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Best Square Competitors of 2022

Square alternatives include PayPal Zettle, SumUp, Shopify and others.
Written by Lisa Anthony
Edited by Sally Lauckner
Last updated on November 8, 2022

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Square is a popular point-of-sale system and payment processor. It’s common among restaurants, retailers and service providers, and it can process in-person, online, phone and mobile credit card payments.
Square’s payment processing rates vary by transaction type. There’s no monthly fee, and users can get a free credit card reader. A point-of-sale, or POS, system from Square costs $39 per month for 24 months or $799 upfront. Add-ons are available to help you manage your team, process payroll, reward customers and set up marketing campaigns.
Although Square is a versatile system, some competitors offer similar or better features. These alternatives might offer a way for restaurants, retail stores and other businesses to cut expenses or move to a system that better meets their needs.

PayPal Zettle: Good overall alternative

Software cost: $0 monthly fee.
Hardware cost: $29 for first Zettle card reader; $79 for additional readers.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual entry card transactions.
  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing transactions.
Why we like it: This all-in-one POS system offers one of the lowest flat-rate transaction fees, making it an affordable option for starting a business. It also integrates with accounting software such as QuickBooks. To get started, you can buy a Store Kit Mini for $249 or browse other ready-made hardware kits and POS systems. Read our full PayPal Zettle review.

SumUp: Good for mobile

Software cost: $0 monthly fee.
Hardware cost: $19 for SumUp Plus card reader; $59 for SumUp Pro card reader.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.75% for in-person transactions.
  • 2.90% plus 15 cents for online transactions.
  • 3.25% plus 15 cents for manually keyed or payment-linked transactions.
Why we like it: SumUp lets you accept in-person and mobile payments or use a virtual terminal to process payments by phone. The app includes a digital cashier so you can receive cash payments and send digital receipts. Pricing is straightforward with no monthly contract, and you pay fees only for the transactions you process. Read our full SumUp review.

Shopify: Good for e-commerce

Software cost: $29, $79 or $299 per month.
Hardware cost: $49 for simple tap and chip reader; $399 for mobile POS Go device with card reader and barcode scanner.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
  • 2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Why we like it: This POS system can help you market to customers, manage inventory and combine in-store and online sales. You can try it for free for three days. Plans include a month-to-month option and one-year, two-year or three-year contracts. You can also change your plan later, regardless of whether you want to upgrade or downgrade. Read our full Shopify POS review.

Toast: Good for restaurants

Software cost: $0, $69, $119 or $165 per month.
Hardware cost: The company offers starter kits at no upfront cost (you pay for a starter kit via a higher payment processing rate over two years). Toast Countertop Starter Kit: $799; Toast Handheld Starter Kit: $609; Toast Guest Self-Service Kit: $999.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.99% plus 15 cents per transaction, if you choose pay-as-you-go option on hardware.
  • 2.49% plus 15 cents for card-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • 3.50% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
Why we like it: Toast is specifically designed for restaurants. The Starter plan offers payment processing with optional add-ons so you can customize features to match your business needs. Other plans offer lower rates for card-present transactions but higher startup costs. Read our full Toast POS review.

Toast POS

Vend: Good for retail

Software cost: $69, $119 or $199 per month (billed annually).
Hardware cost: Bundles available starting at $760.
Payment processing cost: Not included; you’ll need to add a payment processor separately.
Why we like it: Vend offers many features that may be more appealing to retailers, including inventory management and layaway options for customers. Payment processing isn’t included, but Vend will integrate with several payment providers. A free trial is available. Read our full Vend POS review.

Payment Depot: Good for high-volume sales

Software cost: $59, $79 or $99 per month.
Hardware cost: Sells third-party equipment from Clover and other brands, but pricing isn’t transparent.
Payment processing cost: Payment Depot does not charge a per-transaction fee on top of card network interchange fees.
Why we like it: Payment Depot is an alternative to consider if you want lower credit card transaction fees. Instead of a flat rate, you pay the actual interchange rate that applies to the transaction plus a monthly fee. Because Payment Depot processes only the payment, you’ll need to have your existing terminal reprogrammed, use a free virtual terminal or buy POS hardware. Read our full Payment Depot review.

Clover: Good for starting a business

Software cost: Industry-specific packages range from $14.95 to $94.85 per month.
Hardware cost: Equipment available starting at $49 but can run up to $1,799.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.3% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions for most plans.
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions on Retail Starter, Personal Services Starter and Professional Services Standard plans, as well as Home & Field Services Standard and Advanced plans.
  • 3.5% plus 10 cents for online or keyed-in transactions.
Why we like it: Clover is an all-in-one system that lets you accept in-store, mobile, online and phone payments. It works for restaurants, retail stores and service businesses, and the transaction rate is lower than that of some competitors. Read our full Clover POS review.

Lightspeed: Good for dedicated customer support

Software cost: $99, $149 or $229 per month (billed annually).
Hardware cost: A register is included with all plans. Hardware pricing isn’t transparent, and you have to call to get a quote.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.
  • 2.6% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.
Why we like it: Lightspeed offers competitive transaction pricing along with a complimentary onboarding session to help you get started. Plus, there’s free dispute management and chargeback assistance. You can also find a large number and variety of integrations in the Lightspeed app marketplace. Read our full Lightspeed POS review.
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