Square Terminal Review
The Square Terminal first hit the market back in 2018, taking the role of Square's first countertop credit card machine. With the ability to accept EMV chip cards, magnetic stripe cards, and NFC contactless payments like Apple Pay, it's a very versatile machine, perfect for a variety of businesses.
Of course, even with its intuitive features and sleek interface, you still might be wondering whether or not you should invest in this piece of hardware.
Luckily, we've done the research and are here to help.
Come dive in with us as we analyze the Square terminal, explaining everything you need to know before making your purchase.
Square Terminal Price
The Square credit card terminal costs $399 upfront. However, Square has a payment program, allowing customers to pay for it in 12 installments of $37, which totals $444.
If you are new to Square and purchase the Square credit card machine, you will be eligible for a $300 processing fee credit. This means that the Square Terminal will cost you around $99 rather than $399.
It's important to note that this discount is exclusively available to new Square customers.
As for the Square Terminal rates or credit card processing fees, every swiped or tapped transaction fee comes out to 2.6% + $0.10. If you need to enter a card manually, the processing fees increase to 3.5% + $0.15.
If your business processes more than $250,000 per day with credit card transactions, you may be able to apply for a lower rate.
If you're looking for more information regarding pricing for leading POS systems, make sure to click the button below and fill out the form. By doing so, you'll get access to our free service, which connects you with POS providers to get a bundle of quotes at no charge!
Features and Benefits
The design is one of the things that makes the Square Terminal so popular. It's about the size of your average smartphone. You'll find an accessible strip and chip reader up top and a handy charging port.
There are small rubber strips on the bottom, which prevent the device from sliding around on slick countertops. If you need to print receipts, you can install a small roll of paper in the receipt printer with ease.
The Square Terminal supports a wide range of payments, including chip cards, magnetic stripe cards, and contactless transactions. Whenever you process a payment, you can see an itemized list of the products that were just purchased rather than only seeing the final sum.
This feature can be incredibly helpful for customers who prefer itemization.
When payments are finalized, you can collect signatures on a printed receipt or directly on the screen.
The free Square Point of Sale App is the software of choice for the Square Terminal. While this software is not compatible with Square Payroll, Square Appointments, or Square For Retail, it does have some limited Square for Restaurants compatibility.
If you run a counter-service joint or you provide tableside ordering in your establishment, having this software can be extremely helpful.
Plus, most of the point-of-sale features that you'd expect from Square POS carry over into the terminal. You can manage receipts, enter custom tips, and create new items. However, if you want to maintain a history of your cash drawer, track individual employee sales, or mark items for sale online, you'll need to use the full-fledged system. Head over to How Does Square Work to learn more.
Ease of Use
One of the main reasons people stick with Square Terminal is that it is extremely easy to use. This fact may be one of Square's biggest selling points. Whether your use it as a way for employees to perform operations remotely or as a countertop credit card machine, getting it up and running in a matter of minutes is easy.
Plus, unlike some other similar machines, you can upload your menu items and inventory in a pinch.
One of the most important yet often overlooked features of the Square Terminal is the security it offers. The Square Terminal isn't only about accessibility and ease of use. It's also about keeping your business secure at all times.
The Square Terminal comes with a high-end built-in fraud protection system, which can keep your business safe no matter what kinds of products or services you are selling. However, it's worth noting that some merchants have had their Square accounts frozen or canceled because the system reported fraudulent activity when there wasn't any.
The Square Terminal comes complete with the Square Point of Sale app, which can be found on a variety of Square devices, such as the Square Register. While you'll get limited compatibility, the Square Terminal fills out the necessary needs for many small businesses, such as tableside ordering.
Plus, with access to the Square Virtual Terminal, keeping track of your payments through the Square Dashboard is easier than ever.
If you've ever used the free Square app, then you, unfortunately, haven't had the chance to take advantage of Square's top-notch customer service. Square offers 24/7 customer support, which includes 24/7 phone support.
If you want peace of mind at all times, this feature is a big deal, especially when it comes to retailers or food service establishments that have late weekend hours.
Of course, thanks to the user-friendly design of the Square Terminal, it's unlikely that you'll need to get on the phone with customer service very often anyway. Plus, the FAQ portion of Square's website will likely provide answers to most of your questions.
Square Terminal Setup
One of the main advantages of the Square Terminal is that it doesn't require a complicated setup. We live in an era of convenience, and it's clear that the developers at Square understood this when they created the Square Terminal.
Once you receive your Square Terminal in the mail, it should already be partially charged. Simply plug it in and turn it on to get started. You will automatically be directed to the Square Dashboard login screen.
If you've already created a Square account, you can log in and watch the 30-second "getting started" tutorial.
Luckily, if you need to set up your Square Account, the process of doing so is also quite simple. You can even start with the initial Square trial if you don't want to take on monthly fees yet.
Once the software portion is up and running, you can install your receipt paper using the compartment in the back.
Easy as pie!
Complaints and Limitations
Though the Square Terminal is small in size, many people say that it is slightly bulkier than they'd like. It doesn't fit in hand as well as you might expect, making it fairly limited to the countertop space.
For starters, the Square Terminal does not work with Bluetooth peripheral devices, such as barcode scanners. This lack of wireless functionality is a disadvantage for many.
However, it's worth noting that you can connect USB-based devices.
If you require a more robust POS terminal, we recommend looking into the Clover Mini from Clover.
This miniature POS system is a great alternative to the Square Terminal.
It can accept payments in various forms, manage tips, capture on-screen signatures, and comes with a built-in receipt printer.
Compare brands at Clover Vs Square.
If you run a food service business, then you've likely heard of Toast.
If not, Toast is one of the biggest names in restaurant POS systems, and the Toast Go 2 is an excellent alternative to the Square Terminal if you need to keep your business moving.
This miniature, handheld terminal comes with a sleek and beautiful design, the ability to accept NFC payments, and fully-integrated software with Toast Loyalty and Toast Marketing.
Final Verdict - Is The Square Terminal Right For My Needs?
The Square Terminal might not revolutionize the game by any means. However, if you run a small business and you need a simple device for payment processing that comes with a receipt printer, Square Terminal is an excellent alternative to your full-fledged POS system.
On the other hand, if you're a high-volume business with a need for all the features that Square offers in its flagship POS system, we'd recommend getting a Square Register or something with more hearty software.
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