The Complete Guide To Your Square Checking Account, & Instant Transfer Options
Want to know how to navigate your Square Checking account? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know.
During the past few years, Square has restructured quite a bit in terms of how you can manage and use funds from your Square account. Instead of just having funds automatically moved from your Square balance to an external bank account, you now have a few different tools in place that allow you to approach your Square balance more like a functioning bank account.
With Square Checking, for example, you get access to what your business pulls in right away to make purchases, spend with your debit card, withdraw cash at an ATM, or automatically fund payroll. We just don’t see this kind of functionality with other payment service providers, so Square’s payout features certainly stand out.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what options you have to get your money faster and make Square’s free cash flow tools work for you.
Table of Contents
Forget Deposits: Introducing Square Checking
Square wants you to start thinking of your Square Checking account as the “home to your business’s money,” but what does that really mean for you?
Your Square balance is the total amount of any sale you take in real-time (minus processing fees, of course). With Square’s updated cash management tools, you can access and make purchases with your money or use the backend scheduling tools to put it where you need it, whenever that suits you. We’ll dive into these tools below in just a moment.
The Square Debit Card is how your Square balance acts more like a traditional bank account, so let’s start there.
Using The Square Debit Card With Your Square Checking Account
A Square Debit Card acts like a business debit card. It’s free and connected to your current Square balance. As soon as you take a payment, the money is reflected in your balance. The Square Debit Card is a bonafide Mastercard debit card that you can use anywhere online, use at an ATM, or use to make purchases in person.
Getting Your Square Debit Card
Keep in mind you won’t automatically get a Square Debit Card sent to you when you open an account; you’ll have to order one. You can order yours from the Square Point of Sale App or from your Online Square Dashboard if you’re on a computer. You’ll have some options in personalization and then you’ll verify your shipping address. The card will get to you in a week to a week and a half, but you can access your virtual card immediately and make purchases with Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Square does not require you to link a bank account to order a Square Card. But to transfer or cash out funds to your external account, of course, you will need a linked bank account.
Using Square Checking To Organize Expenses
One perk of having a checking account with Square is that it allows you to categorize your personal and business transactions by creating labels and changing the labels you assign from the Square app or your Square Dashboard.
Also, if you use Square Payroll, for example, you can use your current Square Balance to pay your team right from your account without having to transfer anything to a separate bank.
You may also choose to just use your Square Debit Card for business expenses and then transfer out the bulk of funds. However you do it, it is nice to know that there’s a way to organize cashflow however you need. Of course, you may find that you want to use your Square Card to access your funds as they come in. If so, you may be wondering how much it costs to use your Square Card.
Square Checking Fees
There are no recurring fees for Square Checking, no minimum balance fees, no service fees, no monthly maintenance fees, no overdraft fees. Additionally, Square does not charge any ATM fees, but any ATM provider may charge for withdrawal, as they do. If you link your Square Debit Card with your bank account, a next-day transfer is free, but it still costs 1.5% for instant transfers — just like it does from any Square balance. (More on instant transfers to a bank account coming up.)
While there are no fees specific to using your account, we did find a discount, however. Using a Square Debit Card at another Square business gets you an automatic 2.75% instant discount. Sure, isn’t a huge amount, but it does spread goodwill and helps support other small businesses.
Square Spending Limits
The Square Debit Card does have some spending limits that you may need to keep in mind:
- $10,000 per transaction
- $25,000 per day
- $50,000 per week
- $150,000 per month
One important thing to take note of is that you also have limits on how much cash you can withdraw from an ATM using your Square Debit Card. The max amount is $500 per transaction, $1000 per day, $1000 per week. $2000 per month.
Still Want To Transfer Your Square Funds To Your Bank? Here Are Your Options
For some business owners using the Square Checking may provide extra convenience and work out just fine, but for others, the limits may feel a bit restrictive. Let’s explore your options when you want to transfer your Square balance to your own bank account. How long does it take? How much does it cost? We’ll answer this below.
Option 1: Standard Square Transfer Schedule
If you opt to send your money straight to your bank account, Square does pretty well at delivering your funds quickly. Your money will typically reach your bank account within 1-2 business days, depending on when the transaction is processed:
If you swipe the transaction before 5 PM Pacific time (8 PM Eastern), your funds will be transferred over to your bank account the next business day. If you swipe a transaction after that cut-off time, you’ll have your funds in 2 business days. The standard Square deposit schedule doesn’t allow for deposits on weekends or holidays.
Option 2: Square Instant Transfer
When we’re talking transfers, the fastest way to get your money is by using instant transfers. If you need your money immediately, you can opt for instant transfer if it’s available on your account.
To use Square’s instant transfer feature, you’ll need to link a supported bank account. You’ll need to keep at least $25 in your Square account, however. Unlike the standard transfer schedule, you can complete your transaction 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Square instant transfer isn’t free — it costs 1.5% per transfer to get immediate access. Keep in mind that your Square Checking account also gives you immediate access to your Square Balance, but it doesn’t cost anything to use.
One important thing to know is that Square instant transfer isn’t really available to everyone without limits. Square isn’t making any promises but notes:
Some new sellers start with a limit of one instant transfer per day up to $500 or one same-day transfer of up to $10,000. As you run and grow your business with Square, a higher daily transfer amount may become available.
Option 3: Square Same-Day Transfers
Same-day transfers are nearly identical to Square’s Instant Transfer feature. It comes with the same notice that some may have limits, and you may start out with a smaller transfer amount per day and work your way up.
So how is same-day different than instant? Unlike instant transfers, the same-day transfer lets you schedule to automatically send your funds at the close of the day, every day. You’ll get your funds in your linked bank account approximately 15 minutes after the close of your business day.
The only stipulation is that you have to have a minimum of $1 after Square’s fees for same-day deposits are deducted. Square’s fees for same-day deposits are 1.5% of the transfer balance, the same as an instant transfer. You also can’t transfer more than $10K with same-day deposits, but if your daily balance is greater than that, you’ll get multiple transfers from Square. However, if an individual payment is greater than $10K the payment is sent the next business day and is available at their standard payout time — one to two business days.
How Does Square Compare To Other Processors For Funding Times?
Square kind of got the ball rolling as far as instant transfers, but you will find instant payouts available with PayPal as well. We wanted to see how the standard payout schedule compared with some other popular payment processors and here’s what we found:
- Square: 1 to 2 business days
- Stripe: 2 business days
- Shopify Payments: 2 business days
- QuickBooks Payments: 1 to 2 business days
The Bottom Line On Square’s Money Transfer Tools
Square creating a more workable funding option with Square Balance is a nice move. But is paying an extra 1.5% for Square’s instant deposit actually worthwhile? That’s entirely up to you. If you’re in a position that waiting a business day or two is perfectly okay, you certainly don’t have to use Instant transfer. But if you find yourself in a pinch, in sudden need of an extra bit of cash, it’s certainly a nice feature to have available. Square has even put a bit of thought into the option, allowing you to schedule recurring same-day deposits.
And of course, Square offers an even more convenient way for merchants to access funds right away with Square Checking. If you struggle to separate out business expenses from the rest of your finances, Square Checking could be a lifesaver. There’s just a peace of mind that comes from knowing your money is yours to spend right away. Most merchant account providers can’t even offer that kind of convenience, which does make Square stand out in this regard.
Keep in mind that typically, the best merchant accounts include next-business-day deposits, meaning that after closing time (usually anywhere between 5-7 pm), the funds are in your bank account the morning of the next business day. Others offer a 24-48 hour turnaround, which is fairly standard and comparable to Square’s standard deposit schedule. At no point should you work with any processor that regularly takes longer than 2-3 days to process payments.