Is Your Financial Data Safe With Credit Card Readers For Smartphones And Tablets?

by Hank Coleman

Credit Card Readers For SmartphonesMy employer brought in a motivational speaker a few weeks ago. He is an author who gave a great presentation. Afterwards he signed copies of his book for the audience. Because the speech and book signing was held at my office and not a bookstore, the author brought copies of his books for us to purchase and then have signed if we didn’t bring a copy of our own.

I had a copy of his previous book, but I didn’t have a copy of his newest book. When I went to purchase the book from him, he swiped my credit card in a credit card reader attached to the top of his smartphone. This has become a larger occurring event that I’m finding that this is becoming an event that occurs more often lately with the infusion of smartphones and tablets in our everyday lives. I have even stumbled across my local yogurt show using an Apple iPad in the same fashion with a credit card reader attached to the top of it.

So, this begs the question… “How safe are credit card readers for smartphones and tablets with our financial data?”

Security For Credit Card Readers For Smartphones

With credit card readers for smartphones and tablets, your financial information is safe and secure like it would be if you had made your purchase at a standard cash register. The companies that create these credit card readers for smartphones use end-to-end encryption to protect your financial data. Most, if not all, of the companies that build these little devices that sit atop our smartphones adhere to the PCI compliance standard of the Security Standards Council.

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The PCI Data Security Standard is made up of 12 requirements that are designed to protect consumers’ financial information. Their standards require credit card readers for smartphones and their manufacturers to build and maintain a secure network for the financial data. They require them to protect cardholder data. The must ensure the maintenance of vulnerability management programs and implement strong access control measures in their devices. They are also required to regularly monitor and test their networks, maintain information security policies, and a host of other security measures to ensure that your financial data is safe.

Gone are the days of carbon copied credit card receipts of a mobile payment system that we all grew up with. When small businesses use credit card readers for smartphones and tablets, we are able to not only make purchases in real time anywhere in the world, but we are also able to do it safe and securely as well.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]

Hank Coleman has written 591 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

James Molet (SavvyJames)

A good and timely article. While I have yet to find myself in a situation where someone wanted to use a mobile credit card reader for a purchase, I’m sure it is only a matter of time as the practice grows more pronounced. Good to know that adequate security is in place.


Hank Coleman


I’m surprised that you haven’t run into this yet. It is everywhere now….or so it seems.


James Molet (SavvyJames)

The fact that I have yet to run into a situation where a mobile reader was used is probably due to my normal environment, a relatively small town. I imagine that if I lived in a major metropolitan area, I would have found myself using one by now.


Bryce @ Save and Conquer

I’m seeing these more and more credit card scanners at the local farmer’s market. I had previously read about these devices and data security, but it’s good to read again that my credit card info is secure.


Hank Coleman

It’s as secure as it can be, Bryce. Maybe that’s not really saying much in the grand scheme of things, but it is better than when we were doing it with nothing but paper and carbon copies.


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