Square was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvin and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since November 2015, under the ticker symbol SQ. Their original vision was to support small businesses and individual merchants who didn’t have a way to accept credit card payments from customers.
You may be familiar with Square from their original product, the square white card reader that merchants could plug into their phone or tablet to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere. This was revolutionary for smaller businesses who didn’t have a physical store but still needed to accept credit cards when selling goods.
Square’s point-of-sale and retail products still exist—and have been upgraded in multiple ways—but Square has also expanded into new services in recent years. Most notably, Square has become a significant player in the peer-to-peer money transfer industry, amidst competitors such as Venmo and PayPal.
This article will explore the capabilities Square offers to merchants and consumers, from their payment processing and other business services to their Square Cash application.
Square Payment Processing
Square offers businesses multiple ways to accept and process payments, with a combination of services and benefits that make it attractive for businesses of every size. Today Square offers a number of physical products, including the original swipe card reader. Others include a contactless chip reader, a Square stand that integrates with an iPad, and a full Square register.
In addition to those payment and card reader products to easily accept credit cards, Square offers the ability to:
- Send invoices from your device to customers’ inboxes
- Take payments manually from your computer, even without the card reader or app
- Accept payments without an Internet connection
- Use Square payments on third-party e-commerce platforms like Wix, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce
- Integrate Square payments with your own website to integrate online and offline sales
Square’s pricing is competitive with other payment processing solutions, including:
- 2.75% for accepting cards using the Square reader
- 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for invoices and e-commerce payments
- 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction for manually entered transactions
Square deposits take only one to two business days to enter a user’s bank account, plus Square offers fraud prevention and protection services, with no monthly fees or commitments.
Beyond payment processing, Square also offers point-of-sale software, which includes product directories, pricing and tipping options, employee time tracking, and sophisticated analytics. Square Payroll is another business product, allowing merchants to handle all payroll needs.
In 2013, Square launched a new side of their business: Square Cash. Similar to services like PayPal and Venmo, this instant money transfer app allows users to quickly and easily send money to another individual, even without knowing their or the recipient’s bank account number.
Users can quickly sign up for Square Cash using either an email or mobile phone number then linking their bank account to receive money. After that, it takes only seconds to request or send money, which can be done using the Square Cash App, available in the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Note that this app is called Cash App in the app stores, but this article may refer to it as the Square Cash App as well.
Square Cash offers several features and options for personal users. Individuals can send or request money from friends and family, with no fees (except when sent from a credit card).
Square Cash initially only allowed users to send money by connecting the app to their bank account, but more recently Square expanded to allow credit card Square Cash payments. Square credit card rates are 3%, paid by the sender. The user can link any U.S. credit card to the app, including American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and discover.
In 2016, to better compete with competitors and boost revenue, Square Cash introduced a Square Cash instant deposit option. Funds are guaranteed to be deposited in one to two business days for free, but for a 1% fee, users can instantly deposit Square Cash funds into their bank account, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The user must have a minimum of $50 in their Square Cash account to use this feature, with the ability to instantly deposit up to $25,000. To use the instant deposit function, users must link both a bank account and supported debit account to their Square Cash account (most U.S.-issued Visa and MasterCard debit cards are currently supported).
Square Cash Card
Square Cash has also introduced debit card features, allowing individuals to use their Square Cash balance for any in-store or online purchase. The card essentially works like a Square Cash bank account or prepaid card, since users can only pay with funds in their Cash account.
The Square Cash card is not connected to the bank account linked to your Square Cash Account and does not allow you to draw from a bank account or debit card, like PayPal and some other providers allow.
The Square Cash card began as a Cash App virtual card that allowed Cash users to spend their Square Cash funds online or anywhere using their Square Cash virtual card number.
In 2017, Square also rolled out physical cards that are free to order and use the same concept but for in-person purchases or ATM withdrawals. Square Cash users can easily personalize their card and add their signature before ordering it, and it is shipped to the user within five to ten business days.
More recently, Square has expanded its Square Cash Card payment options, allowing users to connect their Square Cash account with Apple Pay and SnapChat. Android Pay options are expected to be introduced in the near future as well.
Square Cash for Business
Beyond payment processing and other business services that Square offers, they also allow businesses to accept payments using the Square Cash app. When signing up to Square Cash, users can choose “Business” as their primary use to accept payment for goods or services. (If using Square Cash for both business and personal uses, Square recommends creating separate accounts.)
Businesses can link a debit card or bank account to their Cash account. Though using a debit card is the faster way to receive payments, many businesses don’t have a debit card and can use the bank account option.
Expanding Square Cash to businesses was another way Square aimed to support businesses of all sizes. In their announcement, Square said, “We think everyone should have access to a fast, affordable way to get paid, without the inconvenience or lack of security of cash and paper checks.” In addition to receiving payments, Square makes it easy for businesses to issue refunds quickly and easily.
A unique Square Cash feature to support businesses is the $Cashtag. A $Cashtag is a unique identifier, or handle, that businesses can create to easily accept payments—without the need to give out their phone number or email address.
It’s easy for any business to claim their personal $Cashtag through the process of creating a Square Cash business account. Once a business creates a unique $Cashtag, they can share that tag with clients to get paid privately and securely. Customers can pay businesses using their $Cashtag from the Square Cash App or website.
$Cashtags have become a unique marketing tool for businesses, with celebrities, social media stars, and nonprofits taking advantage of the feature to quickly receive payments from anyone. A $Cashtag can be shared on a business card, social media account, website, video, or anywhere else you share information about your business, making accepting payments easy as one click.
There are several ways to contact Square with questions or find answers on their website. Their support website has a huge searchable database of help articles, covering all Square-related topics. Users can also search community forums for additional answers. Square also offers email and social media support that can be accessed anytime.
Understandably, many individuals may want to speak with a support representative for trickier inquiries but may struggle to find the Square Cash App contact number. The support phone number is 1-855-700-6000. It’s important to note that Square customers must have a unique customer code in order to contact Square support by phone.
Use the following instructions to find your customer code:
- Sign in to your Square account
- Click Contact Us and choose the topic related to your question
- If you have an issue that isn’t listed, choose Other
- If you can’t find a solution, click I Still Need Help
- At this point, you can click Call Support to receive your unique customer code