Square Register Overview

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An All-In-One Credit Card Terminal for Retailers

Also known as “Square Point of Sale,” Square Register is a point-of-sale (POS) hardware device offered by Square. The term “Square Register” originally referred to the company’s iPad-based point of sale software application, but in October 2017, Square unveiled a proprietary device called Square Register designed to accept swiped and EMV payments made in-store via debit and credit cards. Intended as a cloud-based replacement for traditional cash registers, Square Register should be thought of as an all-in-one credit card terminal for retail businesses. Square Register can be attached to peripheral equipment to accommodate a number of industry-specific checkout configurations.

Is Square Holding Your Funds Right Now?

Thousands of merchants have had their payments frozen by Square. If you’re one of them, then you might find these resources helpful:

Not To Be Confused With Square for Retail

Square still offers its traditional Square Stand and add-on hardware components for iPad, iPhone, and Android under the name “Square for Retail,” but it’s clear that the company is now promoting Square Register as the preferred option for brick-and-mortar retailers. Merchants who opt for the company’s original iPad-based product lineup should be prepared for the possibility that support and development for those products may be phased out in the near or distant future.

Square Register Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Square Register hardware costs $799 upfront or $39 per month for 24 months. As of November 1, 2019, merchants are charged a rate of 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction.
  • Complaints & Service: Square Register has received more than 2,000 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Square Register (as Square) has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 2,591 complaints and 368 reviews in the past 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Square Register does not hire independent sales agents and has received a low number of complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Square Register
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Products & Services Offered

  • Offline payment processing
  • Customizable item descriptions and layout
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Advanced analytics with QuickBooks and Xero integration
  • Limited hardware compatibility (for receipt printers, kitchen ticket printers, cash drawers, bar code scanners, etc.)
  • Customizable rewards and loyalty programs

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce
  • Seasonal
  • Micro-merchant

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Square Register Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Flat Rate 2.6% + $0.10
Early Termination Fee None
Monthly Minimum None
Equipment Cost $799 or $39 Per Month over 24 Months

Square Register Pricing

Merchants can buy Square Register outright for $799 or for $39 per month. Merchants should assume that any payment plan they agree to will constitute a purchase of the machine and will need to be paid in full. Transactions processed through Square Register conform to the company’s new rate of 2.6% plus $0.10. Square offers a number of optional hardware add-ons like a cash drawer ($129), a barcode scanner ($119), and a receipt printer ($299). The reduced processing fee may justify the cost of paying for an expensive piece of proprietary hardware, but merchants will need to make this judgment based on their individual needs.

Hands-Off Application Process

Although Square’s simple pricing may be attractive to a number of business owners, the company has one major contractual drawback that appears to be responsible for many of its online complaints. Square’s easy signup is made possible by omitting a thorough underwriting process. This means that Square’s primary means of protecting itself against fraud is to place sudden fund holds on large or suspicious transactions, often without providing any advance notice to merchants. This policy, which is the topic of hundreds of public complaints, is, unfortunately, part of the processing service that comes bundled with the Square Register.

Are you happy with your Square Register fees? Tell us about them before your go!

Response from Square Register

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Square Register Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints 2,000+
Live Customer Support Active Merchants Only
Most Common Complaint Fund Holds

Positive Square Feedback

According to multiple professional and user reviews, Square’s products receive praise for their sleek design, ease of use, and low cost. For smaller merchants in need of a robust point-of-sale product for a reasonable cost, the service provides a wide array of integrations and features. The data tracking and reporting offered through the app is helpful for merchants trying to grow their businesses, and the accounting integration saves businesses the trouble of manually entering payment information into QuickBooks or Xero. Hardware compatibility (for receipt printers, etc.) is also a big plus for merchants who seek a gentle transition from traditional registers to a cloud-based service like Square.

Square Register Lawsuits

Although it does not pertain directly to Square Register, Square settled a class action lawsuit filed against its food delivery service “Caviar” in 2018. The company was alleged to have withheld money from delivery workers left by customers as gratuities from 2012 to 2015 and agreed to pay $2.2 million dollars under the settlement.

Square Register Customer Support Options

Other than fund holds, one of the most consistent complaints against Square is that the company offers limited live customer support to merchants. Active Square users can contact Square by phone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, but they will first need to obtain their customer code (see: How to Contact Square). Deactivated users cannot obtain a customer code. This means that their fund holds and other account issues may go unresolved for very long periods of time, leaving them without a solution of any kind during operating hours. This is the most consistent issue cited by Square merchants who have filed public complaints.

Square’s Biggest Drawback

For merchants lucky enough to avoid fund holds or service issues, Square is a great option. For those who encounter problems, however, there is hardly ever a swift and effective resolution. Merchants who are seeking a top-rated processor for great customer service should think twice before considering Square.

Do you have a complaint or testimonial about Square Register? Make your voice heard before you go!

Response from Square Register

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Square Register BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 1,820
Billing & Collection Complaints 602
Advertising & Sales Complaints 58
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 16
Delivery Complaints 95

Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.

No Dedicated Square Register Profile

Square Register’s BBB information is taken from the profile set up for its parent company. Therefore not every complaint related to Square Register. As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is reporting an “A+” rating for Square despite 2,591 complaints filed in the last 36 months. This complaint total is slightly up from the company’s total at the time of our last update (2,112), which may indicate that Square’s BBB complaint total could increase further. For perspective, the total is up from 812 complaints as of our January 2014 update and 603 complaints as of our July 2013 update, and has skyrocketed from just a few dozen complaints since we first published this review in April of 2011. Surprisingly, the BBB has also raised Square’s grade from a “B+” in July of 2013 to an “A+” despite the rising complaint volume.

How the Complaints Break Down

Of the 2,591 total complaints, 1,820 are regarding problems with service, 602 with billing and collection disputes, 95 with delivery problems, 58 with advertising and sales issues, and 16 due to guarantee or warranty issues. The BBB has also added a note stating that it has received many complaints regarding Square’s fund withholding procedures. Square has responded by quoting its Terms of Use policies and referring to the help section of its website. It does not seem to have made any tangible change to its fund holding policy in response to this notice. Square has successfully resolved 320 complaints, while the remaining 2,271 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final response from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Square has also received 368 informal reviews to its BBB profile, only 16 of which were positive on tone, with 352 being negative. The most recent review describes an issue with Square’s Cash app:

If I ciould give a zero star rating or even a negative one I would. I’ve had problem after problem and no one to talk to about the issues. Last year there was a $20 purchase at a restaurant that’s not even in my city. Not to mention, it was 11 am on a weekday and I was on the 15th floor of my office building. Of course you can’t get in touch with these people so I lost $20. Now I only use this app to pay my car payment, I’ve got a new card as my previous one has expired and it won’t let me add money unless it’s from my expired card? How does that even work?! It doesn’t. I’ve emailed and they replied saying they will get back to me within 24 hours…. Yeah right. I haven’t heard anything from these people. Worst company I’ve ever worked with. They really just need to be shut down.

It’s unclear what this user’s specific problem was, but all Square Cash users are advised to watch out for Square Cash app customer support scams.

A “C” Performance

Due to the company’s high complaint count compared to its relatively short time in business, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

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Response from Square Register

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms No

Transparent Pricing Disclosure

As a product offered by Square, Square Register is advertised in the same way that Square credit card processing is advertised. When it comes to transaction fees, contract terms, equipment costs, and add-on services, Square is exceptionally transparent. The company maintains a very simple pricing structure and does not bury hidden costs in a complicated contract. Its quoted pricing for Square Register hardware and software additions is clear.

Issues Under the Hood

However, Square does have two major shortcomings: its restricted live customer support and its fund holding policies. These two aspects of Square’s service are not fully addressed in its promotional materials, and thousands of merchants have reported that they were blindsided by problems related to these specific issues. This can be described as either a marketing issue or a service issue. Since customer support and fund holds are generally unrelated to the Square Register product itself, they will not count against the company in this review.

Did you get what you expected from Square Register? Tell us why, or why not.

Response from Square Register

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Square Register Marketing Example

Square Register

Our Opinion of Square Register

A Solid Product From a Flawed Processor

Square Register is a difficult product to rate because it is so inextricably linked with Square’s payment processing service. For merchants of all sizes who are already using Square, the service has the potential to be a useful add-on. For non-Square merchants, though, Square Register comes with the same caveats that Square does. Possible fund holds and limited customer support should be enough to scare many merchants away from Square, and the Register app is not a strong enough point-of-sale system to override these concerns. A top-rated retail merchant account is likely to provide better service and support for established merchants than Square Register.

We rely on your feedback about Square Register to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

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28 Reviews Leave Your Review for Square Register Below

  1. We own a small franchise Tex-Mex Quick Service Restaurant in NE Ohio. I did some research and decided on Square as my provider and when it came time to order the hardware, I went with the Square Register that they were promoting. Even though the cost was high, the speed of each transaction, customer facing display, and sleek design lead to me choosing it. After being told my current Epson printers and cash boxes would work, they claimed that was for the Square Stand they had also quoted me so I needed to buy a printer for each terminal and new cash boxes. Here’s the real downfall – I turned on online ordering and set up the store through Weebly (which they also own) – and nothing works the way I was told it would. After a few calls to their support line, I am able to get a notice on my screen that an order has been placed, but no way to print it. It also stays on the screen and prevents us from using the terminal normally. The recommendation that I buy an iPad to work around their issue (they can get it to print that way) is absurd after spending over $2600 on 2 systems. This was introduced to market WAY TOO SOON and now I set across from my area’s largest employer needing to explain how my otherwise professional-looking company, does not support this highly-requested feature.

    This post will help: Best Restaurant Merchant Accounts


  2. charles schwab says:

    I signed up for square and it was pretty easy..connected my bank ..did a test charge and walla…no problem..i am excited to use my newly acquired credit card service to improve my business.. right! NO!!..charged 2800$ and it has been 2 weeks..cant call getting no response to emails….very poor customer support be carefull these fools will put you in a money cruch with your business…stay away

    This post will help: How to Avoid Fund Holds With Square


  3. Jay says:

    Square has by far the worst customer support I’ve ever experienced! After ordering the new register bundle, I’ve had a hell of a time getting someone on the phone to replace the cash drawer that was sent to our business damaged. The customer code that was sent to me didn’t work to access a real person on phone support. After finally eating through to (supposedly) a human person via e-mail, they just referred me back to the manufacturer of the busted cash drawer. The manufacturer referred me to square in the first place after stating the drawer replacement is Square’s responsibility since it was either damaged before being shipped or damaged during shipping and therefore is not covered by their warranty. The support person for the cash drawer (APG) also said that this is not uncommon while working with Square. Horrible all l-around with Square service support.

    This post will help: How to Contact Square


  4. Budi says:

    Sheer well away from this bunch! They will freeze your customer’s payments to you in hostage of questionable verification processes. I don’t understand as to why they don’t notify of process changes when it is implemented, not when there is a transaction taking place. They froze us of $1000 order from our customer requesting further documents they’ve never requested before…Better options out there! You’ve been warned!

  5. Sharif says:

    square is a nightmare! I got a card reader and a payment gateway from them and after few days of using it they deactivated my account without any reason and hold my fund for 90 days. They will not tell the reason why!! I am so angry!!!!

  6. Dennis says:

    Worst company ever… First days of taking payments and holding funds.. What the fuck?

  7. James Kerr says:

    I own a Horticultural lighting company. I started using square two weeks ago. After a lengthy and extremely convoluted application process I was finally set up to use CC online.
    After one sale they put my account under review and then cancelled my account after a $2000 sale. They stated that “my business was not appropriate” and closed my account. Worst part is they charged my $60 on a $2000 purchase.
    What the actual f$&k Square.
    Worst CC company ever.
    Do not use.

  8. Jeremy Spears says:

    Absolutely worst customer support, if you can even say they have customer support. As mentioned in the article, you have to have a customer code to get access to a human, otherwise the automated system will disconnect the call. If you don’t have it written down, and you have a login problem, forget getting any phone support. They will also conveniently disable your customer code in certain situations so they do not have to talk with you. I’ve had 2 significant issues with them over the last two years that left the company in a bind. I’ve also had funds sit for over 4 weeks waiting for deposit with real no explanation on why. Happy to no longer be relying on them for credit card services. Do not recommend.

  9. Gary Uba says:

    I promptly notified Square and the Credit Card company that a charge appeared fraudulent (and the card information was probably stolen) when the individual requesting a service insisted that when funds are cleared and received at my bank that part of the transaction is returned to the individual in cash. Square Up held funds and charged me over $175 for processing a charge that didn’t go through because I told them about the possible fraud. I felt it was my responsibility as a business owner to stop the transaction to protect the actual card holder and credit card company. I think Square doesn’t care about the public or it’s merchants. They only care about making money. How sad it is that Square is so morally bankrupt.

  10. DINA SHRESTHA says:

    Hi, i have a small electronics repair business, I have opened a merchant account with square, I have submited all required Information and started accepting payments with this company, I had received couple of payments in my bank on time, now all of sudden they have put my next deposit under review and asked me for supporting documents, I have forwarded all documents even i have explained them that all cards are swiped inside my store to collect payment, there is not a single payment over the phone or manual entry, this company responded me back with their usual cheating email which they sending to many i can say thousands of merchants per day, I urge BBB to check their complaints over internet that how many people got cheated by this company, They sent me email saying we hold your funds for 90 days, and also suggesting me for faster Payments please refund Payment to original person who paid, i have small electronics repair store, i had repaired walking customer’s electronics now where i go and find those people? This is intentional cheating and fraud. This company openly doing criminal activity and no one there to stop them. I have just $875 which is ok i will earn other time but what about those small business who hardly getting their bread and butter and their living from this? This kind of criminal activity broke neck of those businesses and shut them down, even families of those businesses getting affected by these criminal people. Please it’s a request i don’t need my money back but expose these criminals so other innocent small business people can be saved from this fraud.

  11. Lynda A Levy says:

    Why do I receive email receipts from vendors and I’m NOT the customer???? This is the craziest and I don’t know how it happens. My email is Mine and no one else has this email so why do I receive receipts that belong to some other customer?

    1. kurt eread says:

      Someone used your email because they did not want to use theirs… duh.

  12. Tom Moore says:

    terrible> worst customer service i have ever been apart of. would never recommend.

  13. Malcolm EAst says:

    I give them an F. I have used the card 5 times in the last 2 years. Last week, I received a gift card and thought I’d just deposit it into my account. The next day I recieved email from Square saying I violated the sellers agreement and that my funds will be held for 180 days. The email said the decision was final.

    No phone support, so, I tried email support. All I get is the same form message saying the decision is final and that they’re holding my funds for 180 days.

  14. Michael Nachtigall says:

    I had problems with my first sale with the chip not working and had to manually key it in several times before it was accepted. I got so pissed I through it away
    after I saw I was charged extra percentage in my account. I don’t know if I’ll use it again, although the retail season is upon us now. I hope I don’t have these problems again. Mike N

  15. Mike says:

    Read customer comments….nothing but processing and customer service issues. BEWARE of working with this company. They will wait until you have a large deposit and then cancel your account and hold the funds for 6 months. BAD, BAD, BAD

  16. Me says:

    Horrible I am on hold for hours?! They keep your funds on hold & your customers are left waiting & waiting. They suck!!!!!!!!!

  17. Tabitha Lynn says:

    LIMITED service. Many boundaries forcing your business to stay “inside the square”. Customer service talks to you, not with you. Many hidden fees.

  18. Troywade DeVese says:

    KaBOOOM. I would not recommend Square to anyone at this point. As of right now Square made my account jacked up my account in fees that I did not tell them to Bill to this account. They do not have managers or supervision in place to assist you over the phone when admin is needed. The Phone reps are unable to assist this type of transactions and no one called me back or resolved my issue. This issue is 100% the fault of SQUARE DONT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM THATS MY EXPERIENCE!

  19. bruce beck says:

    Square register is one of the best things I have found in my thirty years of business. We travel and sell remotely. Square is fast, accurate, and the reports available are incredible. Started with 4 register and now have 84 and still buying. Highest recommendation.

  20. Josh chambless says:

    Square refused to give me banking info of their customer who ripped me off. I have a legal judgement which they refuse to disclose where my stolen money was sent to. Disgraceful company!

  21. A month ago, I made a sale for 700, they say it’s suspicious, take my money and cancel my account. I’m a dressmaker.

  22. Shannon bagby says:

    I just want to speak with somebody about my account!!!!
    ASAP or I will be cancelling my account

  23. Bruce Brck says:

    I love the square registers. We take them to special events and they work flawlessly and provide us with excellent real time sales info. No flaws, best system we have used by far.

    1. John MIjares says:

      How is it aquare advertises that they are the best? My first experience with square is turning into a nughtmare.. before i registered i was geeting all these great emails how great the ap[ps are customer service money availabilities,, and get emails every 30 minues but once i go thru the process to register, add my information and try tio read the small terms and Conditions which seem to go on and on,, and then when im putting in my charges the system doesnt give any flags or markers stopong the user by notifying verification is required before moving forward,, it just lets you enter evrything, then the next morning io get an email saying a rep has been trying to contact you to verify your account so that your money isnt held up.. and the then you go back to your dash board and then you ask for contract, orders, and so fourth. yet you dont provide any disclaimers on the program screen.. then you try to down load docs and ask more questions then you need to know.. and then.. it becomes difficult get help. Then you go to help. and your made to fill out send an email,, then you send response saying Thank you in Bold Black letters?? is that some type of red flag, for us poor smucks who just gave you our hard work money?? because after that.. you send emails.. asking for assitance . and then you send blank emails.. with subjet line thank you.. and then.. nothing happens??

      Its amazing I spent less then fifteen minutes entering my first ever CC charges, money i worked haed for.. and then i spend 4 hours waiting docs yo uplooad.. and nothing happens..

      and what worsed.. if we canel you still keep our money for 14 buisness days.. is that so your company can look profitable on wall street index?

      Isn’t that allot like loan shark, except you guys never loan.. you only take?
      Maybe its PONZI.. hey thats great..

      Thanks square for making my first ever business cc transaction a bad one.. so bad.. that i will have suffer your sadistic game. and wait.. but never again will ever use Square.. and im sure that the best way to advertise is word of mouth.. and guess what??

      its holiday weekend.. and what a great way to start it with Square…. get the kids ready.. load up the Rv and then Sit in your drive way because Square just drove by honkng at you and your family screaming.. SUCKAAAASSS!!!

  24. karen hovhannisyan says:

    The worst customer service on the world
    I swiped my customer’s card 8 days ago the funds still not available on my account
    they don’t have customer center phone for real person and thru email they will respond only 3 days latter that you have to wait

    Are you with Square? Learn how to resolve this complaint.

  25. Charles Ehrenhaft says:

    Hello, first let me say that without Square I wouldn’t have the sales I do have, thank you for that. Now the new card readers do not seem to hold a charge for very long I am constantly recharging the readers(I have 2) is this going to improve any time soon? Or is this what we have to deal with?
    Thank you. Charles Ehrenhaft

  26. norris crawford says:

    I have been trying to find a way to get a 1099k sent to me. nothing comes up when i go to dashboard. There is no phone #. I have just started working on taxes this week and i can find nothing on computer nor iphone. I have defended square but I am not so sure anymore.

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