Vend vs Square
Vend and Square are two of the most user-friendly POS systems for small businesses on the market today.
But which of these brands has the competitive edge you need to streamline your operations?
That's exactly what we'll help you decide.
Continue reading as we pin point which of these POS providers will be the best fit for your business specific needs.
Choose Vend If...
If you manage complex inventories with lots of product information or a big customer database, Vend is a great choice. We highly recommend it for specialized retailers, such as health and beauty stores, sports retail stores, gift shops, and fashion boutiques.
Choose Square If...
Square is an ideal fit for small businesses that don't have overly complex inventories. It's also a wonderful on-the-go point-of-sale solution for those with lower sales volumes, such as craftspeople, flea market vendors, and food trucks.
This industry-specific point-of-sale solution works well for coffee shops, restaurants, nail salons, clothing stores, and startups. You can even accept payments, get basic reports, and manage customers using the free plan.
Vend VS Square Comparison Chart
Larger or more established retail businesses with complex inventory management needs.
Small businesses or growing retail businesses looking for a simple and budget-friendly POS system.
$600 to $1,035
$49 to $799
$119 per month starting
$0 per month starting
Based on payment processor
Based on payment processor
24/7 phone support in the multi-outlet plan or an extra $20 per month on other plans. Live chat and email with basic and advanced plans
Customer support from 6 AM to 6 PM PST over phone, email, and live chat. 24/7 support for Premium plan users
Minimum monthly contract
Third-party integrations, built-in payment processing,
24/7 support hours with free plan, vendor management tools in the free plan, flexible payment processing
Digging Into The Details
Vend's Best Features:
Optional Payment Processor
One aspect that the Vend POS system truly excels in is their flexible payment processing.
With Square, you have to use its in-house payment processor.
While the flat-rate may be good for businesses who want to avoid unexpected fees, and the high volume discounts might be beneficial for larger or growing businesses, processing payments through a different company is possible with Vend.
Vend has paired up with several payment processing platforms, helping you to secure the best deal possible.
While Square has a basic inventory management system available with its free plan, as well as more advanced features for inventory management offered with its higher-tiered plans, the features don't match up to those presented by Vend.
Vend is a great choice for businesses with more complex inventory management needs. Some of the built-in features include modifiers, bulk import, barcode scanning, low-stock alerts, reconciling count, vendor management, item lookup, and data transfer for inventory in multiple locations.
Overall, the features and POS system scanner found in Vend's inventory management system are far more sophisticated.
Flexible Checkout Features
Vend offers one of the most flexible and feature-rich sets of checkout features which can be run on an internet browser or mobile device via the Vend App.
To start, the interface found on Vend is ultra intuitive, giving you or your employees prompts to move seamlessly through selling actions. You can conduct returns and exchanges, assign employees to different transactions, add new customers to your database, make notes about each transaction, and tack on discounts or rewards.
Vend also allows you to customize your system with unique checkout screen tiles, giving you easy access to your most used products and actions.
We also love the customer-facing display app, which you can integrate with your hardware for even easier in-store transactions.
Age Verification App
Vend recently integrated with the Hyperspace Age Verification App to allow businesses to sell age-restricted products. With this quality software, you'll get FDA-certified age verification, allowing age restrictions to be set for certain products that you sell in store.
Whenever an employee scans an age-restricted product, they will receive an age verification notice, prompting them to scan the customer's identification prior to completing the transaction.
Customer Management Tools
Vend has a wide range of tools for building customer profiles. We love the fact that you can create special customer groups, such as VIP groups, to provide special pricing, discounts, offers, or select products.
Once you integrate your customers' information, it will appear throughout all of your sales channels. This information includes VIP status, loyalty points, purchase history, and account balances.
Customers can access their rewards and account benefits through your online store as well, a powerful motivator to keep them coming back.
Square's Best Features:
Square beats Vend when it comes to hardware, as it offers a few things that you won't find in Vend's point-of-sale system. Unlike Vend, Square includes a card scanner for mobile devices and dedicated registers.
These few items make Square the more versatile choice for small businesses, as Square allows business owners to make mobile sales on the go.
With the free plan, you'll get the Square magstripe reader, which can be plugged into a smartphone or tablet to take swiped payments. With the purchase of the company's chip reader or smart terminal, you'll also be able to take EMV or NFC (Apple Pay and Google Pay) payments.
The Square Register comes with a fully detachable customer display for retail businesses that want a countertop POS system.
Vend is not as strong as Square in the integrations department. As Square has continued to expand in popularity over the past decade, so have its partnerships with other software developers.
Small businesses have the option to customize their Square point-of-sale system with integrations from the comprehensive Square App marketplace. In the marketplace, you'll find plenty of high-end solutions, including recurring billing tools, accounting tools, invoicing, and more.
The industry-specific wapp integrations are where the Square point-of-sale system really takes the cake. From healthcare management tools to restaurant employee management tools to social media marketing campaigns, you're bound to find at least a few options to enhance your POS system.
Because Square runs on an open API, small businesses with developers on staff can create custom integrations for their business if they choose.
Square has a specialized portion of the overall POS system known as Square Appointments. When Square started out, the company only offered a basic scheduling app for appointment-based small businesses to use, such as salons and spas.
However, that app has evolved into a full-fledged, appointment-centric point-of-sale system for managing bookings, scheduling transactions, and sending and receiving notifications from customers.
You'll find a wide range of features baked into the Appointments software on the Square POS system, including invoicing, customer profiles, card saving, automated reminders, pre-payment integrations, Google calendar integration, self-service, and more.
Unfortunately, Square does not include its loyalty program features with the free version of its POS software. However, if you upgrade to the loyalty program for $45 per month, you receive a quality bundle of customer loyalty features.
With these features, you can track the visitation frequency of your customers, get insight into customer spending, and adjust rewards levels. Most small businesses know how important customer loyalty is, and having the right program can keep your customers coming back for more.
The ability to create customer profiles to see what each customer is purchasing in-store can be helpful in targeting them with more specific offers.
The employees are the backbone of any small business.
It's imperative that you have people working for you that enjoy their work and are looking to help you succeed.
With Square's employee management tools, you can keep track of your best employee, all while making it easier for them to navigate the workplace.
Some of the advanced features found in the employee management portion of Square's POS software include customizable permissions, advanced reporting, employee performance tracking, and more. Once you get under the hood of this software, the potential feels almost endless.
The great thing is that you don't have to upgrade to an expensive software tier to get access to these features. When you sign up for Square's basic plan, you get tools to set employee limitations, for example, allowing only certain employee to initiate refunds or take payments on mobile devices.
The POS software generates insightful sales reports, providing you with information on the daily performance of your employees. These reports can be helpful in showcasing your best employees, so you can reward them.
One of the major drawbacks of Vend is that it does not have as many integration add ons as Square. With Square, you can integrate with hundreds of unique third-party apps to customize your POS system to perfectly fit the complex needs of your business.
Another potential drawback is the cost of the software. The starting cost, if billed annually, is $99 per month right now. If you want to add another register with your Vend plan, you'll have to pay another $49 per month if billed annually. If you choose to go with the starter plan, you'll have a few limitations, including no access to multi-store management features, third-party apps, eCommerce channels, or gift cards.
Owners of small retail businesses may simply not be able to afford Vend's point-of-sale system. Visit Square POS system cost for a full break-down of each of their payment plans.
One of the main drawbacks of Square is that it does not have as strong of an inventory management system as Vend. If you run an ultra-complex retail business, you'll likely find a few limitations.
Another downside seen quite often is that customer receive fund holds. Because Square acts as a payment processor, it can put a hold on your account if it deems anything suspicious. Depending on the severity of the issue, Square could go as far as terminating your account, leaving you in a pickle, even if it's a mistake.
Because Square is a large company with many users, these issues can take a long time to resolve. The company lacks 24/7 phone support, so there is a limited window where you can get ahold of customer support.
This limited window of customer support can also be an issue for after-hours businesses, such as bars or nightclubs. If your system stops working outside of normal business hours, you might have to wait until the next day to get it up and running.
Which is A Better Value?
When it comes down to flexibility and features, Square and Vend are both excellent options. However, Vend is a more powerful system overall, making it better for high-volume, multi-location businesses. Plus, if you already have a payment processor with low processing fees locked in that you would prefer to continue working with, you won't be able to use them with Square.
On the other hand, Square costs less, making it a much better choice for the small business that wants an affordable POS system that they can continue to grow with.