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Square Terminal Review

Credit Card Machines

For businesses looking for a Square option in between a mobile reader and full POS system, the company has an answer: Square Terminal.

Announced in autumn 2018, the Square Terminal is the company’s first countertop credit card machine. It accepts magnetic stripe cards, EMV chip cards, and NFC (contactless) payment such as Apple Pay. The machine, in Square’s customary white, offers a sleek, touchscreen-based countertop terminal for restaurants, retailers, salons, and more.


Square boasts that the terminal is intuitive, allowing you and your staff to get up and running quickly, without need for long training. You’ll have the ability to either enter the payment total manually, or choose from inventory that you add to the machine.

Square offers this video about Terminal:

Additionally, Terminal features an offline mode so you’ll still be able to accept payments if your internet is down. Square Terminal can connect to existing POS systems or be used as a standalone countertop terminal.

Terminal includes up-to-date security features to help prevent fraudulent transactions and other security issues.

Integration with Square for Restaurants 

Square Terminal doesn’t have a web browser and doesn’t offer additional apps. Note that you cannot download Square for Restaurants / Retail onto a Terminal, nor can you add Payroll or Appointments. That said, it's possible to utilize some functions of Square for Restaurants  and the Square Terminal. You'll need to have Square for Restaurants enabled on a compatible device, such as the Square Register. 

?Due to the limitations of Terminal when it comes to Square for Restaurants, it does not count as another device in your Square for Restaurants plan and will not incur second register monthly fees. 

Available Functions

The "Open Tickets" function allows you to automatically sync checks between Square for Restaurants and the Square Terminal. The Open Tickets Menu Home Screen allows your servers to view open guest checks when they log in to Terminal. You can add gratuities, but not automatically, like with the Square for Restaurants app. Gratuities with Terminal must be added manually on a per-check basis.

Unavailable Functions

It's important to note that while modifiers for items will show up on Terminal, operators like "extra" and "side" are not visible. Additionally, Terminal doesn't support coursing functions. If you add an item to a customer's check from the Terminal, it will appear as "straight fire." Terminal also does not allow you to assign items to a particular table seat. Items added to a guest's check from terminal cannot be "attached" to an individual guest's seat and will not appear as attached. 


The compact, all-in-one Square Terminal is a wireless, touchscreen-based credit card machine that includes an internal receipt printer. It can connect via wifi or ethernet connection. The company also promises that the machine is built to last, even utilizing shatterproof glass, giving you worry-free operation at even the busiest locations.

Due to its portability, Terminal can be used anywhere in your business. Restaurants can take payments tableside while retailers can set up second checkouts.

Terminal Cost

The Square Terminal costs $399 upfront or can be paid in 12 installments of $37 (totaling $444.)

Customers that are new to Square are eligible for a $300 processing fee credit when you purchase a Square Terminal, meaning your Terminal will effectively cost you $99 instead of $399. The offer is only available for new Square customers and only on one Square Terminal.

Prices and special offers subject to change.

Square Terminal Rates

The Square Terminal will cost you 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction when you swipe, dip, or tap cards. If for some reason you need to manually enter a card, it’s likely Square’s usual 3.5% + 15 cent keyed rate applies, but the company doesn’t explicitly say so on its website. We’ve reached out to Square for more information.

Businesses that process more than $250,000 in cards may be able to negotiate lower rates.

Curious how this pricing stacks up? Try CardFellow’s free quote comparison tool to see pricing from other processors to compare to Square Terminal’s rates.

Customer Service

On its website, Square boasts that Terminal includes 24/7 phone support. Square typically requires you to retrieve a “customer code” from your Square account in order to reach customer service by phone.

Processor Compatibility

As a Square machine, Terminal is only compatible with Square credit card processing. You will not be able to use the Square terminal with other processors.

Note that Square doesn’t accept all business types. Businesses that are considered “high risk” such as those selling firearms, travel services, digital goods, and other items will not be able to accept cards using Square Terminal.

Have you used the Square Terminal? What did you think? Leave a review!

Product Features

Selective: Square

Credit Card Machines

  • Dial-Up
  • Dual/Comm
  • Wireless
  • Wifi
  • Contactless
  • EMV/ Smartcard
  • Built in Contactless Reader
  • NFC Capable
  • Internal PIN Pad
  • Store & Forward
  • Multiple merchant support
  • Multi application support
  • Encrypted

Square Terminal Q&A

Heartland Payment Systems answer:

We don't support Square, please reach out to them direcly. 


Square Terminal Reviews ( 6)

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from Elizabeth P, on Nov 05, 2021

If I could give this terminal and company zero stars I would because even a one is too high. We tried using square for our small business, and after one transaction, square decided that they would not be able to support our business and they deactivated our account. Also, we will not get the money from our transaction for 90 days. In addition to this, I haven't been able to speak with anyone in customer service since my account has been deactivated. I cannot stress enough how terrible this company is.

from D BErnacchia, on Oct 20, 2021

I've had this POS for a month and half and have had to send it back to the company because it won't turn on. Apparently this is "an issue" with it and the warranty is only good for 1 year. Buyer beware. THey recommend you keep it plugged in when not in use, but the terminal gets hot when it's plugged in. I think it might burn the batteries prematurely. The company is aware of of a lot of these terminals being returned, and I guess that is why there is only a 1 year warranty on them.

from robert , on Sep 24, 2019

It is fantastic in every way, quick set up and extremely well made. Fast and engineered well. I have a small business and this is just what the doctor ordered.

from Gruntlord, on Aug 27, 2019

Easily the best terminal I have ever used, very easy to use and extremely good customization. Customers are also extremely happy with the processing speeds and ease of use, we often find them looking at the machine shocked that they are already done paying. Reports are also very solid and even include the taxes collected, with the option of also including the online sales we have processed through Square. Very impressed!

from Travis, on Dec 11, 2018

Not worth the money. It has not worked several times both with and without an internet connection. If you need support, you'll need their phone number and your customer number, both of which are not found anywhere in the device's settings. You or a customer could drop the device since there is no grip. Also, not very comfortable to hold.

from Gary Thomas, on Nov 06, 2018

Square Terminal, in my opinion, is a game changer in the industry. As a former Senior Manager for Apple, I left to start my own business. From a practical standpoint, Square Terminal will turn every small business into an Apple Store.

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