Square is one of the most widely-known credit card processing services. It was one of the first to provide users with a magstripe reader that could be plugged directly into a smartphone or tablet and now offer a variety of point-of-sale tools to help businesses process electronic payments.
Variety of hardware and hardware support. Square makes it easy and inexpensive to get up and running if you want to accept credit cards via a card reader. If you’re a new user, they’ll send you a free Reader that you can use on your phone. They also sell chip readers and a fully integrated point of sale register.
Free invoicing. You can generate and send invoices through your account. Invoices can be customized to include your logo. There is no fee to email invoices to clients. Clients can authorize you to keep a card on file to pay the invoice if they prefer. There is a 2.9%+$0.30 fee per invoice paid online.
Analytics and sales reporting. In addition to its payment processing systems, you can view analytics on your payments. You can view reports on the dashboard of your Square account. It also offers a variety of other features, including invoicing, employee management, location management, payroll (best for hourly), appointment scheduling, and marketing options.
Square distinguishes pricing for businesses that gross $250k/year or less and businesses that gross $250k/year or more. For business under $250k/year:
- All swiped credit cards (where you have the physical card present and it is processed through a Reader or Stand) have a 2.75% fee per transaction.
- Cards swiped through a Square Terminal have a 2.6%+$0.10 fee per transaction.
- Cards swiped through a Square Register have a 2.5%+$0.10 fee.
- All keyed-in credit cards (where you manually enter a credit or debit card) have a 3.5%+$0.15 fee per transaction.
- All invoiced transactions (where your client pays an invoice generated by Square) have a 2.9% fee per transaction and an additional 30 cents per transaction.
For businesses over $250k/year, you will need to contact Square to see their custom pricing options.
|Starting Monthly Fee||$0|
|Starting Processing Fee||2.75%|
|Accepts Major Credit Cards||✓|
|Trust Account Compliance|
Things You Might Want to Know
Security. If you’re using Square’s card reader, the data is encrypted at the moment of swipe. Keyed-in data is encrypted when it transmits to Square. Square is Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant. Servers are monitored around the clock.
Apps and Integrations. Square integrates with leading accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. It also works with scheduling software like Acuity so that clients can book and pay for appointments online. You can also integrate Square with form builders like Jotform. Square has mobile apps for both iOS and Android. With those apps, you can accept credit cards, send and track invoices, send receipts, and access transaction history.
Loans. Qualified Square sellers can get a loan through Square and pay the loan back via automatic deductions from your credit card transactions.
Who Square Is For
Square is easy to set up and easy to use. Thanks to built-in invoicing and easy integration with accounting software, it can make the process of getting charging your customers, getting your money, getting it deposited, and tracking it very easy. However, Square is much better suited for retail businesses who want to be able to accept physical credit cards and sell merchandise. If you are just getting started with accepting electronic payments, Square is a good first step, but many firms will likely outgrow the retail-based paradigm relatively quickly.