Square's Android POS system and credit card processing service can be used by small and midsized businesses in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan and Australia. It's well-suited for many business types: retail, counter- and quick-service restaurants, and service-based businesses such as salons. It's one of just two companies we reviewed that doesn't charge a monthly subscription fee for its basic POS software, making it a very affordable option, though you do have to use Square as your credit card processor. It doesn't require you to sign a lengthy contract or purchase POS hardware apart from a card reader.
This POS system has a solid mix of features and can grow with your business. You can add more devices and locations to the system and expand its functionality through add-ons and integrations. For these reasons, Square earns the Business.com Silver Award.
This company provides its basic POS system along with its credit card processing service on a pay-as-you-go basis, and it doesn't require you to sign any lengthy contracts. It doesn't charge a monthly subscription fee for its basic POS software, though its advanced Square for Retail POS software costs $60 per month and some of its add-on services also carry monthly subscription costs. Square clearly posts all of its pricing online, including the costs for the POS hardware it sells and fees for the add-on services it offers. You're required to use Square as your processor to use its POS software. Only three of the companies we reviewed have this requirement, and it's an issue if you're under contract with another company.
Other than a card reader for your credit card processing, there's no POS hardware purchase required when you use Square. You can buy equipment from Square, either bundled or piece by piece, or you can consult the list of compatible POS hardware on the company's website and use it to shop from another vendor or to see if you can use the system with the equipment you already own.
Square's POS software has a good selection of features. You can generate a variety of reports for sales, inventory, customers and employees. Through the dashboard, you can see your hourly sales and which products are your best sellers. You can download reports as CSV files.
It has inventory management tools, and you can add up to 50,000 items and modifiers to Square, either manually or by importing in bulk using a CSV spreadsheet. You can set up the system to send you stock-alert emails each day that detail which products are running low or gone. If you need the system to manage your vendors and assist you with purchase ordering, you'll need to subscribe to Square for Retail. Alternatively, you can integrate with a third-party inventory program from the Square App Marketplace, such as Stitch Labs or Shopventory for retail or Whisk for restaurants.
To add employees to Square and control their access to the system, you subscribe to its employee management add-on, which costs $5 per employee per month. With it, you can customize user roles and manage user profiles. It includes a time clock, allowing your employees to clock in and out using this POS system. If your business accepts tips or your employees earn commissions, this add-on can help with these calculations.
You can add customer contact information to Square and use its feedback feature to communicate with your customers. When you email receipts, your customers can click on them and give you feedback about the service they received from your business. You can reply, or send them coupons or refunds. If you need additional customer management features, you can subscribe to Square's loyalty and marketing add-ons, though these services carry a monthly fee.
To expand your business online, you can create a Square Online Store at no additional cost. If you prefer to use an eCommerce platform, Square integrates with several popular options such as BigCommerce, Magento and Weebly. If your business already has a website, you can use Square's API to connect it to the system.
For customer support, you can reach the company via email and phone during extended business hours, though 24-hour service and remote assistance aren't available. You can consult Square's online knowledgebase, which features step-by-step guides and videos that show you how to accomplish various tasks using this system. You can also ask for advice from other Square users on the community forum.
If you need help migrating inventory from an older system into Square, you can use its import tool to move up to 10,000 items. If your inventory is more extensive than this, you can contact the company for help. If you purchase your equipment from Square and experience a hardware failure, the company can ship replacement parts to you overnight.
Square is a great POS system for small businesses that need an affordable, scalable system. It provides its services on a pay-as-you-go basis and is transparent with all its pricing. It's a capable system with a strong mix of reporting and inventory features, and add-on modules and integrations are available if you need a system with advanced capabilities. However, you're required to use Square for your payment processing company, so you can't choose this POS system if you're under contract with another processor.