Square for Retail Review

Square for Retail Overview

Are you a decision maker with Square for Retail? Claim this review.

Square’s Hardware and Software Suite for Retailers

Square for Retail (squareup.com/us/en/point-of-sale/retail) is a (POS) application offered by Square. Square for Retail uses the same hardware as Square Register and shares many of the same features. However, Square for Retail is a paid monthly service that bundles additional retail-specific services along with the Square Register app so as to better serve conventional brick-and-mortar retailers.

Not to Be Confused With Square Register or Square Terminal

“Square for Retail” refers to Square’s original iPad-plus-stand payment terminal plus a whole host of hardware and software products, including a bar code scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer. “Square Register” is a newer all-in-one POS product that represents the future of Square’s POS strategy. “Square Terminal” is a cordless, portable payment processing terminal that connects to Wi-Fi or Ethernet. One notable difference between the traditional Square Register app and Square for Retail is that Square for Retail’s checkout flow is based on a smart search feature rather than selecting items from a prebuilt inventory display. Square for Retail is only available for the iPad.

Square for Retail Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Square for Retail offers a month-to-month contract with fixed per-transaction pricing and no early termination fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Square has received more than 2,000 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Square currently has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 2,001 complaints in the last three years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Square for Retail does not hire independent sales agents and displays its pricing for anyone to view.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Square for Retail

Square for Retail Statement Analyzer

Find hidden fees, pricing errors, and overcharges in your Square for Retail merchant account statement. Not with Square for Retail? That's ok, we can find excessive fees in any statement. In fact, We've found $777,476 in hidden fees in 2019 already! Submit a recent statement to try it out for free!

  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, png, jpg, xls, xlxs.

Products & Services Offered

  • Multi-location inventory management
  • Cost Of Goods Sold and profit projections
  • Purchase orders and vendor lists
  • Employee accounts and permissions
  • Advanced customer outreach
  • Tabs, check splitting, and tips

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • Quick service

Our unbiased reviews are supported, in part, by helping you find highly rated merchant accounts. You can learn more here.

Square for Retail Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Swiped Rate 2.5% + $0.10
Keyed-in Rate 3.5% + $0.15
Online Invoice Rate 2.9% + $0.30
Square Marketing $15/mo
Loyalty Programs $45/mo
Payroll $5/mo
Square Stand Kit $676
Early Termination Fee $0
Monthly Fee $60
Additional POS $20/mo

Cheaper Rates Than Square App

Square for Retail offers simple, straightforward pricing of 2.5% plus $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe and 3.5% plus $0.15 per keyed-in transaction with a monthly fee of $60 and no long-term contracts or termination fees. The $60 monthly fee per register is more expensive than Square’s standard POS app, which is available as a free download and only charges per-transaction fees. Square also offers custom pricing plans for retailers with annual revenues over $250,000 and average ticket sizes over $15.

Square Hardware Costs

Square offers a countertop stand for iPads for $169, an NFC/EMV chip card reader for $49, and a number of optional hardware add-ons like a cash drawer ($109), a barcode scanner ($119), and a receipt printer ($229). It also has prepackaged bundles for retailers who use routers at their businesses and those who do not. In general, credit card processing contracts don’t come with less transparency or lower commitment than Square’s, even among the top-rated payment processors for retail merchants.

Lack of Underwriting

Although Square’s 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 Square for Retail.

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

Response from Square for Retail

Are you a representative of Square? Add your voice to this section for free!

Square for Retail Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

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

Low Complaint Total

Square for Retail is still a relatively new product family at Square, so there aren’t many Square for Retail complaints at this time. For mid-size retailers who already use Square, the service offers a variety of services that should prove useful with no real tradeoffs in function. New users should be pleasantly surprised by the enhanced inventory options, employee management tools, and accounting integrations. 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. To that end, the iPad app coupled with the Square Stand and the EMV/NFC reader dock remains a simple way for Square merchants to offer a more traditional checkout counter setup on their iPads that is less likely to confuse or inconvenience employees and customers.

Square Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Square. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Square for Retail Customer Support Options

On the negative side, Square offers only 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 deactivated merchants without a solution of any kind during operating hours. This is the most consistent issue cited by Square merchants who have filed public complaints. For merchants lucky enough to avoid fund holds or service issues, Square is a great option. For those who encounter problems, there is hardly ever a swift and effective resolution.

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

Response from Square for Retail

Are you a representative of Square? Add your voice to this section for free!

Square for Retail BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 1,323
Billing & Collection Complaints 528
Advertising & Sales Complaints 65
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 10
Delivery Complaints 75

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.

Over 2,000 Complaints

As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is reporting an “A+” rating for Square despite 2,001 complaints filed in the last 36 months. This complaint total is up from the company’s total at the time of our last update, which may indicate that Square’s BBB complaint total could increase further. The number 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.

Square Complaint Breakdown

Of the complaint total, 1,323 are regarding problems with service, 528 with billing and collection disputes, 75 with delivery problems, 65 with advertising and sales issues, and 10 due to a guarantee or warranty issue. The BBB has also added a note stating that it has received many complaints regarding Square’s fund withholding procedure. Square has responded by quoting its Terms of Use policies and referring to the help section of its website. The company has successfully resolved 289 complaints, while the remaining 1,712 either were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or did not receive a final assessment from the merchant.

What Merchants Say

Square has also received 357 informal reviews to its profile, most of which are negative in tone. The most recent complaint describes poor customer service:

The worse customer support I have ever experienced in my entire life!! That’s because they don’t have live customer support. I was shut down this year after 3.5 years of being with them. They didn’t even have the courtesy to email or call or anything at all they just shut you off!! very upset with this company. I will never recommend this company. They are big enough that they don’t really care about the small business even though thats what their business model is suppose to be.

Merchants who value a responsive support department may be better served by a top-rated payment processor for great customer service.

A “C” Performance

Due to the company’s high complaint count, rapid growth, and comparatively brief time in business, we have adjusted the BBB’s rating to a “C” for the purposes of this review.

How has Square for Retail treated you? Tell us about it here!

Response from Square for Retail

Are you a representative of Square? Add your voice to this section for free!

Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

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

Transparent Pricing

As a product offered by Square, Square for Retail 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 for Retail hardware and software additions is clear.

Unexpected Policy Drawbacks

However, Square does have two major shortcomings: its restricted live customer support and its fraud management 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 fund holds by Square. 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 for Retail product itself, they will not count against the company in this review.

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

Response from Square for Retail

Are you a representative of Square? Add your voice to this section for free!

Square for Retail Marketing Example

Square for Retail Logo

Our Opinion of Square for Retail

A Solid Option for Most Retailers

Square for Retail rates as a solid cloud POS solution for brick-and-mortar retailers. The service marks a clear upgrade from the base Square app due to its features targeted toward mid-size and larger retail locations, but each merchant will need to determine if the improvements are worth $60 per month. Square offers a free thirty-day trial (excluding per-transaction fees) for Square for Retail that should be a simple way for existing Square users to test the service. Merchants are encouraged to test Square’s performance against other top-rated iPad POS systems.

We rely on your feedback about Square for Retail 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.

My Qualifications

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry to start my own a small business. From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to write about it, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this insider knowledge to myself, so decided to build this website to help you research which providers to use and how to save money on rates and fees. 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 here. Simply scroll to the top of the page to find the search bar. You can also message me if you need any guidance.

Need help understanding your rates and fees? Submit a recent statement and I'll take a look at it for free.

Submit a Statement

  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, xls, xlsx.

1 Review Leave Your Review for Square for Retail Below

  1. OMG. Square gets an F rating from me. I applied for Square Merchant’s account in May of 2018 or or around May 18 – May 23, 2018. When I got my bank statement in June I was billed for a Merchant’s Account for March, April, May and June. I could not find a phone number or e-mail complaint line for Square but I did find someone who tried to sell my associate the same service. Sadly my bank said it was a legal charge. IT WAS LEGAL TO CHARGE ME FOR A SERVICE THREE MONTHS BEFORE I RECEIVED THE SERVICE. !!!!i I called the website provider and told them to remove my merchant’s account. They were kind enough to verify the web site start up date. My e-mails verified when I added Square. It was three months later! I would continue to encourage my associates to avoid Square. It cost $24.90 per month for an account that I did not have and $24.90 per month for an account I only used once when I set it up to test it’s activation with a $1.00 charge. I have searched the internet and have yet to find a number to recover my money from SQUARE. One dishonest merchant to another my own bank called it a legal charge by way of a form letter with no name or signature. Sounds pretty shady. YOU KNOW IT. I don’t know how in the heck Square could get a B from BBB. I read the complaints. I am going to continue to complain about Square in writing and to everyone that will hear me until they return my four months of payments that they charged me for an account I never used and was charged three months before I actually set up and activated Square. Theft or Fraud it certainly isn’t honest!


    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Best Credit Card Processing Apps for Real Businesses

Leave a Review for Square for Retail

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please do not use profanity or ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in your review. Reviews must provide a detailed account of your experience. By submitting a review or comment to CPO, you are agreeing to our Comment Policy.