PayAnywhere POS Review 2021

PayAnywhere is on the way to becoming a viable point-of-sale solution for small businesses. In its current iteration, however, the inconsistent quality control and lack of both features and fee transparency makes PayAnywhere hard to recommend over the competition.
Best for low-risk businesses
pay anywhere logo
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • Check
    Free mobile card reader
  • Check
    Seasonal business accommodations
  • X
    Simplistic feature set
  • X
    Mixed user reviews

PayAnywhere’s POS product is an attempt to compete with modern POS solutions like Square. When compared with Square, however, PayAnywhere’s product falls quite short. And really that’s the main problem with PayAnywhere. It can never quite measure up to its competition.

On paper, PayAnywhere’s pricing structure is cheaper than Square. In practice, however, PayAnywhere loses its footing because of its inconsistent software reliability, lack of features, and user complaints.

So the question becomes: Should you use PayAnywhere? The answer is probably not.

PayAnywhere is OK for low-risk businesses with little transaction volume

We can’t recommend PayAnywhere to businesses looking to move serious merchandise, but PayAnywhere is a little cheaper than Square. Unfortunately, it has a reliability problem. So, if your processing needs aren’t particularly urgent, PayAnywhere could save you some money.

However, even that recommendation has a few caveats. The first is that you should only use PayAnywhere’s mobile card reader. If you invest in any of the more serious equipment, you’ll be paying a monthly fee to use it. Also, if you don’t make a transaction for over 12 months, PayAnywhere will start charging you a monthly inactivity fee.

So that leaves our recommendation to use PayAnywhere as a casual POS solution. But this is a cautious recommendation more than a serious one.

PayAnywhere pricing

Pricing breakdown

Products
Price
Monthly fee
Extra fees
See Plans
Transaction fee for swiped, dipped, and tapped payments2.69%NoneNone
Transaction fee for keyed payments3.49% + $0.19NoneNone
2-in-1 mobile readerFree ($29.95 per additional reader)NoneNone
3-in-1 mobile reader$49.95NoneNone
Smart terminal mini$249.95$9.95 per monthNone
Smart terminal$349.95$9.95 per monthNone
Smart flex$549.95$19.95 per month$49.95 set up fee
Smart point of sale +$949.95$39.95 per month$99.95 set up fee

Data effective 1/8/20. At publishing time, pricing and offerings are current but subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

PayAnywhere has pretty good pricing as long as you don’t invest in any of its smart terminals. The fact that you have to spend a pretty penny on one of the terminals and pay a monthly fee to keep it on is a little silly.

Compare this to Square’s terminals, which you can buy to own outright, and the only fee you have to pay afterward is the basic processing fee when you accept transactions. It’s a simpler model that saves you money in the long run.

PayAnywhere additional fees

PayAnywhere doesn’t list any additional fees on its website, nor is there any information about common extra fees being waived. Because of this, it’s hard to know if PayAnywhere charges a chargeback fee, PCI compliance fee, or other common fees.

We did find a number of reviewers complaining about additional fees, so it’s likely PayAnywhere does charge some additional fees. This lack of transparency is never a good sign in a POS system.

Pros and cons

Pros
Pro Bullet Free mobile card reader
Pro Bullet Seasonal business accommodations
Cons
Con Bullet Simplistic feature set
Con Bullet Mixed user reviews

Pros explained

PayAnywhere offers a free mobile card reader—a nice perk for businesses that need basic processing and don’t want overhead costs.

Businesses with low processing needs that are trying to save on costs often process cards sporadically, so PayAnywhere has implemented a flat-rate processing fee where businesses only pay when they transact. But, if you go over 12 months without a transaction, PayAnywhere will start charging you a monthly inactivity fee of $3.99 a month.

Cons explained

As far as a POS system is concerned, PayAnywhere isn’t even close to offering what the best of the best are offering. It offers employee management, inventory management, and reporting—but these features are fairly simplified.

The inventory management, for example, only monitors stock. It can’t be used to make new inventory orders or to fully automate your inventory process. You’ll have to go elsewhere if you want a more detail-oriented inventory system.

You’ll also need to look elsewhere if you want consistently working software. Many of the negative user reviews online complain about buggy software updates that cause slowdowns and crashes.

Ready for a better point-of-sale system?

Square is the best free point-of-sale system on the market. From invoicing to inventory tracking, Square gives you all the features you need to boost your POS experience.

User review roundup

PayAnywhere users complain about a few key things:

  • Buggy software
  • Deceptive sales practices
  • Unexpected account closures
  • Endless support loops

It’s important to note that negative reviews tend to be both louder and more common online. Of PayAnywhere’s online reviews, however, there are numerous complaints, meaning it’s likely a lot of people are experiencing the same problems.

The positive reviews didn’t have too much to say except that PayAnywhere’s system worked fine and there were no unexpected roadblocks. We did not, however, find any user reviews that talked about savings or exceptional service.

This is an indication that PayAnywhere, when it’s working properly, is a passable processing solution. Not exceptional, but perfectly OK.

Key features

PayAnywhere has an OK feature set for a casual POS system, but it’s nothing to write home about. PayAnywhere’s core features offer some additional functionality over and above basic credit card processing, but the point-of-sale extras are a little too stripped down. In the end, there are only a few functionalities that could be considered key features in PayAnywhere’s product:

  • Virtual terminal. This terminal allows you to take payments on your computer, phone, or tablet.
  • Invoices. This functionality lets you design and send invoices to your clients.
  • Employee management. This feature makes it easy to build schedules and set permissions for your employees.
  • Inventory management. This software serves as a basic inventory tracking tool.
  • Reporting tools. These tools generate reports based on employee sales and business data gathered by your POS system.

As you can see, what we have is a few extra functionalities. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before or better, but it’s there if you want it.

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The takeaway

Alright, so we’ve been pretty lukewarm about PayAnywhere, but that’s because PayAnywhere is a pretty lukewarm product. It’s not breaking any records, setting a new standard for POS features, or even being all that transparent. It’s just there. It’s another option in a sea of great competition.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for PayAnywhere. It gets a few things right, like a cheaper processing price and a free card reader. Also, the features its already put together look like a good beta version of an upcoming POS system.

If PayAnywhere continues to improve its service, adding additional features and improving pricing transparency, then it’ll be a real player in the years to come.

In the meantime, feel free to check out our recommendations for the top point-of-sale systems on the market today.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.