Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

Available only from Shopify

About the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

The Swipe (audio-jack) card reader is a lightweight, low-cost solution for stores that are often mobile.

It plugs into the audio jack of your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. If you're using an iOS device, you can disable the card reader from the Hardware settings to access the audio jack for music playback.

Popup card reader

Note

To use any of the encrypted card readers supported by Shopify, you must have Shopify Payments or a supported third-party gateway enabled as your payment gateway.

Install the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

To install the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader:

  1. Make sure the volume on your iPad is set to maximum, and is not set to silent.

  2. Plug the card reader into your iPad's headphone jack. The reader rests on the face of the Windfall iPad stand (if you're using it).

  3. In the Shopify POS app, tap the menu button.

  4. Tap Settings.

  5. On the General page, ensure that the Use audio jack for card reader option is enabled.

Note

If your iPad volume isn't at maximum, the card reader won't be detected.

Grant microphone-jack permissions to the Shopify POS app

When setting up the Shopify POS app, you are prompted to grant permissions for the card reader to use the microphone. If you you missed the prompt, or inadvertently dismissed the permission request, you can easily update your settings:

  1. On the iPad home screen, tap to open Settings.

  2. Tap Privacy:

    Apple privacy settings fixed
  3. In the Privacy menu, tap Microphone, locate the Shopify POS item, and grant access by tapping the toggle button:

    Apple mic settings fixed

Supported payment gateways

The Shopify encrypted card reader integrates only with Shopify Payments or one of the supported third-party gateways.

Using unsupported payment gateways

Are you using another payment gateway to process your transactions? While you won't be able to use the Shopify encrypted card reader in conjunction with Shopify POS, you can use an external payment terminal to process credit cards.

To process payments with an external terminal, create a separate form of payment on the Payments settings screen of the POS app. After you process the order on the external terminal, you would then mark the order as paid in the app.

How to swipe a card

If you see an error when you swipe a card, you might be swiping it the wrong way. Swipe the credit card downwards with the barcode facing towards you:

Card reader swipe

Troubleshooting the card reader (iOS)

Your card reader might not be working for a number of reasons:

  1. Are you using Apple AirPlay or a Bluetooth speaker on your iPad? The card reader relies on the audio framework/drivers on the iPad, so audio devices can't be enabled simultaneously with your iPad.

  2. Is your iPad in a case other than the Windfall iPad stand? Some of the other cases prevent the card reader from properly fitting in the audio jack. Remove your case and try again.

  3. Is your iPad sound button on mute? Unmute it, set the volume to maximum, and try again.

  4. Has the volume on your iPad been reduced? The card reader needs the iPad volume to be at maximum, and will automatically set this when the card reader is installed. If you inadvertently reduce the iPad volume, you'll need to set it to maximum manually.

  5. Did you disable the card reader so you could use the audio jack for music playback? Check your Hardware settings.

Troubleshooting the card reader (Android)

Your card reader might not be working for a number of reasons:

  1. Is the card reader fully plugged into your phone? Check that there is nothing preventing the card reader from being fully plugged in. There might be a small plastic piece on the bottom of the card reader that can be removed without harming the card reader.

  2. Is your Android in a case? Some cases prevent the card reader from properly fitting in the audio jack. Remove your case and try again.

  3. Is your phone's volume at its highest setting? The card reader needs your phone volume to be at maximum. Use the volume buttons to raise the volume to its highest setting when you take a credit card payment. If you see a warning about raising the volume beyond a safe level, then tap OK.

  4. Are you using a Bluetooth speaker to play music from your Android? The card reader relies on the audio framework/drivers on the Android, so audio devices can't be enabled simultaneously with your Android.

  5. Are you using Android 6.0 or higher? If you are, then you need to grant Shopify POS permission to use the microphone. To check the app's permissions, go to your Android's main settings, tap Apps, and then tap Shopify POS. If you're using an older version of Android, then you granted Shopify POS permission to use the microphone when you downloaded the app.

My card reader won't accept a credit card. What do I do?

If you are having trouble swiping a damaged card through the Shopify card reader, you can always manually enter the credit card number from the iPad:

Credit card manual fixed

The Shopify POS app gives me an error when I swipe a card.

You might be swiping the card the wrong way. Swipe the credit card downwards with the barcode of the card facing towards you.

Card reader swipe

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