interoperable with various third-party gateways. With your account, you’ll also get a free virtual terminal. PaymentCloud has an excellent reputation in the business, and other suppliers, such as Dharma Merchant Services, recommend their high-risk candidates to them.

Learn more about PaymentCloud now!

National Processing

National Processing’s website contains some of the most detailed pricing disclosures, outlining its interchange-plus and membership pricing structures to prospective clients. Plans geared to specific sectors, each with its own processing pace (restaurants, in particular, make out well here). It’s a low-cost choice for businesses searching for a reliable, full-service merchant account with access to more advanced capabilities. In addition, the organization has a stellar reputation for customer service, which is uncommon in the payments sector.

Why Choose National Processing

One word of warning with National Processing: the “free” equipment offers come with long-term contract responsibilities, so make sure you understand what you’re getting into if you go that path. Immediately returned “free” equipment gets exceptions to its early termination penalty. If you close or sell your firm, you should not be concerned about being slammed with an ETF. If you quit service and transfer to a rival, National Processing typically would charge you an ETF.

Learn more about National Processing now!


Stripe is a significant participant in eCommerce payment providers and now provides retail processing via Stripe Terminal. Stripe’s robust and comprehensive feature set appears to expand year after year, delivering everything that US-based and international businesses require to process practically any payment. Stripe’s à la carte pricing method might sometimes be confusing, but it is also entirely predictable.

Why Choose Stripe?

Like many other payment service providers (PSPs), Stripe offers a pay-as-you-go billing model with flat-rate pricing and no monthly account fees for essential services. As with any PSP, you will not have a full-service merchant account, which may cause account instability in some circumstances. Nonetheless, Stripe provides one of the most powerful, configurable eCommerce solutions we’ve encountered anywhere – without charging a premium.

Learn more about Stripe now!

Host Merchant ServicesStripe 

Host Merchant Services provides a wide range of proprietary and third-party services for virtually any business. The company’s price is wholly disclosed on its website, removing the need to negotiate these conditions when opening an account. Using a Clover system, Host’s upfront interchange-plus pricing rates will save most high-volume firms a considerable amount of money. The popular Authorize.Net payment gateway and the whole range of Clover terminals and POS systems are prominent third-party features.

Why Choose Host Merchant Services?

Host Merchant Services, like most of our top picks for small company credit card processing, does not need a long-term contract or a costly early termination fee to end your account. If necessary, you can transfer to a different supplier without penalty.

While the firm allows high-risk merchants, your price and contract conditions may change (and, in the end, be more expensive) if you fall into this group. Nonetheless, it remains an excellent alternative for high-risk merchants seeking a firm with honest, transparent sales procedures and excellent customer service.

Learn more about Host Merchant Services now!

Dharma Merchant Services

Dharma is unique among credit card processing firms in that it contributes a considerable portion of its proceeds to charity. In addition, Dharma offers discounted pricing to nonprofit organizations. More information on charitable payment processing savings is available in our guide for nonprofits wishing to save money on credit card acceptance. While many assume that NGOs obtain the most excellent pricing from software specialists like Blackbaud Merchant Services, Dharma offers far lower discount rates and excellent support.

Why Choose Dharma?

Dharma provides a full range of services to fulfill the demands of practically any business, regardless of size. You’ll get genuine monthly billing, exclusive interchange-plus pricing, a low (completely stated) account fee, and excellent customer service. However, keep in mind that the corporation does not promote its services to businesses that process less than $10,000 per month and does not accept high-risk merchants.

Learn more about Dharma Merchant Services now!

Payment Depot

While Payment Depot is not the only supplier to provide membership pricing, its reputation for transparent, honest sales tactics and outstanding customer service puts it ahead of many competitors employing this relatively new pricing model. The organization has some of the most affordable monthly membership costs, making it an appealing alternative for small enterprises. Even with all of the benefits of a Payment Depot membership plan, you’ll still get month-to-month payments with no long-term contracts or early termination penalties.

Why Choose Payment Depot?

It’s an excellent option for well-established, low-risk organizations looking to reduce money on credit card processing without sacrificing functionality or contract conditions.

Learn more about Payment Depot now!


CDGcommerce has some of the most straightforward and adaptable pricing of any company we’ve come across. You may select flat-rate pricing with no monthly cost, interchange-plus pricing, or four membership pricing levels based on your monthly processing volume. The organization has an online application procedure that allows you to get onboarded fast, which is very useful for a new startup. (Note that if you work in one of the high-risk businesses accepted by CDGcommerce, you should go through the more time-consuming standard underwriting process to prevent having your account shut down unexpectedly later.)

Why Choose CDGcommerce?

CDGcommerce’s pricing plans all include month-to-month commitments. If you terminate your account, there is no long-term commitment or early termination penalty. PastePay, the company’s unique POS software program, saves all your business data in the cloud and features several expandability possibilities.

Account costs are also kept to a minimum by CDGcommerce. There will be no account setup fees, PCI compliance costs, or a monthly minimum.

Learn more about CDGcommerce now!

Why Need for Credit Card Reader for Small Business

A credit card reader is a device that allows you to accept credit cards as a form of payment for your products and services. This will allow your business to accept payments from customers who don’t have cash.

A credit card reader is an integral part of any small business. It enables you to accept payments from your customers whichever way they prefer, be it cash, checks, or credit card.

A portable card reader can be carried anywhere and will work with any type of phone or tablet. This makes it easier for you to take payments from your customers wherever they are – at home, in the office, or on the go.

There are many benefits to using a credit card reader in your small business, including the ability to process transactions more quickly, the ability to offer more payment options, and the opportunity to grow your customer base by accepting transactions from more people. If you want to learn more, then you can always visit Savvy Merchants now! 

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