Just a few years ago, the card processing market was dominated by PDQ card machines. A few years on a need for a more modern, transportable and in many ways transparent solution, has led to a surge in mobile card readers.

Mobile card readers are mostly utilised by most small businesses to make payments easier and more accessible.

Before choosing a mobile card reader to use it is important to understand what exactly a mobile card reader does and how it functions.

What is a mobile card reader?

It is essentially a compact hardware device that forms a connection to a smartphone or tablet to accept payments from debit or credit cards. This turns the device into an mPOS or mobile point of sale.

Mobile card readers perform a number of different functions. The most important of these functions is allowing for transactions through card swipe, chip card and even contactless payment transactions.

The devices typically come with a mobile application which performs all the common point-of sale functions such as invoicing, producing receipts and even sales tax calculations. Most mobile card readers are compatible with iOS and Android devices.

iZettle and SumUp provide 2 of the best examples of mobile card readers and as of April 2019, the most popular devices in the UK.