A Comprehensive Comparison of PayAnywhere vs Square in 2023

payanywhere vs square logos depicted as an old western duel

Comparing PayAnywhere with Square

Who Should You Choose? Get The Answer Here.

Payment processing solutions are essential for small businesses, and choosing the right one can have a significant impact on your bottom line. With countless options available, it’s essential to understand the differences between popular choices like PayAnywhere and Square. But how do these two industry leaders stack up against one another in the “payanywhere vs square” debate? In this blog post, we’ll explore the key differences, features, and pricing structures between these two giants, offering a comprehensive comparison to help you make the best decision for your business.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, running a bustling retail store or experimenting with an e-commerce idea, the choice between PayAnywhere and Square can significantly influence your day-to-day operations and card acceptance costs. So strap in and prepare for a deep dive into this PayAnywhere versus Square comparison that will provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision for your payment processing needs.

Short Summary

  • PayAnywhere and Square offer distinct differences in fees, equipment options, features, payment acceptance methods & pricing structures.
  • We’ll breakdown the payment processing fees, monthly fees, and other important cost considerations between the two processors.
  • Square and PayAnywhere offer similar card reader and POS options. We’ll cover the differences.
  • We’ll discuss the various services offered alongside each company’s credit card processing services and how they compare.
  • Lastly, we’ll cover user reviews, customer support, and the reputations of PayAnywhere and Square.

PayAnywhere vs Square: Key Differences

Both PayAnywhere and Square are well-known payment processing solutions, tailored to meet the requirements of small businesses as well as for people who simply need to take the occasional credit card payment. However, they differ in various aspects, such as fees, equipment options, features, and added services. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for making an informed decision that best suits your business.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into these differences, comparing the two companies in terms of:

  • Credit card processing fees.
  • Equipment options.
  • Payment acceptance methods.
  • Monthly fees.
  • Pricing structures.

Credit Card Processing Fees Compared

One of the most critical aspects to consider when evaluating payment processors is the credit card processing fees. PayAnywhere charges a rate of 2.69% to 3.49% plus 19 cents per transaction. On the other hand, Square charges a rate of 2.6% plus 10 cents to 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction. While the difference may seem minimal, it can add up quickly, especially for businesses with a high volume of transactions.

For instance, let’s take a look at the card-present processing fees offered by the companies, which are the fees that you would experience taking a face-to-face payment using a card reader. Square’s processing fee for a swiped transaction is slightly lower at 2.6% plus 10-cents vs. 2.69% plus a 19-cents with PayAnywhere. If we assume an average sale amount of $10 and then extrapolate the fees for the two companies based on increasing sales volumes, we get clear understanding of costs

Processing Fees vs Sales Volumes

Sales VolumeSquare FeesPayAnywhere Fees
Winner:green checkmarkred X
Assumes average sale of $10.

Square Leads the Way in Processing Fee Savings

As you can see, the delta between Square’s fees and PayAnywhere’s fees widen as your sales grow. When it comes to a choosing a winner for processing costs, Square takes the trophy. However, it’s essential to consider the fees for different types of transactions, such as Apple, keyed, and online transactions, as these also vary between the two companies. Understanding these fees and how they apply to your specific business will help you make a more informed decision when selecting a payment processor. In all cases that we reviewed, Square’s processing costs are lower than PayAnywhere’s. If you would like a more detailed view of processing costs across the various acceptance methods, let us know in the comment section below.

Be sure to check out the “Alternative Payment Processors” section to find similar processing services with lower fees

Credit Card Card Readers and POS Options

Another crucial factor to consider is the equipment options available from both PayAnywhere and Square. Both companies offer a variety of payment processing equipment, including mobile credit card readers for your phone or tablet, dedicated handheld mobile terminals, and standalone desktop tablet POS systems. However, there are some distinctions between the two companies in terms of hardware fees.

Entry-Level Credit Card Readers

When it comes to entry level card readers that you can connect to your phone or tablet, both companies offer a card reader that accepts chip and contactless payments at $59 per device. However, Square also continues to offer a free magstripe reader for sliding credit cards the old fashion way for those you might just be testing out a new business idea.

side by side comparison of payanywhere credit card reader and square credit card reader.

Desktop POS Cost Comparisons

The point-of-sale (POS) options provided by Payanywhere and Square are similar from a hardware perspective but differ in cost. Both companies offer software features and hardware compatibility to cater to various business needs. As we go up in hardware sophistication, Square is the clear winner in hardware costs. The company’s hardware is less expensive for comparable equipment and can be bought over time with small monthly payments. PayAnywhere on the other hand, not only charges more for its hardware but also charges setup fees for its more advanced options ranging from $50 to $100, plus monthly fees. The more expensive the equipement, the higher the monthly fee.

A side by side comparison of POS systems by PayAnywhere and Square

Comparable Device Cost Examples

Mobile Card Reader$59$59
Handheld Terminal$299$349 + $49 Setup + $14.95/mo.
Desktop POS$799$949.95 + $99 Setup + $44.95/mo.
Free Entry Level OptionYesNo
Winner:green checkmarkred X

Monthly Fees and Optional Services

PayAnywhere’s Monthly Fees

It’s important to understand the monthly fees and pricing structures of both PayAnywhere and Square. Both companies offer processing services with no monthly fees but, as stated above, most of PayAnywhere’s equipment requires a monthly that can fee range from $14.95 to $44.95 per month. Additionally, the company charges and “inactivity fee” of $3.99 per month for accounts that have not run a sale in over 12 months. For businesses that choose a “custom pricing plan” with PayAnywhere, presumably to achieve a lower processing rate, there have also been reports that North American Bancard (PayAnywhere’s parent company) will impose a term-length agreement with an early termination fee. Most reports state that the fee was $295.

Square’s Monthly Fees

On the other hand, Square does not impose monthly fees for its hardware, making it more accessible for businesses on a tight budget and more cost effective over the long run. The company does offer optional “advanced” services and features at a monthly cost ranging from $29 to $69. These fees provide access to industry specific features and better access to customer support. Square also offers custom pricing plans to larger enterprises. However, we have never seen any reports of early termination fees with Square if businesses walk away from those deals.

Monthly FeesOptional Services OnlyMostly Mandatory
Price Range$29 to $69$14.95 to 44.95
Winner:green checkmarkred X

See the alternatives below that offer similar services at no monthly cost.

Features Breakdown

Now that we’ve explored the key pricing differences between Payanywhere and Square, let’s dive deeper into the features offered by both companies. In this section, we’ll provide a comprehensive breakdown of the features, including:

  • Mobile payment apps.
  • Point-of-sale options.
  • Hardware and card readers.
  • E-commerce and online payment processing.
  • Electronic invoicing.
  • Employee management tools.
  • Reporting and analytics.

Understanding the depth and breadth of features offered by each company will help you make a more informed decision when selecting a payment processing solution that best suits your business’s unique needs and requirements.

Mobile Payment Apps

Mobile payment apps are an essential aspect of a modern payment processing solution. Both PayAnywhere and Square offer user-friendly apps designed to provide a seamless experience for both merchants and customers. However, there are some differences in terms of reliability and functionality. User reviews and complaints suggest that PayAnywhere’s mobile app can be unreliable, often crashing or declining cards without cause.

PayAnywhere App Review

So let me say I have used them for over a year now. They were great never had an issue until this last update. With the always requiring a signature, to the 3n1 card reader not working. I have called their customer service 3 times about the card reader issue. So if you get a tap card anywhere near the tap area and insert the card you will see processing for about 5 minutes no matter if you remove the card or not, until you force close the app and start it again. I hope fix this soon or I’m done.

– Brandon Edgar / Google Play Store Review

On the other hand, Square’s app is receives mostly positive reviews for its app. However, some users report issues with the card readers not connecting properly with the app. In general, it appears that users are happier with the app experience with Square.

Square App Review

Square POS works well, although I do have issues with the card reader at times. I have had to manually run credit cards with my phone. It seems to work well with my tablet, though.

Kristine Johnson / Google Pay Store Review
User ReviewsSquarePayAnywhere
Common ComplaintCard Reader Connect IssuesApp Dependability
General User SentimentPositivePoor
Winner:green checkmarkred X

E-Commerce and Online

As the e-commerce industry continues to grow, it’s essential for payment processing solutions to offer online payment features. Both companies provide a user-friendly customer interface for processing transactions through a virtual terminal. However, Square offers a greater range of online payment tools as well as a fully integrated e-commerce store builder that can be synced with your brick-and-mortar store inventory.

Virtual TerminalYesYes
“Buy Now” ButtonsYesNo
Store BuilderYesNo
Winner:green checkmarkred X

Electronic Invoicing

Electronic invoicing is an essential feature for many types of service oriented businesses, which enables customers to receive and pay invoices in one step. Both companies offers electronic invoicing options that allow customers to receive invoices and pay online by clicking the link in the invoice. Both PayAnywhere and Square also offers features for one-time or recurring payments through invoices that customers can pay online. Additionally, both companies offer the ability to save cards on file and offer autopay options. Both companies enable customization of the look and feel of invoices, including adding logos, customizing color schemes, and including personalized messages.

In terms of processing fees for invoice payments, Square charges 3.3% plus 30-cents when customers pay online and PayAnywhere charges 3.49% plus 19-cents. Considering that most invoice payments are higher ticket sales, business owners will save money with Square.

Electronic InvoicingYesYes
Recurring InvoicesYesYes
Customizable BrandingYesYes
Online Processing Fee3.3% + $0.303.49% + $0.19
Winner:green checkmarkred X

Employee Management Tools

Managing employees efficiently is crucial for any business, and both PayAnywhere and Square offer tools to help streamline the process.

PayAnywhere partners with a third-party called “Homebase” to provide tools for:

  • Hiring.
  • Scheduling.
  • Paying staff at no additional cost.
  • Access tailored to individual employee roles.
  • The PayAnywhere app allows employees to rate their shift and clock in and out.
  • Reports can track individual or group productivity, including transactions completed, sales volume, tips, and payment methods.

Square offers its own employee management features, such as customer loyalty programs, email marketing, and gift cards, for an additional fee. PayAnywhere promotes that it offers its Employee management tools for free. Square, however, charges additional fees for many of its employee management tools.

Employee Hiring ToolsYesYes
Employee Management ToolsYesYes
Additional FeesYesNo
Winner:red Xgreen checkmark

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics features are critical for businesses to monitor performance and make data-driven decisions. PayAnywhere offers in-app reporting, deposit monitoring, and comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. Square provides the Square Dashboard, advanced reporting options, and Square Analytics, which is included free with Square’s POS software.

Both companies offer robust reporting and analytics features to help businesses gain insights into their performance. It appears that the company’s are on equal footing when it comes to the reporting that they offer. However, Square charges a monthly fee for its “advanced” reporting features while PayAnywhere offers all of its reporting for free.

Offers Reporting & AnalyticsYesYes
CostFree Basic, Fees for “Advanced”Free
Winner:red Xgreen checkmark

Customer Support Comparison

Customer support is a crucial factor in ensuring a smooth payment processing experience and optimal performance. Comparing PayAnywhere and Square in terms of customer support can help you understand which company offers the best assistance for your business.

PayAnywhere provides support to customers through a range of means. They offer phone, live chat and email support between 8 am and 9 pm EST. Monday to Friday are working days. Office opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, along with a customer support portal that includes a knowledge base and video tutorials. Square also offers customer support via phone, live chat and email from 6am to 6pm.

User reviews and complaints indicate that Square offers superior customer support compared to PayAnywhere. However, both companies suffer from a considerable amount of complaints regarding customer support. PayAnywhere seems to suffer from complaints regarding unhelpful support while Square suffers from unreachable customer support. Square does, however, offer access to better customer support for a fee. In general, both companies could stand to improve in this area so we are not awarding a winner in this category.

Customer Reviews and Reputation

Both companies seems to garner a fair amount of negative customer reviews. Square is significantly more popular than PayAnywhere which makes it difficult to compare the companies in this area. That said, if we estimate the ratio of customer to complaints between the two companies, it appears that PayAnywhere suffers from a higher ratio of dissatisfied customers. Additionally, PayAnywhere also suffers from complaints regarding surprise fees, poor customer support, and deceptive marketing and sales issues.

Square, on the other hand, garners more complaints regarding in fund holding issues and poor support channel options. These things said, Square has better ratings in most reviews and online reputation websites. Be sure to see the comment section of our articles to see real Square reviews and real customer PayAnywhere reviews.

If you are seeking better customer service options for a similar type of service as Square and PayAnywhere, see the section below for our recommendations.

Reputation SignalsSquarePayAnywhere
Our Rating3-Stars2-Stars
Google Play Store4.8-Stars3.6-Stars
Apple App Store4.8-Stars3.9-Stars
Better Business Bureau1.06-Stars1-Star
Winner:green checkmarkred X

Alternative Payment Processors

While PayAnywhere and Square are popular choices for payment processing solutions, it’s essential to consider alternative options that offer lower fees and better customer support.


helcim logo

Helcim stands out as a better alternative to Square and PayAnywhere due to its comprehensive features, transparent pricing, and exceptional customer service. As a payment processing and merchant services provider, Helcim has gained a reputation for providing a high caliber of service to businesses of all sizes.

One of the key advantages of Helcim over its competitors is its robust suite of features. Unlike Square, which primarily targets small businesses, Helcim caters to a broader market, offering solutions for small businesses, mid-sized enterprises, and larger corporations. Helcim provides a versatile range of payment options, including in-person, online, and mobile payments at no extra cost over its processing fee. This flexibility allows businesses to reach customers through multiple channels and enhances the overall customer experience.

Another aspect where Helcim surpasses both Square and PayAnywhere is its pricing model. Square and PayAnywhere employ flat-fee pricing structures. In contrast, Helcim provides a straightforward and transparent approach to pricing. They offer Interchange-plus pricing, which ensures that businesses pay the actual cost of card processing, plus a transparent markup. This transparent model allows merchants to have a clear understanding of their true processing fees. Business owners that take payments in-person through Helcim can expect an average processing cost of around 1.9% plus 8-cents while online businesses can expect the processing fee to average around 2.5%.

Customer service is a paramount consideration for any business, and Helcim excels in this aspect as well. While Square and PayAnywhere offer customer support, Helcim goes the extra mile to provide exceptional phone support at no added cost. Their customer support team is also available via email, and live chat. This ensures that merchants receive timely assistance whenever they encounter issues or have inquiries about their payment processing needs.

Moreover, Helcim understands the importance of data security and compliance. They are fully PCI-DSS compliant and prioritize safeguarding sensitive customer information. This dedication to security helps businesses build trust with their customers and protect themselves from potential data breaches and legal liabilities.

Helcim also offers robust integration options through its well-documented API as well as integration with popular accounting softwares, streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency for businesses. This integration is vital for businesses looking to expand their online presence and manage their financials effectively.

We think that Helcim stands as a superior alternative to Square and PayAnywhere due to its comprehensive features, transparent pricing, exceptional customer service, and commitment to data security. Businesses seeking a reliable and user-friendly payment processing solution would undoubtedly benefit from choosing Helcim as their payment partner.

For more details see our review of Helcim or visit the company’s website.

CDG Commerce

cdg commerce logo

CDG Commerce emerges as another superior alternative to Square and PayAnywhere, offering a compelling array of features, cost-effective pricing, and personalized customer support. As a payment processing provider, CDG Commerce caters to businesses of all sizes and stands out as a reliable partner for merchants seeking seamless payment solutions.

One of CDG Commerce’s primary advantages over Square and PayAnywhere is its robust feature set. CDG Commerce accommodates a wide range of businesses, including online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores, and e-commerce ventures. Their platform supports various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, ACH payments, and mobile payments, ensuring that businesses can cater to their customers’ diverse preferences effectively.

Cost-effectiveness is another area where CDG Commerce excels. Compared to Square’s and PayAnywhere’s flat-rate pricing, CDG Commerce offers both flat-rate or competitive interchange-plus pricing. This transparent pricing model ensures that businesses pay the actual cost of card processing, along with a fixed, transparent markup. This straightforward approach allows merchants to manage their expenses efficiently and optimize their profits.

Furthermore, CDG Commerce distinguishes itself through its exceptional customer support. While Square and PayAnywhere offer customer support to some extent, CDG Commerce is renowned for its personalized approach. They prioritize building strong relationships with their merchants, offering dedicated account representatives and 24/7 customer support. This means that merchants can access prompt assistance whenever they face issues or require guidance with their payment processing solutions.

CDG Commerce offers seamless integration with various e-commerce platforms and accounting software, facilitating streamlined operations and enhancing efficiency for businesses. This integration capability is particularly valuable for businesses looking to expand their online presence and manage their financial processes effectively.

Although we prefer Helcim as our top alternative, CDG Commerce presents a better alternative to Square and PayAnywhere, offering a rich feature set, cost-effective pricing, personalized customer support, and a strong focus on data security. Businesses seeking a reliable and efficient payment processing partner will find CDG Commerce to be a valuable asset in growing their operations and providing an exceptional payment experience for their customers.

For more details see our review of CDG Commerce or visit the company’s website.

Summary of PayAnywhere vs. Square

Both PayAnywhere and Square offer comprehensive payment processing solutions designed to cater to the needs of small businesses. They differ in various aspects, such as fees, equipment options, and features. Square outpaces PayAnywhere in most important aspects, such as costs and features. However, we believe there are better alternative to both companies. If you have more feedback about either of these companies, please leave it in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions for PayAnywhere vs. Square

What are Square and PayAnywhere?

Square and PayAnywhere are payment processing solutions that allow businesses to accept credit card payments from customers. They provide tools and services for in-person, online, and mobile payment processing.

How do Square and PayAnywhere differ in terms of target users?

Square primarily caters to small businesses, including individual sellers and entrepreneurs. PayAnywhere targets a broader market, serving small to medium-sized businesses, as well as larger enterprises.

What are the key features offered by Square and PayAnywhere?

Square offers a range of features, including point-of-sale (POS) systems, online payment processing, mobile payments, invoicing, and inventory management. PayAnywhere provides similar features, such as POS solutions, online payments, mobile processing, and invoicing.

How do Square and PayAnywhere compare in terms of pricing?

Square offers more competitive pricing in most areas but does charge fees for some added services that PayAnywhere offers for free. However, PayAnywhere charges setup and monthly fees for equipment whereas Square does not.

Which solution is better for in-person transactions?

Square’s user-friendly and intuitive POS systems are popular for in-person transactions, especially in retail and service-based businesses. PayAnywhere also offers reliable in-person processing options suitable for various business types.

Which platform is more suitable for e-commerce businesses?

Square’s robust online payment processing features and wide array of e-commerce integrations make it an excellent choice for e-commerce businesses. PayAnywhere also supports online payments, but Square’s comprehensive solutions may be more appealing for online-focused ventures.

Reader Comments

Tell Us What You Think

1 Responses

  • I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your outstanding article comparing Payanywhere with Square. Your in-depth analysis and comprehensive breakdown of the two payment processing solutions have been incredibly helpful for me as a business owner.

    Your article provided valuable insights into the key features, pricing structures, target audiences, and integration options of both platforms. It allowed me to make an informed decision based on my business needs and preferences. I particularly appreciate the way you highlighted the pros and cons of each service, making it easier for me to understand which one would suit my business best.

    Your writing style is engaging and easy to follow, making the topic accessible to readers with varying levels of knowledge about payment processing solutions. Your attention to detail and thorough research are evident throughout the article, and I genuinely feel more confident in choosing the right platform for my business.

    Once again, thank you for your hard work and dedication in producing such a valuable resource. Your article has undoubtedly saved me time and effort in researching these payment processors, and I am grateful for your contribution to the business community.

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