Is Square Right for Your Business Processing Needs?

Square Processing Is Convenient, But Is It Practical?

Square credit card processing services provide individuals with a convenient and affordable way to accept payments from their smart phones. The question is whether or not this handy little tool is the right answer for many businesses who are considering alternatives to traditional merchant processing services.

Their system is easy to use and they provide everything that a person will need to complete transactions, but they are not necessarily the most reliable or the most efficient processor in business today. Their high 2.75% processing fee includes a convenience factor that is something occasional users do not mind, but merchants who use third party systems on a regular basis may view these as rather steep.

Square does not require long term contracts or force users to endure a complicated registration process. New users simply sign up, download the app for their mobile device and then wait for the processing unit to be delivered. On the other hand, merchants are often required to go through a lengthy and thorough registration process in addition to signing up for lengthy contracts. However, third party merchant credit card processing services also charge much lower rates.

When deciding whether or not to use the Square as their primary processor, businesses should consider the amount of transactions they perform every month. For businesses that do not have a lot of customer traffic or will only be processing credit card transactions occasionally, this is a very easy and convenient way to accept payments.

Square also relies on your phone’s Internet service or a wireless connection, and it is very easy for transactions to cancel or time out. While most transactions can be completed in less than 30 seconds, they can take much longer when users are in a location where network connectivity or wireless access is limited. This could be very inconvenient for the merchant as well as the customer, and it can take quite a bit of time to process multiple transactions.

Traditional merchant accounts are far less reliant on mobile connectivity, and they tend to be much more practical for businesses that ring up transactions on cash registers. When the Square device was first rolled out, it was lauded as a tremendous leap forward in credit card processing technology. While they provide a great deal of mobility and freedom, it represents a step backwards in terms of the limitations that businesses with high customer traffic can experience.

The most important question is whether or not the Square device is the right solution for your needs and your expectations. It can be used as a backup processor in case your main system goes offline, or you can use it as your primary processor if you do not have to quickly and accurately perform multiple transactions throughout the day. Only you can determine whether or not this device will serve as a benefit or as a limitation.

There are three things that every business should consider as they evaluate whether or not the Square system is the right solution:

1. Will I save more money by using a standard merchant processing service?
2. How many transactions do I perform each month?
3. Do I want to rely on my mobile device’s connectivity in order to successfully process a transaction?

If you are willing to accept the high processing fee for the sake of convenience because you are only running a few transactions, this may be a very powerful and convenient tool. However, if you process more than a few hundred dollars a month in credit card transactions, the amount of money you spend on fees will be quite substantial.

Whether you are looking for a third party processing service for the first time or you are thinking about making a switch, consider the tremendous savings that traditional merchant processing services provide. Square may seem convenient, but the fees and their temperamental processing system may turn out to be more of a hindrance than a benefit.

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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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