Actually, there's any number of Magnetic Strip readers you can purchase without also having to buy credit card processing software. Though most come with proprietary software for configuring the scanner--which can be very useful for automating and integrating the scanner with FileMaker or other applications. We use such a scanner to scan CA Driver's License data.
The key is to get a scanner that inputs data in "Keyboard Emulation Mode". This is the standard setting on almost all of these scanners. Then make sure that you can set the scanner to append characters to the start and end of the data scanned from the magnetic strip. Since this data is input into your computer as though you had typed in the info. OnLayoutKeystroke, OnObjectSave and OnObjectExit can all be tripped by text appened to the scanned data.
PS. This works nearly the same as barcode scanners so scripts like those found in Need help writing script to integrate barcode scanning can also be adapted to use with MSR equipment.
Thanks, Phil. Can you recommend a brand of MSR that works good for Filemaker? The one I linked to above would work pretty well for our purposes but unforunately while it can generate tab-separated data which would be useful for Filemaker (just set the layout tab orderto match the order of the data the MSR spits out) the end user cannot modify the order that data comes out in, they have to program it for you if you want it changed from their default:
I'd research online and contact the techsupport of those that look promising to find out how it can be configured. We use an MSR (from www.cherrycorp.com) built into the keyboard despite strenous efforts to convince the boss that this was not the best option. (With the scanner built into the keyboard, you end up with an expensive keyboard you have to replace each time the scanner OR the keyboard fails...)
It works well, but isn't the more economical option to use as a separate USB interfaced scanner is much less expensive.