Paypal Review Vs Square Payments 2018


Neither Square nor PayPal charges an early termination fee for canceling service, but both providers may hold any unprocessed payments at the time of cancellation to ensure that the merchant’s contractual obligations are met. According to the companies’ cancellation policies, these withheld funds should be returned to the merchant in accordance with the merchant’s payout schedule and there are complaints filed against both Square and PayPal alleging that these holds can last much longer. However, Square is showing a much higher number of such complaints and the issue is seemingly exacerbated by the company’s lack of a live customer support department. Although both companies offer free cancellation, the potential fund holding times with a Square merchant account appear to be much higher.

Neither Square nor PayPal charges PCI compliance fees or monthly minimum fees. The only hardware costs for mobile processing are the smartphone or tablets needed to use the apps. PayPal charges $79.99 for a USB card reader that can be used to swipe card via desktop computers for use with its virtual terminal. Square does not provide such an option. PayPal wins this section due to having more processing options at a relatively low cost.

This category is essentially a toss-up. Square offers next-day deposit of funds into a merchant’s bank account, while PayPal makes funds available to merchants almost immediately within their PayPal accounts. In order to withdraw money from their PayPal accounts, merchants must make a transfer request and wait approximately three days for the funds to be deposited. They may also be subject to ATM fees when making withdrawals using a PayPal debit card. Because of this, Square is the better option for merchants willing to wait a day for their money, while PayPal is the better option for merchants who don’t mind keeping most of their funds in their PayPal accounts and paying for or withdrawing money using a debit card. We’ll give this category to Square because the company doesn’t automatically impose an extra step between merchants and their money.

Square, on the other hand, edges PayPal in a handful of categories but ultimately cannot overcome its most glaring deficiency: poor customer support. Square’s commitment to transparent pricing and innovation for smaller merchants and individuals may someday make it an ideal payment processor for all merchant types, but not until the company builds a strong customer support system and clearer policies and practices regarding funding holds. For now, PayPal is the better option on the whole.

Aside from transaction fees or optional monthly fees, the only other true costs of a merchant account through Square or PayPal are hardware costs and chargeback fees. PayPal charges a $20 fee per chargeback, while Square’s chargeback policy is vaguely outlined in its terms of use. It seems Square may either create a reserve account or deduct the necessary amount from an existing reserve account in order to cover the costs of a chargeback incident, but the company does not specify a typical or maximum chargeback fee. In other words, Square’s chargeback fee appears to be variable and without a clearly defined limit. This makes the company’s potential chargeback costs higher than PayPal’s fixed amount of $20.

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One of the more intriguing services offered by Square is the Square Market, an online marketplace where Square merchants can establish a store profile and sell their products online for a rate of 2.75% per transaction. Although these online stores are fairly simple in layout, they may be a very desirable option for merchants who simply want to make their products available online rather than fully commit to an e-commerce operation. PayPal does not offer a comparable service at this time, although it does offer solutions for already established e-commerce merchants through various service packages. At this time, Square wins this category for offering a free online store with easy setup and transparent pricing.

So you are trying to choose between Square and PayPal. Which has the better pricing, customer service, device compatibility, and features for accepting card payments? Figuring all of this out can be a daunting task (this article took over a week to put together), but don’t worry, we’ve done the research and broken it down for you.

Both Square and PayPal offer mobile card readers that are fairly reliable, well-designed, and reportedly secure. However, Square is showing far more complaints about service interruptions and incompatibility issues than PayPal is, despite the fact that PayPal is integrated in a wider variety of machines. Square’s complaint totals are almost certainly inflated by the fact that the company offers no customer support to quickly resolve device malfunctions, but this only makes service interruptions a more serious potential problem for Square users.

PayPal’s cash transfer service, mobile wallet app, and point-of-sale solution are reliable services for merchants and customers alike, but they lack the innovation and ease of use offered by comparable Square services.

Square has the slightly more attractive payout schedule thanks to its next-day deposit into a merchant’s bank account, but PayPal appears to do more overall to protect merchants from sudden cancellations or fund holds.

Both Square and PayPal suffer from numerous complaints about large, sudden fund holds, often without advance notice or explanation. Regardless of whether these merchants have had legitimate transactions frozen or have actually been violating Square’s and PayPal’s terms of use, reserve account disputes are best resolved through an available and capable customer service channel. Due to its lack of customer service, Square has seen a much higher volume of complaints regarding its reserve account policy than has PayPal, and PayPal therefore takes the win in this section.


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  • January 11, 2018
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