While it’s best known for its free mobile processing app, Square Inc. is increasingly moving into the POS space with innovative and affordable hardware. Square Terminal, is a portable, all-in-one card reader and receipt printer that will be available within the next 3-5 weeks.
With the small profile and integrated hardware, Square Terminal is attractive to all kinds of business: think restaurants that want to add tableside ordering or beauty salons that want to let customers pay from the chair. The small size also makes it great for kiosks and other retail environments where space is at a premium. That’s not even mentioning the doctor’s office and other professional environments that don’t have space or need for a full POS system.
Square Terminal runs Point of Sale, the company’s free POS app. It also offers limited compatibility with Square for Restaurants, the premium iPad POS app. There are a few limitations to Square Terminal’s supported features, but it offers everything merchants need to process payments without any additional hardware or software.
How is Square Terminal designed?
Square Terminal has a small but very usable 5.5-inch screen. Its slim profile won’t take up a lot of space and Square claims the battery is designed for all-day use. Merchants can accept magstripe, chip card, and contactless transactions without any additional hardware.
Overall, the design should be familiar to businesses that have used a traditional credit card terminal. However, Square Terminal improves the experience by offering an option to collect receipt signatures digitally. The full screen also allows customers to review their entire purchase by item, rather than just seeing the final total.
Square also offers optional accessories for the Terminal, including an adjustable countertop mount and a belt clip for mobile employees (such as restaurant servers).
How much does it cost?
Square users will be happy to learn that the pricing is very affordable. If you’re a merchant new to Square and choose Terminal, you’ll receive a $300 processing credit. Square offers financing for hardware over $49 and flexible terms to better manage cash flow and costs.
When it comes to any credit card payment system, processing fees is where the rubber meets the road for merchants. With Square Terminal, expect to pay 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction, rather than 2.75%. That means merchants with an average ticket size less than $50 will end up paying more per transaction compared to the traditional 2.75%. However, some of the other benefits to Square Terminal, such as 24/7 phone support, might offset the costs.
Whether Square Terminal is the right credit card processing system for you really depends on your business, revenues and pricing structure. However, it’s clear the design will appeal strongly to certain niches. Take to the time to do your research and make the best decision you can.
Amad Ebrahimi is an entrepreneur, business owner and founder of Merchant Maverick, a highly successful business and financial review site which has helped over 1 million business grow since 2009.