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Square Payments & Payroll review Australia

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A convenient way to accept and manage card payments for your business. Plus, learn about other solutions including payroll.

Square offers multiple card processing solutions for businesses of all types. Your business can use Square to accept contactless and chip payments from EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard and American Express as well as online payments and payments from any contactless-enabled device.

Square also offers point of sale (POS) and payroll solutions and you can utilise an iPad set-up, an app and a user-friendly dashboard accessible from any computer to help you manage your account.

Square offers multiple card processing solutions for businesses of all types. Your business can use Square to accept contactless and chip payments from EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard and American Express as well as online payments and payments from any contactless-enabled device.

Square also offers point of sale (POS) and payroll solutions and you can utilise an iPad set-up, an app and a user-friendly dashboard accessible from any computer to help you manage your account.

Find out how these payment solutions work and whether they may be suited to your business.

Quick verdict

Suited for businesses that
  • Want a quick and easy payments set-up
  • Don't want to pay monthly fees or enter into contracts
  • Looking to automate payroll processes
Not suited for
  • Businesses that process transactions in large volumes (over $250,000)
  • Those looking for round-the-clock phone support

Get your e-commerce store going with Square

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Starting price Hosting
Square E-commerce
Square E-commerce
Payment processing, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software, Shipping software
$0/mo + processing fees of 2.2%
Hosted
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How can you accept payments with Square?

Square offers a few different payment options for small businesses. These include:

  • Reader for chip cards. This is a mobile chip reader that plugs into any iOS or Android smartphone or tablet device. It accepts all major debit and credit cards and doesn't store data on your device after the payment has been processed. All payments will be processed using Square's transparent fee structure and you can get set up in a few minutes.
  • Reader for contactless and chip cards. Square's mobile card reader lets you accept chip and contactless cards as well as contactless-enabled devices. You'll pay the same price for transactions if your customers tap or insert their card to pay. The reader then pairs to an Android or iOS device wirelessly so you can track payments through the free Square POS app.
  • Stand for contactless and chip cards. If you have an iPad you can create a POS set-up with a Square stand, card reader and a USB hardware hub so you can add a receipt printer, barcode scanner or anything else you need. If you want this set-up but don't have an iPad you can also add one to your purchase at the checkout.
  • Ecommerce. Square offers three levels of integration for e-commerce businesses. You can choose a simple option with preset templates and themes that require no coding; the second level that lets you build an online store with an open source partner which all have prebuilt Square integrations; or the third level which lets you use Square's APIs to accept payments on a website you build yourself. You'll pay 2.2% per transaction to accept online payments with Square.

Features of Square Payments in Australia

Square offers a number of features for businesses to make accepting payments simple. These include:

  • One rate for accepting payments. You'll pay 1.9% for all payments where a customer taps, inserts or swipes their card. For any transactions that are keyed in or online, you'll pay 2.2%. You'll pay the same rate for all card types.
  • Fast and easy sign-up. You're able to start accepting payments with Square quickly. You just need to connect the payment reader wirelessly to an iOS or Android device via Bluetooth LE (no headset jack required), then after you start the free Square app you can start accepting payments.
  • No-lock-in contracts. Square's payment readers don't require you to enter into long-term or monthly contracts to purchase. You can buy for a one-off fee and start accepting payments.
  • Fast payment turnaround. You'll receive funds from payments into your bank accounts within two business days.
  • Custom pricing available. If your business is processing over $250,000 of card transactions annually, Square can offer custom rates.
  • Option to rent payment readers. If you only need a card reader for a one-off event, Square also has an option where you can rent card readers. You're able to rent Square hardware such as readers and docks and accessories such as cash draws. Rental options are suitable for small and large events.
  • Security and support. Square has a support centre which allows you to get in touch by phone, email or Twitter. In terms of security, you can trust that your customers' payments are protected by multiple layers of encryption.
  • Analytics. You'll have access to a free Square POS app on your iOS or Android smartphone. This order and payment flow lets you keep track of your customers' purchase histories, get real-time sales reports by item type and track your employees' sales and hours worked.
  • Suitable for a range of different businesses. Square readers suit businesses in a number of industries including retail, health and fitness and trade. You can also accept payments online.

How much does Square Payments cost?

Square offers a flat fee structure for accepting payments:

  • Tapped, inserted or swiped payments for every card: 1.9%
  • Keyed-in payments: 2.2%
  • In-app payments SDK: 2.2%

For Square's card readers, the pricing is as follows:

Chip card reader

$19

  • A mobile payment solution that plugs into the headphone jack of your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
  • Accepts chip and PIN cards anywhere.

Tap and go card reader

$59

  • Accepts chip and contactless cards as well as any contactless-enabled device.
  • Connects wirelessly to your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth LE (no headphone jack required).

Stand for contactless and chip

$299

  • Allows you to turn your iPad into a POS.
  • Includes Square reader for contactless and chip and dock. If you don't have an iPad, you can add one at the checkout.

A bit about Square

Square launched in 2009 in San Fransisco by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. The idea for the company came about when McKelvey couldn't sell $2,000 worth of handblown glass because he couldn't accept credit cards.

Today, the company is still headquartered in San Fransisco but also has office locations across the globe including in Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK and Ireland.

How do you sign up with Square Payments in Australia?

You can purchase a Square card reader online or from a retail store and start selling almost immediately. You don't need to sign up to any monthly lock-in contracts to accept payments from Square.

To create a Square account you'll need the following information:

  • Government-issued ID such as a passport, driver's licence or Medicare card
  • Australian bank account
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • ABN/ACN if applicable
  • Merchant bank account if applicable

What other services does Square provide?

Square offers a range of other business software, including the following:

  • Square Payroll. Streamline your employee payroll process digitally with time cards, employee accounts, automatic direct deposit and tax filing services. Square Payroll uses a simple interface and, what's more, if you're already using Square's POS you can simply import employee timecards from it to the payroll site.
  • Website builder. Create an online store with beginner-friendly design templates and app integrations.
  • Inventory management. Keep track of in-store and online inventory levels. Read more about how inventory management software works.
  • Square Cash. This money transfer service operates through the Square Cash app or by email. Sending and receiving money is free for personal use, while businesses pay 1.5% to receive payments.

Bottom line

Square can offer a strong overall service for businesses who are just getting started as well as those who are more established or scaling up. In addition to its payment processing options, your company can choose a number of other features including payroll.

Depending on the needs of your business, it may be good to compare your card payment solutions alongside other features that can further improve how your company operates.

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