Smart Card Reader Reviews & Buying Guide 2019


Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended smart card readers, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on smart card reader. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about smart card readers. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 10 Best Smart Card Readers of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
HID Global
SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card
DOD Military USB Common
Horizontal Version
USB Smart Card Reader
SD Card Reader USB
SCR3500 Smartfold Smart Card
SCM Micro Systems SmartFold Smart
Smart Card Reader USB C,
10 / 8/7, Mac OS
USB 3.0 Smart Card
32 / 64bit
USB Smart Card Reader ACS
Identiv SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card Image
Identiv SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card Reader
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Image
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader, Compatible with Mac Os, Win (Horizontal Version)
Rocketek USB Smart Card Reader Image
USB Smart Card Reader, Rocketek DOD Military USB CAC Memory Card Reader compatible with Windows, Linux/Unix, MacOS X - Build in SDHC/SDXC/SD Card Reader & Micro SD Card Reader for SIM and MMC RS & 4.0
UGREEN SD Card Reader USB Image
UGREEN SD Card Reader USB 3.0 Card Hub Adapter 5Gbps Read 4 Cards Simultaneously CF, CFI, TF, SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC, MS, UHS-I (Black)
Identiv SCR3500 Smartfold Smart Card Image
Identiv SCR3500 Smartfold Smart Card Reader
Identiv SCM Micro Systems SmartFold Smart Image
SCM Micro Systems SmartFold Smart Card Reader SCR3500
TWORUX Smart Card Reader USB C, Image
Smart Card Reader USB C, TWORUX ID Card Reader and CAC Smart Card Reader Compaitble MacBook Pro/Chromebook Pixel/Dell XPS 13 and Some Type C Phones | Compatible Windows 10/8/7, Mac OS
HID Global HID OMNIKEY 3021 USB Smart Image
HID OMNIKEY 3021 USB Smart Card Reader
VOASTEK USB 3.0 Smart Card Image
VOASTEK USB 3.0 Smart Card Reader | Electronic ID Card Reader and CAC Smart Card Reader | SD/Micro SD/M2/MS/SIM Card Adapter | Compatible with Windows (32/64bit) XP/Vista/7/8/10, Linux and Mac OS
ACS USB Smart Card Reader ACS Image
USB Smart Card Reader ACS ACR39U
according to our criteria
98 %
in comparison
98 %
in comparison
94 %
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93 %
in comparison
88 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
  • Fully compliant - Complies with all major industry standards includ...
  • Seamless integration - With Identiv-specific SmartOS you'll get eas...
  • Universal compatibility - Works with virtually all contact chip car...
  • Dod Military cac usb Smart Card Reader for Government id National i...
  • Compatible with windows (32/64bit) XP/Vista 7/8/10 Mac OS X
  • Sleek Ergonomic Design -Gloss Black Finish piv and ems ready.ISO781...
  • Dod Military cac usb Smart Card Reader for cac Cards Government id ...
  • Compatibility: Windows 10 Windows 8/8.1 (32/64 bit) Windows 7 (also...
  • Support Card types: 5v 3V and 1.8v Smart Cards iso 7816 Class A B a...
  • One Reader for Multi Cards: usb Card Reader is designed with 4 card...
  • Super Speed High Capacity: usb Memory Card Reader support card up t...
  • Compact Design Premium Quality: Easy to grab and go Reinforced cabl...
  • Compact And Lightweight Dongle Form-Factor Card Reader
  • Accepts Cards In Id1 Format (Iso8716)
  • Ccid Compliant
  • Manufacturer: scm Micro Systems
  • Part Number: scr3500 a
  • Product Type: Security Devices
  • Dod Military cac usb Smart Card Reader for Government id National i...
  • Smart Card Reader for Mac and other type C laptops No driver or pow...
  • Easy to use: cac smart card reader is an easy to install usb device...
  • The omnikey 3021 usb Reader-MODEL r3021009-1 can be easily distribu...
  • This handy usb reader is the ideal choice for large-scale deploymen...
  • Compliant with all industry standards this smart card reader is com...
  • Dod Military usb Common Access cac Smart Card Reader for Government...
  • Great Compatibility with Windows 98/Me/2000/NT 4.0/XP/CE/Vista/7/8/...
  • Memory Card Reader Function: Support 5v 3V and 1.8v Smart Cards iso...
  • Taa compliant
  • Supports cac and piv2 cards
  • Cac Reader
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular Smart Card Readers

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which Smart Card Reader Would You Buy Online? (August 2018)

  • 37.50 % (12 votes) Identiv SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card Reader
  • 25 % (8 votes) Identiv SCR3500 Smartfold Smart Card Reader
  • 21.88 % (7 votes) Saicoo Smart Card Reader DOD Military USB Commo...
  • 15.62 % (5 votes) KICTeam Waffletechnology Smart Card Reader Clea...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Zoweetek DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Sma...
  • 0 % (0 votes) ACR39U-NF PocketMate II USB-C Smart Card Reader...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Multi-Function Smart Card Reader, CAC/DOD/ SD H...
  • 0 % (0 votes) USB Smart Card Reader, Rocketek DOD Military US...

32 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best smart card reader, click here to view the poll.

Smart Card Reader Buying Guide

Smart Card Reader Image
Picture: SCR3310v2.0 USB Smart Card from Identiv

Smart card readers attach to your mobile device, and they take payment for services rendered. However, smart card readers are more than just little cubes you buy off the Internet. You have to do a lot more research into these items before you buy because this is the only way you can reliably get paid. Take a look at what goes into the purchase of your card readers besides your desire to take payment from customers.

1. Smart Card Readers Are All Different

You cannot buy a smart card reader assuming that they are all the same. That is patently untrue, and you will end up with something that you do not even like. People who recklessly spend their money on these readers have a hard time processing transactions, and they usually run into problems with the quality because that reader is a lot more delicate than they thought.

2. Be Careful

You have to be careful with these things because they are nothing more than a little strip readers and a plug. The strip reader is just two pieces of film, and the plug could bend pretty easily if you are not careful. If the plug breaks, you are out of commission until you replace the reader. You could plug into your USB or speaker port, and you have to see which one you would prefer to use because they both come with their own pros and cons.

3. The Port

You could plug into your USB port, but you have to unplug your device from charging to do that. If you want to use the speaker port, you have to unplug your headphones. You need to decide how you will use the smart card reader most of the time because that determines the port you will use. Someone who has not thought this out could get caught in a bind when the smart card reader does not perform to their liking.

4. How Big Is It?

You probably never thought about how big your smart card reader is. You were probably excited by the fact that it is very small, but that means it is easy to lose. People use backpacks or purses to carry their personal items could lose the reader in the mass of stuff that is in their bag. You do not want to have to root around for the device every time you have to take a payment. Plus, you could break the device when it gets crushed by something else in the bag. A bigger smart card reader usually protects your investment.

5. The App

You have to make sure that the smart card reader will work with the app that you plan to use for payments. There are compatibility issues with certain apps, and that could lead to a very embarrassing situation where you have to take payment for an item later because your reader does not work. You look foolish, and your customers wonder if you are organized. Check the app that you use, which readers work, and if you need to get a special app just for the reader.

6. The Readers Need A Warranty

You need a warranty on these devices because you cannot take payments if they just stop working one day. You need to know that the company will give you the help you need, and you might actually look harder because there are customer service issues that you need to deal with.

7. Customer Care

You need to have a live chat, email, or phone number where you can reach the company because they are a processing center for your payments. It is true that you are having your payments processed by the app that you use, but your processing company could say that the reader company has to deal with the problem. You are stuck if you cannot reach them, and you should see if people have had issues with that in the past.

8. The Color

The color of the reader probably seems like a small thing to quibble over, but you really need to pick something that matches your phone, matches the colors of your business, or lets you show off a little bit of style. Someone who picked a standard white reader might get tired of it just because it looks like everyone else's. You have to do everything you can do to stand out from the crowd, and little things like this make it easier for you to do that.

9. Where Are They Helpful?

It is obvious that you can use the card reader when you are offering services on a personal basis. You could be a handyman in someone's home or run your own hair salon. However, there are small businesses that will use these readers in their stores. They were planning to take payments at a table that was set up like a register, and these readers work perfectly. Your customers swipe their own card, and they sign on the dotted line. You could use the card reader at the bar in a small club if you are running everything through a tablet, or you could take payments for things like rides in a taxi with a little mount on the dash that holds up the phone or tablet. You made it easier for your customers to pay, and the reader did all the work.

10. Save Money When Buying

You are not obligated to buy the most expensive card reader. You might think that that is the only way to get the quality you want, but that is not the case at all. You can get a quality reader for much less money than normal, but you have to actually look for the readers that will meet your needs. Use your online searching skills to narrow your search to readers that are a certain price. This makes it possible for you to buy the right reader the first time, and you spent less money on this little device.

11. The Devices Are Available Everywhere

You do not need to buy your reader from a company that sells only these items. You do not have to buy right from the manufacturer because that usually costs too much, and you also have to see if you can find a place that will give you something like free shipping. They might give you a discount if you buy man of the readers at once, or they might give you a special warranty on the device. You need to broaden your search as much as possible so you actually buy from the right place.

12. Durability

The durability of a card reader is a big concern, and you cannot buy anything that will fall apart after a couple weeks of use. You can start a search online that will tell you customer experiences with these devices, and you might cut out all the items that are not up to the standard that you are looking for. You usually get a much better result, and you will feel like you have a chance to use that same card reader for years at a time. You do not have time in your life to keep replacing these devices, and a testimonial here and there goes a long way.

13. Conclusion

The smart card reader you are looking for has to meet all the requirements you set forth when the search begins. It has to be the right color and size. It has to be compatible with your payment app, and it has to use the right jack in your phone or tablet. You need to decide what the reader will be used for, and you could purcahse a lot of these readers at the same time for a discount. Pick the reader that you think will last the longest, and read online about how the company offers you customer service. Add all these things into your search formula, and you will come out with a smart card reader that takes payments from your customers in just a couple seconds when services are rendered.

Your Opinion Matters!


Smart Card Reader Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best smart card readers and their reviews and guides.

Buying Guide Readers and Credentials How to Order Guide, PLT-02630, B.0 of HID must be authorized to purchase components with HID Elite keys. B - Supports iCLASS Seos cards, and Mobile IDs via NFC and Bluetooth Smart. ...
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Reviews Flexible PKard Reader and elegant Tactivo bring smart card authentication to your favorite mobile device. ...
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Buying Guide General guideline on the use of ACS logo should appear in the same manner consistently. ...
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Buying Guide A card reader is the hardware that supplies power to the chip, and allows the When buying card readers for your agency, you can use GSA Advantage to  ...
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Reviews Thursby and Precise Biometrics are outfitting mobile iPhones and iPads with a smart card reader solution, attempting to make the Apple  ...
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Buying Guide Using a smartcard reader is easy; just connect it to the computer via USB. The easiest and fastest solution then is to purchase an external card reader. ...
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The Smart Card Readers of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about smart card readers? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about Smart Card Reader

Today - Pkard Smart Card Reader for IOS Review

This is a review of the Pkard smart reader for IOS from Thursby Software. It allows you to use a smart card with your Iphone or Ipad. Please Subscribe!

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.


Conclusion for this Smart Card Reader Buying Guide in July 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our smart card reader comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with smart card reader in 2019.

Published by on (last update on ).


20 of 30 readers found this article helpful.

Your opinion will appear tommorow, since this page is cached for 24 hours.

(Corresponds to a rating of 3.33 / 5)