SumUp vs. Square: Which Payment Processor Is Right For Your Business?

Last updated on July 30, 2020

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If you’re running a modern business, there are mobile sales opportunities to be seized. From food trucks to pop-up shops and trade shows, companies need a way to process payments while on-the-go. The market doesn’t discriminate.

No matter your industry, there are some top players in the mobile POS provider space. Two of them are SumUp and Square. Here is a quick comparison of the two systems and what you need to know to get started today.




Quick Overview of Each Provider

SumUp and Square are both highly popular mobile POS providers that drive business in the UK and the United States. Both are known for straightforward fees, a user-friendly environment, and mobile payment processing.

Although Square has virtually cornered the American market for a decade, SumUp has expanded into the space to compete. Each platform is a separate payment service provider, which means they allow business owners to process payments without the need for a merchant account.

The funds are then distributed to each individual bank account accordingly. This makes it easier and faster for a business to sign up for an account and start accepting payments.

SumUp

The leading mobile point of sale (mPOS) platform in Europe, SumUp was created as a way to “wake up the entrepreneur within you.” Launched in 2012, the company has an impressive global reach into 31 countries and is backed by American Express, BBVA, Groupon, and other financial conglomerates.

Today, hundreds of thousands of companies around the world rely on SumUp to get paid.

Square

Based in San Francisco, CA, Square was established in 2009 to fill the niche of small business mPOS needs. The idea came from the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, when a friend could not accept his credit card payment. The name “Square” is derived from the company’s FREE square-shaped card readers which is what led to its popularity in the first place

SumUp VS. Squre: Side-by-side Comparison

 
POS Software
$0 per month.
$0 per month for standard
but options available for a fee.
Payment Processing
2.75 % per card payment
(2.95% + 15 cents per virtual terminal).
2.6% + 10 cents
(3.5% + 15 cents for manual entry).
Hardware
$19 for SumUp Card Reader with free shipping.
Magstripe reader is free (additional hardware starts at $49).
Operating System
iOS or Android
iOS or Android
Analytics and Reporting
Yes
Yes
Employee Management
Basic employee accounts.
Accounts, time tracking, payroll, exports, and more.
Customer Service
Phone and email.
Phone, email, and live support (chat).
Integrations
No
Yes
Security
PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

KEY FEATURES

SumUp Features

sumup vs squareSumUp is simple software that offers a singular solution. The platform processes payments from:

  • Magnetic stripe
  • EMV chip
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Contactless (NFC)

SumUp is a top financial solution in European countries. It boasts a straightforward mobile app that allows a business to accept payments, track sales, and take orders in an all-inclusive EMV terminal and single POS platform.

Square Features

Although Square offers several POS and payment processing products, the free system has a viable approach to basic business management. The additional countertop-based hardware enables business owners to operate their POS system like a traditional register setup.

Hardware

SumUp and Square both offer unique options for hardware.

SumUp Hardware

SumUp makes it slightly easier by offering one terminal to process all card types. The company has handled chip payments for years and their EMV experience shows in the hardware.

Tap, swipe, and chip with the SumUp Card Reader to get paid every time. The hardware connects with any mobile or tablet device using Bluetooth technology. The system can process over 500 transactions on a single charge and accepts all major debit and credit cards.

The card reader is the first fully certified EMV mobile POS system in the world and comes equipped with NFC and an integrated Li-ion battery. You can accept international cards that display one of the four major network logos. This will require the cardholder to pay a currency conversion fee as well.

The mobile card reader is PCI compliant and can be charged using a micro USB cable. You can also continue running transactions while the device charges. You even have the option to manage multiple readers under one SumUp account.




Square Hardware

To date, Square has launched over 5 different devices for card payments. Two of these will only accept the Swipe platform: Square Stand and the original magstripe Square Reader. Here are your options for hardware:

  • Square Reader for Magstripe – Accept swiped card payments via iOS and Android.
  • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip – This is the most comparable to SumUp equipment. Accept chipped, tapped, and swiped payments.
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip – Built to support an iPad and includes the Square Reader.
  • Square Terminal – An all-in-one POS solution that accepts all payment types.
  • Square Register – Fully functional POS system that includes a touchscreen and stand.

The Square hardware ranges in size and functionality and is designed to accommodate a range of businesses.

It is important to note, the card reader must have access to wi-fi to work. It will not process transactions while offline.

Software

SumUp Software

When it comes to software, SumUp only offers a single point of sale option that can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices. This includes smartphones and tablets. The app connects directly to the card reader so a business can immediately start processing sales. The software also enables you to perform tasks like:

  • Accept and track cash payments
  • Create, manage, and customize inventory (including a product catalog)
  • Set up and manage tax rates
  • Refund transactions
  • Send customer receipts

The system also allows a company to create and track employee accounts, download custom reports (like sales and revenue), and view transaction/sales history. You can even accept “card not present” payments using the virtual terminal.

Square Software

The basic Square software platform can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices and can be used in conjunction with any of the Square hardware options (other than the Register which has software built-in).

Compared to the SumUp app, the Square platform is much more expansive in terms of features, tools, and functionality. This is what makes it work for a business of any size. It can be used for everything from processing sales to tracking and managing inventory.

Additional features include:

  • Create a menu or catalog with custom categories
  • Customized text, email, and printed receipts with an option for feedback
  • Accept swiped card payments offline or enter them manually
  • Process refunds, send custom invoices, and store cards on file
  • Completely customize your dashboard and checkout screen

The Square app also allows a business to effectively manage inventory, view advanced analytics, and integrate add-ons for team management.

Ultimately, the SumUp app provides the basic capabilities needed to accept orders and process payments. The Square POS platform offers extensive features that a smaller business may not need.

Cost

Here is a breakdown of SumUp vs. Square costs:

 
Card reader
$49
$39
Charging dock
$29
Swipe, insert & tap fee
2.6% + 10¢
2.75%
Keyed transactions
3.5% + 15¢
Invoice payments
2.9% + 30¢
Instant transfers
1% added to card fee
Chargebacks
Free
$10 each
Refunds
Free
Free
Monthly costs
0
0

Square Costs

The cost of using Square can be complex depending on the hardware you use, and the features added on. For hardware, it breaks down as such:

  • Square Reader for Magstripe – Free
  • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip – $49
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip – $199
  • Square Terminal – $299
  • Square Register – $799

Processing Fees

2.75% + 10 cents for any transaction that is:

  • Contactless payment
  • Swiped magstripe card
  • Swiped or inserted chip card
  • Prepaid gift card
  • Swiped using the virtual terminal

3.5% + 15 cents for any transaction that is:

  • Manually entered
  • Made with a card on file
  • Manually entered in the virtual terminal

2.9% + 30 cents for any transaction that is:

  • Square invoices
  • eCommerce products

SumUp Costs

The SumUp Card Reader costs $39 with a simple 2.75% processing fee. Neither SumUp nor Square have additional fees for foreign cards. Unlike Square, however, you cannot manually key in entries with the SumUp app.

Square offers chargeback dispute services for free while SumUp costs $10 per chargeback. This is lower than the average industry rate of $25.

When it comes to refunds, they are free for both platforms when done straight away. Square is free for up to 120 days while SumUp will keep the transaction fee.

Customer Service and Support

Since Square is a larger company, they tend to have more complaints online than SumUp. There have also been some issues with the way Square handles account terminations. If they close your account, it is sent via email with no option to appeal the decision.

Both platforms offer phone, email, and chat support, however, Square makes a business go the extra mile to get someone on the phone. Unlike SumUp, Square offers an extensive self-service knowledgebase, Twitter support, and a community forum.




In Conclusion

Whether you choose SumUp or Square depends on a variety of factors. SumUp is designed for a smaller business that may not require all the bells and whistles Square offers. Although the platform doesn’t have as many resources as Square, their customer service seems to be much more on point when resolving issues.

If there is no need for complex processes, SumUp is your answer. However, it is not an easy platform to achieve growth. If you plan on building and driving business, Square might be a better option.

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POS Quote Team

POS Quote Team

The staff at POSQuote.com is composed of industry professionals, experts, and current business owners. Through extensive research, we compile buyer's guides and review the best POS systems in the industry.

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