Our rating(4.5/5)
Square Terminal is a multi-functional payment-and-POS terminal that works with WiFi.
With Square Terminal, you don’t need a connected tablet or computer at the checkout because the POS interface is on the touchscreen terminal. The pricing is simple, and there’s no lock-in contract.
  • Pros: No monthly fee or lock-in. Very user-friendly. Fast deposits. Offline mode. 24/7 support included.

  • Cons: No 3G or 4G. No surcharging. Requires hub to connect with cash drawer.

  • Best for: You want to save money and counter space by using one compact terminal with a flexible setup.

To review this product, we tested and photographed a Square Terminal on different occasions and in different contexts. Let’s first look at what Square Terminal is before we give a detailed opinion about it.

Square Terminal
What is it? Wireless EFTPOS terminal with receipt printer
Price $329 incl. GST
Transaction fee 1.6%
Connections WiFi only (LAN available)
Battery life Full working day from full charge
Cards accepted VisaMastercardAmerican ExpressJCBEFTPOSContactlessApple PayGoogle PaySamsung PayAfterpay

What is Square Terminal?

Square Terminal is a unique, wireless EFTPOS terminal that’s purchased upfront. With no monthly fee, just a fixed transaction rate of 1.6%, small businesses and sole traders can accept contactless, chip and swipe card payments anywhere with a secured WiFi connection (not 4G or other cellular networks).

The terminal has a large touchscreen with a receipt printer built in and point of sale (POS) features installed.

What is Square?

Square is an American payment company that launched the world’s first mobile app-dependent card reader in 2010. It arrived in Australia in 2016, making way for a new breed of mobile EFTPOS terminals without monthly fees or contracts.

Unlike traditional credit card machines, the Square EFTPOS machine does more than just card payments. You can, for example, accept gift cards and edit your product library.

From start to finish of each transaction, the touchscreen is used to navigate POS functions, like you would in the Square Point of Sale app for Square Reader. Where required, customers enter a PIN code or sign to verify their card on the touchscreen.

All transactions and activities on the terminal are connected to your backend Square account, where you can find more features, ecommerce and integrations.

Our opinion and evaluation

Square Terminal is a great all-round POS terminal for a good price. Big advantages are the lack of contracts, with round-the-clock support and useful extras like offline mode still part of the package. The availability of instant deposits, if you can’t wait until the next day, is also a massive bonus.

The default POS software is basically the same as the Square Point of Sale app, but the specialised POS systems by Square for restaurants, retail and appointments are easily connected with the terminal.

The device excels at usability – it’s a very straightforward EFTPOS machine that’s not cluttered with irrelevant checkout features. The size is compact, style sleek, yet it allows for plenty of extra business tools without breaking the bank.

Summary and reasons behind ratings:

Square Terminal ratings
Criteria Verdict
Payments: Excellent
Hardware: Good
Software: Excellent
Good / Excellent
Cost and fees Good
Value-added services Good / Excellent
Contract Excellent
Sign-up and transparency Excellent
Customer service Good

Bottom line: Square Terminal offers superb value for small shops that need the most user-friendly, portable checkout without a lock-in contract.


Excellent (4.8/5)

All of our tests of accepting a card payment on Square Terminal have gone smoothly. From the checkout interface, it’s quick to find the payment button and proceed to payment with the help of timely on-screen prompts. The (on-screen) PIN pad has large buttons for easy PIN entry.

Receipts can be printed straight from the terminal following each transaction, minimising friction if a customer wants a paper receipt instead of a virtual one. Many additional payment methods can be added, such as Afterpay and over-the-phone transactions. If the internet goes, the offline mode will still let you accept cards so you don’t have to awkwardly turn away customers.

Deposits are also fast compared with other Australian EFTPOS providers: wait only 1 day (weekends included) or 1 minute (for a fee) and you have access to funds in your bank account. That’s pretty good.

Quality of hardware and design

Good/Excellent (4.5/5)

The EFTPOS terminal doesn’t feel cheap, but is vulnerable to minor scratches with active use over time, like most smart devices. The touchscreen is very responsive and the terminal is a good size to hold in the hand – not too bulky or too heavy. The receipt printer is very intuitive to use – it’s easy to rip off paper receipts and intuitive to change the paper roll without checking a manual.

We only have a couple of improvement suggestions: to introduce haptic feedback when tapping buttons to make it even more intuitive, and include a SIM card slot for 3G/4G connectivity to make it usable everywhere.

Software on terminal

Excellent (4.8/5)

From setting up to managing your store, the terminal software has always been extremely easy for us to work out intuitively. The interface and payment flow are stripped of unnecessary steps, and colour schemes, button sizes and fonts are easy to understand. The software is regularly updated, showing that Square addresses software bugs and actively listens to users to improve the app.

We also love that it integrates with Square’s specialised POS systems and online ordering, so you can set up the terminal to fit with different functions of your checkout.

Price and fees

Good (4.1/5)

The terminal’s price is fair for its quality and software features, but other EFTPOS terminals – such as Zeller’s – are cheaper and work with mobile networks too. If the upfront cost is prohibitive, the interest-free instalment option is excellent.

Transaction fees are lower on Terminal compared with the cheaper Square Reader, but still higher than Tyro’s and Zeller’s fixed EFTPOS rate. Other than that, few other fees apply, unlike many competitors that add hidden charges.

Value-added services


We have always loved the wide range of online payment tools that every Square user can access. You are buying into Square’s whole integrated platform of business tools, which is superior to alternatives in Australia.

If Square’ own software is not enough, there are many integrations to connect the platform with tools like accounting software and inventory systems.


Excellent (5/5)

Square has never been demanded contractual commitment to its products, so you are never tied into their system if you sign up. And since there are no monthly fees with Square Terminal, you don’t even need to cancel anything if you decide to stop using it. In the world of payment processing, this is rare.

Sign-up and transparency

Excellent (4.8/5)

Signing up is fast, easy and all done online without having to call a sales rep who will try to pressure you into a deal (which many providers do). Fees and terms are pretty transparent on the website too, so you don’t have to contact a support agent to ask for pricing. Our only criticism is the lack of clarity about whether GST is included in the costs. You have to add a product to checkout to see if this is added.

Customer service


Square generally takes customer issues seriously, and even includes terminal replacement in its Square Terminal package, should you get technical issues. If you are buying Square Terminal, you also get 24/7 support via email, chat and telephone, unlike users who only go for Square Reader – they can only call during weekday business hours.

We are also aware of some users experiencing issues having their account verified or funds frozen, where further documents are requested. So not everyone has it easy.


A major upside to Square is their straightforward pricing structure. You just pay for the terminal, then a fixed transaction rate for any debit and credit cards processed. You are not subject to minimum sales volume requirements, payout fees or lock-in contracts. Unless you have opted to pay for the terminal over a number of months, there are no fixed monthly costs.

Best offer at the moment

Limited offer
incl. GST

Get Square Terminal for $329 or pay over 3, 6 or 12 months. No ongoing fees or contract. Free delivery in 2-7 business days.

MobileTransaction is an independent payment industry resource trusted by over a million small businesses per year.

We allow providers to offer product discounts for the benefit of our readers, which do not influence our reviews. Ratings are based on full retail price. (Policy)

The card machine costs $329 upfront (including GST). You can also choose to pay in instalments of 3, 6 or 12 interest-free monthly payments (subject to credit check and approval). If you choose to pay over 12 months, the monthly instalment is $28 incl. GST. Repayments are handled internally by Square, not a third party provider, and the first instalment is taken when the order is placed.

Square Terminal purchase Upfront price: $329
Instalments: $28 x 12 months
3- and 6-month plans available
Shipping Free
Chip, tap and swipe fee 1.6%
Keyed-in card fee 2.2%
Transfers to bank account Next day: Free
Instant: 1.5%
Refunds Transaction fee is retained
PCI-DSS compliance Free
Chargebacks Free

* Costs include GST.

Transactions cost a fixed 1.6% rate for all dip, tap and swipe card payments through the terminal regardless of card brand, country of issue or whether it is premium. Just beware that Square does not have a surcharging function, so you cannot pass on fees to customers.

Afterpay (buy now, pay later option) has a higher transaction fee of 6% + $0.30 + GST.

All keyed payments through the terminal or online via email invoices, the online store or Virtual Terminal cost 2.2% per transaction.

For refund processing, Square retains the original transaction fee paid, but chargebacks incur no admin fees. You get free payment dispute support from the Square team, should a chargeback occur.

Photo: Square

Australian Square Terminal with Hub

Square Terminal Hub has three USB ports for optional POS accessories.

If you’re connecting the EFTPOS terminal to other hardware, you’ll need the Hub for Square Terminal for $79. The Hub is also necessary if you need to use an Ethernet connection instead of WiFi.

Fast transfer of funds

All card transactions through Square are typically transferred, free of charge, to your bank account the next day. This includes weekends, as long as your bank account is compatible with real-time transfers. It could take a day longer for certain cards, such as those issued abroad, to reach your account.

Merchants can receive deposits in any Australian bank account registered in their business name.

If it’s important to get funds faster, qualifying merchants can activate Instant Transfers. This allows you to receive transactions within minutes of accepting an EFTPOS payment, which adds a fee of 1.5% to the normal transaction rate.

Terminal specs and features

Apart from looking pretty, what should you know about the payment terminal?


Physically, it’s a bit heavier than a push-button card machine (417 g versus circa 300 g). This is due to the large screen, whereas a mainstream credit card machine with physical keypad has a small display. Underneath are two rubber strips to keep it stable on a counter, and a hole if you need to screw the terminal on to a surface.

Square Terminal’s battery can last all day without a charge, which is impressive given the large, energy-consuming touchscreen.

Photo: ES, Mobile Transaction

Square Terminal bottom side

Underneath the terminal.

Still, we found that leaving it on standby drains the battery completely by the next day. As such, we recommend switching it off completely when you don’t plan on using it, to avoid having to recharge it before you use it next.

Photo: Emmanuel Charpentier (EC), MobileTransaction

Square Terminal receipt compartment

Receipt rolls are changed easily at the back.

Because it runs on a local, secured WiFi connection, it can be used anywhere on your premises, for example for taking payments at the customer’s table. We should make clear: this terminal does not have a SIM card slot, so it does not have mobile data to connect with 3G/4G networks on the go.

The Ethernet connection through the Hub could be necessary if your WiFi is unreliable, but then you have to keep the Terminal connected at a checkout counter.

Tech specs
Dimensions 142.2 mm (L) x 86.4 mm (W) x 63.5 mm (H)
Display size 139.7 mm
Weight 417 g
Data WiFi (secured network only), Ethernet via Hub
Card technology EMV (chip), NFC (contactless), magnetic stripe
Battery life All day from full charge
Built-in receipt printer Uses 57 mm (width) x 35 mm (diameter) thermal receipt paper
Accessories included Square Terminal, power adaptor, receipt paper roll, ‘accepted cards’ decals


The standard software features are very similar to Square Reader’s mobile app, Square Point of Sale. For instance, the checkout screen gives you two options for adding to the shopping cart: enter price amounts manually or tap to add products from the library.

Photo: EC, MobileTransaction

Square Terminal language menu

Users can select the software language.

Photo: Square

Square Terminal features

The product menu at checkout.

The checkout flow and products can be edited on the terminal – no need to log on to a computer to do it. Add product variants like size and colour and switch on eat-in or takeaway options if you’re a coffee shop, all of which can be selected during the checkout flow.

What about transaction options? You can accept cash, cards, mobile wallets, ‘cards on file’ saved in the customer library, gift cards (issued from the terminal too), invoicing and manually-entered card details.

It’s also possible to split the tender, add custom or preset tips, and once the transaction is complete, print, email or text the receipt.

Photo: ES, Mobile Transaction

Square Terminal vs Square Reader

Square Terminal vs Square Reader.

The customer library enables you to add a person to invoices instead of entering personal details manually. You can create and send Square Invoices directly on the terminal, accessed from the side menu. Over-the-phone payments are also possible – just add products or enter an amount on the regular checkout screen and choose manual card payment as the payment method.

Transactions, sales history and reports can be viewed on the terminal. In fact, you go to Transactions to process a refund (itemised or custom amount) or resend a receipt via email or SMS. Receipts can be customised in Settings, and food-and-drink merchants can set the Terminal to print order tickets.

Photo: Emily Sorensen (ES), Mobile Transaction

Square Terminal AU PIN on glass

Using the touchscreen of an industry-approved terminal like Square’s is secure.

Significant things you cannot do on the Terminal, which the mobile app can do, include:

  • Access team management features; and
  • Do more complicated product library edits.

If the WiFi stops working, fret not. The terminal accepts cards while offline, as long as you reconnect with the internet within 24 hours to finish processing the card payment online.

The software is automatically updated daily when the Terminal is connected to the internet. Just be prepared to wait for the update to process when you switch on the terminal every day (it took several minutes on most days we tested it).

For increased security, the terminal can request a password login (which can be reset) every time it’s used.

Square Terminal compared with Square Reader

If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, we can also recommend Square Reader. This is a contactless and chip card reader that’s connects with your iPhone, iPad or Android device, using the mobile device’s 3G, 4G or WiFi to process transactions online. Here are the main differences between Reader and Terminal:

Square Reader Square Terminal
Square Reader Square Terminal
Price $65 incl. GST $329 incl. GST
Prints receipts?
Network Bluetooth to mobile device with 3G, 4G or WiFi WiFi, Ethernet only with additional Hub
Battery life Over 24 hours’ active use Up to 24 hours’ active use
Dimensions 66 x 66 x 10 mm 142.2 x 86.4 x 63.5 mm
Weight 56 g 417 g
Square Reader Square Terminal
$65 incl. GST $329 incl. GST
Prints receipts?
Bluetooth to mobile device with 3G, 4G or WiFi WiFi, Ethernet only with additional Hub
Battery life
Over 24 hours’ active use Up to 24 hours’ active use
66 x 66 x 10 mm 142.2 x 86.4 x 63.5 mm
56 g 417 g

Accessories and POS hardware

If you’re asking “how does this work with the rest of the POS system?”, we should emphasise the EFTPOS machine IS the POS system. That said, you can still connect it to hardware through the optional Hub for Square Terminal (purchased separately for $79). The Hub connects to the terminal via cable, has three USB ports for POS hardware and one Ethernet socket for a wired internet connection.

Compatible POS equipment is plugged into the Hub’s USB ports (Bluetooth is not accepted) and includes:

  • Receipt printers
  • Kitchen ticket printers
  • Kitchen display
  • Cash drawers
  • Barcode scanners

What about POS software? Does it integrate with more advanced, industry-specific POS systems? Yes, Square Terminal connects with all of Square’s own point of sale systems geared towards restaurants, retailers and booking services (free and paid versions). Just a couple of years ago, it didn’t integrate with other apps than Square Point of Sale for general checkout features.

How does Square Terminal support online ordering?

While Square Terminal is mainly used for face-to-face transactions, Square has many options for accepting orders and payments remotely. These include:

  • Ordering for pickup or delivery

  • Ordering via QR codes displayed where the customer wants to order

  • Building a free ecommerce website with Square Online

  • Sharing payment links for customers to complete transactions remotely

With regards to using the device for online ordering, it’s possible to receive, view and print online orders on the terminal. Whether online orders are executed via Square or a third-party delivery/ordering integration, you can do the following directly from Square Terminal:

  • View order status
  • Update order fulfilment status
  • View order type
  • Add tracking information to an order
  • Cancel an order

Excellent reporting options

On the Terminal, you can view sales history, generate custom reports and track sales by team members. That being said, you can’t view the cash drawer session history like you can on a tablet or computer.

All users have backend access to sales reports sorted by date, location, time period and more. These can be viewed in any internet browser logged into Square. Reports can be exported to Excel or integrated with popular accounting platforms like QuickBooks, Xero and Zoho Books.

Square also has lots of free analytics on gift cards, popular sales categories, sales trends, transactions, discounts, employee sales, etc. We were especially impressed by the the custom reports that all Square users can create free of charge. That’s usually a premium feature that costs extra in other payment software!

Who is Square most suited for?

If you’re a small shop, café, hairdresser or any other type of merchant who doesn’t require a complicated checkout, Square Terminal will save you counter space and money because you don’t need to buy a receipt printer, tablet or touchscreen monitor.

An existing cash register without an EFTPOS machine could do well with a Square Terminal as a way to venture into card payments.

If you sell primarily online, but have a brick-and-mortar store, the simple Square Terminal checkout could be what you need to connect those sales without superfluous equipment to fill your face-to-face shop.

It works best in locations with a fixed WiFi connection or countertop, where an Ethernet cable can be hooked up. For this reason, we would not recommend it for use on the go where WiFi networks can’t be relied upon.

Photo: ES, Mobile Transaction

Square Terminal hairdressing

Square Terminal is handy for carrying around in your work area.

Customer service and user reviews

Customer support is available by phone, around-the-clock, exclusively for Square Terminal users. During normal business hours, the support team on hand is even based in Australia.

If it were Square’s other products, you would only have day-time support on weekdays. The online Support Centre answers most questions, though.

Square Terminal has a year’s warranty. If required, a next-business-day hardware replacement is available in metro areas. But wait – there’s more. You’re also free to change your mind and get a full refund within the 30-day cooling-off period.

In truth, customer reviews are mixed. Many users complain about poor service, account verification issues and funds being held. Such complaints are typical of payment companies. Many more users are positive about the ease of use, affordability and fast transfers.

Getting started

It’s very easy to get started with a Square EFTPOS machine. Just fill in an online sign-up form and submit the requested business, personal and bank account details to be verified by Square. The following business entities are usually accepted:

  • Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Sole traders
  • Trusts

It’s also necessary to have a government-issued ID (driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport) handy. You need an Australian-based bank account so you can receive transfers from Square.

The information will be assessed and verified by Square within days. Some trading areas are restricted, like multi-level marketing, escort services or harmful products, but such restrictions are typical of payment companies.

Accepting remote or keyed-in payments is possible before Square’s verification, in which case transactions are held by Square until your bank account is ready to receive money.

You can order the terminal right after signing up. Delivery takes 2-7 business days.

Square Terminal is so intuitive you can use it within minutes of opening the box – just make sure your WiFi is accessible so it can update the software.