Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

Available only from Shopify

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

Popup card reader

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

Note

To use any of the encrypted Swipe card readers supported by Shopify, you need to have Shopify Payments or a POS-supported payment gateway enabled.

Who is this card reader for?

The Swipe (audio-jack) card reader is lightweight and low-cost, which makes it a good option for merchants who are just getting started with taking credit card payments. The card reader plugs into the audio jack of your POS device and has no wires, so it's ideal for use at at fairs, markets, or pop-up locations.

Note

Your POS device needs an internet connection to use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader. Wherever you're selling, make sure that your device can connect to the internet during transactions using either wi-fi or your device's cellular data.

Compatible devices and payment gateways

The following table shows which devices and payment gateways are compatible with the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader.

Device Supported payment gateways Do I need the retail package?
  • iPad
  • iPhone
Shopify Payments (United States and Canada) No
Authorize.net (United States and Canada) Yes
Vantiv Integrated Payments (United States and Canada) Yes
First Data Payeezy (United States) Yes
USA ePay (United States) Yes
  • An Android device with a built-in microphone and audio jack
Shopify Payments (United States and Canada) No

Where to buy the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

The Swipe (audio-jack) card reader is available only from the Shopify Hardware Store in the United States and Canada.

Caution

You need to buy the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader from the Shopify Hardware Store for it to work with Shopify POS.

Install the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader

Note

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

How to swipe a card

Swipe the credit card across the card reader with the card's magnetic strip facing towards you:

Audio jack card reader

Troubleshoot the card reader

If you have trouble using the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader, try these troubleshooting steps.

Note

When you troubleshoot the card reader, you can go through the following steps with a test order for a $1.00 quick sale item (you can refund the order later).

  1. Are you seeing a Swipe failed error?
  2. Do you have an internet connection?
  3. Are you using a compatible payment gateway and currency?
  4. Are you tapping Credit at checkout?
  5. Is your POS device in a case?
  6. Is your device being used to play music?
  7. Does Shopify POS have permissions to use your device's microphone
  8. Is the volume on your device at maximum?
  9. Have you disabled the Use audio jack for card reader option (iOS only)?
  10. Can you take a credit payment using a different card?
  11. Can you process the payment by entering the credit card information manually?

1. Are you seeing a Swipe failed error?

If you see a Swipe failed error when you swipe a card, then make sure that you're swiping the card correctly.

2. Do you have an internet connection?

To process payments, Shopify POS needs to connect to the internet through wi-fi or your device's cellular data. If you can't connect to the internet, then you won't be able to process card payments.

3. Are you using a compatible payment gateway and currency?

You can use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader only if:

  • your store's based in the United States or Canada
  • you're using a compatible payment gateway
  • your store's operating in USD or CAD.

If one of those requirements isn't true for you, then you can still take credit card payments using an external payment terminal.

4. Are you tapping Credit at checkout?

To accept payment with the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader, tap Credit at the payments screen. You should tap External Credit, External Depit, or External Terminal only if you're using an external payment terminal instead of a card reader that's supported by Shopify.

5. Is your POS device in a case?

Some cases prevent the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader from fitting properly in the device's audio jack. If your device is in a case, then remove your device from its case, plug in the card reader, and try processing the payment again.

6. Is your device being used to play music?

The Swipe (audio-jack) card reader uses your device's audio framework, and so you can't use your POS device to play music and to accept credit card payments at the same time. If you want to take a card payment, then disconnect your POS device from any Bluetooth speakers, check that the device has microphone permissions, and then try taking the payment again.

7. Does Shopify POS have permission to use your device's microphone

Shopify POS needs permission to use your device's microphone to use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader to take credit payments. If you declined giving the app permission, then you can grant it at any time from your device settings.

To grant Shopify POS permission to use your device's microphone:

8. Is the volume on your device at maximum?

Shopify POS won't recognize the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader unless your device is unmuted and its volume is at its maximum. Unplug the card reader, make sure that your device isn't muted and the volume is at its maximum, and then plug in the card reader and try to take the payment again.

9. Have you disabled the Use audio jack for card reader option (iOS only)?

You might have disabled the Use audio jack for card reader setting in Shopify POS, for example if you wanted to use the device to play music.

To enable the Use audio jack for card reader setting:

10. Can you take a credit payment using a different card?

Try to take a card payment using a different credit card. If the payment is successful, then there is a problem with your customer's credit card.

11. Can you process the payment by entering the credit card information manually?

Try to take the card payment by entering the card information manually. If the payment is successful, then there's a problem with the card reader.

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