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Square Review

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PROS / Square does not charge extra fees for anything, including for chargebacks and PCI compliance.

CONS / Square does not provide 24-hour telephone assistance, not even for an additional fee.

 VERDICT / Square is an affordable point-of-sale and payment processing option for small and micro businesses, especially those just starting out that do not want to make a big investment in hardware.

Price is one reason more than 100,000 business owners have flocked to Square. If you take a short stroll through your downtown area, you will probably notice Square processing sales in coffee shops, boutiques, quick-serve restaurants and mobile businesses. This Top Ten Reviews Gold Award-winning POS system and payment processor provides basic point-of-sale tools and credit card processing simply in exchange for the swipe rate, and it does not even charge a minimum monthly fee. This makes it especially reasonable for those who process few sales or for those who sell seasonally.

Value

Although the Square website relates the swipe rate as 2.75 percent, the actual rate could be lower. Often business owners can qualify for lower rates based on credit scores, sales volume or other criteria. But 2.75 percent is the most you will have to pay, and Square approves most applicants. This is the only company that does not charge some kind of monthly fee or chargeback fees. However, since it does not bill chargeback fees, it may hold funds for a bit if Square notices unusual activity on your account. Many processing companies do this to manage returns or potential fraud situations.

Terms

While every credit card processing agreement requires some agreements, Square does not lock you into a long-term agreement. There are no early-termination fees to worry about, nor do you have to purchase extra hardware. Square will run on iOS and Android devices, and Square Register is designed for the iPad. Whether you use Square Register to process one payment per minute or one per year, you will not have to worry about a hidden fee showing up.

Payment Processing

This point-of-sale solution processes all types of debit and credit cards. Unlike many processors, Square does not charge higher swipe fees for processing American Express cards. Of course, it can also process cash sales and gift cards. It is not designed to process its competitor PayPal's payments. But it does support payment using the Square Wallet, and customers can place orders online. Square processes payments via Chase Paymentech, which is a product of JP Morgan Chase.

Primarily, this POS system is for processing sales. It can create and send digital receipts to your customers' email address or mobile phone. It can manage tips, process partial refunds, apply discounts, manage loyalty programs and adjust tax rates. If you lose access to the internet, it can process swiped payments offline and sync up when you get back online. Customers can sign their signatures using the touchscreen. An iPad stand is available, but it is not required to process payments. However, if you plan on using Square in a stationary location, for example as a restaurant POS system, we recommend the stand: It incorporates a sturdy card reader that may prove more convenient and stable than the dongle card reader.

Management Features

Square Register includes basic tools for managing inventory, customers, reporting and online orders. Using this system you can track inventory and manage low-inventory alerts. Modifiers are available for managing customized quick-service orders. Square analytics can show you on-demand how your sales are going, even for the same day. It can show you what sells best and who your best customers are. You can run comparative sales reports and receive daily reports in your email inbox. All reports can be exported as a CSV file.

To expand Square Register's abilities, you can connect it with other solutions. To help with your accounting, it can export data to QuickBooks or Xero. It is compatible with Stitch Labs, in case you require advanced inventory tools. Using Square Market, your customers can order products online to be shipped or for pickup. Square Connect APIs are available for building customer integrations.

Customer Care

Square provides quite a bit of information online that can help you with basic issues and setup. However, this POS service does not provide 24-hour telephone support. Phone support is available Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time regardless of your account type or sales volume. If an issue gets escalated, Square will give you access to telephone communication during extended hours. Support is also available by email. For most services, this level of service is adequate, but most small businesses want immediate assistance when processing or deposits halt.

Summary

Square provides straightforward pricing and a high approval rate, making it a good option for many small businesses. It does not require a long-term contract, nor does it charge an early termination fee. Square offers basic point-of-sale tools and helpful reporting options, making it a well-rounded product for small-business owners.