Magnetic Stripe Reader FAQ

A magnetic stripe reader, also called a mag stripe reader, is a piece of hardware that can read the information encoded in a magnetic stripe on the back of a credit card.
No. A mag stripe reader is a piece of hardware that enters credit card information into a piece of software. A payment processor is an organization that receives information about a payment transaction and performs the payment, transferring funds from the payer to the payee.
A mag stripe reader helps you process credit cards quickly, save time and increase accuracy.

A computer running Sumac.

A merchant account with a payment processor supported by Sumac.

An Internet connection.

Any USB credit card magnetic stripe scanner which emulates a keyboard, and does not mask or encrypt its output.

Mag swipes are available through online stores like Amazon. You can also find them on ncix.com or newegg.ca.

When developing this feature, our developers used the IDTech Minimag 2 duo reader, available HERE.

Tip: We don’t recommend the MagTek brand readers: many of their devices need to encrypt data in a way that is specific to a particular payment processor.


Prices typically range from $40 to $80 per unit.
No, a mag stripe reader reads credit cards only.
Plug the mag stripe reader into your computer. In Sumac, when you enter a credit card payment transaction, you can click a button to tell Sumac to read from the mag stripe reader.
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