If you’re going to purchase a new POS solution, it’s always important to look at the features on offer through its platform. Below, we have a list of the notable features and benefits that Square offers its customers.
- Free point-of-sale software – no monthly fees. Pay only for payment transactions.
- Accept every payment type (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex) all for the same fee.
- Contactless payments with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and opt-out of signature screens.
- Remote pay with invoices or accept payments on your computer.
- Accept orders for in-store pickup 0r delivery with 3rd party vendors.
- Offer eGift Cards when not open for business.
- Process transactions even if the internet is down.
- Access your POS data anywhere, from any device.
- Easy-to-use interface for quick customer checkout. Train employees fast.
- Easy to program your items and categories on your POS.
- Access real-time sales data and compare sales over time.
- Identify loyal and lapsed customers.
- Create customer profiles to track individual customers’ purchase history and preferences.
- Save customers’ credit card details for a seamless checkout.
- Track real-time inventory.
- Next day funding, or immediately with a Square business debit card
- Apply discounts and issue refunds.
- Send and track invoices from your POS.
- Connect to a receipt printer, kitchen printer, bar code scanner, and cash drawer.
- Integrate with software that you already use (QuickBooks, Taxjar, and more).
- Increase your repeat visits with a customizable loyalty program.
- Engage customers with email marketing.
- Offer gift cards to increase sales and new customers.
- Sell online with Square Online Store and sync all your data.
As you can see, Square offers a pervasive feature list that is sure to impress most small business owners. While Square doesn’t have the same power as some high-powered point of sale solutions on the market, it still offers users much better capabilities than outdated retail POS systems or restaurant management systems. Plus, it’s incredibly mobile.
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Like many new entrants to the POS industry, Square offers a hybrid platform that is both cloud-based and locally installed. The Square app is installed on a mobile device and payments are accepted with Square readers and terminals. The good news is you don’t need a connection to the internet to process credit card transactions and you can accept payments on your computer through the web. Reporting data is saved via the internet, so you don’t have to risk losing valuable data if there is a problem with your equipment (or it’s stolen). The Squareup POS mobile app is available on iOS and Android.
Industries Served & Business Size
Traditionally, Square was a platform for small to medium-sized companies. Its mobile nature makes it a perfect solution for companies that offer small storefronts or mobile business locations. But as Square expands the various hardware and software options it provides, it is now also a feasible solution for larger businesses that need robust, fixed terminals, especially if you go for the plus or premium subscription.
In terms of industries, it’s a perfect fit for restaurants, bars, and the retail sector. Here’s a list of business types mentioned on the Square website.
- Coffee Shops
- Counter Service
- Table Service
- Bars & Lounges
- Beauty Professionals
- Health & Fitness
- Home & Repair Services
- Professional Services
- Food Trucks
As mentioned earlier, Square offers specific software and hardware solutions for both the retail and restaurant industry. They also provide online ordering and an eCommerce platform that can prove to be beneficial during the different times we live in now.
Ease of Use
It’s safe to say that ease of use is Square’s primary advantage. You don’t need experience with a POS system to gain an understanding of Square’s platform quickly. The POS software is both easy to learn and easy to teach to employees or staff. You won’t have any problems getting your team up-to-speed with the application.
You can easily import products and menu items, and the interface allows you to find items via categories and other techniques. Overall, it’s a simple and user-friendly system — this is a primary driving factor behind the platform’s popularity.
Squareup.com also offers a ‘Get Started’ page that allows you to set up the software on your hardware quickly. This page also provides comprehensive tutorials on how to operate Square and its various features. It’s an excellent resource that can help you hit the ground running when you first purchase this new POS system.
Square has pretty basic hardware requirements to get started. You can access most of its features on touchscreen Apple and Android products: this includes the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. You can also access Square Reader on various Android devices. The software requirements for the Square platform update as the software updates, so it’s essential to keep an eye on their website for the latest specifications. For example, First Generation iPads are no longer supported.
Square Stand with additional hardware
But Square does a lot more than offer you access to its platform via your own devices. You can also purchase a range of different high-end hardware kits, tablets, and accessories that provides all the hardware components you need to improve your ability to process transactions in your small business effectively.
Square POS Hardware Prices
- Square Register – $799.00
- Square Stand (Tablet Not Included) – $169.00 (Reduced from $199.00)
- Square Terminal (T2) – $299.00 (Reduced from $399.00)
- Square Reader (Contactless/Chip) – $49.00
- Square Reader (Magstripe/Lightning/Aux Cable) – $10.00
- Square Reader (Chip) – $35.00
To see the latest hardware offerings and current prices, shop Square online here.
As you can see, some of these prices may seem a little high. While you’re receiving value for your money, it can be a significant investment if you’re running a small business. For this reason, many people choose to use their phone, iPad, or tablet. Though if you don’t have one suitable for Square, you may have to purchase a new one.
Integrations & Add-ons
There are a wide variety of integrations that can help you improve the functionality of your POS system. While many of Square’s integrations and add-ons are more relevant to its eCommerce platform, there are still some you can take advantage of for your POS software. These include payment add-ons, inventory management add-ons, employee management add-ons, reporting add-ons, and more.
Square is also continually improving its platform, so there are sure to be more add-ons in the future.
Compatible Credit Card Companies
Square offers a range of different hardware devices for credit card processing hardware. The company allows for the acceptance of all major credit cards on a computer or mobile device. Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted via Square’s payment system. Contactless payment is also supported on Square – this makes it easy to accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and chip or swipe-based payments.
Customer Service and Support
Squareup.com offers an excellent knowledge base — you can find the answers to the most common problems using this online database. But if you need to speak to someone on the phone, things can get a little more annoying. They offer customer assistance via email and telephone from 6 AM to 6 PM (PST) Monday through Friday – this may leave you a little high and dry if you run into a problem after hours.
In addition, they have a great business resource center and a community forum where you can get advice and tips from other professionals and business owners on using the product and growing your business.
In terms of customer satisfaction, you’ll find various negative reviews about Square on consumer watchdog sites. While this is true for almost any business (especially of Square’s size), let’s take a look at what some of the typical negative reviews highlighted:
Account Suspensions/Terminations — It appears a large chunk of the negative feedback that Square receives focuses around suspensions and terminations. It seems that Square periodically conducts due diligence on POS users to determine if any nefarious activity is occurring – this may result in an account suspension or termination, per the company’s Terms and Conditions.
Money Frozen — Some users report money being frozen from withdrawal. This seems to usually occur for large payments processed by Square terminals (read our complete Square Terminal review) or the eCommerce platform. In many cases, it appears that Square freezes money that it deems as suspicious.
Multiple Charges — This is a complaint that appears to come from customers processing transactions on Square. Some customers have complained about being charged multiple times. While this glitch won’t impact your end of the transaction, it may impact customer sentiment towards your business.
While there is some negative feedback on Square’s services, this can largely be attributed to strict anti-crime measures that attempt to prevent money laundering and other financial irregularities.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to like about Square’s point of sale. We especially like Square for restaurateurs starting a new restaurant or small to mid-sized businesses. The more advanced versions of their software are very affordable, and the hardware is reasonable if you’re starting a new business or replacing old technology. If you already have a device that’s compatible with its platform, you can get your new POS system set up in just a few minutes and start taking payments.
There are no upfront software costs, and you won’t have to pay any money outside of your standard transaction fees. For people who want to avoid long-term commitments, this is also a reliable option — there are no contracts for Square customers.
If you need a robust, powerful POS system, Square may not get the job done. It’s still not as extensive of a platform as some of the Titans in the industry. Still, Square has millions of users for a reason — this platform is easy to use, offers plenty of features, is compatible with your hardware, and accepts all primary forms of payment.
While its customer service options aren’t stellar, you’ll still find that Square has a much better reputation than some of the other major players in the industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Square Point of Sale?
Square is a simple to use and intuitive software app designed to accept payments on your smartphone or tablet. Square is designed for small businesses with key features like online ordering, eCommerce, integrated payment processing, mobile capabilities, inventory management, curbside pickup and delivery, and social media marketing.
Squareup Point of Sale is available for free in most countries listed in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
How much does Square POS cost?
The entry level Square Point of Sale is free to start with no monthly fee. Hardware starts at $0 with the free Square reader. Square for Retail offers more features for retail environments and costs $60 per month with $20 per extra device. Square for Restaurants offers more features for larger bars and restaurants and costs $60 per month with $40 per extra device. Check current Square pricing.
Does Square POS have online ordering?
Yes. Square customers have online tools available for restaurants and retailers to sell and accept payments online. With Square you have the ability to sell in your store and online, with the ability to sync inventory and your sales through the POS.
Is Square a good option for restaurants?
Yes. With Square you can get up and running very quickly. Square for Restaurants is integrated with many of the popular restaurant delivery services like DoorDash, Postmates, Caviar, and Chowly. You can also accept online orders that are sent directly to your POS. Square now offers curbside pickup and local delivery module that’s available through the Square Online Store. Before purchasing the restaurant app, we recommend getting a demo.
Does Square offer a free trial?
Yes. You can a free trial on their website so you can take it for a spin to see if it’s the best point of sale option for you. You will need a compatible Apple or Android device for the free app trial. There’s no commitments or long-term contracts which is a bonus. Get your free trial here.