SumUp VS Square: Which Card Reader Is Best For You?
Square and SumUp are both excellent payment processing services for smaller businesses, but comparing SumUp vs Square fees, features, and card reader costs could save you money.
When you’re deciding between SumUp vs. Square, it helps to have all the details.
Small business owners looking to be able to accept credit cards and searching for the most affordable solution available have traditionally been drawn to payment service providers (PSPs) like Square. While not as well known in the United States, UK-based SumUp offers many (but not all) of the same features, frequently at a lower price point.
Which of these two low-cost providers will be a better choice for your business?
The answer is going to depend on many factors, including the nature of your business, how you usually take payments, and which add-on features you need. In this article, we’ll compare Square and SumUp feature-by-feature, and give you the information you need to determine which of these two popular providers is the better choice for your business.
Table of Contents
SumUp VS Square Comparison
Square and SumUp are both very appealing to small business owners, with affordable processing hardware, clear flat-rate pricing, and a lack of any long-term commitment or required additional fees. While Square offers extra features that will come in handy as your business grows, SumUp sticks to a minimalist approach that will save you the most money.
|Payment Processing Fees||2.75%/card-present transaction||2.6% + $0.10/card-present transaction|
|Card Reader Costs||$39-$199||$49-$299|
|Next Steps||Visit Site
SumUp VS Square At A Glance
Both SumUp and Square originated from a desire to serve the needs of very small business owners who only needed basic credit card processing services and wanted to keep costs to an absolute minimum.
Over the years, Square has evolved into a much more robust payments platform with a lot of industry-specific ancillary services for businesses that need them. SumUp, on the other hand, has continued to pursue a minimalist approach to credit card processing, with very few bells and whistles.
Benefits Of SumUp
- Very low-cost hardware
- No additional fees
- No fixed authorization fees to process in-person transactions
- Free mobile data plan with card readers
- No support for eCommerce sales (US only)
- Virtual terminal requires prior approval
- No optional add-on services
- Does not accept any high-risk merchants
SumUp offers a very bare-bones payment processing service that doesn’t include any of the industry-specific features that you can get with Square. If you don’t need those additional features, there’s no reason to have to pay for them through higher processing rates. While SumUp charges a slightly higher percentage-based fee for in-person transactions (2.75% vs Square’s 2.6% + $0.10), the lack of a fixed authorization fee can actually cost you less overall if you process a lot of small-ticket sales. SumUp is particularly well-suited to businesses that only occasionally need to accept a credit or debit card payment or have a very low monthly processing volume.
Benefits Of Square
- More sophisticated processing hardware available
- Specialized features for retail & restaurants
- Lower flat-rate percentage charge for in-person transactions
- Includes virtual terminal with all accounts
- Account stability issues
- Does not accept most high-risk merchants
Square has evolved over the years from a simple mobile processing solution into a complete integrated payments platform that includes additional features to help your business grow. Setting up a free Square account is easy, and for US merchants, Square offers several features that aren’t yet available with SumUp, including point-of-sale (POS) software and support for eCommerce.
Square is an excellent choice for growing businesses that need something beyond simple credit card processing, but aren’t quite at the point where a traditional merchant account makes more sense.
What’s The Difference Between SumUp & Square?
While SumUp and Square appear to offer very similar services to business owners, there are also notable differences. The primary difference between SumUp and Square is that Square offers a fully-developed payments ecosystem with plenty of additional features, while SumUp focuses on very simple credit card processing, with few add-ons.
For some businesses, it will be a close call between these two companies, especially since they both offer pay-as-you-go billing and nearly identical processing rates. That’s where a closer look at specific features and services can help you determine which one will be a better overall choice for your business.
Both Square & SumUp Offer…
- Support for credit and debit card payments
- Support for invoice payments
- Support for payment links
- Support for QR code payments
- No long-term contracts
- No monthly fees for standard account
- Mobile card readers
- Countertop payment terminals
- Support for EMV and NFC-based payment methods
Only SumUp Offers…
- EMV & NFC-capable mobile card reader for under $40
- Mobile card reader also supports magstripe payments
- Free mobile data plan with credit card terminals
- Availability in 31 countries
Only Square Offers…
- Support for ACH payments
- No chargeback fees
- Specialized plans for retail businesses & restaurants
- Accounts for CBD merchants
- Virtual terminal included with all accounts
- eCommerce support (not yet available to US-based SumUp merchants)
Square VS SumUp Fees & Pricing
Like most payment service providers, both Square and SumUp offer simple, flat-rate pricing plans. There isn’t an appreciable difference in the rates themselves, although SumUp’s lack of an authorization fee for in-person transactions makes it more affordable for small-ticket sales (less than around $60).
|Swiped, Dipped, or Tapped Payments||2.75%||2.6% + $0.10|
|eCommerce/Online||2.9% + $0.15 (3.5% + $0.15 with SumUp POS)||2.9% + $0.30|
|Keyed Entry||3.25% + $0.15||3.5% + $0.15|
|Virtual Terminal||2.75% (in-person) or 3.25% + $0.15 (keyed-in)||2.6% + $0.10 (in-person) or 3.5% + $0.15 (keyed-in)|
|Payment Links||3.25% + $0.15||2.9% + $0.30|
|Online Invoices||2.9% + $0.15||2.9% + $0.30|
|QR Code Payments||3.25% + $0.15||2.9% + $0.30|
|Refund Costs||Processing fee not refunded to the merchant||No charge|
In comparing the rates charged for other types of payments by both companies, consider the following points:
- SumUp is slightly cheaper for online payments, although the $0.15 difference in authorization fees won’t be significant at lower processing volumes (Also note that SumUp currently does not offer eCommerce payments in the US)
- SumUp is also slightly cheaper for manually keyed-in payments
- Online invoicing is slightly cheaper with SumUp
- Square offers lower rates for payments made via QR codes or payment links
- While SumUp charges a reasonable ($10) fee for chargebacks, they’re free with Square
- Refunds are cheaper with Square, as it will refund your processing fees (SumUp does not do this)
SumUp VS Square Features
|Card Reader Supported Payment Methods||
|Alternative Payment Methods||
|mPOS App||SumUp app (iOS, Android)||Square Point of Sale & Payment app (iOS, Android)|
|Mobile Card Reader||
|Countertop Terminal||SumUp Solo ($129 or $199 for SumUp Solo Printer bundle)||Square Terminal ($299)|
|eCommerce Support||Not yet available in the US||Included with all accounts via Square Online Store|
|Gifts Cards||Included with all accounts||
|Loyalty Programs||SumUp POS + Loyalty program available (offered through Fivestars)||Square Loyalty program available ($45-$105/month, 30-day free trial)|
|Payout Funding Time||1-2 business days||1-2 business days (+1.5% for instant or same-day payouts)|
Because there isn’t a major difference in overall pricing between SumUp and Square, choosing between the two will often come down to which one provides the best features and services that you need to run your business. It’s in this area that significant differences begin to emerge, as Square clearly offers a more advanced payments ecosystem with additional features beyond just basic credit card processing. This difference is particularly acute for US-based merchants, as SumUp doesn’t yet offer some of the features that are available to European merchants (including eCommerce support).
At the same time, many businesses simply don’t need all the extra features that Square offers. If this is the case with your business, SumUp can be a better choice — particularly if you’ll save money on transaction processing and you’re looking for the most affordable processing hardware you can find.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs: Square Or SumUp?
Choosing between Square and SumUp is going to require a careful evaluation of which features your business really needs, and which company can best meet those needs at an affordable price point. While Square clearly offers a much richer variety of extra features to help you run your business, SumUp can be the better (and more affordable) choice if you don’t need those advanced features.
Choose Square If…
- You run a full-service restaurant
- You run an extensive retail business with a large inventory
- You need a provider that can meet your needs as your business grows
- You run an online business or sell both online and in-person
- You’re willing to spend more on processing hardware that offers additional capabilities
- You process a lot of high-ticket sales
Choose SumUp If…
- You’re a freelancer or an independent contractor
- You only occasionally have to accept a credit or debit card payment
- You don’t need the advanced features that a restaurant or retail business would need
- You don’t have a website or make any online sales
- You want the cheapest processing hardware that still gets the job done
- You process a large number of low-ticket sales
SumUp VS Square: Next Steps To Create Your Business
Our SumUp vs Square match-up doesn’t produce a clear, all-around winner — unless you’re in a business category where your specific needs will make one company a better choice than the other. Square is clearly the more popular choice among small business owners in the United States, but SumUp is becoming more and more appealing here as it gradually rolls out features that have long been available in Europe.
As a very general rule of thumb, businesses in the “sole practitioner” category who just need a simple, affordable way to accept credit and debit card payments with a minimum of fuss and expense can often save money with SumUp. The lack of eCommerce support in the US is the one limiting factor here, although you can somewhat get around this with SumUp’s virtual terminal or online invoicing features. Online businesses, larger retail establishments, and full-service restaurants, however, will want to take advantage of the extra features that Square offers for those business types. Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to make an informed choice between Square and SumUp for your business.