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The 8 Best Mobile Card Readers For Android Phones & Tablets

More companies are starting to understand the importance of accepting Android, including Square, PayPal, Clover, QuickBooks, and more.

    Jason Vissers
  • UPDATED

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Mobile card reader for Android phones & tablets

Android-using merchants know that finding a credit card reader for Android can be challenging as Apple has a history of dominating the field when it comes to credit card reader apps. However, good mobile POS apps for Android credit card processing do exist.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting your best options for mobile credit card readers that are compatible with Android phones and tablets.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Square

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  • Best overall for most small businesses
  • $0/month for the base POS
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction
  • Best overall for most small businesses
  • $0/month for the base POS
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction

Visit Site

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Clover Go

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  • Best for Clover POS merchants
  • $0-$14.95/month when purchased directly from Clover
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction when purchased directly from Clover
  • Best for Clover POS merchants
  • $0-$14.95/month when purchased directly from Clover
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction when purchased directly from Clover

Visit Site

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SwipeSimple

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  • Best for sellers seeking a dedicated merchant account
  • Monthly cost determined by the reseller
  • Payment processing rate determined by the reseller
  • Best for sellers seeking a dedicated merchant account
  • Monthly cost determined by the reseller
  • Payment processing rate determined by the reseller

Visit Site

Read More

SumUp

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  • Best for low-volume sellers
  • $0/month
  • 2.75% per in-person transaction
  • Best for low-volume sellers
  • $0/month
  • 2.75% per in-person transaction

Visit Site

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Shopify Lite

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  • Best for occasional mobile sellers
  • $9/month
  • 2.7% per in-person transaction
  • Best for occasional mobile sellers
  • $9/month
  • 2.7% per in-person transaction

Visit Site

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Helcim

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  • Best for higher-volume sellers
  • $0/month
  • Variable but competitive interchange-plus pricing
  • Best for higher-volume sellers
  • $0/month
  • Variable but competitive interchange-plus pricing

Visit Site

Read More

PayPal Zettle

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  • Best for PayPal sellers
  • $0/month
  • 2.29% + $0.09 per in-person transaction
  • Best for PayPal sellers
  • $0/month
  • 2.29% + $0.09 per in-person transaction

Visit Site

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Intuit GoPayment

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  • Best for existing QuickBooks users
  • QuickBooks Online (required to use GoPayment) starts at $30/month
  • 2.4% + $0.25 per in-person transaction
  • Best for existing QuickBooks users
  • QuickBooks Online (required to use GoPayment) starts at $30/month
  • 2.4% + $0.25 per in-person transaction

Visit Site

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Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 8 Best Credit Card Readers For Android

The best credit card readers for Android connect to a POS app on your mobile device. The best mobile readers also offer affordable processing rates, good customer support, and helpful features, such as reporting and invoicing. However, the best Android credit card reader for you depends on your particular selling needs.

1. Square: Best Overall For Most Small Businesses

Square



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Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • Free headphone jack magstripe reader
  • Free online store
  • Affordable contactless & chip reader

Cons

  • Expensive for higher-volume businesses
  • Less account stability than a full merchant account

Square Card Reader For Android Software Features

square contactless & chip reader

Combining mobile point-of-sale features with payment processing, an online store, and much more, Square’s business services ecosystem is ever-expanding, yet accessible for even the smallest business. Here’s just some of what Square has to offer:

  • A free magstripe card reader and a contactless + chip card reader, both Android-compatible
  • All-in-one POS devices with built-in card readers (Square Register & Square Terminal)
  • Payment processing with flat-rate pricing
  • A free website builder
  • Square Online checkout links for selling online via email or social media
  • Order & inventory management
  • Invoicing
  • Barcode & label printing
  • Multilocation management
  • Square Payroll
  • Buy now, pay later

Square Pricing

  • Square POS: $0/month
  • Square For Retail POS: $0-$60/month/location
  • Square For Restaurants POS: $0-$60/month/location

Card Reader For Android Cost

  • Square Reader for magstripe: $0
  • Square Reader for contactless & ship: $49
  • Square Terminal: $299
  • Square Register: $799

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Online payments: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Keyed-in payments: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

You can use Square on a month-to-month basis — there are no long-term contracts to sign, no early termination fees, and no monthly minimums. Just know that because Square is a payment service provider (or PSP) and not a merchant account provider, you’ll face an increased risk of withheld funds and account terminations should Square’s hair-trigger algorithm detect suspect activity (rightly or wrongly).

Where Square Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

Square features in a lot of our articles, as it is one of the best mobile processing options out there. Square ranks near the top when it comes to features, pricing, hardware — you name it. As for Square Point of Sale, this free app (yes, it’s free) has more features than your standard mobile POS app, even if it doesn’t quite match the abilities of a full-fledged POS system.

Like other PSPs, Square is best for small businesses processing less than $10K/month. Square’s processing rates are less affordable for businesses with large transaction sizes. Larger and higher-risk businesses also stand to benefit from the superior account stability of a dedicated merchant account.

Get Started With Square

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2. Clover Go: Best for Clover POS sellers

Clover Go



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Pros

  • Comes with your own merchant account
  • Available from numerous Clover resellers
  • Affordable rates available
  • Syncs with sales from your other Clover devices

Cons

  • Not all Clover sellers offer fair rates or are reputable
  • Not the best standalone processing solution if you don’t use other Clover POS devices

Clover Go Card Reader For Android Software Features

clover go hardware

Clover Go is the mobile app linked to the Clover suite of POS products. All Clover devices are sold with a Fiserv merchant account. If you already use a countertop Clover solution such as Clover Station or Clover Mini and you want to go mobile with your POS, the Android-friendly Clover Go app is the obvious answer because it’s built to be an extension of the full Clover POS app. Features include:

  • Android-compatible chip + swipe + NFC card reader
  • Payment processing with flat-rate pricing (when purchased through Clover directly)
  • Paperless receipts
  • Basic sales tracking
  • Basic inventory management
  • Employee permissions & shift management
  • Client database
  • Detailed sales reports
  • Tax reporting
  • Bookkeeping integrations

Before we get to the pricing sections, know that various entities sell Clover. The pricing shown applies when you buy from Clover directly, but if you sign up with a Clover reseller, rates & fees will vary.

Clover Go Pricing

  • Clover Payments: $0/month
  • Clover Essentials (includes more features): $14.95/month

Card Reader For Android Cost

  • Clover Go reader: $49

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Keyed-in payments: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Buy direct from Clover, and you’ll get month-to-month pricing with no long-term contracts. However, you may be able to get a better deal on pricing with certain resellers, such as National Processing. If you sign up for National Processing, you’ll get a free Clover Go, and you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee and interchange plus a 0.2% + $0.10 markup per transaction.

However, be warned that there are many shady Clover resellers out there that employ independent sales reps to rope merchants into terrible agreements: multi-year contracts with early termination fees, equipment leases, predatory fees & rates, etc. Avoid local sales agents like the plague. Either sign up directly with Clover or go with a large reputable reseller like National Processing.

Where Clover Go Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

With a capable Android-compatible mobile card reader, a solid (if not amazing) mPOS app, and a Fiserv merchant account, Clover Go is a solid mobile processing solution so long as you buy it from a reputable provider. You may not get all the features Square offers, but you’ll get a full merchant account and the stability that comes along with it.

Get Started With Clover Go

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. SwipeSimple: Best for sellers seeking a dedicated merchant account

SwipeSimple



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Pros

  • Capable card readers
  • Solid feature set
  • Though it’s a pain to look for a SwipeSimple reseller, you can shop for the best deal this way
  • You can get your own merchant account with a SwipeSimple reseller

Cons

  • Pricing, contract terms, and customer service quality will depend on the reseller

SwipeSimple Card Reader For Android Software Features

swipesimple bluetooth card readers

SwipeSimple combines two capable Android-friendly card readers with a strong mobile POS app that provides a good amount of feature strength, examples of which include:

  • SwipeSimple B200 (chip + magstripe) and B250 (NFC + chip + magstripe) card readers
  • Item catalog
  • Inventory management
  • Invoicing
  • Offline mode
  • In-app reporting
  • Discounts
  • Tax settings
  • Tips

SwipeSimple Pricing

SwipeSimple’s main drawback is that it isn’t offered directly by the company. Instead, you’ll need to buy it through a reseller. The reseller will determine the pricing. Swipesimple resellers whom we like include Host Merchant Services, National Processing, and Payment Depot. Each of these providers will set you up with your own merchant account, giving you heightened account stability over a payment service provider like Square.

Card Reader For Android Cost

The cost of the Swipesimple B200 and B250 will be determined by the reseller.

Payment Processing

Likewise, the cost of payment processing will be determined by the reseller you purchase SwipeSimple from. However, you can get interchange-plus pricing for SwipeSimple from our preferred vendors, which means that you’ll be able to find very competitive per-transaction rates.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Contract terms will vary depending on the reseller you go with. That’s why your choice of SwipeSimple reseller is so important. Look for a provider that will offer you month-to-month agreements with no early termination fees, monthly minimums, or equipment leases.

Where SwipeSimple Shines As A Card Reader For Android

SwipeSimple’s card readers and mobile app comprise a solid mobile sales solution. However, your pricing, contract terms, and customer support will be determined by the reseller you get SwipeSimple from. While this process means more work on your part, it does mean that you can shop around for the best deal.

Get Started With SwipeSimple

Jump back to comparison chart

4. SumUp: Best for low-volume sellers

SumUp



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Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • 2 capable card readers with displays
  • The cheapest card reader is just $35
  • The processing rate is cheaper than Square for small transactions

Cons

  • Lacks some features
  • Less account stability than a full merchant account

SumUp Card Reader For Android Software Features

sumup lite and sumup plus mobile credit card readers

Payment service provider SumUp offers an inexpensive Android-friendly card reader and processing fees that benefit merchants with small average tickets. If you’re a smaller seller needing a simple, straightforward mobile processing option, you’d do well to consider SumUp. Features include:

  • An Android-compatible card reader (and a standalone touchscreen reader)
  • Flat-rate payment processing with no fixed per-transaction fee
  • Item library
  • Product variants
  • Tipping
  • Cash recording
  • Basic analytics
  • Multiple tax rates
  • Email/text receipts
  • QR code payments

SumUp Pricing

SumUp does not charge a monthly fee.

Card Reader For Android Cost

  • SumUp Plus: $35
  • SumUp Solo: $99

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.75% per transaction
  • Keyed-in & payment link payments : 3.25% + $0.15 per transaction
  • Invoiced transactions: 2.9% + $0.15 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

SumUp offers the kind of terms we like to see: pay-as-you-go, no long-term contracts, and no early termination fees or monthly minimums.

Where SumUp Shines As As

While SumUp’s 2.75% per-transaction fee isn’t going to save you boatloads over the alternatives, low-volume sellers with small transaction sizes may save a modest amount if they use SumUp instead of Square, as Square’s 10-cent per-transaction fixed fee really adds up when you take a lot of payments under $10. Having said that, SumUp doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles Square offers. See our Square vs. SumUp comparison for a closer look at how the two stack up.

Get Started With SumUp

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. Shopify Lite: Best for occasional mobile sellers

Shopify Lite



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Pros

  • Only $9/month
  • Affordable card readers
  • Social media selling tools
  • Good processing rates for merchants with small average tickets

Cons

  • Fewer features than Square
  • Less account stability than a full merchant account

Shopify Card Reader For Android Software Features

shopify lite card readers

People know Shopify as an eCommerce giant, but not everyone is aware that Shopify POS is available as a standalone payment processing option for small retail businesses that need a mobile app for selling at markets, fairs, or pop-ups but don’t need a full-fledged online store. The $9/month Shopify Lite plan gives you access to the Android-friendly Shopify POS app along with other tools and features:

  • Tap + chip + swipe card reader, compatible with Android
  • Flat-rate payment processing with no fixed per-transaction fee
  • Reporting
  • Gift cards
  • Split tickets
  • Invoicing
  • Sell on social media
  • Embeddable buy buttons
  • Sync inventory on multiple sales channels

Shopify Lite Pricing

Shopify Lite sells for $9/month.

Card Reader For Android Cost

  • Chipper 2X BT Reader: $49
  • Shopify Tap & Chip Card Reader: Normally $49, but currently out of stock and on backorder

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.7% per transaction
  • Keyed-in, online, & invoiced payments : 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Shopify Lite offers month-to-month and annual billing. There’s no early termination fee or monthly minimum.

Where Shopify Lite Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

Shopify Lite is great for merchants who want to take mobile payments and maybe make some sales on social media, but who do not need a full online store. It isn’t quite as capable as Square on the POS front, but Shopify’s lack of a fixed fee in its in-person processing rates works to the advantage of most smaller merchants.

If you want a more traditional POS setup, with staff PIN access, register shifts, and so on, you’ll need to upgrade to the higher Shopify plan tiers. However, Shopify doesn’t charge any per-device subscriptions, so $79/month for the Shopify standard plan gets you a very powerful eCommerce plan, discounted processing rates, plus a POS that runs on unlimited devices with features that bring it on par with traditional POS apps.

Get Started With Shopify Lite

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Helcim: Best for higher-volume sellers

Helcim



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Excellent customer support
  • Low interchange-plus processing rates
  • Accepts international payments
  • Processing costs decrease with business growth

Cons

  • Pricey card reader
  • POS features not as extensive as those of Square

Helcim Card Reader For Android Software Features

helcim card reader

With interchange-plus pricing and a strong feature lineup, Helcim provides a solid mobile processing option for businesses processing upward of $5K-$10K/month. It’s also a scalable option — you can use it either for mobile processing only or on a tablet or desktop. Features include:

  • An Android-compatible card reader with a display & PIN pad
  • Payment processing with interchange-plus pricing
  • Customer management
  • Inventory tracking
  • Foodservice management
  • Email receipts
  • Batch history
  • Card on file
  • SMS payments
  • QR code payments

Helcim Pricing

Helcim does not charge a monthly fee.

Card Reader For Android Cost

The Helcim Card Reader sells for $109.

Payment Processing

As we explain in our guide to interchange-plus pricing, interchange fees are affected by a number of factors, including card type and card security features. However, Helcim does provide the following estimates as to your average rates:

  • In-person payments: 1.86% + $0.08 per transaction
  • PIN-Debit payments: 0.91% + $0.08 per transaction
  • Keyed-in & online payments: 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

With pay-as-you-go pricing and no early termination fees or monthly minimums, Helcim offers the great terms and flexibility of Square & Stripe while also giving you your own merchant account.

Where Helcim Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

Helcim’s Android card reader may be pricier than the other options on this list, but the more you sell, the more Helcim’s low transaction fees will compensate for that. Add in the stability of a traditional merchant account, and you have a mobile sales package with a lot of appeal for higher-volume sellers.

Get Started With Helcim

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

7. PayPal Zettle: Best for PayPal sellers

PayPal Zettle



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Read our Review

Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • Same day funding to your PayPal account
  • The Zettle Reader is inexpensive & has a PIN pad
  • Accept in-person PayPal payments via a QR code

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Not as strong as Square feature-wise

PayPal Zettle Card Reader For Android Software Features

paypal zettle

PayPal is a juggernaut of commerce, and if you want to sell online, accepting PayPal is an easy solution. If you want to accept payments in person, PayPal’s free mobile POS app, PayPal Zettle, offers a solid range of features. And though we’ve soured a bit on PayPal after the company raised its online processing rates, its in-person processing rates are actually very competitive. Let’s first go through PayPal Zettle’s features:

  • An Android-compatible card reader with a display & PIN pad
  • Flat-rate payment processing
  • In-app invoicing
  • Same-day funding to your PayPal account
  • PayPal & Venmo QR code payments
  • Item library
  • Reports
  • Discounts
  • Support for register setup
  • Refunds & partial refunds

PayPal Zettle Pricing

PayPal Zettle does not charge a monthly fee.

Card Reader For Android Cost

Your first PayPal Zettle Reader costs $29. Any additional readers cost $79.

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction
  • Online payments: 2.59%-3.49% + $0.49 per transaction, depending on the circumstances
  • Keyed-in payments: 3.09% + $0.49 per transaction + $30/month

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Thankfully, PayPal offers pay-as-you-go agreements with no early termination fees and no monthly minimums. Of course, as with other payment service providers, you’ll want to minimize the chance that you’ll face an account hold or termination.

Where PayPal Zettle Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

PayPal’s Android-compatible mPOS solution offers rates lower than that of Square and other PSP competitors while connecting you to PayPal’s vast ecosystem of business tools. As for POS features, PayPal Zettle isn’t quite as robust as Square, and PayPal generally recommends integrating with one of its POS partners if you need more advanced software features.

If you’re curious about how PayPal Zettle compares to Square, see our Square vs. PayPal article.

Get Started With PayPal Zettle

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

8. QuickBooks GoPayment: Best for existing QuickBooks users

Intuit GoPayment



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive card reader
  • Easy integration with your QuickBooks Online account
  • No setup or application fee

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • Limited features
  • New users must sign up with QuickBooks Online beforehand

QuickBooks GoPayment Card Reader For Android Software Features

quickbooks gopayment credit card reader

QuickBooks GoPayment (formerly Intuit GoPayment) is a mobile payment app and card reader that works with Android phones and tablets. Feature-wise, GoPayment doesn’t quite stack up with the likes of Square. However, if you’re already a happy QuickBooks user (you’ll need a QuickBooks Online subscription to sign up for GoPayment), you’ll be able to integrate with the QuickBooks platform, giving you a solid mobile processing solution. Features include:

  • An Android-compatible card reader
  • Flat-rate payment processing
  • Easy QuickBooks Online integration
  • Item library
  • Item sync
  • Discounts
  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Reports

QuickBooks GoPayment Pricing

GoPayment doesn’t carry a monthly fee itself, but in order to use GoPayment, you’ll need a QuickBooks Online subscription. The cheapest QuickBooks Online subscription costs $30/month ($15 for the first three months).

Card Reader For Android Cost

The chip + tap QuickBooks Card Reader sells for $49.

Payment Processing

  • In-person payments: 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Invoiced transactions: 2.9% + $0.25 per transaction
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction

Contract Requirements/Warnings

With QuickBooks GoPayment & QuickBooks Online, you’ll be using QuickBooks Payments for processing. With QuickBooks Payments, there are no long-term contracts, early termination fees, or monthly minimums.

Where QuickBooks GoPayment Shines As A Credit Card Reader For Android

If you use QuickBooks Online for accounting (or if you want to), the GoPayment app is a handy tool for processing mobile sales, plus you’ll get a full QuickBooks merchant account, giving you account stability. However, it doesn’t make sense to use otherwise, as $30/month is a lot to pay for accounting features you don’t need or want.

Get Started With Intuit GoPayment

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Credit Card Processing Options Without An Android Card Reader

As payment technology advances, merchants now have several payment acceptance methods that don’t even require a card reader. Let’s explore a few of these payment methods.

  • QR Codes: With QR code payments, your customer scans a two-dimensional barcode with their phone’s camera and is then prompted to open a website or app through which the payment is completed, using either a credit card or a mobile wallet, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
  • Payment Links: With payment links, you can directly invoice your customers by sending them a URL (or a QR code as described above) via text, email, or messaging app. When clicked, the link launches the online transaction process.
  • Virtual Terminal: A virtual terminal allows you to manually enter your customer’s credit card information via an internet browser and submit the transaction for processing. A virtual terminal lets you accept payments remotely or in person from your computer.

Which Card Reader For Android Is Right For Your Business?

If you need a credit card reader for Android that pairs with an Android-friendly POS app, don’t fret. There are several solid Android-based credit card reader apps to choose from, with competitive pricing and great hardware. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which service is right for you — consider the features you need as well as the pricing.

When choosing a mobile payment solution, you’ll also need to consider business particulars. These include your monthly sales volume, your average transaction size, and which other sales channels you sell on or want to sell on — whether that’s social media, PayPal, your business website, your countertop POS register, or cash sales. For example, most higher-volume mobile sellers processing more than $10K/month will get lower rates with a merchant account than by using a third-party processor such as Square. Businesses processing a lot of cash sales in addition to credit cards may want an Android POS app that lets them record cash transactions as well.

Here’s some further reading to help you learn more about mobile credit card readers in general, learn how Square compares to a merchant account, or see what mobile POS options are available for iOS:

FAQs: Credit Card Reader For Android

How can I use my Android phone as a credit card reader?

As things stand, the best way to use your Android phone as a credit card reader is to pair it with a mobile credit card reader, though you can take payments directly on your phone by using a virtual terminal. Processing fees for virtual terminal transactions are higher than those for typical credit card transactions, though.

How much is a credit card reader for an Android?

Square offers a magstripe-only Android card reader for free, but if you want to accept chip card & NFC transactions, most such readers go for $29-$50, with a few such readers costing upwards of $100.

What is the cheapest credit card reader for Android?

Square offers a free credit card reader for Android, and you can’t get much cheaper than free. Square’s free card reader is magstripe-only, though, so you won’t want to use it too extensively due to the security issues magstripe payments present.

In Summary: The 8 Best Credit Card Readers For Android

  1. Square:
    • Best overall for most small businesses
    • $0/month for the base POS
    • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction
  2. Clover Go:
    • Best for Clover POS merchants
    • $0-$14.95/month when purchased directly from Clover
    • 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction when purchased directly from Clover
  3. SwipeSimple:
    • Best for sellers seeking a dedicated merchant account
    • Monthly cost determined by the reseller
    • Payment processing rate determined by the reseller
  4. SumUp:
    • Best for low-volume sellers
    • $0/month
    • 2.75% per in-person transaction
  5. Shopify Lite:
    • Best for occasional mobile sellers
    • $9/month
    • 2.7% per in-person transaction
  6. Helcim:
    • Best for higher-volume sellers
    • $0/month
    • Variable but competitive interchange-plus pricing
  7. PayPal Zettle:
    • Best for PayPal sellers
    • $0/month
    • 2.29% + $0.09 per in-person transaction
  8. Intuit GoPayment:
    • Best for existing QuickBooks users
    • QuickBooks Online (required to use GoPayment) starts at $30/month
    • 2.4% + $0.25 per in-person transaction
Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
Jason Vissers has been researching, analyzing, and writing about small business software and finance since 2015. His financial expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including The Ladders. Jason graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001.
Jason Vissers
View Jason Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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