Chip & Swipe Reader

The Chip & Swipe reader is no longer sold by Shopify. If you own a Chip & Swipe reader and your store is based in the United States, then you can still get support for the product from Shopify.

Chip & Swipe card reader for Shopify POS

The Shopify Chip & Swipe Reader is an EMV-compliant credit card reader that connects wirelessly to your iPad or iPhone. Customers can insert or swipe their card, and then sign on the screen of your POS device.

Who is the Chip & Swipe Reader for?

If you often sell in different locations, or you're just getting started with accepting card payments in a retail store, then the Chip & Swipe reader might be appropriate for your business.

You can also use the Chip & Swipe Reader alongside another card reader as a cost-effective backup when you're travelling or during busy selling periods.

Card reader requirements and supported payment types

To use the Chip & Swipe Reader, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your store needs to be based in the United States
  • You need to have Shopify Payments activated as your retail store's payment provider and test mode turned off
  • Your physical retail locations are based in the United States
  • You're selling in USD
  • You need to have an iOS or an Android device

The Shopify POS app works with devices which meet the following requirements:

Devices that work with the Shopify POS app
DeviceDescription
iPadGeneration 5 or higher running iPadOS 15 or higher
iPad Air Generation 2 or higher running iPadOS 15 or higher
iPad miniGeneration 4 or higher running iPadOS 15 or higher
iPad ProAll iPad Pro models running iPadOS 15 or higher
iPhoneiPhone 7 or higher running iOS 15 or higher
POS GoPOS Go running the latest Shopify-provided software updates
AndroidPhone or tablet running official Android version 10.0 or higher, with Google Play Services enabled

The Shopify POS app is available for only iOS and Android devices. It's not available for desktop computers.

iOS 14 permission requirements

If you update your device to iOS 14 or higher and use third-party Shopify apps, then you might need to activate Cross-Website tracking in your iOS settings. Cross-Website tracking lets third-party Shopify apps that you install in your Shopify admin stay connected in Shopify Inbox, Shopify Point of Sale, and the Shopify app.

To activate Cross-Website tracking, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap Shopify, Shopify POS, or Shopify Inbox.
  3. Activate Allow Cross-Website Tracking.

You can use the Chip & Swipe Reader to accept the following payment types:

  • Visa and Visa Debit
  • Mastercard and Debit Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover

Most national debit cards, such as Interac, Girocard, or eftpos cards that are co-branded with Visa or Mastercard can process payments outside their home countries using Visa and Mastercard.

Mount the Chip & Swipe Reader

The Chip & Swipe Reader comes with two mounting stickers, which you can use to attach it to another device (such as the back of a cellphone or tablet) or a smooth, flat surface. If you detach your Chip & Swipe Reader, then the mounting sticker can be wiped clean and re-used.

Clean the mounting surface and the Chip & Swipe Reader before attaching the mounting sticker to ensure a strong bond.

To mount the Chip & Swipe Reader:

  1. Remove the protective film from one side of the mounting sticker.
  2. Attach the mounting sticker to the back of the Chip & Swipe Reader (the side with no logo).
  3. Remove the remaining protective film from the mounting sticker.
  4. Press the sticker side of the Chip & Swipe Reader against the mounting surface and hold for 3 seconds.

Power the Chip & Swipe Reader on and off

To turn on the Chip & Swipe Reader, press and release the power button on the side of the reader. The status light turns on. If you've already paired and connected the reader with your POS device, then the reader automatically connects to the device.

After 30 seconds of inactivity, the Chip & Swipe Reader goes into standby mode, and the status light flashes every 5 seconds. During standby mode, the card reader turns on automatically when you take a card payment at checkout.

After 3 hours of inactivity, the Chip & Swipe Reader turns itself off fully. When you next want to take a card payment, you need to press and release the power button to turn on the card reader again. Typically you need to turn on the card reader only one time a day. You can manually turn off the reader at any time by pressing and holding the power button until the status light turns off.

The Chip & Swipe Reader status light

Whenever the Chip & Swipe Reader is turned on, its status light displays the reader's connection status and whether the reader needs to be charged:

How to interpret the Chip and Swipe reader status light
Continuous flashingThe card reader is ready to connect to a POS device.
Flashing every 5 secondsThe card reader is in standby mode.
GreenThe card reader is charged.
YellowThe card reader is charging.
RedThe card reader's battery is at 10% and the reader should be charged.
No lightThe card reader is turned off.

You can continue to make sales when the status light turns red, but you should charge the reader soon.

Charge the Chip & Swipe Reader

You can charge the Chip & Swipe Reader by using the USB cable that's supplied with it. To charge the reader, plug the micro USB connector into the card reader or its base, and then plug the larger USB connector into a phone charger or computer.

The Chip & Swipe Reader takes 1-2 hours to charge fully. After the reader is fully charged, its battery should last for a week of selling (about 400 chip transactions, or 700 swipe transactions).

Pair and connect the Chip & Swipe Reader to your POS device

To use the card reader with Shopify POS, you need to pair and connect the reader with your device. After the reader and device are paired, the reader connects to the device automatically whenever both are turned on and in range.

If you accept credit cards and your card reader isn't connected during a checkout, then you are prompted to follow the instructions on the Shopify POS screen to connect it.

Steps:

  1. From Shopify POS, tap > Settings.
  2. Tap Set up hardware.
  3. On the Set up hardware page, tap Card reader.
  4. On the Select your card Reader page, tap Chip & Swipe.
  5. Press and release the power button on the side of the card reader. The status light starts flashing.
  6. When the card reader displays beneath Available card readers, tap Connect card reader beside it.
  7. Tap Finish setup.

When the pairing is successful, you return to the Hardware screen where the Chip & Swipe Reader is displayed as connected.

Unpair the Chip & Swipe Reader from your POS device

You can use the Chip & Swipe Reader with only one device at a time. If you want to use the card reader with another device, then you need to first unpair it from its current device.

Steps:

  1. From Shopify POS, tap > Settings.
  2. On the Hardware screen, tap Manage connected hardware.
  3. Tap the name of your connected card reader.
  4. Tap Forget card reader.

Update the Chip & Swipe reader software

Your Chip & Swipe card reader might require a software update. Updating the Chip & Swipe card reader can take up to 15 minutes.

Don't close the app or disconnect the card reader during the update process.

Steps:

  1. Connect your card reader and iPad to their charging cables.
  2. Pair your card reader with your iPad.
  3. From the Shopify POS, tap > Settings.
  4. Tap Manage connected hardware.
  5. Select your card reader.
  6. Under Update available, Tap View details.
  7. Tap Update.

Accept payment with the Chip & Swipe Reader

  1. From the Shopify POS, tap Checkout. When the Chip & Swipe Reader is connected, it displays Swipe or Insert card at the top of the screen.
  2. Allow the customer to swipe or insert their card. The chip must face up towards the Shopify logo.
  3. If an account selection is required, then the customer must select either a checking or savings account. Depending on the bank that the customer uses, they might also be prompted to select which language to complete the transaction in.
  4. Allow the customer to discretely enter their PIN on the PIN entry screen. After the customer completes the entry of their PIN, they tap the green button with the checkmark logo.
  5. When the transaction is successful, the customer can remove their card and you can choose whether to provide a receipt.
  6. Tap Done.

Troubleshoot the Chip & Swipe Reader

If your card reader isn't working, then go through the following steps with a test order for a 1.00 quick sale item (you can refund the order later):

  1. Check that you meet the requirements to use the Chip & Swipe Reader.
  2. Check that you have an internet connection. Shopify POS needs to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi or your device's cellular data to process payments. If you can't connect to the internet, then you can't process card payments.

    If you don't meet all the requirements, then you can still take credit card payments using an external payment terminal.

  3. Check that your device has Bluetooth activated and that the card reader is showing as connected in the Shopify POS hardware settings. If the card reader isn't showing as connected, then try pairing the card reader with your device.

  4. Make sure that you're tapping Credit at the payments screen. The External terminal payment option is only for when you're using an external payment terminal instead of a Shopify-supported card reader.

  5. Make sure that you're inserting or swiping the card correctly.

  6. Try entering the credit card information manually. If this works, then there's a problem with the card reader.

  7. If the manual entry doesn't work, then force quit the Shopify POS app, and then turn off the device and card reader. Turn the device back on, open Shopify POS, and then turn on the card reader. When the card reader's status light displays that the reader's connected, try another test order.

Further troubleshooting tips before sending a report to Shopify Support

  • Never blow into the chip slot, as the saliva particles can corrode the chip contacts.
  • Don't use an adhesive like a sticky note or tape, as this can leave residue that can collect debris.
  • Use a can of compressed air to dislodge any debris inside the chip slot.
  • Use isopropyl alcohol and thin cotton swabs to gently clean the contacts in the chip slot.

If your card reader's still not working, then contact Shopify Support.

Unpair the Chip & Swipe reader

If you're having issues with your card reader connecting automatically, then you might need to unpair your card reader from your POS device. After you unpair your card reader from your device, you need to reconnect your POS with the Chip & Swipe Reader.

Step 1: Unpair in Shopify POS

  1. From Shopify POS, tap > Settings.
  2. On the Hardware screen, tap Manage connected hardware.
  3. Tap Shopify #### (last four digits of the reader).
  4. Scroll down and tap Forget card reader.

Step 2: Unpair in iOS settings

  1. Open your iOS device system settings and tap Bluetooth. If Shopify #### (last four digits of the reader) is displayed in the Remembered devices list, then tap the icon and select Forget this device.
  2. In the iOS device system settings, turn off the Bluetooth.
  3. Turn off the iOS device.
  4. Using a paperclip or sim tool extractor, press the factory-reset button in the internal pin-hole next to the charging port on the Chip & Swipe reader.

Step 3: Reconnect your Chip & Swipe Reader

  1. From Shopify POS, tap > Settings.
  2. Tap Set up hardware.
  3. On the Set up hardware page, tap Card reader.
  4. On the Select your card Reader page, tap Chip & Swipe.
  5. Press and release the power button on the side of the card reader. The status light starts flashing.
  6. When the card reader displays beneath Available card readers, tap Connect card reader beside it.
  7. Tap Finish setup.

When the pairing is successful, you return to the Hardware screen where the Chip & Swipe Reader is displayed as connected.

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