These experts helped us to
create our product content:
The device is popping up at cafes and quick service restaurants across the United States. But what can it do, and more importantly, is it right for your business? In this Square POS review and profile, we’ll get you all the details on its features, pricing, reviews, and more.
Firstly, while Square POS and Square Stand are sometimes used interchangeably, the stand is actually a physical product. It’s the part that holds the tablet and has a built-in magnetic stripe card reader. The POS system uses the Square Register software on an iPad or Android tablet (not provided) that can be plugged in to the physical stand to create a sleek, tablet-based point of sale terminal. In this review, we’ll refer to the Square POS system and Square Register when talking about features and benefits, and the Square Stand when discussing the physical hardware component.
The Square POS system runs on the Square Register app, just like the mobile card readers. Square Register lets you securely accept traditional magnetic stripe credit and debit cards, new EMV chip cards, cash, checks, gift cards, and NFC technologies. (EMV and NFC technology cannot be accepted by default with the Square Stand, and optional EMV/NFC accessories must be added to allow acceptance of those payment types.)
Square POS offers several features that are helpful for in-person transactions in a store environment, including inventory management, tax and tip adjustments, tabs, gift cards, employee logins, payroll (in select locations), receipt options, integrations, and customer feedback.
For managing inventory, Square POS allows you to quickly change details, including price and quantity, in real time. You can track stock levels and set email alerts for when particular items run low, and you can do it from any computer using the free Square dashboard. You can sell items online or in store and track both with the inventory management reports.
Add taxes automatically, and give your customers the option to include a gratuity. The gratuity option is set to allow customers to choose fixed percentages, eliminating the need to do mental calculations when paying.
You can open tabs for customers with the Square POS, and send orders to the kitchen as they’re placed. You can also split the bill between multiple credit cards, or a mix of cards and cash, allowing your customers the flexibility to pay however they’d like.
An integrated timeclock system can be used to allow your employees to clock in and out through the Square Register. Additionally, each employee’s unique passcode means easier transaction tracking. You’ll know who processed each transaction. You can also set permission levels individually so that employees only have access to the functions they need to do their job. If you’d like to restrict refund capabilities to managers, for example, you can set that through employee logins.
Users in some states can take advantage of the Square Payroll option, integrating timecards, overtime, and taxes to speed up the payroll process. Note that Square Payroll incurs a separate charge of $5 per employee per month.
Your customers can choose whether they’d like an electronic receipt (available by text or email) or a printed receipt. (Requires USB receipt printer, not included with Square Stand.)
Square Register/Square POS also integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. If you already use those programs and don’t want to switch, you won’t have to with POS integrations.
Square Register includes a customer feedback option that allows your customers to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their visit. You can track the feedback, start private messages with your customers, and offer coupons through the feedback system. Some options, like offering coupons, are part of the deluxe package, which requires an additional $15/month.
The Square Stand swivels, allowing you to easily spin it around to capture customers’ signatures or prompt for tips. Additionally, the stand has a USB hub to connect optional accessories like receipt printers and barcode scanners.
The reporting options, called Square Analytics, are included free with your Square account. You can run reports for information like best selling items, overall sales, employee hours, new customers vs. returning, and more. You can view data from your smartphone or computer and the reports can be downloaded as CSV files for importing into other programs.
Like all of the Square payment acceptance options, credit card processing for the POS system is charged on a flat rate model. Current pricing is 2.75% for swiped transactions and 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed transactions. However, Square may impose a per-transaction fee of 10-15 cents for businesses with average tickets under $10.
Square devices can only be used with a Square account, so it is not possible to purchase the hardware and use it with another processor.
One thing to be aware of is that several of the more robust functions of the Square POS/Square Register require an additional monthly fee. Square discloses the fee, so it is not being sneaky about the costs, but know that some of the features you want may be adding to the overall price. Be sure to take all features you’ll need into consideration when deciding if Square is the right choice for your business.
The Square Stand is available for $149. It does not include an iPad. You may be able to lease a Square stand through Square’s equipment leasing partner POS Portal.
To increase the functions of the Square POS, optional accessories can be added, including the EMV/NFC reader ($29) to accept chip credit cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay. Other available accessories include a cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner. Pricing for accessories varies.
The Square POS using a tablet and the Square stand makes an attractive POS system that doesn't take up much space. However, some of the more advanced features require an additional monthly cost.