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Top 7 Square Alternatives

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What is cheaper than Square?

Square has made itself a giant of commerce, rising from a simple mobile point of sale (mPOS) app to a full business eco-system with an mPOS, tablet-based POS systems, eCommerce integrations, developer tools, and a lot more. It’s a favorite of cafes, quick-serve restaurants, artists, and traveling business people. So even if you haven’t investigated Square for yourself, the odds are pretty darn good you’ve at least heard about Square.

Is it worth all the fuss?

In a nutshell, yes. Square offers incredible value for small and medium-sized businesses, and even some larger companies are finding it worthwhile to switch to Square. A suite of software solutions, including niche POS systems, that address a huge assortment of business needs is nothing to sneeze at, especially once you factor in clear, transparent, predictable pricing. Affordable hardware, a pay-as-you-go pricing model, and plenty of third-party integrations are enough to seal the deal.

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$60/month$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 an even more robust feature set, there are plenty of reasons why merchants don’t want to choose Square.

Maybe Square does not provide the best value for your 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% + 10¢, for all merchants. Square’s fee change favors merchants that have larger ticket sizes—roughly $67 and up—while small-ticket merchants will see 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-cart purchase—the new fee is nearly double the old fee.

For those merchants looking for a complete Square replacement, it’s important to note that Square’s platform is complex and 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. To that end, you can check out “The Best Alternatives To Other Square Services” below for more on some of the supplemental alternatives.  

Wondering if Square is right for you? Check out our in-depth Square review for a closer look at the Square platform. Otherwise, read on for our favorite alternatives to Square in all its many forms. Have questions? Have you already found an alternative to Square that you love? Leave us a comment; we always want to hear from you!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
Lightspeed Retail is a cutting-edge mobile POS system that, in addition to iPads, can also be run from a web browser on a desktop, laptop, Mac, or any other internet-connected device.

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Though the SwipeSimple feature set is a little more basic than Square's, you still get things like basic inventory management, SMS/email receipts, offline mode, sales reporting, a customer database, and a virtual terminal.

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ShopKeep has excellent inventory tracking features for food-service, including raw goods tracking, low-stock alerts, profitability reporting, and more. The app also makes it easy to send orders to the kitchen and split and merge tickets as needed.

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For 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.

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Shopify's "Lite" plan gives you both eCommerce features and an mPOS for iOS and Android, all for a very reasonable $9/month.

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Read More

Other Featured Options:

  • SumUp: If Square's latest pricing change hit you where it hurts, you should definitely check out London-based SumUp. At 2.65% on all card-present transactions, SumUp's fee is even lower than Square’s original 2.75% rate.
  • PayPal Here: PayPal Here is a good option for low-volume merchants, though you will still face the account stability issues inherent in third-party processing.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

1. Best For Advanced POS Users: Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed POS



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Read our Review

If you have a growing retail store, you might be ready to upgrade from Square to a fully featured POS system that includes features like purchase ordering and advanced inventory management. Even though the $60/month Square for Retail is a solid POS, there are definitely more advanced iPad POS solutions 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 be run from a web browser on a desktop, laptop, Mac, or any other internet-connected device. This advanced POS system offers a myriad of features including multi-tender options, the ability to create store credit, matrix inventory management, the ability to buy items in bulk and sell them individually, purchase ordering, employee management, eCommerce integration, CRM, reporting, and multi-store 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 Retail includes in-house payment processing with Lightspeed Payments at the same rate as Square’s, though it also integrates with outside merchant accounts, including Vantiv Integrated Payments (Mercury), TSYS, and iZettle. Lightspeed also offers 24/7 customer service support and live chat from 11 am to 8pm EST.

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

Lightspeed Retail Fast Facts

  • Monthly Fee: $99 (larger plans also available)
  • Processing Rate: 2.6 + 10¢
  • Notable Because: 
    • Advanced retail POS features
    • Can use with desktop or iPad setup

Get Started with Lightspeed POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. Best For Stability: Payment Depot & SwipeSimple

Payment Depot Mobile



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payment depot mobile website screenshot

For many merchants, Square is not a good fit because of its 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, such issues are unavoidable with a third-party payment processor like 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 like 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, and it also supports external hardware, including Star Micronics’ mPOP with integrated cash drawer and receipt printer. As you may know, Square only offers a free magstripe reader; their chip readers cost $49.

Payment Depot/SwipeSimple Fast Facts

  • 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.

Get Started with Payment Depot Mobile

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Best for Coffee Shops & Quick-Serve Businesses: ShopKeep

ShopKeep POS



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For coffeeshops 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. And if you qualify for their 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 food-service, including raw goods tracking, low-stock alerts, profitability reporting, and more. The app also makes it easy to send orders to the kitchen and 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 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 offers a free starter plan, and paid plans are offered via personalized quotes. Generally, 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 rather limited feature set. You can read ShopKeep vs. Square for a more in-depth comparison of pricing and features.

As for payment processing, ShopKeep Payments uses interchange-plus pricing that is customized for each merchant. You will likely get a better rate on 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 their in-house processor.

ShopKeep Fast Facts 

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

Get Started with ShopKeep POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. Best For High-Volume Merchants: CDGcommerce

CDGcommerce



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Higher-volume merchants processing more than $5,000 a month will typically benefit from using a dedicated merchant account instead of Square. As mentioned, a merchant account provides better account stability and service, often with lower processing fees as well. 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.

Merchants processing $5K–$10K per month will benefit from CDGcommerce’s Simplified Pricing plan. This plan has a $10 monthly support fee and a payment processing rate of 1.70% + 25¢ per transaction on most cards. International and premium cards, i.e., luxury cards like the Mastercard Black Card, will incur a non-qualified transaction rate of 2.90% + 30¢. For nonprofits and merchants processing above $10K/month, CDG offers Advanced Pricing, i.e., interchange-plus pricing. You’ll have to contact them directly for a personalized quote.

CDGcommerce also has no monthly minimums, no setup fee, no gateway fee, no PCI compliance fee, and 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, CDG offers a free iPhone/Android app and a free EMV card reader. However, you might consider upgrading to their wireless terminal, which has a built-in thermal printer and can accept NFC, for $79/year.

CDG Commerce Fast Facts

  • Monthly Fee: $10
  • Processing Rate: 1.70% + 25¢ (on most cards)
  • Notable Because: 
    • Lower processing fees than Square
    • Includes dedicated merchant account
    • Free chip card reader

Get Started with CDGcommerce

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. Best For Multi-Channel Sellers: Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite



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The fact that an eCommerce platform like 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 webstore, but you get “buy” buttons (a 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 transactions 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 water for in-person sales on your smartphone. Shopify’s platform scales so easily that when you’re ready for a full webstore, 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 & chip reader can be purchased for $49. If you’d like 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 side-by-side.

Shopify Lite Fast Facts

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

Get Started with Shopify Lite

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Best For Small-Ticket Merchants: SumUp

SumUp



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SumUp website screenshotIf Square’s latest pricing change hit you where it hurts because you are a small-ticket merchant, you should definitely check out London-based SumUp. At 2.65% on all card-present transactions, SumUp’s fee is even lower than Square’s original 2.75% rate. No, SumUp doesn’t have as many features as Square—for example, there is no 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 above screenshot), 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 in this list that has any sort of global reach.

Some useful features of SumUp include “quick sale” mode, refunds, tipping, cash reporting, item library, item variants, and multi-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 ha), SumUp isn’t the most advanced mobile processor out there, as 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. 

SumUp Fast Facts

  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Processing Rate: 2.65%
  • Notable Because:
    • Lower processing fees than Square
    • Affordable EMV/NFC reader

Get Started with SumUp

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

7. Best for Low-Volume Merchants: PayPal Here

PayPal Here



Read our Review

PayPal Here—the online payments behemoth’s answer to in-person payments—is probably Square’s largest competitor when it comes to smartphone payments. PPH has no monthly fee and accepts cards on smartphones and tablets just like Square. And like Square, PayPal Here is a good option for low-volume merchants, though you will still face the account stability issues 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 their 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 a 7-day period made with the this card readers are subject to an automatic 30-day reserve. To avoid the automatic reserve policy, 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 sign-up promotion). If you want to accept contactless payments, the chip-and-tap reader with a charging dock is $79.99.

PayPal Here Fast Facts

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

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

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 some paid. If you stop using Square, you will also have to stop using Square’s useful add-ons for functions like 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.

Alternatives to Square Marketing

  • MailChimp – Email marketing with free plan and paid plans starting at $9.99/month.
  • Constant Contact – Email marketing with plans starting at $20/month.

Alternative to Square Payroll

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

Alternatives to Square Appointments

  • Appointy – Online booking software with free plan and paid plans starting at $19.99/month.
  • Bookeo – Online booking software with free plan and paid plans starting at $14.95/month.

Alternatives to Square Invoices

  • Zoho Invoice – Invoicing software with free plan and paid plans starting at $9/month.
  • Invoice Ninja – Invoicing software with free plan and paid plans starting at $8/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 a Facebook shop for just $9/month. Shopify Payment processing is 2.9% + 30¢ (same as Square’s online rate); can use a third-party payment gateway but Shopify adds on a 2% transaction fee.
  • BigCommerce – Online store starting at $29.95/month and 2.9% + 30¢ for payment processing or lower rate for larger plans. Can also use with third-party payment gateway.
  • Wix – Website builder software with eCommerce-enabled sites starting at $23/month. Can process payments with Wix Payments for 2.9% + 30¢, or with a third-party payment gateway.
  • 3dCart – eStores starting at $19/month. Integrates with numerous payment processors (no in-house payment processing offered).

Which Square Alternative Is Right For You?

Square has a lot of advantages, but also some shortcomings. Merchants such as yourself may decide against using Square for a lot of reasons—whether you want a cheaper credit card processor, more advanced point-of-sale features, better account stability, or something else. Fortunately, many other POS apps on the market that your business can use to take payments on mobile devices. When deciding among 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?
  • Are the cost of any add-ons justifiable?

Obviously, 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!

A Last Look At Our Top Picks

  1. Lightspeed POS
    Summary - Lightspeed Retail is a cutting-edge mobile POS system that, in addition to iPads, can also be run from a web browser on a desktop, laptop, Mac, or any other internet-connected device.
  2. Payment Depot Mobile
    Summary - Though the SwipeSimple feature set is a little more basic than Square's, you still get things like basic inventory management, SMS/email receipts, offline mode, sales reporting, a customer database, and a virtual terminal.
  3. ShopKeep POS
    Summary - ShopKeep has excellent inventory tracking features for food-service, including raw goods tracking, low-stock alerts, profitability reporting, and more. The app also makes it easy to send orders to the kitchen and split and merge tickets as needed.
  4. CDGcommerce
    Summary - For 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.
  5. Shopify Lite
    Summary - Shopify's "Lite" plan gives you both eCommerce features and an mPOS for iOS and Android, all for a very reasonable $9/month.
  6. SumUp
    Summary - If Square's latest pricing change hit you where it hurts, you should definitely check out London-based SumUp. At 2.65% on all card-present transactions, SumUp's fee is even lower than Square’s original 2.75% rate.
  7. PayPal Here
    Summary - PayPal Here is a good option for low-volume merchants, though you will still face the account stability issues inherent in third-party processing.
Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson has been writing about payment processing and mobile payments since 2014, and has been quoted in articles for Credit Karma and The Next Web, among others. She graduated from The University of Kansas in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism.
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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.

                      Anna Catala

                      Hi! I’m completely new in this area and when I saw all the Square features I thought this would be great for me. I’m planning to open a small beauty saloon soon but the problem is that I’m located in Spain.
                      Is there any way to use Square here? Maybe we could combine the availble Square features and complement them with another payment method valid in Spain? Could you please provide me any suggestion?
                      Many thanks in advance and best regards

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

                        Jessica Dinsmore

                        Hi Anna!

                        Congratulations on your beauty startup! You are correct in that Square is not yet available in Spain, however, SumUp is! They would be a great alternative to Square. I’d suggest checking them out and seeing if they look like a good fit for your needs. Best of luck!

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

                          Jeff

                          Hi Melissa, we currently use Square and almost entirely use invoices. We like that our customers can leave us a custom tip and they add up. Our average transaction is over $2000. Is there anyone else you would recommend? We will do over $300k in transactions and Square has already said no to custom pricing. Thanks!

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                            Jessica Dinsmore

                            Hi there Jeff!

                            Great question. I would recommend going with CDGcommerce for your payment processor and Zoho Books for your invoicing. Fattmerchant is able to perform both functions for you, but we aren’t too sure if they allow tipping, so I’d suggest reaching out to them directly if you’d like to go that route. I hope that helps!

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                              Donna

                              I’m developing my own jewelry; I also create stained glass pieces, sculptures, sand blast on glass, paint, etc. I will be sporadically participating in arts/crafts sales, where I will need a POS. I was considering a Square, but have heard that if you have a need for customer service, one can NEVER connect with a live person. What would be a good POS for my situation where one can talk to customer support if needed?

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                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                Hi Donna,

                                For seasonal/sporadic businesses we almost always recommend Square; it’s cheap and its one of the best mobile apps on the market. That said, if you have a really high inventory and complex inventory or reporting needs, Shopify would be one to check out. If you aren’t sure you want to go that route, I’d suggest comparing Square against it’s competition to carefully weigh out the pro’s and con’s for your business.

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                                  Scott

                                  I am a treasurer of a high school marching band and would like to take credit card transactions for merchandise and fund raising products where we don’t have access to PC’s with internet. What would be the best option for us?

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                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                    Hi Scott,

                                    Square has an offline mode, so even when there’s no cell signal and no wifi, you can still process, as long as you reconnect to the internet and log into Square within 72 hours. I hope that helps! Best of luck with your fundraising efforts!

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                                      Amanda

                                      My husband is a barber and just rented his own space. What would be the best device for him to use?

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                                        Melissa Johnson

                                        Hi, Amanda!

                                        I think that Square Appointments would probably be a really good fit, especially if it’s only him working the shop, because for a single person there’s no subscription fee! Shopify also would work well, and the online store has integrations for booking appointments (though they’ll cost a bit more). SumUp could also be a good alternative.

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                                          Geoffrey

                                          Do you have any information on merchants who work well with high risk business?

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                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                            Hi Geoffrey,

                                            We sure do! Check out our post on The Best High-Risk Merchant Account Providers.

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                                              tina

                                              Hi

                                              Thanks for the information.

                                              I rent bicycles and am looking for a system that allows me to place a hold on credit cards as a security deposit. Square does not have the ability to do this. Which of these options does?

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                                                Shannon Vissers

                                                Hi there! You can do this with Vend. You might also be able to take deposits with Clover, if you purchase one of their rental business integrations in the Clover App Market for an additional monthly charge. “Mobile” POS systems like Square and its competitors generally don’t include advanced functionality like this, but some iPad POS systems that let you take security deposits include ShopKeep and Lightspeed Retail – which has an app specifically for bike rental shops.

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                                                  Ross Sider

                                                  I just want to know what is the cheapest payment terminal to use for transactions. I feel like Square is to high for transactions and that there is better mobile credit card terminals out there. Please let me know what you recommend, based on % of what they take and most user friendly. Thank you!

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                                                    Shannon Vissers

                                                    The cost of mobile credit card transactions doesn’t depend on the payment terminal but rather the payment processor you use. Yes, Square (mobile point of sale software with payment processing included) is an expensive way to process payments. You’re essentially paying for the convenience of being able to take payments on your phone. If you’re looking for an all-in-one system that includes the terminal, POS software, and payment processing, Clover (mentioned in the above article) might be a cheaper alternative depending on the merchant account you get it with. Also as mentioned above in the article, getting your own dedicated merchant account is the least expensive way to process payments, and if you want to go the mobile route, Intuit GoPayment is one such mobile payment app that comes with your own merchant account. Hope that helps!

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                                                      Henry GrosJean

                                                      I was terminated my Square and no reason was given. Their decision was final!!!
                                                      I am a consultant. I pick up a flat fee on each consultation. The fee is pretty much the same each and every time. I’m trying Intuit, but was never informed of the $20 per month charge in addition to the percentages. What would be a viable alternative or choice for this kind of transaction? Thank you in advance.
                                                      Henry

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                                                        Shannon Vissers

                                                        If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee and want a service similar to Square, you might check out PayPal’s mobile payments service, PayPal Here. As with Square, there’s no monthly fee and you can use any smartphone or tablet. Their processing fees are better than Square’s also — 2.7% per transaction vs. Square’s 2.75%. However, depending on your industry risk profile and average transaction amount/volume, you may be better off getting an actual merchant account for improved account stability. Third-party payments services like Square, PayPal and others use an aggregated merchant account model, which can lead to sudden account terminations like you experienced.

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                                                          courtney

                                                          thanks for a great review. i am looking for an alternative to square and your review makes it easy to “digest” the differences and similarities to make an informed choice versus eeny, meeny…

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                                                            Edward

                                                            Looking for a POS app for a small computer business ran from home, I enter most of my customers cards manually with square, but I’m unhappy with them, any recommendations? Thanks in advance..

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                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                              Hi Edward,

                                                              I would need a bit more info to make a recommendation specific to your home business needs, so I’d suggest giving our filtering tool a try and see what you think of the recommendations. I suspect the recommendation will be Square, but if I understand why you are unhappy with it (as well as sales volume and average ticket amount, etc) I may be able to make an alternative recommendation. I hope that helps!

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                                                                JB

                                                                Spark Pay recently announced they were shutting down, leaving many small-to-medium sized businesses scrambling to find a good alternative before January 18, 2018. Any chance of an updated list? (Not that its likely to help Spark Pay users, since we’ve only got a couple weeks, max, to find and be set up with a new processor, but it’s still always nice to know what’s out there…)

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                                                                  Shannon Vissers

                                                                  Hi there! We are aware of the situation with Spark Pay will update the list soon, since this is a hot topic. In the meantime, you might want to check out SumUp and Payline Mobile in addition to the other vendors mentioned on this list — or even Square, since they are very easy and quick to get set up with and you have no obligation to stick with them long-term.

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                                                                    Dave

                                                                    Kudos for the well-written and helpful review of these services! I appreciate the knowledge shared in both the article and comments.

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                                                                      Robert Olson

                                                                      I have received several payments since finding out I could receive payment through Facebook messenger. Do you have any advice or information on their service. I use Square and I do not use their reader. I use their service of creating an item and emailing an invoice. I am looking for another such service… any advice?

                                                                      Thanks

                                                                      Robert Olson

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                                                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                        Hi Robert,

                                                                        Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Facebook Messenger, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other. I’d suggest sticking with Square or checking out the alternatives mentioned in this post. Best of luck!

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                                                                          Christin Madden

                                                                          I love FB messenger to collect funds. The only problem is it requires the customer to use debit cards only (unless they recently changed). Credit cards are not an option on FB. I am also using the cash app and venmo. Both services are free, but you may need to make notes if you have multiple products or have specifics to attach to the order. Also, it requires the customer to use the app as well. You can send requests to email, phone (text), or by a code name given when they sign up. I am beyond leary of PayPal since my customer’s information was compromised and I now get phishing emails and harassing phone calls since I signed up with them. I have literally blocked 150 phone numbers from “mortgage companies” and from “HP”.

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                                                                            Jessica

                                                                            I am a hairdresser and have been using square for the past 3years with an iPhone 6. I recently purchased then pixel 2xl and the square app no longer works. The purchases won’t go through to completion. What would you recommend as an alternative?

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                                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                              Hi Jessica,

                                                                              Sounds like you’re not the only one experiencing these issues. I’d recommend waiting it out and seeing if Square comes up with a compatibility update. They are usually pretty quick with the fixes. In the meantime why don’t you see if Paypal is compatible with your new phone.

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                                                                                Kat Robinson

                                                                                A long shot here…I’ve reviewed most of these guys to see if any can support my business. None so far so I’m throwing it out there to see if you know of anything that might work. My business (property management) is in the USA, I pay US taxes as a non-resident (so I have an ITIN number), I conduct my business in AUSTRALIA (because I came back to have my baby – I’m Australian). So, I need to find a POS system that allows transactions to be processed on a device in Australia (using a US account or not) but in USD and deposited in a US bank. Square is geo-locked, Paypal won’t allow cross country, it’s like no small business does this. Bigger business obviously does but I’m looking for somewhere I can manually enter payment info, charges range from $100-$1500. So frustrating!!! Any ideas/tips/advice greatly appreciated!

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                                                                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                  Hi Kat,
                                                                                  Unfortunately, we aren’t aware of a POS that can handle this. If you happen to find one, please let us know as it will help our other readers as well.

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                                                                                    Tim

                                                                                    Id love to know too. Same situation pretty much

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                                                                                      Curtis

                                                                                      I have a solo law practice and have charges sized between $250.00 to $1500.00 and average total monthly charges between $0.00 to $2500.00 per month. The transactions all go into my trust account with a local bank. I need to key in maybe 50% of the time. I cannot take the chance of having trust funds tied up. What would you suggest for me and why?

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                                                                                        Tom DeSimone

                                                                                        Hi Curtis,

                                                                                        It’s important to note that there are never any guarantees with card payments as far as getting the funds right away without a hitch. While there are things you can look for in the selection process to minimize the chance of issues, unforeseen problems can arise with any processing company.

                                                                                        With that said, the primary thing you need to look for is a merchant account rather than a “payment service provider” (PSP). While PSPs (like Square) will get you the account more quickly and with simpler billing, they rely on just a tiny bit of personal info to set up the service. This can create and exacerbate problems with account stability, leading to funding holds and terminations. A merchant account, on the other hand, is set up with a more careful and thorough underwriting process. This means fewer surprises on both sides of the account.

                                                                                        The downside for you is that you are a low dollar volume merchant and so you might end up paying a little more for a merchant account compared with the no monthly fee account you’d get with a company like Square. You’ll have to pay about $10 per month as a service fee on the account, for instance. The rates will be lower, however, which will help to offset that monthly cost.

                                                                                        I’d recommend you check out Helcim. They do not charge monthly minimums (so you won’t be penalized for months when you don’t process) and they have good mobile processing rates (assuming you do not want to purchase a countertop terminal). The extra expense is worth the peace of mind for businesses where access to funds is important and the transaction size is relatively large.

                                                                                        Hope this helps.

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                                                                                          Dennis Fees

                                                                                          I cant believe you put such thieves as Inner Fence on this list. Inner Fence uses Stripe as a processor which has over 400 complaints with BBB. Most of these complaints center on being able to process payments, but never being able to get the funds transferred into your account. In these cases, a merchant signed up for Inner Fence, paid them $39 to process and was set up with a Stripe account. After processing multiple transactions and being told that the first transfer would take 7 days, they waited for the funds, after 7 days they logged into their accounts and the transfer date had moved a few days, then it moved again. Finally they contacted Stripe and Stripe asked them for all sorts of information citing the Know Your Customer requirements. After providing as much information as possible Stripe informed them that they were too risky. Stripe then said they were going to refund the money to the cardholders, though sometimes that did not happen, and left the merchant high and dry.
                                                                                          So if you feel like giving away your products and services for free, sign up with Inner Fence/Stripe. If not avoid them.

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                                                                                            Shannon Vissers

                                                                                            Hey Dennis, thanks for your feedback. Yes, Inner Fence uses Stripe — an aggregating service — to process payments for all accounts now (though this wasn’t the case when we first put together this article in 2014; I’ll update the post to reflect this change). This means users no longer get their own merchant account. All aggregating services — PayPal, Square, Stripe, and others — have a bunch of account complaints like the type you’ve described. These services are also very risk-averse because very little underwriting is done to approve purchases. If you have a higher-risk business or process large transactions or a high-volume of transactions, you really need to get your own merchant account and not use a third-party payment processor/aggregator.

                                                                                            Note that we do mention Stripe’s BBB complaints in our Stripe review, though Stripe actually still has an A+ rating because they have resolved all 400 of those complaints.

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                                                                                              denisse

                                                                                              hi. so I guess I have a question for you (from an IPhone user who refuses to upgrade aswell), were opening a photo booth business where there will be a few transactions a week that would be in the range of 500-800 and here and there charges of about 30-100. now, my question for you is: what do you think would be the best option? tttthhhhhaaaaannnnkkkkkssss

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                                                                                                Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                Hi Denisse! Based on the size and frequency of your transactions, I’d price out both Intuit GoPayment and Spark Pay — you’ll get better rates with either of those iPhone-friendly processors compared to Square. I think GoPayment will probably be the best deal for you — $20/month, and 1.6% + $0.25 for each swiped transaction. GoPayment also lets you record cash and check payments to Quickbooks. Hope it helps!
                                                                                                Shannon

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                                                                                                  Henry

                                                                                                  Hello, I have a one event a year…right now, could be more in the future. The average sale will be $20-$15 per. I will be taking credit cards, but also cash. I’d like to set up a website to pre sell some (2 products only). I read about the no customer service and account holds from square, thisbhas me concerned. I’m selling water and water bottles. Total revenue is projected to be between $25k and $100k. I’d like to have a system that is like a cash register showing cash payment and cc payments and track inventory. Looks like square has higher processing…but they also look to have an easy website integration for a quick site I plan on making.

                                                                                                  Do you have a suggested system?

                                                                                                  Thank you!

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                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                    Hi Henry,

                                                                                                    I definitely understand your concern about Square account holds and freezes. We’ve actually written an article that may help address some concerns. Personally, I think Square would be a great option for you.

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                                                                                                      Rashmi

                                                                                                      Hi,
                                                                                                      I have a medical practice with monthly charges ranging between $10K-$21K. We were going to change our from our current merchant account to Square but im worried about the comments of horrible service and withholding of funds.
                                                                                                      What was driving me crazy with our current system were constant the announced fluctuations in transaction fees regardless of which company we used and every year or two we’d have to shop around again.
                                                                                                      What are your suggestions?
                                                                                                      Thank you

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                                                                                                        Amad Ebrahimi

                                                                                                        Hi Rashmi,

                                                                                                        I understand your concern about Square, but unless you’re in a very high-risk industry, you should be able to process with worrying about holds or freezes. Here is an article that will help you get a better understanding of the topic: https://www.merchantmaverick.com/is-square-right-for-your-business/

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                                                                                                          Emma

                                                                                                          Hi,

                                                                                                          As a company, we want to buy a payment system for an event. We won’t use this product regularly, so we want something efficient but not to expensive. Any suggestions?

                                                                                                          Thanks.

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                                                                                                            Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                            Hi Emma, I would recommend Square, because it’s pretty much the only POS that doesn’t have a monthly service charge, so you can just use it for the event and not incur any ongoing charges. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within our Square review if you would like to support our work.:)

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                                                                                                              sarah ali

                                                                                                              Unfortunately Clover Go does not work with tablets well. The app does not allow for a change in the orientation. It is permanently stuck on one orientation so it will not adjust when most tablets are placed horizontally, so you either have to break your neck to enter information sideways or literally pull out the tablet from your stand. This is foolish for those who have already purchased or built a custom stand (as I had) you literally have to pull your tablet out of the stand enter the information and hand your device over. If you are desiring a professional looking POS system this will not work. Its made for cell phones.

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                                                                                                                thao haas

                                                                                                                So I did use square since the very beginning in 2009. Never had an issue….then my first chargeback and bam…nothing but issues since. There is no customer service at square so if you ever need them forget it. Oh yeah and if you get a rep they do not know anything other than what their software says. I talked to several who couldn’t even add up the numbers right but since the software says it is they said it was. Months later they fixed it. MONTHS!!!! They will withhold all your money for weeks even months while they try to figure out the problem!!!! So if customer service is important don’t use square cause that one time you will need them they will not be there.

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                                                                                                                  Tom Duke

                                                                                                                  I used square in the past and have tried to logon again to get everything moving. Apparently my passwordis not eligible any more and I have tried 4 times to reset it, it has sent 4 password resets none of which worked, I don’t know where to go from here, would like to use the service once again but there are no contacts and so far, no responses to anything I have tried to send… If you can help, please do so. Thanks

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                                                                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                    Hi Tom, Here is a link to Square’s Support page. Best of luck to you!

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                                                                                                                      TNT

                                                                                                                      I have a small business but transactions are 7-12k but not a high volume of transactions. Which one would you recommend

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                                                                                                                        Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                        Hello,

                                                                                                                        Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. We have a great filtering tool that you can try here. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                          Tyrone

                                                                                                                          What a pos i can take a payment and get paid the same day not square or paypal

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                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                            Hi Tyrone,
                                                                                                                            Unfortunately Square and Paypal may be your best bet for instant deposits. You can find funding time frames for other mobile payment systems here .

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                                                                                                                              Laurie

                                                                                                                              I need to be able to place a CC hold on a specific amount while people are renting our jet skis ( this is to ensure their safe return!). Do any of these allow me to place a 500.00 hold on a CC or debit card without charge? Also, how long does it take for the funds to be released? Thanks

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                                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                Thank you Laurie,

                                                                                                                                This is a question that we’ve received on a few occasions, and to be honest, we don’t have the data to give you a proper answer. We are, however, planning on researching this topic more extensively and will put out a blog post shortly.

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                                                                                                                                  Mike Davis

                                                                                                                                  I was using Square for my small Vapor store, and they de-activated my account because of something I sell. I’m looking for a viable alternative that will handle everything Square did, such as: Payroll, taxes, inventory, etc.
                                                                                                                                  Please help, I have been unable to accept cards for 2 days now. Also, on a side note, I contacted Pay Pal, and they won’t accept “Vapor” stores. Just in case anyone needs to know.
                                                                                                                                  Thank you

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                                                                                                                                    Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                                                    Hi Mike, because of the nature of your business, you will probably need to get your own high-risk merchant account rather than a Square/PayPal alternative (third-party payments processors like these are not really vape-friendly). Here are some high-risk merchant account providers we recommend.

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                                                                                                                                      Ruben Gonzalez

                                                                                                                                      Great Information. I am looking for a site that helps me collect money for Boy Scout events (e.g. camping trips). Its a non-profit. What is the best site? I am thinking about Square. Thank you in advance.

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                                                                                                                                        Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                        Hi Ruben,

                                                                                                                                        Square would actually be a great option for this. Don’t forget to ask them about their non-profit rates. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                                          Angelina Burnett

                                                                                                                                          Hello,

                                                                                                                                          Thank you for the reviews of these systems. I am currently trying to find the right system for the homeowner association. This homeowner association is a private island and a variety of income. They are looking for ways to collect fees from their ferry fees, gas services, marina fees, assessments and other misc fees that are collected through the office. The obvious most important issue is the cost to the association. They just started using Square to see how it would work. I am looking at using Intuit GoPayment, as they currently have Quickbooks. Would you recommend this for an association?

                                                                                                                                          Thank you,
                                                                                                                                          Angelina

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                                                                                                                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                                                            Angelina, our preference would be Square as we personally like the system better than GoPayment. If Square+QB integration is a concern, please note that Square and QB integrate very nicely as documented here: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/integrations/square/. My suggestion would be to stick with Square.

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                                                                                                                                              stephan hoglund

                                                                                                                                              Wow good info! Square is weird. I loved it at first and still find it pretty good but then took a square capital loan out 5 grand, paid it off real quick and then contemplated taking another out the next winter as my income is seasonal but I canceled the loan a day later as I misread some of their info and actually had a huge spike in my sales so canceled it. a month later I went to take one out again and my available credit had dropped in half and I swear their charge had doubled, and now this year I have no credit available from them and they have no square capital customer service to inquire as to why!? My sales with square last year was just under 60 grand. I thought their loans were very innovative and cool but now i find it very weird that they have cut me off completely even tho I still do business with them? Any input on that?

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                                                                                                                                                Norin

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for this great info. I run a solo law practice and typically charge around $800 – $1,000 at a time per transaction. I’ve been accepting checks only until I figure out which system is best for me. Would one POS system be best for me over the others?

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                                                                                                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                  Hi Norin,

                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for your inquiry. Based on the information provided, I would recommend Square. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within the review if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                                                    Amber

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for this review! I have been having a difficult time deciding on a POS system. I run a mobile recreation company that takes payment of around $400 for each event. I am looking to be able to take credit cards. Do you have any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                      Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                      Hi Amber,

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend Square. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within the review if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                                                        Bill Werkheiser

                                                                                                                                                        I have a few rental properties, both residential and commercial. I have a church that has been paying me with a credit card for years with no problem. It is the only transaction I do every month but it is keyed which hurts. The amount is $1,200.00. What would be the best service for this single transaction each month.

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                                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                          Hi Bill,

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend Square. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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

                                                                                                                                                            Deb

                                                                                                                                                            Can you recommend a POS and Online store for a small specialty pharmacy? Currently we have 1. a traditional website for our online store with 2. a Volusion shopping cart, 3. our in-store POS is QuickBooks, and 4. we also use Square so we can accept credit cards. We want to streamline and keep our costs down so would like to put our online store, shopping cart, and POS in one program if possible, or, at least condense it to save on hosting costs. We were debating between Square and/or Vend but not sure now after I read these Square comments. Any ideas?

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

                                                                                                                                                              Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Deb,

                                                                                                                                                              I am sending you an email right now so please keep an eye out for it.

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

                                                                                                                                                                Richard

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for a great article! I am a general contractor who is looking to accept credit cards for jobs. Usually my jobs range from $10,000 – $30,000. I usually deal in checks, but more and more clients are asking to use credit cards for rewards purposes. These payments would be very rare (maybe 5-10 a year). What would be the best option for my business?

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

                                                                                                                                                                  Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Richard,

                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend CDGcommerce and Helcim. You might also want to check out Square. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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

                                                                                                                                                                    Art

                                                                                                                                                                    SQUARE suddenly deactivated my account on a Friday evening before a major selling show that begins in 12 hours!
                                                                                                                                                                    I need a web store, for satirical & political items, and a POS that accepts cards – and I need it fast!

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

                                                                                                                                                                      Linda Leathart

                                                                                                                                                                      I was excited about your information on Spark Pay but it is not quite correct. There is a monthly fee AND you pay for individual transactions so you are paying for the extra customer service which I don’t mind but it is not cheaper than Square. Unless I am mistaken?

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

                                                                                                                                                                        Shannon George

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Linda, Spark Pay has a “Pro” plan that comes with a lower transaction fee (you pay $19/month for a transaction fee of 1.99% + $0.05), and they also have a free “Go” plan (no monthly fee) with a transaction fee of 2.65% + $0.05. With either plan, it will depend on your average transaction size; for a business that does a lot of smaller transactions (like a coffee cart, for example), you’re right, Square’s fee (2.75%) will be cheaper than Spark Pay’s (with either the Go or Pro plan). But if your average transaction size is more like $10+, you could potentially save a lot of money using Spark Pay’s Pro plan instead of Square, especially if you do more than a couple thousand dollars worth of sales per month. Hope that makes sense! Here’s some more info on Spark Pay’s pricing: https://www.sparkpay.com/sellinperson/pricing

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

                                                                                                                                                                          Diana

                                                                                                                                                                          I came to this article after Square suddenly started holding payments, even though I had immediate deposit authorized (at a higher fee). I’d had no issues with immediate deposits, regardless of size, to suddenly find out this last weekend that they had decided I didn’t have enough collective deposits to do immediate processing. This was never a requirement before. I read the full legal agreement, the deposit FAQs and tutorials THREE times. There is nothing that says there’s a hold unless it’s a certain amount.

                                                                                                                                                                          I sent an email stating all that. I got an overly friendly reply 2 days later that simply restated what I saw on the app for the deposit ledger—immediate deposit function suspended due to low amount of pending deposits.

                                                                                                                                                                          I emailed back today. Restated again, AND pointed out that federal banking laws require the funds be transferred into my account within 24 hours of the payment clearing on their end. I also pointed out my uncle is a fraud agent with the IRS.

                                                                                                                                                                          I expect another BS answer, or none at all.

                                                                                                                                                                          I appreciate this article very much! For my purposes, I think I’ll go with Paypal even though it’s difficult to transfer funds to my bank (it takes 3 weeks to show up) but they now have a Paypal debit card with Visa logo and that would make it much easier.

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

                                                                                                                                                                            Tony Foti

                                                                                                                                                                            I just started using square and I am ver shocked that they are withholding all my money for the month. Diana did you ever get your money back?? What should I expect?? Will they give me my money or not?? I need that money to operate my business! And to find out they have no customer service number to talk to some one is so disheartening !! What the heck!!

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                                                                                                                                                                              Bhavani

                                                                                                                                                                              Its nice to have all the comparables in one area. The only thing is it doesn’t take long to see that this article was written by someone that has some grief against square which I do too. I have been a loyal client for 4 years and suddenly they froze my funds because i had a processed a larger transaction today. Ofcourse there is no one to talk to. The reviews on flint are terrible. Spark pay is accused of freezing peoples money with out an explanation which would be just as annoying inspite of the fact that you can talk to a live person, then there’s the one that is not even available in the US. so outside of the ones that really dont do actual card charging for old fashioned people pay pal is what is left. I am too tired to find out the problems with paypal. anyone that has already done the research on the pros and cons of paypal?

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                                                                                                                                                                                Michael

                                                                                                                                                                                Square has very poor customer support.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                  Denise

                                                                                                                                                                                  I tried to apply for Square and for some reason was denied, so when I emailed customer support all I was given was a sorry and wished me luck with my business!!! I certainly do not want to do business with any company that simply doesn’t try harder to give customer support. Thank you for this run down. I am starting my own freelance business and wasn’t sure about all the other businesses mentioned.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                    Scott Lee Webb

                                                                                                                                                                                    I’ve used Square for 3 years, it’s standard business to not do weekend deposits so these account holds do not sound legit. Weekday sales deposit the day after and all Friday Saturday Sunday sales are deposited on Monday. They have implemented an extra fee for those who don’t manage their money and are so broke that they need weekend deposits for an additional fee. Ive used others and PayPal has always been crooked holding money, their staff is foreign and coukd spit on you, Amazon closed there’s which was flawed from implementation from the i.t. design. So reliability and financial security of your funds, and client security protection is everything. Square delivers efficiently and by far has the most beautiful pos register face.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      joe

                                                                                                                                                                                      Can you can recommend a merchant for a travel business?

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Joe,

                                                                                                                                                                                        Check out Payline. Travel businesses often are categorized as high-risk, and Payline works with that type of account.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Juan Luna

                                                                                                                                                                                          Do you think they’ll work with all high risk business or if they will at least be able to process invoice for local purchases ?

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            Herand

                                                                                                                                                                                            square has bad customer service, it’s virtually impossible to get hold of their representative on phone. Also, the hold the money for long time, before depositing into your account.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                              Shannon George

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, that seems to be one of the major complaints about Square. I think they are working on their customer service and account hold issues, but they are definitely not the most merchant-friendly mobile payment processor.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                Elizabeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                We need a system which allows us to swipe in the field – but have the transactions set up in batches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                For example:
                                                                                                                                                                                                Invoice for $200
                                                                                                                                                                                                Payment for $200
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bank Deposit for $200
                                                                                                                                                                                                Bank Fee from processer of $5.50 (Square rate).

                                                                                                                                                                                                That way, you have the benefit of the payment being the same amount — so the client invoice shows as fully paid. And the bank deposit matching the invoice amount – good for reconciliation. And the daily bank fees can be aggregated into one lump sum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you know of any options?

                                                                                                                                                                                                Elizabeth

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Angel Flores

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe square is still the standard but I do hate how long it takes to deposit fund during the weekends.

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

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