card reader - Computer Definition
(1) See memory card reader.
(2) A terminal that reads the magnetic stripe or chip on a credit card. The device only reads magnetic stripes but reads and writes the chip on chip cards. Such readers are found in all point of sale (POS) terminals that accept credit and debit cards. See magnetic stripe and smart card.
(3) An early device that read up to 2,000 punch cards per minute. The character codes were detected by metal brushes making electrical contact through the punched holes or by sensing light shining through the holes. Such readers were the common input device in accounting machines, collators, sorters and other tabulating equipment. See tabulating equipment, tabulator and Hollerith machine.