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The Best Smart Card Readers for Business and Personal Use

square black smart card reader plugged into a laptop

A great tool for businesses is smart card readers, a type of technology to read cards with built-in chips. They can be used for credit card purchases, personal identifications to authenticate a user, readings of SD cards, and more. Smart card readers obtain or “read” the data saved into the chip. Simply plug in the card and let the device do the rest of the work.

What Should You Consider in a Smart Card Reader?

Smart card readers have a variety of uses and here are a few functions to consider:

  • Card type: Consider if you will be scanning credit cards, ID cards, or a variety of SD cards, as there are different devices to fit these uses.
  • USB: Check if the USB speed is 2.0 or above for faster processing speeds.

Best for Data Transfer: UGREEN SD Card Reader USB 30 Card Hub Adapter 5Gbps

square black smart card reader with a matching USB cable

This card reader is designed for multi-cards with four card slots for SD, Micro SD, CF, and MS slots. It is done through a USB 3.0 connector, allowing users to read and transfer data. The reader runs at 5 GBPS, and it’s a compact and premium device. The heat-resistant connectors ensure high data transmission efficiency and durability. Simply plug in and play, no installation needed.

Best for Small Businesses: Square Terminal

triangular white smart card reader holding a smartphone

A Square Terminal allows businesses to ring up sales, accept payments, and print receipts with ease. Simply use it at the counter or ring up anywhere in the store. This device takes all major credit and debit cards with a low rate and no hidden fees. Chip cards process in two seconds and money is transferred as soon as the next business day. The device can be used cordlessly all day with its built-in battery.

Best for Small Businesses

Square Terminal - Credit Card Machine to Accept All Payments | Mobile POS

A Square Terminal to ring up sales, payments and print receipts all-in-one device.

Best for ID Cards: USB Smart Card Reader, Rocketek DOD Military USB CAC Memory Card Reader

black memory drive-shaped smart card reader scanning a driver's license

This card reading device is meant for ID cards and is compatible with a wide variety of computer types. SD cards are also insertable for reading. This USB device is easy to install and is compatible with common access card (CAC), Government, and National IDs. It also comes with a hole to connect to your lanyard so you won’t lose it.

Best for Smart Cards: Identiv SCR3310v 2.0 USB Smart Card Reader

wired round gray smart card reader scanning an ID badge

This industry-compliant smart card reader has universal compatibility with contact chip cards and PC operating systems. The speed is fast and convenient and the design is compact and streamlined for mobile operation. It’s ideal for use in high-security federal government applications, online banking, and credit card payment apps.

Best for Smart Cards

Identiv SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card Reader

A compact smart card reader meant for contact chip cards.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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