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The Best Square Alternatives For POS & Payments

Square offers a very capable free POS system for specific industries. However, there are a lot of Square alternatives that may be a better POS fit for your business.

    Frank Kehl
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Square’s small business services include credit card processing, POS systems, eCommerce payments, invoicing, and much more. However, Square isn’t right for everybody, and you might be looking for an alternative to Square. Many merchants and entrepreneurs need what Square can’t provide: better pricing at high volumes, account stability, and an even more robust feature set.

Square’s “something for everybody” approach makes it both one of the best POS systems and one of the best credit card processing companies for small businesses, which means that few other providers will have everything Square offers. That’s why we highlight aspects of various Square alternatives that compare favorably with what Square provides.

Read on to learn about our favorite Square competitors and how they can be a better choice for your business.

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  • $69-$199 monthly fee
  • Hardware cost included in monthly subscription fee
  • Uses flat-rate pricing
  • $69-$199 monthly fee
  • Hardware cost included in monthly subscription fee
  • Uses flat-rate pricing

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  • $0-$84.95 monthly software subscription fee
  • $49-$1,799 for each Clover device
  • Uses flat-rate pricing (if you sign up with Clover directly)
  • $0-$84.95 monthly software subscription fee
  • $49-$1,799 for each Clover device
  • Uses flat-rate pricing (if you sign up with Clover directly)

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  • No monthly fee (flat-rate pricing option only)
  • "Free" terminal with each account (requires $79/year insurance fee)
  • Uses flat-rate, interchange-plus, or membership pricing
  • No monthly fee (flat-rate pricing option only)
  • "Free" terminal with each account (requires $79/year insurance fee)
  • Uses flat-rate, interchange-plus, or membership pricing

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  • $9.95-$19.00+ monthly fee
  • Hardware costs not disclosed, one "free" device per account available
  • Uses flat-rate or customized pricing
  • $9.95-$19.00+ monthly fee
  • Hardware costs not disclosed, one "free" device per account available
  • Uses flat-rate or customized pricing

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  • No monthly fee for standard account
  • $99 mobile card reader
  • Uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively
  • No monthly fee for standard account
  • $99 mobile card reader
  • Uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively

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  • $39-$399 monthly account fee
  • $49-$299 per card reader/terminal
  • Uses flat-rate pricing
  • $39-$399 monthly account fee
  • $49-$299 per card reader/terminal
  • Uses flat-rate pricing

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  • No monthly fees
  • $54 for SumUp Plus mobile card reader
  • Uses flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fees
  • $54 for SumUp Plus mobile card reader
  • Uses flat-rate pricing

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  • No monthly fee
  • $29 for Zettle 2 mobile card reader (+$49 for the charging dock)
  • Uses flat-rate pricing
  • No monthly fee
  • $29 for Zettle 2 mobile card reader (+$49 for the charging dock)
  • Uses flat-rate pricing

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

How Our Best Alternatives Compare To Square

Monthly Fee In-Person Rate Online Rate Hardware Cost
Square $0 2.60% + $0.10 2.90% + $0.30 $59 – Square Contactless + Chip Reader
Lightspeed $69-$199 2.60% + $0.10 2.60% + $0.30 Included w/monthly fee
Clover Payments $0-$84.95 2.30-2.60% + $0.10 3.50% + $0.10 $49 – Clover Go card reader
CDGcommerce (flat-rate option) $0 2.90% + $0.30 3.50% + $0.30 Free ($79/year insurance fee)
National Processing $9.95-$19.00+ 2.50% + $0.10 2.90% + $0.30 Free w/3-year contract
Helcim $0 INT + 0.40% + $0.08 INT + 0.50% + $0.25 $99 – Helcim Card Reader
Shopify $39-$399 2.40-2.60% + $0.10 2.50-2.90% + $0.30 $49 – Shopify Tap & Chip Reader
SumUp $0 2.75% 3.25% + $0.15 $54 – SumUp Plus card reader
PayPal Zettle $0 2.29% + $0.09 3.49% + $0.09 $29 – PayPal Zettle Reader ($79/additional units)

The Best Square Competitors & Alternatives In 2024

Square offers several functional, low-cost card readers and terminals that are more than adequate for a small operation. That’s why Square is one of the best free POS systems for small businesses. However, if you’re looking for alternatives to Square, these are our top choices:

Lightspeed: Best For iPad-Based POS Systems

Lightspeed Retail POS

Total Rating 4.1
Pricing3.7

Ease Of Use4.4

Features4.3

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews4.0

Pricing

$89-$269/month ($69-$199/month billed annually)

Contract

Monthly, annual, and custom

Equipment Cost

$199-$329

Pros

  • More advanced retail POS feature set than Square
  • You can use it with a desktop, laptop, or iPad setup
  • Onboarding support provided
  • You can choose your payment processor

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve than Square
  • Costly for smaller businesses

Why Lightspeed Is Best For iPad-Based POS Systems

While Square offers all the basic functionality a small business would need, you'll eventually find it can't do everything your growing business needs to succeed. Retail businesses looking for something more sophisticated should check out Lightspeed Retail. There's also Lightspeed Restaurant, which offers a great POS system for restaurants of any size.

Unlike Square, Lightspeed's software-based POS system is compatible with most merchant account providers. This allows you to negotiate the lowest possible rates with a reputable credit card processor while still using Lightspeed's POS software instead of investing in expensive, proprietary POS systems.

Lightspeed Features

Lightspeed Retail POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling Standard plan and up
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty Advanced plan
Marketing Tools Standard plan and up
Online Ordering Standard plan and up
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Lightspeed offers POS software that can run on a PC or iPad, saving you the cost of a single-function, dedicated POS system. Unlike Square’s rather basic offering, Lightspeed includes many advanced features:

  • Multitender options
  • Advanced inventory management
  • CRM
  • Purchase orders
  • eCommerce integration

Lightspeed Pricing

Lightspeed Retail POS Plans Price  When To Use
Lean Plan $89/month ($69/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail business looking for strong inventory management and a customizable POS interface
Standard Plan $149/month ($119/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail businesses looking for eCommerce and accounting features
Advanced Plan $269/month ($199/month billed annually) For single/multi-location retail businesses looking for a strong loyalty program and advanced business reporting

Using Lightspeed’s POS software requires a monthly subscription, but you’ll save money by paying your fees annually. Flat-rate processing rate plans are available if you choose Lightspeed’s payments service instead of a third-party merchant account provider.

Processing rates are 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction (card-present) and 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction (card-not-present).

Lightspeed Processing Hardware

lightspeed restaurant hardware bundle

Lightspeed’s processing hardware is included with the cost of your monthly subscription, with one device included for each account. The company’s POS software can run on an iPhone, iPad, or computer. Optional hardware accessories, such as stands, barcode scanners, and cash drawers, can be purchased separately.

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Clover: Best For Expandable POS Systems

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.5

Customer Service4.4

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

Starts at $0/month

Contract

Depends on merchant services provider

Equipment Cost

$49-$1,799 per device

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Numerous feature integrations via Clover App Marketplace
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Can only be used with Fiserv merchant accounts

Why Clover Is Best For Expandable POS Systems

Clover POS is unique because it is offered by countless merchant service providers (though it always uses Fiserv as its back-end processor). While Clover offers a pared-down plan with no monthly fee, most Clover plans involve a monthly software fee in addition to the cost of purchasing your equipment.

While Clover's equipment and monthly fees are more expensive than Square's, the company's software is so adaptable and customizable (with the help of Clover's extensive app marketplace) that it can suit businesses of just about any type and size. It's also known for being very easy to use. However, customer support can be inconsistent.

Clover Features

Clover POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments Depends on hardware choice
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering Depends on software plan
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance Add-on app
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Clover’s popular line of processing hardware ranges from the basic Clover Go mobile card reader to the full-featured Clover Station Duo point of sale (POS) system. Most devices include the following features:

  • Full support for EMV and NFC-based payment methods
  • Cloud-based analytics and reporting features
  • Expandability via the Clover App Marketplace

Clover Pricing

Clover POS Plans Price  When To Use
Clover Payments $0/month If you only need to process payments and don’t need any POS hardware
Clover Essentials $14.95/month If you have a small retail/service-based business and don’t take returns
Clover Register $49.95/month If you have a small to mid-size retail/service-based business and need more POS features
Clover Counter Service Restaurant $54.95/month If you have a quick-serve restaurant, cafeteria, or mobile food service business
Clover Table Service Restaurant $84.95/month If you have a full-service restaurant or bar

Clover hardware costs vary based on where you purchase your equipment (either directly through Clover or through one of the best Clover resellers) but generally range between $49 for the Clover Go mobile card reader and $1,799 for the Clover Station Duo POS system.

Clover also requires a monthly software subscription fee unless you can get by with the bare-bones free plan. There is an add-on charge of $9.95/month for each additional device on your account.

Processing rates and account fees will vary depending on your provider. However, flat-rate pricing plans are available that charge as little as 2.3% + $0.10 per in-person transaction and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions.

Clover Processing Hardware

Clover Go mobile card reader

Clover’s hardware is among the most popular in the payments industry. Merchants love Clover devices’ flexibility and expandability, including access to dozens of industry-specific apps on the Clover App Market.

This kind of power doesn’t come cheap, though. You’ll pay anywhere from $49 for a basic Clover Go Card Reader to $1,799 for a Clover Station Pro POS system, plus a monthly software subscription fee (for most plans).

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CDGcommerce: Best For Flexible Processing Rate Plans

Total Rating 4.7
Fees & Rates4.6

Products & Services5.0

Contract5.0

Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service3.5

User Reviews4.9



Pros

  • Offers three POS systems and the stability of a merchant account
  • Offers different pricing plans based on your sales volume
  • No long-term contract or early termination fee

Cons

  • Only available to US-based merchants

Why CDGcommerce Is Great For Flexible Processing Rates

We chose CDGcommerce as a great alternative to Square because it offers something for just about any brick-and-mortar merchant while providing the stability of a dedicated merchant account.

All contracts are month-to-month with no long-term commitment or early termination fee. There are no monthly minimums, setup fees, gateway fees, or PCI compliance fees. CDGcommerce offers a flat-rate pricing option that's very similar to Square but also provides interchange-plus and membership pricing options that will save you money in processing costs as your business grows.

CDGcommerce Features

If you’ve been using Square but are now ready for a merchant account, CDGcommerce is an excellent full-service provider that can address all your sales channels, from eCommerce to retail POS and mobile sales.

Major features include the following:

  • Full-service merchant accounts
  • True month-to-month billing
  • Choice of credit card terminals
  • Choice of payment gateways
  • PastePay POS software
  • Choice of processing rate plans

CDGcommerce Pricing

CDGcommerce offers flat-rate, interchange-plus, or membership pricing options, depending on your monthly sales volume. The company’s flat-rate plan is similar to Square, with the following rates:

  • 2.90% + $0.30 per card-present transaction
  • 3.50% + $0.30 per card-not-present transaction

There’s no monthly fee for the flat-rate plan, but you’ll pay $19-$49/month for an interchange-plus plan or $49-$199/month for a membership plan.

CDGcommerce Processing Hardware

CDGcommerce PastePay POS

CDGcommerce includes one “free” EMV-compliant terminal with each account, which only requires a $79 annual terminal insurance fee.

The company also offers a choice between the Harbortouch Echo POS, Vital POS, and PastePay POS systems. PastePay is a cloud-based POS system that runs on iPads, tablets, or Windows/Mac laptops or desktops and is integrated with various countertop terminals and mobile card readers. Normally $79/month + $0.25/transaction, CDGcommerce offers PastePay for a flat $199/year.

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National Processing: Best For Low-Cost Merchant Accounts

National Processing

Total Rating 4.6
Fees & Rates4.8

Products & Services5.0

Contract4.6

Sales & Advertising Transparency4.4

Customer Service4.1

User Reviews4.4



Get a free Clover Go card reader from National Processing when you sign up. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Extensive selection of credit card terminals and POS systems
  • Offers flat-rate or customized pricing
  • Low-cost echeck/ACH payment processing
  • Excellent online reputation

Cons

  • “Free” equipment may require a long-term contract
  • Early termination fee charged for “free” equipment

Why National Processing Is The Best Choice For Low-Cost Merchant Accounts

National Processing offers flat-rate pricing just like Square but provides a full-service merchant account rather than an aggregated one. Although you'll have to pay a low monthly fee, the company's pricing will likely save you money on your transaction processing over what you'd pay with Square.

National Processing offers "free" mobile readers and terminals with some plans, but interested businesses should proceed cautiously. Where the normal plans are month-to-month, accepting free equipment can lock you into a long-term contract.

While National Processing is more flexible in enforcing its early termination fee than most providers, we strongly recommend purchasing your equipment outright to avoid a long-term commitment.

National Processing Features

National Processing offers a full line of payment processing features, including:

  • Merchant accounts
  • Payment gateway
  • ACH/echeck processing (optional)
  • Cash discount program (optional)
  • Terminals and mobile POS systems

National Processing Pricing

National Processing offers several flat-rate pricing options for merchants processing less than $30,000/month. Above that amount, you’ll be eligible for a customized pricing plan tailored to your business. Here’s what you’ll pay:

  • Basic In-Person Plan: $9.95/month; 2.50% + $0.10/transaction
  • Basic eCommerce Plan: $9.95/month; 2.90% + $0.30/transaction
  • Advanced Plan: $19.00+/month; 2.41% + $0.10/transaction
  • Premium Plan: $9.95+/month; customized pricing
  • Manual Processing: 3.5% + $0.15/transaction
  • ACH Processing: $15/month; 0-1.5%  + $0.48 per transaction

National Processing Processing Hardware

PAX A80 Smart Terminal

National Processing offers various “smart” credit card terminals and POS systems. Pricing ranges from $345 for the PAX A80 terminal to $2,000 for the Clover Station Duo POS system.

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Helcim: Best For Low-Cost "Smart" Hardware

Total Rating 4.9
Fees & Rates5.0

Products & Services4.4

Contract5.0

Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service4.8

User Reviews4.5



Pros

  • True month-to-month billing
  • No monthly account fees
  • Excellent customer support
  • Processing costs decrease with volume

Cons

  • Not cost-effective for very low-volume businesses
  • Not available to high-risk businesses

Why Helcim Is The Best Choice For Low-Cost "Smart" Hardware

Small businesses typically choose Square for its lack of a monthly fee and its predictable pricing structure. With Helcim, you'll get the same rock-bottom pricing and the stability of a true merchant account for about the same overall cost. In fact, Helcim's interchange-plus pricing will save you money on credit card processing costs over Square at higher processing volumes.

It's an excellent choice for merchants looking to avoid the account instability and limited customer support offered by payment service providers (PSPs) such as Square.

Helcim Features

Available in the United States and Canada, Helcim is one of the most affordable options for small businesses looking for the stability of a true merchant account. Key features include the following:

  • Full-service merchant accounts
  • Interchange-plus pricing for all users
  • Support for international payments without currency conversion fees
  • Helcim Card Reader  & Helcim Smart Terminal support EMV, NFC, and magstripe payments
  • Helcim POS software (compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Helcim Smart Terminal)

Helcim Pricing

Helcim’s pricing is simple and affordable. Best of all, the company fully discloses every fee and rate you might have to pay on its website. Here are the highlights:

  • No application or account setup fees
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Interchange-plus pricing (rates vary by monthly processing volume)
  • 0.50% + $0.25 per ACH transfer
  • Helcim Card Reader — $99
  • Helcim Smart Terminal – $329

Helcim Processing Hardware

helcim mobile contactless credit card reader

The small but versatile Helcim Card Reader costs just $99 per device. It can be used as a mobile card reader, stand-alone terminal, or in conjunction with Helcim’s POS software. It can also be paired with the Helcim Virtual Terminal to accept in-person payments on a laptop or desktop computer.

A more sophisticated and powerful option is the Helcim Smart Terminal, which costs $329/unit. This all-in-one device features a color touchscreen display and a built-in receipt printer and comes with the Helcim POS software application pre-installed.

Get Started With Helcim

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Shopify: Best For eCommerce Businesses

Shopify


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Pros

  • Lower processing rates than Square for transactions under $100
  • Strong feature set
  • Inexpensive card readers
  • Easy to scale

Cons

  • Same account stability issues as Square
  • Requires at least a $39/month Basic Shopify subscription

Why Shopify Is The Best Choice For eCommerce Businesses

Shopify's in-person credit card processing fees are more affordable than Square's if your average transaction is less than $100. Although you'll have to pay a monthly account fee, Shopify's rate is one of the lowest we've found anywhere.

Shopify is a good choice for omnichannel businesses that primarily sell online but also need to take in-person payments.

The main reason to consider Shopify is that it gives you access to the massive Shopify payments ecosystem, allowing you to upgrade to a more powerful plan with many additional features as your business grows.

Shopify Features

Shopify Features Availability
Retail Equipment Available
International Sales
Currency Conversion
Shoppable Social Posts
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Hosted Platform
Reports
Staff Accounts
Buy Buttons
Multi-Platform Integrations
Shipping Tools
Shipping Discounts
Free Themes
Unlimited Products

The fact that eCommerce giant Shopify felt the need to develop its own proprietary POS tells you just how important it’s becoming to have the ability to sell across multiple channels.

Shopify offers the following POS features:

  • Credit card processing
  • Shopify POS mobile app
  • Full online store
  • Embeddable “buy” buttons
  • Social media selling
  • Mobile invoicing

Shopify Pricing

Shopify Plans Price  When To Use
Shopify Starter $9/month If you want to sell on social media
Basic Shopify $39/month ($29/month billed annually) If you want a full online store with basic functionality and/or Shopify’s POS for in-person sales
Shopify Plan $105/month ($79/month billed annually) If you want a more complex store, with staff accounts and advanced tools & reports
Advanced Shopify $399/month ($299/month billed annually) If you want all the available advanced features & international sales
Shopify Plus Custom pricing If your annual sales top $500K

Shopify uses a simple, flat-rate pricing plan for its credit card processing. Here’s what you’ll pay:

  • Monthly software subscription fees ($39-$399/month, depending on plan chosen)
  • POS fees start at 2.6% per card-present transaction (with Shopify Payments)
  • Online fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 for keyed entry, eCommerce transactions, and invoices (with Shopify Payments)
  • Shopify Tap & Chip Reader for $49 each; $39 for the charging dock
  • All-In-One Shopify POS Go Device for $299 (includes card reader, barcode scanner, and a touch screen that runs Shopify POS)

Shopify Processing Hardware

shopify hardware seasonal businesses

Although it’s primarily an eCommerce platform, Shopify also offers two hardware devices for accepting in-person payments.

The $49 Shopify Tap & Chip Reader accepts EMV or NFC payments and can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth.

For $299, the Shopify POS Go includes a color touch screen and can accept magstripe, EMV, and NFC payment methods. It also includes a built-in barcode scanner.

Get Started With Shopify

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SumUp: Best For Small-Ticket Sales

Total Rating 4.5
Fees & Rates4.8

Products & Services3.5

Contract4.8

Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service4.3

User Reviews4.0



Pros

  • The SumUp Plus reader accepts tapped, dipped, swiped, and PIN payments
  • The SumUp Plus reader costs $19, cheaper than Square’s
  • Ideal for low-volume businesses

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Account stability issues

Why SumUp Is Best For Small-Ticket Sales

SumUp doesn't have as many features as Square, but if you need a basic mPOS, you probably won't miss those bells and whistles.

The company's entry-level card reader, the SumUp Plus, accepts contactless, chip, swiped, and PIN payments while costing you just $54. No Square card reader gives you this kind of versatility in accepting payments, so if you're looking for Square reader alternatives, give SumUp a look.

However, SumUp is a payment service provider (PSP), so it's subject to the same account stability issues as Square.

Although it's pretty basic overall, SumUp includes useful features, such as a "quick sale" mode, refunds, tipping, cash reporting, an item library, item variants, and multiple tax rates. What's more, SumUp's flat processing rate of 2.75% means you'll save on processing for smaller transactions over Square.

SumUp Features

Although it’s based in the UK, SumUp is also available in the US and provides a suitable alternative to Square. Major features include the following:

  • SumUp Plus mobile credit card reader
  • SumUp Solo credit card terminal
  • SumUp POS point-of-sale system
  • Virtual terminal
  • Mobile invoicing
  • International payments support

SumUp Pricing

SumUp offers a very basic pricing structure, with flat-rate pricing used for transactions. Here are the highlights:

  • No monthly fee
  • 2.75% per card-present transaction
  • 2.90% + $0.15 per transaction for invoiced payments
  • 3.25% + $0.15 per card-not-present transaction
  • No setup or application fees
  • No monthly minimum
  • $54-$99 for SumUp card readers and terminals

SumUp Processing Hardware

sumup plus card reader

SumUp users can choose between the $54 SumUp Plus mobile card reader and the $99 SumUp Solo terminal.

The SumUp Plus card reader runs on batteries and connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.

The SumUp Solo is a standalone device and includes a color touch screen. One unique feature of the SumUp Solo is that it comes with a SIM card and includes free mobile data for use in the field.

Both devices are EMV-compliant and support NFC-based payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Get Started With SumUp

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PayPal Zettle: Best For Accepting PayPal In-Person

PayPal Zettle


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Pricing

No monthly fee

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$29 for your first card reader

Pros

  • Accepts contactless, chip, and PIN payments
  • Cheaper and more versatile than Square’s contactless/chip reader
  • Ideal for lower-volume merchants
  • Lower in-person processing fees than Square

Cons

  • Same account stability issues as Square
  • Poor customer support
  • Not ideal for high-volume merchants

Why PayPal Zettle Is The Best Choice For Accepting PayPal In-Person

With no monthly fee, plus integration with PayPal's existing merchant services suite, PayPal Zettle is a solid option for low-volume merchants. If you prefer a more robust POS system, Zettle offers four different Store Kit options ranging in price from $269 to $699. Each kit includes a Zettle Reader 2 and some combination of a dock, an iPad stand, a Smart Printer, thermal rolls for the printer, and a barcode scanner. Each accessory is also available separately, along with a cash drawer.

As an alternative to Square, PayPal Zettle is cheaper than Square's tap & chip reader and more capable of taking PIN payments. Moreover, PayPal's in-person processing rate is lower than Square's. Of course, being a payment service provider, PayPal is subject to the same account stability issues as Square.

PayPal Zettle Features

PayPal is Square’s biggest competitor when it comes to mobile payments. Through PayPal Zettle, the company offers mobile card readers and POS systems and charges credit card processing rates that are competitive with Square.

Here are the primary features:

  • Zettle mobile app
  • Zettle Reader 2 with integrated PIN pad supports EMV and NFC-based payments
  • Support for QR code payments
  • Ability to log cash payments
  • Integrates with other PayPal features
  • Integrates with third-party services (e.g., Shopify, QuickBooks Online, etc.)

PayPal Zettle Pricing

While PayPal’s latest fee structure is notoriously complex, pricing for PayPal Zettle is fairly simple. Here are the key points:

  • Zettle Reader 2 for $29 for the first reader, $79 each for additional readers
  • Zettle Terminal for $199/device, $70 for receipt printer/charging dock
  • No monthly fee
  • 2.29% + $0.09 per card-present transaction
  • 3.49% + $0.09 per keyed-in transaction

PayPal Zettle Processing Hardware

paypal zettle

PayPal’s Zettle 2 mobile card reader works in conjunction with the Zettle mobile app to provide a full mobile payments solution. It can accept EMV and NFC-based payment methods and includes a built-in PIN pad for debit card transactions. It can run for up to eight hours on battery, and an optional charging dock is available for $49.

PayPal Zettle Terminal Screenshot

PayPal also offers the Zettle Terminal, a ‘smart’ terminal device that functions in either countertop or wireless modes. The Zettle Terminal features Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity, a color touchscreen, and a pre-loaded SIM card that doesn’t require a monthly data plan subscription.

Get Started With PayPal Zettle

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Payment Processing Rating Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching the payment processing industry since 2009. Our writers have reviewed hundreds of credit card processors, merchant account services, and mobile payment apps, evaluating each provider carefully on several different metrics.

When comparing different payment processing companies and applications to one another, we consider numerous data points. Our experts start by comparing credit card processing rates, the presence of additional fees, contract length, sales practices, and the presence or absence of additional features and services, like point of sale software. Each provider is judged on its own merits and how well it stacks up to industry standards; then it is weighed against the other providers on the list.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure every company or application included meets our internal standards for quality and reputation. Any list of recommended payment processors on our site might contain a mix of standard merchant accounts, third-party payment processors, mobile payment devices, and high-risk payment processors, depending on what our expert feels is the best fit for certain scenarios or business types.

For additional details about Merchant Maverick’s review and rating processes, please refer to any or all of the following methodology pages:

15

Years reviewing payment processors

100+

Providers evaluated

25

Attributes and features assessed per vendor

40+

Years combined experience


Square VS The Competition: Find In-Depth Comparisons

It would be impossible to list all the differences between Square and its main competitors in one post, so we recommend the following articles for more specific information about how Square compares with its competitors:

  • Square VS Merchant Account: If your small business is growing, you’ll want to know how to tell when it’s time to upgrade to a full-service merchant account.
  • Clover VS Square: While both are very popular, these two providers offer very different products and pricing plans.
  • Helcim VS Square: Check out how one of our favorite merchant account providers compares with Square in detail.
  • Shopify VS Square: eCommerce giant Shopify offers many services that overlap with what Square offers, but there are also major differences.
  • SumUp VS Square: Read a head-to-head comparison between two popular mobile processing services.
  • Square VS PayPal: See how these two titans of processing and POS compare.

Do You Need A Square Alternative?

Square takes a jack-of-all-trades approach with its merchant services, offering a mobile POS system, payment processing, and many other business tools. Accordingly, Square suits a very wide variety of small business types. It’s one of the best mobile POS systems around. That’s why it is consistently on Merchant Maverick’s lists of the best restaurant point-of-sale systems and the best retail POS systems.

For a free mobile POS system, it’s amazing. But once your business starts growing, your needs will evolve. At that point, you may need more from your POS provider and/or payment processor than Square provides.

The good news is that there are lots of companies like Square. If you’re currently using (or thinking about using) Square, here are the primary reasons why you may want to consider switching to one of the Square competitors in this post:

  • Your business is adding locations and/or expanding its inventory. As your business grows, you may need a system with more sophisticated POS inventory management capabilities.
  • Your processing volume increases to over $5,000 a month. Switching to a dedicated merchant account provider can mean significantly lower processing rates as your credit card processing volume increases. Square’s prices generally work best for businesses processing less than about $5,000/month.
  • You’ve switched payment processors and want a more sophisticated POS system.
  • You need a strong eCommerce system. While Square Online is a very solid eCommerce solution, it isn’t the best fit for high-volume merchants, and you might want to try another of the best POS systems for eCommerce.

Which Square Competitor Is Right For Your Business?

Square is a great fit for many small businesses and entrepreneurs, but there are plenty of good reasons to consider competitors to Square. Whether you want a cheaper credit card processor, advanced POS features, better account stability, or something else, sometimes Square just doesn’t fit the bill.

Fortunately, you’ll find many other POS companies like Square on the market that your business can use to take payments on mobile devices. When deciding between the various Square competitors, here are a few questions to consider to get you started:

  • Do I need a more stable account provider?
  • Do I process enough card transactions to benefit from high-volume savings?
  • Does this Square alternative have all the features I need?
  • Can I justify the cost of any add-ons?

If you’re already using Square but want to switch to one of the providers we’ve profiled above, check out our article on deactivating your Square account.

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Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Frank has been writing about payment processing and business services since 2015. He is a retired Air Force officer and a former practicing attorney. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Ventura College of Law, and currently resides in Paso Robles, California.
Frank Kehl
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