Written by Zara Chechi Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 20 March 2023 On this page Square charges & fees: a deep dive How much does Square's hardware cost? Does Square have any extra fees? What are Square's main features & benefits? How do Square’s charges compare to other merchant services? Is Square Good Value for Money? How Did We Research Payment Providers? FAQs Expand All providers have been reviewed and tested by our Research team. By requesting a quote, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral During our in-depth research of the six best mobile card reader providers, we found that Square’s card reader starts from £16. Square’s transaction fees are 1.75% per card transaction and 2.5% for payment links and invoices.Our research team’s deep dive compares six different mobile card readers, and Square takes third place. Square scores a fairly low 3.3/5 for its price, but how much does it actually cost when compared with other providers, and is it worth your money?We breakdown all the costs and fees associated with Square, read on to find out more.If you’re short on time, you can also use our free comparison tool to compare the prices of merchant accounts. By providing us with a few brief details, our tool will match you up with providers who’ll then contact you with obligation-free quotes. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Square Best For Faster payouts Cost From £16 for hardware Monthly Fee £0 Transaction fee 1.75% for card transactions2.5% for payment links and invoices Square charges & fees: a deep diveSquares scores 3.3/5 for its pricing, one of the lowest in our research, with Revolut taking the top spot with a 4.6/5, due to its low transaction fees.Square’s transaction fees, alongside Zettle, are the highest of all the providers we compared. The lowest transaction fee comes from Revolut, which charges 0.8% +2p for in-person transactions, a much lower fee when compared with Square’s 1.75%.Revolut’s lower fee may not be suitable for businesses that process lots of small transactions, compared with bigger transactions. A 1.75% transaction fee on a large transaction is a smaller dent than a 0.8% +2p fee on 100 small transactions. A plus is that Square doesn’t have a monthly fee, which means your only recurring cost will be the transaction fees.Square’s basic card reader costs £16 and its terminal is £149 +VAT. The card reader is a fairly simple piece of hardware, but it's in line with the other card readers that competitors offer. At £16, Square’s is one of the cheapest readers, beaten only by Tyl, which offers a reader from £13.99, plus a pocket reader from £6.99 per month. Did You Know? An interchange fee is what is paid as part of each payment transaction (eg. payment by credit card). This is between the payer’s payment service provider and the payee’s payment service provider. These usually average between 0.2%-0.3% of the transaction amount in Europe. How much does Square's hardware cost?Square’s reader costs £16, the second cheapest card reader after Tyl, which offers one for £6.99 per month and another for a one-off £13.99. While Tyl scores the same as Square in our research, (4.4/5) it has less integrations than Square and it has a slower transfer time. It takes three days for a transfer, compared with Square’s, which takes less than 24 (working) hours.Our in-depth research finds that most of the providers we looked at offer small, basic card readers. Square’s £16 card reader may be a simple and straightforward piece of hardware but its terminal, which is a lot pricier at £149 +VAT, is an all-in-one card reader and receipt printer. The terminal is a lot chunkier than the reader, but it is still a handheld device and definitely small enough to take out on the road.If you connect the terminal to a smartphone or tablet that has the free EPOS app installed, customers will be able to view an itemised basket. This can be helpful for when customers are buying a larger number of items, or just want to ensure accuracy.Other providers, such as Stripe, offer similar hardware to Square’s terminal. Stripe’s terminal is more expensive than Square’s, (£179), but it doesn't offer an offline mode, so it’s not the best option when it comes to taking payments on the road.If you’re a business looking for a comprehensive reader, Square’s terminal is a better option than Stripe’s.Square’s terminal is pricier than its card reader, but the terminal is a good fit for businesses that want to offer customers receipts and use Square’s free EPOS software. The free software offers features that include inventory tools, analytics, and employee management.If you want advanced features, such as vendor sales reports or smart sock forecasts, you can opt for the Plus version, which costs £49 per month, per location. The paid EPOS app is best suited to large businesses or those with multiple locations. Small businesses won’t necessarily need the paid EPOS app because the free software has all the main features of an EPOS system. These include inventory tools, employee management, and reporting. Does Square have any extra fees?No, Square doesn’t charge a monthly fee for its card reader. There is a flat recurring fee of 1.75% for each card transaction and 2.5% for payment links and invoices. There are also no interchange fees. What are Square's main features & benefits?Square scores a 4.7/5 for its features, beaten only by Zettle’s score of 4.9/5, as Zettle offers more reporting options and 25 major currencies. You can only accept the currency of the country you’re currently located in, so if you want to be able to accept multiple currencies, Zettle is a better option.Fast payoutsEasy and free to set up an accountFree EPOS appAccepts chip & pin, contactless, and mobile paymentsCan sell online, over the phone, and collect payments via invoicesAccepts Visa, Mastercard, and AMEX at one rateSquare accepts multiple forms of payment, including contactless, payment links, and invoices. With your money arriving in your bank account the next working day, its fund transfer times are the fastest out of all the providers in our in-depth research.You can start using the free EPOS app on your mobile or tablet almost instantly. The EPOS software includes core features, such as inventory tracking, reporting tools, and employee management.You can take payments online, in-person, or over the phone. The EPOS software comes with a built-in ecommerce platform, so you can consolidate all your payments into one place.For a more in-depth look, have a read of our Square review which delves deeper into Square’s features, benefits, and hardware. How do Square’s charges compare to other merchant services?Square’s transaction fees are the most expensive out of all the providers in our in-depth research, alongside Zettle. At 1.75% per card transaction and 2.5% for payment links and invoices, Square is beaten by Revolut, Stripe, SumUp, and Tyl.Revolut offers the cheapest transaction fees, at 0.8% +2p for in-person transactions. Revolut takes the number one spot in our research, scoring a 4.8/5, compared with Square’s 4.4/5.Our research also shows that Revolut is a better provider overall, but Square still offers the fastest fund transfer times and the highest number of integrations. Revolut only offers 16 integrations, much lower than Square’s countless integrations, which appears to be in the hundreds.While Revolut is a cheaper provider, Square’s faster payouts and integrations make it suitable for businesses that want access to their money quicker, or that want to use a comprehensive EPOS system alongside their card reader.Square offers the second cheapest card reader option, at £16, Tyl offers the cheapest hardware with prices starting from £6.99 per month. If you don’t want a monthly fee, Tyl also provides a £13.99 card reader.Both Tyl and Square score the same in our research, 4.4/5, and Tyl’s transaction fees are cheaper than Square’s at 1.5%. Tyl offers a range of readers, such as a comprehensive POS system and a countertop reader, so you can make a customised choice for your business.However, it’s worth noting that Tyl only offers around four integrations, all of which are accounting software. Square offers countless integrations, making it better suited to businesses that want a comprehensive EPOS system. Unlike Square, Tyl doesn’t offer free EPOS software so, if you’re after this, Square is a better option. Is Square Good Value for Money?Square is best suited for businesses that want a comprehensive, affordable EPOS system alongside their card reader. Square offers free EPOS software and its high number of integrations means you can create a system suited to your needs.Zettle and SumUp also offer a free EPOS system, though they vary in other features. Zettle packs less integrations than Square but a respectable amount at 21. Zettle also scores higher than Square in our research (4.8/5) and accepts multiple currencies, which Square does not. If this is important to your business, Zettle is a better fit. Comparing SumUp and Square, SumUp also lags behind in integrations (it only offers 11), but comes with a slightly lower transaction fee (1.69%).Square comes third place in our research, however, no other provider can beat it in terms of EPOS system integration and fast payouts.While it’s not the cheapest provider, its slightly higher transaction fees make it worth it if you want the ease of an integrated free EPOS system and fast fund transfer times.You can use our free quote tool to compare other providers' pricing to Square. Just give us a few brief details and we’ll match you up with the right merchant account providers. You’ll then receive obligation-free quotes from our trusted suppliers. How Did We Research Payment Providers?Our research team compared 11 different card readers to find the best mobile card readers. These were then split into two groups: mobile and traditional. Square falls under the mobile card reader category.With the six providers in the mobile readers category we focused on scoring each provider in the following areas:Price – hardware fees, transaction fees, account fees, flexibility, and early termination fees were all taken into account to determine how affordable the provider is.Payment options – the team assessed whether the provider offers a physical machine, online payments, virtual orders, and payment links.Features – the features we focused on were invoicing, integrations, reporting, and multicurrency.Compliance – this area looks at how compliant each provider is based on fund transfer times, PCI compliance, and fraud prevention measures.Help and support – our team identifies how much help and support each provider offers. This includes email, phone, and live chat support.The average of all of these scores is combined to make up an overall score for each provider. FAQs Is there a monthly fee for Square? No, there is no monthly fee for Square. The only recurring cost is the transaction fee of 1.7% per card transaction and 2.5% for payment links and invoices. Is Square worth it for small businesses? While Square isn’t the cheapest provider, Square is worth it for small businesses as it transfers funds by the next working day and offers a free EPOS app with countless integrations. What's the cheapest way to take card payments? The cheapest provider is Revolut, with a transaction fee of 0.8% +2p for in-person transactions. Revolut scores the highest in our research, with a 4.6/5. What's the best card machine? The best card machine is Zettle, which scores a 4.8/5 in our research and scores the highest for features (4.9/5). It also scores highly in the customer support (5/5) and customer score categories (4.5/5), making it an overall reliable provider. Our site is reader-supported. Some featured providers are our partners, so we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through our site. This is at no extra cost to our readers, and this doesn’t affect the independence of our reviews. Whether or not we have a partnership with a company does not affect our rating and review of the service. Written by: Zara Chechi Business Services Expert Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.