A Guide to Magnetic Stripe Card Readers

How to find magnetic stripe card readers for any retail scenario

Magnetic stripe card readers no longer qualify as retail business luxuries. In an era when quality customer service and convenience is expected faster than the speed of light, magnetic readers are essential.

Luckily, magnetic readers themselves have evolved significantly to provide you with even more versatility. Vendors can now outfit a multitude of retail management systems with retail card readers. In addition, magnetic card readers can connect to anything from a cash register to a PDA, which is good news for those who want to make their business more efficient and customer-friendly while on the road.

It's possible to find a magnetic card reader to fit your business needs online. While shopping on the web, keep the following in mind:

1. Consider what type of device you'll connect the magnetic stripe reader to, such as a PDA, personal computer or register.

2. Determine whether you'd like your magnetic stripe card readers to multitask, like including "smart card" capabilities.

3. Purchase test cards to try out and develop your new magnetic stripe readers.

Get your magnetic swipe card reader to multitask

Smart card technology provides an extra level of safety and protection for your business. Many magnetic swipe card readers come with this technology already built in.

Take your mag stripe readers on the road

If your card swiper needs to travel with you, consider a device that can connect to a laptop computer or handheld PDA. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you offer the option to pay with a card.

Test out the magnetic strip reader

Purchase magnetic test cards to make sure your magnetic card readers are operating correctly--from cards that act as brand new credit cards to those that simulate scratched or damaged cards.

Research different magnetic swipe card reader brands

A number of sites allow you to sort through card swiper options by manufacturer, which helps you shop around for the best magnetic card reader for your needs, at the best price.
  • To avoid any suspicion of identity theft or fraud, try to make sure your cash registers are hooked up to your business' point of sale terminal. With this configuration, cashiers won't have to run cards through multiple magnetic stripe readers, a practice that can raise a red flag for skimming with many consumers.

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