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:

Clover 

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.

PayPal

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

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Fergus Halliday
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