What magnetic stripe reader should I purchase to read credit cards?

Posted on 2009-02-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-09
My group is hosting an event and we've been accepting payments online using a form that calculates a total and then passes the total to a separate web payment site within our organization that processes credit cards securely.  That site has been malfunctioning, so we'll have to process payment at check in.

It isn't an option to get an actual credit card machine.  I found this website:

So I want to purchase a magnetic card reader that can read Track 1.  Then, we'll simply scan the cards to capture the information and then run that through our web payment system when it is back online.

The problem is that any company I call to ask about readers absolutely insists that I also purchase their point of sale system to interpret the data off the card, otherwise it won't work.  

That can't be true.  I'm sure there is a card reader out there that can be a keyboard emulator and simply just put the text into a spreadsheet!

So, experts - any recommendations?

Question by:blurb87
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    Do you have experience with either reader to support your recommendation?
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    Not this particular product line but I have worked in environments that used other types of products from this company and were happy with their quality.  I've also seen this brand all over the place on POS registers as credit card readers - beyond that I can't say directly.  Both links should fit the bill - I should have probably given this link instead for the full product line that you could examine:

    The product information does mention keyboard emulation and such and sounded like a good fit for what you described for your needs and I recognized the company name.

    If you are interested in comparison shopping - again no direct experience with these products, but I do with the companies:
    SCR is a decent company in general - an old job we used their smartcard readers with mixed results - problems were all driver+firmware related in specific models.  Once the right drivers were in place it was our defacto reader in the test lab.  Their documentation left a lot to be desired as whoever wrote it did not speak English natively.

    Did a few searches for anything else and everything is coming up with one of these two products anywhere near the top of the results.   There was another company unitech that looks like a reseller of magtek.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks - that was helpful!

    Featured Post

    What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

    Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Improved? Move/Copy Add-in Replacement - How to avoid the annoying, “A formula or sheet you want to move or copy contains the name XXX, which already exists on the destination worksheet.” David Miller (dlmille)  It was one of those days… I wa…
    Are you using email marketing software? If not, you're missing out on effortless marketing and the reaching of desired conversion rates through email marketing software.
    The viewer will learn how to simulate a series of sales calls dependent on a single skill level and learn how to simulate a series of sales calls dependent on two skill levels. Simulating Independent Sales Calls: Enter .75 into cell C2 – “skill leve…
    This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate how to use a scrolling table in Microsoft Excel using the INDEX function.

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now