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Square: Best Overall POS Cash Register for Small Businesses

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Update time : 2022-03-23

Square is a cloud-based, POS-driven register that gives you several low-cost register options. Unlike electronic cash registers, Square lets you process sales and run your entire business from your smartphone or tablet. Or, you can use one or more countertop registers to meet any in-store selling need. We recommend Square as the best POS-driven cash register for small businesses because it delivers a complete suite of sales, payment, inventory, and business management tools for free.

It is an all-in-one solution that combines a credit card processing service, software, and cash register in one system. Unlike the other picks on our list, if you use Square’s POS register, you can’t rate-shop merchant account providers. But Square’s payment processing is very small business-friendly, with simple flat-rate fees and no startup or monthly account fees for a baseline subscription. If you want, you can expand Square’s reporting and workforce management tools by signing up for a Premium service tier for $60 per month.

Square POS Cash Register Features

Square users who accept cash payments will need to purchase a cash drawer separately. If you plan to use an iPad or smartphone as your main register, you’ll need to connect a card reader. Users who subscribe to one of Square’s POS packages—Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants—will get a free card reader from Square. Others can typically find smartphone- and iPad-compatible Square readers at major office supply retailers for around $9.99 for a swipe reader and $49 for a contactless reader.

Square’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: Square’s touch-screen registers also support barcode item sales and accept credit card and contactless payments. Your system also records cash and checks, adds discounts and coupons, tracks open tabs, splits payments, and logs tips. Digital receipts are Square’s default—which allows you to collect customer contact information and save paper—but you print thermal receipts by attaching an optional thermal printer.
  • Mobile sales: Square supports online sales via its free Square Online Store website in addition to in-person sales. You can receive online orders for pick up, delivery, or shipping directly in your Square register.
  • Taxes and reporting: You can add and manage taxes from your Square online dashboard or the Square app on your register. Taxes automatically tally per set rules.
  • Interconnectivity: You can record sales and process cash payments without an internet or cellular connection. You can also spool credit card payments that will run automatically when you regain an internet connection. But be careful; when you accept offline credit card payments, you will have to accept the loss for any declined cards. A basic Square POS subscription allows you to operate Square on an unlimited number of devices.
  • Inventory management: Your square system stores detailed product lists and adjusts your inventory in real time as you sell items in-store or online. You can easily add new products from any internet-enabled device by logging into your Square dashboard.
  • Employee management: Like Lightspeed, Square supports unlimited staff logins, while the electronic registers on this list are limited to 10 to 50 staff log-ins. You can easily track employee sales and use your Square system to log employee hours for payroll. If you opt for the Free POS subscription, however, you’ll need to keep in mind that, at that tier, you can only have a single permission level—so all employees will have access to the same functions on the register. If you need customized permissions, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium level.
  • Customer management: Unlike the ECRs on this list, Square saves customer contact information and tracks sales by customer. You can use this information to help guide customers to items they might like on future visits or use it to feed customized marketing and promotions.

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