"Square is one of the most popular and effective POS systems on the market."
0 Price
0 Ease Of Use
0 Features
0 Help And Support
Pros
  • No monthly payment
  • Next-business-day transfers
  • Inexpensive long-term option
  • Comprehensive inventory management
Cons
  • Not great for all industries
  • Some performance issues
Company Background

Square was founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, Square is currently available in the United States, Canada, Australia, UK, and Japan.

The company’s success can be credited to the overall excellent performance they offer. For the price they charge, they provide you with a powerful tool excellent for many different business types.

Plans & Pricing

Unlike most of its competition, Square doesn’t charge a monthly or annual rate. Instead, they charge a flat rate for their hardware. They also offer some software solutions, some of which are free.

When you use Square, you will be charged a processing fee. Many other systems will charge a monthly rate in addition to their processing fee. Right now Square charges 2.6% plus $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe.

You have several hardware options you can choose from with Square. Your cost will range from $0 to $799, depending on your needs.

The most inexpensive option Square offers is a free card reader and a system that you can use if you already own an iPad. So, you can essentially get started for free. In some cases, Square can cost much more. The company offers customized pricing packages for businesses that take in more than $250,000 in card sales per year and have an average ticket size of $15 or more.

If you want to find out what your price tag will be, you’ll need to contact Square for a quote. For a comprehensive POS solution, their newest product, Square Register, costs $799.

Payment processing

The payment processing fees are dependent according to the kind of Square hardware or add-ons you use. All payment processing is based on a flat rate per transaction instead of a monthly or annual billing schedule.

This is ideal for low-volume merchants as there are no upfront costs. You only pay when you make money. For higher volume merchants, the costs add quickly. To aid with this, Square provides volume discounts for merchants that process more than $250,000 annually.

Square POS hardware
2.75%
per transaction
Square Terminal
2.6% +$0.10
per transaction
Square Retail hardware
2.5% + $0.10
per transaction
Square Restaurants hardware
2.6% +$0.10
per transaction
Keyed-in Card payments
3.5% + $0.15
per transaction
Square Register
2.5% +$0.10
per transaction
Invoicing
2.9% +$0.30
per transaction
Same day deposit
1% fee
per transaction
Features & Functionality
Best For
Features
  • Retail Store
  • Coffee Shop
  • Nightclub
  • Quick Service
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Food Truck
General Features
Free Mobile Processing

Square is one of the only POS companies that offers a free mobile payment processing feature. It’s not the best in the industry, but given that it’s free, it’s hard to beat their offer. They also process payments quickly and withdrawals will land in your bank account within 2 business days.

Payment Terminal

Square makes all payment types easy. Using the Square Virtual Terminal, you can take card payments from any device with an internet connection. You can even take payments from a desktop through your browser.

What makes Square even better is that you can set up recurring payments or invoices just as easily. You can even use Square Capital to offer financing to your customers. You still get paid upfront and Square assumes the risk of non-payments meant to be made through Square Capital.

Different Packages

Square has separate packages for different industries. It’s not the best for every industry, but each product offers a different set of features for:

  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Appointment-based businesses
  • Generic stores
Online Tools

Square offers a plethora of tools for online ordering and eCommerce. If you already have an online presence, Square makes it easy to integrate with many major companies.

With Square, you can seamlessly integrate web store hosting and payment gateways. You can also integrate online ordering for pickup.

Inventory

Square’s inventory management is easily the most comprehensive of all the major POS systems that don’t charge a monthly fee. When compared against the entire POS industry, it’s more or less on par. Square for Retail is the most customizable of the Square packages, offering:

  • Adjustments to stock levels
  • Bulk inventory import & export
  • Inventory counts
  • Item add-ons
  • Item categories
  • Item pictures & descriptions
  • Online and in-store inventory sync
  • Partial quantities
  • Separate tax rates

 

Features
  • Inventory Management
  • Loyalty Program
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Online Ordering
  • Reporting
  • Split Checks
  • Manage Tips
  • Staff Scheduling
  • Offline Payments
  • Customer Profiles
  • Multidevice Payments
  • Gift Card Support
  • Accounting Integration
  • Tableside Ordering
  • Floor Plan Management
  • Customer-Facing Display
  • Self-Service Kiosk
Hardware & Software
Hardware requirements

The simplest hardware option for Square is to have your own iPad and order their free card reader. But Square also offers:

  • A Square stand with a chip reader for $169
  • A Square Register for $799

The latter option offers the most comprehensive POS service. But you can use most of Square’s features with an iPad and mobile devices with internet connections.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Square offers integrations with many apps including:

  • Acuity Scheduling
  • BigCommerce
  • Cuboh
  • Ecwid
  • GoDaddy
  • JotForm
  • Setmore
  • Shippo
  • Wix
  • WooCommerce
  • Wufoo
  • Zoho Books
Features
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cloud-Based
  • On-place Installation
  • Windows
  • Mac
Pricing Options
Features
  • Free Trial
  • Freemium
  • Monthly Subscription
  • Annual Subscription
  • One-Time License
Ease of Use

Ease of use is another area where Square excels. If your business is in retail, restaurant, or appointment-based services, you will have no trouble figuring out how to efficiently use Square. You just need to choose the right package and get started.

While you can simply use your own iPad, if you have comprehensive inventory management needs or something beyond the ordinary, you will have an easier time using the Square Register.

Customer Support

Square offers phone and email support to all of their customers on weekdays between 6AM and 6PM PCT. They also have a detailed help center, FAQ, and support community available on demand.

Phone Support
Phone Support
Available from 6AM to 6PM PCT on weekdays
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
You can find live chat support on the Square website
Email
Email
Available from 6AM to 6PM PCT on weekdays
Video Tutorials
Video Tutorials
Square's website and Youtube Channel offer video tutorials
FAQ
FAQ
Square's website offers an FAQ section
Final Word

Square is a unique and versatile POS system. It is one of the easiest to get started with thanks to its intuitive design and low entry cost. It doesn’t have the best of everything, but Square offers excellent value, and all the tools a small business needs to grow. If you have an iPad, you can try the system for free, apart from payment processing fees.

Ben Taylor
Author: Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor has worked in technology since the turn of the century. He produces articles on a range of technical subjects and has specialist knowledge in Point of Sale systems, cyber security and small business IT. When he’s not writing or fixing computers, he helps out other freelancers.