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Square Point of Sale Review

Square is an easy to use POS that is great for many types of businesses, including mobile, retail and quick service food businesses. The app and online dashboard are very simple to use and easy on the eyes. There is no limit to the number of devices you can use with your Square account, which is great for businesses with many mobile employees. In addition to basic point of sale functionality, Square offers the ability to store customer information, gift card support, loyalty programs, payroll management, email marketing, appointment/reservation booking and customizable online stores. Many of these features Square offers do come at a price, yet they can be very useful for larger businesses.

Square POS Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free software compatible with most smart phones and tablets
  • Easy sign up process to access point of sale (POS) and payments
  • Wide range of features for all types of businesses

Cons

  • Missing functionality for larger, busier businesses
  • Processing fees can be high

WHO IS SQUARE GOOD FIT FOR?

PRICE

The Square software is free to use on any number of smartphones and tablets. This is great for new businesses that do not want to invest a great deal of funds. Square charges 2.75% of revenue for swiped payments and 3.5% of revenue + $0.15 for keyed in payments. This is often ideal for business with many small transactions, such as coffee shops, but not for full service restaurants, since they typically can get a lower rate.

Add-ons come at an additional price, typically billed monthly.  Useful add-ons, such as employee management, which includes timekeeping, tip reconciliation and role based permissions, is charged monthly per employee.

RETAIL

Square’s clean interface with large buttons makes it easy for anyone to use. Items can be stored with photos and arranged for employee convenience. Items can be added to a check by selecting from a grid/list or by scanning barcodes. Customizable amounts can also easily be added to a customer’s check.

Customer’s can be checked out immediately or checks can be saved to be cashed out later. There is no need to keep paper or pen, as customers will sign directly on the iOS Device, with their receipts sent digitally. They can also key in a custom tip or select a suggested percentage.

Customer information can be stored, including credit card and gift card information, which makes it easy to check out regular customers. Invoices can also be created and sent directly to customers using their profiles.

MANAGEMENT

The Dashboard offers all the functionality users need to track real time sales. Sales reports can be displayed by item, payment, employee, customer, etc. Custom reports for unique needs can also be created and saved for future reference. Custom reports are great for selecting a portion of the information one would like to see. For example, a restaurant owner can generate a report with tips and sales, which would be useful to show waitstaff the correlation between upselling and an increase in their tips.

Inventory management is another useful tool. Item tracking can be enabled to track sales and stock alerts can be set to alert when items are low/out. Inventory can be adjusted manually and tracked for damages, inventory recounts, ect. Inventory can also be exported into one easy to read file, which is useful for making changes to a lot inventory. This updated file and then be uploaded to update changes on the dashboard.

After accepting payments, money is deposited to your checking account within one to two business days. Cash, gift cards and credit card and voids can be processed easily, as complete information on credit card transactions is kept.

Customer feedback can easily be obtained and monitored in the customer section.  New customers versus returning customers can be tracked, as well as average spending trends.

HARDWARE

Square hardware is reasonably priced, especially if users already have an iPad or iPhonethey plan to use. The simple Square card reader that connects via headphone jack is available for free, while a headphone jack chip card reader can be purchased for $29. Square also offers readers that can accept magnetic and chip cards as well NFC (Apple and Android Pay). Proprietary Square card readers are only compatible with the Square app and cannot be used for any other purpose.

While many of Square users do use paper receipts or tickets, Star Micronics TSP100 Ethernet (thermal) printers are compatible. Cash drawers that can communicate with Star printers can also be used.

Square also offers a variety of POS kits, which include tablet stands, chip readers, printers, cash drawers, etc.. For any hardware purchased directly from Square, they offer free 30 day returns and exchanges.

 

SETUP

The Square dashboard makes it easy to add items, modifiers and categories.  Item properties, such as price, quantity on hand, description and other information can be imported together or added one by one. To add all items quickly at once, the Square CSV (Excel) template is quite handy, however modifiers have to be linked to each item separately. Support articles are available to aid in the import process, but users have to set up their own business items.

SUPPORT

The best way to obtain Square support is by accessing the Support Center on the dashboard. Users can search by keyword, questions, topics or browse frequently asked questions, which are maintained by Square staff. Further questions can be posted to the community site, where fellow users can collaborate and provide their own insight.  Square staff can also be emailed directly from the dashboard or app. Phone support is available Monday through Friday, 6am-6pm PDT.

CONCLUSION

Square has a great point of sale offering and has grown rapidly in the last eight years. They have quickly evolved from a simple app to take payments on your phone to a robust point of sale system with add ons for many different types of businesses. Most of all, Square stands out for it’s simplicity. Everything from buying the equipment, setting up your account, inputting inventory can be done without prior point of sale experience. Square’s custom hardware integrates really well with their software and is a great choice for most retailers and smaller food service businesses.

responses to "Square Point of Sale"

8 responses to “Square Point of Sale”

  1. Anyone considering Square as a credit card processor needs to find another company. As a small business owner in Atlanta who decided to try Square, the first several weeks went by fine. Then the dreaded funds – pending emails sent by the Toby – robo emailer went into force. The dreaded email here goes, violation of terms of use. Seems that anything can Flag the horrible software they use. Humans don’t, the system in place does. Speaking of humans, there are None. Just Toby and the Robo team, emails go unanswered, can’t call them and speak to anyone live. Don’t believe me try. The codes, oh those codes that will get you through to speak to a human being. Now over $3300.00 is locked up in limbo status. What do I do? Refund my clients, makes me look a total idiot. Can I place the blame on Square, they won’t care. Folks there are stories all across the internet, thousands of people who have become a victim of this fraud of a company. Dorsey needs to be fired, as well as all the customer support.

    Below I have a link to Whitehouse.Gov where I have posted on the Government site to have people just like you to take action. It will take 150 signatures to get posted live and 999,000 people in a month to get the Feds to actually decide if there is a case with this company. Please make your voice heard!

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/over-site-and-regulations-needed-governing-credit-card-processing-companies-such-square-inc

  2. Square is an excellent system with no monthly fees, easy setup and great customer service. You can always contact Square to get your questions answered and see if this system is right for your business. Here are some hardware bundles for square register:

    posfellows.com/collections/square-pos-hardware

  3. MB PRINCE says:

    Terrible for any business that provides large ticket pricing. We own a tree service company and they held our funds and closed our account due to **high risk account activity** now I have had to issue the customer a credit and will have to ask for another method of payment. Terrible customer service from Square as well. Impossible to speak with anyone and they “play” with your money line it’s a toy. I absolutely DO NOT recommend any small business this service as you will be putting your income at the mercy of a business that has no sense of value to small businees owners.

  4. Hi @Kandise – do you have any other programs that link to your square database to help supplement the inventory tracking the Square provides?

  5. So I have a question concerning inventory management. Square has worked great for tracking all incoming and outgoing merchandise. The problem is if we have an item returned for some reason it is not being added back into inventory. We’ve checked back of house inventory as well it the mistake is still being shown. Is there something we’re missing or do we have to manually put returned items back into inventory?

  6. We have found this review to be out of date. Square does provide inventory which works great for our bar. Splitting of tabs is also available as are running tabs. Most importantly we have had superb support with direct phone numbers to our support tech, we even have his cell number! Perhaps this review was accurate at one point in time but it is not accurate as of today, 1/6/16. This’d review certainly does not paint an accurate view of Square and its offerings.

  7. Square is overpriced and Lacks the most basic of customer service.They have not deposited my funds for the last 45 days and its imposible to talk to them.
    a link to generate a ticket number will send you back trought the self process.really i just went there and apparently did not get the help i need.
    No problem i will refund all the transactions and use Pay Pal
    Sorry Square YOU FAILED

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