Focusing on Square for Small Business Owners
Unlike most Square (squareup.com) reviews, this review primarily covers the topics that matter to most merchants and small business owners rather than Square’s technology. Square is often called “Square up” or “Squareup” because of the domain that Square uses for its website; however, the official name for this company is “Square.” For the purposes of this review, the two names will be used interchangeably.
Is Square Holding Your Funds Right Now?
Thousands of merchants have had their payments frozen. If you’re one of them, then you might find these resources helpful:
Started by the Twitter Guy
Founded in February of 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who is also the founder of Twitter, Square has grown into a large, publicly-owned company (NYSE: SQ) in a very small amount of time and spawned tons of competitors. Much of the company’s success can be attributed to the fact that this payment service provider has ingeniously broken the mold of mobile credit card processing by removing the traditional barriers that restricted processing services to actual businesses, thereby bringing credit card acceptance to everyone.
How Square Makes Money
Quick Sign-up and Intuitive Design
Signing up for the company’s payment processing service is simple: simply visit Square’s website to sign up. The credit card readers plug into the headphone jack (aka Square swiper), charging port, or can connect via Bluetooth to a contactless card reader thereby turning it into a mobile credit card machine. In fact, the app has been so successful that it has inspired numerous competitors both from big-name competitors and fledgling startups.
Other Square Services
Since the launch of its card reader and mobile app, Square has rolled out several other payment services for both business and personal use.
Square Register is a point-of-sale (POS) device that is intended as an all-in-one payment terminal for retail businesses. The product, which can be purchased for $999 upfront or $49 per month for 24 months, also comes with a lower transaction fee. Users can also purchase the older “Square Stand” which acts as an iPad mount and card reader in one unit.
Square Terminal is a wireless point-of-sale (POS) device that is designed to replace your conventional countertop credit card terminal. Square Terminal costs $399 upfront or $37 per month for 12 months and comes with a swiped fee of 2.6% plus $0.10. It can accept EMV and NFC payments and has a built-in printer.
Square Online Store is an online store builder for selling products over the internet. The platform is simple to use and quick to set up with the only cost of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction and no monthly fees.
Square for Retail is a point-of-sale system specifically designed for brick-and-mortar retailers. The service is similar to Register but includes a revamped checkout process as well as additional features such as enhanced inventory management, employee accounts, cost of goods sold, purchase orders, vendor lists, and more.
Square Cash is a direct peer-to-peer cash transfer service that is linked to a user’s debit card. Cash sends payments via email and smartphone and allows for free transfers of funds between users. The service is not targeted at business owners, but they may use it to make payments outside of a business setting.
Square Capital is a merchant cash advance program that can be activated from the dashboard in the Square Register. Square Capital allows merchants to receive a large upfront cash amount and then pay that total back over time with a fixed percentage of their daily credit card sales.
Additional Square Offerings
Square has also recently launched a virtual terminal, an order-ahead app called “Square Order,” an online invoicing feature called “Square Invoices,” an online scheduler called “Square Appointments,” and an offline processing mode that enables merchants to capture payments even when their internet is down.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Square charges only 2.75% per swiped transaction or 3.15% per keyed-in transaction with no monthly fees, annual fees, or long-term contracts and offers lower rates to users based on their business type or the proprietary hardware they use to host the payment processing platform.
- Complaints & Service: Square has received more than 2,300 public complaints and offers only limited phone support.
- BBB Rating: Square has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 4,679 complaints and 399 reviews in the past 3 years.
- Sales & Marketing: Square is extremely transparent about its simple pricing model, but merchants may not receive proper advance warning during the signup process that they are at risk of having their funds held.
- Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Square