Swipe (Lightning) card reader

Available only from Shopify

The Swipe (Lightning) card reader's robust design makes it reliable for large volumes of card swipes.

Lightning reader


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

Who is this card reader for?

The Swipe (Lightning) card reader is a lightweight but robust card reader available in Canada. It plugs straight into your iPad or iPhone and has no wires, so it's ideal for merchants who are often mobile. Its design is more sturdy than the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader, which makes this card reader a good choice for merchants who regularly take credit card payments.


Your POS device needs an internet connection to use the Swipe (Lightning) 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 providers

The following table shows which devices and payment providers are compatible with the Swipe (Lightning) card reader:

Device Supported payment providers Do I need the retail package?
  • iPad 4/Air/Air 2
  • iPhone 5/5S/6/6 Plus/7/7 Plus
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


The Swipe (Lightning) card reader isn't compatible with Android devices. If you have an Android device, then you can use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader or an external payment terminal.

Where to buy the Swipe (Lightning) card reader

The Swipe (Lightning) card reader is available from the Shopify Hardware Store in Canada.


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

Install the Swipe (Lightning) card reader

To install the card reader, attach the lightning connector to your iPad or iPhone. You can use the plastic adaptors provided with the reader to make sure that it's secure.

The card reader has a pass-through micro-USB port, so you can keep your iPhone or iPad connected to a power supply. We supply a micro-USB cable with the card reader for this purpose.

How to swipe a card

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

Lightning card reader


If your card reader isn't working, 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 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 won't be able to process card payments.

  2. Are you using a compatible payment provider and currency? You can use the Swipe (Lightning) card reader only if:

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

  3. Make sure that you're tapping Credit at the payments screen. The External Credit and External Debit payment options are only for if you're using an external payment terminal instead of a Shopify-supported card reader.

  4. Check that the reader is correctly plugged into your POS device and that the device's case is not in the way.

  5. Make sure that you're swiping the card correctly, with the magnetic strip facing away from you.

  6. After tapping Credit on the payments screen, unplug the card reader, and then plug it into the POS device again. Check that you see a Card reader connected notification.

  7. Try entering the credit card information manually. If this works, then there is a problem with the card reader.

  8. If the manual entry doesn't work, then force quit the Shopify POS app, turn off the device, and unplug the card reader. Turn the device back on, open Shopify POS, plug in the card reader, and try another test order.

If your card reader is still not working, then contact the Shopify Support team. You can also consult the manufacturer's Installation and Operation Manual if you have problems with your card reader.

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