In most cases, your reader actually works fine! Readers typically work just like a keyboard. They will take the data off of the card and stuff it into wherever the cursor is. To test your card reader, open Notepad, Word, or an email message and scan the card. It should put credit card data into that document.
If it does put data into the document, then the reader is good and the only issue in CivicRec is that we may have to tweak the payment page to look for your specific data. At this point, please contact Support with the details and let us know that you did try the notepad reader test and give us your results. Please do not send your credit card data.
If it does not put data into that document, the reader either does not work or you may have installed a bad software driver.