5 Top Square Competitors for Small Businesses

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 alternatives to 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 alternative to Square 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 alternatives to Square 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 this Square alternative. 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


As far as alternatives to Square go, 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 this alternative to Square offers four total card reader options—one of which boasts a keypad for customers to enter their pin. Most PayPal Here transactions will just cost you 2.7% of the transaction value. Any manually enter transactions will cost 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction.


All in, as a Square alternative, 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, this Square alternative’s 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.

When it comes to evaluating ShopKeep as an alternative to Square, 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.

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 Square 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, as an alternative to Square, is much more than most of their 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. That being said, Clover is currently running a limited-time offer where you can get a $250 statement credit when you open a new merchant services account.

If you go with this alternative to Square, 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.

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 Square 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 alternatives to Square 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:

  • 2.6% + $0.10 per magstripe, chip, or contactless payment with any of the Square hardware options
  • 3.5%  + $0.15 per keyed-in transaction

Ultimately, with the same flat-rate across all of their devices, Square’s payment processing fees are better structured for businesses who want simple, easy to understand fees and make mid-sized transactions.

Square competitors, on the other hand, offer default fee structures that are better suited for larger transactions. For instance, Intuit GoPayment’s default payment processing fee is 2.4% + $0.25. With a lower percentage rate, despite the higher added cent fee, Intuit GoPayment might be more cost-effective, especially with larger transaction sizes.

With PayPal Here, on the other hand, their default payment processing fee is 2.7%, which while very straightforward, will generally be more expensive for your business, unless you have very small transactions. Therefore, if your business typically deals with transactions on either side of the size spectrum—either very small or very large, then a payment processing fee structure other than Square’s base 2.6% + $0.10 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.

The Bottom Line

There you have it—the five best products for you to choose from as you consider your alternatives to Square. 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.

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

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