Article by Chris Costi, Last update at September 20, 2020
When Square was originally launched in 2009, it offered an innovative swipe based smartphone processing system with affordable pricing and no equipment costs. Their payment processing and point of sale services have since advanced to the point where they are now a powerhouse for merchants in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Square has earned a 5 star rating for their easy to use software, impressive features and affordable pricing. Their payment processing services are suitable for all types of industries regardless of their size, with small to medium sized businesses benefitting the most from their predictable flat rate pricing with no monthly fee and reasonable transaction rates. Square offers one of the most impressive set of features which include advanced mobile processing solutions and affordable chip card readers. One of the biggest draws to Square’s payment processing solutions is the free iPad POS and smartphone friendly mobile app that is offered on signing up.
With Square, merchants pay a flat rate of 2.75% for swiped transactions and 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed transactions. Online transactions are charged at 2.9% + $0.30. There are no monthly minimum charges or statement fees. This flat rate remains the same regardless of what type of card is used or how much the transaction amount adds up to. Square deposits funds into your account within 2 business days, but if you want instant scheduled deposits you can opt for this service for an extra 1% of the transfer amount. Payment methods and pricing vary depending on which country you are based.
In order to get Square’s features which include mPOS, you would have to use Square Payments as your processor. Merchants are drawn to Square because of their consistent flat rates and their seamless transition between online and in-store transactions. The ability to sync data, including inventory across all your points of sales is easily done with their e-Commerce integrations. With the features offered through the Square POS and mPOS systems you will be able to utilize their virtual terminal, stored card capabilities and many other features that will help you run your business efficiently. Square has one of the most advanced iPad based POS systems available and you can acquire this system for a low monthly fee. You could also get a reduction in you flat rate if you use the Square advanced POS system. Square provides you with a free online store and integrates with many shopping cart software providers.
Square offers merchants a free virtual terminal to use for card payments from any device that is connected to the internet. With Square’s Card on File feature you can securely store your customer’s information and be PCI compliant. Square also offers a free POS and back office feature that is available if you need it.
If you already have a point of sales system the Square payment processing system can easily be integrated. The main cons are the lack of support for business, and the fact that Square might hold your funds if you will be labeled as “high risk merchant”
Square offers a comprehensive payment processing system that also includes built in tools for sending out invoices, handling recurring invoices and attaching files and images. If you already have these features through your own POS system, you can link up with their payment processing through 3rd party integration. If e-Commerce is your game, you can easily integrate with Square for your payment processing or even host your website or purchase a domain through them. Square also offers templates to create your online website with all the core features you would need to integrate with their payment processing software. They offer a free magstripe reader so that you can swipe cards from anywhere as long as you are online. Chip cards and NFC payments can be processed with their Square Reader which can be connected to an iPad to make a countertop point of sales station.
Square works with iOS and Android and offers two versions of Square Reader for magstripe with a headset jack or a Lightning connector. Square offers PCI compliant APIs and SDKs for your payment needs. You will be able to accept payments through digital invoices over the phone or with their virtual terminal through you website. Square’s payment platform has processed billions of transactions through their PCI and EMV compliant hardware and software. End to end encryption ensures that your customer’s data is encrypted and safely processed. All major credit and debit cards as well as mobile wallet, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are possible with Square’s payment platform. Square is a payment gateway that supports Square APIs and does not work with other payment processors.
Seamless integration of customer information with the rest of the Square APIs will allow you to manage customer profiles and save credit card information for future and recurring payments. You will also be able to create and maintain inventory items through the Catalog API. If you need a website you can build a professional online store through Weebly which is part of the Square product suite. Their e-Commerce tools are easy to use and you can easily use one of their templates to create your online presence which will automatically integrate with the Square payment processing platform. Grow your business with the powerful tools offered with Square’s integrated shipping labels, inventory management, advanced marketing tools and analytics.
If you already have your website, Square integrates with a wide range of e-Commerce providers. You can use Square APIs to accept payments directly on you website and get all the benefits of their cost effective pricing as well as fast deposits, reporting tools and their PCI compliant platform. Square offers a very intuitive and easy to use dashboard where you can select which widgets you want to use. Square also offers a basic inventory management system which is free of charge. If you require a more advanced system you can upgrade to Square for Retail which will give you a top of the range inventory management system with barcode generation and in depth reporting.
Square also supports multi-location management with a single account. Gift card creation is available and pre-designed cards or templates are offered. The Square Customer Engagement app also includes an email marketing platform for a small monthly fee. You can send newsletters and special offers to your customers by using the data from your customer’s database via email or through Facebook campaigns. Square also has a great selection of hardware that you can purchase through their website. This includes card readers, tablet stands, receipt printers, cash drawers and bundled kits to name a few.