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Right away, let’s clarify that the Square Register is different than the Square Stand, which is also offered as a POS system.
The Square Register is an integrated hardware and software system offered by Square, and includes a customer-facing and employee-facing screen. The Square Stand allows you to download the Square POS software to an iPad and connect it to the special Square stand to use as a point-of-sale system.
If you’re looking for information such as pricing and reviews for the Square stand, check out our Square Stand review.
If you’re curious what the Square Register can offer your business, this review will cover the features, pricing, and more. We’ll also provide a quick comparison chart to highlight the differences between the Square Stand and Square Register.
First, here’s the video Square released introducing the new Register:
The Square Register includes Square POS software, so you’ll be able to use all of the POS software’s features. You can add and manage inventory, track stock levels, set tax amounts, choose whether to print or email receipts to customers, and run reports. For restaurants and other service businesses, you can give customers the option to add a tip, open tabs, and send orders directly to the kitchen.
You can also use an integrated timeclock with employee passcodes to easily keep track of clock in and clock out times and effectively manage labor costs. Some locations have the option of adding Square Payroll to streamline employee payroll processing. Square Payroll is not available in all states, and incurs an additional monthly fee.
It’s worth noting that retailers who want more robust functionality will need to add on the separate Square for Retail service at a cost of $60/month (plus $20/month for each additional register.) Restaurants that want advanced food and beverage functions can use the Square for Restaurants software option at a cost of $60/month (plus $40/month for each additional register.)
Square for Retail includes advanced features such as multilocation inventory management, reporting for cost of goods sold, projected profit reports, purchase orders, and more. Square for Restaurants offers functions like custom table layouts, course-based ordering, and more.
You can read about the Retail and Restaurant software options in our Square review.
The Square Register hardware includes two screens – a larger screen for employees and a smaller screen that faces customers, as can be seen in the screenshot from Square’s website, below.
The customer-facing screen includes options to swipe cards or tap mobile devices to make NFC payments, allowing your customers the security of retaining their card through the entire purchase process instead of handing it to your staff. The NFC capabilities mean that customers can easily “tap” their smartphones or payment-enabled smartwatches to the device to pay that way instead of using their physical card.
You can also choose to connect optional accessories, including cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. Square supports multiple brands, so you can tailor a solution to fit your specific needs.
In order to use the Square Register at your business, you’ll need the Register itself (which comes with Square POS software installed) and an account with Square for credit card processing. If you’d like to use additional features specific to retailers, you’ll also need the Square for Retail application. Other features, like Payroll and Appointments, may also be available in some locations for an additional charge. Read more in our general Square review.
The Square register itself currently costs $999 if you purchase it outright, or $49/month for 24 months. The monthly payment option results in a slightly higher price, working out to $1,176.
Credit card processing through the Square Register will cost 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction for all swiped transactions. This pricing applies to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express transactions. If you key in card details rather than swiping cards, it will cost 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction.
Keep in mind that some add-on services have a separate monthly cost. For example, businesses that need the Square for Retail or Square for Restaurants application to use specific features can expect to pay an additional $60/month.
Square notes that it may be able to offer custom rates for businesses that process at least $250,000/year in credit cards and have an average transaction of $15 or more.
The Square Register and Square Stand have quite a few similarities, but there are differences as well. The Square Register is an all-in-one hardware and software package, while the Stand is an iPad-based system that allows you to download Square POS.
The Square Stand hardware is less expensive, though both support optional accessories like cash drawers and receipt printers.
Even though the two systems offer many of the same features, Square has so far not announced any plans to phase out the older Stand option.
The answer depends on your business. The Square Stand is quite a bit less expensive to purchase, and depending on your average transaction size, may be lower cost for credit card processing as well. However, if you’re looking for a dual-screen option, Register will be the better choice.
There are a number of factors that can affect processing costs and which one is the best choice for you, but as a rough rule of thumb, Square Stand at 2.75% will be lower cost for credit card processing if your average transaction is under $40. For average transactions over $40, Square Register at 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction will be more cost effective. Note that other variables, such as monthly costs for add-ons, can skew these numbers.
Additionally, this doesn’t take into account the possible pitfalls of the flat rate pricing model. While Square’s pricing looks simple, it’s not necessarily the lowest cost available for credit card processing. The Stand may be cheaper than the Register in some instances and vice-versa but both options can still be more expensive than competitive interchange plus processing options. If you process sporadically or only take a few thousand dollars/month in credit cards, flat rate pricing can be a good option. If that’s not you, it’s worth your time to compare Square to traditional processing options before signing on.
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The Square Register system is sleek, with dual screens and a small footprint. Offers helpful POS features, but many of the advanced retail features are only available with a monthly fee of $60.