Square

Application & Approval Process
7.0/10
Rates & Fees
7.0/10
Contract Terms
7.0/10
Customer Support & Benefits
7.0/10
Equipment & Software Quality
9.0/10

Overview

Founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square Inc is headquartered in San Francisco and has been providing Americans with financial services, mobile payments and point of sale for more than a decade. Square has some of the lowest credit card processing fees and a state-of-the-art phone application for mobile payments, which includes a complete suite of point of sale features with optional add-ons. The company is very transparent with its pricing policies and charges a flat fee per transaction rather than a monthly or annual account maintenance charge or any other type of banking costs. Square differentiates itself from traditional payment alternatives like banks or independent sales organizations by eliminating long term contracts, thus meaning no long-term commitments and no termination fees.

Best for

Square is one of the best options for businesses that are looking for transparency and a featured mobile credit card processing app. It is great for any business that conducts transactions via card payments, including the following:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses from local convenience stores to high volume merchants.
  • Companies with brick and mortar retail shops.
  • Companies with online e-commerce operations.
  • Individuals who have home-based businesses like a yard or garage sale.
i

Good

7.3/10

Pricing

Square has streamlined the entire credit card processing and has made it accessible for not just small and medium-sized businesses but also for an individual’s home-based business such as garage sales, yard sales and more. The company provides a free app with a free credit card swiper for each new account without any long-term commitments. Simply swipe a payment card on the electronic swiper and pay a transaction fee rather than any annual or hidden charges. The flat-rate pricing makes it easier for businesses to estimate how much they have to pay to the processor each month.

Square has a flat rate fee regardless of whether you have a credit, debit, reward, or corporate card. Every card brand is treated with the same whether if it is a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc. Here are some of the processing fees:

Card-payment transactions

Square pricing differs according to the services availed. The following are some of the fees the company charges according to its products:

  • Square Reader, Square Register, Square Stand, Square Terminal or Square for Restaurants: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Square for Retail or Square Appointments (paid version): 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction or 2.5% + $0.10 (for 2-10 employees) per transaction

Card-less Transactions

Some of the products offered by Square are card-less systems and the company charges these prices according to the products:

  • Square Invoices or the Square Online Store: 2.9% + $0.30
  • Square Online Store Premium Plan: 2.6% + $0.30
  • Virtual Terminal or the Square Point of Sale App: 3.5% + $0.15

The company also has a custom pricing plan for businesses that process more than $250,000 annually with an average sales ticket of more than $15. For custom pricing, clients are recommended to contact Square’s sales team directly.

In order to use Square services, merchants are required to purchase payment processing hardware. The prices for these devices vary and are as follows:

  • Square Reader for Magstripe: Free for the initial device with additional readers costing $10 each
  • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip: $39
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip: $159 or $15 per month
  • Square Terminal: $239 or $22 a month for 12 months
  • Square Register: $639

Square is very transparent with its pricing structure and states in its terms and conditions that there is no payment processing contract which means that you can cancel your services with the company at any time without paying any penalties or termination fees.

Many payment processing companies have many hidden charges; however, Square’s lack of charges makes the company an attractive option for businesses operating on tight margins. Here are some of the fees charged by other companies:

  • Application or setup costs
  • Monthly or statement costs
  • Monthly processing costs
  • Monthly payment gateway costs
  • Annual service costs
  • Termination costs
  • And more

If you want to create a website using Square’s Online Store for your business, you are not held responsible for payment gateway costs. These expenses are borne by the processing company which is an additional benefit for struggling businesses.

There are no additional charges for using the company’s regular processing plan, however, if you choose to get optional services, expect to pay a little extra. An example of optional services is instant fund transfer which costs an extra 1%, or third-party integrations to your system which can have additional monthly subscription fees.

Key Features

  • No setup or start-up fees.
  • Integrated readers and POS software.
  • Complies with the payment card industry data security standard so that you do not need to individually validate your state of compliance.
  • Accepts all types of payment methods from swiping or tapping cards to online payments and more.
  • Fast payments into the bank account as soon as the next business day. Alternatively, you can pay a fee for an instant transfer.
  • Provides sales and inventory management updates in real-time whenever a transaction is made, ensuring merchants have great cashflow management.
  • There is no need to visit the bank or open a separate merchant account for payment processing services since everything can be done online.
  • Provides a free magstripe reader whenever a merchant signs up for payment processing services.
  • No applicable fees, only pay per transaction.
  • In-house customer support is available via phone from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday, and 24/7 over email.
  • Free dispute management services.
  • Free payment gateway setup.

Security

Square has invested heavily in its security technology across its payment platforms, allowing payment data to be encrypted as customers use a payment card. The company has a proprietary tokenization scheme ensuring that the merchant’s device does not accept unencrypted payment data.

The company takes security seriously by manufacturing its own hardware ensuring security is engineered into every single product with end-to-end encryption. With its own manufacturer, Square also has a vulnerability management system that assists in strengthening security against malicious attacks through rigorous stress testing.

Square also has a proactive compliance policy and handles assessors, SAQ requirements, and audits for businesses. The company takes on the burden of PCI compliance for sellers and is on the PCI Board of Advisors developing new compliance and security standards which are implemented across the industry.

Customer Support

Square offers great customer service comprised of highly experienced representatives with decades of knowledge about the industry. The support team is available 24/7, 365 days a year through email and the app. You can also reach out to them on their dedicated landline number during business hours of 9 AM to 5 PM (PST), Monday to Friday. On the company’s official website, it also provides videos answering important queries sent in by consumers.

The payment processing firm has an intuitive website with a series of articles, guides and resources aimed at first-time customers and merchants looking for more information. The topics of discussion are divided across available products such as Online Store, Hardware, Transfers, Point of Sale, and more allowing users to easily navigate through them.

Contact Details

Address: Square Headquarters 1455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

Phone (Sales): 855-897-1838

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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