When Square was launched in 2009, it created some mighty waves in the Point of Sale (POS) industry. And rightly so. With a high emphasis on mobile, flexible registers, up-to-the-minute technology integrations, and an exceptionally smooth interface, Square quickly secured its place among the world’s top POS systems. Square is an excellent choice for dynamic small and mid-sized businesses such as retail and hospitality that need a reliable POS system that’s quick on its feet, as well as for contractors that need fast, on-the-go invoicing and payment solutions.
One of Square’s more noticeable features is its incredibly swift and uncomplicated software interface. Designed specifically to be simple and clear, Square’s POS system is so straightforward that it takes only minutes to master it - which is crucial for retail and hospitality businesses as it saves countless hours of system training. Product information such as prices and titles can be changed in real time, while registers can be customized quickly by simply dragging and dropping different elements on the screen.
Square enables managers and business owners to smoothly access their inventory, end of shift reports, and analytics as well as their employees’ commissions and sales statistics at any time. Employees also benefit from being able to clock in and out from their shifts instantly via Square.
Using cloud-based technology, Square’s point of sale system can be accessed easily from any mobile or tablet as long as its free software (available for download via Google Play or the Apple AppStore) is installed. In addition, customers receive a magnetic card reader absolutely free upon registering via Square’s website. This tiny device connects to any smartphone or tablet via the 3mm audio jack and immediately transforms any mobile device into a fully-fledged, flexible POS register.
Square’s back office also doesn’t disappoint with a huge range of features - including payment processing, which is available at no extra cost even while offline. Sales reports, inventory tracking, analytics, and location management (for multi-site businesses) are included at no charge, while additional services such as payroll, appointment setting, employee management, and Facebook marketing all come with same month-by-month, no minimum commitment pricing terms.
Square shines out against other leading POS services with its expansive 24/7/365 customer service offering. In addition to providing a support phone line, email, and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, Square also has an extremely helpful search feature, allowing the relevant information to be found quickly without resorting to browsing, and an extensive users-only forum to help you find fast solutions to complicated questions. To top it all off, Square also offers its users a wide variety of informative articles, from step-by-step guides about basic operations to clear explanations of more complex services, all cataloged neatly by field and topic.
The most distinguishing feature that really sets Square apart from its competitors is its pricing structure. Square offers absolutely clear pricing with no extra or hidden charges whatsoever. Businesses benefit from a flat rate of 2.75% for swipe, EMV chip or mobile wallet payments (e-commerce transactions are 2.9% + 30 cents), whereas keyed-in payments are charged at 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction. These umbrella charges cover all of Square’s services including analytics and sales reports and even chargeback protection (up to $250). Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express (AE) can all be processed with no additional charges whatsoever for AE - which is a refreshing change for business owners who usually find the extra cost associated with processing AE as prohibitive.
As previously mentioned, the Square app is free and businesses also receive a free magnetic stripe reader upon signing up. Other hardware may also be purchased through Square, such as EMV chip readers (for just $29) and combined EMV/NFC (mobile wallet) payment readers (at $49). Other equipment such as tablet stands and barcode readers may also be purchased - and if any equipment is less than satisfactory, it can be returned quickly with Square’s 30-day risk-free policy.
Square offers maximum flexibility in this regard with month-to-month contracts and no minimum commitment period required. In the POS market, which can have some sticky contracts with other providers, this really is out at the front of the pack. You can’t ask better than that.
Square is an excellent POS system that fits the needs of small and mid-sized retail and hospitality businesses, as well as contractors and entrepreneurs that require flexible online and offline services. With a straightforward and clear interface that’s quick to set up and even faster to grasp, an impressive customer support network, and month-to-month pricing, Square looks destined to become one of the world’s most popular POS systems.