If you have a USB card reader, you can swipe a credit card to process a payment in QuickBooks Online. You'll need to use Intuit's merchant service to process a payment from within QuickBooks Online. Need a credit card reader that's compatible with QuickBooks Online? This article will show you how to get one.

To swipe a credit card:

  1. Be sure the card reader is plugged into your computer.
  2. Choose Plus (+) > Receive Payment (if receiving payment toward an invoice) or Plus (+) > Sales Receipt (for payment at the time of sale).
  3. Fill out the payment details on the sales receipt or receive payment screen.
  4. Click the Enter credit card details box.
  5. Click the Process payment when saving checkbox.
  6. Click Swipe Card.
  7. Swipe the card through the reader as shown in the picture onscreen.
  8. Click Save to save the transaction and process the payment.

Troubleshooting swiping cards:

These suggestions may help you resolve issues with swiping cards:

Test the card reader connection

Double-check that the card reader is firmly connected to your computer via the USB port, and that your computer is on.

Be sure the reader is ready before you swipe the card. When the light on the card reader is green, it's ready to accept a card.

Ensure you are using a compatible card reader 

Only devices purchased from Intuit are fully supported. 

Check that your card reader is a MagTek USB device.

Use a direct USB connection

Plug the reader directly into one of your computer's USB ports, not through a keyboard or a USB hub. Switch ports and restart the computer if needed.

Try a different direct USB port on your computer.

Swipe the card correctly

Face the card's magnetic stripe in the correct direction, towards the light.

Swipe the card just one time; starting from either end is fine.

Don't swipe the card at an angle.

Swipe the card quickly.

Inspect the card's magnetic stripe

If the card can't be read, its magnetic stripe may be damaged. Check the strip for residue and wipe any off.

Examine the card reader

If the light is red, it means the reader didn't read the card correctly. If this happens a lot, the magnetic head may need cleaning. You can purchase cleaning cards at office supply stores.

If the card reader beeps or blinks, or if card data seems incomplete or garbled onscreen, the card reader may be damaged or improperly configured. Contact the manufacturer.

Try a different card or computer

Try multiple cards, preferably different card types, to see if the card itself or the card type is causing the issue.

Try using the card reader and swiping the card on another computer. A computer's security setting could be blocking the reader from working properly.

Switch from HID to keyboard mode

If the card reader is unresponsive, try switching from HID (human interface device) to keyboard emulation mode. For Magtek readers, the Magtek website has a page that lets you toggle easily between the two modes wtih your reader plugged in. Search the site for "HID mode" to find the page. If you have a different card reader, search the manufacturer site for information about switching modes.

If a card can't be swiped

If you still can't swipe a card after following the troubleshooting recommendations, enter the card information manually so you don't lose the sale or payment. The rate for the transaction will be a higher, key-entered rate.