Jul 30, 2014

What alternatives are there to Square card readers?

I’m showing some works at art fairs and usually sell a piece or two each time. I’ve only been able to take cash or checks, which has cost me some sales, so a credit card reader might be a worthwhile investment. I don’t have anything against Square, but I don’t anticipate needing to use this more than two or three weekends a month over the summers and want to keep my expense to a minimum. Is Square the only way to go, or are there other options that should also be considered?

Square alternatives: More mPOS systems

"Square’s idea was a stroke of genius in its simplicity: use your smartphone or tablet to take credit and debit card payments. The idea is sweeping the world too and in Europe, in the absence of Square, other companies such as iZettle and Payleven have started to become household names.

But in the US, consumers looking for mobile point of sale and mobile credit card processing solutions have an increasing number of alternatives to choose from. Some may already be familiar names such as PayPal’s own mPOS solution called PayPal Here, but there is a growing band of technology companies and other companies providing mobile payment solutions entering the market. The list below is far from exhaustive but gives an overview of some of the alternative pay as you go systems available."

I use Elavon through Costco and I probably save around 1% compared with Square.


In the future, there are some indications that there may be an Amazon alternative to Square reader. You can read about it at The Verge, but it sounds like it is a ways off, so it won’t help you now.  http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/27/5942781/amazon-may-be-going-after-squa... 


Currently, the main competitors to Square is PayPal Here and Intuit GoPayment. They both work much like Square. They all offer upfront costs of about 2.7% per transaction or, alternatively, plans that allow merchants to pay a flat monthly fee that will cover most purchases. Here is an article that compares all three services. There really doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of difference between them, but I don’t have first hand experience to point you to one over the other. 

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