Square vs PayPal: Price, Features & What’s Best

Cody Cromwell
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Square vs PayPal Overview

When To Choose Square

Square is one of the most popular payment processors. Many small businesses accept credit card payments through Square without any problems or delays. Square uses the POS device Square Register.

The Square Register comes with a small handheld POS device. With this device, anyone can take credit card payments. While Square is free, it’s common to add services on top of the free offering. Square offers a credit card reader, a printer & a few other extras. One of these extras is a package for processing credit cards.

To use the Square Register, you will need the Square app installed on your device. All you need to do is use your smartphone to connect to the register. When your smartphone connects to the register, it can also pick up any information on the register. This allows you to get information such as time, quantity, and price.

Having used the Square Register for a while, I wasn’t too sure of my decision to go with Square. My business account is free and I don’t need anything extra such as offers, services, etc. So I consigned the Square Register for trial purposes only. When I came across a discout offer for the Square Register, I decided to go ahead and purchase it.

When To Choose PayPal

When PayPal was first developed, consumers were fascinated with this new way to pay and businesses began adopting it. Despite the fact that PayPal is a peer-to-peer processor, you can still park your money in your PayPal account and receive the bank-level security it provides, the liquidity of your funds, and the ability to transfer funds to other accounts instantly through email.

If you’re a business owner looking for quick ways to accept payment online, you may want to learn more about PayPal. On the other hand, if you’re a seller who needs to compare two sites to transfer money to, consider using Square because of its simple design and the funds you’ll save by accepting credit cards.

When To Choose an Alternative: Payment Depot

Square: Best Mobile Credit Card Processing

Square is the industry leader when it comes to mobile credit card processing. It’s the company that popularized the Square Space, a credit card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of a mobile device and swipes credit cards.

And now, Square offers its own mobile credit card processing app. Called Square Register, the app works exactly like its predecessor, Square Space, except for one thing: Register allows you to take credit card payments from your mobile device.

In this review and comparison, we’ll take a close look at Square. Specifically, we’ll determine what its strengths and weaknesses are, describing it in terms of its features. Let’s start with the basics, which include price and support.

Square vs PayPal Mobile App Features

Square Mobile is the most user-friendly of the two and has a more modest feature set than PayPal. However, the app’s lack of features is offset by its ease of use and the fact that PayPal’s app is not as versatile for businesses.

The user interface is simple and there’s no need to sign up for a Square account. You drag and drop your credit card reader in the app, select the card you want to swipe, select what type of transaction you want to accept ( swipe, receive, and chip and pin) and confirm the transaction.

The speed of the transaction is also faster than PayPal’s since there’s no process involved in getting your reader approved.

PayPal’s mobile app features similar transaction types and pricing as Square’s app, but the process to get your reader approved is more involved. You can sign up for a PayPal account or invite a user to your regular PayPal account, but the process to get your reader approved is more complicated than with Square.

The app also has a more robust set of features such as receiving and funding, money transfers and the ability to accept payments directly from a social media account.

Why Square Is the Better Choice for Mobile Payments

Square is quickly becoming one of the top choices for mobile payments. The company’s payment system is great because it’s simple, secure, and works with a simple credit card reader. Its processing capabilities give you the ability to take payments anywhere, even on the go, without having to carry your iPad or tablet with you. Plus, Square’s simple swipe, sign and done approach makes it extremely easy for the average customer to use.

In the end, Square offers a better user experience and lets you run your business in a smart, efficient way. And since Square is an open product, there’s an increasing number of providers that are developing Square POSes to give small business owners the opportunity to compete with the big guys.

When PayPal’s Mobile App Is the Right Choice

More people are using phones to pay for purchases and specifically for online payments, with mobile transactions growing at a rate of 42% annually. People are buying goods via their mobile phones and phones are a common way to initiate online payments (with a unique mobile payment gateway being a notable exception). Whether you’re a small or large online store, a mobile payments system is a must to engage your customers that just can’t wait to snap a photo of an item and buy it on the spot.

That said, PayPal’s mobile app has a few shortcomings. While not ideal for your smaller-scale online business, PayPal’s mobile app offers great value for users who sell on eBay, where this app is the official payment gateway. The biggest hindrance for PayPal’s mobile app is the available payment options.

While you can’t use all your choice of payment options while you’re away from your computer and you can’t process payments on the app, PayPal’s mobile app is a great option for sellers who rely on PayPal’s platform.

Square: Best for Point-Of-Sale Payments

Square is a hardware-based payments device that allows you to accept payments at any point-of-sale. For the user, the app comes very handy, and it also gives you tools to collect transaction data and ship reliable invoices.

The Square credit card reader connects to your iPhone or iPad with a lightning connector and accepts swiped or inserted payment cards. You can also create custom stickers with your business information, or choose to be transparent and share your QR code with your customer. The credit card reader can also be connected to an external power to connect to mobile devices.

Some customers like to keep the Square card reader connected to their mobile devices while they are in their shop, to make sure their phone never goes off. I always encourage running a live phone line to my customers while they’re in their shop, because I find that makes the initial visit a more pleasant experience for them.

Square's payment interface is very versatile because you can update your business hours, open or close the shop without having to update your online listing.

They also offer a variety of points-of-sale supporting different payment modes. If you’re mobile, they offer a free iPad stand, and the iPad can also be connected to a traditional cash register via Bluetooth or USB.

Square vs PayPal POS Features

Square is a small company based in the San Francisco Bay, California region. They have launched a new digital device called the Square Reader which enables people in all walks of life to accept payments by mobile phone and tablet. The company has over 200 employees now, including an Engineering, Design, and Product teams. It has launched payment solutions across the United States and into Canada.

Square Seller is a new free service that enables local and national merchants to sign up and start accepting payments by mobile device from around the world. It is free to register as a seller, and merchants can immediately start selling on the website as well as using the free application.

Square is an online payment system that works with your existing smartphone, tablet or credit card swiper. You simply tap the device on the register’s terminal when a transaction is made, then you’re done.

Roughly 10 years ago, when Square Payments was first conceived, the company’s founders realized that transactions with credit card swipe machines needed to be made faster. They thought it would be a good idea to develop a smaller mobile device that could intelligently, and reliably, read total-ticket-amounts from a merchant’s register and transmit them to a terminal with a one-wire interface.

PayPal: Best for Ecommerce and Online Payments

Square: Best for Offline Sales

The PayPal vs Square debate once again took center stage. After Google’s expansion of campaigns, Square is here to stay. With devices that are more sophisticated and easier to use, it’s quickly catching up to its competition.

So what’s the difference between Square and PayPal?

Square App: Quick, Easy Payment for Service Providers

Square is an all-in-one app that is designed to handle credit card payments. Utilizing the same system as offline stores, every Square device can accept card payments without the need for the merchant to have an ATM.

Square Register: Reliable Sales and Sales Data

When you sign up with Square, you get to use a credit card reader to register with a credit card along with any payment cards that you may want to add to the application. You can register up to four credit cards. You can also link your credit cards and bank accounts to the Square Register so that every transaction is automatically charged to your respective accounts.

PayPal: Easy Online Payment Option for Merchants

Square vs PayPal Online Payment Features

Square is the name of a mobile device you carry in your wallet. A Square device is intended to help you make payments by swiping a card on a card reader. Also referred to as a mobile credit card reader, this device would be carried inside a wallet. (see image)

Square`s payment reader device is able to connect with the internet, communicate via Bluetooth or via phone, and accept credit cards and magnetic strips. Most credit card readers will scan the card and then enter the card information via Bluetooth, which is what Square does. If you want to use a credit card reader, it must be able to scan cards or have a magnetic strip.

There are two types of credit card readers. The most common type is a card reader where you insert your card into a swiveling or rotating part, similar to what you see on your smartphone or a card reader you would find on a POS machine. Square is the card reader device which has become very popular due to its cellphone technology and the ability to receive payments on its own device.

The other type of card reader is a Mag Stripe Reader, which will generally function similar to your old credit card swiper. Most payment processors currently use a Mag Stripe Reader in combination with a smartphone.

Also, it is important to note that if you are planning on accepting credit cards, then you must have a merchant account.

Square and PayPal: Tied for Invoicing Tools

Square and PayPal are two of the most popular credit card processing systems for small businesses, but they do have their differences.

The first question you might have, is which one is better: Square for pricing, features, and merchants? Or PayPal for ease of invoicing, international payment support, and automation?

It’s understandable if you’re feeling a bit indecisive between the two at this point, so let’s take a closer look at Square and PayPal to see which one tends to match more with your business needs.


Square started off in 2009 as a small card reader for small businesses. In just a few short years, there are over 200,000 merchants that have the Square Reader system and take payments through the Square POS system.

After a slew of funding, hiring, and re-hiring, Square today is a fully developed credit card processing system for small and large business. Vendors can add new credit card readers to their POS system effortlessly, and can accept payments on a mobile device (read Square Card Reader review).

Square has a solid assortment of pricing plans which can be altered to the exact needs of your small or large business. Square is geared towards merchants of all sizes, but has a few pricing options for businesses of various sizes.

Square vs PayPal Invoicing Features

Having a lasting business relationship requires communication, clicks and discussion across your group of customers, and both Square and PayPal can facilitate all of these needs. But what are their full-features and what are the pricing details for the square and PayPal systems.


Using Square is awesome. You can begin accepting any shape or form of payment just by pulling out your smart phone and loading the free Square App. The interface is simple and you can configure the card reader to suit your business. PayPal can be integrated into Square, which makes the entire transaction process seamless, invaluable and easy-to-understand by your customer. Additionally, you can set your own rates, be specific about which customers you want to charge and even accept discounts based on their payment from you.


The PayPal service is a lot more extensive, giving you a lot more options. It can work with both iOS devices and Android devices; the use of both Apple and Android phone is available. Plus, you can use the PayPal check-card reader, which provides customers with the option to pay offline, adding even more flexibility. The biggest benefit of PayPal is that your card information will never leave your possession – put it in your purse or wallet and it stays there. The rates PayPal charges are variable depending on your business needs since you can customize the costs by the number of processes and services you use.

Square and PayPal: Tied for Customer Support

The two credit card processing companies are often compared and some people do say that one is better than the other. Many providers usually make some claims about how price is the only guaranteed advantage but the truth is they are tied for Customer Support. Both have very good customer service.

There are a few differences between Square and PayPal that you need to be aware of though. All of the following is informational and is in no way guaranteed to be the truth.

Square vs PayPal User Reviews

Frankly, Square has created quite a stir since its birth. The new gadget combines a credit card reader, a point-of-sale software, a secure credit card storage, cash register/POS terminal, a receipt printer, a credit card swiper, an integrated mobile phone case and an iPod dock. It’s a device that offers everything in one nice compact package. While some would argue that PayPal has been around longer, Square has definitely made this market much more competitive.

Square and PayPal are two of the most popular and widely used NFC payment choices used by small and medium scale businesses. Square allows a business to accept credit cards on the go using a reader, while PayPal allows the merchant to accept payments using the online or mobile application.

Square and PayPal have an exclusive partnership, which means that you can’t accept PayPal payments at the same time as accepting credit card payments using Square. However, if you’re interested in seeing which payment method will give you better results, we recommend that you read both Square and PayPal user reviews.

Bottom Line

In terms of functions, PayPal is the better option. However, Square is the more popular option because of the easy of use. There are a lot of price comparison websites that will help you find the best price for a Square or PayPal Reader.