Best Credit Card Readers for Android

Top options include readers from Clover, PayPal, SumUp, Square and Stripe.

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Running a small business on the Android operating system can sometimes limit what you can do, but finding a good credit card reader isn't an area where you need to settle. Several companies now offer sleek designs with competitive processing rates and useful point-of-sale systems (POS) to help businesses grow in their markets.

Here are the top five credit card readers that made our list for Android users.

Clover Go: Best for payment processing fees

A white square Clover Go card reader.

(Image courtesy of Clover)

Runs on: Android or iOS. Style: Handheld. POS: Free. Hardware: $49. Payment processing: 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction. Why we like it: The Clover Go’s sleek design is easy to use on the go. You can accept all credit cards along with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, and it takes offline payments when you lose Wi-Fi or a cell signal. While you’ll have to choose a monthly plan, Clover offers a free option with basic POS features, including processing payments and sales tracking.

Clover

Clover
NerdWallet rating 
Shop Now

on Clover's website

Pros:

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a screen to view transaction details.

  • Doesn’t print receipts.

  • Requires paid monthly plan for advanced features.

PayPal Zettle: Best for QR codes

The PayPal Zettle card reader sits on a coffee shop counter.

(Image courtesy of PayPal)

Runs on: Android or iOS. Style: Handheld. POS: Free. Hardware: $29 for new customers; $79 per additional reader. Payment processing:

  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person and QR code transactions.

  • 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual entry card transactions.

  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing transactions.

Why we like it: PayPal’s Zettle accepts credit cards, digital wallet payments and QR codes for PayPal accounts. QR code transactions are charged from 1.9% plus 10 cents to 2.4% plus 5 cents per transaction for a cheaper alternative to traditional credit cards. Without a monthly fee, the platform offers a cheaper option for businesses that need to accept payments on the go.

Pros:

  • Accepts chip and contactless payments and digital wallets.

  • Creates QR codes for an additional payment method.

  • Has a screen to show transaction details.

  • Doesn’t require a contract or monthly fee.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t swipe magstripe credit cards.

  • Doesn’t support offline payments.

  • Doesn’t print receipts.

SumUp Plus: Best low-cost option

A customer holds a credit card up to the SumUp Plus reader.

(Image courtesy of SumUp)

Runs on: Android or iOS.Style: Handheld.POS: Free.Hardware: $19.Payment processing:

  • 2.75% for in-person transactions.

  • 2.90% plus 15 cents for online transactions.

  • 3.25% plus 15 cents for manually keyed or payment-linked transactions.

Why we like it: The SumUp Plus reader is small but efficient, processing magstripe and chip cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It includes a screen to show transaction details and charges pay-as-you-go processing fees so you pay only when you charge customers.

Pros:

  • Accepts magstripe and chip credit cards and digital wallets.

  • Has a screen.

  • Doesn’t require a contract or monthly fee.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t print receipts.

  • Doesn’t process offline payments.

Square Reader for contactless and chip: Best for POS features

A vender holds the Square reader in one hand with a credit card inserted into it and his smartphone in the other. A vegetable market stand is in the background.

(Image courtesy of Square)

Runs on: Android or iOS.Style: Handheld.POS: Free.Hardware: $49.Payment processing:

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file (2.6% plus 30 cents with Premium plan).

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.

Why we like it: Square’s Reader accepts chip cards and contactless methods including Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. It uses a pay-as-you-go structure, so you don’t have a monthly fee and pay only when customers are charged. Square’s processing rates start at a competitive 2.6% plus 10 cents and come with POS features that include reporting and inventory management.

Square Reader for contactless and chip

Square
Shop Now

on Square's website

Pros:

  • Accepts chip credit cards and digital wallets.

  • Doesn’t require a contract or monthly fee.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept magstripe credit cards.

  • Doesn’t have a screen to show transaction details.

  • Doesn’t accept offline payments.

  • Doesn’t print receipts.

Stripe Reader M2: Best for customization

The square and white Stripe M2 reader sits against a white background.

(Image courtesy of Stripe)

Runs on: Android or iOS.Style: Handheld.POS: Free.Hardware: $59.Payment processing:

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.

  • 2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 3.4% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.

  • 3.9% plus 30 cents for international cards or currency conversion.

Why we like it: Stripe’s Reader M2 doesn’t require a contract and comes with pay-as-you-go pricing for accepting magstripe and chip cards, as well as digital wallets. The reader requires you to use a software development kit, or SDK, to integrate it with your application, so some coding knowledge is helpful. But the POS comes with a lot of features that make customization and integrations easier, including embedded checkout, currency conversion, reporting, 24/7 support and a developer dashboard. With these features, skilled users can customize their reader to do more than most others on the market.

Stripe

Stripe
NerdWallet rating 
Shop Now

on Stripe's website

Pros:

  • Accepts magstripe and chip cards and digital wallets.

  • Doesn’t require a contract or monthly fee.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t accept offline payments.

  • Doesn’t have a screen to show transaction details.

  • Doesn’t print receipts.

Comparison table

Best for

Price

Payment processing fee

Clover Go

Payment processing fees.

$49.

2.6% plus 10 cents.

PayPal Zettle

QR codes.

$29 for new customers; $79 otherwise.

2.29% plus 9 cents.

SumUp Plus

Low cost.

$19.

2.75%.

Square Reader

POS features.

$49.

2.6% plus 10 cents.

Stripe Reader M2

Customization.

$59.

2.7% plus 5 cents.

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