Our rating(3.9/5)
Shopify’s card reader works with a decent POS app in sync with your online store.
Shopify UK subscribers can buy a card reader that works with a Shopify POS app on iPad, iPhone and Android devices. In-store transactions are synced with ecommerce sales, but is the card reader any good?
  • Highs: Seamless integration with ecommerce. No long-term contract required. 24/7 customer support.
  • Lows: Requires ecommerce subscription. Slow payouts. Android app is older. Poor customer reviews.
  • Best for: Retailers who sell online primarily and require an iOS-based POS system connected to the online store.

Looking for the Irish Shopify card reader?

How does it work?

Shopify sells a card reader that works in conjunction with a mobile point of sale (POS) app on most mobile devices. It uses the payment system Shopify Payments to process the most common cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Accepted cards

VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressContactlessApple PayGoogle Pay

There are two versions of the POS software: POS Lite and POS Pro. The free Lite plan is suitable for basic retail shops while the paid (in addition to an ecommerce plan) POS Pro is built to enhance the customer experience, coordinate online and in-store sales better and manage a larger inventory library. By default, the POS app contains Lite features, until you upgrade to POS Pro.

Although anyone can buy the card reader, it only works when you’re on one of Shopify’s ecommerce subscriptions.

If you’re only going to use it as a way to accept cards in person, the cheapest online subscription is Shopify Lite (US$9 + VAT/month) that includes access to Buy Buttons and invoices.

The card reader is most beneficial with a Shopify online store because all payments, customer data and inventory are synced in the cloud for seamless multichannel sales.

Shopify pricing

To use the Shopify card reader, you need to buy it upfront for £59 + VAT and choose any one of Shopify’s paid ecommerce subscriptions. New sign-ups get a 14-day free trial. The card reader comes with a year’s warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind within a month.

There’s no contractual commitment for these subscriptions, but paying annually, every two or every three years upfront reduces the monthly cost compared to a monthly subscription that costs the most.

Costs*
Shopify card reader £59
Shipping Free
Shopify Lite subscription US$9/mo (monthly plan)
US$96/yr (annual plan)
Basic Shopify subscription US$29/mo (monthly plan)
US$312/yr (annual plan)
Shopify subscription US$79/mo (monthly plan)
US$852/yr (annual plan)
Advanced Shopify subscription US$299/mo (monthly plan)
US$3,192/yr (annual plan)
Commitment Cancel any time, but fees non-refundable

*VAT is added to the prices.

Costs*
Shopify card reader £59
Shipping Free
Shopify Lite subscription US$9/mo (monthly plan)
US$96/yr (annual plan)
Basic Shopify subscription US$29/mo (monthly plan)
US$312/yr (annual plan)
Shopify subscription US$79/mo (monthly plan)
US$852/yr (annual plan)
Advanced Shopify subscription US$299/mo (monthly plan)
US$3,192/yr (annual plan)
Commitment Cancel any time, but fees non-refundable

*VAT is added to the prices.

Despite being offered specifically to UK merchants, the ecommerce subscriptions have US dollar pricing. Shopify Lite is the cheapest subscription at US$9 monthly. It includes online selling features, but no full-fledged online store. The online store plans are Basic Shopify for $29/month, Shopify for $79/month and Advanced Shopify for $299/month for the monthly plans, excluding VAT which is added at checkout.

The transaction fee for payments through the card reader depends on the plan: it’s 1.7% on the Lite and Basic Shopify subscriptions, 1.6% on Shopify and 1.5% on Advanced Shopify. Online transaction fees are also lower on the pricier plans (table below).

Shopify plan Card reader
transactions
Online
transactions
Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify 1.7% 2.2% + 20p
Shopify 1.6% 1.9% + 20p
Advanced Shopify 1.5% 1.6% + 20p
Card reader
transactions
Online
transactions
Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify
1.7% 2.2% + 20p
Shopify
1.6% 1.9% + 20p
Advanced Shopify
1.5% 1.6% + 20p

Transactions through Shopify Payments are usually settled in your bank account within 6 working days, which is not fast, but there are no charges for these automatic payouts.

There’s a £10 chargeback fee if a customer disputes a transaction, which is non-refundable unless the dispute is resolved in your favour. There are no fees for refunds or exchanges when using Shopify Payments.

Card reader and POS hardware

Shopify only sells one card reader in the UK: the wireless Tap, Chip and Swipe Reader. This is the same Miura 010 model that iZettle have used in the past, and PayPal Here, Worldpay and Barclaycard Anywhere still use it. The model is actually over six years old, but it’s still considered secure and reliable.

As the name says, it can accept contactless (NFC), chip and magnetic stripe cards, but only in conjunction with the Shopify POS app. The card reader connects to a compatible iPhone, iPad or Android tablet or smartphone over Bluetooth, then uses the mobile device’s WiFi or mobile network to process payments over the internet.

Image: Shopify

Shopify card reader countertop

The Shopify card reader can be placed in a holder attached to your countertop.

The card terminal weighs 118 grams and measures 103 mm (H) x 71 mm (W) x 18 mm (D), so it is quite small and lightweight. It does not have a receipt printer built in, but features a physical PIN pad.

The card reader can be purchased with a holder to stick onto a countertop. The POS system is also compatible with till drawers, receipt printers and a barcode scanner (all available from the Shopify hardware store).

Equipment sold in Shopify’s hardware store gets a 1-year warranty on the free POS Lite plan, and 2 years on POS Pro.

It is possible to use an external card machine from another payment provider than Shopify, but then the terminal isn’t integrated with the POS software. Instead, you manually have to confirm in the Shopify POS app when the card payment has gone through the external credit card processor.

POS features

All ecommerce subscriptions include basic point of sale features – Shopify POS Lite (US$0/month) – that are enough for a small shop, market stall holders, pop-ups and mobile merchants. If you trade from more than one location and require more inventory management and till features, Shopify POS Pro (US$89/month per location) is better.

This latest Shopify POS app (pictured below) only works on iPad and iPhone, whereas an older app is available on Android devices.

Image: Shopify