Square Review: POS and Payment Processing

Each month, 3 million people use Square’s mobile payment app. But is Square the best solution for you? For small businesses that need a slew of products to accept payments and pay employees, Square is an obvious choice.

Best Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Starts at
$0.00 per month
  • pro
    Multiple financial products
  • pro
    Reasonable pricing
  • con
    Complaints of account suspensions

Data effective 1/11/2023. At publishing time, pricing and products are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

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You’ve seen Square’s mobile credit card readers at farmers markets, food truck roundups, and restaurants, but Square offers more than card readers to small businesses.

Between Square’s point-of-sale (POS) system, invoicing program, payment app, and chip readers, Square offers fairly comprehensive, mobile, and time-saving financial solutions for small businesses—all for an unbeatable monthly price of $0. There are some small fees, and you would have to purchase any necessary hardware. But even with those costs, Square is rather affordable for the average small business.

It's easy to get started, reasonably priced, and easily scalable as your business grows. That's why Square is one of our favorite modern POS systems.

Most affordable all-in-one POS solution: Square

Square readers are everywhere for a reason. It's easy to get started, reasonably priced, and scalable as your business grows.

Square Point of Sale: Best for most businesses

POS software can benefit any small business, and Square Point of Sale is no exception. Square’s integrated processing payment system centralizes your sales information and makes it available anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re accepting cash, checks, gift cards, or credit cards; all the information is recorded in one spot.

The software also streamlines your operations to save you time, reduce human error, and improve the overall customer experience. And like other POS software, Square Point of Sale offers detailed sales reporting and insightful analytics. In short, what’s not to like about Square’s POS software?

Square Point of Sale

Find more info

Up-front price


Monthly Price


Processing fee

2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap*
3.5% + $0.15 per card on file or manually entered card payments


Android- Apple

Hardware options

- Magstripe Reader (Free)

- Contactless and Chip Reader ($49.00)

- Stand for Contactless and Chip Reader ($169.00)

- Register ($799.00)


Complaints of unexpected account suspension and termination

Data effective 1/11/2023. At publishing time, pricing and products are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

To be a successful business, it’s essential to keep track of payments, and Square Point of Sale can help you do that effectively. It doesn’t matter how informal or small your operation is: whether you’re selling apples at the farmers market or opening a yoga studio, Square’s free POS software is a great solution. All you have to pay for is the hardware and a 2.6% + 10¢ fee for every swipe. It’s so reasonably priced, we recommend it for businesses that need anywhere from one to ten point-of-sale systems.

Square POS hardware costs

Up-front cost
Swipe, dip, or tap payment fees
Card on file or manually entered payment fees
Get started

Square Register


2.6% + $0.10*

3.5% + $0.15

Square Stand for Contactless and Chip


2.6% + $0.10

3.5% + $0.15

Square Reader for Contactless and Chip


2.6% + $0.10

3.5% + $0.15

Square Reader for Magstripe


2.6% + $0.10

3.5% + $0.15

Data effective 1/11/2023. At publishing time, pricing and products are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Compare Square to top competitors


Payment DepotNational ProcessingStax
Processing fees2.6% + $0.10Interchange onlyInterchange + 0.15% + $0.07Interchange only
Monthly fees$0.00$59.00$10.00$99.00
Free mobile reader
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Inventory management
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Accounting integrations
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Employee management
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Get started

Data effective 1/11/2023. At publishing time, pricing and products are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Square for Retail

If your business regularly breaks $10,000 in sales per month, Square’s regular Point of Sale transaction fees can really eat away at your profit margin. Fortunately, for high-volume retail businesses, Square offers another option: Square for Retail.

Square for Retail costs $60 per month, but it brings your per-payment processing fee down to 2.5% + 10¢. Keep in mind, though, that this option saves you money only if your business makes lots of low-value sales. If your average sale is relatively high, you’re probably better off sticking with Square’s regular point of sale offering—or contacting Square to negotiate a custom rate.

Comparing Square Point of Sale

pro No monthly service fee
pro Detailed sales reports
pro Quick payment processing
con High transaction fees

When comparing point-of-sale solutions for small businesses, Square Point of Sale excels. Along with being one of the most affordable solutions out there, Square’s software empowers your business with flexibility and mobility. In fact, we picked Square as the best mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system for small businesses.

Square is also quick about transferring money into your account, with most payments going through within one to two business days. Plus, it offers excellent features that compete with the best POS software offerings: invoicing capabilities and tools for reporting, email marketing, and employee management.

The potential drawback with Square Point of Sale is the transaction fees. Square’s flat rate of 2.6% + 10¢ per swipe, dip, or tap is certainly low—but it’s beaten by competitors like Payanywhere and Intuit GoPayment. However, both Payanywhere and GoPayment come with monthly fees, so in the long run, Square Point of Sale is more economical for businesses with low-volume sales.

To illustrate our point, check out these comparisons of Square versus other POS providers:

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Square Payments Processing: Best for e-commerce businesses

pro Affordable pricing
pro Compatibility with all major credit cards
pro Inventory management
con Funding holds
con Complaints of account terminations

While Square has made a name for itself with its simple-to-use hardware and POS system, the company also offers payment processing for online transactions.

Just like other Square services, Square Payment is easy to set up and chock-full of beneficial services. Its dedicated payment accounts offer credit card transactions for in-store, online, and keyed-in transactions. Merchants can store payment details to make checkout as efficient as possible. Plus, Square’s payment processing APIs allow users to integrate with sales while tracking reporting and deposits.

But that’s not all. Square Payment makes it even easier to manage your business by keeping your inventory up-to-date. Users will receive daily emails outlining which items are low or out.

In terms of pricing, Square Payment charges 2.6% + 10¢ per swipe. For invoice and e-commerce payments, the platform charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Virtual terminal and keyed-in transactions cost 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction.

If you regularly deal with a large volume of payments and are worried about all those transaction fees adding up, don’t fret. Businesses that process more than $250,000 in credit card sales can work with Square’s sales team to create a custom pricing package.

Just like other Square services, Square Payments Processing is easy to set up and chock-full of beneficial services.

Additional features


Do you send only a few invoices a month? Then Square Invoices may be an excellent fit for your business. It was built for occasional use, so it makes the most sense for businesses that invoice infrequently, like restaurants and brick-and-mortar stores.

You can pair Square Invoices with a more complete solution like Square Point of Sale. It really comes down to how often you invoice your customers—since transaction fees steep with Square Invoices. The regular tap, swipe, and dip transaction fee for Square Point of Sale is 2.6% + 10¢. With Square Invoices, it’s a 2.9% + 30¢ fee. That fee increases further to 3.5% + $0.15 if you choose to keep the customer payment information on file.

For businesses that send large batches of invoices regularly, you may find invoicing software with richer features and more competitive prices elsewhere.


As an advanced payroll processing software, Square Payroll checks all the boxes for paying your staff. It not only processes payments but also offers online accounts for each team member. Whether salaried, hourly, or otherwise, employees and contractors can quickly set up direct deposit, clock in and out using Square’s POS app, and import time cards automatically.

Square Payroll offers a ton of features aimed at saving business owners time:

  • Clean and easy-to-use setup wizard
  • Imported time cards
  • Online accounts for team members
  • Sick leave tracking
  • Paid time off tracking
  • Workers compensation
  • Employee payroll compliance

Unlike competitors, Square Payroll offers flexible pricing. Its contractor-only option is priced at an affordable $5 per contractor per month. If you have full-time employees, expect to pay $29 per month plus $5 per team member or contractor per month.

The takeaway

Running a business is no easy feat. If you want a simple and affordable all-in-one solution for helping your business succeed, Square is a great choice.

Want to check out the other options? Stop by our guides to the best point-of-sale and payroll services for businesses to see how Square compares to the competition.

Square FAQ

Still have questions? For more information, find the answers to frequently asked questions below.

Square is one of the most versatile merchant services on the market. From accounting and bookkeeping to inventory management and employee schedule management, Square seamlessly integrates with a variety of third-party apps.

Square and PayPal have solutions to fit different businesses and needs. Square offers no restrictions on typical in-store transactions, which is important for high-volume merchants. However, PayPal tends to have the advantage in terms of processing rates, customer service, and payment channels. Take a closer look at the differences between Square and PayPal.

Square provides a myriad of robust tools and services for all types of businesses, both large and small. Along with the services we mentioned above, Square users have access to analytics of sales, customer spending habits, in-depth reporting, appointment setting, employee management, and more. So it’s no secret why Square has helped millions of merchants successfully run their business.

While Square benefits businesses of all sizes, it’s most beneficial for merchants who have less than $10,000 in swiped transactions per month.

Before you sign up for the platform, take a minute to get to know the company:

  • Customer service: Square’s customer support consists of live phone support during weekdays and business hours. Not a big phone talker? Send them a quick note through email or social media.
  • Consumer feedback: The primary complaint on the BBB website is Square’s lack of live support and terminated accounts. In its General Terms of Service, Square states it can “suspend or terminate your Square Account or your access to any Service, at any time for any reason.”2 Keep in mind that Square is continuously working to improve its customer service and policies.
  • History: Square has come a long way in the past nine years. In fact, Square’s stock has more than quadrupled over the past two years.3 The dominant company revolutionized payment processing with its portable, pocket-sized credit card processing system. Previously, business owners struggled with the cost and complexities of credit card processing. Today, Square aims to solve small-business challenges while being a breeze to use.


We took a detailed look at FIS, analyzing its features, pricing structure, and reliability. We compared it to other top brands in the processing sphere looking for specific features that set it apart from its competitors. We also consulted hundreds of user reviews and expert opinions. 


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.

1. J. Clement, The Statistics Portal, “Number of Mobile Payment Users Accessing Selected Leading Payment Apps in the United States as of July 2017 (in Millions),” Nov 20, 2019. Accessed January 11, 2023.
2. Square, “General Terms of Service,” December 10, 2019. Accessed January 11, 2023.
3. Nasdaq, “Square Inc Weebly Buy Could Be Red Flag on International Revenue Streams,” April 30, 2018. Accessed January 11, 2023.

Andrew Mosteller
Written by
Andrew Mosteller
Former Business.org staff writer Andrew Mosteller covered small business expansion, management and advertising.
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