Name: Square, Inc.
Headquartered: San Francisco
Phone: 866-371-3453 Access customer code using this page
Support: Phone support available 9AM-5PM PDT | Customer support
Users / Volume: $30 billion in processing expected for 2014, according to Tech Crunch
Free iOS / Android card reader available? Yes.
Merchant fees: Swiped cards 2.75% | Keyed cards 3.5% + 15¢
Accepts: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express
User restrictions: Section 6 of the User Agreement identifies the 29 types of businesses that may not use Square to process customer payments. The list includes subscription services, membership services, some consulting services, internet sales and direct sales, to name a few.
Steps to obtain an account:
- Set up a profile.
- Link your checking or savings account.
- Order the free card reader.
Time to funding: 1 to 2 business days.
Noteworthy Articles and Square Reviews
Better Business Bureau: A rating – There are 1,000+BBB Complaints and Reviews
CardFellow – Subpar customer service and a non-existent merchant screening process makes Square a solid choice for individuals who process the occasional POS transaction but a risky choice for businesses whose lifeblood may depend on credit cards sales. Square skipped over the traditional merchant application process in order to grow its user base, but the absence of paperwork gives Square too much flexibility in how they use, hold and release merchant funds from credit cards sales, which can prove detrimental for small businesses. Among the list of proposed offenses by Square, are holding funds, failing to reply to merchant inquiries, not notifying merchants that funds are being held, and closing accounts without giving a reason. There were 140+ user reviews on the site when we checked CardFellow, most of them were 1-star reviews. One dissatisfied reviewer wrote: “After giving square everything from my marriage license to my federal EIN they decided to suspend my account. I was smart and put a hold on my bank right before they tried to withdraw ALL the money I had processed with them, but that couldn’t stop them from keeping the funds that weren’t yet deposited. Square said they would hold my funds for 180 days.” [Read more ]
Merchant Maverick – Square is a mobile credit card processor and POS provider to watch. On the one hand, the simplicity of their sign-up process is utter genius. A merchant can order or buy a reader, download the app and be accepting credit cards in minutes. The processing fees are set and there is no cost to get started with Square. On the other hand, since Square assumes all the risk associated with processing credit cards (namely fraud), the company is quick to place excessive holds on merchants’ funds for suspicious activity that is completely subjective and not beholden to any written rules or regulations whatsoever. For many small businesses, that can mean thousands of dollars suspended somewhere in cyberspace while Square sorts out “issues,” whether real or imaginary. Such sorting can take anywhere from a few days, to a few months, to forever if Square applies an “indefinite” hold. “Both the Better Business Bureau and Ripoff Report are overrun with Square merchants who have some variation on the story of: ‘Square placed a hold on thousands of dollars in sales and even though I provided evidence that the sales were legitimate I haven’t been able to access the funds in months and no one from support will respond to my inquiries.’” [Read more ]
CardPaymentOptions.com – For small business merchants, Square has its advantages and its disadvantages. Square earned a C- in Sales and Marketing Tactics. The company maintains transparency when it comes to pricing. No pushy salesmen. Unfortunately, Square is remiss in explaining to merchants that they frequently handle risk management by placing holds on funds. Square also earned a C- in Costs and Contract Terms. With their flat rate fee of $275 per month gone for high volume clients, 2.75% (or 3.5% +$0.15) per card transaction can seem a little steep to clients. But the rates are nothing if not predictable. That’s the good news. The challenge for merchants is the company imposes transaction limits. For instance, keyed-in transactions in excess of $2,002 automatically face a 30-day hold. The company earns an F in Complaints and Customer Service and a D for their BBB Report. The reviewer noted there were more than 1200 complaints on CardPaymentOptions alone. Add to that the more than 1,000 complaints already registered with the Better Business Bureau. All in all, Square may be on to something big if they can ever iron out their risk management / fund-holding policies. “The service is proving to have some major drawbacks for higher volume merchants, though, because of murky fund holding policies and poor customer support. It appears that Square is best suited for individuals who have an occasional need to accept a credit card payment, such as babysitters and flea market vendors.” [Read more ]
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