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8 Best Alternatives To Square For Small Business POS & Payments

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Best for advanced POS users.
Best for advanced POS users.

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Best for overall account stability.
Best for overall account stability.

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Best for growing businesses and international sellers.
Best for growing businesses and international sellers.

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Best for high-volume merchants.
Best for high-volume merchants.

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Best for coffee shops and quick-serve businesses.
Best for coffee shops and quick-serve businesses.

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Other Featured Options:

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Square is a go-to payment processor for all kinds of businesses — local mom-and-pop shops, quick-serve restaurants, indie artists, contractors, and professionals, too. That’s because Square has a suite of software solutions, including niche POS systems, that address a huge assortment of business needs, especially once you factor in clear, transparent, and predictable pricing. Affordable hardware, a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and plenty of third-party integrations are enough to seal the deal for many entrepreneurs.

Square’s Services At A Glance

ReadereCommerceRetailFood Service
Free App & ReaderSquare eCommerceSquare for RetailSquare for Restaurants
Get StartedGet StartedGet StartedGet Started
Free, general-purpose POS software and reader for iOS and AndroidEasy integration with popular platforms plus API for customizationSpecialized software for more complex retail storesSpecialized software for full-service restaurants
$0/month$0/month$0-60/month$0-60/month
Always FreeAlways FreeFree TrialFree Trial

But Square isn’t right for everyone. Whether you want better pricing at high volumes, better stability, or even a more robust feature-set, there are plenty of reasons why merchants don’t want to choose Square.

For some, Square no longer provides the best value for their business type. Square angered a lot of merchants with its September 2019 price change when the longstanding 2.75% credit card processing fee became 2.6% + $0.10 for all merchants. Square’s fee change favors merchants that have larger ticket sizes — roughly $67 and up — while small-ticket merchants have seen their credit card processing costs go up (on purchases less than $67) under the new pricing model. On a $5 purchase — for example, a typical coffee purchase — the new fee is nearly double the old one.

For those merchants looking for a complete Square replacement, it’s important to note that Square’s platform is complex, layered, and caters to many kinds of businesses. So it’s difficult to point to just one service and say, “Yes, this company has everything Square offers.”

Instead, if you’re looking for alternatives to Square, we’ve broken them down by different aspects that draw people to (or maybe turn people away from) Square. Depending on your needs, you may have to find a provider that can offer core mobile processing services and then use third-party software integrations to fill any gaps. If you’re still learning about Square, check out our in-depth Square review for a closer look at the Square platform. Otherwise, read on for our favorite alternatives to Square and why we picked them!

Top Square Competitors & Alternatives

If you’re familiar with Square, but you aren’t sure about your other possibilities, these Square alternatives may be the ticket for your small business. We compare the costs, features, and benefits of Square’s top competitors in the list below.

1. Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed POS



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Lightspeed Fast Facts

  • Best for advanced POS users
  • Monthly Fee: $99 (larger plans also available)
  • Processing Rate: 2.6 + $0.10
  • Notable Because: 
    • Advanced retail POS features
    • Can use with desktop or iPad setup

If you have a growing retail store, you might be ready to upgrade from Square to a fully-featured POS system that includes features such as purchase ordering and advanced inventory management. Even though the $60/month Square for Retail is a solid POS, there are more advanced Square POS competitors out there, and Lightspeed Retail is one of them.

At $99/month, Lightspeed Retail is a cutting-edge mobile POS system that, in addition to iPads, can also run on a web browser from a desktop, laptop, Mac, or any other internet-connected device. This advanced POS system offers a myriad of features. These include multitender options, the ability to create store credit, matrix inventory management, buy items in bulk and then sell them individually, purchase orders, employee management, eCommerce integration, CRM, reporting, and multistore capability. When compared to Lightspeed, Square for Retail has a more pared-down feature set — its purchase-ordering and goods-costing systems are especially lacking. Square for Retail is also iPad only, while Lightspeed can be used on a desktop.

Lightspeed includes in-house payment processing with Lightspeed Payments at the same rate as Square charges. It also integrates with outside merchant accounts, including Vantiv Integrated Payments, TSYS, and iZettle. Lightspeed also offers 24/7 customer service support and live chat from 11 AM to 8 PM EST.

You should know that if you don’t have much experience using POS systems, there will be a significant learning curve for Lightspeed. This POS could be too complex (and too expensive) for very small businesses with minimal POS experience.

Pros

  • Excellent register functionality
  • Robust reporting
  • Onboarding support provided
  • Strong eCommerce platform

Cons

  • Complex back end
  • Might be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses

Get Started with Lightspeed POS

Read our in-depth review

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2. Payment Depot & SwipeSimple

Payment Depot Mobile



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Payment Depot Mobile

For many merchants, Square (and indeed, many apps like Square) are not a good fit because of account stability issues. Square has long been dogged by complaints of chargebacks, withheld funds, account freezes, and even sudden account terminations. While Square has made strides to improve these problems, these issues are unavoidable with a third-party payment processor such as Square that does not give each merchant their own dedicated merchant account.

For merchants looking for a more stable Square alternative, Payment Depot’s Mobile Plan (via SwipeSimple) is an excellent option. Payment processing costs are the same as Square’s, and the provider also offers a comparable feature-set and great customer service. You will pay $10/month, but you will get your own merchant account and the account stability that comes with it. Note that SwipeSimple is offered by other merchant service providers as well, but we prefer Payment Depot’s rates and terms for this app.

Though the SwipeSimple feature-set is a little more basic than Square’s, you still get things, such as basic inventory management, SMS/email receipts, offline mode, sales reporting, a customer database, and a virtual terminal. You can use this mobile register on iOS and Android with a free chip card reader. It also supports external hardware, including Star Micronics’ mPOP with an integrated cash drawer and receipt printer.

Payment Depot/SwipeSimple Fast Facts

  • Best for overall account stability
  • Monthly Fee: $10
  • Processing Rate: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Notable Because:
    • Includes dedicated merchant account
    • Free chip card reader

Payment Depot offers more full-fledged merchant service plans as well with a higher monthly fee but lower transaction fees. If you process more than $10,000/month and are looking to graduate from Square to a more robust alternative, you might look into a higher-volume plan with Payment Depot.

Pros

  • Feature-rich payment app
  • Free chip card reader
  • Competitively priced
  • No cancellation fees
  • Good customer support

Cons

  • Not suitable for high-risk industries

Get Started with Payment Depot Mobile

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3. Helcim

Helcim



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Helcim is now available with NO MONTHLY FEE. Start Here!

 

Helcim - Square Alternative

Helcim Fast Facts

  • Best for growing businesses and international sellers
  • Processing Rate: Cost-plus pricing structure; interchange rate plus 0.30% + $0.08; this fee begins to decrease at $25,001/month in transactions to interchange plus 0.25% + $0.07
  • Monthly Fee: $0.00 per month
  • Notable Because:
    • Processing rates decrease as volume increases
    • Enables international selling

While you will have some variability in a cost-plus pricing model, as it depends on the payment brand’s current interchange rates, overall, your costs are very stable. We like this rate structure here because it tends to work in a merchant’s favor, depending on volume.

Additionally, Helcim is incredibly transparent with its pricing model — disclosing what a merchant can expect to pay in processing costs based on business size. For merchants making more than $25K/month, their rates begin to decline, and we love this pick for businesses that are in growth mode or that already process higher volumes.

For those with an eCommerce presence, Helcim empowers your selling through international currency conversion and a fully-hosted online shop. You won’t pay extra for the hosting, and you can customize given templates or utilize extensive developer tools to create something entirely custom.

We love that Helcim updated its reader ($199 per unit) to accept PIN payments as well as NFC contactless payments (such as Apple Pay), and is fully EMV-compliant to take credit cards securely.

Pros

  • No monthly account fees
  • Low chargeback fees
  • No long-term contracts or early termination fees
  • Excellent customer support
  • Accepts international payments
  • Processing costs decrease with volume

Cons

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

Get Started with Helcim

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4. CDGcommerce

CDGcommerce



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CDGcommerce - Provider of Online Merchant Accounts

CDGcommerce Fast Facts

  • Best for high-volume merchants
  • Monthly Fee: None
  • Processing Rate Swipe/Tap/EMV: 2.75% + $0.30
  • Online: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Amex Surcharge: 0.25% per transaction
  • Free payment gateway

For those businesses that have graduated from Square and are ready for a merchant account, CDGcommerce is an excellent provider of online merchant accounts and can address all of your sales channels, from eCommerce to retail POS to mobile sales.

CDGcommerce also has no monthly minimums, setup fee, gateway fee, PCI compliance fee, or early termination fee (because CDGcommerce has no long-term contracts; all contracts are month-to-month). Over time, a CDGcommerce account will save you a lot of money.

As for mobile compatibility, CDGcommerce offers a free iPhone/Android app and the Walker 2.0, which is compatible with Android and Apple, for $65 for each device.

Pros

  • Stable merchant account
  • Fully disclosed pricing
  • No monthly fee
  • No binding contract or termination fee

Cons

  • Only available with US merchants
  • Processing fees for American Express

Get Started with CDGcommerce

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5. ShopKeep

ShopKeep POS



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Shopkeep - iPad Point Of Sale

ShopKeep Fast Facts

  • Best for coffee shops and quick-serve businesses
  • Monthly Fee: $0 for the starter plan; call for quote on paid plans
  • Processing Rate: Interchange-plus rate (call for quote)
  • Notable Because: 
    • POS features for coffee shops and QSR
    • Free plan available

For coffee shops and quick-service restaurants looking to upgrade to an iPad POS, ShopKeep is a system that offers a great feature-set for small, food-centric businesses. If you qualify for the free plan, you may end up spending a lot less overall for ShopKeep compared to Square, with more features to boot.

ShopKeep has excellent inventory tracking features for foodservice, including raw goods tracking, low-stock alerts, profitability reporting, and more. The app also makes it easy to send orders to the kitchen as well as split and merge tickets as needed. Plus, the ShopKeep system automatically syncs and updates tickets on every register, giving a new meaning to the idea of mobile. ShopKeep also has retail features and can be suitable for establishments that sell both food and non-food products. For retail, the ability to bulk upload products via a CSV spreadsheet will save time, as will the Bluetooth barcode scanners. ShopKeep doesn’t have its own loyalty program, but it does integrate with AppCard to provide one.

Shopkeep has a free starter plan and offers paid plans via personalized quotes. Monthly pricing for these plans is reasonable and comparable to Lightspeed Restaurant. Square also has Square for Restaurants, which, like Square for Retail, is a solid iPad POS that has a somewhat limited feature set. You can read our post on ShopKeep vs. Square for a more in-depth comparison of pricing and features.

As for payment processing, ShopKeep Payments customizes interchange-plus pricing for each merchant. You will likely get a better rate for processing small-ticket items than you would with Square, as ShopKeep was designed for coffee shops and QSRs. ShopKeep also integrates with outside merchant accounts if you don’t want to use its in-house processor.

Pros

  • Great for foodservice
  • Potential cost savings
  • Robust feature set
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Occasional bugs

Get Started with ShopKeep POS

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6. Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite



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Shopify Lite - A Great Starter Option

Shopify Lite Fast Facts

  • Best for multichannel sellers
  • Monthly Fee: $9
  • Processing Rate: 2.7%
  • Notable Because: 
    • Lower processing fees than Square
    • Includes “buy” buttons and a Facebook store
    • Free EMV reader

The fact that an eCommerce platform such as Shopify felt the need to develop its own proprietary POS software tells you just how important the ability to sell across multiple channels (brick-and-mortar stores, mobile pop-ups, online) is becoming. Shopify’s “Lite” plan gives you both eCommerce features and an mPOS for iOS and Android, all for a very reasonable $9/month. This plan doesn’t give you a full web store, but you get “buy” buttons (à la PayPal) and a Facebook store.

In addition to the monthly fee, you’ll pay 2.7% for swiped, dipped, or tapped transactions, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online purchases through Shopify Payments. Shopify’s in-person card processing fees are better than Square’s if your average transaction is less than $100, while Shopify’s processing fee for eCommerce sales is the same as Square’s. It’s worth pointing out that Shopify Payments is a white-labeled Stripe service, meaning it’s another third-party processor with a certain amount of account instability.

Shopify is a great starter option if you’d like to test the waters for online sales or if you already sell online and want to test the waters for in-person sales on your smartphone. Shopify’s platform scales so easily that when you’re ready for a full web store, upgrading will be quick and painless.

Shopify offers a free Bluetooth-enabled magstripe/chip card reader. It’s listed at $29 in the Shopify store, but new merchants who sign up are eligible for one free reader. A charging dock is included at no additional charge. Shopify’s tap and chip reader can be purchased for $49. If you want to add support for receipt printers, PIN access for staff members, and a few other features, you’ll need one of the full-fledged eCommerce plans.

Check out our Shopify vs. Square article for a closer look at these two options side-by-side.

Pros

  • Low processing rates
  • Free chip reader
  • Easy to scale
  • Supports PayPal
  • Robust feature set

Cons

  • Potential account stability issues

Get Started with Shopify Lite

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7. SumUp

SumUp



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SumUp - Perfect Partner for Small Business

SumUp Fast Facts

  • Best for small-ticket merchants
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Processing Rate: 2.75%
  • Notable Because:
    • Lower processing fees than Square
    • Affordable EMV/NFC reader

If Square’s latest pricing change hits you where it hurts because you are a small-ticket merchant looking for a cheaper alternative to Square, you should definitely check out London-based SumUp. At 2.75% on all card-present transactions, SumUp won’t hurt those lower-ticket transactions as much without the additional fees attached. No, SumUp doesn’t have as many features as Square — for example, it doesn’t have in-app invoicing, discounts, or advanced reports — but if you just need basic mobile payment processing, then you probably won’t miss those bells and whistles. SumUp is a third-party processor, so it is subject to the same account stability issues as Square.

While SumUp’s website does look remarkably similar to Square’s (see the screenshot above), this provider is not just some lesser Square knockoff. SumUp has been around since 2012 and is already well-established as a top option in Europe, which means it has experience with pay-as-you-go processing, EMV, and NFC. It finally expanded to the US in 2017, but it’s still one of the few options on this list that has any sort of global reach.

Some of SumUp’s useful features include “quick sale” mode, refunds, tipping, cash reporting, item library, item variants, and multiple tax rates. You can use SumUp on iOS or Android, and there is also a virtual terminal. SumUp’s pocket-sized card reader is highly affordable at only $19, and it accepts swiped, dipped (EMV/chip cards), or tapped (NFC/contactless/mobile wallet) payments.

To sum up (ha ha ha), SumUp isn’t the most advanced mobile processor out there; that award goes to Square. However, for small businesses selling small-ticket items (farmer’s market vendors, artists, smoothie carts, etc.), SumUp could be a great fit and will save you money over Square. Read Square vs. SumUp for a more in-depth comparison of the two mPOS systems.

Pros

  • No monthly minimums
  • Affordable hardware
  • Ideal for low-volume businesses
  • Predictable flat-rate processing

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Account stability issues

Read our in-depth review

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8. PayPal Here

PayPal Zettle



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Get Paid with PayPal Here

PayPal Here Fast Facts

  • Best for low-volume merchants
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Processing Rate: 2.7%
  • Notable Because:
    • Lower processing fees than Square
    • Access to the rest of PayPal’s merchant services

PayPal Here — the online payments behemoth’s answer to in-person payments — is probably the largest Square competitor when it comes to smartphone payments. PPH has no monthly fee and accepts cards on smartphones and tablets, just like Square. PayPal Here is a good option for low-volume merchants, though you will still face the same account stability issues that are inherent in third-party processing. However, PayPal Here’s fee structure (2.7% per swipe/dip/tap) gives it the advantage of lower processing fees for merchants with low-ticket transactions. PayPal Here also integrates with PayPal’s existing suite of merchant services and can be an especially suitable choice for mobile processing if you already use other PayPal services.

You can use PayPal’s in-person payment processing with PayPal Here’s proprietary card readers, or for a more robust solution, you can use it with one of its POS partners: Vend, Touchpoint, or Lavu. Note that the basic PayPal Here mobile headphone-jack card reader is only suitable for very low-volume businesses that process less than $500 a month. Sales over $500 in seven days made with this card reader are subject to an automatic 30-day reserve. It’s worth it to upgrade to the $24.99 chip-and-swipe reader (or you may even be able to get the chip reader for free if PPH is running a signup promotion) to avoid the automatic reserve policy. If you want to accept contactless payments, the chip-and-tap reader with a charging dock is $79.99.

Pros

  • Discounts for nonprofit
  • Suitable for international sellers
  • Ideal for lower-volume merchants
  • Extensive device compatibility

Cons

  • Account stability issues
  • Poor customer support
  • Not ideal for high-volume merchants

Read our in-depth review

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Looking For One Of These Square Alternatives?

Believe it or not, you have even more options when it comes to payment processing! Here are a few more that we recommend under certain circumstances, but they didn’t quite make the best-of cut.

QuickBooks GoPayments

QuickBooks GoPayment Review

QuickBooks GoPayment Site Capture 2019

We like QuickBooks GoPayments for its ease of use, predictable flat-rate pricing, and more importantly, it is a great option for QuickBooks users who want something simple that works with their accounting software seamlessly. Here are some fast facts:

  • Processing Rates On Pay-As-You-Go:
    • 2.4% + $0.25 per swiped/dipped transaction
    • 3.4% + $0.25 per keyed-in transaction
    • 2.9% invoice click-to-pay
  • Processing Rates With A Monthly Plan:
    • $20/month
    • 1.6% + $0.25 per keyed-in transaction
    • 2.8% invoice click-to-pay
  • ACH enabled

While we love the transparent pricing, this option is best if you process more than $5K/month to see a negligible price difference on the pay-as-you-go plan vs. a monthly plan. And because QuickBooks GoPayment has limited features on its own, we recommend this option for those who already know and love QuickBooks for their accounting needs. You’ll enjoy seamless integration and access to the full suite of services to add what you need — but consider how your costs add up. Additionally, up to 50 users can utilize a single account, which can also be a great convenience for the right type of business.

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Supports PayPal payments
  • Inexpensive hardware
  • No early termination fee

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • Higher cost for low-ticket sellers
  • Limited features

PayAnywhere

PayAnywhere Review

PayAnywhere Fast Facts

  • Rates:
    • 2.69% swipe/dip/tap (with the Pay As You Go plan, recommended for merchants processing less than 10K/month)
    • 3.49% + $0.19 keyed-in
    • 3.49% + $0.19 invoicing and recurring payments
  • Inactivity Fee: $3.99/month

PayAnywhere is another third-party processor that offers some great features with pricing that’s best for low-volume merchants. You can also get a free chip-card reader and free virtual terminal along with its free mobile processing app. However, we recommend proceeding with caution if you’re considering PayAnywhere.

That’s because PayAnywhere, unfortunately, offers tiered pricing for businesses that process over 10K, which is notoriously hard to track and understand how much transactions actually cost ahead of time. To find out why you should avoid this pricing model, check out Why Tiered Pricing For Credit Card Processing Is The Most Expensive Option (And How To Avoid Overpaying). To make matters worse, this company has complaints of poor customer support, and deceptive sales tactics are possible. That said, if you go into your agreement with an understanding of what to spot and can negotiate away from tiered pricing (yes, it’s possible), you may be happy with this option. Just be sure to read your entire agreement no matter what was verbally promised to you by the account manager.

Pros

  • Free card reader
  • Free virtual terminal
  • 24-hour funding available
  • Best for low-volume merchants
  • Employee management features included

Cons

  • Untransparent pricing
  • Numerous public complaints

Vend

Vend

Vend Fast Facts

  • Plans start at $99/month
  • Payment processing rates vary by integrated provider
  • Browser-based POS to use with existing or new hardware

We include Vend in this list because if you’re focused on POS features, Vend is an excellent option with great inventory features, product scanning, and an incredibly intuitive design. With Vend, the POS is browser-based with full functionality of Windows and Mac, so you can access your information anywhere.

Because Vend is an option that gives you stronger POS features, here’s an overview of what you’ll get:

  • Offline selling
  • Discounts and notes
  • Split and partial payments
  • Custom receipts
  • Layaway and on-account sales
  • Refunds/returns/store credit
  • Cash tracking/management
  • User accounts/custom permissions
  • Multichannel inventory
  • Product management
  • Barcodes and labels
  • Variants and composites
  • Central product catalog
  • Automated low-stock orders
  • Inventory counts
  • Real-time reporting
  • Customer sync

We also like the integrated eCommerce and payments options. When you go through Vend, you’ll have your choice of payment processors, which gives you some flexibility and power to compare. As of our latest review of Vend in April 2020, all processors were free of high per-transaction rates, and pricing is exclusive to Vend customers.

When it comes to customer service and technical support, Vend wins when we compare it to Square by offering 24/7 phone support on all paid plans. But keep in mind this great customer care is paid for in your monthly fee with Vend, whereas Square has no monthly fee.

Pros

  • eCommerce integration
  • Versatile payment processing options
  • Multistore capability
  • Gift cards and loyalty program

Cons

  • Monthly fee
  • Basic reporting tools

The Best Alternatives To Other Square Services

In addition to its core function as a mobile register, Square offers various add-ons, some free and others paid. If you stop using Square, you will also have to stop using Square’s useful add-ons for functions, such as payroll, appointments, and invoices. Luckily, there are various third-party software apps you can use to achieve the same functionality. As follows are some web-based software services you can use to replace Square add-ons. Keep in mind these aren’t all-in-one POS systems like Square but rather services you will use alongside or in conjunction with your POS.  Of course, you will need to check these services’ compatibility with any other software you want to integrate with. Many of these options integrate with the other solutions in our list, too!

Alternatives To Square Marketing

  • Mailchimp: Email marketing software with a free plan; paid plans start at $9.99/month.
  • Constant Contact: Email marketing software with plans starting at $20/month.

Alternative To Square Payroll

  • Gusto: Payroll, benefits, and HR software; the payroll base price is $39/month, plus $6/month for each employee.

Alternatives To Square Appointments

  • Appointy: Online booking software with a free plan; paid plans start at $19.99/month.
  • Bookeo: Online booking software with a free plan; paid plans start at $14.95/month.

Alternatives To Square Invoices

  • Zoho Invoice: Invoicing software with a free plan; paid plans start at $9/month.
  • Invoice Ninja: Invoicing software with a free plan; paid plans start at $10/month.
  • PayPal: If you have a PayPal Business Account, it’s free to send invoices; you just have to pay a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction when you receive their PayPal payment.

Alternatives To Square Online Store

  • Shopify: Online store for $29/month, or use Shopify Lite and set up a Facebook and Instagram shop for just $9/month. Shopify Payment processing is 2.9% + $0.30 (same as Square’s online rate). You can use a third-party payment gateway, but Shopify adds on a 2% transaction fee.
  • BigCommerce: Online store starts at $29.95/month and 2.9% + $0.30 for payment processing, or a lower rate for larger plans. You can also use it with a third-party payment gateway.
  • Wix: Website builder software with eCommerce-enabled sites starting at $17/month. You can process payments with Wix Payments for 2.9% + $0.30 or with a third-party payment gateway.
  • 3dCart: eStores start at $9.50/month with promotion. It integrates with numerous payment processors (no in-house payment processing offered).

Which Square Alternative Is Right For You?

While Square is just the right fit for many small business entrepreneurs, there are also plenty of good reasons to not choose Square.

Whether you want a cheaper credit card processor, advanced point of sale features, better account stability, or something else, sometimes Square just doesn’t fit the bill. Fortunately, you’ll find many other POS apps 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 want/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?
  • Is the cost of any add-ons justifiable?

There are plenty more questions to ask based on your business. But these will hopefully get you thinking. And, of course, we haven’t covered all of the alternatives to Square. If you’re just looking for payment processing, you can check out our merchant account comparison chart, or if you need a mobile solution, take a look at our mobile credit card processing comparison chart. If you want to know a little bit more about mobile hardware, we have our shortlist of the best credit card readers for small businesses.

So what’s your favorite Square alternative? Why did you (or did you not) choose Square? Let us know in the comments!

In Summary: Top Square Competitors & Alternatives

  1. Lightspeed POS: Best for advanced POS users.
  2. Payment Depot Mobile: Best for overall account stability.
  3. Helcim: Best for growing businesses and international sellers.
  4. CDGcommerce: Best for high-volume merchants.
  5. ShopKeep POS: Best for coffee shops and quick-serve businesses.
  6. Shopify Lite: Best for multichannel sellers.
  7. SumUp: Best for small-ticket merchants.
  8. PayPal Zettle: Best for low-volume merchants.
Emily Hale

Emily Hale

Emily is a Content Strategist based in Indianapolis. She enjoys discovering new topics and planning content that empowers small business owners to make better choices for their businesses. When she's not in the thick of doing research for Merchant Maverick, she likes painting, meandering through nature and spotting wildlife, or relaxing with her rescue pup, Jetta.

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96 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Cecil Jennings

    Hi Mellissa, I operate a small private fitness studio, I’m currently using the Square Pos on my IPhone, my sales varies from $300.00 to $3000.00 recently I had a client purchase ten training sessions with me for the price of $630.00 including GST , as in any business that I have encountered if a client makes scheduled appointments three times a week but fails to show up for three weeks then contacts me requesting his money back. Square contacted me and asked my side of the story about this transaction. To make a long story short the bank sided with the customer, so it appears that with Square a sale isn’t a sale and your money isn’t secure even three weeks later. I’m wondering if there are other companies that protect their customer against this kind of thing. I know that if I was to go into any retailer and made a purchase through a bank credit card machine good luck trying to get your money back three weeks later just because you changed your mind

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Dakota Fillet

      Hi Cecil,
      Unfortunately, chargeback claims are ultimately decided by the issuing bank, not by the acquiring bank. Just about any payment processor is going to have very little protection that they can offer you from those claims. However, something they can probably do that might help with winning further chargeback cases is switching to invoices, which should include a very specific refund policy that the client agrees to in paying the invoices. You may also want to look at The Complete Guide to Preventing and Winning Chargebacks we have on our site to learn more about your options and possibly consider implementing a stricter cancellation policy.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        James

        Hi Jennifer,
        I’m a totally new to all of this. I will be selling books at weekend book fairs. Maybe 5 – 6 times a year. My learning curve is high. I’ve read the articles comparing the different card vendors but do not entirely understand the process. Is the fee charged by the mobile vendors, e.g. Square, etc., in addition to the fee that will be charged by the credit card companies, e.g., Visa? Is there one of the mobile vendors that includes both fees, if in fact there are separate fees for e.g. Square + fee for e.g. Visa?
        Sorry to be so lame here; I’m just starting.
        Thank you.
        BTW, may anticipated income from each of the book fairs will be in the $2,000 – $5,000 range.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Melissa Johnson

          Hi, James!

          Square, PayPal, Shopify, and most other mobile processing apps offer flat-rate processing. In the case of Square, you pay 2.75% per transaction, and the covers all of the costs and fees charged by Visa and other card providers. If you’re using Square Point of Sale with a mobile card readers, that 2.75% is the only fee you’ll pay. There’s no software costs or anything else.

          Some companies offer what is known as interchange-plus pricing. Interchange-plus pricing means that the processor passes on the costs charged by Visa or another card reader to you, as well as a small markup. It’s usually somewhere in the range of 0.2% ot 0.3%, with potentially a small flat fee up to about $0.10-$0.15. You might see this presented as “0.3% markup” or “0.3% over interchange” which lets you know those costs are in addition to the fees from the card networks. As far as mobile options, Payline Mobile offers interchange-plus pricing, but there’s also a monthly minimum to worry about, so a pay-as-you-go processor like Square is likely your best, and most cost-effective, option.

          Hope this helps!

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            brandon

            We currently use Square , Shopify and TapMango (for customer loyalty) tools. However, there seems to be no stability to the these programs. For example, constant integrations which works sometimes and not others. changing rates for subscriptions (Shopify just doubles there cost this month) so we are reevaluating all of it and we are hoping some of you may be able to lend some experience \ advice.

            We are a comic \ collectible\retro candy and esports center. We sell on Amazon and Ebay Canada our own website which is being developed and our brick and mortar stores.
            We have monthly sales in the area of 15k, inventory of 20K items and growing.
            What would you suggest and why?

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Hi Brandon,

              You could go exclusively to Shopify, or try a combination of Square & BigCommerce. I’d suggest taking a look at this recent blog post on Canadian Merchant Account Providers. You could also check out Helcim or National Processing as other options that might take a bit more work to transition and find the right combination of solutions. Good luck!

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Dee

                We use square and bigcommerce and quickbooks. The issue I have is the integration with the three of them. Square talks to QB and it gives it all the details of all transaction in our store. We use square on out bigcommerce website but Bigcommerce doesn’t give square the details of the transaction. Just the amount and date. When importing that into quickbooks, sales tax info isn’t separated. and it leaves a lot of manual work to be done.

                Now QB and BC integrate, but you cannot have two square accounts pull into QB, otherwise we’d have one on BC and one for our store.

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  D Brady

                  Thank you for good information. I was immediately able to cross several off the list. I am a Girl Scout leader for a very small troop. Looking for a way to process card purchases, faster than the cumbersome manual entry way on GS cookie mobile app. The fee costs could come directly off the 65 cents per package of cookies that the girls earn. So we don’t want large fees. This being said, this is also not something we do year round. We would use for 5 weeks and then possible again in the fall for another fundraiser. I doubt we would make enough in sales to clear the processing fee for Payline start. Shopify Lite would cost 10.8 cents for each package of cookies. (if I kicked in and paid the monthly fee myself) Do these companies require you to pay the monthly fee when you aren’t using the device? Or would it be better to open an account each time we did a fund raiser? These young girls don’t make much from all their work and I want them to be able to keep as much as possible. What are your thoughts?
                  D

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Jessica Dinsmore

                    Hi D!

                    We actually have a post about accepting credit cards for Girl Scout Cookie Sales! Check it out and let us know if you still have questions. Good luck to your troop! The Merchant Maverick Team LOVES Girl Scout cookies! 😉

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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