In this article I would like to discuss the benefits of wireless Bluetooth credit card reader hardware. This article also covers the key differences between “headphone jack” style credit card readers and the latest Bluetooth wireless credit card readers. This website is dedicated to providing in-depth articles for the emerging small businesses or casual entrepreneur. Merchant services and credit card processing is at the core of any successful small business. Knowing the basics of the hardware will help keep you on the right track.
The Hardware Folly of the Obsolete
Consider hardware compatibility with headphone jack connections. The older credit card reader hardware offered by major merchant services and credit card processors typically used a headphone jack style connection to interface with the smartphone or tablet device. Since this technology utilized the headphone jack to transmit data, some users experienced interruptions when the volume was lowered on the smartphone. This overall experience created a hassle for small business owners and customers alike. Furthermore, the credit card reader that used the headphone jack also draws power from the device in order to function. This means that whatever device you’re utilizing to process credit card payments, you’re going to suffer a lower battery life.
The Rise of EMV Chip Credit Cards
Regardless if you are small business or an entrepreneur, when you accept credit card payments you want to process EMV chip card payments. EMV chip credit cards become a mandate for all credit card distributors as means for a more secure payment method. This gives an added layer of protection against identity theft and fraudulent charges. The traditional credit card readers offered before this point gave no way to accept these new EMV cards. Subscribers to merchant services from all major credit card processing companies were limited to swiping the magnetic strip to accept payments. This created a liability for both the customer and the merchant who couldn’t guarantee utmost security. Since the burden of responsibility will typically rely on the merchant, small business owners were losing money to fraud and reversed charges.
Modern credit card readers offered by merchant services and credit card payment processing companies tackle both the hardware and security issues presented by the older obsolete models. In a nutshell, the bluetooth credit card reader connects with a wireless technology that is reliable and secure. This wireless Bluetooth connection uses less battery from your Android or iOS device and also solves data connectivity issues that prevail with older “headphone jack” models.
The standalone concept of these new credit card readers mean that they also feature an independent battery, opposed to drawing power directly from the device like former predecessors. Accepting credit card payments in a tabletop manner with your hardware connected through Bluetooth is a more efficient and reliable way to process credit cards. The EMV Chip technology is built into these wireless credit card readers and allow you to “dip” the card into the top of the hardware.
A Brief History of Credit Card Readers
Some might ask, “Why did the original credit card readers use the headphone jack anyways?” Well the answer comes from developers and hardware engineers wanting an interface that would work on almost any smartphone or tablet device. These novelty methods included credit card readers that worked through the smartphone or tablet USB connection. The problem with using a USB interface for a credit card reader dongle is that Apple devices use a special proprietary connection called Thunderbolt.
The main discerning difference, at least hardware wise, between Apple and Android products was the data/charger connection. Most Android devices would use either microUSB or USB type-C. While Apple phones and tablets, on the other hand, would have Thunderbolt connections. Apple in fact owns the rights to this special data/power connection scheme, so credit card reader manufacturers would have to pay Apple royalties to have their hardware connect this way. The workaround to this licensing hurdle was to utilize the headphone jack as a data/power connection. The reason this wasn’t a bad idea is because at the time every smartphone and tablet device featured a stereo headphone jack.