When you shop for things in a supermarket, clothing shop, restaurant, etc., and you want to use your card to pay, you slide your Debit/Credit card through a machine. What is that machine called in English?
In the industry that I had worked in, we call it magnetic strip reader, or magnetic strip card reader.
But lay-customers call it card reader or magnetic card reader.
But apparently, the official technology name is called magnetic stripe reader or magnetic stripe card reader. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_stripe_card.
The simplest, most generic phrasings I can find would be point of sale terminal, payment terminal or if you want to be slightly more specific electronic payment terminal. These emphasise the location or purpose of the item as well as the kind of technology (They are not fancy computers, but rather end-points that tell faster computers how to run the transactions)
Calling it a magnetic stripe reader becomes inaccurate when you take into account smart cards that use a chip rather than a magnetic stripe, and EFTPOS terminal, while being more accurate, is a more of a technical term that people may not understand.
While magnetic stripe card reader is an appropriate term for a generic card reader used elsewhere (such as in door locks or employee attendance clocks), the machines used at point of sale have a more specific name (which is rather popular in Australia and NZ, but I'm not sure about other countries, even though the name originated in US and is generic enough): EFTPOS terminal.
EFTPOS stands for "electronic funds transfer at point of sale".
I used to work for a bank, and we called it a "Pos Terminal" which means a Point of Sale Terminal or an EFTPOS terminal.
There seems to be a lot of confusion in some of the responses here. There are two reasons for this:
The term 'Point of Sale' (POS) is ambiguous. It can refer to the cash till or payment machine as a whole, or just to the bit that reads the card. Usually, it means the whole cash register, and sometimes includes the human operator as well.
There are at least two types of payment card.
I used to work in the retail IT industry, and I hope what follows helps to remove some of the confusion.
If the card is of the kind with a magnetic stripe on the back, it can be read using a 'Magnetic Stripe Reader' (MSR for short). The user swipes the card through a slot, and the transaction can be authorised without further electronic interaction. This system is not very secure, because the data on the stripe is very easy to copy, and the 'off-line' authorisation relies simply on the old-fashioned method of the cashier checking the customer's signature. It has been in the process of being phased out for several years now, but is still used in parts of the third world.
If the card has a built-in chip (as they do now almost universally in Europe) then it is read in a 'Chip-And-Pin Machine'. Typically, the user puts the chip end of their card into the machine, and they then type in their pin number to authorise the transaction. The chip holds the customer's data in encrypted form, making it very difficult to copy. When used 'on-line', the bank's own server runs additional checks, adding an extra layer of security.
For more details of the differences, and why this is relevant to this question, please look at the wiki entry about chip-and-pin.
At time of writing, other methods of payment are being developed where the buyer can just wave their card in the general direction of a sensor. Some mobile phones now have the technology to act as contactless payment keys, doing away with the need to carry plastic cards at all.
Chip-and-pin device is commonly used in Scotland.
The majority of cards in UK have a chip, and a PIN number is usually requested to authorise a purchase.
Colloquially, I've always called them credit card swipers or just swipers for short. A quick web search seems to agree that that's a reasonably common term.
There are lots of machine type in markets.. Some of the are from This reference.
3) Integrated EPOS solution
4) Contactless technology
These are the devices which accept payment and simply called as Chip and PIN card Machines.
Another term is PDQ Terminal, where PDQ stands for "process data quickly".
In Canada we usually call them debit machines.
protected by tchrist♦ Mar 1 '15 at 19:26
Thank you for your interest in this question.
Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?