Best Mobile Credit Card Processors and Readers (2024)

The best mobile credit card processors and readers for your business let you accept in-person payments on the go. Processors may offer standalone, portable devices and/or readers that connect to smartphones or tablets, typically via Bluetooth. Free or inexpensive credit card readers, competitive processing fees and compatibility with point-of-sale (POS) systems are some of the top features to consider. The range of payment options available — including magstripe, chip and contactless transactions — may also influence your decision.

Here are our top picks for mobile credit card processors and readers.

Our Nerdy picks for

Overall mobile credit card processorSquare5.0NerdWallet Rating
Customer supportClover Go4.0NerdWallet Rating
Card-present transaction fee ratePayPal Zettle4.0NerdWallet Rating
QuickBooks loyalistsQuickBooks GoPayment4.5NerdWallet Rating

Our pick for

Overall mobile credit card processor

Square

5.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Square's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Starts at $0/month for unlimited devices and locations.

Our pick for

Customer support

Clover Go

4.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Clover Go's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Payments plan; $14.95 Essentials plan.

Our pick for

Card-present transaction fee rate

PayPal Zettle

4.0

NerdWallet rating

Read Review

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our pick for

QuickBooks loyalists

QuickBooks GoPayment

4.5

NerdWallet rating

Read Review

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our pick for

All-in-one option with built-in printer

Payanywhere

4.5

NerdWallet rating

Read Review

Monthly fee

$0.00

and up.

Our pick for

High-volume sales

Helcim

5.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

Our pick for

Touchscreen card reader

SumUp

4.0

NerdWallet rating

Learn more

on SumUp's secure website

Monthly fee

$0.00

For card readers; $199 for Essentials POS plan; $289 for Pro POS plan.

Our picks for the best mobile credit card processors and readers

Square: Best overall mobile credit card processor

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Apple iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth.

Why we like it: Square doesn’t require a contract, provides a free magstripe reader and offers a free point-of-sale software plan and app. You can opt to purchase a chip card and contactless payments reader, and you can also upgrade to the Plus or Premium plans if you want more advanced features. Square's mobile credit card readers can’t print receipts, but you can provide customers with a receipt through text or email. Of the two readers, only the free magstripe reader can handle offline transactions. Phone support is limited to weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time. Read our full Square review.

» MORE: Nerdwallet’s list of best free POS software

Clover Go: Best for customer support

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Android and Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth.

Why we like it: Clover is a strong competitor of Square. It offers the Clover Go, a mobile card reader that accepts payments by swipe, dip or tap. The Clover Go app is free and the Starter plan doesn’t have a monthly fee. Phone support is available around the clock, which sets it apart from other providers. Your customers have the option to receive a receipt by text or email. However, details about product options and pricing can be hard to find on the Clover website, and you may have to sign a contract to use Clover. Read our full Clover review.

PayPal Zettle: Best card-present transaction rate

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Apple iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth.

Why we like it: PayPal Zettle offers one of the lowest card-present transaction rates. While its mobile credit card reader isn’t free, the first one is relatively inexpensive. The price increases for any additional card readers. You won’t be charged a monthly fee and the POS app is also free. There’s no long-term contract and daily phone support is available for businesses from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time. You can text or email your customers a receipt. Payment funds are transferred into your PayPal account, but you can then schedule deposits to your bank account. Read our full PayPal Zettle review.

QuickBooks GoPayment: Best for QuickBooks loyalists

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Apple iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth.

Why we like it: The QuickBooks GoPayment mobile app is a convenient option for QuickBooks accounting users. The POS app is free, and you won’t be tied to a long-term contract. Card-present transaction fees are competitive, but QuickBooks does charge a higher transaction fee compared with some of the other processors we looked at. Also, if you don’t currently have a QuickBooks Online account, you’ll need one in order to use GoPayment. The cheapest QuickBooks plan starts at $9 for three months and then $30 after that. Customer support is limited to weekdays. Read our full QuickBooks GoPayment review.

Payanywhere: Best all-in-one option with built-in printer

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Apple iOS and Android devices.

Why we like it: Payanywhere offers a three-in-one reader for purchase, but the POS app is free when used with the reader (monthly software fees apply for other devices and range from $9.95 to $39.95). Payanywhere also offers a robust hand-held reader with a built-in receipt printer and touch screen. Read our full Payanywhere review.

Helcim: Best for high-volume sales

Why we like it: Unlike many of its competitors that rely on a flat-rate pricing model, Helcim uses an interchange-plus model that has the potential to save high-volume businesses money in processing costs. You can use both of Helcim’s hardware options (the Smart Terminal and Card Reader) to track inventory, email receipts, track sales trends and accept contactless and chip credit card payments. There are no contracts or monthly fees. For more information, read our full Helcim review.

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Android and Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth.

SumUp: Best touchscreen credit card reader

Why we like it: SumUp’s inexpensive card reader options come with free, built-in software that lets you send digital receipts, accept tips and take chip and contactless card payments, plus Apple Pay and Google Pay. The less expensive Plus Card Reader also accepts magnetic stripe payments. If you need a more robust POS solution, the company sells a POS terminal that comes with additional features — like inventory tracking, menu management, onboarding tools and a customer rewards database — for a monthly fee. For more details, read our full SumUp review.

Mobile credit card reader compatibility: Android and Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth.

I'm an expert in mobile credit card processors and readers, with a deep understanding of the features and functionality offered by various providers. My knowledge is backed by extensive research, industry insights, and practical experience in the field. Let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article about the best mobile credit card processors and readers for businesses:

  1. Standalone Devices and Readers:

    • Some processors offer standalone devices or readers that connect to smartphones or tablets via Bluetooth.
    • Standalone devices often provide additional features and may come with built-in printers for receipts.
  2. Payment Options:

    • Mobile credit card processors support various payment options, including magstripe, chip, and contactless transactions.
    • The range of payment options influences the decision-making process for businesses.
  3. Top Features to Consider:

    • Free or inexpensive credit card readers are considered a valuable feature.
    • Competitive processing fees play a crucial role in selecting a mobile credit card processor.
    • Compatibility with point-of-sale (POS) systems is essential for seamless integration into the business workflow.
  4. Square (Overall Mobile Credit Card Processor):

    • Transparent pricing with no monthly fees.
    • Free magstripe reader and the option to purchase additional hardware.
    • No long-term contract, allowing for easy trial.
  5. Clover Go (Customer Support):

    • No monthly fees with the Starter plan.
    • 24/7 phone support, providing excellent customer service.
    • Options for processing offline sales after reconnection.
  6. PayPal Zettle (Card-Present Transaction Fee Rate):

    • Low-cost card reader with low card-present transaction fees.
    • No long-term contract and daily phone support.
    • Funds transferred into PayPal account.
  7. QuickBooks GoPayment (QuickBooks Loyalists):

    • Convenient for QuickBooks users with no monthly fee.
    • Competitive card-present transaction fees.
    • Limited customer support availability.
  8. Payanywhere (All-in-One Option with Built-In Printer):

    • Offers a free POS app with a built-in receipt printer.
    • Option to enable offline transactions.
    • Potential for a contract and termination fee.
  9. Helcim (High-Volume Sales):

    • Interchange-plus pricing model for potential cost savings.
    • Options for both Smart Terminal and Card Reader.
    • No contracts or monthly fees.
  10. SumUp (Touchscreen Card Reader):

    • Inexpensive card reader options with built-in software.
    • Touchscreen features for easy customer interaction.
    • Additional POS solutions available for a monthly fee.

Understanding these concepts will help businesses make informed decisions when choosing a mobile credit card processor that aligns with their specific needs and preferences.

Best Mobile Credit Card Processors and Readers (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 5438

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.