PayPal Here is a credit card reader that allows point-of-sale merchants to process debit and credit cards. The system allows you to send invoices so you can get paid later. You’re able to record check or cash transactions for your business as well. The credit card reader plugs directly into a mobile device and offers iOS, Android, and Windows compatibility.
Square is a credit card reader that provides a similar service. You can accept credit cards anywhere with a card reader that plugs into a mobile device. Square is currently compatible with only iOS and Android devices.
Here are the other points of comparison to think about when looking at the PayPal Here vs Square debate.
1. Pricing and Fees
PayPal Here charges 2.7% per US card swipe. Invoicing is 2.9% + $0.30 and it is 3.5% + $0.15 if the card needs to be keyed in for some reason. Cross-border transfers are charged 1.5%. You must have a PayPal account to use this system, but there isn’t a long-term commitment. There are no monthly fees, no setup fees, and no cancellation fees. PayPal Here requires no processing minimums either.
Deposits go into your PayPal account in real time. You can then transfer your funds into your registered bank account of choice through an ACH authorization.
Square charges 2.75% per US card swipe, dip, or tap. Keyed-in transactions are charged 3.5% + $0.15. Deposits go into your bank account, often as soon as the next business day.
Both offer chip card readers, contactless transactions, and Apple Pay. You can accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express for the same rate.
2. Check Processing
PayPal Here includes check processing with your account. You can settle checks with the same process that is in place for credit and debit cards.
Square does not offer check processing at all.
3. Reader Fees
PayPal Here and Square provide an initial reader for free. This reader will allow you to swipe the magnetic strip that is on the back of a credit card. The readers are equipped with a 3.5mm jack that plugs into the headphone jack of a mobile device.
If you want to use the chip card reader, PayPal Here charges $79 for the device. You’ll be able to accept chip cards, contactless payments, and traditional magnetic stripe cards. You can accept chip and PIN or chip and signature transactions. It pairs with the PayPal Here app through Bluetooth.
Square offers their NFC reader for $49. It can be ordered directly or purchased from retailers like Target, Staples, or Best Buy. It accepts NFC cards and EMV chip cards, but requires a separate magstripe reader for the more traditional transactions.
4. Customer Service
PayPal Here allows you to immediately contact customer support if there is an issue with a transaction. All you need to do is shake your phone while using the PayPal Here app and you’ll be connected with a representative. You can also contact PayPal customer support at 1 (888) 221-1161 after logging into your account to receive a passcode. Hours are 4am-10pm Monday thru Friday and 6am-8pm Saturday and Sunday.
Square offers live phone support for “all existing Square customers.” Operators are available Monday thru Friday, 6am-6pm Pacific Time. Call 1 (855) 700-6000. Email support, social support, and an online help center with videos and written content is available.
5. Credit Checks
PayPal Here conducts a credit check for all account holders. The device may be sent out, including paid devices, before the application has been completed. This may result in a device that does not receive payments because your account has not been approved to accept them. Background verification is part of this process.
Square gives virtually everyone the ability to process credit cards. No credit check is required to begin the account.
6. Payment Channels
PayPal allows PIN debit transactions with their advanced reader. Checks, PayPal transfers, and electronic invoices are also allowed.
Square does not allow PIN debit transactions. You can pay with Square, but you cannot pay with PayPal unless the customer has been issued a PayPal debit MasterCard and that is swiped through a Square device. Electronic invoices are possible with Square as well.
Both portable payment acceptance options offer the potential of bringing your goods or services to customers, no matter where they may be. As long as you have a mobile connection, you can accept a payment. PayPal Here offers immediate funds access, but Square offers 1-2 business day transfers into your traditional bank account.
Choose the option that makes the most sense for your business and you’ll be able to offer a secure way for your customers to pay.