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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, and 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
Always FreeAlways FreeFree TrialFree Trial

But Square isn’t right for everyone — whether you want better pricing at high volumes or better stability or an even more robust feature set, there’s plenty of reasons why merchants don’t want to choose Square. Maybe you’re just not convinced Square is the best value.

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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.

Compare Square Against the Best Alternatives for 2018

HeadingSquareLightspeed POSPayment DepotPaylineShopify

Payment Depot merchant services review

Review Visit Site

ReviewVisit Site

Visit Site
ReviewVisit SiteReviewVisit SiteReviewVisit SiteReviewVisit Site
Key FeaturesAll-In-One Solution, Upgrade Potential

Advanced Features

Free Chip Reader, All-PurposeVersatile, Works With Many POS SystemsFree Chip Reader, Integrate Online SalesHigh-Volume, Large TicketAdvanced Features
Pricing ModelFlat Rate


Flat RateCost-PlusFlat RateCost-Plus (Subscription)Flat Rate
Entry-Level Monthly Fee$0


Standard Retail Rates2.75% total


2.60% + $0.10 total0.30% + $0.10 markup2.70% total0.00% + $0.25 markupVaries
Standard eCommerce Rates2.90% + $0.30 total


3.20% + $0.10 total0.50% + $0.10 markup2.90% + $0.30 total0.00% + $0.25 markup


Free TrialAlways Free

14 Days

Demo availableNone14 DaysNoneNone

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!

Payment Depot (SwipeSimple)

Payment Depot Mobile is, as its name suggested, powered by Payment Depot (read our full review), a membership-based merchant account provider that we’ve rated highly for many reasons: competitive and transparent pricing, great customer support, and month-to-month processing agreements (just for starters). This mobile solution enters into somewhat new territory because of its pricing model (we’ll talk about that). The app that PD offers its merchant is called SwipeSimple, and it was developed by a company called CardFlight. Payment Depot is actually just one of many companies offering SwipeSimple as its mobile processing option, similar to how ROAMpay licenses its software to merchant services providers (such as Payline Data).

I genuinely like the SwipeSimple app, and I think if I were reviewing it as a solo solution it would earn a pretty solid rating. But because Cardflight uses a network of resellers, the contract terms and processing rates available to merchants will vary. The technical information in this review — about the app features and hardware — should generally apply to SwipeSimple regardless of payment processor. Information about rates and fees, contracts, customer service and technical support all pertain to Payment Depot exclusively.


Payment Depot merchant services reviewMost Reliable Option for Small Businesses 

✓ $10 monthly fee
✓ 2.60% + $0.10 per transaction
• Free chip card reader
• Free virtual terminal
• Customer database
Visit the Payment Depot website
Read our Payment Depot review

Payment Depot’s mobile plan has a lot going for it. I like the software. PD offers good customer service and each merchant gets their own merchant account, which means account stability. Throw in a special exclusive rate for Merchant Maverick readers and suddenly you have a  very competitive payment processing option, even for low-volume merchants.

Get Started With Payment Depot Mobile

Lightspeed Retailrestaurant pos software

  • Hybrid system
  • Small plan $99/month, medium plan $169/month, Large plan $289/month
  • In-browser option or iPad app
  • Any size business
  • Inventory management, including matrix
  • Purchase ordering
  • Omnichannel
  • Mobile app
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Lightspeed Retail (see our review) was created back in 2005 and is now used by more than 50,000 businesses around the world. This system offers a myriad of features including multi-tender options, the ability to create store credit, inventory management, the ability to buy items in bulk and sell them individually, purchase ordering, employee management, CRM, reporting, and multi-store capability.

Lightspeed Retail integrates with Vantiv Integrated Payments (Mercury), Cayan, and iZettle and has been EMV compliant since before October 2015. Lightspeed Retail offers 24/7 customer service support and live chat from 11 am to 8 pm EST.


Lightspeed Restaurant

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed eCommerce

Premium Restaurant POS

Premium Retail POS

eCommerce Integration

Get Started

Get Started

Get Started




14-day free trial

14-day free trial

14-day free trial

No commitment

No commitment

No commitment

No credit card required

No credit card required

No credit card required

If you would like to learn more, read our full review of Lightspeed Retail or sign up for a free 14-day trial.

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Payline Mobile 

Fattmerchant’s monthly fee makes it best suited for large businesses, but Payline Data is one of the rare merchant account providers that cater to low-volume business owners who need a mobile plan. Payline Mobile (read our review) offers the security of a merchant account with no annual contracts and no monthly or annual fees (including no PCI compliance fees), which makes it one of the few merchant accounts suitable for low-volume merchants.


Cheapest Cost-Plus Pricing for Mobile

✓ $10 monthly fee
✓ 0.3% + interchange + $0.10 per transaction
• All-in-one card reader ($150 retail price)
• Free virtual terminal
• Basic inventory tools
• Customer database
Visit the Payline website
Read our Payline review

Payline’s entry-level plan, called Payline Start, is available for no monthly fee and processes at 0.3% + $0.10 per transaction; the only stipulation (which isn’t made clear on the site) is that you need to generate $25 in monthly processing fees. For most merchants, that’s about $1,000/month, but your break-even amount may vary. If you don’t meet that minimum, Payline will charge you the difference ($25 – your processing amount = remaining fee). If you don’t plan to process all year round, talk to Payline because seasonal plans are available.

The Payline Mobile app isn’t as powerful as Square. For example, you don’t get advanced inventory tracking or invoicing, but it’s perfectly serviceable as a mobile POS solution. You get a virtual terminal, customer database, and barcode scanning included.

In addition to account stability, you’ll get great customer support from the Payline team. And if you decide you need more than just an mPOS, Payline has plans to accommodate eCommerce sales, retail setups, and even integrated approaches.

Shopify Lite

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 (read our review) provides you with access to that mPOS and Android and iOS tablets and phones, for a very reasonable $9/month. What’s the catch, you ask? Well, you don’t get a full Shopify web store on the Lite plan. Instead, you get access to “buy” buttons (a la PayPal) and a Facebook store. That alone may be enough for some merchants if you don’t have grandiose plans for selling online.

In addition to the monthly fee, you’ll pay 2.7% for swiped, dipped or tapped transactions, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online and keyed entry transactions as long as you process through Shopify Payments. That includes transactions processed via invoicing or the virtual terminal (both included at no additional charge). 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.


Best Option for Combined In-Store and Online Sales

✓ $9/month
✓ 2.7% per swiped/dipped/tapped transaction
✓ 2.9% + $0.30 per online or invoiced transaction
• Free chip card reader ($29 retail price)
• Seamless management of sales channels
• Advanced inventory tools
• Facebook store and buy buttons
• Free 14-day trial
Visit the Shopify website
Read our Shopify review

If you’d like to add support for receipt printers, PIN access for staff members, and a few other features, you’ll also need to add on the retail package ($49/month), which transforms Shopify POS from a handy mobile tool to a full-fledged iPad POS.

Shopify’s POS is certainly tailored primarily at retail businesses, but other merchants might find the software works for their needs. The good news is you can test-drive the Shopify platform and POS app with a free 14-day trial to make sure it’s right for you. It’s a great starter option if you’d like to test the waters for online sales, and Shopify’s platform scales so easily that when you’re ready for a full webstore, upgrading will be quick and painless. Shopify Basic and higher tiered plans all include access to the Shopify POS at no additional charge, too.

Shopify’s Services At A Glance

MobilePOSOnlineSocial Media
Mobile App + Free Card ReaderPoint of SaleOnline StoreSocial Media Selling
Get StartedGet StartedGet StartedGet Started
Low-cost POS for iOS and Android with free hardwareAll-purpose POS integrated with all sales channelsBuild a store or integrate with your current websiteSell on Facebook and other platforms
Starts at $9/monthStarts at $29/monthStarts at $29/monthStarts at $9/month
Free TrialFree TrialFree TrialFree Trial

Plus, Shopify offers a free Bluetooth-enabled magstripe/chip card reader. It’s listed at $29 retail price, but new merchants who sign up are eligible for one free reader. It also comes with a charging dock included at no additional charge.

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


Fattmerchant Mobile (read our review) is a great mPOS option for high-volume businesses that want more account stability than Square can provide.

I don’t want to beat around the bush here: Square has a lot of complaints about account terminations. And it’s not surprising to me that it’s one of the first concerns people have when they’re looking at Square. Read enough complaints and it’s easy to convince yourself Square is a horrible idea. But here’s the thing: You have to look at the number of complaints versus the number of merchants (upwards of 2 million), which gives the volume of complaints into a better perspective.

However, Square is a third-party processor. That means merchants who sign up for accounts will always face a certain amount of account instability and risk. The best you can do as a Square merchant is educate yourself and try to minimize or eliminate behaviors that can trigger account terminations. If you’ve already been burned by Square or you’re just not willing to deal with that sort of risk, a merchant account is your best bet to reduce your risk of an account hold or termination.

Best for High-Volume/Large Ticket Businesses

✓ $99/monthly fee
✓ Interchange + $0.15 per transaction
• Chip card reader ($79 retail price)
• iOS-exclusive mobile app
• Invoicing and saved payment methods
• Inventory management
• Customer database
Visit the Fattmerchant website
Read our Fattmerchant review

Fattmerchant not only delivers on the stability front; it also offers great customer service and a powerful centralized web dashboard to manage inventory, manage customers, and track sales. The Fattmerchant platform includes free invoicing and inventory tracking (including barcode scanning). If you opt for add-on packages, you can get a virtual terminal. Plus, you have no PCI compliance fees, no early termination fees, or any other hidden costs. Your only costs are the $99/monthly fee, processing rates of interchange + $0.15 per transaction, and a $25 fee for any chargebacks (they’re pretty rare for in-person transactions, but worth mentioning). Fattmerchant offers a choice of magstripe/chip card reader or all-in-one card reader with prices starting at $79.

Fattmerchant’s pricing does mean that it’s best suited to merchants with large ticket sizes and high volumes (at least $7,500/month; ideally $10,000/month). If you don’t meet those criteria, Square will likely be the more cost-effective option. However, you might decide the account stability is a worthwhile trade-off for the higher cost.


iZettle is sometimes called the Square of Europe. I don’t necessarily think that’s an accurate description (we’ll get into all the reasons why later on), but it’s easy to see why it’s a leading choice in Europe.

While iZettle currently serves Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, the UK, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, the Netherlands, and France, we’ve primarily focused on its service quality in the UK.

iZettle’s Services At A Glance


Mobile Processing

Point of Sale

Online Store


Claim £19 Offer

Sign up for Free

Get Started

Get Started

Card reader is only £19 for a limited time (Normally £59)

Specialised upgrades are available

Integrate with all sales channels

Easy one-time and recurring billing

Always £0/month

£0/month for standard app

14-day free trial

Always £0/month

1.75% for in-person sales

1.75% for in-person sales

2.5% for ecommerce sales

2.5% for invoiced sales

Europe only. Does not serve US or Canadian businesses. 

Europe only. Does not serve US or Canadian businesses. 

Europe only. Does not serve US or Canadian businesses. 

Europe only. Does not serve US or Canadian businesses. 

We have found that iZettle offers high-quality service, honest marketing, and a capable mobile app. There are a couple of shortcomings with iZettle’s service. It is a basic app in many ways, but at the same time, it has everything you absolutely need to run a business and accept credit cards.

Given everything I’ve seen, I am confident in recommending that you give iZettle a shot in the UK and other supported countries. The company gets a favorable 5 stars for UK-based merchants.

Get Started with iZettle for the UK


ShopKeep (read our review) is an exception to a lot of rules. You’d think, for starters, that with a name like ShopKeep, you’d be pretty retail focused. But the reality is this iPad POS app offers features for quick-serve business such as cafes as well as food trucks and bars, right alongside its retail capabilities. And generally speaking, any company that doesn’t disclose pricing for its software or payment processing is an automatic red flag. But somehow ShopKeep has managed to avoid the pitfalls and make its way to the top ranks for POS systems despite these issues.

You’ll see the same generalized POS features you’ll find with just about any system, including gift card support. Employee management (including unlimited users) lets your staff clock in and out of their shifts in the app. ShopKeep’s inventory tracking includes raw goods tracking, low-stock alerts, profitability reporting, and more. It’s quite advanced for a suite of software targeted at small businesses, though ShopKeep doesn’t pull certain features (such as raw ingredient tracking) off as well as other POS systems do.

Review Visit Site


  • Powerful retail and restaurant tools
  • Available on iPad (Analytics app on iOS)
  • Multiple hardware options available
  • Pricing based on custom quotes 
  • Loyalty program only as add-on

Excellent all-around POS: Get your custom quote

For restaurants, the app 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. 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.

Get Started With ShopKeep

Intuit/QuickBooks GoPayment

QuickBooks GoPayment, also formerly known as Intuit GoPayment (read our review), is part of Intuit’s suite of payments-related tools known as QuickBooks payments. It’s a standalone mPOS that allows you to accept payments in person. However, despite it being a mostly standalone product from QuickBooks, it still syncs all your transaction data directly to QuickBooks Online, with no manual entry required. That means — if you haven’t guessed it — that GoPayment is targeted at QuickBooks Online users.

GoPayment isn’t the most feature-rich mPOS out there by any means, but it has everything most merchants need, including a basic item library, tax management settings, and tipping and discounts. You can create up to 50 sub-user accounts at no additional charge. You won’t get a virtual terminal or invoicing support unless you’re using the broader QuickBooks Payments suite, but if you are, you’ll find these tools are quite powerful and will make managing all your finances in QuickBooks even easier.


Intuit Merchant Services QuickBooks Payments review logoBest for QuickBooks Integration

✓ No monthly fee
✓ 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction
• Free chip card reader ($19 retail price)
• Syncs with QuickBooks Online
• Basic inventory tools
• Works with larger QB Payments suite
• Ideal for professional services and large-ticket-size businesses
Visit the QuickBooks Payments website
Read our QuickBooks Payments review

While you’ll pay a monthly fee for a QuickBooks online subscription, GoPayment itself has no monthly fee. You’ll pay 2.4% + $0.25 per transaction. That’s not bad pricing, but it does mean that anyone with a very small ticket size should steer clear. You’ll pay more than you have to thanks to the $0.25 transaction fee. However, for professional services — any sort of business, really — with an average transaction size above $50, this could translate to savings in the long run. Plus, Intuit offers volume discounts for businesses processing more than $7,5000/month.

Intuit offers a free Bluetooth enabled chip card reader for merchants, which retails for $19. You can also get an all-in-one reader with a charging dock for $49. Both are pretty good prices for hardware.

While Intuit does issue merchant accounts for its QuickBooks users rather than relying on aggregating, some merchants report stability issues. They mostly seem to relate to suspicious transactions. The best thing you can do to mitigate your risk is to understand what red flags merchants look for and avoid circumstances that can trigger a funding hold, if possible.


SumUp (read our review) is a relatively newcomer to the US, but it’s been operating in Europe for several years now. In another article, I referred to SumUp as Square’s sophisticated, minimalist cousin. And I stand by that idea — SumUp certainly doesn’t beat Square for features, but if you want a solid mPOS, pay-as-you-go processing, and a few bonus features (a virtual terminal, for example), it might be the right solution for you.

Like most mPOS providers, SumUp is a third-party processor, which means there’s an inherent amount of account instability, and it’s not a good fit for high-risk businesses. You don’t get the kind of eCommerce support and integrations you’ll find with more comprehensive solutions, nor is there any invoicing support.


Best Standalone, Pay-As-You-Go Option

✓ No monthly fee
✓ 2.65% per transaction
• All-in-one card reader ($69 retail price)
• Good for low-volume and small-ticket merchants
• International access available
• Basic inventory management tools
• Free virtual terminal
Visit the SumUp website
Read our SumUp review

But if you tend to travel for business a lot, SumUp might be your new favorite tool. If you’re traveling in one of the 30+ countries that SumUp operates in, you can contact support and ask them to enable payment processing in that country. Considering that PayPal Here and Square are both very limited in the number of supported countries, this is no small consideration.

SumUp offers only one card reader, an all-in-one Bluetooth-enabled reader that will cost you $69. You can check out our unboxing review of the reader for more details on the hardware.

Vend POS + PayPal 

One of Square’s big selling points is its free iPad POS. Technically, it’s the same app that runs on smartphones, but the iPad offers advanced features you won’t always find on an iPhone or any Android device; plus it works with the Square Stand for a countertop setup. However, Square Point of Sale still isn’t fully on par with many other iPad POS systems. So if you’re in the market for an advanced iPad POS, it’s worth looking at Vend (read our review).

Now, a quick disclosure: Square does have its own advanced POS for retailers. It’s called (wait for it) Square for Retail. But even that system doesn’t hold a candle to Vend and its features. Notably, Vend offers integrations with a wide range of payment processors. You can take your pick, but if you don’t already have a processor, we recommend going with PayPal (read our review). First, PayPal charges no monthly fee and its rates of 2.7% for in-person transaction are totally reasonable (plus, with Vend you are eligible for volume discounts through PayPal). PayPal requires no monthly minimums and is PCI compliant, which takes a major weight off your shoulders. The one shortcoming is that PayPal, like Square, is a third-party processor and so there is a certain degree of account stability that’s unavoidable.


Best Fully Equipped iPad POS

✓ $99+ monthly fee
✓ 2.7% per transaction
• All-in-one card reader ($79 retail price; $49 with rebate)
• Advanced inventory tracking
• Layaway, on-account sales, and store credit
• eCommerce available with higher tier plans
• Customer database and integrated loyalty program
Visit the Vend website
Read our Vend review

Vend delivers all of your standard POS features, with unlimited products and unlimited staff accounts no matter what plan you choose. Some features (such as gift card support, eCommerce support, and more advanced analytics and reporting) are only available with the mid-tier and highest-tier plans. However, I want to draw your eyes to these features: layaway and on-account sales, refunds to gift cards, store credit, or original payment methods, advanced inventory tracking with purchase order management, a loyalty program, and customer database. And that’s just to name a few. Vend has a very comprehensive feature set that will suit small and mid-size businesses very well; though one might make a case that some of Vend’s features just aren’t at the level that the very largest businesses would expect.

Vend’s software will run you $99/month for the Lite version, if you opt for the annual plan. If you go month-to-month, you’ll pay $119/month to start. Also note that you are capped at a monthly sales volume of $20,000; go over that amount three times in a 12-month period, and Vend will upgrade you to the next plan tier. Also, the cost will increase as you add more registers and locations. For hardware, you’ll need PayPal’s Chip Card Reader, which retails for $79 but includes a $30 rebate for eligible merchants, bringing the cost to $49.

Final Thoughts

Business owners look to Square for a lot of reasons — whether they want a point-of-sale system, or flat-rate pricing, or a comprehensive, all-in-one platform. Square has a lot of advantages, but also some shortcomings. Ultimately, only you can make the call about whether Square is right for you, or whether you’re better off going with an alternative provider. But 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 Square 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!

SquarePayment DepotPaylineShopifyShopKeep

Payment Depot merchant services review

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All-In-One Solution, Upgrade PotentialFree Chip Reader, All-PurposeVersatile, Works With Many POS SystemsFree Chip Reader, Integrate Online SalesHigh-Volume, Large TicketAdvanced Features
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.
Melissa Johnson

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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.


    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.

      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!


        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?

          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!


            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.

              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?

                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! 😉

                  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

                    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!


                      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!

                        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!


                          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?

                            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.


                              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?

                                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!


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

                                    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.


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

                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                        Hi Geoffrey,

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



                                          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?

                                            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.

                                              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!

                                                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!

                                                  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.

                                                    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.


                                                      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…


                                                        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..

                                                          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!


                                                            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…)

                                                              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.


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

                                                                  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?


                                                                  Robert Olson

                                                                    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!

                                                                      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”.


                                                                        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?

                                                                          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.

                                                                            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!

                                                                              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.


                                                                                Id love to know too. Same situation pretty much


                                                                                  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?

                                                                                    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.

                                                                                      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.

                                                                                        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.


                                                                                          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

                                                                                            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!


                                                                                              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!

                                                                                                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.


                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                    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:



                                                                                                      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?


                                                                                                        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.:)

                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

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


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

                                                                                                                    Chloe Bahal


                                                                                                                    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.


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

                                                                                                                        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 .


                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                      Angelina Burnett


                                                                                                                                      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,

                                                                                                                                        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: My suggestion would be to stick with Square.

                                                                                                                                          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?


                                                                                                                                            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?

                                                                                                                                              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.


                                                                                                                                                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?


                                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                      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.


                                                                                                                                                        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?

                                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                          Hi Deb,

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


                                                                                                                                                            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?

                                                                                                                                                              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.


                                                                                                                                                                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!

                                                                                                                                                                  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?

                                                                                                                                                                    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:


                                                                                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                                                                                        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!!


                                                                                                                                                                          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?


                                                                                                                                                                            Square has very poor customer support.


                                                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                                                                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.


                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you can recommend a merchant for a travel business?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Joe,

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      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 ?


                                                                                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                                                                                                          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.


                                                                                                                                                                                            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?


                                                                                                                                                                                              Angel Flores

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

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