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Square Appointments combines appointment scheduling, text and email customer communication and payment options in a single cloud-based platform. On top of appointment managing capabilities, the system also provides customer and team management features as well as integrations with other Square systems.
Square Appointments is well-suited for self-employed entrepreneurs and service-based businesses, such as hairdressers, salons, spas and personal trainers. The free version offers a solid set of features and several specialized tools. However, Square may not be compatible with your existing systems such as payroll, invoicing and payment processing.
$0 to $69 per month per location. Custom pricing availability for businesses that annually process over $250,000.
Works with any desktop or smart device using a web browser or the Square Appointments app. Compatible with Square Reader, Square Register and Square iPad Stand but not Square Terminal.
Accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Square Appointments online website can’t accept Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Square Appointments plans and pricing
There are three plan options to pick from along with the option for a custom-priced plan. You can cancel or change plans whenever you want, and a free trial is offered for the paid plans.
Free plan: $0 monthly for one location
A majority of the features offered with Square Appointments are available with the Free plan. Those include scheduling, online booking, staff management, client management, integrations, operations and reporting. Keep in mind that the plan can be used for only a single location.
Plus plan: $29 monthly per location
The Plus plan includes all the features available in the Free plan plus the following additions:
Advanced scheduling features.
Advanced integration features.
Premium plan: $69 monthly per location
The Premium plan includes all the features of the Plus plan along with these additional features:
Resource management is included with the other advanced scheduling features.
Advanced staff management features.
Write access to Bookings API is included with the integration features.
Custom plan: Quote-based pricing
Custom pricing may be an option if your business processes more than $250,000 in card sales annually. A custom plan will include everything in the Premium plan plus:
A dedicated account manager.
Discounted bundling of business add-on tools.
Add-on services: Quote-based pricing
You can add the following services to any plan subscription:
Photo courtesy of Square
Square Appointments features
Square Appointments offers two levels of scheduling features. To get advanced features in this area, you’ll need to opt for one of the paid plans.
Features offered in all plans:
Mobile app compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Custom availability and ability to block personal events.
Automated text and email appointment reminders.
Time zone adjustments.
Additional features available with paid plans:
Multiple locations and multiple staff appointments.
Google calendar sync.
Automated text and email client confirmations.
Daily appointment limit.
Processing time windows to book additional appointments.
Resource management (available only with Premium plan).
Online booking features are the same for all plans, including the free version. Notable features include:
Square Online booking website.
Book Now button for website.
Option to sell products in store or for customer pickup or delivery.
Reserve with Google and Instagram integrations.
SEO and QR code tools for website.
With Square Appointments, you’ll create a custom booking website, which can stand alone or be embedded into your existing website. You can add booking buttons and widgets, too. Once your site is up, customers can book, cancel or modify appointments on their devices.
Staff management features are also divided into two levels, with more advanced features only accessible at the Premium and Custom plan levels.
Features offered in all plans:
Team Management tool.
One set of permissions.
Time tracking, break tracking and timecard reporting.
Additional features available with Premium and Custom plans:
Team Plus tool.
Team sales vs. labor reporting.
Multiple wage rates.
Flat-rate and custom-tiered staff commissions.
Earned commissions reports and tracking.
Square payroll integration.
Client management features are consistent through all plan levels and include:
Square Messages tool.*
Import existing customers.
Auto-created customer profiles with customer notes, reminders groups.
Appointment and sales history.
Custom contract templates.
Automated contract delivery to customers with attachments.
*Square Messages is a communication platform that lets you view a customer’s transaction history, communications and other information. Messages notifies you when a customer message arrives and lets you respond with a text or email, and it allows you to send payment links to customers.
Operations and reporting
All plans included the following features related to operations and reporting:
Unlimited items, stock counts and low-stock alerts.
Total and average sales reports.
You’ll have access to the App Marketplace with any of the plans as well as be granted read access to Bookings API. However, you’ll get only write access to Bookings API if you opt for one of the paid plans.
Processing for magnetic strip, chip, contactless and key-in payments are offered. You can keep a card on file and send invoices. Next-day, same-day and instant funds transfers are also options offered.
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
All plans, including the free version, offer the same payment features:
Cash App Pay.
Item search and barcode scanning at checkout.
PCI security compliance.
Prepayments, discounts and eGift cards.
Physical gift cards, starting at $40 for 20 gift cards.
*Afterpay lets you receive payment in full while customers pay in four interest-free installments over six weeks.
Customer support, a seller community, support articles and Square events are offered at all plan levels. You can live chat or phone Square support 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday to Friday. Specialized assistance related to the migration of appointments and training is available, but you’ll need to speak to a sales rep for details and cost.
» MORE: Square's POS system review
You can run Square Appointments on a computer as well as iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. You can manually enter in-person card transactions or use Square hardware options. Swiping, dipping or tapping a card incurs lower fees than keyed-in payments. Three hardware options supported by Square Appointments:
Square reader for contactless and chip payments: The cheapest option at $49, this reader can be paired with a smartphone or tablet.
Square iPad Stand: At $149 or $14 per month for 12 months, the iPad stand allows you to take chip and contactless payments. You can plug in a Square reader for magnetic strip cards. The iPad is not included.
Square Register: The point-of-sale system comes with a 13-inch employee-facing touchscreen and a 7-inch customer-facing touchscreen. It costs $799, or you can spread the payments over 24 months.
Free option has robust features
Square Appointments’ Free plan offers many features. You get basic scheduling functions along with Square Assistant. An online booking website, SEO tools and core team management tools are included. In addition, you get the same client management features offered with the paid plans plus Square Messages. The support offered as well as the operations and reporting features are consistent for all plans. However, if you plan to use Square Appointments for more than one location, you will need to move up to one of the paid plans.
Easy to use
In keeping with the Square product suite, Square Appointments offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Whether you’re a new business owner or have been operating for years, Square Appointments makes it quick and easy to start booking clients. Square also offers add-on services for payroll, invoicing, marketing and customer loyalty that can all integrate with your Square Appointments app.
Again, like the other products within the Square suite, Square Appointments works well on mobile. This app-based service can be especially helpful for business owners who operate from multiple locations. Square Appointments is available for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones and gets a high rating in the Apple and Google Play app stores.
Reliance on Square
It’s good that Square Appointments works well with other Square products. But if you already use other tools for payroll or invoicing, for example, it may be a challenge to make Square Appointments work for your business. Reviewing the integration options can help you determine if there are partner integrations for the providers you use.
Payment processors limited to Square
Because the fees associated with credit cards can be significant, many small businesses prefer to choose their own processor. While Square offers payment processing with its Appointments app, it doesn’t provide an option to use a third-party payment processor. Some competitors, like SimplyBook, let you select from several providers.
» MORE: 25 best small-business apps
Square Appointments alternatives
Appointy is a powerful scheduling software that lets your customers book appointments, classes, workshops, events, tours, rides or other modes of service delivery. It uses Square’s system to accept payments. Appointy offers four service tiers, including a free option, with the top plan $79 a month when billed annually. A contract isn’t required, and you can cancel at any time. A 14-day free trial gives you access to a full-featured version of the software.
SimplyBook.Me lets businesses take control of many aspects of its product. All plans include scheduling, a booking website, administration features and email and browser notifications. U.S. businesses have their choice of more than a dozen payment processors. SimplyBook.Me offers four plans ranging from a free option to a premium version at a monthly cost of $49.90 that is billed annually. The free version gives access for up to five users and 50 bookings per month. A 14-day free trial is offered so you can test the features.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.