Hitting the Road? 6 EMV-Compliant Readers That Work with Your Mobile Devices

A major change happened in credit card processing late last year. Instead of swiping a magnetic strip through card readers, shoppers in businesses across America now “dip” their cards. New card readers are designed to get the information they need off of a chip embedded in a credit card, rather than a magnetic strip on the back. These systems are slightly more secure than traditional payment processing, although U.S. businesses have been slow to make the switch.

The new technology has brought challenges for entrepreneurs who process payments on the road. Whether they’re selling items at events or equipping employees to handle customer transactions on the sales floor, most of these businesses now find themselves holding mobile credit card readers made from the old technology. Since they’re now liable for any fraudulent transactions that occur when they swipe, those businesses need a way to switch to EMV without giving up mobility. Here are a few mobile card readers that can help.

Intuit QuickBooks

One of the most affordable EMV readers comes from Intuit QuickBooks, which currently charges only $30 if you pre-order its EMV-compatible card reader. Although the reader isn’t yet ready to ship, Intuit assures customers that it will accept liability for any fraud that occurs during the transition period. So businesses can continue to use their current mobile processing method without worrying about liability until their reader arrives.


The Square contactless and chip reader lets customers use contactless technologies such as Apple Pay to accept payments in the meantime. The solution also comes with a classic magnetic stripe reader to let businesses accommodate those customers who don’t have chip-enabled cards yet. The Square solution is slightly more expensive than Intuit’s at $49, but it works with smartphones, tablets, and the Square Stand complete POS solution.


For iOS device owners, the PayAnywhere card reader may be all that’s ever needed to process cards. Costing only $39.95, the reader processes stripe, EMV, contactless, and Apple Pay transactions through the same device. Best of all, the first $5,000 in Apple Pay transactions are fee-free and the device is available immediately. The readers sell exclusively through Apple Stores and Apple’s website, with EMV compatibility not yet available for Android device users.


When mobile card readers first became popular, PayPal was one of the most popular payment solutions. However, the cost of the company’s EMV-enabled reader could scare some businesses away. At $150, the reader is more expensive than competitors, but PayPal promises to offset that with a $100 rebate, payable once a business processes at least $3,000 within three months. This is likely designed to scare away some of the hobbyists who order the device and rarely use it.


An in-between reader at $99, Swipe’s EMV-enabled mobile reader accepts both chip- and stripe-based cards in one pocket-sized device. The app comes with APIs that can integrate with a business’s inventory and customer service software solutions to make it easy to track purchases. Swipe is also a global solution, allowing businesses to accept payments in twelve major currencies.


For Shopify sellers, the new $129 EMV card reader will replace the existing $19 card reader from the company. The new reader will accept tap, chip, or swipe payments in one device, all allowing sellers to process transactions through their Shopify stores while on the go. The EMV device is only available for pre-order currently, but Shopify will send a swipe reader for use until the new reader arrives. Swipes only work with Shopify payments, so businesses will lock themselves down by choosing this option.

EMV compliance is important to any business that accepts credit and debit cards. However, businesses still struggle to make sure their equipment supports the latest technology. Whether they’re supplementing their in-store POS systems or using a mobile card reader as a standalone solution, these EMV-equipped mobile card readers are a great alternative to a business’s outdated swipe-based card readers.