Mobile payment processing is more than a feature to put on your wish list. For home services professionals and contractors, it’s necessary for regular cash flow. For a long time, the leader in the mobile processing game was Square. The San Francisco company emerged around the time smartphones became accessible to all, introducing the Square Reader to customers in 2009. Suddenly, all it took was a small attachment in your smartphone jack to accept credit card payments on the go.
But it didn’t take long for competitors to look for a piece of the action. And businesses started asking “Are there cheaper alternatives to Square?” As convenient as mobile payments are, you don’t want to lose your hat in fees and hidden charges. If you’re questioning whether Square is really the right option for your business, here are seven Square alternatives to consider. And yes, they all have mobile terminals for accepting payment.
- Intuit GoPayment
- Clover Go
- PayPal Here
- Payline Mobile
1. Intuit GoPayment
If you already use QuickBooks for your business’ accounting needs, the Intuit GoPayment system could be very appealing. Your transactions are automatically synced with QuickBooks — no manual entries needed. The basic card reader can accept credit card swipes and chip dips, and you can upgrade to the All-In-One reader to accept payments like Apple Pay.
Pay-As-You-Go Plan: Swipe rate of 2.4%, keyed rate of 3.4% (plus a $0.25 per transaction for both).
Monthly Plan: Monthly fee of $20. Swipe rate of 1.6%, keyed rates of 3.2% (plus a $0.25 transaction fee for both).
2. Clover Go
Clover is one of the more popular Square alternatives, both are popular mobile payment platforms. Some users like that you don’t have to get the devices directly from Clover — you can use a variety of different processing vendors. If you use Bank of America already, for instance, you may want to sign up for Clover Go with them.
Register Lite: $14/month. Swipe, dip, and tap rate of 2.7% plus $0.10. Keyed payment rate of 3.5% plus $0.10.
Register: $29/month. Swipe, dip, and tap rate of 2.3% plus $0.10. Keyed payment rate of 3.5% plus $0.10.
Payanywhere is a subsidiary of North American Bancard. The standard swipe rates are pretty upfront and very competitive, especially when compared to Square. You can also contact them for custom pricing if you process more than $30,000 per month.
Pay-As-You-Go: 2.69% per swiped, dipped or tapped transaction and 3.49% plus $0.19 per keyed transaction.
Custom: Processing over 10k/mo. Get rates specific to your business.
4. PayPal Here
If you already use PayPal to invoice customers, or you just trust them by name recognition, you might be excited to know they have a card reader similar to Square’s. PayPal Here is also appealing because it allows you to accept checks for electronic deposit. Get a PayPal Merchant debit card, and you can access your money almost immediately. You can also transfer funds to a bank account within a day or two. It’s one of the Square alternatives with the most features.
Transaction Rates: 2.7% per US card swipe, 3.5% plus $0.15 per transaction for to keyed transactions, or 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to invoice.
SumUp originated in Europe, and it remains a good option for business people who travel a lot. Still, even as a home services company that operates locally, you might prefer it to using Square. It’s a great option for companies with a relatively low number of transactions who don’t want to sign up for lengthy contracts or pay monthly fees.
Transaction Rates: 2.65% per transaction.
This company has been in the credit card processing business for a long time, making it one of the Square mobile payment competitors worth checking out. Some of its most alluring qualities are a Bluetooth printer for offering customer receipts and 24-hour customer support. There are also no extra fees for swiping business credit cards, which can be a downside of some other mobile processors.
Transaction Rates: 2.25% swipe rate and 3.5% manual keyed rate, plus $0.15 per transaction.
7. Payline Mobile
Payline is a good Square alternative for small businesses who don’t need custom pricing or want to deal with complicated contracts. The PCI compliance fees are included in your other costs. The rates are super cheap, but you do need to generate at least $25 per month in processing fees. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket. Still, with such low processing rates, you can still come out on top.
Payline Start Plan: $10 per month. Swipe rate of cost + 0.2% (1.71% as of early 2019) plus $0.10 per transaction.
Payline Connect Plan: $10 per month. Same swipe fees, plus the option to key in payments. Manual key rate of cost + 0.3% (1.9% as of early 2019) plus $0.10 per transaction.
If you love the convenience of Square processing but you’d like to know what else is out there, the answer is: a lot of options. Whether you prioritize low transaction fees or $0 contracts, there is a payment processor willing to work with you.