Square Credit Card Reader Review: Taking A Closer Look At Square Contactless & Chip And Magstripe Readers
The Square Reader is an affordable, entry-level choice that comes packed with value for small business credit card processing needs.
- Frank KehlFrank Kehl has been researching and analyzing merchant services, payment gateways, and international money transfer services since 2015. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate from the Ventura College of Law.
Expert Analyst & Reviewer
How To Use Squares Countertop Pos Systems
If you are considering how you can use Squares countertop POS systems to make business flow, here are your options:
Square Stand For Contactless & Chip
When you use the Square Stand with the free Square Point of Sale app, you will need to bring along your own compatible iPad or purchase an iPad to go into your stand. The magstripe reader is built-in if you must swipe, but we recommend utilizing the Square Reader for contactless and chip payment for the latest payment security protections. The Square Stand also comes with a dock to keep the contactless reader charged and stable.
When it comes time to ring up an order, youll complete the sale just as you would through your mobile device, as the free Square POS app is still the engine thats running the whole thing. The Square Stand for Contactless and Chip makes a great choice if you are looking for a more prominent, bonafide countertop POS option. It has a simplistic design with minimal cords and offers more screen real estate to find inventory and add to your sale.
With the Square Stand, you can run your Square POS app or the premium options created just for retail and restaurants. Find out why these might be a better option for you by visiting our Square for Retail or Square for Restaurants reviews.
Square Terminal Costs And Fees
Merchants can buy Square Terminal outright for $399 or pay 12 monthly installments of $37. Square also offers a $300 statement credit for new Square users, which is intended to bring the effective cost of the terminal down to $99. Transactions processed through Square Terminal are cheaper than normal Square transactions but more expensive than Square Register transactions, coming in at 2.6% plus $0.10. Manually entered credit card payments will be charged Squares keyed-in rate of 3.5% plus $0.15.
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To Steal Credit Card Data Without Tampering With Square Reader
record credit card data directly into a smartphone“I can take that signal and convert it using a decoder freely available online, and then I have your credit card information,” Alexandrea Mellentold
“We do not see it as a security risk,” a Square employee wrote in the report on the Square’s bug bounty service HackerOne. “In particular, it is not possible to process a stored swipe more than once.”
John MooreAlexandrea MellenArtem LosevMOBILE POINT OF SCAM: ATTACKING THE SQUARE READER
Which Is Easier To Use
When thinking about the usability of the readers, our immediate answer would be the iZettle. The screen and keypad can make it a lot easier for your customers to use, however, the compact Square does have some positives. A lot more customers these days opt to use contactless over chip and pin and the small size does make it easier to carry around. On the other hand, if customers go over the contactless limit, they are forced to enter their pin which is slightly more complicated with the Square as the use of a mobile phone or tablet is needed. Some customers also like to see the amount theyre paying on the screen, to make them feel more comfortable, which is where the iZettle proves its worth with the higher price tag.
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Best Buy Customers Often Prefer The Following Products When Searching For Square Reader
Square is a mobile payment processing system that allows anyone to accept credit cards on their mobile device. Square Reader is a small white plastic device that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone or iPad. It uses the audio jack so that it doesn’t block the device’s other ports, and it connects wirelessly with the Square app over Bluetooth. The Square Reader can process payments from all major credit cards, including American Express and Discover, and it can be used with any mobile device that has a headphone jack and runs the free Square app for iOS or Android.
Take control of sales with this Square Register system. Its seamless design ensures you have all the tools you need to immediately get to work, and the included customer display provides intuitive controls so lines move efficiently. The compact size of this Square Register system lets you see important information at a glance without cluttering your professional space.See all customer reviews
Take control of sales with this Square Register system. Its seamless design ensures you have all the tools you need to immediately get to work, and the included customer display provides intuitive controls so lines move efficiently. The compact size of this Square Register system lets you see important information at a glance without cluttering your professional space.$799.99Your price for this item is $799.99Add to Cart
Square Get Started Guide
Getting set up to accept credit cards on Square only takes a few minutes but dont miss out on our entire suite of products that can help you run and grow your business.
This 5-step guide can help you take payments faster, significantly reduce your teams training time, generate robust sales and inventory reports, and cut your administrative time in half. Watch the video below for an overview of how to get started with Square:
What if I get stuck? Get in touch with our Support team anytime by email, or, and if youve successfully created an account, you can Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST, or reach us in theSeller Community.
Use this guide for reference or share it with your team by saving or printing this page. Right-click anywhere on this page to save or print.
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Beware Of Processing Limitations
Square markets its pricing with a straightforward and easy-to-understand message however, the company fails to mention anything about its account cancellation and risk mitigation policies in its marketing materials and advertising placements. These policies have caused significant problems for many merchants, and some business owners have even complained of large financial losses. Many merchants who find themselves in the crosshairs of Squares underwriting department would be better served by a high-risk specialist or high-volume merchant account provider. Due to the risk posed by Squares fund holding policies, and the fact that Square allows merchants to run transactions that may trigger account cancellation without any prior warning, many merchants have complained of misleading marketing by the company. Hence, we have lowered Squares grade in this section to a B rating.
Can I Use My Square Cash Card Anywhere
With the Square Card, you are able to accept business expenses on your Square account free of charge. Earning the money reflected in your monthly pay indicates how much money you are earning. By using your Square card you can be spending that money in more than 70 countries that accept Mastercard cards. You can buy goods and services from multiple retailers using the card.
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How The Complaints Break Down
What Is A Credit Card Reader
A credit or debit card holds vital information on its magnetic strip or microchip . For example, a credit card contains the consumers name, account number, the card expiration date, and the cards validation code, typically found imprinted on the back of the card.
A credit card reader is a device that decodes the personal and financial information contained in the magnetic strip or microchip of a credit or debit card. The card reader reads the credit or debit cards information. It then transmits this information to the payment processor, who communicates digitally with the customers bank or other financial institution, confirming that the funds for the purchase are available. After the payment processor confirms the availability of funds, the merchant receives an approval code, allowing them to complete the sale.
Traditionally, credit card readers were tied to traditional cash registers or, more recently, to in-store point-of-sale systems. However, with the advancement of technology, credit card readers have become more accessible. For example, you can connect a credit card reader with your smartphone, allowing you to take payments on the go.
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Can I Use Square On A Laptop Or Computer Instead Of A Moblie Device
The title of this post has been edited from the original: Can I use Square on my laptop instead of a moblie device?
Hi – I am trying to find out the answer to a question below:
Can I use Square on my laptop instead of a mobile device and plug the reader into the microphone? If so, how do I download the app on my laptop? It is not an Apple product.
Big update for 2021: You can now use a connected Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal! Once you have Square Terminal, you can use it to turn your Mac or Windows PC into an all-in-one POS solution.
For additional information, check out our Square Terminal with Virtual Terminal product update.
The Square POS app does not work on a computer and the Square swiper doesn’t work on a computer either. You can run credit cards manually when logged into your Square Dashboard.
Read more about virtual terminal here.
Sure you can. You have to use an android emulator like blue stacks. Then you can download the POS app and use your PC just like your phone. But unless you have a touch screen or a digital signature pad your customer can’t sign.
I would like to have this option also. It is easier to look at my computer more than my phone. Do you think there will be an app for the laptops too sometime soon? I run on a Mac.
If we type in the sales, then we get charged more by you than if we swipe them right?
How To Use Square To Run Your Business
In addition to payment processing, you can use Squares mobile POS app to help run your business on the go. The following management tools are available through the app:
- Order and inventory management: Add items to your library, track in-stock inventory, and check order status. Square automatically updates your inventory when you make a sale, so your stock numbers are always up-to-date.
- Sales reports: Sales are recorded and summarized to help you track growth and make key business decisions.
- Customer management: Enter your customer information, such as email addresses and purchase history, so you can provide better service or grow your business via email marketing.
- Team member profiles: Add and view team members to quickly reference contact information.
Since your Square Dashboard is your business hub, this is where youll manage many of the payments-related aspects of your business. Use your Dashboard to access tools and features like:
If youre ready to get started, read our Square POS guide for step-by-step instructions on setting up your account and using its POS features.
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Squares Policies On Holding Your Money
Until November 2013, Square placed holds on funds of card-not-present sales for 30 days if more than $2,002 was charged within any rolling seven-day period. This meant that if a merchant keyed in $2,100 in sales within a seven-day period , the extra $98 would be held by Square for 30 days. This policy generated a lot of confusion among users because Square did not provide any warning before the $2,002 limit was reached. Square now claims that merchants can process transactions of any type and any size without having to worry about a processing limit, but this claim is not entirely accurate.
Squares Bbb Complaints On The Rise
As of this update, the Better Business Bureau is reporting an A+ rating for Square despite 5,023 complaints filed in the last 36 months. The Square complaint total has skyrocketed from just a few dozen complaints since we first published this review in April of 2011. Surprisingly, the BBB has also raised Squares grade from a B+ in July of 2013 to an A+ despite the rising complaint volume.
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A New Way To Accept Credit Cards Alongside Ebt
Square credit processing is now integrated with the TotilPay point-of-sale app. EBT-authorized merchants now have the option to use their existing Square merchant account to also accept credit, debit, SNAP, WIC and loyalty cards using the TotilPay app.
TotilPay and Square merchants can now process EBT, credit and debit transactions all within the TotilPay app however, EBT processing is not yet available on the Square app so merchants will need to use the TotilPay app to process EBT transactions.
We understand that point-of-sale software and EBT processing can be complicated so if youd like a TotilPay expert to explain our solution and how Square credit processing works within the TotilPay app, then contact our Sales Team.
One app, multiple benefits
Use the TotilPay app to process debit or credit card transactions using your Square merchant account and access more features and flexibility that improve cost, efficiency and customer experience.
TotilPay & Square Hardware
The TotilPay solution with Square integration requires merchants to have two card readers the TotilPay card reader and the Square Contactless Chip Reader.
The TotilPay card reader is used to process EBT-only transactions. You will not be able to process credit and debit cards through your Square merchant account with the TotilPay card reader.
The TotilPay Sales Team can assist new merchants with hardware requirements and options for using TotilPay and Square. Contact .
Acquiring The Card Reader
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Getting Started With The Square Chip Card Reader
The Square chip card reader has two slots one for swiping magstripe cards and one for inserting chip cards.
Note: If you have the contactless and chip card reader, go here for setup instructions, as the steps differ from the ones outlined in this article. You can also compare the different Square Readers anytime.
How To Accept Card
There may be some situations when you need to take a payment from your customer, and you cant swipe, dip, or tap the card. Maybe you dont have your reader with you, or you want to take an order over the phone. Whether the card is physically present or not, if you manually enter the card information, its considered a card-not-present transaction.
In the next section, we will lay out the payment processing costs for such transactions. But first, lets discover the ways you can process a card with Square if you dont have your reader in hand.
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