• Number of years in business: 12 years
  • Industries: Retail, F&B, and more
  • Hardware: Register, Terminal, Stand for contactless and chip, Reader for contactless and chip, Reader for magstripe
  • Cryptocurrency processing: With the Cash app
  • PCI Compliance: Yes
  • Payment Fraud Protection: $250
  • Electronic signature: Yes
  • Reporting/Analytics: Yes

Square Reviews, Features, and Alternatives [2021 Comparison]

Fact-checked
  • Number of years in business: 12 years
  • Industries: Retail, F&B, and more
  • Hardware: Register, Terminal, Stand for contactless and chip, Reader for contactless and chip, Reader for magstripe
  • Cryptocurrency processing: With the Cash app
  • PCI Compliance: Yes
  • Payment Fraud Protection: $250
  • Electronic signature: Yes
  • Reporting/Analytics: Yes

Best For

Small businesses and enterprises

STRENGTHS

  • Account setup is quick and straightforward
  • Perfect for payment on the go
  • Personalized features

WEAKNESSES

  • Larger transaction fees

Square (previously Square Up) is an American financial and retailer service aggregator and innovative mobile installment. The company sells software and hardware payment products and has quickly expanded into small business services. The company launched its first app and service in 2010 with the now widely recognized symbol SQ.

This review will take you through the pros and cons, features, competitors, FAQs, products, and their attributes. It is the perfect addition when starting a small business. According to Square reviews, enterprise companies can easily become industry leaders by using Square tools and data. Read on to see why.

Overview

Square is a credit card processing service, ideal for growing businesses as it offers fee-free monthly or annual account maintenance. It was established in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey in San Francisco, California. Jack is both a co-founder and CEO of Square and Twitter.

The most vital point is that Square’s app is free and includes a full suite of POS (point-of-sale) features. You can create different combinations and join more elements as your business grows. It operates on both Apple and Android phones and tablets. It is affordable as you pay a flat-rate transaction without any chargeback fee according to Squareup reviews.

What Is Square Payments and How Does It Work?

Square has versatile POS software that will support your individual business needs. As a credit card processor with no fees or aggressive rates, it is a favorite choice for many merchants. It offers pay-as-you-go service terms as well. It accepts all kinds of payments, including switching to contactless payments when you sell in person.

No matter the business you own, all you have to do is connect the hardware. This built-in payment processing comes with an entire suite of tools designed to support small and big businesses. No matter your business industry, Square will ensure you can accept a wide range of payment methods making your work easier.

  • Payment processing methods
Payment method Cost Best for
Online Invoices 2.5% per payment Emailed or manually shared invoice from a merchant
Cash App A 3% fee for credit cards, free for debit cards or bank accounts, 1.5% fee on Instant Transfer Sending and receiving money
Appointments Prepayments 2.9% + $0.30 Online booking
App Marketplace 2.6% + $0.10 for swiped/dipped/tapped transactions, 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed transactions, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions Mobile order-ahead, loyalty, gift cards, and push notifications within your custom app
Manually Entered Transactions 2.6% + 10¢ Manually entered, keyed-in transactions
Payments From Square Point of Sale 2.6% + 10¢ per swipe, chip card dip, or NFC payment. One rate for every tap, dip, or swipe
Virtual Terminal 2.5% per payment To record card, cash, gift card, and other tender transactions
E-commerce API 1.9% for European cards and 2.9% for non-European cards per payment Website orders
Hosted Checkout 2.5% per payment Website orders

Square Hardware

Square originally started as an answer to the growing problem of mobile businesses’ need for mobile payments. Social media and the internet provided more ideas and accessibility for people to start small businesses, but not necessarily in the conventional sense of the word. Square came up with the idea to ensure that remote merchants could access digital payments as well, thanks to the Square credit card service. The solution came in as an elegant accessory that you can insert into the audio jack, making your phone a modern cash register.

Types of Hardware

  • Register

A first fully-integrated POS register that is ideal for any business. You can manage touch-free payments, online sales, contactless pickup, and delivery with only one point-of-sale system. It comes with two touchscreen displays, 24/7 phone support, protection from eligible chargebacks, and a 2-year limited warranty.

  • Square stand for contactless and chip

It is an iPad POS system that turns any iPad model into a point of sale as often mentioned in SquareUp reviews. It is quick to set up with no complicated instructions or service visits required. Square Stand comes with a USB hardware hub, so you can easily add a receipt printer, cash drawer, barcode scanner, and more. It supports contactless payments as well.

  • Terminal

Square Terminal is a convenient credit card machine perfect for any business. It is easy to use and supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other NFC payments, Chip, and magstripe-only cards. There are no statement, chargeback, PCI compliance fees, and long-term contracts with this one.

  • Reader for contactless and chip

This small Reader is a perfect way of accepting a wide range of payment methods. You can connect the contactless and chip card reader wirelessly to your Apple or Android device via Bluetooth. You will be able to receive payments anywhere, thanks to the Square credit card system.

  • Reader for magstripe

It is a free small credit card reader that works with the Square Point of Sale app enabling you to receive payments on smartphones or tablets. There are two variants of Reader for magstripe – the one with a headset jack and the other with a Lightning connector. It can run in offline mode as well. No charging is needed.

Price of hardware pieces

    • Register – $799 or $39 per month for 24 months
    • Terminal – $299 or $27 per month for 12 months
    • Square stand for contactless and chip – $169 or $16 per month for 12 months
    • Reader for contactless and chip – $49
    • Reader for magstripe – Free

Square Software

Square software helps its clients manage their business with no Square transaction limit, goes hand in hand with Square hardware, saves time, and gives you a chance to personalize services and deliver better client service.

Types of software

  • Square Point of Sale

It accepts payments remotely with invoices, over the phone, and right on your computer. It offers Team Management features that will allow you to create schedules, manage, and pay your team members. With Square point of sale, you will never miss a business deal, no matter if you are at the counter, online, or on the go.

  • Square for Restaurants

As with the best POS solutions for restaurants, it is a cloud-based, easy-to-use solution with various add-ons that work together to save your time, help you run and organize your business, and connect with customers.

  • Square for Retail

Square for Retail offers an entire POS system to help you run your retail business, no matter the size or style. It adds to the shopping experience, such as creating custom marketing email campaigns. It doesn’t stop there. It helps you grasp and handle team management, payroll, and Square end-of-the-day report using their all-in-one system.

  • Square Appointments

It is online scheduling software that allows customers or team members to book an appointment or service by showing your most up-to-date available time slots from any device. It all syncs with your Google Calendar at all times.

Software Main Features

    • Accept payments online and in-person
    • Create an ordering/booking website
    • Provide pickup and delivery options
    • Connect with Square hardware
    • Send invoices and accept online payments
    • Manage team with permissions and time cards
    • Sync with the Square ecosystem of tools

There are other features such as Team Management and Payroll. However, the ones we mentioned are available for each category.

Price of Software

    • Paid plans + subscription

Square offers over eight paid services, and their subscription can be monthly or annual. The first 30 days are free, and you can pause the plan as well.

  • Processing Rates

Square’s standard processing fee is 2.6% + 10¢ for contactless, chip, and magstripe cards. There’s a 3.5% + 15¢ fee for manually entered payments using the Virtual Terminal.

  • Custom Square Up Pricing

All the prices differ according to the software type you choose. For example, the Retail option offers two types of plans ranging from $0-$60 with processing fees ranging from 2.5% + 10¢ to 2.9% + 30¢. The third option (Premium) comes with custom processing rates available when you contact sales. However, the above ones are the standard pricing categories.

Industries

Square comes with many features that can personalize the service you offer to your customers. That’s why the company is a good choice for many businesses, no matter the industry. It comes with excellent payment processing solutions and add-ons without any Square card reader hidden fees.

  • Retail – It helps your business with a simple view and control over your inventory and online selling. It gives you the choice of extracting reports to see where your business stands — a perfect option for boutiques.
  • Food and beverage – No matter the size of your business, Square will make your restaurant service easy and quick. It not only helps you with building relationships with customers, but it also backs up your operations.
  • Professional services – It is an excellent choice for every beauty and health business.
  • Enterprise – Gives all the right tools to help companies become industry leaders.

Square POS Plans and Pricing

Square has four types of payment options that come with monthly or annual subscriptions. According to Square reviews, each one offers various options, such as a custom domain, real-time shipping calculator, etc.

  • Monthly subscriptions – Monthly costs for the Free, Professional, Performance, and Premium plans range from $0 to $79
  • Card processing fees – The standard processing fee is 2.6% + 10¢ for the contactless payment, chip, and magstripe cards. It’s 3.5% + 15¢ for manually entered payments using the Virtual Terminal
  • One-time purchase (for hardware) – When it comes to one-time purchase for hardware including Register, Terminal, Reader for contactless and chip, and the Reader for magstripe, the price ranges from $0 to $799

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Personalized features
  • Account setup is quick and straightforward
  • Perfect for payment on the go

Cons

  • Larger transaction fees

Ease of Use

The Square website is pretty straightforward. There are sections on the products, business types, and resources at the top of the page. Scroll to the bottom to find everything about Square POS fees, payments, hardware, tools, and developers. Signing up is easy and doesn’t take much time.

Additional Services

From virtual terminals to marketing, all services give you a hand in leading your business and making it grow. Square’s core services are divided into five categories:

  • Sell online and in-person
    • Online store
    • Point of sale
    • Social media
    • Book appointments
  • Manage money
    • Take payments
    • Access funds instantly
    • Get a loan
  • Attract customers
    • Marketing
    • Loyalty
    • Gift card programs
  • Manage and pay teams
    • Team permissions
    • Timecards
    • Payroll
  • Extend and develop
    • Connect third-party apps

Customer Support

Square offers 24/7 customer support. You can reach out to the customer team via phone at 1-855-700-6000, or via direct message, live chat, or social media. You can get answers by searching their library of resources, watching guides, video tutorials, or joining the seller community. You can also sign up for expedited support on their website. We’ve only found positive reviews of the Square customer service.

User Reviews and Ratings

Square has favorable online reviews. With a 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot, customers are pretty happy with the service that this company provides. Most reviews mention that you get what you paid for with minimal glitches or issues. The customer service is professional and helpful.

Square Up Competitors

Square Up vs. Merchant One

Square is an excellent option. Everyone can open an account, and there is no application fee. Creating a Square business account is easy and quick, which is not the case with Merchant One. Also, Square has a flat rate, without any contract or hidden fees. With Merchant One, the price depends on many factors, such as the card used or the type of industry you are in. The signup process is long and complex.

Square Up vs. Helcim

Helcim charges a flat rate per month that gives you access to all the company’s tools. On the other hand, with Square, you choose the add-ons you need, which is an excellent option for new businesses. Helcim might give you better rates than Square as it works on volume. Therefore, Helcim is more oriented to a bigger company, while Square up rates are an excellent choice for everyone.

Conclusion

Square products offer a variety of services and products that you can easily personalize. It is an attractive all-in-one service that can enhance your business and take your customer service to a higher level. It is modern, fast, safe, and perfect for use on the go. It saves time for both merchants and customers.

Overall, Square is an excellent option for any small business, offering fantastic solutions to young companies.

FAQ

How does Square work?

Using the Square software on your mobile or tablet, you can accept payments from all mobile credit cards. You can start using it either by inserting a plastic reader into the port of a phone or via wireless connection. The company takes a cut of every transaction.

How to cancel a Square account?

You can easily deactivate your Account by visiting Account & Settings in your online Square dashboard. From the Personal Information tab, scroll to the bottom of the page. Select the option Deactivate Account and choose the reason for deactivation. Click on Continue and enter the verification code. After these steps, Confirm deactivation by selecting Deactivate.

How to review past transactions on the Square app?

Tap the straight lines in the top right corner to navigate the menu. Choose View Your Transaction History. Tap individual payments to view their transaction details.

Is Square a good company?

Square is famous for its innovative ideas and solutions. However, it is an exceptional workplace as well with great culture and leadership. Many Square reviews point out that the company cares for people, providing detailed training and excellent benefits.

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