• SumUp EMV reader and Square Reader next to each other
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Square or SumUp: which is the best for your business?

By Lucy Harris|2019-02-14T18:07:43+00:00October 8th, 2017|Tags: , |

Square has so far been the winner among the credit card readers working via an app on a smartphone or a tablet. While players like Amazon have left the market, a new service entered in 2017, SumUp. Originating in Germany, the company has been in business as long as Square.

How do the two compare in fees, features, technology and customer service?

small Square logoSumUp logo
 Square Reader machineSumUp US EMV card reader
To website
See deal
$49 ($29 extra for optional dock)$69 $29
Chip and contactless*
*Swipe with the magstripe reader included
Chip, contactless and swipe
2.75% transaction fee2.65% transaction fee
No monthly feesNo monthly fees
Payouts in 1-2 business days
Available in 24 hours for 1% extra fee
Payouts in 1-2 business days
With tipping featureNo tipping feature
small Square logo
 Square Reader machineSumUp US EMV card reader
To website
To website
$49 ($29 extra for optional dock)$69 $29
Chip, contactless, swipe (with extra reader included)Chip, swipe, contactless
2.75% card fee2.65% card fee
No monthly feesNo monthly fees
Payouts in 1-2 business days
24 hrs for 1% extra fee
Payouts in 1-2 business days
Includes tipping featureNo tipping

SumUp is stronger in technology

Square did not get it quite right with its newest device, the Contactless + Chip Reader. Why? It does not take swipe, for starters. To date, Square has launched four different devices to take payments. Two of these can only accept swipe: the original Magstripe reader and the Square stand.

Square’s first response to EMV was the Chip card reader for swipe and dip. It later launched the Contactless + Chip Reader. To accept swipe, chip and contactless, you need to have two devices. Yes – it is rather confusing.

SumUp makes things easier with one terminal servicing all purposes. The company has handled chip payments for four years already, and its EMV experience shows in the device.

Both SumUp and Square meet the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Pricing is similar

While Square charges 2.75% per swipe, chip dip or contactless tap, SumUp charges a little less at 2.65%. For both providers, there are no additional fees for foreign cards. There are no monthly fees either (premium subscription services of Square are optional).

Keyed-in transactions are not possible with SumUp, but Square offers these higher-risk payments for 3.5% + 15¢. Square also lets you email invoices for 2.9% + 30¢.

Square generously offers up to $250 chargeback protection per month as long as you follow what Square considers best practice. SumUp charges $10 per chargeback, which is lower than the typical industry rate of $25, though not as attractive as the protection Square offers.

POS features limited with SumUp

You get a perfectly functioning app with SumUp. It’s just not as elegant and function-rich as what you get with Square Point of Sale. You do get a product catalogue with SumUp, but you will have the option of adding more attributes with Square.

The SumUp app is sufficient if you sell fairly straightforward products or services.

The Square app is superior for food and beverage

If you own a coffee shop, restaurant or food truck, the Square app has much more to offer. SumUp does not support split tenders, open tickets or tipping within the app. So if you are opening a coffee shop or a quick-service restaurant, the choice is easy.

Square can grow with your business

The Square ecosystem is getting pretty impressive. Just beware that many of the services come with an extra monthly fee. You can add invoicing, gift cards, payroll, appointment management, e-commerce and even get a small business loan. The list is long with Square, and many businesses are happy to stay in the Square family of services.

If you just want no-frills in-person card payment processing, SumUp will do that for you at a slightly lower transaction rate.