Looking for an alternative to Square? Here’s a place to start

Credit: Square

If you’re a small business looking to make your point-of-service experience that little bit more seamless, Square can look like an inevitability.

Co-founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the digital payments platform is slickly-marketed, elegantly designed and brings more than its fair share of advantages to the table. Signing up with Square means no monthly fees, offline payment processing and plenty of other perks.

However, it isn't the only option. Here are two solid alternatives small businesses looking to go digital should also consider:


Credit: Clover

While Clover’s marketing isn’t quite as sparkly as Square’s, the popular point-of-sale solution’s competitor does come with several advantages. For one, whereas Square breaks features out piecemeal into costly add-ons that can drive your monthly fee upward, Clover bundles a lot of these features in as standard. This includes stuff like payroll, employee management, real-time reporting, loyalty programs and discount integration. Additional features are also available through the Clover App Market.

In addition to the monthly fee (something that Square lacks), the biggest drawback here is that you’re going to be forced to use Clover’s own hardware. You can’t just set up and use it on any Android or iOS device in the way you can with Square. It’s something of a more rigid solution, which can be a comfort to some but might not provide the flexibility.

Credit: Clover

For more information on Clover, visit their website.


You might have got a PayPal set up to buy some obscure action figures on eBay but did you  know you can also use the platform as a point-of-service for your small business.

Like Square, PayPal offers a flat transaction fee rather than a monthly rate. Even lower processing fees are available for non-profits as well, which is neat. As you might expect, PayPal integrates really well with basically any eCommerce platform out there and, for physical shopfronts, they also offer a free magstripe reader.

Credit: Paypal

However, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind here. Unlike Clover and Square, PayPal doesn’t support offline processing - which can cause problems in a pinch. The other big difference here is that while PayPal is predictably great at processing transactions, it lags behind the competition when it comes to extra features like payroll and employee management.

Going with PayPal might save you some money but it means you’ll have to use something else to plug the gaps that it doesn’t cover.

For more about using PayPal as a small business, click here.

Square vs PayPal vs Clover

Credit: Fergus Halliday

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Square

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Fergus Halliday
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?