Square Pricing and Fees: The Ultimate Guide for 2019

The most probable answer to why you might be a little curious about Square's fees is the need to use a safe mobile payment method. If I want to handle payment processing with more precision, this is the first stopover before I do any sign-up.  It educates you more about API integration, pricing, inventory and invoice management.

You don't just jump right in haphazardly!

I don't want to turn a blind eye on its competitors too. Here's the sixty-four dollar question. Is this the best payment processing service provider? More reason to bring Square on the table for discussion.

It's beyond dispute that Square has incredibly marked its territory. Credibility is often the most considerable factor for most merchants. No more, no less. This is what the software stands for. What develops from consistency is a high level of trust by users.

In this article, we promise not to leave out any single bit of Square‘s features but most important, it's fees. We unfold its eCommerce APIs, pricing guidelines, point of sale access among other unique specifications.

So what makes this payment processor astounding?

Take a closer look.

Square Pricing and Fees Guide: What is Square?

It's quite meaningful if we begin here.

First and foremost, Square acts as a third party mobile payment processor. Think of it as a system which lets me accept card payments from customers. Take note that this isn't the only transaction it's capable of.

Let's break it down further.

Square lets me capitalize on its software in a number of ways. This is what every business owner wants to hear. I don't have to make a killing to afford its services.  After all, they say that a penny saved is a penny earned.

One unique feature which defines Square is its user interface. It makes it quite simple and idiot-proof. Its popularity can't be overlooked at. The eye-catching reason for this is that many of its users find it as the perfect resolution to make mobile payments.

Remember, it's so significant to look at the credit card processing fees (debit card transactions are also accepted). At the forefront of Square's service delivery, is the capacity to let me pay low rates.

Both I and the customer get hold of the payment information. It brings forth a whole new idea of convenience to both parties.

Without further ado, why don't we go to the nitty-gritty?

How it works

To start off, I need to sign up. Nothing complicated here. Signing up with Square is as simple as setting my official email, business name, and location. What's more fulfilling is it's setup guide, a feature you won't find in most platforms.

Ever asked yourself why nearly all payment platforms insist on one to verify their identity? I know this irritates but it's for your safety. Actually, it's prudent to keep my account secure.

This is possible only if I'm ready to abide by all rules and regulations. Once I pass this test, my account is ready to receive payments.

Square's Unique Features

square fees guide - square reports

Once I log in,  Square welcomes me with a beautiful dashboard. I gain access to very useful information. It shows me the daily gross sales and all the listed payment methods. Also, it lets me see all the sales trends and the previous history which help me make comparisons.

In regards to invoices, I get to either use the dashboard or the POS app to send invoices to my customers. Square doesn't restrict me to use the default invoice. I'm able to make changes and customize to how I like it.

To make a better deal out of this, it lets me set reminders, track the invoice and include attachments like contracts and sales tax if necessary.

Clients make payments through their own portal once they receive an invoice. It has an amazing employee management feature. I can add their information on square and set permissions of my choice.

So how do I make my first transaction?

Don't be shy to try out all the channels available. It's the only way to find which one, in particular, suits my business model. At this point, you don't want it to get all bumpy. Square has a beautiful setup guide which lets me handle all payments accurately.

I can choose to download the Point of Sale App on my mobile device (smartphone or tablet). The software sends a download link to my email. Now here's some good news. The app is available on both Android and Apple play store.

Where do I use this app?

Anytime I want to connect a reader to swipe, insert or tap a customer's credit card. Alternatively, the app allows me to key in all the required payment information manually.

With Square, everything is right on track. There's an email invoice option on board. It doesn't matter whether I'm an amateur. I'm able to reach out to my customers through an invoice and request them to pay online via Square.

One more choice. I can access Square through my website and charge customers from this point. This is so genius of them. Square has an incredible app store filled sharp-witted and updated software of all kind.

It's amazing that apps like Xero and Intuit Quickbooks which are highly acknowledged can synchronize well with Square. If I'm to explain this in black and white, this is quite a futuristic approach.

At the same time, I get to import Square sales receipts and reconcile all payments with my bank statements. Also, Square lets me link my bank account. However, transactions are met without any hindrance only when I verify the account.

Square Pricing and Fees: Point of Sale Access

square pos pricing

I'm impressed that Square considers enterprises of all tiers. As a business owner, I get a feature to generate a distinctive passcode which bypasses all restrictions set when one uses the Point of Sale as a guest. In other words, it makes me be more like an administrator.

In addition, it lets me give permissions to my employees. For instance, it's possible to let them have access to the POS and give discounts, issue refunds, cancel transactions or even view reports. The list is endless.

Square‘s POS is easily accessible through mobile web, Android and iOS device (on both smartphones and tablets). There's some relevant information which Square relies on.

It includes the currency code like USD or Euro, the API version and the Square issued application ID of the merchant's mobile app. From here, the merchant's mobile app sends a request to Square's Point of Sale API.

Inventory Handling

By the look of things, Square helps me manage all items in a systematic and businesslike manner.

So how do I track my inventory?

Let's have a glimpse.

Square comes with an alert notification system. It's so amazing that I'm able to set a stock alert which updates me through my email. It helps me know anytime my inventory is almost out of stock.

All this is visible on the online Square dashboard. Here, I have a stock alert column which is designed to let me enable or disable specific notifications.

What else can I do with the email notifications system? It feeds me with a daily sales summary, product updates in the event where new features are released and special offers from Square too.

Once I complete a sale, Square decreases the item count automatically. This is quite a weighty feature. In fact, this relieves me the burden to carry out a manual exercise.

Also, it has filters which prove to be handy whenever I want to add an item. I get to sort all products by price, SKUs or size.

Square for Restaurants Pricing

square for restaurants pricing

Looking for an easy way to upgrade your Restaurant with a simple and practical point of sale system? Square has got you covered. More than just your basic POS solution, Square offers custom strategies for people who need very specific features from their transactional tools. Square for Restaurants is the solution designed specifically for restaurant owners.

Square for Restaurants has the same easy-to-use interface that you would expect from the rest of the Square portfolio, the main difference being that everything is designed for restaurant owners. The POS system allows users to process payments, generate reports, track their sales, assign roles and so much more. You can even access all the features you need in offline if your connection goes missing for any reason.

Square for Restaurants also comes with a slightly different pricing structure to the rest of the Square portfolio, so it's worth keeping that in mind if you're looking into this system for your business.

Square for Restaurants pricing works on a subscription basis, paid per month for each location you need to support. For each location you have, you'll pay a $60 subscription fee that's charged on the first day of every month. Use of Square for Restaurants is also included on the first device at your location, but if you decide to upgrade to more than one device, you'll need to pay $40 for each additional product. You'll be able to manage that information and your devices from your Square Dashboard.

Basically, if you have two devices at a single Square location, then you'd pay your $60 subscription fee, then $40 for the extra device. If you have two locations, you'd need to pay $60 for each location, equaling $120.

Aside from your subscription fee, and price per extra device, you'll also have a cost to pay with Square for Restaurants for processing transactions. This is similar to the transaction fees that you would pay for any POS.

👉 Processing rates options look like this:

  • When you dip, tap or swipe customer cards through the Square for Restaurants app, your processing fee is around 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction.
  • For all other kinds of the transaction (manually keyed-in payments for instance) you pay the standard processing fee, which is 2.5% for card-not-present transactions.

Importantly, the 2.6% plus 10 cents fee only applies to payments processed through the POS app for restaurants offered by Square. Additionally, if your subscription stops or you stop subscribing to Square for Restaurants, you'll still be able to use the app to process transactions at the same ongoing rate.

There are a few extra expenses that you can consider looking into too, with Square for Restaurants. For instance, if you want to get money into your bank account immediately, then you can do so for an extra 1% fee. Additionally, if you want 24/7 priority support from a team of technical experts to help you manage your new restaurant, then you can do that for an extra cost.

The Square implementation services start at around $600, so they're probably only going to be affordable for slightly bigger companies.

👉 Read our Square for Restaurants review.

Square for Retail Pricing

square for retail

Just as Square offers a unique POS and pricing system for Restaurants, there's also a solution designed specifically for retail stores too. Square for Retail offers all the amazing functionality of the Square POS app, combined with a few special offerings just for retail stores. If you're looking for a comprehensive POS offering to help you get started in the retail world, Square for Retail is the tool for you. This software solution helps users to simplify the various components of their retail transactions, from inventory management to sell-in-store features and so much more.

Square for Retail pricing, similar to Square for Restaurants, is based on a per-location and per device basis, on a rolling monthly subscription. When you sign up for Square for Retail, your monthly fee will be $60, and that comes with access to the Square for Retail app for one device. You'll need to pay the same subscription fee every month, on the first day of the month.

One slight difference between Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants, however, is that the cost of the “extra devices” fee is a lot lower. You'll be able to pay for each extra device at a cost of just $20 per month, which makes it easier to have multiple POS systems in your retail location at once.

As with all Square systems, of course, there are also processing fees to be aware of. When you tap, swipe or dip a card to take a payment with Square for Retail, you'll be treated to a slightly lower processing fee than you get for Square for Restaurants. The average transaction price is 2.5% plus 10 cents for each payment.

Other kinds of transactions, including the card-not-present options offered by Square and the payments taken via Virtual Terminal and invoices, will need to be paid according to Square's Standard Processing fees.

👉 That means:

  • Invoices and online store payments cost 2.9% plus 30 cents
  • Keyed-in cards and card on file transactions cost 3.5% plus 15 cents

Again, the rate that you get for the standard swiped transactions on Square for Retail only applies if you're processing payments through the Square for Retail application. If you're using the Square Point of Sale standard app to process payments via a Retail device or account, then you're still going to pay the processing fee at the standard rate of 2.6% plus 10 cents – so be careful.

Additionally, if your subscription doesn't continue with Square for Retail for any reason, then you'll be able to continue using the Retail POS app, but not at the same price. The transaction processing fee returns to the standard 2.6% plus 10 cents – which means that you could end up spending a lot more on your retail processing in the long-term. If you're a retail company, it's definitely worth making the switch to Square for Retail for savings.

👉 Read our Square for Retail review.

Square Fees: Payments API Overview

 

square fees pos system

This system works to process payments, issue refunds and generate transaction reports. To put everything into perspective, the system is built to save me time and money. I don't have to worry about the number of payments that trickle in each day.

Everything here is scalable. As my business grows, Square helps me handle larger volumes of transactions. What I do like more, is the way it complies with all PCI data security standards.

The Know Your Customer (KYC) is also in check. Both I and the customer are well protected. It mitigates all potential risks through an end to end encryption database. In simple terms, this means that I don't need to worry about data security.

To all ecommerce merchants, there's a feature to place reliance on.

I stand a chance to bank on the online payment API's. It's a secure way to accept payments from my e-commerce site. Actually, this is an advanced technique to take advantage of.

What I love most is the fact that all major brands like Visa and Mastercard are compatible. Besides credit cards, it lets me accept gift cards, checks and cash.

API Categories

Square has a Customer's API system which supports the user to manage a buyer's credit card information.

Once I save this data, it integrates with Square's API and I'm able to handle all recurring payments at ease. The entire logistics is made simple by the use of its elaborate language.

Let's move on to the Catalog API.

It helps me manage product quality and quantity. A product catalog of items and services is quite fast and blends easily with all transactions. I get to leverage on this since it lets me create, update and delete catalogs in real-time.

An Inventory API is part of the system and works hand in hand with the Catalog API. They're more or less intertwined. It does both inventory count and adjustments, all at the same time. The API tracks any inventory transfer in case I want to place an item to a different location.

At this point, you must realize that Square seems like a very sound alternative which tries to solve so many payment hurdles. Let's not disregard the Employee's API. 

As the merchant, I use it to gain access to employee's details which includes their IDs. On top of its agenda, is the capacity to firm up a suitable display on the webpage.

The Square dashboard lays down a proper mechanism to create Employee positions and wages based on the job title.

The most significant is the Checkout API which lets a merchant accept online payments by use chargeback protection for all successful transactions. It integrates with both Apple pay and Google pay on the hosting device where a payment button shows up for each service.

Square's Hardware

Please give more focus on this.

There's plenty of stuff to shop here. It makes me so indecisive and impulsive. On the contrary, what matters is whether I'm quite familiar with what I really need for my store. I don't want to waste money on a machine which ends up being redundant.

I want to briefly explain a few of the mainstream machines that are up for sale. The other accessories have been well-listed in their site.

👉 So let's go straight ahead.

  • Square Register – It runs on powerful software and built on heavy-duty hardware. This makes it quite fast and dependable. This integrated system allows me to accept all payments from major cards at 2.6% + 10¢ per tap, dip or swipe.

Funds reflect in my bank account after one or two business days. This is truly a reliable machine for my business. The price for this register is $999 which includes free shipping.

  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip – So how efficient is this device? It lets me connect to my iPad. First, I need to download the Square Point of Sale. The entire package comes with a Square stand, a Square reader for contactless and chip, and a Dock for Square reader.

This helps me accept any payment method a customer wishes to use. It only costs $199 for the entire bundle. Remember, I don't pay a coin to ship this product. Shipping takes 5-7 business days.

  • Square Terminal – This device proves to be so viable and compatible for most merchants. It faces all the challenges that come with payments and receipts. It has 24/7 fraud mitigation and phone support.

This is the kind of cutting-edge technology you won't find in most competitors. To say the least, it breaks new ground. It supports a wide range of payment types like Apple pay, Google pay, NFC cards, EMV cards, for both chip cards and magnetic stripe cards.

The Terminal accepts all major cards at 2.6% + 10¢ per tap, dip, or swipe. In addition, Square vows not to annoy me with any hidden fees or additional costs. I must part with $399 to purchase this gadget.

What else do they have?

There are still other gadgets which help me cut off the slack.

👉 They include:

  • USB Receipt Printer-$299
  • USB Bar Code Scanner-$199
  • Printer-Driven Cash Drawer-$129
  • eero WI-Fi System-$199
  • Security lock, Wire + Anchor Point-$49

It turns out that Square is conscious of its high-end machine prices. To make it fair for all potential buyers, it offers financing deals on all orders between $49- $5000. I get to have a flexible monthly repayment plan.

It's amazing how Square lays out all item specifications in an intuitive manner.

Square's Pricing Overview

square fees guide: pricing

We just can't brush this off.

It's so obvious that money doesn't grow on trees. We need to know if Square is actually affordable.

How does it compare to other credit card processing platforms?

👉 Below are Square's fees for its software services.

  • Invoices – 2.9$ +30¢ per invoice
  • Square Gift Cards – the price starts from $ 1.50
  • Invoices paid with a card on file – 3.5% + 15¢ per invoice
  • Square for E-commerce – Square charges me 2.9% + 30¢ per payment
  • Virtual Terminal- 3.5% + 15¢ per payment
  • Client Prepayments for appointments-2.9% + 30¢ per payment.
  • Employee management – I pay $5 per employee on a monthly basis.
  • Appointments – The price starts at $30 per month. It lets me handle all bookings and integrate them with my calendar.
  • Payroll – From $29 per month
  • Email Marketing – It starts at $15 monthly
  • Square for Retail – It charges $60 a month per location. The package includes 1 device. I need to pay an extra $20 for each additional device per location.
  • PCI compliance to enhance security- The cost starts from $20
  • Minimum processing fee – Whenever I process transactions below $5000 per month, I only pay a flat rate of $70
  • Bank charges – 1.51% + 10¢ for each Visa transaction
  • Credit card fees – 0.11% + 0.185¢ for each Visa transaction

Square's App Marketplace

This part opens doors to all possibilities. In other terms, it creates a new momentum which mediates to bridge all gaps. Well, it all depends on the kind of business I'm into. I get to synchronize all my apps to Square. This improves the efficiency to handle all payments.

So what really goes down here?

👉 Have a closer look at the most preferred apps.

  • Accounting & Tax- From this end, I get to link profound apps like Xero, Taxjar, and Zoho books with Square. And what do these apps all have in common? They help me sort my business accounts and automate workflows. I get to transfer all of Square's sales information to these accounting tools.
  • Point of sale- We have apps like Vend, TouchBistro, and Lavu on board. They help me deal with inventory and manage POS for small businesses like restaurants, bars, and food trucks.
  • eCommerce- It's certain that nothing worthwhile comes easy. More reason to invest more on platforms with tools which are pretty much handy for an online store. I get to link Square to notable software like Ecwid, BigCommerce, Wix, 3dcart, Magneto, and WooCommerce.
  • Employee Management- The likes of Homebase, Deputy, and Tsheets help me enhance team communication and build a better workspace for my employees. I get to manage these apps right at the comfort of Square's dashboard.
  • Invoicing and Services- Here's a good one. You want to leave no chance to errors and other discrepancies. Square's marketplace has a wide range of apps to integrate with. They're quite reliable and help me send professional invoices and manage workflows on a daily basis. I get to synchronize amazing apps like Zipbooks, Zoho Invoice, and Billy Easy Invoicing.

Customer Support

It always feels convincing, anytime I get prompt assistance as a user. It anchors confidence in the software you want to rely on. To fulfill this, Square has an official email address and phone number.

Square promises to answer all the queries in an exhaustive way. They seem so resourceful on YouTube. The team has over 100 tutorials for better clarity.

Keep in mind that Square is active on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The site is full of informative articles which guide a user on major areas like processing payments and API integration.

It has a blog section which educates business owners on related current trends.

Which Business Types Should Consider Square?

This is so paramount. You can't help but notice that Square offers solutions to nearly all business entities in the contemporary world.

👉 Below are some of the business setups which Square supports:

  • Scalable enterprises
  • Retail stores e.g clothes and electronics
  • Coffee shops
  • Counter Services
  • Table services i.e restaurants
  • Bars and Lounges
  • Beauty professionals
  • Health and Fitness arenas
  • Home and Repair services
  • Professional services e.g classes

What are the Pros? 👍

It's always courteous to start off with the promising side.

  • Square has been designed to accept nearly all major credit cards (including Visa, American Express or Discover). This is incredible since all I need to do is sign up and get a card reader.
  • It has no hidden fees or additional costs
  • I don't need to wait for so long to access payments. The longest it takes is two business days. Suppose I want to get my funds instantly, It lets me send a request. This costs 1% of the whole transfer amount.
  • Square has competitive and pocket-friendly processing rates
  • It has a user-friendly interface
  • There's a credit card chargeback protection facility
  • Square puts PCI compliance at the top of its priority

And the Cons? 👎

  • Several bad reviews online and complaints about its customer support
  • The dashboard needs a couple of updates. Square needs to keep up to speed with its competitors.

Square Fees Guide: Wrapping Up

Finally, allow me to give the verdict.

Is Square worth a try? Yes of course. It has so much to utilize. On the other hand, there are minor flaws here and there but it doesn't change the narrative.

In a scale of 1-5, I will give it a 4.5. It literary serves my needs better. As a merchant, I get to utilize its spectacular POS app and accept credit card payments. What more do I need if not a system which is responsive and secure?

Looking at the broad spectrum, Square ranks up high among its rivals. I only wish that Square takes into account all complaints with much gravity. Over and above, it is suitable for small businesses and medium-sized businesses.

Further reading:

Square Fees Rating: 4.5 - Review by

Desirae Ojdick

Desirae is a passionate freelance copywriter, guest blogger, and a content creator. She takes her time to study all current trends related to the e-commerce industry.