5 Top Square Competitors for Small Businesses

Maddie Shepherd

Senior Staff Writer at Fundera
Maddie Shepherd is a senior staff writer at Fundera. Beyond her deep knowledge of small business financing, Maddie's specialty is business credit cards—she'd love to help match your business with the credit card that benefits you most!

Maybe you’ve read through Square reviews, and you’re not quite convinced that Square Point of Sale (POS) is the right POS option for your business. For whatever reason, you’re on the hunt for the top Square competitors to find an alternative point of sale system that’s better suited for your business’s needs.

Lucky for you, there’s a market full of companies like Square out there for you to choose from. Similar to Square, many point of sale companies allow you to harness the power of smart devices to convert them into fully functional points of sale. Nonetheless, there are also Square competitors that don’t require you to have access to a smart device for their product.

There’s a wide range of Square alternatives out there that can fit pretty much any POS need and preference. Let’s take a look at the top five Square competitors to consider.

The Top 5 Square Alternatives

After Square made their break onto the scene, POS systems like Square abounded. Each plays a slight variation on the theme of a mobile POS system, and most are powered by smart devices, with payment apps like Square’s and card readers like Square’s. A lot of these Square alternatives look a lot like Square but differ in the minutiae.

Intuit QuickBooks GoPayment

The first of your Square alternatives to look into is Intuit QuickBooks GoPayment. Intuit GoPayment is QuickBooks’ attempt at answering the demand for mobile point of sale options. With the Intuit GoPayment app and a GoPayment card reader, you’ll be able to turn a smart device into a full-powered point of sale system.

This Square competitor offers two card reader options: The first chip and magstripe reader will come free with your account, but additional ones will cost $19. Their chip, magstripe, and contactless reader will cost $49.

Similar to Square, you’ll also incur  payment processing fees with Intuit GoPayment. You’ll pay:

  • 2.4% + $0.25 for every magstripe, chip, and contactless payment you process
  • 3.4% + $0.25 per keyed-in and camera-scanned payment

All in all, Intuit GoPayment’s fee structure will work better than Square’s for businesses that typically process larger transactions. And though Intuit GoPayment offers simpler mobile POS solutions than Square does, that it can easily integrate to QuickBooks accounting software is a game-changer for many business owners.

PayPal Here

Another Square competitor to consider is PayPal Here. Unlike Square and Intuit GoPayment, PayPal Here doesn’t offer a free card reader when you open an account. That said, the Mobile PayPal card reader only costs $14.99, and PayPal Here offers four total card reader options—one of which boasts a keypad for customers to enter their pin. Similar to Square, most PayPal Here transactions will just cost you 2.7% of the transaction value. (Square’s default payment processing fees for retail are 2.75%, but more on this later.) Any manually enter transactions will cost 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction.

All in, PayPal Here best serves business owners who already rely heavily on PayPal for their payment processing. PayPal Here typically works best as a supplement to an already-used business PayPal account.

ShopKeep

One of the most well-reviewed alternatives to Square POS systems is ShopKeep. Though ShopKeep is priced using a completely quote-based system, their point of sale options reportedly start at $69 per month for a basic package. This might seem like a lot to fork over, but ShopKeep offers a register, real-time transaction analytics, employee management, unlimited inventory items, and more—all in one software package.

ShopKeep doesn’t provide any numbers on its payment processing fees, so you’ll have to request a quote for your business to get an idea of how their fees compare to Square’s.

square competitors

Clover

If you want to find a company like Square that won’t require you to have a smart device at your disposal, then your top alternative is Clover. Similar to Square’s, Clover’s POS system options cover a wide range—from a simple card reader to a fully functioning countertop system.

Many of Clover’s POS system options won’t require you to have a smart device. Beyond the Clover Go—a $59 Bluetooth, smart device enabled card reader for magstripe, chip, and contactless pay—all Clover POS systems are self-sufficient.

For instance, the Clover Flex is a handheld POS system that can read all payment types, scan barcodes, and print receipts—all without a smartphone or tablet. The Clover Flex costs $449, which is much than most Square POS options. That said, if you don’t have a smart device and would have to purchase one for a Square POS system, then a Clover POS system could save you money.

As for payment processing fees for this Square competitor, they’re structured a bit differently. For Clover Register Lite POS software, you’ll pay $14 per month, 2.7% + $0.10 for in-person transactions, and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions.

If you go with the Clover Register POS software, then you’ll pay $29 per month, 2.3% + $0.10 per in-person transactions, and 3.5% +$0.10 for keyed-in transactions.

Shopify

Last but not least, Shopify is the fifth Square alternative for you to consider. Of all of the companies that are similar to Square, Shopify is one of the most ecommerce-enabled. With every version of Shopify—Lite, Basic, Regular, Advanced, and Plus—you’ll be able to access a payment gateway for your business’s website and social media accounts. And as you scale up past Lite, you’ll also be able to access all you need for an in-person POS system, like a cash drawer, a receipt printer, and a barcode scanner.

Shopify accounts start at just $9 per month, plus 2.7% per transaction but can also range up to even more than $299 per month plus 2.4% + $0.30 per online transaction and 2.4% per in-person transaction.

square competitors

Why Look Into Square Competitors?

Now that you’ve learned about the five best Square competitors, let’s consider how to choose between these five alternatives. As a reminder, most companies like Square are pretty similar to Square in most facets of their POS offerings. So, the decision on which Square competitor will best serve your business will likely stem from the smaller details. As a result, we suggest you narrow down your search for Square alternatives based on what details about Square POS systems don’t quite suit your business.

Seeking Different Fee Structures

Square’s fee structure might not fit with your business’s needs. Square’s fees will currently cost you as follows:

  • 2.75% per magstripe, chip, or contactless payment (2.6% + $0.10 with Square Terminal, or 2.5% + $0.10 with Square Register)
  • 3.5%  + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction

Unless you pay for the $399 Square Terminal or the $999 Square Register, Square’s payment processing fees are better structured for smaller transactions.

Square competitors offer a default fee structure that is better suited for larger transactions. For instance, Intuit GoPayment’s default payment processing fee is 2.4% + $0.25. If that 0.35% (the difference between 2.75% and 2.4%) of your average transaction size amounts to more than $0.25, then Intuit GoPayment’s fee structure will be more ideal for your business.

Even more, PayPal Here’s default payment processing fee is 2.7%, which will always save you 0.05% of your transaction fee each time a customer pays with a magstripe, chip, or contactless payment. If your business typically deals with larger transactions, then a payment processing fee structure other than Square’s base 2.75% might be a better fit for your business.

Accounting Software Integration

Another main reason business owners tend to look for Square alternatives? They want their POS to be able to sync with their accounting software. If you want to go a step beyond the reports you can access through Square POS systems, then you’ll want to find a POS that will input your sales and inventory information directly into your business’s accounting software. The best way to access this capability if you’re using QuickBooks accounting software is using Intuit GoPayment.  Using Intuit GoPayment for mobile payments will make your point of sale information one-in-the-same with your accounting information.

Square Competitors: Our Verdict on the Top 5

There you have it—the five best products like Square for you to choose from as you consider your alternatives. Although Square certainly offers industry-leading payments solutions for businesses, that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect match for you. Whether you want to avoid Square’s payment processing fee structure or you want to be able to sync your POS system with your accounting software, you’ve got many Square alternatives to choose from.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Maddie Shepherd

Senior Staff Writer at Fundera
Maddie Shepherd is a senior staff writer at Fundera. Beyond her deep knowledge of small business financing, Maddie's specialty is business credit cards—she'd love to help match your business with the credit card that benefits you most!

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