Credit Card Swiper Troubleshooting

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This article will assist you in troubleshooting various Credit Card Swiper issues. Some issues may include: not reading the card correctly, missing information or not working at all.

The information below will give you different options for testing your credit card swiper as well as giving you the contact information for the manufacturer.





Test your swiper in a Text Editor

If you find your credit swiper is not working, there are various test you can run to help define what may be going on.

The way to test this is to open a text editor, swipe the card into the text editor and ensure the formatting is correct. A text editor is a program that usually comes installed on your computer that is used to edit plain text files. It may also be called Notepad. You can use the following example as a comparison. Keep a few things in mind:

  • Note the semi colon and how it is both preceded and followed by encrypted information.
  • If the semi colon is missing, or not in the middle of both sets of information then one or more of the swiper heads is not working correctly.
  • If the formatting is incorrect that will cause the swiper to give an error that it was unable to read/process the card.

%B60105693805xxxxx^0027/USBEACONCOREFY11^00010004000060060620 ?;60105693805xxxxx=00010004000060060620?

%B5200940160504373^Cxxxx/RACHEL ^15051010001xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?;52xxxxx160504373=15051010001002820000?


  1. If only part of the information is displaying, this could be due to the swipers heads being dirty. The best method for cleaning is to purchase Card Reader Cleaning Cards. These are designed to safely and effectively clean the reader on your credit card swiper.
  2. Another method is to use something like a q-tip and rubbing alcohol or you can use the cans of air used to clean a key board.
  3. If no information is displaying, or cleaning the heads did not fix the issue, please try the additional steps in this article to continue troubleshooting.
  4. If the swiper still does not read properly, you can contact within 30 days of the purchase to return or use the information at the bottom of this article to contact the manufacturer.


Additional Testing/Troubleshooting

  1. Check to see if you can swipe to store the card in the billing information section of the client profile.
  2. Make sure your java version is up to date. The retail screen has a lot of Java scripting and this could cause the card not to read here but everywhere else in the site.
  3. If the swiper is working everywhere except the Retail screen and java is up to date, you can try to reprogram the swiper:

For PC's only

a. Using the tool for MagTEK found here.

b. At the top, select the Software Icon.

c. Scroll down to the DEMO program section, and click to download the USB Swipe and Insert Reader.

d. When you load the Reprogramming Tool and it says Attach Device, try unplugging/plug in the swiper again.

e. For more information on reprogramming the swiper, click here for article.


For MAC's only

a. Make sure the card swiper is plugged into the Mac

b. Open System Preferences (from dock icon or Apple logo > System Preferences)

c. Click on Keyboards

d. Click on button in center that says "Change keyboard type.."

e. Click continue on the first screen, then swipe a card when it asks for a key to be pressed.

f. Choose US language and click OK.


Possible Anti Virus program/Firewall

  • There are a few Anti Virus programs and Firewalls that can block a credit card swiper from sending data. This is outside our scope. You should have your IT Professional take a look and see if what options are available.

Example: Kapersky Internet Security used Secure Data keyboard to hide or change keystrokes from a keyboard to stop Keyloggers, since the swiper is a keyboard it change the swiped information. For this option there is a way to make an exception for but as above, we cannot make that change. It is up to you and a quick google search will show you how to make that exception.

  • Kaspersky Internet Security has also been seen with a pop-up displaying their logo & notation "secure keyboard input is enabled" when storing billing information in client profile section and the CC Swipe payment method portion of the Retail page. The following message can be seen when this occurs on either page.

Clean the heads of your card swiper

If your card swiper is dirty due to infrequent maintenance, this could be a factor in swiping and card reading issues. We recommend using a magnetic card reader cleaning card on occasion to keep things in tip top shape. They are easy to find at any office supply store or online.

Manufacturer Contact

If these above methods do not work you can try to contact the manufacturer or replace it through us (within 30 days of the original purchase date).


- 1-888-624-8350 - MagTek Help Desk
- 1-615-415-6800
- MagTek Magstripe Mini Swipe Reader - must be programmed (see help suite) - Mfg. Part: 21040145





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