Square may qualify as the leader of credit card readers working with a mobile app, but that doesn’t mean it has the best deal in all cases. While players like Amazon have left the market, newer services like SumUp – arriving in the US in 2017 – are now competing with similar products. Originating in Germany, SumUp 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$69 $19
Chip and contactless*
*Swipe with included magstripe reader
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
Phone/online/email support Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm (EST)Phone/email support Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm (EST)
With tipping featureNo tipping feature
small Square logo
 Square Reader machineSumUp US EMV card reader
To website
To website
$49$69 $19
Chip & contactless, swipe with extra reader includedChip, 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
Phone/online/email support Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm (EST)Phone/email support Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm (EST)
Includes tipping featureNo tipping

SumUp’s card reader more advanced

To date, Square has launched 6+ different devices for card payments. Two of these can only accept swipe: the original magstripe Square Reader with an audio jack for the older iPhones (there’s now a magstripe reader with a plug for newer iPhones) and Square Stand.

Square’s initial response to EMV was a chip card reader for swipe and dip. It later launched the Square Reader for chip and contactless, featured in our table above. To accept swipe, chip and contactless, you need to have two devices – unless you use the pricier Square Terminal which isn’t made for carrying around. Yes, it is rather confusing.

SumUp makes things easier with one terminal for all card types. The company has handled chip payments for several 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

Square charges 2.75% per swipe, chip dip or contactless tap via one of the Square Readers. SumUp charges just 2.65%. None of them have additional fees for foreign cards. There are no monthly fees either, although Square has a number of optional tools available for a monthly cost. For an additional 1% added to the card fee, Square can deposit transactions in your bank account the same day – this is called ‘Instant Deposits’.

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

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

Square logoSumUp logo
Card reader$49$69 $19
Charging dock$29
Swipe, insert & tap fee2.75% with Square Reader2.65%
Keyed transactions3.5% + 15¢
Invoice payments2.9% + 30¢
Instant deposits1% added to card fee
ChargebacksUp to $250/mo. chargebacks are free$10 each
RefundsFreeFree
Square logoSumUp logo
Card reader
$49$69 $19
Charging dock
$29
Swipe, insert & tap fee
2.75% with Square Reader2.65%
Keyed transactions
3.5% + 15¢
Invoice payments
2.9% + 30¢
Instant deposits
1% added to card fee
Chargebacks
Up to $250/mo. chargebacks are free$10 each
Refunds
FreeFree

Refunding payments is free if done straight away, but beyond that, there are differences. Square allows free refunds up to 120 days after the transaction, so the customer can get the full, partial or itemized amount back and you get the transaction fee refunded yourself. With SumUp, once the transaction has been deposited in your bank account, SumUp will keep the transaction fee – and you can only refund the amount (full or itemized) if there is currently enough balance (outstanding payouts) in your SumUp account.

POS features limited with SumUp

You get a perfectly functioning app with SumUp – it’s just not as feature-rich as Square Point of Sale. There’s a user-friendly product catalogue in the SumUp app where you can enter product details and images, but you can add more attributes in Square’s product library.

Add several user accounts for a team of employees with both SumUp and Square, and send text and email receipts after payments or integrate with compatible receipt printers.

With Square, you can add timesheets and set advanced user permissions too, but this comes at a monthly cost. In fact, a lot of extra features are available with Square if you can afford it, such as gift cards, payroll and an appointment system for beauty salons, hairdressers and other service-oriented merchants. That being said, the free Square app already comes with a great deal of features and backend tools.

The SumUp app is efficient if you sell fairly straightforward products or services, and in-person only. Square can send invoices from the app and process keyed transactions, which SumUp does not.

Square is superior for food and beverage

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

Add to that the newly launched Square for Restaurants POS plan – but this comes at a monthly cost ($60). The point is, if you’re starting out with rapid growth in mind, the option is there to expand the free Square app to more advanced, industry-specific software.

Square is expandable, SumUp gets the job done

The Square ecosystem has grown rapidly in recent years, but many of the services come at a monthly cost. You can add gift cards, payroll, appointment management, e-commerce and even get a small-business loan – the list is long, and many businesses are happy to stay in the Square family of services.

If you just want no-frills, in-person card payments, SumUp will do that at a slightly lower card rate and with a cheaper, more convenient card reader that accepts all the cards you need.

SumUp logo

Our review

Square logo

Our review

SumUp Card Reader
$19
Square Reader
$49
SumUp offer
Square offer