Square Review: Is Square Right for You?

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Read our Square review to discover if the point of sale (pos) software is right for you

Like the shape itself, Square is a great building block. Any business looking for a solid sales foundation should invest in it – and with the release of Square Reader (a card reader gadget that plugs into your audio jack), it’s never been easier to start turning over a profit.


  • Great for start-ups and small businesses
  • Basic package great value for money
  • No monthly fees or minimums
  • Retail and restaurant packages
  • Hardware well priced


  • Credit card charges 0.05% more expensive than competitors
  • Fiddly to integrate into an ecommerce site

Recent figures show about a third of small businesses accept digital and mobile payment methods – that’s a surprisingly low amount. It means if you choose to invest in a mobile point of sale system like Square, you’re ensuring your business is a cut above the rest.

Want to learn more? This handy review will help you decide if you should be investing in a Square mobile point of sale (mPOS) system. If you’re already satisfied that an mPOS will optimize your business’ sales process, click one of the buttons below to start our quote-finding quiz, and get an idea of how much an mPOS system may cost you.

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What is Square?

Square makes selling your product easy because you can purchase it as an all-in-one POS system. This means it can arrive with all the software and hardware you need to optimize your sales process, whether you own a store, run a cafe, or follow the summer festival line-up.

The software is a popular choice among many types of business. As you can see from the graph above, services and hospitality establishments are the most common Square users. This is largely down to its portability – all you need is an iPad, its free software and a card chip reader and you pretty much have your payment system.

Building your own mPOS package is super-easy. Systems are designed either for ethernet or Bluetooth connectivity, so you can tailor a Square package to suit your business set-up. There’s even bespoke software for retail and hospitality industries, so you can seamlessly integrate it into your business day to day.

Square Features and Benefits

Square enables you to get the most out of your mPOS system by creating tailored paid-for versions for different business sectors. While there’s always the standardized free option, tailored packages include heaps of handy features that will help you run the day to day of your business that much smoother; whether its taking orders at tables or taking on the queue of customers in your store.

We’ve outlined some of the features you can expect for retail and hospitality below.

Square for Hospitality

Square restaurant software

Square enables you to take control of and seamlessly integrate your front and back of house. From helping you take orders at the table to stock checking at the end of a shift, Square will become your new business partner. Top features include:

  • Insert your table layout, then manage your covers on the go
  • Input all of your menus into the system
  • Keep the kitchen in sync with order changes
  • Track sales, covers and your customers
  • Find out which dishes are performing

Square for Retail

Square POS Retail

The retail optimized version of Square enables you to connect your store front with your back office. Whether you’re after a full system with all the hardware or a simplified system for your pop-up shop, Square has you sorted. And to really max out that profit return, you can even integrate it into a website for a full ecommerce system.

Here are just some of the other retail tools the software offers:

  • Ring up your sales
  • Create customer files
  • Receive purchase orders
  • Scan in new inventory
  • Print barcodes
  • Extract margin reports
  • Create staff accounts to see who’s selling what

Square Pricing

Square is very flexible when it comes to pricing. What you pay depends on what you need – you won’t be forced into paying for software or hardware that you don’t have use for.

Software Pricing

Yes, Square software is free … if you want to go for the most basic version. However, to get the most out of your software, we recommend that you purchase a tailored package.

A tailored package costs just $60 per month per location, which includes one point of sale system, too. If you would prefer to try out the software before you commit, you can try your chosen package for free for 30 days .

Hardware packages

Square is a great option for new businesses – all of the hardware comes ready-configured, meaning you can simply plug it in and start bringing in the cash.

There are various hardware systems available, so you can create a package that’ll work for your business, whether you’re bricks and mortar or on-the-go.

We’ve outlined two examples of software packages in the table below.

Square Stand Kit for iPad Pro 9.7”, iPad Air 2 and iPad Air (fixed business)Windfall Stand for iPad 3 or 4 (on-the-go business)
Stand for iPadStand for iPad
Square contactless and chip readerSquare contactless and chip reader
Dock for Square readerSquare magstripe reader
Cash drawerReceipt printer and paper
Receipt printer and paper
Price: $646Price: $626

Credit Card Charges

Okay, so Square does charge 0.05% more per credit card transaction than its rivals. But, if you’re happy with an untailored package, you receive a point of sale interface, real-time analytics, and more absolutely free .

Other mega-pluses: there are no hidden fees, and you don’t need to make any long-term commitments. No monthly charges mean you’re not paying for your software when you’re not using it – perfect if your business runs with the seasons. All of this means Square pretty much breaks even with its competitors when it comes to pricing.

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Square for Small Businesses

Square is the ideal point of sale software solution for small businesses. With its ready-configured comprehensive software packages, it makes optimizing your sales process easy.

And don’t forget, there are no overhead charges for the basic software package, so you don’t have to commit to a contract.

Even Square’s most basic software package includes all the analytics tools you need to maximize your returns; whether it’s finding out what’s flying off the shelves or discovering the identity of a superstar salesperson.

It’s also worth considering that the Square POS interface is very intuitive to use. It means you don’t need to worry about setting aside time to train your staff – more time to make money!

Finally, Square is a system that can grow with you. As we’ve already mentioned, you can get hold of the basic package for free – then, if your business booms, you can invest in a more tailored package later on.

Expert Verdict

Square is an awesome POS package for small businesses. It’s flexible and convenient, and the software doesn’t have to cost you a cent – making it a great competitor for the likes of PayPal.

The only drawback is the extra 0.05% on credit card charges. For smaller businesses, you break even against competitors. For larger businesses turning over a larger amount, this additional 0.05% may outweigh what you make up by not paying overheads.

If you would like to find out how Square compares to PayPal, you can read our Square vs PayPal article for more information.

See how much a POS system will cost by filling in this form . Once you’ve popped in your details, up to four of our leading suppliers will be in touch.

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.