Though Square offers an excellent pricing model, tons of quality POS features, and a slew of third-party integrations, it's not right for everyone.
Whether you need more account stability, better high-volume pricing, or a more robust set of features, we've researched the 5 best alternatives to square POS and we'll tell you everything you need to know.
After reading our review, you're sure to find one that gels with your business needs.
Let's dive in!
- Best for multi-channel businesses
- High-end card reader hardware
- Starts at $9 per month
- Best for advanced features
- Retail and restaurant-specific packages available
- Starts at $69 per month
- Best for low-volume businesses
- Accepts all kinds of payments
- $19 flat-rate pricing
- Best for short-term contracts
- Quality POS software
- $109 flat-rate pricing
5 Best Alternatives To Square
Price of Software: $9 per month starting
Price of Hardware: $49 for card reader
Payment Processing Fee: 2.7% for in-person card transactions
Overview: Strong set of POS features, easily scalable, inexpensive card readers, low processing rates for businesses with transactions less than $100.
Shopify is one of the best alternatives to Square out there, and the top choice for businesses that focus on eCommerce. The company developed its own proprietary POS system so that business owners could sell across a wide range of channels.
You'll find tons of features in the Shopify realm, including:
The pricing for Shopify is very simple. It starts off with a $9 per month account fee for the Lite plan, which you can upgrade depending on the needs of your business. The beauty of this software is that it is easy to scale up as your business grows.
As for the credit card processing fees, here's what you can expect:
You can purchase the high-end card reader when setting up a Shopify account, which costs $49.
One of the reasons people go with Shopify over Square is that their in-person credit card processing fees aren't as costly. This is especially true if your average transaction is under $100, as transaction fees for products and services under $100 have lower processing rates.
You will have to pay a monthly fee to use Shopify, though it's a pretty small monthly fee for all that you get.
Overall, Shopify is a wonderful omnichannel POS system for those that provide most of their business online, though sometimes take in-person card payments. Plus, as your business grows, you'll be able to continuously upgrade to better plans.
Price of Software: $9.95 per month starting
Price of Hardware: $49 for Clover Go, $1,649 for Clover Station duo
Payment Processing Fee: 2.3% + $0.10 per in-person transaction
Overview: High-quality line of hardware options, numerous third-party integrations and applications via marketplace, very slight learning curve
Clover is one of the most popular names in small business POS systems with a quality line of payment processing solutions, including countertop POS hardware and handheld devices. The Duo point-of-sale solution is a true contender for the most versatile system on the market.
Devices in the Clover lineup support:
Hardware costs for Clover vary widely depending on where you buy your equipment from. However, on average, you will pay around $49 for the Clover Go device, which is a handheld card reader. If your business needs countertop hardware, the Clover Station Duo POS system is a great choice. This system costs around $1,649.
Unless your business is able to get by with the free plan that Clover offers, you will have to pay $9.95 per month for the monthly fee. The higher-tier plan has a monthly fee of $69.95 with a $9.95 monthly fee add-on for each additional device.
Depending on the provider you use, your payment processing fees can change. If you decide to use Clover's system to process payments, you will pay around 2.3% + $0.10 for in-person transactions with credit and debit cards, and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed transactions.
One of the best aspects about Clover is that you can find it through a number of merchant service providers. While you may end up paying more to use Clover than you would with Square, the fact that you can completely customize this system using the app marketplace makes it a far more flexible choice.
For example, if you need to add some accounting software to your system, you can use the Clover app marketplace to add QuickBooks GoPayment accounting software. If you're a small business owner that can't afford to hire an in-person accountant or outsource one, having the flexibility to integrate applications that do the work for you is extremely helpful.
No matter what size business you run or how you expect your business to grow in the future, you'll be able to utilize Clover to its fullest. Even with its complex features and intricate characteristics, it is surprisingly easy to use.
Price of Software: $69 per month starting
Price of Hardware: free terminal with monthly fees
Payment Processing Fee: 2.9% + $0.10 per in-person transaction
Overview: Tons of advanced retail and restaurant-specific features that can be used with an iPad or desktop, great onboarding support, and flexible payment processing features.
Lightspeed is one of the most feature-rich POS systems on the market today.
You'll find it to be much more versatile than Square's offerings, which is what makes it such an excellent Square alternative.
Top features found in Lightspeed's software include:
The monthly fee for using Lightspeed is anywhere from $69 to $199 per month, depending on what your business needs in terms of features. However, if you choose to opt-out of the pay as you go system, you can save by paying annually.
We also recommend using Lightspeed as your payment processor, as you can save money rather than using a third-party payment provider. To process payments with Lightspeed, you'll pay 2.6% + $0.19 per in-person transaction and 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction without a card present.
Lightspeed truly shines in offering functionality that isn't nearly as basic as Square. As you continue to use it, you'll notice that it works really well with a growing business. If you need something that is a bit more sophisticated for your retail store, you can use the Lightspeed Retail system. The company also makes a restaurant-centric system, perfect for restaurants of all sizes.
The POS system is compatible with most payment processors out there, unlike Square. Essentially, you get the added flexibility of finding the payment processor that can offer you the lowest-possible rates, all while taking advantage of the advanced POS features found in Lightspeed's POS software.
Price of Software: No monthly fee
Price of Hardware: $19 to $59 depending on hardware
Payment Processing Fee: 2.9% + $0.15 per in-person transaction
Overview: SumUp's card reader rivals Square's because it can accept payments of a wide variety, and has excellent low-volume business features.
SumUp is a UK-based payment processor that works in numerous territories, including the United States. It is a wonderful Square alternative with many similar features.
SumUp users can take advantage of the following benefits:
The pricing structure for SumUp is very basic. The company, like Square, uses a flat-rate pricing system for transaction fees. Here is what you can expect in terms of payment processing:
You won't have to pay any application or setup fees either, making SumUp one of the least expensive systems to get up and running.
It's important to note that SumUp isn't as robust as Square in terms of features, though if you only need a basic mobile POS system, paying for the extra bells and whistles found in Square or on other POS systems might not be necessary.
The credit card reader that comes with SumUp can accept payments of all types, including chip, swiped, PIN payments, and contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. However, it's crucial to note that SumUp is a payment service provider, meaning you won't get the same stability that you might expect from larger POS system providers.
Overall, SumUp offers a pretty basic system with features to get your small business off the ground, including a quick-sale mode, cash reporting, inventory library, tipping, refunds, multiple tax rates, and item variants. With a 2.75% payment processing rate for smaller transactions, you'll save more on in-person payments compared to Square.
Price of Software: No monthly fees
Price of Hardware: $109 for card reader
Payment Processing Fee: 30% + $0.08 per in-person transaction
Overview: Payment processing is lower for low-volume businesses, international payments are accepted, and top-notch customer support is provided.
Helcim is a provider that offers true month-to-month billing without any monthly fees. This provider is available in both Canada and the United States, and is one of the most affordable options around for small business owners who need stability with their merchant account.
Some of the best features you'll find in the Helcim ecosystem include:
Similar to SumUp, the pricing model for Helcim is very intuitive and affordable for small business owners. We love that the company is also very transparent about its payment processing fees and pricing structure, as not all POS providers are.
Here are some of the fees that you can expect to pay as a Helcim user:
Square does not have a monthly fee and has the same predictable pricing structure as Helcim, which is what makes Helcim such a great Square alternative, especially for small businesses.
Beyond your typical credit card payments, Helcim can provide online payment processing for online sales from your online store or contactless mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
This merchant account offers total stability at a rock-bottom price that you'd have a hard time finding anywhere else. Plus, with interchange-plus pricing, you can save big on credit card payment processing costs compared to Square.
You won't get all of the same top-notch features with SumUp that you might expect from other systems, such as employee management or inventory management, though if you need a simple pay-as-you-go system for managing in-person and online sales, this system is a wonderful option.
Square is certainly a good fit for many small businesses out there. However, even the best Square plans don't always have the features or pricing models for the dedicated merchant account you need for your business.
You might want more account stability, more advanced features, or cheaper credit card payments. Whatever you are looking for that Square is lacking, you're sure to find the perfect fit with one of the 5 Square competitors we've reviewed.
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