What We Recommend Square Appointments For
Service businesses have unique POS system requirements, including user-friendly appointment booking tools and client invoicing. After testing and comparing dozens of appointment software, we determined that Square Appointments is among the best appointment scheduling apps for individual and small service-based businesses. Its forever free plan comes packed with full features to manage and schedule unlimited appointments, process payments, and extend your business online.
We found Square Appointments particularly suited for the following:
- Small beauty and wellness centers: Square Appointments’ free plan lets you create custom services and includes scheduling tools—such as online booking, automated calendar sync, and built-in no-show protection—so that you don’t miss out on revenue due to double booking or cancellations. This makes Square Appointments our top choice for small salon and spa owners and the top solution for appointment reminders.
- Freelance coaches and educators: Square Appointments is one of the top free appointment scheduling apps on the market. The software is free for single users, so solopreneurs like tutors and personal trainers can use its full appointment scheduling features at no extra cost.
- Professional consultants: Square Appointments offer tools that allow you to issue customized estimates and recurring billing, so individuals such as accountants, advertisers, and marketers can draft professional estimates and issue invoices to clients. It’s one of the best appointment scheduling solutions for sales professionals.
- Home repair and cleaning services: Square Appointments offers schedule management tools for independent contractors in the home repair and cleaning service business. Along with the ability to place customer notes and prepare invoices, you can also accept mobile payments with the mobile card reader. The ability to schedule appointments and accept payments from anywhere makes Square one of the best mobile POS apps for traveling service businesses.
When Square Appointments Would Not Be a Good Fit
- Businesses on a budget with multiple staff members: Square Appointments’ paid plan starts at $50 for two to five users. Businesses on a tight budget that require a feature-dense scheduling software would find Fresha a more affordable solution.
- Medical practices: Most medical practices use an electronic health record (EHR) system with built-in appointment scheduling, patient portals, and advanced billing features. ChARM EHR is a popular small practice EHR with a forever-free plan.
- Restaurant reservations: While Square Appointments offers advanced booking and allows you to block off time slots, these features are better suited for professional services. We recommend one of these restaurant POS systems, such as TouchBistro, with reservation tools that are a better fit for restaurants.
- Businesses that are primarily retail in nature: Inventory management is supported in Square Appointments; however, users who require more retail features, specifically for managing large inventory and purchase orders, would find Square for Retail a better option.
- Hotel or bed and breakfast businesses: Square Appointments’ tools for booking and invoicing are more appropriate for professional services. Consider these hotel CRMs or a reservation system like Little Hotelier for a more industry-specific solution.
Looking for a different Square POS software? Square also provides some of the best POS systems for small businesses, from an all-purpose Square POS, to more industry-specific solutions—such as Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants.
Square Appointments Overview
|Unlimited features for one user||Limited payment processing options|
|Automated messaging tools||No resource booking or management|
|Pre-payment and no-show protection||No integrated intake forms|
|Free online booking website||Syncs only with Google calendar|
Square Appointments Pricing
Square Appointments’ pricing scheme covers a free plan for individuals and three paid tiers. Monthly fees start at $50 for two to five employees and increase for up to 10 users, while custom pricing is available for 11 or more seats. Credit card transaction fees start at 2.5% + 10 cents. All plans include full access to its appointment setting and payment processing features.
Square Appointments Pricing Plans
Monthly Subscription Fees
Credit Card Processing Fees*
2.6% + 10¢
2.5% + 10¢
2.5% + 10¢
Numbers of Appointments per Month
*For every credit card tap, dip, or swipe.
You can also use Square to accept remote payments:
- Manual card entry through POS app: 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction
- Payments via Square virtual terminal: 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction
- Payments using Square online store: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
- Card on file transactions: 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction
- Square invoices: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
Square Appointments Add-Ons
Square Appointments is part of a larger Square ecosystem, with more services that can be fully integrated with your POS software. These add-ons will help you efficiently manage a steadily growing number of customers while matching the increase in demand with more employees.
- Square Online: Free plan included in your Square Appointments account, which includes a smart website builder, free online store, and Instagram selling tools. Paid plan options start at $12 per month with additional tools, such as custom domain and product reviews. Read our full Square Online review for more details.
- Square Marketing: Paid subscription starts at $15 per month for 0–500 contacts. Features include unlimited email sends, automated email campaigns, and campaign performance reporting.
- Square Loyalty: Paid subscription starts at $45 per month per location for up to 500 loyalty visits. Features include quick customer sign-up, automated rewards notification via text messaging, and the ability to apply rewards at checkout.
- Square Payroll: Subscription starts at $35 plus $5 per employee each month. Integrates with Square’s team management app. Features include full-service payroll, unlimited pay runs, and automatic tax calculations. See our Square Payroll review for details.
Square Appointments Hardware
Square Appointments is app- and web-based, so it can run on your desktop computer and your Android and iOS devices. This gives you the flexibility to manage your business in-shop or even on the go. There is also the Square Register and Square Stand for iPad for brick-and-mortar establishments with a front desk—like salons, spas, and clinics.
Each Square account also comes with a free mobile magstripe card reader. However, we recommend getting a contactless + chip reader so that you can also accept EMV and NFC card payments.
Square for Chip and Contactless
Square Stand and Reader for iPad
Cost: $49 (add dock for Square Reader $29)
Cost: $169 or $16 per month for 12 months
Cost: $799 or $39 per month for 24 months
Best for: Freelancers and traveling service businesses
Best for: Small consultancy businesses and health or wellness centers
Best for: Busy and growing service-based businesses with a storefront
Square Appointments Features
Each Square Appointments account gets the full features of the software and gives you everything from calendar management to tools for selling complementary products. Because it’s both cloud- and web-based, you can access the software from any computer and remotely run your business. This also means you can accept payments from anywhere—be it from a front desk, on your website, or while out at a customer’s location.
The only difference between the free and paid versions is the number of users, and while individual use is free, paying $50 monthly to have calendars for two (or three) users might not be the most sustainable option. Make sure to consider your monthly sales volume versus the cost of the software and that you’re getting the most value for your money before signing up for an account.
Click through the headings below for an in-depth look at Square Appointments’ features:
Square Appointments’ scheduling tools are at the core of this software’s operation. You get full control over your cloud-based calendar, so you can create customized availability and set up recurring appointments. It also allows you to:
- Access business appointments
- Track schedules from anywhere—provided there is an internet connection available; if you don’t want to manage customer bookings manually, then you can set your calendar to accept all online appointments automatically
- Customize your viewing options by filtering your calendar according to time frame, staff, or location
- Manage your daily schedule better by blocking personal events and marking these as “busy” when you sync your personal Google calendar
Square Appointments lets you provide your customers with different ways to book appointments online. These are automatically synced, so your calendar is up to date all the time. You can choose from the following options based on varying technical skills and business requirements:
- Set up a free online booking website
- Embed your appointment calendar to your existing website
- Add a booking widget or a booking button on your existing website
- Add a booking button to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google
- Create a custom website with Square Online at no extra cost
You can also create an online booking site from your Square Appointments dashboard with a few easy steps. Once you’ve completed this, copy the generated URL from the online booking tab of your dashboard and share them with your clients through email or social media.
If you prefer a booking button, go to your appointments dashboard and simply click on the “create a button” function. You have the option to customize the text and even the button look; then follow the instructions on how to add the button to your website or email signature.
Adding a widget involves handling a block of code, so it’s advisable to have some coding skills when trying this option out. You can choose between a simple widget or an advanced version, which lets you filter a combination of specific services and staff. The support center of Square’s website has more information.
For those who prefer to create a new website, see our guide on how to create an online store with Square Online.
Square Appointments allows you to connect with clients through customized SMS and email messaging tools and personalize your notes from the moment you invite clients to book future appointments until the service has been rendered and payment is completed. Digital receipts, in particular, can include a survey form where clients can give their feedback about your business—and Square gives you the tools so you can respond to them in real time.
Square Assistant is a smart messaging tool that comes free with Square Appointments and is available for users with online booking. This allows your clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule via SMS at any time of the day in response to your automated appointment reminders. It also means that you can respond to client concerns whenever they need it, so you never miss out on confirmations and minimize no-shows.
Customized Payment and Cancellation Policies
You can customize your payment requirements and cancellation policy to protect your business from no-show clients. Access the settings from your appointments dashboard, then choose between letting clients book without adding their credit card information or requiring credit card details either to hold a reservation or for prepayment.
If you opt to require a client to enter credit card information to hold a reservation, you can specify the cut-off time for cancellation and the corresponding charges for canceling beyond your stipulated deadline. You can also set the fee either as a dollar amount or a percentage of the total cost of the canceled service.
Your clients will receive an email notification once you approve of the cancellation. It will include details of the canceled appointment, along with the corresponding fee, and your cancellation policy.
Square Appointments allows you to create and customize your list of services. Each service will have a description, specified duration, and pricing option. Pricing options can be specified as fixed (exact price), variable (price entered at the checkout counter), or display (custom text). You can also add variations and a block transition time between services.
Once you have your list of services, you can start specifying where each of these services will be visible in your online booking site and available physical locations.
Staff members who render services can have their own calendar by adding appointment profiles on Square Appointments. Each profile can be customized by specifying location, offered services, and bookable hours. There’s also a biography section where you can add information about their availability, specialization, and other offered services.
With administrator access, you can manage your staff’s booked appointments and control what they see by assigning permissions. You can also specify multiple wage rates, assign unique commission rates, disable booking, or delete a staff profile altogether. Users also get regular timecard and labor vs sales reports.
It’s important to note that Square Appointments is free only for a single user. Once you add a second staff profile, you are automatically subscribed to a paid plan.
Square Appointments offers integrated payment processing with Square Payments. You can review each client’s information, including details of their current booking, and complete the checkout process directly from the app. For walk-in clients, you can choose directly from your list of services and proceed to checkout. You also have the ability to issue a refund for an entire appointment or per individual service item.
Additional tools for customizing point-of-sale includes:
- Issue professional invoices
- Perform quick checkouts with customer card-on-file
- Process keyed-in payments
- Accept split payments
- Apply appropriate sales taxes
- Apply rewards as discounts
- Allow custom tipping
- Redeem loyalty rewards
- Accept gift cards
Square Appointments lets you save detailed customer information from your Square Dashboard. If you have an existing customer contact list, then you can import it into Square Appointments as a CSV file. Each client profile contains their personal details, credit card info, appointment schedules, and purchase history. You can also add personalized notes to each client profile to remind you of their preferred services.
You also get communication tools with this feature. This enables you to create a custom message that new clients will receive once you create their customer file. You can also send email and text reminders for their appointments as well as send soft copy contracts if you require a client’s signature before performing a service. Client management also allows you to create client groups for marketing campaigns.
Retail and Inventory
Square Appointments can combine service and retail for blended businesses. If you don’t require thousands of SKUs or complex inventory needs, Square has a built-in inventory management feature that may be just right for you. Users find that it offers one of the most friendly inventory tools in the market. You can use the platform to:
- Stock unlimited inventory, customize products with categories, and use an item search tool during checkout
- Track stock levels in real time and set email alerts when items are running low
- Ring up sales through barcode scanning with a barcode scanner or your iPad’s camera
- Monitor retail sales and attribute it to the correct employees automatically, enabling you to handle commission payouts for said transactions efficiently
Businesses with a social media presence can also give customers the freedom to buy products from Instagram.
You can access a variety of reports, such as timecard and labor vs sales, from your Square Dashboard. View and download a list of your appointment and sales history, as well as a summary of your cumulative sales and fees. You also have the option to generate comparison sales data. These reports are customizable by specifying a time range or using Square Appointments’ date-selector tool.
Square Appointments Integrations
One of the advantages of being a Square Appointments user is having access to a range of Square products that can seamlessly integrate with the platform. These add-ons allow you to create a POS system that provides the best customer experience for your clients.
The following third-party integrations are compatible with Square Appointments:
- Google Calendar
Third-party integrations are limited for this software, which most critics find as a major downside in using the platform. Aside from the lack of an integrated form intake tool, syncing personal calendars with Square Appointments is limited to Google. Competitor products offer integration with other calendar applications, such as iCalendar and Outlook.
Square Appointments Ease of Use
- Simple account creation
- Customized services display
- Handy Square Dashboard
- Automated Square Assistant
- Item and customer search tool
- Active community forum
- Step-by-step setup guide
While Square’s exclusive use of its in-house payment processing attracts criticism for preventing users from choosing their own payment processor, the upside is that it makes account signup easier. Users are automatically approved to accept payment, so there’s no delay in starting their business.
Manage your business from your Square Dashboard—or on the Square Appointments app if you are on the go. You also have the Square Assistant app that automates your booking procedure. Reorganize how your services are displayed on your booking sites so that you can have your most popular services, promos or bundles, and specialty services at the top of the list.
Documentation for Square Appointments in the help center is somewhat limited, but it does have a comprehensive startup guide for first-time users. You’ll need to log in to your Square account in order to access customer service. Live phone support operates on extended hours, which is Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.
Square Appointments Alternatives
See more on how Square Appointments compares with other popular scheduling apps.
What Users Think of Square Appointments
While users and critics do have some reservations about Square Appointments, the software still gets an overall positive review. Users laud Square Appointments for its range of features and customization options, while most of the negative feedback centers around lack of flexibility and add-ons. Square Appointments is rated 4.9 out of 5 based on over 100,000 reviews directly from the Apple App Store and 4.6 out of 5 based on about 2,500 reviews on the Google’s Play store.
Other popular third-party review websites rated Square Appointments as follows:
Here are the trending positive and negative feedback that I noticed while reading through the reviews.
Users Don’t Like
Convenient and easy to use
Lack of widget and brand customization options
Services and booking customization and automation features
QuickBooks integration is an add-on
Option to require for prepayment of services
Some learning curve for setting up integrations
Google calendar integration
Lack of integrated forms
Square’s ecosystem makes Square Appointments one of the most versatile appointment scheduling software on the market. It offers the ability to combine service with retail and a range of automation features so that you can book and manage appointments 24/7. Updating services takes only a few clicks, while upgrading and downgrading plans is automatic, so it becomes easy to hire seasonal employees and offer seasonal services.
Ready to try Square Appointments? Visit its website for a fast sign-up process. It’s free, and there’s no commitment or credit card required—so you can cancel anytime.