Square POS Reviews
Square point of sale software is used by coffee shops, retail stores, appointment-based operations, and small businesses of all kinds.
But do Square's POS packages have everything you need? And how do they really stack up against the competition?
Let's dive into a comprehensive review of the Square POS app, Square Register, and key aspects of this popular point-of-sale system. You'll soon know everything needed in order to make an informed choice.
One of the reasons Square POS is so popular with small business owners is that the basic app can be used for free (i.e. with no subscription fee). They do, however, charge $0.10 per debit card transaction and there is a 2.65% transaction fee for credit card payments.
There are no long-term commitments or contracts. You even get a free card reader, enabling you to take card payments directly after setting up your Square account.
Square POS Software Pricing
Although the free version is feature-rich in itself, plenty of additional features are available as well. While you will pay more for these, there are no subscriptions for the POS software, meaning the extra features can be discontinued whenever you chose.
POS packages are $60 per month (per location). ECommerce and online sales features can also be upgraded, costing between $12 and $72 per month.
Payroll features have a $35 monthly fee with an additional $5 charge per employee. Team management features can be upgraded to Team Plus for $35 per month (per location).
Square offers marketing features starting at $15 per month which includes up to 500 contacts and a loyalty program function which costs $45 monthly (per location) for up to 500 visits.
Our Square POS system cost article breaks down the fees even further into Square's specific Restaurant, Retail and Appointment pricing plans.
Square POS Hardware Pricing
Let's cover the basics to see which hardware devices you may need.
Square point-of-sale software works with both Android and iOS devices. The Square Dashboard can be reached via the Square website or the app, and in order to accept in-person card payments, all you need to do is connect a card reader.
If you don't want to use the tablets or smartphones that you currently own, Square offers a complete POS hardware package, or you can select the individual components that most interest you . Now let's take a peek at Square's hardware pricing.
Your first Square magstripe card reader is free, but all additional readers cost $10. This Square reader is what you'll be using to swipe cards and accept payments.
You can also get the Square reader for chip (EMV) and contactless payments. This Bluetooth card reader costs $49 and lets you accept payments via EMV and NFC, such as Google pay and Apple Pay.
The Square Stand offers an all-in-one POS system, comprised of a Square reader and receipt printer. It costs $169 if paid in full, or you can pay $16 per month for 1 year.
The Square Stand is also available as part of a hardware kit, ranging in price from $639 to $1,339, supporting larger restaurant business processes.
The Square Terminal is a mobile device that costs $299 upfront with the option of paying $27 per month for 1 year.
This stand-alone, small, white brick POS system can be used to take orders, card payments, and print receipts.
Our Square Terminal review goes into detail regarding both the benefits and drawbacks of this specific hardware option.
The Square Register is a full point-of-sale system with a touch-screen, customer-facing display, and card reader. It costs $799, but you also have the option of paying $39 per month over the course of 2 years.
This piece of Square POS hardware is also available as part of a hardware kit that includes a cash drawer and receipt printer, for $1,269.
Square stand restaurant station
If you also need the elements that will enable your kitchen to run smoothly, you'll want to go with the Square Restaurant Station hardware kit for $1,019 which comes with a kitchen printer, receipt printer and cash drawer.
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Features and Benefits
Next, let's take a close look at some of the top features of the Square point-of-sale system and the benefits they could bring to your business.
Transactions & Payment Processing
The Square point-of-sale system allows you to accept a variety of payments, including cash, debit or credit card payments including NFC and EMV, and digital payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It also offers an online payment processor linked to your business website and online store.
Not only does Square POS allow tap and card payments, but it offers great payment features like Card-on-File allowing instant payment for regular customers. The customer data and card information is stored securely and is PCI compliant.
This also works with the Square POS Invoices and e-Commerce using their APIs, great for an online store.
Payment Processing Hardware
Square's hardware has the bases well covered in terms of payment processing. The Square Register offers a fully-integrated POS and payment station. The Square Stand is another option that lets you use your iPad device as a Square point-of-sale station.
The Square Terminal allows mobile sales and even lets you print a sales receipt. It is perfect for situations where lots of mobile payments are taken. For example, tableside in restaurants and coffee shops or pop-up market events.
Square point-of-sale can function offline, a lifesaver for small business owners operating in venues with less than reliable internet. Offline mode is commonly used by vendors at festivals.
You can accept card payments whenever your internet connection is interrupted and these offline payments will automatically be processed when the device reconnects to the internet. Do take note: if offline mode transactions aren't processed within 3 days they will expire. This feature is ideal for restaurant, retail, and mobile customers.
Square offers printed receipts even for mobile customers, but you can opt for digital receipts as well.
Digital receipts, sent by email or text message save paper and don't require a printer, a major perk for environmentally friendly small businesses and those taking mobile payments on the go.
Security And Protection
Square offers security monitoring and fraud protection. All customer data is encrypted on their server, meeting Level 1 PCI Data Security Standards.
There is a 2-step verification process for Square accounts, provides better security. You can also control your employee's level of access through the permissions settings.
If you choose to track your activity on the "Disputes" section of Square's dashboard, Square will help you settle any disputes with your bank account that may arise.
No restaurant manager wants run out of ingredients mid-service. That's why Square point-of-sale grants instant access to top inventory management features.
You'll have the ability to set stock levels and be alerted when items are running low.
You will also be sent a daily email, listing the amount of each item that is currently in stock, making it easier than ever to keep an eye on inventory.
An inventory report can be downloaded at any time in an easy-to-print spreadsheet format.
Square can also be seamlessly integrated with outside inventory control systems such as SKU IQ, Shopventory, and Stitch Labs.
The Square Dashboard has a Square Analytics feature from which you can retrieve "Advanced Reports". This section offers a host of supplementary reports and business insights, the data of which can be exported and printed with just a few clicks.
The Square point-of-sale app allows access to sales reports, and within a few seconds you can quickly pull up your current sales statistics.
Services And Items
The screen's item grid can be tailored to your preferences, allowing quick access to frequently sold products or dishes, particular categories and discounts. Because you can configure the button locations to be located exactly where you want them, you won't end up with long checkout lines due to a confusing screen.
Restaurant menu customization is simple, as you can add specials or make modifications in moments.
The "Bulk Import" tool on the Square Dashboard is also a timesaver, as several items can be managed and uploaded at once.
Third-party orders from Door Dash ,Uber Eats and the like can be managed from the Square Dashboard as well.
In addition to reviving contactless payment in the form of Google pay or Apple Pay, Square Online lets businesses print out QR codes for menu displays and signage.
Additional POS Tools
There are various additional POS tools you can add to your Square point-of-sale system, allowing you to fully customize your POS.
The Square point-of-sale system offers a great employee management feature, ideal for larger businesses. This features lets you track hours, control staff permissions and access, optimize costs, set schedules, view labor analytics, and more.
Your staff as they can use the Square Team App or Square Register to clock in or out, as well as view their schedule, hours they have worked, and estimated earnings. They can also use it to request time off.
The Square point-of-sale system can create and track customized email campaigns in moments. Square's customer relationship management tool enables you to send professional marketing campaigns without much effort.
You can collect customer emails and consent, using Square Online QR codes, upload existing emails, then set up a targeted automated marketing campaign and monitor its effectiveness on the Square Dashboard.
If you have an online store or website, setting up a pop-up window lets you offer incentives, encourages business, and can help build your customer email list.
Customer loyalty programs can be set up on the Square Online website or on the Square Dashboard. At the moment, Square is offering a 30-day free trial of this feature.
You can reward your loyal customers and attract new business using your Square POS. This feature doesn't require any extra hardware or software. Engage your customers by offering points or discounts, sell gift certificates, and more, all with just a few clicks.
Complaints and Limitations
Square POS users rate the system highly. The Square POS app has a high rating on both the Google Play and Apple App store from hundreds of thousands of reviews so far.
Although the Square POS system supports Android and iOS tablets and phones, as well as Chromebooks and Macs, it is incompatible with, and will not run on a Windows desktop.
There are higher fees for certain types of payment transactions. Keyed and card-on-file payment transactions are charged at a higher rate. Make sure you read the fine print for transaction charges.
Large businesses and medium-sized businesses with multiple locations might find that Square's monthly payments are costly. This is because they may require many of the paid features and more POS hardware devices. Particularly complex business processing requirements will benefit from more specialized POS systems.
There have been isolated customer feedback reports of poor customer service and limited support. Some customers have had stability issues with their accounts and their accounts have been frozen when they should be active.
It's always a good idea to scope out the competition before making your final purchase decision. We recommend researching the following alternatives before purchasing the Square POS system, just to make sure you get everything you need for a price that's right for you.
This all-in-one POS system supports iOS and Android devices, just like Square POS, plus they also have their own range of POS hardware.
Clover is ideal for a variety of small business types including restaurants, retail, and appointment-based business processes, and offers a simple and small POS.
With plenty of great features, the POS software starts from $9.95 monthly, including marketing, scheduling and invoicing features, and the hardware starts from $29.
Vend offers a free trial of their POS software which works on any type of device - Windows desktop, Android, Mac, and iPad devices.
This secure cloud-based POS system has an offline mode and is a great choice for larger retailers with complicated inventory management and large amounts of customer data to handle.
Sports shops, beauty and health stores, and fashion retailers could all benefit from using Vend as their POS provider.
Prices start from around $99 per month with hardware costs available by quotation.
Vend comes with a great POS system scanner for barcode scanning, plus excellent features including employee and inventory management, customer loyalty features, and multiple payment options.
Square not only offers free POS software with no commitment, but also a free payment device.
It's an ideal choice for new businesses, small businesses and those with an online store.
With top features such as online payment processing, reporting and analytics, email marketing, digital receipts, inventory management, customer management and more, a wide variety of operations would benefit from utilizing Square POS.
One of the main reasons we like Square is that its easy-to-use. Because setting up a Square POS account is so simple, users can begin processing payments and managing inventory straight away. There aren't many other POS systems that present such a fast and effortless setup.
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