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Square is virtually everywhere. It’s in restaurants, stores, service centers and so much more so it’s no wonder so many flock to Square when it comes to needing a point of sales system and a payment processing system. But, truth be told – Square, while it’s great for those with little understanding (or care) of payment processing, it’s a downright bad choice for small businesses who need a complete cash flow solution to maximize on every sale without taking large hits to their profits.In this article, we’ll highlight why small businesses should not use Square and instead should use a merchant service provider such as us (PayHawk). 

I think it’s fair that we give square a fair chance, as for some, it may actually be a really good solution for their needs. 

With that out of the way, let’s talk about Square and what it does.

What is Square? 

In the event you haven’t heard of Square – Square is a multi-serviced point of sales solution that offers integrated payment processing solutions with a full end-to-end inventory management solution. 

Essentially Square is a portable merchant service provider.

What All Does Square Offer?

Buckle up, this is going to be a long list of offerings. 

Square currently promotes and offers:

  • Payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, Apple Pay, Google Pay, CashApp & Gift Cards)
  • Card on file remembrance 
  • Detailed custom invoices
  • Dispute manager 
  • Fraud monitoring solution 
  • PCI compliance (PCI DSS)
  • Online website creation and local store integration
  • Inventory management 
  • Employee time cards
  • Detailed reporting
  • Loyalty program support 
  • Email marketing integration
  • Payroll processing (including payroll taxes)
  • AfterPay support

While it may seem like you’re getting a lot for Square, you really aren’t. Depending on the features you use, the price may quickly get overwhelming. 

But, for simplicity’s sales, as professionals in merchant services, we have to hand it to Square for crafting an excellent product for those that don’t care to learn about payment processing, or also simply don’t care for real account managers.

Square Pricing: It’s Not Good…

In all transparency, 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction might not seem like a lot at face value, but let’s for a moment pretend we just sold $1,000 of inventory, that adds up to $26.10 in percent fees on a single transaction. 

What if we’re a small business and we sell $1,000 over the span of 250 people? That quickly adds up to $25 additional dollars on top of the 2.6% fee ($26) so really now, you’re looking at $51.

The real takeaway is that you’re getting punished not by the total sale price, but punished by how many customers you have. 

10 cents… per transaction… plus…. 2.6% of the total….

Don’t Pay Square Fees.
Process with PayHawk.

PayHawk can save you thousands of dollars per year with our low-fee approach to payment processing.

Our reliability always stands that we’ll be human anytime you need us.

With PayHawk, you’ll get exactly what Square can give, but far more for far less.

Process with PayHawk

Why Merchant Service Providers Are Better Than Square

We won’t try and sell you on PayHawk’s merchant services – but we’ll draw a lot of references from our own experiences as a merchant service provider and give the general run down as to why not only PayHawk is better than Square but also merchant service providers in general.

Merchant Service Providers Typically Have More Experience Than Square’s Service Employees

It might not be true for everyone at Square but for a scaling company (and a rapid one at that with +65.67% in the last 5 years growth wise) that Square might have some under-experienced staff. 

Merchant service providers and the account representatives that you’ll often deal with come from financial backgrounds such as bank managers, loan officers, financial security, PCI technology and much more. Whereas, Square, well, you don’t know.

Take for example at PayHawk our director of operations Katie – the total legend! She came from a background in marketing and has vast experience working with multi-channel marketing funnels across a variety of revenue streams. When she started with PayHawk she originally was our senior integrations specialist because of her amazing knowledge in finance and integrated payments, her wealth of prior experience quickly led her to being our directory of operations. 

Another example is the wonderful William Brakebill, the Principal at PayHawk. He has a large history working in banking and investing. He was previously a director of financial services at another electronic payment company.

It’s people like these two, that you know you can expect to meet in the world of merchant services, and again – with Square, you just don’t know…

Transparent Contracts & Agreements

Most merchant service providers offer straightforward pricing agreements in structures such as what Square has. The difference being that merchant service providers are generally more honest and upfront. There is less fine print than Square. 

With that said, contracts aren’t for everyone. Merchant service providers are well-known to have contract date minimums, or cancellation fees, Square on the other hand makes you dig through lengthy terms and conditions to find what your length of contract or agreement commitment is. 

When it comes to merchant service providers your contract will typically be very straightforward highlighting the following:

  • Commitment length (2 years, 3 years, etc.)
  • Price per transaction + base %


If you’re looking for a contactless payment processor, then PayHawk has you covered. We’re one of the only, if not THE only merchant service provider that doesn’t have contract commitment periods, it’s just our basic operating principle. 

We believe strongly that we’re the best at what we do, and we’re willing to prove that to you.

Katie Pelish – PayHawk Discussing Contracts

Dedicated Support & Additional Cash Flow Solutions

While Square will arm you with the basic tools for financial success, it stops there. You get some pretty cool features but again, that’s it. You can sell things and still make money. 

Merchant services are a bit different in that essence. It doesn’t just “stop there”.

Merchant service providers offer more advanced reporting solutions, financial advice and just generally better resources for business growth and development. 

If you care about your cash flow as a small business, taking the time to learn more about your prospective merchant service provider can easily make Square obsolete. 

Again, it’s not about your business joining PayHawk, as a small business cash flow should be important, and to reach that level of success you should partner with the best merchant service provider for you. Whether that’s a local merchant service provider, or an online and local one such as us. 

Save On Fees While Dealing With Humans Every Time. That’s Just PayHawk.

We’ve gone on long enough for how great merchant service providers are to have as a partner over Square, so it’s pretty evident that we’re passionate about what we do. I think it’s only fair if we brag for a moment about our business, in the event you’re interested in processing payments with us, or need other merchant services.

PayHawk is much more than your average merchant services provider. We have a match process to ensure that your representative has knowledge in your industry, if not the same, then we will work to ensure that we know your industry inside and out. 

We offer the lowest rates around, with a simple philosophy: 

Do great work and be genuine, and the additional business will follow to make up for less fees.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, please let us know!

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