Square Review (December 2022) – Pros, Cons, Features, & Pricing

Square has recently become popular in Canada among many business owners, making a Square review necessary. That’s because many merchants are unaware of what Square is or what it’s truly capable of.

Square is a credit card processing company that Jack Dorsey established. This company offers easy-to-use credit card processors, a flat-rate payment structure, and lots of flexibility. Square is perfect for small businesses, and it provides many services tailored to restaurant owners and retailers.

This article will offer a comprehensive explanation of what Square is and what it’s about. You’ll also learn about the various features that Square provides, along with its benefits and drawbacks.

Editorial Note: Comparewise is supported by our readers. When you find products and services through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2022

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What is Square?

Square is a credit card processing company that was founded by Jack Dorsey, the person behind Twitter. Square offers a variety of payment solutions that make it easier for Canadian businesses to collect payments from their customers. Their payment solutions range from software to numerous hardware devices.

Where traditional credit card companies have long application processes and cumbersome procedures, Square tries to make things easier and faster. This company is unique among credit card processors because they focus on small businesses and their owners. You can see the Square mobile credit card processing company is determined to do things differently.

Square Pos - Comparewise

Features of Square

This Square review also captures the various capabilities of this credit card processor:

Rapid and Transparent Payments

Gone are the days when employees had to wait days after payday to get their pay. Square makes it easier for employers to pay their employees. Even when it doesn’t involve employees, Square makes payment processes faster.

Unlike other payment systems that might rely on an internet connection, Square also works without an internet connection. So, employers can still send payments to employees when their internet connection is unsteady.

While using the rapid payments offered by this credit card processor, you can also be sure of transparency. That’s because Square offers real-time updates on all transactions conducted on the platform. So you can be sure of how much you’re sending and how much you’ve got left in your account.

No Cumbersome Processes

Everything about Square aims at helping users save time. This includes the signup process, the registration for various services, and the dispute-settling processes.

So, you can expect to get your Square account up and running in minutes. If any disputes arise from using any Square application, you can expect experts from the company to handle things.

Reliable Customer Service

One area where Square doesn’t falter is in customer service. This company provides working-hour customer service, and not half-automated customer service, but real humans working round the clock. As long as your dispute comes between 6 am to 6 pm PST on working days, a human being will answer it.

If you like working things out yourself, there are numerous self-help videos to tutor you on most aspects of the platform. The Square seller community also exists if you want to seek the advice of various users like yourself.

Secure Data

No credit company jokes with their customer data, and Square is no different. This company offers state-of-the-art security that protects Canadian business owners and their businesses.

Square also meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This ensures that all customer information is encrypted and securely transmitted to company servers.

Business owners can also trust Square to protect them against suspected fraudulent transactions. They do this by monitoring all customer transactions and sending notifications to the customer in question.

Square Mobile Payments - Comparewise

Flexible Payment

Traditional payment options are mostly flexible, with a fixed number of ways to accept payments. Most of them accept payments only via bank transfers, credit cards, or mobile apps.

On the other hand, Square offers everything from mobile apps and credit cards to online wallets and bank transfers. Canadian entrepreneurs are free to choose whichever payment method suits them better.

Pros of Square

If you’re going to be using Square for your business, then you should know the benefits that it brings. This section of the Square review covers the advantages that it offers.

No Monthly Payments

Using a Square credit card processor or other Square devices means that you only make one payment to purchase the device. After that initial lump sum, you don’t need to make any other payments. There are no subscriptions that suck up your profits or monthly bills that prevent you from making money.

Suitable for Small Businesses

Although there are many credit card companies out there, most of their services are meant for medium and large businesses. So, when small businesses use the services of these companies, they end up paying more for services that they don’t need.

On the other hand, Square is designed for small businesses. So, all its features and services are meant to make the process of collecting and sending payments easier for small businesses. Small businesses need all the features of this credit card provider.

Cheap Chip Card Readers

All modern businesses in Canada require a chip card reader to accept payments from credit and debit cards. However, these card readers are not cheap, so most businesses cannot afford them.

In contrast, Square chip card readers are very cheap and sometimes free. This isn’t a case of sacrificing quality for cost, either, as the card readers are all high-quality devices. 

Free Online Selling Tools

Square offers lots of hardware devices and lots of software, too. Apart from a select few, most of their software or mobile applications are available at no extra cost. So, business owners can just download them from their app stores and use them to develop their businesses.

Flat Rate Pricing

Square is one of the few credit card processors that offer a flat rate for their services. So, the payment for their services doesn’t increase as the business improves; it stays the same. This means that you can keep paying the same price for your services even when your small business develops further.

A Large Variety of Features

Square is like an all-in-one service. This company offers tons of payment options for businesses, with new ones being added regularly.

Business owners have features tailored to receiving grocery store payments, restaurant food bills, creating invoices, etc. All these services and more are available through Square.

Square Review Payment - Comparewise

Cons of Square

Square offers many benefits, many of which allow it to be better than the competition. However, this doesn’t mean that Square mobile credit card processing company has no downsides. Hence, this section of the Square review comprises the various disadvantages of using Square.

Unsuitable for Large Businesses

Square is designed for small businesses and small transactions. It cannot handle a large volume of transactions that can involve numerous branches and multiple countries.

Sometimes, Square can drop these accounts since it considers them high-risk accounts. This happens unexpectedly, and it can take a while to recover whatever funds a merchant has in such accounts. As such, Square is unsuitable for large companies.

Large Companies Face High Fees

Many of the features and services offered by Square are tailored to small businesses, too. So, a large business that uses these features would be at a disadvantage. The company might need to purchase multiple versions of a service, which would cost them more than is necessary.

Since pricing for all Square services is done at a flat rate, large companies will be at a disadvantage. They won’t be able to enjoy any discounts based on their volume of transactions.

Cumbersome Phone Support Procedure

Square customer support is best for customers that send emails, contact them via social media, or reach their support forum. While some people may be comfortable with such customer support channels, others may be uncomfortable with the internet.

For such individuals, they might prefer to use the Square telephone number, as it’s faster and a traditional communication method. However, the telephone communication channel for this company is not as dependable or easy to use as others. Unlike other companies, theirs requires merchants to receive a code from the Square website before they can reach customer support representatives.

Telephone Customer Support Is Only for Active Merchants

Merchants that want to contact Square customer care via telephone would need to get a phone support code from their website. While this might not be a problem, these codes are only available to active merchants.

So, if your issue has resulted in your account being deactivated, you won’t be able to use telephone support. Having the fastest means of communication unavailable to entrepreneurs that might need it is bad.

What are the various Square software and hardware?

When a merchant chooses Square, they’re entitled to various free hardware and software. These devices and applications are needed to use the various services that Square has to offer.

Besides free hardware and software, Square still offers paid hardware and paid software. These paid devices and applications offer advanced or extra features that can’t be found in the free versions.

Hence, this section of the Square review covers all Square hardware and software, both the free and paid versions.

Square Hardware - Comparewise

Square Software

In this section of the Square review, you’ll learn about all the software that Square has to offer.

Square Point of Sale App

This is the first application that many new users encounter, and it’s the most basic Square app. Other apps exist as either addons or industry-specific variants.

This app is free for all new users, and it’s also a requirement for using Square’s POS hardware. That’s because this app has to be installed on any smartphone that the Square hardware will be connected to.

The Square POS app allows merchants to text receipts to customers, manage inventories, review sales data, issue refunds, etc. This app comes with a free virtual terminal that allows you to enter card payments through your phone browser. The virtual terminal also allows merchants to easily charge repeat customers since it stores credit card information.

When merchants download this app, they also get a free online store and accompanying e-Commerce tools. This online store also comes with layouts and designs that merchants can customize to their needs.

Some of the customization features include ‘buy’ links and scannable QR codes that you can send without owning a website. This is great for business owners that want to accept donations or charge some customers membership fees.

Features of the Square Point of Sale App

  • It allows business owners to track employee breaks and overtime.
  • It allows merchants to sell and accept gift cards.
  • Merchants can use this Square app to create a platform where different employees can get varying levels of access.
  • Merchants can use this app to create custom invoices for special customers.
  • This app allows merchants to monitor their product inventory and obtain low-stock alerts.
  • Business owners with multiple businesses can manage up to 300 small businesses with one account.
  • Merchants can accept offline payments and tips from customers.
  • This app provides merchants with data and reports regarding customer purchase trends, customer spending trends, and other vital information.
  • Merchants can easily integrate this app with other applications for extra features.

Square Add-On Services

When you purchase Square, you get its native POS app and the possibility of increasing its capabilities with other compatible software. This section of the Square review covers the add-ons that this company offers

Payroll

This is a feature that allows merchants to pay their employees and contractors by importing payrolls. It also handles automatic tax filing, direct deposits, and time tracking. Merchants can also leave the payment of 401K plans and other employee benefits to this software.

When an employer uses this service, Square charges them $35 per month plus $5 per employee. For contractors, Square charges $5 per contractor every month.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are an important aspect of gaining loyal customers in a business. Although it offers certain benefits to customers, not every customer can take the time to enroll in it. However, Square makes all of this easier by making it easy to enroll customers at checkout.

When merchants enroll a customer, the customer can receive notifications regarding their loyalty points whenever the merchant rings up their purchases. This service starts at $45 per month.

Advanced Employee Management

This feature allows employers to effectively manage the affairs of their employees. It offers break tracking and timecard reporting facilities, along with wage management services. This service starts at $35 per location.

Marketing

This feature provides an easy way for business owners to send marketing emails to their customers. The app also provides a way for business owners to track the progress of their email marketing campaigns. This service starts at $15 per month.

Invoices

Merchants that use Square can send digital invoices to their customers through this add-on. When customers receive these invoices, they can then make their payments online with a debit or credit card.

Accept Payments With Square - Comparewise

Advanced Square Apps

This section of the Square review discusses the advanced versions of the Square app that customers can consider. These advanced versions come with more features that are tailored toward a particular service or a particular industry.

Square Appointments

The Square appointment app helps merchants set up their clients for meetings. It synchronizes the merchant’s calendar with their booking website. This allows their customers to set up meetings with them.

This app is suitable for consultants, personal trainers, spas, therapists, etc. The paid version of this app is available for $50 per month or $90 per month.

The version of $50 per month is suitable for businesses with 2-5 employees. Businesses with 6 to 10 employees are advised to go for the version that’s $90 per month.

Square for Retail App

The Square for Retail app is meant for merchants that need POS software that’s geared toward the retail industry. This app provides services like vendor management, stock management for businesses with multiple locations, and other management services. The paid version of this app provides extra features such as:

  • The ability to add goods in bulk
  • The ability to forecast reorders
  • Barcode printing capabilities.

Merchants can get the paid version for $60 per month.

Square for Restaurants App

This is a Square payment system that’s built for restaurants. This app comes with features for managing the seating arrangements in a restaurant, the discounts for various customers, etc. It also allows restaurant owners to build profiles of all their customers so that they can serve them better.

The Square restaurant app is available in 3 versions:

  • Free
  • Plus: Costs $60 per month
  • Premium: Costs start from $290 per month

The paid versions of this software come with round-the-clock customer support and additional features.

Square Hardware

For the Square credit card processor to work, it needs a combination of essential software and hardware. The hardware for this credit card processor is their Point Of Sale (POS) system.

All Square POS systems are covered in this section of the Square review:

Square Magstripe Card Reader

This Square mobile credit card processor is a lightweight device that allows business owners to accept credit cards with their smartphones. Compared to other credit card processors, this Square POS is rather handy and can be easily carried around.

This device is shipped for free to any Canadian merchant that opts out of Square. However, it may take a little time to get to the merchant. Hence, some customers just purchase theirs from retail stores at $10.

Merchants that choose to purchase theirs don’t lose out either, as Square will refund their cash when they activate the device. When these merchants activate their purchased card readers, the purchasing cost is sent to their accounts.

The magstripe card reader is only sent free for the first time. Customers that have already signed up with Square will pay $10 to get another one.

Features of the Square Magstripe Card Reader

  • It only works with Android phones with Operating Systems (OS) 4.0 or beyond.
  • It only works with iPhones with OS 9.0 or beyond.
  • Only accepts swiped credit cards.
  • Doesn’t require charging or an internet connection
  • Merchants can send receipts via text or email. They can also print out the receipts by using a receipt printer on a tablet.
  • Two variants are available: one that connects to smartphones through a lightning connector and another that connects through a headphone jack.
Square Pos Terminal - Comparewise

Square Contactless and Chip Reader

This is another Square POS that connects to a smartphone, but unlike the magstripe card reader, it connects via Bluetooth. Although it’s less handy than the magstripe card reader, it allows merchants to accept:

  • Contactless cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Europay, Mastercard, and Visa chip cards

When you purchase a Square contactless and chip reader, it comes with a free magstripe reader.

Features of the Square Contactless and Chip Reader

  • It only works with Android phones with Operating Systems (OS) 4.0 or beyond.
  • It only works with iPhones with OS 9.0 or beyond.
  • Doesn’t require charging or an internet connection.
  • Merchants can send receipts via text or email. They can also print out the receipts by using a receipt printer on a tablet.

Square Stand

Have you ever wondered if your smartphone can act as a standard countertop checkout station? Well, if you have, the Square stand is bringing that dream to life.

The Square stand is a unit that comes with a built-in contactless and chip reader, along with space for a smartphone. This allows merchants to hook up their phones to the device and use it to accept payments.

Square Terminal

The Square terminal is an evolved version of the stand, as it doesn’t require you to provide a smartphone. This Square credit card processor comes with a built-in Android device, card reader, and receipt printer.

Square Register

This is the standard for POS systems in the customer service industry. Here, Square provides a countertop stand that comes with two huge screens. One of the screens faces you, while the other face your customer.

This credit card processor comes with a receipt printer and card readers for all credit cards out there. It also offers support for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Square Payments

If you’ll be using Square, it would be good to know how much you would be paying to use their services. So, this section of the Square review will list out some of the fees that Canadians will encounter with Square.

One thing to bear in mind regarding Square payments is that this credit card company doesn’t charge unnecessary fees. So, there are no early termination fees, gateway fees, downgrade fees, activation fees, monthly fees, or the like. Rather, the only fees that business owners would encounter are per-transaction processing fees that occur for every transaction.

Below are some of the payments associated with Square hardware and software:

Square Register Fees

Using the Square register incurs a per-transaction fee of 2.5% plus $0.10. However, this low transaction rate is only available when purchasing the register itself. Purchasing the register can be done in 24 installments of $39, or one lump sum of $799.

Square Terminal Fees

You can purchase the Square terminal for 12 installments of $37, or one lump sum of $399. The transaction fee when using this terminal is 2.6% plus $0.10. This makes it cheaper than regular Square transactions but more costly than Square register transactions.

Transaction Fees for Card-On-File/Keyed-In Transactions

Credit card information that’s keyed in manually is charged at 3.5% plus $0.15.

Square Credit Card Payment - Comparewise

Square Reader Fees

This Square credit card processor has varying fees for swiped and keyed-in transactions. Square charges swiped transactions at 2.60% plus $0.10, and keyed-in transactions at 3.15% plus $0.15.

Square Stand Fees

Transaction fees for the Square stand are charged differently for swiped and keyed-in transactions. Square charges swiped transactions at 2.60% plus $0.10, and keyed-in transactions at 3.15% plus $0.15.

Square for Restaurants Fees

The transaction fee for Square for restaurants is 2.60% plus $0.10. Online payments come with a transaction fee of 2.90% plus $0.30.

Square for Retail Fees

The transaction fee for Square for retail is 2.50% plus $0.10.

Square Invoice Fees

The transaction fee for the Square invoice is 2.75%.

Square Appointment Fees

The transaction fee for Square appointment is 2.50% plus $0.10.

Square e-Commerce Fees

The transaction fee for the Square e-Commerce portal is 2.90% plus $0.30.

Square Review Conclusion

This Square review covers all that a Canadian merchant needs to know about Square. It’ll enable business owners to know if Square is right for their business.

Square is an innovative addition to the credit card processing scene. It comes with flat-rate transaction processing, flexibility, and many features that make it suitable for various businesses. The software integration capabilities of the Square point of sale software make it suitable for use alongside various sales software.

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FAQs about our Square Review

How Long Does the Battery of a Square Terminal Last?

The battery for a Square terminal can last up to 24 hours without needing a charge. Square designed the Square terminal for businesses that don’t need a sophisticated payment terminal. So, it comes with a small screen and power-saving capabilities that preserve battery life.

Can I Use My Android Phone on My Square Stand?

No, the Square stand is meant to be used with an iPad, so it won’t work with an Android phone. If you’re looking for Square hardware that you can use with your Android phone, then you should consider their magstripe reader. If you want to handle contactless and chip cards, you can go for the Square contactless and chip reader.

What Is the Best Business for Square?

The best business for Square is a small or medium-sized business. Merchants that own large businesses would find themselves at a disadvantage because Square makes no provision for large businesses. Their flat rate price structure is a major disadvantage for any business that conducts many large volume transactions daily.

Should I Swipe a Card with a Chip on My Square Magstripe Reader?

No, the Square magstripe reader is meant for cards without chips. Swiping such a card can lead to a payment dispute between you and the customer. In such disputes, Square isn’t committed to refunding any party; the merchant would have to solve the problem on their own.

Can I Use the Square Credit Card Processor on My Computer?

Yes, you can use this credit card processor on your computer. However, this software can only work on a Macintosh laptop or a Macintosh desktop computer. Square has yet to release a version that merchants can run on a Windows computer.

Can I Recover My Account When Square Freezes It?

Yes, any account that has been frozen by Square can still be recovered. Square is always on the lookout for any kind of suspicious activity on a merchant’s account. Irregular payments, too many payments in little time, or too many deposits in little time count as suspicious activity. So, Square would freeze such accounts to protect the interests of merchants.

Can I Use Square outside of Canada?

Yes, you can use Square outside of Canada. However, the Square hardware that you’ll pair with your POS software must come from that country. This means that you can’t acquire Square hardware in Canada and expect to use it in the United States. You would have to purchase that hardware in the United States for it to work there.

Is It Possible to Synchronise Square With Other Sales Apps?

Yes, it's possible to use the Square credit card processing system with other sales apps. Some of these apps include Wix, Mailchimp, WooCommerce, Weebly, and Xero. These apps allow Canadian business owners to manage their businesses and their sales more effectively.

Should I Use Square with a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

No, it's not advisable to use Square with a VPN since most of these devices eventually get found out. Square is meant to be used in countries where it’s supported and countries where customers can purchase its official hardware. Using Square in a country outside the official ones with a VPN can cause the system to lock the account. That’s because the system will see such login attempts as hack attempts. So, it’ll lock that account to protect the customer.

Must I Own a Business to Use Square?

No, you can use square even when you don’t have a business. You just need to indicate that you’ll be using it for personal reasons during the registration process. If you’ve got plans to open a business in the future, you can register for Square before your business starts up.

October 17, 2022
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