Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader

Available only from Shopify

Tap chip swipe

You can use Shopify's Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader to accept credit cards and contactless payments (including Android Pay and Apple Pay) with the Shopify POS app.

The Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader meets the EMV payment standard, which helps prevent credit card counterfeiting and fraud. If you’re using a non-compliant card reader, then your business will be exposed to greater risk. Learn more ›

You can purchase Shopify's Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader, a countertop stand, and other retail equipment from the Shopify Hardware Store in the United States and United Kingdom.

EMV and the Liability Shift

The EMV standard shifts purchase liability so that retailers — not banks and credit card providers — are liable for costs associated with credit card counterfeiting and fraud. This means that you're liable for fraudulent purchases in any cases where you've processed a card that has a higher level security feature on a lower level (for example, if you process payment using the magnetic strip on a card that also has a security chip). Learn more ›

Card reader anatomy

Emv anatomy
1. Bluetooth indicator (on-screen)
2. USB port
3. Power/Sleep button
4. Bluetooth button
5. Battery indicator (on-screen)
6. Accept button
7. Clear button
8. Cancel button

Card reader requirements

The Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader is available only in the United States and the United Kingdom, and it can be used only with the following compatible payment types:

Country Accepted payments
United States Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, Android Pay
United Kingdom Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Android Pay

Note

The Tap, Chip, and Swipe reader in the United Kingdom does't support tap, chip, or swipe payments for American Express or Discover cards, but you can enter the customer's card information manually.

The card reader connects to your iPad or iPhone with the Shopify POS app. Make sure that you’re using the card reader with a supported iOS device.

You can use the card reader with:

  • iPhone: 4S, 5, 5S, 6/6 Plus, 6S/6S Plus
  • iPad: 2, 3, 4, Air, Air 2, Pro
  • iPad Mini: All models
  • iOS: version 8 and higher

Before you can receive payment for transactions that you make with your card reader, you need to activate Shopify Payments in your Shopify admin.

Charging

You should fully charge your card reader before using it for the first time. The included USB cable connects and charges your card reader with a computer or a standard USB power adapter.

You can leave your card reader plugged in, or disconnect it when you need to. If you use a charging stand, then you can mount the card reader beside your cash register and keep it plugged in throughout the day.

The card reader's screen displays the current battery status:

Battery is full Full battery
Battery is full and card reader is plugged in Full battery with a plug extending from it
Battery is charging and card reader is plugged in Battery with a lightning bolt overlay and a plug extending from it
Battery is critically low Warning sign next to a attery with a lightning bolt overlay

Powering on, off, and sleeping

To turn on the card reader, press and hold the power button on the top of the device until the Shopify logo appears on the screen. The blue LED starts blinking when the card reader is ready to use (this might take a few seconds). If you’ve paired it with a device that’s still in range, the card reader will reconnect to it.

To turn off the card reader, press and hold the power button for three seconds.

To put the card reader in sleep mode, press the power button for a second. You can wake it up by pressing any button on the card reader. The card reader goes to sleep after about a minute of inactivity if it isn’t plugged in.

Pairing with your iPad or iPhone

The first time you connect the card reader with the Shopify POS app, you must pair it with your iPad or iPhone using Bluetooth. After that, the two devices will connect automatically if they’re within range.

You can press the cancel button on your card reader at any time to stop the pairing process.

To pair the card reader with your iPad or iPhone:

  1. Press and hold the Bluetooth button (or the green button) on your card reader for 5 seconds. When the blue LED and Bluetooth icon on the screen start blinking quickly, the card reader is ready to be paired with your iPad or iPhone.
  2. On your iPad or iPhone, open the Settings menu, then navigate to the Bluetooth section.
  3. Under Other Devices, tap the name of your card reader (for example, Shopify 123). It might take a few seconds before your card reader appears in the list of available devices. The number in your card reader’s name matches the last three digits of serial number on the back of the card reader.
  4. When the Bluetooth Pairing Request dialog appears, tap Pair to confirm.
  5. When the confirmation code appears on your card reader’s screen, press the green button to accept the Bluetooth connection to your iPad or iPhone. When the blue LED stops blinking, your card reader is successfully paired.

Pairing your card reader to the same device after pairing to another device

​ The card reader can be paired with only one iPad or iPhone at a time. If you’ve paired your card reader to a second device and now want to pair it to the first device again, you need to start by removing your card reader's entry from the Bluetooth My Devices list on the second device.

  1. On your second device, open Settings and then tap Bluetooth.
  2. Find the existing card reader in the My Devices list (for example, Shopify 123).
  3. Tap the i icon beside the card reader's device name.
  4. Tap Forget This Device and then confirm.
  5. Follow the Bluetooth pairing process on your first device.

Tip

If you’re having trouble pairing your card reader, refer to the Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader troubleshooting guide.

Making transactions

The card reader accepts three different payment types: tap, chip, and swipe.

Tap

  1. From the payment screen in Shopify POS, tap Tap to activate contactless payment for that transaction.
  2. Tap the contactless payment card or device on the face of the card reader and hold it in place until the four green notification lights appear. When Shopify POS displays a Payment received message, the transaction is complete.

    Tip

    Contactless payment can be limited to purchases under a specified amount, according to the country your business is based in and your customer’s payment provider. To make purchases for larger amounts, your customer might need to use a different payment type.

Chip

  1. From the payment screen in Shopify POS, tap Credit to select credit card payment.
  2. Insert the chip card into the slot at the bottom of the card reader with the chip facing towards you.
  3. When the card reader displays Payment approved, ask the customer to complete the purchase using the required authentication method.

Swipe

  1. From the payment screen in Shopify POS, tap Credit to select credit card payment.
  2. Swipe the card in the slot at the top of the card reader with the stripe facing away from you. If the card also has a chip, then Shopify POS requests that you insert the chip to process payment.
  3. When the card reader displays Payment approved, ask the customer to complete the purchase using the required authentication method.

Authentication methods

After your customer makes a payment, they might need to authenticate it by entering a PIN or their signature into the POS app on your iPad or iPhone. The authentication method for each transaction depends on the customer's payment method.

Follow the prompts from your card reader and the Shopify POS app to know what steps you and your customer need to take to complete each transaction.

Troubleshooting

What payment gateway does the Shopify encrypted card reader work with?

To use the Tap, Chip, and Swipe card reader, you must enable Shopify Payments in your Shopify admin.

Why is my card reader not working?

Is your in-store internet working? If you're having internet connectivity or network issues, then you're probably going to have a problem using the card reader.

Why is my card reader not pairing properly?

The card reader can be paired with only one iOS device at a time. If you're pairing your card reader with a new device, make sure it's not still trying to pair with another Bluetooth device. You might need to update your device settings to "forget" the card reader before pairing it reader with a new device.

If the pairing process seems like it's taking too long to complete, press the X button on your card reader, and then try the pairing process again.

I want to move the card reader stand to a different spot on my countertop, but the sticky tape I used to mount the stand is too sticky to remove.

To remove the double-sided tape used to mount the card reader stand to your countertop, first remove the card reader and stand, and then heat the tape with a blow dryer. After the tape has been heated, it is much easier to remove.

Why are my chip transactions failing?

If the card reader fails to accept the chip card, keep trying — after a third failed attempt, the card reader will let you accept payment using the card's magnetic strip instead.

What do the error codes on the card reader mean?

The card reader displays error messages if it encounters a problem with the transaction.

Most card-related errors can be fixed only by the customer's bank. If the card reader displays a card-related error, then ask your customer to contact their bank to find a solution. These errors include:

  • Card blocked
  • Payment declined
  • Payment error
  • Chip error

If you receive a Network error message, then troubleshoot your in-store network connection.

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