The way people pay has changed. Now, more than ever, people expect to use their phones to buy things online. It’s time for small business owners to upgrade their systems and accept payments on the go with Square.
Square is a mobile payment system that makes it easy for anyone to take credit card payments anywhere they go—all you need is an Internet connection and a phone. Square gives you all the tools you need to take payments at home or on the go.
Square (formerly known as SquareUp) was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square, to make commerce easy for everyone. From setting up your first account, taking your first credit card payment, generating invoices free—Square has got it all wrapped up for you!
What is Square?
Square is a company that was initially launched in 2009. Now celebrating its thirteenth birthday, the company was one of the first to introduce mobile payments to the world. In 2009, swipe-based mobile payment processing systems belonged to science fiction – Square showed merchants worldwide a more accessible way than ever before!
The primary appeal that Square offers is an affordable fee structure for small businesses or startups whose turnover may vary drastically from one month to the next. One can’t help but like this affordable, user-friendly package with many features worth mentioning!
Today, Square’s suite of offerings has grown at an astronomical level. They are hands down one of our favorite processors for food truck processors or any other type of business running on location! Some capabilities include:
- Square POS system
- Analytics and reporting
- Square recurring payments
- Inventory management
- Customer management
- Virtual terminals
- Multiple apps
Payment processing might not be the best solution for all types of businesses, but it has a lot to offer if you’re looking for something predictable and reliable.
Square: Pros and cons
Square is a payment system that allows you to accept credit card and debit card payments, along with cash and check transactions. You can use the Square system in person or for online sales.
It has become popular among individuals and small businesses because it offers a secure way to accept payments without the need for expensive equipment, such as a credit card terminal.
But what are the pros and cons of using this method? Read on to find out!
Square offers several benefits to individuals and small businesses, including the following:
- Predictable flat-rate pricing
- Suitable for low-volume merchants
- Enables omnichannel selling
- No monthly fees
- Impressive feature sets
- Affordable chip card readers
- Free tools for selling online
- All-in-one payment
- Available to Canadian merchants
There are many disadvantages of using Square, such as:
- Not suitable for big companies with huge transactions
- Not ideal for high-risk industries
- High fees for large businesses
- The account can freeze due to irregular activity
- Not cost-effective for high-volume transactions
- No phone support available
Square has become a popular payment option among individuals and small businesses because it offers a secure way to collect payments without the need for expensive equipment, such as a credit card terminal.
Some people may think Square is limited in its capabilities compared to other payment systems or credit card terminals; however, this is not true. Square provides all the functionality of any payment terminal you can purchase at your local office supply store (minus the cost). It’s easy to use and stores data securely in the cloud.
The Square POS System
The Square POS system is a free and easy-to-use point-of-sale solution with features unlike any other. It’s not as in-depth or intricate, but it’s perfect for small businesses and people just starting. The best part? They offer solutions explicitly tailored to specific companies like restaurants or Retail!
Square offers you the ability to:
- It processes checks and cash
- Set up gift cards
- Swipe cards without internet
- Create digital and printed receipts
- Set up recurring payments
- Send customer invoices
- Handle your Square payment fees
- Manage refunds
- Access tax information
- Handle all tips and discounts
The benefits of the Square payment system are many:
- Square’s free mobile POS app comes with many features, which means it can compete easily against some of its more expensive competitors on the market. For example, you can accept all major credit cards from virtually anywhere in the world through them.
- You don’t have to worry about either contactless or traditional chip and pin transactions as well; both work seamlessly with this tool!
- Your funds will be transferred straight to your bank account within 24 hours at most (or two business days after all payments).
- Another great benefit is full PCI compliance – one thing we care tremendously about nowadays is making sure people’s sensitive data stays private and secure, so it feels like having a payment system that’s PCI compliant should be worth its weight. In gold!
The Best Features of Square POS include:
Card on file: Keeping your shopper’s card information stored in Square is a great way to make repeat purchases easier for them. Card on file also works with Square invoices and other apps, but it costs extra.
Offline payments mode: Now, you don’t ever have to worry about your internet connection suddenly stopping and preventing your business from running. The Square bundle can also operate offline without any issues!
Virtual terminal: You can enter credit card information for your business to be processed by the server if you are running a virtual terminal. This free service is only charged upon each transaction and does not require additional fees.
Installment payment system: Square now offers a new installment payment option. You can provide your customers the opportunity to pay for products over time, with Square Capital assuming the risk. You’ll still be paid upfront, but your customer will only owe you what they can afford over time instead of paying in total upfront as they may have before.
Invoices: Square offers professional-looking invoices for its clients. Use templates and built-in tools to ask for Square payments via a professionally designed invoice. The company also provides designs that support purchase orders or ongoing contracts, depending on what you need from the service of your choice.
Square Card: Square Card is a Mastercard debit card with an excellent feature. It ensures that you can easily access all your Square funds when you need to make payments on behalf of the business, perfect for keeping your personal and business expenses separate.
How to Use Square?
One of the most important things you’ll need to consider when investing in any payments system is how easy it is to use. If you struggle with your POS setup every day, you and your employees won’t get the best out of it.
Getting started with Square payment may seem like a daunting process at first, but that’s because there are so many features! All you need to do to get started is register for Square on their website- which requires just a few details, including what your company does, an email address, and banking information (so they can pay commissions).
To simplify transaction management, Square also provides a dashboard that serves as the hub for all payments, such as adding more locations where the company trades from or listing inventory too!.
Listing inventory managed through this account means no more clunky spreadsheets or overstuffed filing cabinets – everything stays organized together in one place, easily searchable at all times!
Square is a super-clean and attractive tool. It helps you manage your inventory with one click. When clicked on a product, the pop-up window allows you to specify the quantity, size, discounts, and tax requirements for each item. There’s also a “Split” button that will enable customers to split bills between multiple people instantly! If you’re using an app on a tablet, it would be easy to enter their tip or sign their name by turning your screen towards them!
The Square POS has plenty of guidance, so don’t worry about getting lost in any process steps today.
Square Software Apps
Square now has four POS mobile apps, each catering to merchants based on the type of business they run. Each one is for a specific niche with a basic free plan. However, three of Square’s advanced systems also have paid programs that provide more capabilities for larger businesses that need specialized features.
Square Point of Sale is Square’s accessible and affordable payment processing app. It works best for quick-serve restaurants, cafes, service businesses that only need one staff calendar, and retailers with a moderate amount of inventory. The app runs on all (free) proprietary hardware and any supported Android or iOS device.
Square Appointments is a POS system and online booking service that seamlessly sets up appointments, checks customers out, manages commissions, even sells merchandise. It’s free for one user with an additional 2.6% + $0.10 per Square Payments transactions fee on top of the cost- this varies depending on how many users you want to add (starting at $50/month).
Square for Retail
Square for Retail caters to businesses with complex and extensive inventories by providing multi-location stock management. You can sell online, in-person, or through an in-store pickup or delivery option – the app’s interface is designed for scanning and searching items, and Square offers retail-specific advanced reports. It runs on iPads using their free plan and subscriptions starting at $60/month in addition to the free program.
Square for Restaurants
Square offers a free plan that includes POS, team management, and customer support. The Paid programs of Square provide advanced POS and Kitchen Display Systems for menu management, floorplans, and automatic inventory alerts.
You can manage all orders from the KDS to offer seamless pickup and delivery options to your customers. Reporting is geared towards restaurants with daypart reports, covers reports, employees report on comps voids, and kitchen performance reporting.
Square’s Plus subscription is at $60/month/location or $40 per additional device with no extra cost per display screen of KDS software (available only on paid subscription).
Square is a company that provides many different hardware options for its service. The software, however, is always free and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, with few exceptions. Square will also push out updates to their app store if available.
Square Magstripe Reader
You get a free magstripe reader when you sign up for Square. The nice thing about the Magstripe Reader is that it comes with your card reader and does not cost any extra to use. If you want additional readers, they will only cost $10 each.
Square Reader for Contactless and Chip
Square’s newest contactless and chip-reader starts at $49. It accepts payments through the following methods: Apple Pay, Google Pay, and chip transactions. If you also need a charging dock for this device, it is available in Square’s starter pack for an additional $78.
Square Stand is the newest product by Square, which makes it possible to convert your iPad into a checkout station that you can use anywhere in your shop. It costs $169 or $16 per month for 12 months and comes bundled with both a Square Reader for magstripe cards and contactless payment methods like Apple Pay.
Square Register is a sleek, high-end hardware solution for your business. It’s a piece of Android hardware designed to run Square Point of Sale and is customizable with the free version only of Square for Restaurants. The setup features a 13″ screen with an integrated payment system that supports magstripe, EMV, and NFC payments – but you’ll need to buy separate equipment (a receipt printer or cash drawer).
You can get the Square Register on its own or in one kit, which includes all necessary accessories: USB cash drawer ($329), wireless receipt printer ($329), case paper(5 rolls) ($79).
Square Terminal is the perfect compromise if Square Register might be a bit too much for your needs. This small credit card terminal has a smartphone-sized screen and runs Square Point of Sale, with integrated card readers that can process magstripe cards, chip cards, or contactless payments, as well as a built-in printer.
The battery of this terminal is designed for all-day use so that you can go wireless with it – or plugin and charge on the countertop.
Square Terminal costs $299, but you can finance the purchase for $27/month for twelve months. Transactions process at 2.6% + $0.10 means that there is some competitive pricing available here that might be helpful if you are running more than just one restaurant location (though this compatibility does not extend to Restaurants POS).
Square: Online Payments and Digital Ordering
As the Square solution has evolved over the years, they’ve realized that it is not just about offline and in-person POS options. These days, Square wants to become every merchant’s one-stop solution whenever they need to manage transactions. This solution means creating an eCommerce and online shopping strategy alongside their POS and in-person payments services.
Features of Square online payment include:
- Web Store hosting: Bring your domain or purchase a brand-new one through the Square site instead. This way, you will have an easy time designing your ultimate website with templates that are easy to use. You can even include Instagram integrations! All the POS system features come built into it too.
- Payment Gateway: If you already have a website and it’s powered by BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Weebly, or Magento (or one of the other supported platforms), Square can integrate to process payments. Supported features vary for these integrations, so do your research if you want an easy-to-use platform that’s useful for in-person and online sales.
- Square Online Checkout: The Square Online Checkout is a flexible way to accept payments from donors, shoppers, or clients without necessarily having an entire eCommerce site. This feature also includes an option for QR code scanning and zones in which you can break up your shop or pickup area into sections. You can add this payment button to any existing web page through links, texts, or posts on Instagram and Facebook that are shoppable. The Square Online Checkout will also allow customers to place an order and pay. At the same time, the team at the store is updated on where they should go with their items, either in-store delivery locally if needed by local couriers.
- Customize your Dashboard: Square’s Dashboard is the central hub of its platform. We like that it lets users customize what information they see in their Dashboard by dragging and dropping different widgets. The Square Dashboard provides real-time sales data on your iOS device, but other people will need to access the Dashboard from a computer/laptop for full functionality. It’s worth noting that the Dashboard makes Square easy to use. You’ll find all you need here, as well as free versions of ancillary features and optional add-ons too.
- Ecommerce marketing support: Square’s eCommerce marketing features provide many valuable tools and applications. For example, you can sell and accept Square gift cards on your site, send abandoned cart emails to get customers back into the checkout process, and integrate targeted Facebook ads for more visibility on social media networks.
They also offer SEO support, among many others! Users can access discounted shipping rates and advanced analytics with this service provider.
Other Payment Processing Features With Square
Now that we’ve gone through a lot of information on Square payments, it might seem like we’re done here. However-we’re not! There’s still more to cover about what the Square can do.
Although there are many things you could consider when discussing this app, some of the most noteworthy features are:
- Customer Database: Square allows you to save contact information, purchase data, and more with their customer database. The database can track customer behaviors, including sales, visits by new or returning customers, and visit frequency.
These charts display activity over the period represented in these graphs; you can create segments using visitors’ frequency of return trips for email marketing purposes at no cost!
- High-level Reporting: Square offers some of the best online reporting in any pay-as-you-go provider. You can generate reports by the hour, day, week, month, and year from your Square Dashboard, and multiple accounts are exportable as CSVs.
The “Square for Retail” report includes detailed item categories or mobile staff sales.
- Multi-store Management: Square Payments is an excellent service that allows you to manage multiple store locations from one account. You can also adjust inventories and prices or assign employees to specific stores depending on the day’s needs.
- Gift Card Management: Square’s gift cards have a range of custom designs, templates, and pre-designed cards. There are no costly redemption fees to worry about, and it is easy for merchants to issue the Card online.
Analytics ensure that you can track how often people use their gift cards while reporting tracks any balances remaining on unused or partially used ones.
- Email Marketing: With Square’s eCommerce offering, you can use various customer engagement tools. Email marketing costs a monthly fee to automate your emails but lets you send regular campaigns and newsletters with the in-built Square services.
You can also run social media campaigns that track information on your client database or speak to customers when they abandon their carts.
- Customer Feedback: Customer feedback is one of the most valuable things a company can access. Square’s customer engagement tools can help you get valuable feedback from your customers. These tools allow businesses to prompt their customers for feedback, one of today’s most important things.
You’ll be able to access details like purchase history and average spending with these helpful features!
- Loyalty Programs: To improve connections with target audiences, Square spends a lot of time and effort keeping its rewards program ahead of the curve. There is a fully customizable Rewards Program for business which you can edit as needed. The copy and images used to sell these awards are editable too!
- Payroll: Payroll takes care of employee PTO, sick leave and other benefits, and tax reporting. It also lets you pay contractors through Square’s platform with a monthly fee of $29/month plus $5/month per person born.
Square offers many features and tools that will make life easier for you and your customers. Square helps you accept credit card payments anywhere, anytime, and provides real-time insights into your business.
Square has revolutionized the way people run their businesses, providing an easy and secure way to accept credit card payments on the go.
Square Fees and Rates
With so many new products and services, you can expect Square’s pricing to be a little complicated. However, the flat rate is consistent across all card types: Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, JCB UnionPay – you’ll never pay more than the standard fee!
Basic Processing Rates & Fees
Here’s a breakdown of what you will pay depending on what Square Equipment you’re using.
- Square POS (With Any Mobile Card Reader): 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction.
- Square Register: 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction
- Square Terminal: 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction.
- Square For Retail POS: Free plan costs 2.6% + $0.10 and Plus plan costs 2.5% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction
- Square For Restaurants POS: 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped or tapped transaction.
- Square Appointments (Individual User): 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction.
- Square Appointments (For Teams): 2.5% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction.
- Keyed-In & Card-On-File Transactions: 3.5% + $0.15
- eCommerce Transactions & Invoices: 2.9% + $0.30
- Square Online Checkout: 2.9% + $0.30
- Other Fees: There are no additional chargeback fees. Square even offers a chargeback protection program, which will cover the costs of eligible chargebacks, up to $250 per month, even if you don’t win the claim.
The smaller merchants who get started with a Square payment system don’t have to worry about processing payments- most of the time.
Square gives its merchant a starting ceiling of around $50,000, which can vary depending on whether you know them well or not. However, a few complaints suggest that you might need to keep transactions below $3,000 if you want to avoid issues (though there are also reviews from happy customers who take in more than $100k).
One of the biggest problems when using Square is that they sometimes freeze out your account without warning, which can be frustrating if it happens during peak hours!
- Square For Retail: Free plan is available; Square for Retail Plus is $60/month per location
- Square For Restaurants: Free plan available; Plus plan available for $60/month per location (additional POS device is $40/month)
- Square Appointments: Free for individuals, $50/month for two to five staff, $90/month for six to 10 staff
- Team Management: Free for the basic plan, $35/month per location for Team Plus
- Payroll: $29/month + $5/month per employee or contractor paid
- Loyalty: $45/month for zero to 500 visits; $75/month for 501-1,500 visits; $105/month for 1,501-10,000 visits
- Email Marketing: $15/month for zero to 500 contacts; $25/month for 501-1,000 contacts; $35/month for 1,001-2,000 contacts
- Gift Cards: Gift card pricing varies with the amount your purchase—batches of 20 cost $2/per card. Quick Cards purchased in packs of 75 and up cost $1.20/per Card, with prices decreasing as you order more. Custom-designed cards of 75 or more cost $1.75 per Card, with prices falling as you order more.
There are many benefits to Squareup, including that it is free, easy to set up and use, and you can access it from various devices. However, there is a monthly fee for using Squareup, and it cannot be easy to track revenue utilizing this payment option.
Square’s payment processing is an excellent deal, and it’s something that no one else in the industry can offer you. Whether you’re just dabbling in sales or if your success depends on efficiency, Square should be a helpful tool to use.
If we consider value, Square is tough to beat: their prices for credit card processing are competitive with pay-as-you-go options and sometimes beats interchange-plus plans!
With features such as inventory management (free!), virtual terminal accesses free of charge with full functionalities, advanced reporting tools, etc., there are more features than any other provider who doesn’t require monthly payments.