Square Fees and Rates: What Will This POS Cost You?

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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If you’re on the hunt for the perfect way to upgrade your business’s checkout process, Square point of sale systems can easily catch your eye. With their sleek design and heightened capabilities, Square POS systems have become a fixture in the small business point of sale market.

But what Square fees and rates will you have to pay for access to such an upgrade? The total sum of the Square fees you’ll have to pay for your POS system will depend entirely on your business’s needs and preferences. As a result, it’s crucial to get an idea of what kind of fees you might be faced with should you decide to opt for Square.

Here’s your ultimate resource to all the ins and outs of all the Square rates and fees you could potentially be charged.

Understanding Square Fees

It’s crucial to understand that, like pricing for any POS out there, Square pricing is multifaceted. As a result, there isn’t a cut-and-dried answer to the question of how much does Square charge.

That said, because Square fees are remarkably transparent—especially for a POS and payment processing company’s fees—it will be easy for you to become familiar with all of the potential Square charges you could face.

square fees

The Categories of Square Fees

Square fees can be broken down into three categories—Square fees for hardware, Square fees for software, and Square processing fees.

Depending on what kind of Square POS system you opt for, your Square fees could potentially consist of only Square processing fees. However, if you opt for more powerful hardware or software, Square reader fees and software fees could apply beyond the default Square transaction fees.

Besides charging for hardware, software, and payment processing fees, Square charges no other hidden fees. There will be no extra Square credit card fee for processing credit card payments through your POS or other miscellaneous fees.

As a result, even though there’s no automated Square fee calculator for you to consult, there is a way to estimate how much your business would end up paying in Square rates.

So, with that groundwork set, let’s now dive into the details of what Square fees your business might face if you opt for a Square POS system:

Square Fees for Hardware

Square Hardware What It Costs Additional Costs
Magstripe Reader
Smart device needed
Chip Reader
Smart device needed
Chip and Contactless Payment Reader
Smart device needed
iPad needed
$999, or $49/month for 24 months

As you can see from the table above, you’ll find a lot of variation for Square fees in the costs that Square charges for its hardware.

Let’s get more context on what these Square reader fees entail:

Magstripe Reader

Square does not charge for their magstripe reader. This piece of hardware will allow your business to process card payments through a smart device with this plugin that reads card magstripes. And it won’t cost you a cent extra in Square reader fees.

Chip Reader

Square charges $35 for the chip reader that will allow your business to convert a smart device into a POS that accepts card payments through reading EMV chip technology. You’ll also receive a free Square magstripe reader as backup should a customer need to pay with a magstripe-only card.

Chip and Contactless Payment Reader

The Square chip and contactless payment reader pairs with a smart device through Bluetooth and will allow your POS to process chip technology and contact payments. Square charges $49 for this reader, but you’ll also receive a free magstripe reader in case a customer needs to pay with a magstripe-only card.


Your next step up in hardware will be the Square Stand—a piece of hardware that convert iPads into powerful countertop POS systems. Although Square transaction fees will remain the same for any transaction you run through this stand, Square pricing will be a bit steep for the hardware itself—Square charges $169 for their Stand.

That said, the Stand will allow your business to process all payments types and is one of the more affordable countertop POS systems on the market, especially if your business already has access to an iPad.


Finally, the most powerful hardware option—with highest pricing—is the Square Register.

The Register is a fully integrated desktop POS that will process any type of payment and won’t require any smart device to do so. Square charges a cool $999 for it. However, the Register will allow your business to access lower Square transaction fees. And if your business is making a high volume of transactions, then these lower Square rates could save your business some serious cash.

Square Fees for Software

Square Software What It Costs Capabilities
Square Point of Sale
Online and offline payment processing, inventory
management, sales reporting, refunds, taxes,
tipping, discounts, and more
Square for Retail
Multi-location inventory management, automatic
customer profiles, in-app purchase orders,
employee timecards, employees permission,
and more


Another facet to keep in mind for a complete picture of potential Square fees is the cost your business might run into for Square software.

Luckily, there won’t be as many details to sift through with Square rates for their software options. You won’t need a Square fee calculator for this part, simply because there are only two Square software options—and as a result, only two Square fees—to keep in mind for their software:

Square Point of Sale Software

For their default software—Square Point of Sale—Square charges no extra cost. So, beyond the Square processing fees that you’ll pay for each card transaction processed through the Square POS system, you won’t have to pay any fees for this software.

Square for Retail Software

If you’re in the market to upgrade your Square POS software, you should consider opting for the Square for Retail software. Beyond the Square transaction fee you’ll pay, Square for Retail will cost your business an extra $60 month in Square fees.

Square Processing Fees

Type of Transaction Square Rate
Manual Entry (All Devices)
3.5% + $0.15 per transaction
Magstripe Payment (Readers or Stand)
Chip Payment (Readers or Stand)
Contactless Payment (Readers or Stand)
Magstripe, Chip, or Contactless Payment (Register)
2.5% + $0.10

The most complicated part of the Square pricing you’ll face if you opt for one of their POS systems will be the Square processing fees attached to your account. Square charges transaction fees across all of their hardware and software options. As you’ll see in the above chart, there is some variation in these fees. The answer to how much does Square charge per transaction will vary based on how you process the transaction and which piece of hardware your POS system runs through.

Though Square rates will vary, one universal Square transaction fee that will apply is the manual entry, keyed-in transaction fee. No matter which hardware you have, you’ll pay 3.5% of transaction value, plus $0.15 per transaction that you or your employees key in card information for.

Otherwise, if you’re working with any piece of hardware besides the Register, and you run a transaction through magstripe, chip technology, or contactless payment, then the Square transaction fee will be 2.75% of the transaction value.

If you decide to invest in the Register, any swiped, inserted, or tapped transaction will cost your business 2.5% of the transaction value, plus $0.10 in Square processing fees.

The Lowest Square Fees Possible

Perhaps you’re looking to pay the least fees possible beyond the unavoidable Square processing fees. Although the Square transaction fees won’t be negotiable, it is possible to skirt the Square rates for hardware and software. You’ll simply have to make do with the free version of their card reading hardware—the magstripe reader—and the free software—Square Point of Sale.

These two products will be completely free of Square fees beyond Square transaction fees. Plus, they’re remarkably powerful for their low price. If your business isn’t processing a high volume of card transactions and requires little from its POS system, then avoiding these extra Square fees could be totally worth it.

The Lowest Square Rates Possible

On the other hand, if your business is processing a high volume of transaction and, as a result, will require a lot of work from its POS system, then it might be worth investing in the Square Register in order to access lower Square processing rates.

For high-volume business, the lower Square rates that come with the Register—2.5%, plus $0.10—could quickly make up for the $999 that Square charges for the hardware.

Square Fees and Rates for Your Business

Because revenues, transaction volumes, and even business needs will shift regularly, Square fees and rates will also shift with them. For every transaction you run, every time you upgrade, and every customer you make, Square fees and rates will shift and grow with your business.

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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