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The Best Mobile Credit Card Readers For iPhone & iPad

    Emily Hale
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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

A credit card reader for an iPhone can be an affordable and convenient option whether you just started accepting credit cards or you need a more mobile option. For those who want a little more screen real estate, an iPad credit card reader can offer much of the same flexibility, too.

But the tricky part about making the right choice is that it’s not just about the card reader. You have to consider the features that accompany it, and even more importantly, the credit card processing costs and services behind it.

Read on! We are going to show you some of the best options that we’ve tested so that you can choose what iPhone and iPad credit card readers are best for your small business, whatever stage you’re in.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Payment Depot Mobile

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Best for US merchants that process over $5,000 a month and want the stability of a traditional merchant account.
Best for US merchants that process over $5,000 a month and want the stability of a traditional merchant account.

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Square

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Best for businesses that process less than $5,000 a month or can't get a traditional merchant account due to a lack of business history.
Best for businesses that process less than $5,000 a month or can't get a traditional merchant account due to a lack of business history.

Visit Site

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Shopify Lite

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Best for businesses that want to build a strong online presence and need an iPhone reader to supplement sales.
Best for businesses that want to build a strong online presence and need an iPhone reader to supplement sales.

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National Processing

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Best for small businesses that anticipate growth because of its clear, transparent pricing, with no processing volume limits.
Best for small businesses that anticipate growth because of its clear, transparent pricing, with no processing volume limits.

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PayPal Zettle

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Best for businesses that will utilize the PayPal Business platform for eCommerce.
Best for businesses that will utilize the PayPal Business platform for eCommerce.

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

How To Find The Best iPad or iPhone Credit Card Reader

Looking for the best credit card reader for your iPhone or iPad? You’re in the right place. More businesses now find themselves scrambling to adjust to new social distancing protocol measures for their customers.

You might now be doing curbside pickup or delivery options when that was never a part of your plan before, and that’s okay. Having mobility with payments is becoming crucial to adapt and succeed.

You’ve got a myriad of choices, but which has the best card reader for iPhone credit card processing? When we built this list, we took into consideration several factors, including:

  • Compatibility of the credit card reader for iPhone
  • Initial and recurring costs
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Hardware options
  • Credit card processing app features
  • Business type
  • Sales volume
  • The credit card processing company’s reputation

Let’s dig into each of our top picks and show you what iPhone or iPad credit card processing company is best for your small business.

The Best Credit Card Readers For iPhone & iPad

We think the best compatible credit card readers for iPhone and iPad users are from Square, Payment Depot, Shopify, National Processing, and PayPal. Each offers a reader with a low price point along with a robust suite of tools for the small business as it grows.

1. Payment Depot (Swipe Simple)

Payment Depot Mobile



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Payment Depot is best for US merchants that process over $5,000 a month and want the stability of a traditional merchant account. With membership pricing, good customer support, and glowing public reviews, this company’s whole package makes one of the best credit card readers for iPhone users.

  • Reader: Swift B200, a Bluetooth-enabled reader that supports magstripe and chip card transactions, is free for Merchant Maverick readers ($25 to upgrade to a contactless reader).
  • Pricing: Merchant Maverick readers can get special pricing at 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction with a $10 monthly account fee.
  • Payment Depot offers a free gateway and virtual terminal.
credit card reader for iphone

Screen Capture

Payment Depot offers a subscription-based pricing model for its merchant accounts, with a host of software options for businesses to choose from, including Clover equipment. Standard pricing plans for Payment Depot start at $49/month, with transactions processing at interchange + $0.15. However, if you’re looking for a mobile solution that runs on an iPad or iPhone, Payment Depot offers the Swipe Simple app, and Merchant Maverick readers can get access to special pricing that’s competitive even for low-volume merchants.

Swipe Simple is a very functional credit card processing app for the iPhone, works as an iPad card reader, as well as with most Android hardware. It even comes with a demo mode, so you can test out the app before you sign up, which is always nice to see. There’s limited inventory management, but you can track stock counts. It even has an offline mode, which can be important for many merchants on the go. Check out our Payment Depot Mobile/Swipe Simple review for a closer look at the software.

Pros

  • Glowing customer reviews
  • Free reader for Merchant Maverick readers
  • Robust business tools
  • No cancellation fees

Cons

  • Not suitable for high-risk industries
  • Not ideal for low-volume businesses

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. Square

Square



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Square is best for businesses that process less than $5,000/month or can’t get a traditional merchant account due to lack of business history. However, many other types of businesses find that Square’s exceptionally generous set of free tools make it the right fit for them, too. It’s one of the best bangs for the buck you can find, with plenty of iPhone and iPad card readers to choose from.

  • Readers: Free magstripe at sign up; $49 for the Square Reader for Contactless and Chip
  • Pricing: 2.6% + $0.10 for tapped, dipped, and swiped payments
  • Robust features include a free virtual terminal and flexibility with payment buttons, links, shoppable posts, curbside and delivery options, and more

ipad credit card reader

Square’s mobile point of sale app, simply called Square Point of Sale, gets a lot of love and rightfully so. First of all, the app is completely free to use. Plus, you’ll find a lot of business tools waiting for you at your dashboard, such as reporting, customer engagement tools, employee management, invoicing, and more.

Using the app as an iPad credit card reader gives you access to the vast majority of these features. The iPhone card reader also supports all of the core features and many secondary, non-universal features. Check out our in-depth Square POS review for a comprehensive look at the free POS app and our complete Square review for the rest of Square’s products.

Square offers a free magstripe iPhone credit card swiper; however, we strongly recommend the EMV chip reader over the free magstripe option, especially if you’re doing a consistent volume of business or large transactions. Square’s Contactless + Chip Reader supports both EMV and contactless NFC payments, which gives your customers more ways to pay while offering the best security and fraud protection for you as a business owner.

For more hardware options, you can check out The Complete Guide To Choosing Square POS Credit Card Readers & Cash Register Bundles for an in-depth look at your choices.

Pros

  • Predictable flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • Robust feature-set
  • No cancellation fees

Cons

  • Some account stability issues inherent with third-party processing
  • Not suitable for high-risk industries

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite



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Read our Review

Shopify is best for businesses that want to build a strong online presence and need an iPhone reader to supplement sales. Because Shopify is a third-party processor, this option is suited well for a startup or lower-volume business.

  • Readers: You have a few options in readers, starting at $29 for the Chip & Swipe Reader with a risk-free trial period.
  • Pricing: Shopify Lite will run you $9/month and 2.7% per transaction.
  • Notable features include many inventory tools, such as bulk-upload products, creating collections, and great sales channel management tools with Facebook and Instagram.

card reader for iphone

Shopify is mostly known for its eCommerce platform, but it has also developed a notably powerful POS app that integrates with its online shopping tools. All standard Shopify eCommerce plans include Shopify POS for free. If you don’t need a full eCommerce shop and focus instead on social selling, we suggest considering another option that may be perfect for you: Shopify Lite, which lets you create “buy” buttons, run a Facebook store for online sales, and create shoppable Instagram posts.

The POS app runs on both Android and iOS, but it is the best credit card reader for an iPad, as it offers the best user experience and access to the most features. However, keep in mind that the Lite plan is still limited, even with an iPad. You’ll need to bump up your plan to Shopify Basic to get support for a cash drawer, barcode scanner, or receipt printer. The Shopify Basic plan costs $29/month and includes a full web store with unlimited products, which is a really competitively priced deal.

Pros

  • Flexible buy buttons
  • Great pricing options
  • Very robust eCommerce features
  • No cancellation fees

Cons

  • Some account stability issues inherent with third-party processing

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. National Processing

National Processing



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Read our Review

National Processing is best for small businesses that anticipate growth because of its clear, transparent pricing, with no processing volume limits. With a National Processing credit card processing agreement, you’ll also get the Clover Go Reader, which offers payment flexibility and covers the basics.

  • Processing Cost: Interchange + 0.15% + $0.07 per transaction
  • Clover Go Reader: Free with every account (agreement required)
  • ACH and echeck processing also available
  • Notable features include a searchable interface, discounts, refunds, and open orders
credit card reader for iphone

Clover Go Reader, iPhone compatible. Web capture of Clover.com 2020

National Processing is a fantastic processor that earns a top rating, but the company makes this list for the free Clover Go reader it offers at every account level. The Clover Go is great when you just need a basic credit card reader for an iPhone.

While it is relatively basic in its feature-set, Clover Go now supports variable pricing and pricing per unit, customizable tips, and customizable tax. You can issue full or partial refunds in the app as well.

This particular credit card swiper for iPhone doesn’t have robust inventory counts. If the free iPhone card reader doesn’t suit you, National Processing has several other options for you, including SwipeSimple, which works great on an iPad, iPhone, or Android. You also have options in countertop terminals, so you’ll be all set as you grow.

Pros

  • Low-cost echeck and ACH
  • Excellent online reputation
  • Month-to-month billing

Cons

  • Contract needed for free terminal
  • Early termination fee charged in some cases

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. PayPal Here

PayPal Zettle



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PayPal Here is best for businesses that will utilize the PayPal Business platform for eCommerce. As a third-party processor, PayPal offers a welcoming platform for the new or lower-volume business, too. Customers trust the PayPal name, which is beneficial when it comes time to collect the final payment. And because PayPal now offers a free chip and swipe credit card reader for iPhones to new customers, it makes the list!

  • Processing Cost: 2.7% for swipe, dip, or tap; 3.5% + $0.15 keyed-in transactions
  • Chip & Swipe Reader: Free for new PayPal user accounts; $24.99 each for more
  • Notable features include refunds and partial refunds enabled, custom tipping, and flexible payment buttons with the PayPal name

card reader for iphone

PayPal Here integrates with the rest of PayPal’s services so that you can sell online and in-person seamlessly, much like Square. While it doesn’t offer quite as many features as Square, it’s still a very functional mobile app. Check out our PayPal Here review for a closer look at all the features.

PayPal offers several options in credit card readers for iPad and iPhones beyond the free Chip and Swipe reader you’ll get at sign up, including the PayPal Chip and Tap reader for $59.99 (or the bundle with dock for $79.99) or the PayPal Chip Card Reader with pin pad for $99.99.

However, there’s another option for iPad users who want a more robust software option: Vend with a PayPal integration. You’ll get PayPal’s 2.7% rate for payment processing with no monthly fee from PayPal. If you process more than $10K, you’ll likely qualify for a lower rate. Of course, you’ll have to choose your Vend plan and get the appropriate hardware. You’ll need the PayPal Chip Card Reader, which goes for $99.

Pros

  • Transparent pricing structure
  • Customer trust with name recognition
  • Great selection of Bluetooth readers

Cons

  • Spotty customer service
  • Account stability issues

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Looking For One Of These iPhone Credit Card Readers?

If you’re looking for one of these well-known companies below, read on to find out why they didn’t make our list of best credit card readers for the iPad and iPhone.

Payanywhere

iphone card reader

While Payanywhere offers some a tempting deal, such as a free magstripe and chip credit card reader for iPhone, we can’t recommend it as a top choice. That’s because, in our research of the company, we found a few issues we don’t like for merchants.

First, we don’t like the non-transparent, tiered pricing plans that can leave merchants paying more than they should with little accountability. We also found numerous public complaints that pointed to poor customer support. Another red flag we found was potentially deceptive sales tactics.

While this option may work for some merchants, we found just too many potential issues to recommend this company at the moment. For more details, check out our full Payanywhere review.

Total Merchant Services

Total Merchant Services is one of the oldest names in the business. It’s been around for twenty years, but in our research of the company, we found cause for concern.

It may be surprising to find out that some of the industry’s biggest names seem to be some of the worst for small businesses. With numerous public complaints, lack of transparency, and early termination fees, we wouldn’t recommend this company when there are far better options. While some of these unscrupulous practices may be common, they don’t have to be a part of the equation for you. For more information on the company and why we don’t recommend taking the “free” credit card swipers for iPad that it may offer you, check out our full Total Merchant Services review.

Which iPhone Credit Card Processing Option Is Best For You?

Finding the best credit card reader for iPhone users goes way beyond the reader itself. Your business size, preferences in aesthetics, and your current business model, along with your goals for growth, should be a part of your overall decision-making process.

Each iPhone credit card reader we’ve shared has pros and cons, but there’s likely one or two that hit the sweet spot in price and features. If free is more your speed when it comes to an iPhone card reader, check out The Best Free Credit Card Readers For Small Businesses and find out how to spot a good option — and when to pass on an offer that may be too good to be true. Also worth checking out is These 9 Cheapest Credit Card Processing Companies Will Save Your Small Business Money. While there is no one-size-fits-all option, we hope that these lists can help you make sense of the right company for you.

In Summary: The Best Credit Card Readers For iPhone & iPad

  1. Payment Depot Mobile: Best for US merchants that process over $5,000 a month and want the stability of a traditional merchant account.
  2. Square: Best for businesses that process less than $5,000 a month or can't get a traditional merchant account due to a lack of business history.
  3. Shopify Lite: Best for businesses that want to build a strong online presence and need an iPhone reader to supplement sales.
  4. National Processing: Best for small businesses that anticipate growth because of its clear, transparent pricing, with no processing volume limits.
  5. PayPal Zettle: Best for businesses that will utilize the PayPal Business platform for eCommerce.
Emily Hale

Emily Hale

Emily is a Content Strategist based in Indianapolis. She enjoys discovering new topics and planning content that empowers small business owners to make better choices for their businesses. When she's not in the thick of doing research for Merchant Maverick, she likes painting, meandering through nature and spotting wildlife, or relaxing with her rescue pup, Jetta.

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We recommend Square Credit Card Processing to UK businesses 🏆

Square Payments is a secure and reliable credit card processing platform. It's advanced solutions and broad feature-set makes it a great fit for most businesses.

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We recommend Square Credit Card Processing 🏆

Square Payments is a secure and reliable credit card processing platform. It's advanced solutions and broad feature-set makes it a great fit for most businesses.

Get Started

No credit card required

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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