- Quick and easy to set up and use
- Free plan offers good range of payment processing tools
- Fixed, flat rate fee for transactions
- Lots of add-ons available
- Can become pricey if your sales volume goes up
- No round-the-clock support
- Add-ons cost money
Free plan available
Starting at $0.01 Per user
Easy to use
Starting at $0.01 Per user
SquareUp review 2023
If you’re running a business these days, then having the ability to accept online payments is a must. But, there are so many different payment processing services out there that it can be overwhelming knowing which one to choose. Enter SquareUp. This is a payment processing platform that allows you to do more than just accept payments.
There are a myriad different features on this extensive platform including Square appointments, retail POS payments, invoicing, and more. Better still, it’s affordable too, so you won’t need to take out small business loans just to cover costs. In fact, it’s completely flexible, allowing you to bring in some add-ons as and when you need them.
In this review, we’re going to cover exactly what is SquareUp and whether it’s actually good for small business owners. With that in mind, let’s jump right into this review and see what it offers.
Easy, Flat-rate Payment Processing
A big draw for many medium and small businesses is the fact that when you make a Square account, you’re not going to be forking out a ton in upfront costs. There are no monthly fees if you take on the basic plan, which makes it ideal for many small businesses. However, there are some Square charges if you are using a more complex plan.
That’s not to say there aren’t any fees in place though. This is because there are always credit card processing fees to consider. However, this is where the Square platform is very handy. As there are different fees from credit and debit cards, banks, and so on, Square handles all of this. And, instead of monthly fees or payments, there are just a few cents in transaction fees required.
Depending on the payment option used, there are different fees in place. For instance, credit card payments incur fees of 2.6% plus 10 cents for each transaction that is made using Stand, Register, Terminal, Square for Restaurants, and Square Reader.
For those credit or debit card payments that are keyed in payments or typed in manually, there is a 3.5% fee with 15 cents per transaction to pay. And, any payments made via the eCommerce API, Square Sales, or Square Online Store will incur a 2.9% flat fee with a 30-cent fee on card transactions. If it’s an ACH transfer, then it’s just 1% with a $1 charge, but this has to be done via the invoice system only.
Because of this system, you have everything you need when it comes to auditing your finances and small business loans. If the fees are too much, simply change your plan or remove some of the add-ons we discuss later on.
Who is SquareUp Best For?
As we have touched upon, Square’s services are great for a range of different retail stores. In fact, it’s a go-to solution for all business types. In particular, it’s ideal for small businesses that are looking to track sales and offer contactless payments to their customers via their online store.
Why is it so good? Well, medium and small businesses can actually really benefit because there are no monthly fees in place. Square has a basic plan option as well as a flat transaction fee setup. This is great for smaller and especially for newer small business owners who need a good POS platform without paying out too much at the start.
What it’s really known for though, is the payment processing it offers as part of the merchant services and business tools available. But, really, this is just the beginning when it comes to all that Square offers. There are actually a number of different payment options available.
Debit and credit card processing
It’s possible to accept credit and debit cards via mobile and also in store. This can be done through card readers where you can then use Square Register for eCommerce sales. Importantly, you can also do credit card processing for phone sales as well.
You can accept all these types of payments from a bank account via the Square Invoices app. As such, small businesses can actually keep track of everything they do neatly and efficiently.
Square also allows you to take Apple Pay and Google Pay payments. Excitingly, these don’t have to be done in person, but can also be contactless payments or as online payments in your online store.
Cash App Pay
Both on and offline payments can be made via Cash App Pay, again giving Square points that put it ahead.
With Afterpay purchase financing, you will get the money right away from an in-person sale or online merchant services, but the customer doesn’t have to pay right away. Instead, they can pay over time in the buy now pay later form that is becoming popular.
Cash and paper checks
Finally, it’s important to have records to track all your cash and check sales. This can be done on a mobile using the Square Retail app. These features can be found using Square Invoices as well.
Should You Use SquareUp?
If you’re an online store, and you want to grow or streamline your services, then yes, SquareUp is definitely something to think about. It’s got so many different options within it that small business owners can really stand to benefit.
The fact that it offers a flat transaction fee system means that it’s easy to know where you stand as a user. It also makes it easier for small businesses by letting you choose your preferences. However, if you’re likely to have a big sales volume or a lot of in-store sales, then things can start to get more expensive.
You can find that costs are getting high with the free basic plan and this is where you can get in touch to see if you can create a more streamlined customized plan that’s more cost-effective for your business.
If we’re to go one step further, Square actually stacks up pretty well when compared to other competitors. For instance, if we look at Vend and Shopify, both of which offer similar platforms, Square is the only one that’s got a free version. But then again, Vend only charges monthly fees and has no transaction fees in place.
So, is Square a good option for you?
Well, if you are brand new and don’t know what your business is going to earn, then yes, it is a great option. This is because of those zero monthly fees and the reader that’s part of the deal. You can get started instantly without having to go through too much hassle.
Even if you feel that your transaction volume will rise and fall throughout the year, with some low-volume months and some bigger months, you can still opt for Square. This is due to the fact that you only pay transaction fees on what you have earned. So, if you don’t have a monthly fee to pay, you don’t have to stress out about not meeting your targets in a month.
If you want to focus on actually growing your business, then this toolkit is the best option. It can help you explore new opportunities too.
Free Online Ordering Website Builder
As eCommerce software, one of the big functions on offer here is the website builder. This can be done at the click of a button or two. It’s also free, so you can set up online ordering or booking services very easily. If you’re a small business, this is a great option. Not only that, but the website builder also offers inventory management alongside Square Capital. There are also customizable receipts available so that you can ensure your clients gets exactly what they need. The website builder gives you an area to retain your customer data and directory easily as well. Finally, it can integrate with other software effectively. It’s all part of the free platform so you never even have to pay a penny when you do choose to use it.
What's New With SquareUp
As the online eCommerce world is constantly changing, SquareUp is also changing and innovating as the necessity arises. So, what kinds of things are new? Well, there is a PayMent Link feature, which means you can now send links for quick payments to your customers via a text message. This helps to ensure speedy responses from you and subsequent fast payments from your clients. It’s also very easy for all to use.
Now there is also the Square Online Store, which is very easy to set up. All you need to do is fill it with images of your products. It’s possible to get advanced reporting as well as check inventory levels, get the details of all the products you have in stock, and so on. All of this syncs up quickly and easily.
Better still, if you want full integration with a preexisting eCommerce platform i.e., you already have a website or store, then you can do exactly that. Simply keep SquareUp as your payment processor and continue to accept credit cards, use the Cash App, and so on, all in one space.
When you make a Square online store, you’re going to get a ton of features provided to help you run everything that little bit better. There are some core features that are designed to help your entire business operate smoothly. Let’s take a look at the top core services you should really be considering.
This feature is always free, and it doesn’t matter what additional hardware you opt to include. Better still, if you get this, you can have a free Square Reader for any magstripe device, which makes it easier to take payments via the Square debit card.
This part of the platform is free for anyone who is just an individual. However, for businesses, there are different payment plans in place. For instance, two to five employees means a $50 per month payment fee, while more than that (but only up to ten), costs $90 per month.
However, Square Appointments is really essential if you operate a business that relies on customers making an appointment, think doctors or therapists. And, as it integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Square platform, it’s definitely something worth thinking about.
Square for Restaurants has a free version that actually supports an unlimited number of devices and locations. It’s very specific to restaurants as a piece of POS software so that you can actually manage all the restaurant’s operations. This actually includes managing the courses, tables and even discounted inventory management.
There are three plans in place for Square for Restaurants with a free version, Plus which starts at $60, and Premium which goes even higher. Like the invoicing and other POS parts of the platform, it allows you to accept credit cards, though once again, there are transaction fees. These are 2.6% plus 10 cents for payments made in person, with a 2.9% fee and a 30-cent flat rate for any online payments that are made.
These days, more and more people are paying with their phones. Square offers the chance for small businesses to make use of this by pairing a card reader with mobile payments. It’s also possible to text and even email receipts from the mobile app to make things even more streamlined.
This is actually very similar to the restaurant software. Square for Retail has a free version where the only cost is when there are transaction fees in place. You can also manage a range of different retail functionalities such as purchase management.
Like Square for Restaurant, Square for Retail has three plans with the paid tiers starting out at $60 for the first store and $40 for additional locations added later. As with the other software provided by Square, the transaction fees are 2.5% + 10 cents for in-person credit card payments and 2.9% + 30 cents for any Square payments made online.
By using POS mobiles for in-store sales you can create an all-in-one Square register right at your physical checkout counter. This will actually reduce those lengthy checkout lines in your shop. It’s also got extensive shipping tools available, so you can set these yourself. However, if you upgrade, then you can use the actual rates from postal or delivery services directly.
To further help you out, there is the eCommerce sales tax section. It’s possible to manage all your taxes right from the Square App. Taxes can be disabled, or you can set different tax rates including the tax for each item on your site.
If this wasn’t enough, there are a number of other benefits and features available from Square. However, these do come at an additional cost, which is something users need to be aware of. These features include:
- Customer loyalty programs
- Square payroll
- Team management
As mentioned, there are some additional hardware options available. We’ve already mentioned the card readers, which make everything streamlined for both mobile and in-person payments, but there are other useful hardware items too. For instance, when you use Square Register in a physical shop, you can get a Square stand to prop up your iPad for payments. These iPads and stands actually have built-in card readers so that you’ve got an impressive all-in-one solution designed to make checkout as speedy as possible for all involved.
Square Capital also has the option for contactless payments. It connects wirelessly to your iOS or Android device when you connect it with Bluetooth. It’s a great option to enable accessible payments in store. The Square Terminal is also an excellent option for hand-held devices. You can tap, insert or even swipe for all payments, and it will print a receipt for the customer.
You can also buy one of the kits that combines all these different hardware elements in one package. This is handy if this is combined with Square Appointments when using it in-store.
The invoice feature is one of the latest additions to the Square Terminal. It’s perfect for ensuring that all invoices are customized and makes the whole process very simple when collecting an online payment. As such, it’s a great option for growing small businesses as it means less time has to be spent creating and even sending invoices.
Other features from Square can also be integrated so that the whole process is made even easier. Better still, there’s no cost to setting up the Square account at all and the platform will take all major credit and debit cards. All that happens is that Square invoices are subject to a tiny percentage fee in order to process payments from your customers.
As there are no monthly subscription fees, you can get these Square online business tools quickly and easily. It’s suitable for small businesses, mid-sized operations, and even freelancers because of this. And, there are no long-term contracts to deal with either. Instead, the payment platform is based on a fixed rate of what your customers are paying you. As such, the overall Square system is definitely a strong option.
There’s a lot to like about this payment processing software. But what exactly is there available all together? Well, there is a suite packed full of exciting sales and business management options which makes it a very strong selling platform. Square offers a lot of things for free, and you can get even more if you choose to upgrade to a paid plan. But, does it all work on the app as well as the desktop?
The short answer is absolutely yes it does. In fact, the Square Dashboard is exactly the same whether on a mobile device or a laptop. The Dashboard allows you to manage literally everything. You can complete sales and accept payments. You can even use the Square Appointments feature to schedule in-store options if that’s the way your business operates. All customer data is added to the Dashboard and can be accessed and edited from here. This is where the addition of the Square Virtual Terminal and Invoices come in very handy.
To elaborate, the Virtual Terminal is the hub of Square banking. It’s where you can process and keep a record of all the payments you’ve had. You can manually key in payments, store card-on-file payments, track gift cards, check on subscriptions from clients, and a whole lot more. You can even accept credit cards for payments through a physical reader and track them in the Terminal as well.
As touched upon earlier, Square Appointments is one of the free features that’s available from Square. It allows you to book and manage all the different appointments you might have for your business. This is great if you want to make bookings for clients or even cancel a service that’s already been ordered. The free option allows this to occur both in person and online. You have the ability to send confirmation texts, email reminders, schedule regular appointments, and a whole lot more. It’s also possible to make contactless payments from your bank account with this option.
Within all of these different features, it’s also possible to upgrade or even have some more advanced add-ons thrown in. This is especially important if your business is growing and your needs may have changed somewhat over time. Luckily, there are plenty of options. When you activate these, then they will integrate seamlessly to ensure all your marketing remains streamlined and fully operational.
First up, you can opt for the Square Payroll which starts at $40. This gives you payroll tracking and helps you keep your timekeeping neat and organized. It’s also got options for commissions, tax filings, and a whole lot more. Better still, if you’re a single contractor, there’s an option for you too at just $5 per month.
The Square Marketing add-on is good if you need to make customer data work for you. It’s possible to create email campaigns and even some that go via text. Depending on how many contacts or clients you have in your database that you intend to send marketing materials to, you’ll have to pay a different monthly fee to have this implemented. The fee starts at $15 per month for as many as 500 contacts but goes up to $40 per month when there are 2000.
Providing a loyalty program to your clients is also a good way to garner trust and increase customer retention for your brand. Square Loyalty is an easy way for you to do exactly that. This feature allows you to put loyalty points tracking on your online store. For customers, this works through the Cash App anywhere, and you can set all the different reward levels. You can allow customers to earn a Square point for different sales amounts, or even visits. Any incentives you offer are entirely up to you and your business. It’s also up to you how you reward customers and pay them out. There are of course fees associated with this feature.
Following on from this, you can also get gift cards to add to your Square stand and store. These can be tracked, reloaded, and more all in the main POS software. The only cost involved here is when these gift cards have been used as the processing fee associated with this type of payment will then be applied. However, you can customize the gift card within the main Square platform so that you can add your own branding. This costs 80 cents per pack of 75. Though, if you order far more, there are better deals in place.
Easy To Open Accounts
No matter which part of Square you’re using, it’s very easy to set up. In fact, the main Square stand POS software is operational within a few minutes. However, to fully get things set up, you will need to take a little bit more time. This is simply because you need to make sure that you are selecting the right features for your business. Not all businesses will need all the different options.
As we’ve mentioned before though, it’s easy to sort through all the different features, just make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. It’s supremely easy and there are even prompts available, guiding you to set up your site properly. With a complete selection of help guides, you’re never going to have too much trouble figuring out exactly what to do in a given situation.
The desktop itself is very intuitive. After you actually sign up, you are provided with a guide that you can follow to launch your store properly. With video tutorials at your fingertips, it’s possible to get up and running in no time. This can be done both on the desktop and the mobile app, simply choose which one you prefer. There are also templates available, or you can remove items from the template to make it more the style you need. If you ever get stuck, simply check out the different guides on offer.
Finally, it’s also possible to do multichannel selling. You can link to Facebook, Instagram and so on, operating your Facebook shop from the Square dashboard.
If you’re still considering whether or not to get this software because you don’t know when you might be able to get your hands on the funds, then there are different ways to get paid when using Square. First, you need to connect a bank account and set up the payouts. You can actually set up a Square checking account to get paid faster. Better still, using the Square checking account as your payment method means there are no added fees.
Regular payouts tend to arrive in your account after two business days and there are no fees added. However, if you want same-day payouts or instant transfers, then there is a 1.5% fee added in addition to any of the payment processing fees you may already be paying.
Squareup.com Pros vs. Cons
As with all software programs, there are always some advantages and disadvantages involved. And the same is true of the Square dashboard. We’re going to cover some of the pros and cons you need to know when using Square for retail.
There are many good reasons to use Square. One of the big pluses is that it has a myriad merchant services in place from inventory management to invoicing to buy now pay later options. Here are some of the top pros.
- Dynamic solution — Square offers a high-functioning accessible platform to service businesses. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android so that Square banking is made incredibly easy no matter where you are.
- Free to use — even the Square invoice basic version has many features for you to use when accepting Square payments. It’s possible to use templates or even create designs that fit your brand such as using colors to match all your other branding. Better still, it is always free, so you can have the free version for a lifetime.
- Responsive platform — you don’t just have to use the Square dashboard on a desktop but can enjoy it on a mobile device too. That’s thanks to the Square app. You can add new customers within the app and even offer options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Saves time — no matter your business model, your free Square account can cater to your needs. You can bill the same invoice each month using the auto-invoicing services or send out prompts to remind clients when their bill is due.
- Very simple — it really makes online payments very simple and easy to do. It’s fast to set up the Square Terminal, with the time it takes being around four days. With your chosen bank approved, smaller business owners can be up and running right away.
- Reporting — the SquareUp dashboard is very easy to use and allows you to filter and report invoices. There are sales reports available all in Square’s virtual terminal. Sales can also be monitored in the point of sale system.
- Invoice-to-pay option — SquareUp also brings in estimates, quotes, invoices, and payments in one app. As such, you can use this for everything related to your online store and online payment needs.
Not everything is perfect though. There are some things to consider before you jump right in and use Square for your small business.
- Not cost-effective — if you have a high volume of payments, then this is not the right option for you. As there are credit card processing fees, some of which go to Square, there’s the potential for a reduction in your income. You’ll only get lower processing fees once you start making more than $250,000 per year, which means that if you’re on the lower end of this scale, you’re not going to be able to achieve this.
- Frozen account — another problem is that the service can actually freeze if you don’t have regular enough activity through the processor. This can cause problems later on when you do actually have a payment that needs to come through your Square online store but can’t. On top of that, it can take time to resolve the reason for a freeze that shuts down your business.
- Lacks phone support — as there are some things that can go wrong with this POS system, it’s essential that there is quick and easy help to be had. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and it is possible that you could end up with unresolved issues that take a while to be fixed due to slow support. There are many tutorials online that are very useful, and when the chat is online they are quick to respond.
- Limitations on businesses — any business that appears high-risk will not be able to use the service. This includes things like online gambling sites, age-restricted items, and even credit counseling services so if this is the type of business you’re running, look elsewhere.
- Lacks accounting tools — this is actually similar to many other POS and processing software, so it’s not alone in this on the market.
- Few customization abilities — while there are many add-ons, it’s limited in what you can do to customize it. This means that while you can add some colors and branding, it can’t take you the whole way. For those with specific business branding needs, this may not be the right option for you.
- Transaction data access limited — while this is a tracking software, some users have found that access to all transaction data is somewhat limited. This has meant that it’s not possible to track all sales and performance over time, which isn’t great if this is what you’re using the software for.
While there are pros and cons, at the end of the day, the final choice is up to you and what you need out of the software for your business.
Xero: Simplify your accounting tasks with intuitive software for efficient financial management and streamlined bookkeeping.
FreshBooks: Simplify invoicing and accounting with intuitive software designed to streamline your business finances effectively.
Asana is a web-based project management tool that helps teams collaborate and stay organized.