December 17, 2019

How Much Does Square Charge

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Square's mobile card reader lets small businesses accept credit card payments. But how much does Square cost? Read this review to see if it is good for your business.

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You may have heard that Square is free. But that depends on what you need out of it. The platform does provide a free magstripe reader and POS app upon sign-up. But it costs money to process transactions on the reader or app.

In this review, we'll explain:

Square's Processing Fees

Square charges processing fess no matter whether you accept credit cards:

  • Online
  • In-person
  • On a mobile device
  • Over the phone

They charge the same rates for all credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. But Square is a pay-as-you-go processor. That means you don't pay anything if you don't have any credit card sales during the month.

Square charges 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction for the Square POS reader, stand, terminal, and register payments. Fees vary depending on the type of software your business is using. Read on for each processing fee structure.

Square for Restaurant
Businesses using Square for Restaurant software pay 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction for payments made on the magstripe, chip, contactless readers, and the Square Terminal.

Square for Restaurants isn't available on the Square register.

Square for Appointments
Businesses with 1 employee using Square for Appointments software pay 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction for payments made on the magstripe, chip, and contactless reader.

For 2 or more employees, your cost per transaction drops to 2.5% plus $0.10. Keyed-in transactions cost 3.5% plus $0.15.

Square for Retail
Businesses using Square for Retail software pay 2.5% plus $0.10 for each transaction on the magstripe, chip, or contactless payments reader. Businesses also pay 3.5% plus 0.15% for keyed-in transactions.

Square for Retail isn't available on the Square Terminal or Register.

Does Square negotiate rates?
Typically, Square won't negotiate rates. But they do offer custom pricing, which equates to negotiating. If you process more than $250,000 in sales and your average ticket price is lower than $15, Square may provide lower rates.

Square's Equipment Charges

Square offers a variety of equipment to use in conjunction with its POS:

  • Square Magstripe Reader: First one is free, $10 for each additional

  • Square Reader for Contactless & Chip: $49 each

  • Square Stand for Contactless & Chip: $199 or $18/month (iPad not included)

  • Square Terminal: $299 or $27/month

  • Square Register: $799 or $39/month

Square also offers complete POS kits that include everything you need. Read on to learn your options.

Is Square cheaper than a merchant account?
It's hard to beat a "free" POS like Square. But a merchant account will offer more robust features. You can also negotiate the merchant account rates, which you can't do with Square. If you have enough sales or a great reason for a merchant account provider to negotiate, you may find lower rates elsewhere.

Square Register Kit
Starting at $1,329, it includes:

  • USB receipt printer
  • Receipt paper
  • USB cash drawer
  • Square Register

Square Stand Kit for iPad
Starting at $676, it includes:

  • USB receipt printer
  • Receipt paper
  • Cash drawer
  • Square Stand for contactless & chip
  • Setup guide

You can purchase an iPad for $329 extra.

Rest Stand for iPad Mini Kit
Starting at $526, it includes:

  • Square Reader for contactless & chip
  • Receipt paper
  • Receipt printer
  • Universal stand
  • Cash drawer
  • Setup guide

Windfall Stand for Samsung Galaxy
Starting at $705, it includes:

  • Windfall Stand
  • Square reader for contactless & chip
  • Receipt printer
  • Receipt paper
  • Cash drawer
  • Setup guide

Square charges no additional fees. That includes:
  • Setup fees
  • Application fees
  • Early termination fees
  • Chargeback fees
  • Refund fees
  • PCI compliances fees

Square's Software Fees

Square offers a few optional programs for an additional charge. All Square users get the free Square POS app. You can use it on a mobile phone or tablet.

The Square POS offers:

  • Sales reporting
  • Inventory management
  • Manage customer information and purchase history
  • Create and send invoices
  • Manage employees
  • Square online store setup

Square offers add-on services for the following:
  • Payroll: $29/month plus $5 per employee
  • Contractor payroll: $5/person per month
  • Loyalty: $45/month
  • Email marketing: $15/month

Square also offers two special POS systems: retail stores and restaurants.

Square for Retail
The Retail POS system is $60 per month. You can sell online, in-store, and manage your back-office all in one place. Here are some of the features:

  • Manage multiple locations
  • Inventory
  • CRM
  • Purchase orders
  • Employee management
  • Get real-time reports
  • Manage customer support

Square for Restaurants
Square's Restaurant POS is $60 per month. Get your front- and back-of-house on the same page with one system. It features:

  • Manage your floorplan and menus
  • Track sales and inventory
  • Manage employees
  • Create discounts

Square for Appointments
Individuals can use Square for Appointments for free. It costs $50–$90/month for teams. Square for Appointments makes appointment setting simple and offers:
  • Free customer booking
  • Automated reminders
  • Integrated payments

Is the Square Reader Worth It?

Financially, the Square reader is a no-brainer because it's free. If you want to accept chip or contactless payments, you'll pay a small fee for hardware.

If you are just starting out, have a legitimate, legal business, and you don't show a threat of credit card fraud, Square can be a great way to start accepting credit cards.

Price of Square vs PayPal

PayPal Here, PayPal's mobile credit card processor, charges 2.7% per card-present transaction and 3.5% plus $0.15 per keyed-in transaction.

The platform doesn't have a monthly fee or setup fee. PayPal Here also operates on a month-to-month contract.

On a $10 transaction, PayPal comes out cheaper by a few cents. It comes down to which system offers the POS features you need.

Does Square report to the IRS?
The IRS requires Square to provide 1099-K forms if you meet certain criteria. If you have more than $20,000 in annual revenue AND you have more than 200 sales, then Square must send you a 1099-K.

Bottom Line

Typically, businesses with small average transactions (less than $20) fare best with Square. The free mobile POS app, user-friendliness, and immediate approval upon signing up make it hard to beat.

We recommend comparing every credit card processor available to you. Look closely at your annual sales, average transaction amount, and necessary features. If you have what it takes to get an individual merchant account and can negotiate lower rates, you may be better off.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

More from CreditDonkey:


Square vs PayPal


Stripe vs Square


How to Accept Credit Card Payments



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Alternatives to Square

Square is one of the most powerful multifunctional POS systems on the market. But is it the best choice for your business? Learn more about Square alternatives in our guide.

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