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Square vs. PayPal Here

Compare tools and pricing for two big names in on-the-go payment processing popular with small businesses.

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While Square may have pioneered point-of-sale (POS) payment processing in 2009, it’s not the only fish in the pond. PayPal Here launched in 2012, equipped with its own card reader and app to accept mobile payments. Both payment services have similar price points per transaction, but the extra features set them apart.

How do Square and PayPal Here compare?

SquarePayPal Here
Square logo

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PayPal logo

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Which should I choose?Choose Square if you’re a small business processing less than $250,000 annuallyChoose PayPal Here if you’re a small business that needs a mobile POS.
OverviewA good option for merchants that need a full hardware lineup.A good option for venders that want a straightforward, standard POS system.
Products
  • Payment processing
  • POS software
  • POS hardware
  • Inventory tracking
  • Website builder
  • Shopping cart software
  • Payment processing
  • POS software
  • POS hardware
  • Inventory tracking
Price starts at2.6% + 10¢ for payment processing, POS software included2.7% per transaction
Contract required?NoNo
Processing timeNext daySame day with a linked PayPal Business Debit Mastercard
High-risk merchants accepted?NoYes
Pros
  • Clear-cut pricing. Square’s website breaks down it’s pricing for its products and services, so you know how much you’re paying for each feature — including add-ons.
  • Free e-commerce solution. Access its free online store-building software to design your e-commerce website.
  • No contract. Square offers monthly billing with no contract and no cancellation fees.
  • Upfront costs. PayPal’s website openly lays out its fees for domestic and international purchases.
  • User-friendly software. Customers praise Paypal Here’s intuitive, easy-to-navigate software.
  • Quick sign up. Start accepting touch-free payments right after signing up. Your free reader is shipped to you.
Cons
  • Limited tech support. Square support is not available on the weekends or between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. PT.
  • Transaction holds. You may run into transaction and account holds, especially for high-risk transactions.
  • Limited international availability. Card payment is only accepted in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and the UK.
  • Basic services. PayPal Here is built as a mobile processing solution, without customer loyalty programs or marketing extras.
  • Transaction holds. With no dedicated merchant account, you’re more likely to experience transactions and account freezes.
  • Fees for non-US cards. PayPal charges the standard fee, a currency conversion fee and an international transaction fee for global sales.
Tools
  • Installment plans. Customers can break up the cost of big-ticket items into monthly payments.
  • Integrated POS system. Sync your orders and inventory data across your online and physical stores.
  • Invoicing. Send invoices and payment reminders from the Square Invoices mobile app.
  • Business debit card. Get immediate access to transaction funds by linking a Square business debit card.
  • Customer loyalty programs and gift cards. Create reward programs and offer gift cards online and in person.
  • Invoicing. Send customizable invoices and estimates to bid on a job.
  • Record transactions. Track your sales within the app.
  • Inventory. Adjust inventory from your mobile device.
  • Manage employee access. Customize employees’ roles and permissions for payment handling.
  • Calculate tax. Use GPS location to calculate local tax rates.
  • Tip generator. Suggest tip amounts for service-based transactions.
  • Discounts. Manage discounts and coupon codes.
  • Reporting. Get shopping insights and track sales performance with built-in analytics.
BBB letter ratingA+A
Trustpilot rating

★★★★★

4.8/5

Not yet rated
Reputation and customer reviewsReviews are mixed while some customers praise a smooth onboarding process, others complain about difficulty getting in touch with its support team.Reviews from Google Play and the App store are mostly positive. Customers praise quick transaction processing, while others complain about software login errors.
Support
  • Phone. Call 800-474-3398, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., PT.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form from your Square account
  • Phone. Call 855-787-4340 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., ET.

Bottom line

Square can help you manage your small business if you need a variety of payment-processing platforms on an integrated POS system. But if you’re only looking for a streamlined on-the-go POS system, PayPal Here may be a better option.

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