With Square, there is no requirement to subscribe to ecommerce to use a POS system, or vice versa. In fact, most Square software is available as a free service, with options to upgrade to a paid plan for more features.
Square has a lot of products with different costs, though, but we’ll keep it simple by focusing on the commerce and point of sale systems.
Square Online is the online store builder. Apart from the free plan with basic online store features, there’s a Professional subscription for $16 monthly, Performance for $29 monthly and Premium for $79 per month (monthly plans). On an annual plan, you pay for a year upfront which works out a bit cheaper per month.
Square has a selection of POS apps for the different industries: Square for Retail (free or $60 monthly plan per location), Square for Restaurants (free or $60 monthly plan per location) or Square Appointments (free for one employee, paid plans for more users).
Canceling a subscription
To cancel a Shopify subscription, you have to contact support in advance of the auto-renewal of your subscription(s). The support team will then do this for you, after which your online store will be inaccessible.
This is in contrast to Square who allows you to cancel any subscription, any time, in your account without having to contact support. All the many free features and saved changes will still be accessible in the Square account thereafter.
Then we have transaction fees that in some ways are similar, but high-volume merchants will see some clear differences.
Online transactions through a Square website, payment links or email invoice cost a fixed 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. Only on Square Online Premium does the transaction fee reduce to 2.6% + 30¢.
If you use Shopify Payments (built into the platform), transactions cost 2.9% + 30¢ on Basic Shopify (same as Square’s default rate), 2.6% + 30¢ on Shopify or 2.4% + 30¢ on Advanced Shopify. This applies to email invoices and virtual terminal payments as well.
Only Shopify allows you to use another online payment gateway, but at an additional cost: 2% on Basic Shopify, 1% on Shopify or 0.5% on Advanced Shopify. This fee is added to your external card processing costs for every transaction. We call it a penalty fee for using a different payment system, but Shopify calls it a “transaction fee”.