In this edition of Boomtown Reviews we’ll be covering Square’s cloud-based Register point of sale. Founded in 2009, Square officially launched their app service in 2010, and has since become one of the most popular point of sale solutions for small merchants. Square’s app runs on iOS and Android devices, however, the Register stand is only compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad Air. The hardware is also some of the most affordable on the market – the Register stand sells for $99. The stand itself was designed by a team that was led by a former Apple engineer, which explains its sleek, Apple-esque design. The stand swivels to allow for the customer to easily review the order, apply tips, and sign for credit card transactions, and it has an integrated credit card reader. It’s also very easy to connect additional peripherals like cash drawers and kitchen and receipt printers to the Square stand via the USB hardware hub.
One of the main reasons Square is popular with smaller merchants is due to its very simple pricing model. Square charges a flat 2.75% on all purchases with no additional fees or volume requirements. Merchants are charged the same rate whether they do 1 transaction per month, or 1,000 transactions per month. However, like most other point of sale providers, Square charges 3.5% plus $.15 for each non-swiped or “card-not-present” transactions.
One of the major highlights of Square is the systems simplicity and easy set-up process. Merchants can get a basic account set up in minutes. Square has also created a holistic, merchant friendly platform of add-ons. With the Square platform, merchants have access to a myriad of extra tools and apps to help manage their business processes more efficiently. Merchants get access to free tools like Square Analytics that gives in-depth reporting and analysis of sales, customer visits and much more. Other features include inventory tracking, loyalty/rewards programs and back-office management. Merchants that sell online have access to Square Sites, a platform that allows businesses to build customized online stores to sell and promote their products with no additional fees or increased processing rates.Square also easily integrates with industry-leading tools like QuickBooks online and desktop versions. This allows for seamless integration between front-end sales data and back-end accounting. Merchants can see sales, refunds, tax, tips, and discounts in their account or view individual transactions. The desktop integration, however, is only available for the Windows version of QuickBooks for an annual fee of $3.99.
The current Square register does not have a built-in EMV, or “chip-and-pin” reader, however Square has a chip-card accessory that is expected to launch this spring. The chip card reader is easily attached via the USB hardware hub and only costs $39. This provides Square merchants an easy, cost-effective way of becoming EMV compliant before the October 2015 deadline.
Who Square Works Best For
As previously mentioned, Square is best suited for smaller merchants with lower transaction tickets, as the 2.75% can get costly for larger merchants. Square outlines its ideal merchants as small retail stores, counter-serve restaurants and salons or spas. Their menus are easily customizable but they lack a table grid, therefore it is not recommended for full-service restaurants. All in all, the Square POS is a great, affordable solution for smaller merchants.
If you have any questions or are looking to switch to Square, leave us a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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