Android credit card readers process payments using a smartphone or tablet, allowing business owners to make sales anywhere. You can track inventory and sales, and some reader providers charge only transaction fees. Simple credit card readers for Android (swipe only) are typically free while readers that accept all cards can cost about $29 to $60.
Top 6 Credit Card Readers for Android 2019
|Square Payments||(Best Overall) Any business accepting payment by swipe, chip, and contactless credit cards|
|PayPal Here||Mobile sellers who want to accept credit cards and PayPal payments|
|Shopify||Online and mobile sellers who need real-time inventory updates to track merchandise|
|Cayan||Small business owners with lots of transactions who need lower processing fees|
|Intuit GoPayment||QuickBook users for easy integration, plus low transaction and monthly fees|
|Fattmerchant||High-volume sellers ($10,000+/month) that want transparent pricing|
How We Evaluated the Best Credit Card Readers for Android
First, each mobile credit card reader in our list work with Android smartphones and tablets so that you don’t have to consider switching devices to get the best for your small business. Beyond that, we found the most affordable options that also offer point-of-sale (POS) features to help you run your business, whether you have a small storefront, you’re at a farmers’ market, or you’re operating an ecommerce business.
We considered Android credit card readers that meet or exceed these criteria:
- Flexible readers: One way or another, these credit card readers for Android let you accept payments by swiping (magstripe), inserting (chip or EMV), or tapping (contactless or NFC)
- Security: Payment data is protected with encryption and PCI compliance to keep your customers and you secure
- Affordability: Some credit card reader companies only charge you per transaction, while others come with a monthly fee, but they’ll offer more features; either way, the fees won’t break the bank, which is important for small businesses
- Ease of use: Apps and the readers themselves should follow an industry standard, making them intuitive for you and your customers to use
Getting started with Square is easy and affordable, which is just the beginning of why we picked it as the best credit card reader for Android. It’s our top pick for an Android credit card reader because it is one of the most recognizable mobile credit card readers, which nets you instant trust with customers, and it has the security to back that up better than the other credit card readers for Android.
Square Payments: Best Overall Credit Card Reader for Android
Square Payments is an all-in-one solution for small businesses that need to accept payments with a credit card reader for Android devices, serving as a payment processor, card reader, and mobile POS. The no- to low-cost startup and flat-rate processing fees make this an affordable choice for most small businesses doing low-volume monthly sales.
At first glance, Square’s pricing structure may seem complex, but if you focus on your needs, and the types of transactions you’ll be taking, it makes a lot of sense. Square charges no monthly fee for using the base software. The classic Square reader for magstripe cards ― when a customer swipes his or her card ― is free when you sign up. Keyed-in transactions and online payments cost a bit more because there’s a greater chance of fraud than with in-person transactions.
Square Payments Pricing
|Square Reader (Magstripe)|
|Square Reader (Chip & Contactless)|
Square offers one of the most complete solutions for small businesses that need a credit card reader for Android devices. The readers work with the POS app from Square, which you can download for free from Google Play. The features that Square offers include data analysis, an online store, inventory management, and customer profiles.
Track Sales Through Square
Every Square account comes with Square Dashboard for free. Log in on the website, and you’ll be able to see an at-a-glance view of your gross sales, discounts, net sales, and a breakdown of tax, gift card sales, and tips if applicable. You can track how sales were made too, whether by cash, card, other methods of payment, and fees paid. Square lets you see any dates you’d like, whether you want to see sales for a specific day, week, month, year, and so on. All this data can be seen in various graphs and charts too. You can also analyze item sales so that you can see which of your products are flying off the shelves, and which ones you might need to retire.
Square’s Free Online Store
Signing up with Square gets you a free ecommerce website too. Populate your inventory with products and product images. You can customize the store with a business profile and shipping or pick up details, and then launch the store. Any online orders made will show up on the Square POS app under Orders.
Inventory Management Through Square
Inventory management in Square is easy, and you can customize your inventory categories and items as needed. Create categories that make sense for your business. For example, if you have a food truck, you can create categories like beverages, appetizers, main courses, and sides. When you’re ready to add items, you can attach a photo, which makes it easy for anyone to find them when taking orders. The images even show up on a customer’s receipt, which you’ll email or text to them after a transaction.
Square’s Customer Profiles
Your customer list in Square can help you manage more than contact information. You can add notes to personalize your customer’s experience. For example, if you run a beauty salon and you have a regular customer, you can note how they take their coffee, what hair color is preferred, and names of children or pets. You can even send a direct message from the customer profile to a customer to remind them of an appointment or to thank them for their business.
What Square Is Missing
While having Square as your credit card processor is convenient, it means you can’t shop around for lower processing fees from third-party merchant account providers. Also, customer support is only available on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time, which means you won’t be able to get live support help if you have an issue during weekends. You’ll have to email support instead and hope the support ticket is answered quickly.
Small business owners often mentioned ease of use in Square user reviews at the top of the list of likes. Having a credit card reader for Android devices means you can be more flexible when you’re taking payments from pop-up shops and fairs, which was another big plus for Square.
The biggest pain point for users of Square is the customer service. To talk to anyone by phone, you must have a Square account and acquire a customer code. Some users have said customer support reps can be hit or miss so that you could get great service one day, and not-so-great service the next.
Where to Find Square
Square offers competitive flat-rate fees, so you’ll always know what percentage you’re paying. Plus, you get excellent value in all the free features of the POS app to help manage your business. Square is the best credit card reader for Android and other devices for its no-hidden-fees philosophy, free business management features, and quick processing — and it’s free to get started.
PayPal Here: Best Credit Card Reader for Android With Alternative Payments
PayPal Here is a flexible mobile payments solution for small businesses that need a credit card reader for Android, and that also want to accept payments by cash, check, and PayPal. You’ll get features to help you manage your sales, inventory, and business. Plus, there are helpful integrations to make checkouts faster.
PayPal Here Pricing
The pricing structure for PayPal Here is similar to Square Payments and comparable in price, but it’s slightly lower for swipe payments. The benefit to using PayPal Here is that you can accept PayPal for payments, and you can take international credit cards, but the fees stack up for cross-border transactions. Although you’re paying less per United States transaction, you’ll have to purchase a reader that works for you, and those range from $14.99 to $59.99. Like Square Payments, the PayPal Here mobile app is free to download and use.
|PayPal Mobile Card Reader (Magstripe)|
|PayPal Chip and Swipe Reader (Magstripe & Chip)|
|PayPal Chip and Tap Reader (Magstripe, Chip & Contactless)|
PayPal Here Features
The features you get with a PayPal Here account for your small business are numerous. They’re both similar and different from other options you have. The business management features are as convenient as the PayPal Here credit card readers for Android. You’ll be able to manage inventory, integrate with other apps, generate reports on sales, and you can apply for a business debit card, which gets you your money faster.
PayPal Business Debit Card
The PayPal Business debit card makes your balance available to you instantly, rather than you having to transfer funds from your PayPal business account to your bank account. Plus, the 1% cash back offer on certain purchases can help you recoup the money you put into transaction fees.
Inventory Management With PayPal Here
Like other credit card readers for Android, PayPal Here includes an app where you can create items and categories to keep track of all your products in your inventory. The app can be used on your Android devices or even from the web-based app on your desktop, which makes adding and organizing inventory easier.
PayPal Here Integrations
The PayPal Here credit card reader for Android works well for taking mobile payments, but you can also add a PayPal button to your ecommerce website and accept payments online. Invoicing is also available as are third-party shopping cart systems if you want to integrate those. Accounting and marketplace apps, like QuickBooks Online are also available.
Reporting in PayPal Here
Customize sales reports to see how your business is doing by day, week, month, or year. Also, see how specific salespeople are doing, or how well specific products are selling. There are also pre-built summaries to let you know how your business fares day to day.
Customize Your PayPal Here Payments
PayPal Here gives you some control over what you can do with each transaction. You can apply your state’s tax rate to each purchase, offer discounts, and offer an option for adding a tip.
What PayPal Here Is Missing
While PayPal Here is a viable solution for Android credit card readers, it does have a few issues. Specifically, Android users may experience crashes with the app, which can be unsettling to see while you’re handling transactions. Additionally, PayPal Here charges you for the credit card reader you need, unlike Square Payments, which offers its swipe version for free.
PayPal Here Reviews
Overall, most PayPal Here reviews by users are positive. The Android credit card readers work well in most circumstances, they’re easy to use as is the app, and funds are transferred to business accounts almost immediately. However, the readers often don’t work, lose Bluetooth connection to mobile devices, and the app crashes intermittently for some users.
Perhaps the biggest complaint about PayPal Here is that accounts are sometimes reviewed and funds can be frozen. This creates an issue for small business users who need positive cash flow.
Where to Find PayPal Here
PayPal Here is a good solution for small businesses that need a credit card reader for Android devices. It’s easy to connect your mobile phone or tablet with the reader by Bluetooth and start taking payments immediately. If a customer wants to pay by cash or check, you can record those transactions in the app, and you can even invoice and take PayPal direct payments.
Shopify POS: Best Android Credit Card Reader for eCommerce & In-person Sellers
Shopify POS is best known for its ecommerce shopping cart system and online store, but it also offers a credit card reader for Android devices that helps you take your sales offline. There’s no need for you to integrate with a separate POS, as Shopify’s mobile app offers many business management tools.
Pricing for Shopify’s Android credit card reader and processing fees looks similar to the best credit card reader for Android, Square Payments, but the percentages are a bit lower. However, to make the most of Shopify, you’ll have to pay at least $9 per month for the Shopify Lite plan. It’s worth noting that while the processing fee percentages for online and manual payments are lower than Square, the added fee of 30 cents is higher.
|Shopify Reader (Magstripe & Chip)|
|Shopify Lite (Monthly)|
Shopify POS Features
When you compare Shopify features to your other options for credit card readers and their respective mobile payment processing apps, it’s hard to beat Shopify. You can track inventory and sales both online and offline, sell your products on a Facebook store, accept promo codes, and you get access to shipping management. Shopify also includes tools to allow you to track sales, taxes, and email invoices.
Sell Online or Off With Shopify POS
With your Shopify Lite plan, you’ll be able to sell products from your online Facebook store. Take your Shopify credit card reader for Android, and you’ll be able to accept swipe and chip cards for payment when you’re selling offline.
Shopify POS Inventory Management
Add your inventory from your desktop or mobile device, and track sales easily, so you can stop selling products when you sell out. You can enter various information about all your items, from stock keeping units (SKUs) and prices to colors and sizes.
Shopify POS Shipping Management
Shopify partners with big names in shipping, such as UPS and USPS. You’ll be able to choose flat-rate shipping or offer exact prices for shipping to your customers. An emailed receipt will include tracking information, which increases customer confidence in your small business.
Reporting in Shopify POS
See how your business is faring with robust analytics that show you sales, discounts, taxes, shipping, and return costs. You can also see which products are hot and which are not, which will help you make informed decisions on inventory and marketing.
What Shopify POS Is Missing
The Shopify POS mobile solution for Android credit card readers is great if you only anticipate accepting magstripe and chip cards, but you won’t be able to get an all-in-one reader right now to accept contactless payments. There is a reader available that supports all payment methods, but it’s not compatible with Android devices.
Shopify POS Reviews
One of the biggest pluses noted in Shopify POS reviews is the automatic sync of online and offline inventory. Some pain points listed include no offline processing of credit cards and no tipping option, which limits how Shopify POS can be used.
Where to Find Shopify POS
If you’re already using Shopify for an online store and you want to sell occasionally in-person, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to start using Shopify POS and its credit card reader for Android. The processing fees and rates are competitive to other processors, but you won’t be able to accept offline or contactless payments.
Cayan: Best Android Credit Card Reader for High-dollar Tickets
Cayan is a little different than most flat-rate credit card processing companies, but it could save you money in fees if you’re making lots of sales each month. The company’s credit card reader for Android is an all-in-one reader for multiple payment methods. Integrations make it possible to create a mobile POS solution for you.
Rates and fees aren’t immediately transparent with Cayan, but that’s because it follows the interchange-plus pricing structure. You’re not likely to pay the same rate as a fellow small business owner because fees and rates are determined based on your sales and the credit cards you take. There is a monthly statement fee for Cayan, and there’s a Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance fee, neither of which are charged by Square Payments. However, as you’ll see in the chart below, the rates could be much more affordable for your small business.
|Cayan Reader (Swipe & Chip)|
|Statement Fee (Monthly)|
|PCI Compliance (Annually)|
Your rates could vary from .39% to 3.68%, which is a wide range. If you’re doing a high volume of sales with your Cayan credit card reader for Android, you’re likely going to be paying somewhere around 2% in processing fees, along with the added fee from the processor. Factor in the monthly statement fee, the PCI compliance fee, and you’re likely to save money using Cayan versus Square Payments, which could cost you nearly 1% more.
One of the great things about choosing Cayan as your payment processor and its Genius mobile credit card reader for Android is that you get a chance to customize your experience. There are several integrations and an open API, so if you have a developer, you can make Cayan integrate with your proprietary apps.
Accept Payments Offline With Cayan
Although not an ideal situation, if you happen to go offline while making mobile sales, you can still make a transaction. It’s similar to Square Payments in that respect.
Cayan allows you to connect to other software applications to create a complete small business solution. For example, you can integrate Cayan and your Genius mobile Android credit card reader with Lightspeed POS, which helps you streamline inventory, sales data, and customer information.
Cayan’s Customer Support
Though not typically considered a feature, Cayan’s customer support is worth mentioning as it’s top notch. Representatives are available 24/7 every day of the week by phone. You can also email support if you prefer. Plus, you get an account manager who will walk you through the setup.
What Cayan Is Missing
The basic credit card reader for Android that’s available from Cayan only accepts magstripe and chip credit cards, which means you’ll have to break the news to customers that you can’t accept Google Pay or other contactless mobile payments. Well, unless you buy the $499 all-in-one reader from Cayan, which is a bit expensive for smaller businesses.
Most Cayan reviews show that users are happy with the app, Android credit card reader, and service. The ease of use of the app and reader are mentioned often as is the customer service. Rates can be tricky to understand, so it makes sense that there are several complaints about high fees and rates.
Where to Find Cayan
For the small business who is raking in high volumes of sales, Cayan could be the most affordable alternative to other credit card readers for Android like Square Payments. You’ll have to invest a fair amount in equipment if you want to accept contactless payments, but you may save money in the long run with this payment solution.
Intuit GoPayment: Best Android Credit Card Reader for QuickBooks Users
Intuit GoPayment (also known as QuickBooks GoPayment) includes a free credit card reader for Android devices and an app with POS features to help you manage your small business. This payment processing option is a good choice for those who are already using QuickBooks for accounting as it will sync with your sales information automatically.
Intuit GoPayment Pricing
The pricing for Intuit GoPayment seems appealing at first glance. After all, it’s one of the most affordable processing rate percentages you’ll see in this list. However, you have to keep that 25-cent fee in mind. If you’re doing low-total transactions, your fees will add up quickly while Square Payments doesn’t charge a fee on top of the percentage rate for in-person transactions.
|Intuit GoPayment Reader (Magstripe & Chip)|
|Intuit GoPayment All-in-One Reader (Magstripe, Chip & Contactless)|
|PCI Compliance (Monthly)|
Intuit GoPayment Features
The Intuit GoPayment app appears to be basic in most of its offerings, but it includes a few extras that might make it worth considering. You’ll get the typical features, such as inventory management, ability to apply discounts, add tax and tip, and record cash and check transactions. Plus, you get QuickBooks integration, scanned card transactions, and branded digital receipts.
QuickBooks & Intuit GoPayment Integration
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points for this Android credit card reader is the automatic syncing of your transactions with QuickBooks Online. Bookkeeping and accounting become much easier when you don’t have to do any manual entry or figure out integrations with third-party apps.
Manual/Scanned Payments With Intuit GoPayment
If you don’t have a credit card reader for Android on you, you can still take payments using your Android devices. As long as you have the Intuit GoPayment app installed, you can use it in tandem with your camera to scan a credit card. You’ll still be paying a keyed-in transaction fee, but you won’t have to type in all the numbers manually.
Intuit GoPayment Allows Receipt Branding
After each mobile transaction with Intuit GoPayment, you can send a text or email receipt to your customer. Intuit allows you to brand those digital receipts with your company’s logo and contact information, which helps customers remember you.
What Intuit GoPayment Is Missing
The app features of Intuit GoPayment are a bit limiting, specifically as it relates to reporting. You can see transaction history, but you can’t run reports on sales or items conveniently from the app. You’ll have to log in on your desktop to get to your analytics and, even then, it’s limited to deposits, fees, taxes, and transactions.
Intuit GoPayment Reviews
The Intuit GoPayment reviews are mostly positive because of the seamless integration with QuickBooks, but it’s also been pointed out that Square Payments integrates with QuickBooks Online. The pay-as-you-go pricing structure works well for many users, although others complain that it’s an expensive option. Another issue has been with the credit card readers for Android devices as they can sometimes not work.
Where to Find Intuit GoPayment
Intuit GoPayment makes it easy for on-the-go sellers to accept payments with a Bluetooth-enabled credit card reader for Android devices. The rates are competitive with other payment processors, especially if you have high tickets, but low-ticket sellers might want to consider Square Payments for better rates.
Fattmerchant: Best Android Credit Card Reader for High-volume Sellers
Fattmerchant offers one of the best credit card readers for Android that works well for high-volume ― more than $10,000 per month ― sellers who want transparent pricing. A monthly fee, low-cost 15-cent transaction fees, and interchange fees are all you pay with Fattmerchant’s mobile credit card reader. Plus, you’ll get PCI compliance and 24/7 support at no added cost.
Fattmerchant offers two monthly plans that are based strictly on the number of sales you’re pulling annually. If you’re making less than $500,000 per year, you pay $99 per month; rake in more than $500,000 per year, and you’ll pay $199 per month for Fattmerchant. The interchange fee is what credit cards charge, so you have to pay that, but there is no added percentage to each transaction like with Cayan, only 15 cents or 12 cents per sale, depending on the plan you’ve chosen.
$199 (>$500,000 annual sales)
|Fattmerchant Reader (Magstripe & Chip)|
|Fattmerchant All-in-One Reader (Magstripe, Chip & Contactless)|
The Fattmerchant mobile credit card reader for Android works through Bluetooth, and it’s easy to use. You can choose between a magstripe reader for swiping cards or use the app to scan a card’s number for a keyed-in entry. There’s also an all-in-one Android credit card reader available at a slightly higher cost. The app that works with the credit card reader for Android lets you manage your inventory, add information to customer profiles, and you can analyze sales and business data.
Fattmerchant Inventory Control
Once you set up your catalog of products in the Fattmerchant inventory, it will sync across all your devices, so you’ll get real-time updates of everything that’s in stock or running low. You can set up low-stock alerts, which will enable a pop-up notification through Fattmerchant’s app that it’s time to reorder.
Customer Profiles in Fattmerchant
Fattmerchant lets you track more than transaction history for repeat customers. You can also include email addresses and other contact information, which helps you stay in touch with your clients. You can store credit card information too, for quicker checkouts.
From the Fattmerchant dashboard, you’ll be able to see a summary of sales, your most active buyers, and more. You can also see accounting details as Fattmerchant integrates with QuickBooks.
What Fattmerchant Is Missing
Although Fattmerchant’s interchange-plus-zero rates are excellent for bigger businesses that need mobile credit card readers for Android devices, it’s probably not the right choice for a smaller business that’s doing low-ticket sales. If you’re doing low-volume sales, a flat-rate processor and credit card reader for Android like Square Payments would be a better solution.
Those who have contributed to Fattmerchant reviews seem more than satisfied with the company’s transparent fee structure, the credit card reader for Android, customer support, and quick deposits. Any negative reviews can be attributed to freezing assets, which can happen to some sellers and is a potential issue with any merchant service provider.
Where to Find Fattmerchant
Fattmerchant charges for its mobile credit card readers for Android devices, and it requires you to pay a monthly fee, but there are no added percentage fees, PCI compliance fee, statement fee, or another hidden fee that is common with other providers. If you’re doing high-volume sales, and you want clearly defined fees, Fattmerchant could be a good choice for your bigger business.
The Bottom Line
Finding a great credit card reader for Android devices is as easy as finding the top-rated payment processors, such as Square Payments, PayPal Here, Shopify, and Cayan. They all have their pros and cons, but one may be better suited to specific businesses. With that said, the overall best credit card reader for Android devices is Square Payments.
Regardless of the payment method, Square Payments can take it, and it’s one of the most consistently affordable options available. Whether you’re selling from a food truck, farmers’ market, or retail shop, it can work well for your small business. You’ll get most of the POS features you’d need to manage your business, and there are helpful third-party integrations. You can get started with Square Payments for free.