Additional Information On Magnetic Card Readers
A Magnetic stripe reader, also called a magstripe reader or card reader, is a hardware
device that reads the information encoded in the magnetic stripe located on the
back of a plastic card. Magnetic stripe readers can be read by a computer
program through a serial port ( RS232 ), USB connection, or Keyboard Wedge,
and are generally categorized by the way they read a mag stripe card. For
instance, insertion readers require that the card be inserted into the reader
and then pulled out. Swipe readers require that the card pass completely
through the reader.
A magnetic stripe card is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying
the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic
material on the card. The magnetic stripe, sometimes called a magstripe, is
read by physical contact and swiping past a reading head. Magnetic stripe cards
are commonly used in credit cards, identity cards, and transportation
Essentially Credit Card Readers are non intelligent input devices that read the magnetic band
on magnetic stripe cards and then sends the information from the band of
magnetic material on the card into a text form into your computer. Often these
devices simulate a keyboard emulation device, most USB models are also plug n
play and does not require additional drivers. Other than keyboard
emulation MSR's, there are also USB HID MSR's. HID stands for Human Interface
Device, these functions allow hardware manufacturers to design a product to USB
HID class specifications and expect it to work with any software that also
meets these specifications. In essence with the HID you can program or command
the device/MSR to type the data in specific path on the computer or specific
location on a program.
Also to note are the tracks on card readers, generally you have options to
having up to 3 tracks.
Tracks 1 & 2 are generally used for credit cards. Track 3 is for reading other
cards such as ID cards, gift certificate cards, etc.
MSR's are generally sold with tracks 1&2 only or with all 3 tracks
We recommend POS-X Xm95
due to the built in 3-track reader, OPOS/JPOS compatibility, and it comes with
a 2-year warranty, as opposed to a 1-year warranty from other manufacturers.
For mobile payment processing on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch try the Mag-Tek iDynamo magnetic card reader, it features encryption and authorization for secure mobile card processing.