How to Set Up Smart Card Reader on a Laptop

By Greyson Ferguson

Scan credit cards with a card reader.
i credit card image by feisty from

A smart card reader is a device that can read a card with some sort of bar coding or magnetic strip in it. This can range from credit and debits cards to rewards cards and even satellite receiver smart cards. These card readers connect to a laptop computer through a USB data cable and, with the appropriate software installed on the computer, you can begin using the card reader on your system.

Plug the smart card reader into a nearby power outlet and turn it on.

Insert a USB data cable into the USB port on the smart card reader, then insert the opposite end of the cable into one of the USB ports on your computer. The computer will state it has detected a new, removable device.

Insert a driver installation CD into the computer and wait for the driver installation wizard to load. Follow the short set of prompts to complete the driver setup.

Remove the driver installation CD from your computer, then insert the software installation CD. This is the program you use in conjunction with the card reader. It tells the reader how to perform and stores the data to the computer. When the software installation wizard appears on the screen, read through and accept the license agreement, then follow the remainder of the steps to install the smart card reader software.