Shopify Card Readers: Options to Pick and How to Get One
In this article, we’ll explore all the Shopify card readers available. We’ll also dive into how to get a card reader from Shopify.
For retail stores, there are two highly functional and reliable Shopify card readers to consider. You could opt for a third-party card reader, but Shopify provides options already configured with its Shopify POS software, making them easier to set up and integrate with the rest of your business.
Not to mention, Shopify card readers are affordable (allowing merchants the opportunity to purchase several of them without breaking the bank) and mobile (giving retailers more options for roaming the floor, browsing your product database from anywhere, and even accepting payments from places like the curb).
Shopify Card Readers: Your Options
As mentioned, you have two card readers to pick from Shopify:
- Shopify POS Go and Case
- Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader
Each card reader has its advantages, which we’ll talk about in the section below.
You have the option to either buy a card reader by itself, or you can pay for card reader add-ons as well. For instance, the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader has a dock to sit nicely on a cashier’s counter.
The Shopify POS Go device is a handheld module. Shopify sells it as an individual product, or you can opt for the case bundle for protection.
Read further to see pictures of each card reader, along with features, highlights, and pricing.
Shopify POS Go (and Case)
The Shopify POS Go is the newest point of sale device from Shopify. It’s a sleek, sturdy handheld point of sale, giving you access to your entire customer, product, order, and employee database from your fingertips. With a reasonable price, a built-in barcode scanner, and various credit card acceptance methods, it’s the ultimate tool for running a mobile-oriented retail shop.
- Comes with a sturdy case for a small extra charge
- Extremely mobile
- Accept payments, and gain access to your entire POS from a handheld device
- Ships with the Shopify POS already installed; hence an easy setup
- Affordable compared to the competition
- Several credit card acceptance types
- Scanning of multiple barcodes and QR codes
- Relies strictly on WiFi—no connection to ethernet
- Doesn’t sync with traditional cashier desk points of sales, even if they’re from Shopify
- Requires an external printer
The Shopify POS Go device, by itself, sells for $399 + tax.
They have a bundled option for the Shopify POS Go + Case, which retails for $429 + tax and comes with a carrying case as well.
You can pay in 4 interest-free installments if needed.
Other pricing details:
- Free 30-day returns
- Free shipping on all Shopify POS Go orders
- Standard 1-year warranty or the option for an extended 2-year warranty
Overall, we like the price of the Shopify POS Go, especially when you look at its feature set and pricing when compared to other similar hardware.
- The Stripe handheld POS is $249 but is missing some payment options, credit card acceptance features, and a printer.
- A comparable device from Square sells for $299 but limits you on tap/chip/swipe functionality, and requires a pricey external barcode scanner.
- Clover sells a similar piece of hardware for $499, but it has no barcode scanner and limited tap/chip/swipe capabilities.
- The Ingenico handheld device only allows for payments (no POS), and it has no barcode scanner, and limited tap/chip/swipe features.
The Shopify POS Go device enables merchants to explore a minimalist approach to selling while having access to their databases no matter where they go. Its portability is an obvious feature, but there’s much more.
Here are the best features from the Shopify POS Go:
- Connects through WiFi, and boasts the highest WiFi connection standard out right now, with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac @ 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
- A battery life to last the entire day of selling. This is a 3960mAh quick charge battery.
- High-performance processor: Qualcomm SDM 665—great for quickly finding products and customers in your database, without having to wait around for the device to load.
- Protective case and hand strap to keep you from dropping the device, and sheltering it from falls if something does happen.
- Integrations with many Shopify receipt printers, and Shopify Payments.
- Support for credit card swiping, tapping, and chip inserts.
- Tactile buttons for navigating the point of sale, along with integrated 1D and 2D barcode scanning.
Design and Build
Merchants can purchase the Shopify POS Go by itself, or opt for the case and handheld strap for improved protection.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Go is built with:
- Gorilla Glass 5
- A 5.5” HD display
- Easily accessible external buttons
- A pointer for scanning
- External chip reading technology
It’s also small and easy to handle:
- Height: 0.54 inches
- Length: 6.33 inches
- Width: 3.21 inches
- Weight: 287 grams (about 0.63 pounds)
Finally, the Shopify POS Go comes packaged with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and a marketing kit.
Further reading 📚
Shopify POS Go Review – Everything You Need to Know
How to Sell Across Channels and In-Person with Shopify POS Go
One of the main advantages of Shopify POS Go is that it comes preprogrammed with the Shopify POS software already configured. You simply log into your Shopify account (and connect to WiFi) to begin selling.
It’s a device made for your POS, and that’s it. No employees playing games or using the POS for other purposes. It’s just a point of sale.
Notable Software Features:
- Sync between Shopify POS Go devices.
- Scale up to as many POS Go devices as you want.
- Scan products into the device and process payments.
- Access customers, employees, reports, products, and more.
- View different devices running in one store, or from multiple shops.
- Create quick keys for completing regular tasks like “adding customers,” checking out,” or “viewing a product.”
- Search for anything within your database.
- Although you can’t immediately sync with a regular desktop point of sales from Shopify, the same information is still going back to the POS.
How to Get the Shopify POS Go (And Case)
To order the Shopify POS Go (and the case) for your retail operation, you must:
- Be located in the US (more countries to come)
- Be eligible to use Shopify Payments
If that makes you eligible to receive the device, simply purchase it from the Shopify Hardware store. You can order the POS Go separately, or buy the case bundle. Choose between white and black for the case.
Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader
Before the Shopify POS Go, there was the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader. It’s a wonderful little device for placing on any checkout countertop. It also provides a somewhat mobile experience for moving around a countertop or even picking up to bring to a customer. This is a card reader and nothing else. You don’t receive an integrated point of sale system like with the Shopify POS Go.
For a more traditional appearance—and to provide an ergonomic display for customers to quickly tap or chip-insert their cards—the Shopify card reader has an optional dock.
Keep reading below to learn about the difference between the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader and the Shopify POS Go. Although both compact and reliable, they’re mainly for different types of sellers, and the prices reflect that.
- Integrates seamlessly with hardware like scanners, iOS devices, Android devices, and printers.
- Offers a sleek profile with some mobile abilities for moving the device around the store.
- There’s an optional dock for an ergonomic display.
- Accepts chip and tap payments from major credit cards and mobile wallets.
- Displays a tap indicator, and lights to show when a payment goes through.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Easy to configure right out of the box.
- Doesn’t offer a POS display for accessing elements like customers and products.
- No NFC support.
Let’s start with the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader alone.
It sells for a low price of $49.
However, you have the option to upgrade that Shopify card reader with a dock. The dock maintains a stable platform for the card reader, and offers an ergonomic height and angle for customers to easily tap their card or insert a chip.
The Shopify Dock for Tap and Chip Reader is listed at $39.
We highly recommend getting the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader AND its dock, since the reader by itself appears somewhat awkward sitting alone on the counter.
The total for the card reader and dock comes to $88.
Other pricing considerations:
- Free shipping for all purchases of the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader.
- Free 30-day returns on the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader.
- You get a 1-year warranty on the device, or an optional 2-year warranty if you use POS Pro.
Straightforward and reliable, the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader has been the go-to for Shopify retailers for years. Its wireless connectivity and small profile makes for fast selling throughout the day and a clean checkout desk.
When compared to the Shopify POS Go, the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader lacks things like store and product management, but that’s because it’s only a payment processing tool. There’s no point of sale included.
However, you do receive a solid collection of features, along with a simplified interface that’s only made for selling.
Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader Features:
- Credit card processing for contactless (tap) and chip payments.
- Data protection with PCI DSS requirements, all processed and protected through Shopify.
- It’s comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand, and you can take it out of the dock to bring it closer to customers. Not to mention, you receive an ergonomic dock for presenting the device to customers, for an easy tapping or chip-insertion process.
- Connections to both your mobile phones and tablets.
- Connections to WiFi and other devices via Bluetooth.
- EMV certified for the protection of your own business and customers.
The Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader accepts all major credit cards, along with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
It’s preprogrammed into the Shopify POS software for syncing between Apple and Android devices, like any countertop point of sale. This way, the Shopify card reader doesn’t actually run the Shopify POS software. Rather, it focuses on processing payments efficiently.
You can also connect to other devices such as receipt printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers via the Shopify POS integration and its Bluetooth connectivity.
Design and Build
Looking like a square block, the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader provides the sleekest profile card processor around. It comes in a black color, and shows an icon where customers tap their credit cards. The Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader provides a slot to insert chip-enabled cards, and there’s a light-up front panel to indicate whether or not the payment has gone through.
The device is designed to work/connect with:
- Bluetooth 4.2+
- Apple iOS 12.2+
- Android 7.0+
As for the physical structure of the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader, it fits in your hand without slipping or feeling too uncomfortable.
- Height: 0.51 inches
- Length: 3.39 inches
- Width: 2.83 inches
- Weight: 0.2 pounds
The dock for the card reader has the following measurements:
- Height: 2.28 inches
- Length: 3.66 inches
- Width: 3.03 inches
- Weight: 1.9 inches
So, the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader becomes a little less portable when placed atop the dock. However, you can always remove it from the dock with a simple click of the release button.
Included with the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader, you receive a USB cable for charging the device.
How to Get the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader
There are only a few requirements for merchants when purchasing the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader: You must be in the United States or Canada, and eligible for Shopify Payments.
Just go to the Shopify Hardware Shop to buy the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader and the dock.
Customer Support for all Shopify Card Readers
Shopify offers a separate customer support area in its documentation for POS devices and all hardware. Navigate to the Card Readers section for the most up-to-date information on the Shopify POS Go and Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader. They also have various videos, tutorials, and blog posts on how to get and use the Shopify card readers.
As for human support, you can always reach out to the Shopify support team via the community forums, email, chat, or phone. They have a dedicated technical support team for hardware inquiries.
Further reading 📚
Shopify Review 2023 – Is Shopify the Best Ecommerce Platform?
Shopify Pricing Plans and Fees (Mar 2023): Which Shopify Plan is Best for You? Basic Shopify vs Shopify vs Advanced Shopify
Shopify POS Review (Feb 2023): Is it the Best Point of Sale System & Retail POS?
Shopify POS Lite vs Shopify POS Pro – What’s the Difference?
Which Shopify Card Reader is Right for Your Business?
Which is the best for you? The Shopify POS Go, or the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader?
Here’s our take.
Go for the Shopify POS Go if:
- You’d like a fully mobile payment processing unit.
- You want access to your entire POS from the device.
- You need barcode scanning from your card swiper.
- You’d like to have a protective case and strap for your card reader.
- It’s necessary for your business to process chip, swipe, and tap payments.
- Your business is in the United States.
Get the Shopify Tap and Chip Card Reader if:
- You’d like to process payments via chip or tap.
- You’re in need of a more traditional “counter-top kit” where customers come to your register for processing payments.
- You still want some mobile abilities, since the device is so small.
- You don’t need a mobile POS.
- Your business is in Canada or the United States.
- You’d like to save some money when compared to the Shopify POS Go.
With all that said, we hope you now fully understand the ins and outs of each Shopify card reader. Do you have a preference in card reader for your business?