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Purchasing a Magnetic Stripe Reader (MSR): What You Need to Know

Posted July 22, 2009

ID Tech Minimag mag stripe readerShopping is a lot of work. Regardless of what it is that you are buying, there are numerous things to consider, research, and compare. So what are the things to think about when choosing a mag stripe reader (MSR)?

As with any product, a lot of thought goes into the design of each MSR. From the interface to the cosmetics to the feel of the card swipe, each unit is designed for a specific purpose. Your job is to figure out which one best fits your needs.

Terry Conant, the Executive VP of ID Tech, provides his list of the top things to consider when purchasing a Point of Sale (POS) MSR:

Reading Reliability

The purpose of a card reader, of course, is to read cards. Not just the new cards but real-world cards, and failure to do so can mean extra transaction costs, or even worse, a lost sale. Manually entered card information means additional transaction costs. At an unmanned kiosk, a customer’s unread card can mean a lost sale.

Minimum Number of Card Swipes

A card reader needs to be able to stand up to the rigors of swiping card after card, day after day. If a reader breaks down, it can severely handicap sales. Long warranties are great, but more importantly, look for the amount of swipes the reader is guaranteed for.

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