There are more small businesses as well as micro-businesses these days. They usually cannot afford heavy POS hardware or choose to forgo it for better mobility. That is why they stick to cash payments or to mobile wallet exchanges. But that does not always work for every consumer. What if a customer wants to pay by debit or credit card instead?
The answer is a mobile payment system. Businesses can use these on their tablets, iPads, or even their smartphones. There are also portable POS hardware solutions that come in the form of dongles. Two examples that provide these are QuickBooks GoPayments and Square.
These point of sale software are popular among small business owners because they allow them to follow best practices. If you are thinking of cutting expenses or are about to venture into a small enterprise of your own, you could be wondering, which one is the best for you?
In this article, we present an in-depth QuickBooks GoPayment vs. Square comparison. In the end, you should be able to understand how they work and what benefits you can gain from either one. Thus, you can make an informed decision.
QuickBooks GoPayment is a payment processor for mobile phones. Business owners can use it to take debit or credit card payments via a dongle, which they can attach to their smartphones. This is only one of the few offerings of Intuit, though. Apart from that, there are more sophisticated packages for established businesses like a traditional card reader/receipt printer.
On that note, GoPayment can scale up to 50 employees. As such, there is no need for you to change services when you are ready to take your business to the next level.
What’s more, if you are also using QuickBooks, then you can integrate GoPayment with it. This way, you do not have to enter financial data twice into the system.
How about the fees? There are other fees related to transactions as well, but we will talk about them in the next sections.
Square is the brainchild of a San Francisco-based company. It became available for public consumption in November 2010. Since then, many business owners have signed up for the service and software.
One of the reasons why it is so popular is because its card reader dongle is free. Square also ships it immediately after processing registrations on its website. But if you are eager to get started, you can buy one in-store, too.
Just like GoPayment, Square is compatible with iPhone, iPads, and some Android devices from HTC, LG, Samsung, and Dell. On top of it all, it can work with iPod Touch. The configuration is straightforward; you only need to plug the dongle to your device, and you are ready to accept payments.
Transaction fees with Square are also low, and there are no monthly payments.
Comparing QuickBooks GoPayment vs. Square
For this QuickBooks GoPayment vs. Square comparison, we will have four categories. The first is compatibility with other devices. If you are going to use either one, you would want to know which devices they work in and see if the ones you have are viable. Second, we will take a look at the ease of use of the card readers and their features. Of course, that includes how seamless the transaction is for the customer. Third, we will examine the fees you have to pay every month or per transaction. Lastly, we will also look at how secure the systems are.
In this stage of QuickBooks GoPayment vs. Square comparison, we will look into the devices the card readers can work with and the apps associated with them.
Working with GoPayment is easy; it is compatible with more than 40 devices. Of course, you can expect it to work with Android, iPhone, and iPad. And if you have a BlackBerry, then you can work with it, too. Usually, you need to download an app and set it up for your business. Nevertheless, you can still use it from your device’s web browser if an app is not available.
As expected, QuickBooks GoPayment can synchronize with the QuickBooks, the leading accounting software from the same vendor. Because of this, you do not have to enter the day’s transactions into the software manually.
As we mentioned earlier, Square can work with a variety of Apple and Android-based devices. But unlike GoPayment, the Apple devices it works with include the iPod Touch. On top of that, you can use the Square Reader to take payments with your Apple computer or even Chromebook.
Square can also integrate with a wide array of software or apps. You can find an exhaustive list of them on the website. And as expected, it can integrate with Intuit QuickBooks for transaction syncing.
Square edges out GoPayment in this round mainly because it supports more devices. If you have an iPod Touch that you can use for your business, then there is no need for you to add to your capital costs. What’s more, you can make use of your Apple computer or Chromebook as well.
QuickBooks GoPayment does have a broad array of devices it is compatible with. However, it works only for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets. If you wanted to use a computer, then you need another type of card reader from QuickBooks.
2. Card Reader Features and Ease of Use
What features can you expect from the card readers? Would they be easy to use? Would they be fast enough in processing transactions to avoid long queues at the counter? We answer these questions below.
The GoPayment reader is a lightweight and portable dongle. The one that comes for free is both a chip and a magstripe reader. This means that you can process old debit and credit cards with magstripes and the new type of cards with EMV chips.
Using it is easy, as you only need to plug it into your device. Then, you open the GoPayment app to begin processing purchases. If you cannot use an app, then you can still accept payments from the web browser.
There is no need to key in anything on the part of the customer, either. But that is possible only when you use the proprietary QuickBooks GoPayment reader. If you are just using the app, then you have to enter the card details into the app and have the customers input their signature.
What’s more, you do not need to keep the dongle plugged in all the time–only when you need to charge it. Yes, it needs charging. But you can use it for up to one week, depending on how often you utilize it. Otherwise, you can just connect it to your device via Bluetooth.
The Square app is easy to set up. If you already have a Square account, then you just need to sign in to begin transactions. If you do not have an account yet, you can register from the app. You just need to follow the instructions, and you can start accepting payments.
The Square Reader is not complicated to use, either. Unlike GoPayment, though, you need to keep it plugged into your device at all times. But that is one of the benefits of the Square dongle; it fits in your pocket so you won’t have problems taking it anywhere.
Plus, checkout is fast so customers can finish their shopping quickly. The app can even keep customer profiles and has a loyalty program built-in so you can treat repeat buyers like VIP.
In terms of ease-of-use, both mobile payment systems are great. They are incredibly intuitive that anyone can use them immediately. They are not a hassle for customers either, as they only need to swipe the cards and be done with it.
On that note, QuickBooks GoPayment has a slight complication. You can use the app to process payments without the reader, but that means the customer has to sign off. It is not the same as Square, which can also take payments virtually.
Card transactions always have fees, but some have minimal fees. You can read about them below to find which system can help you save money.
Apart from that, you have to note that while your first card reading device is free, you have to pay for the next device you order.
The chip and magstripe card reader goes for $19. Meanwhile, the all-in-one card reader that can also process Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay costs $49.
With regard to the transaction rates, here is the table:
QuickBooks GoPayment Transaction Rates
|ACH bank transfers
|1% (maximum $10)
|Card – swiped
|2.4% + $0.25
|Card – invoiced
|2.9% + $0.25
|Card – keyed
|3.4% + $0.25
If you need another magstripe reader, it will cost you $10. If you prefer the contactless and chip card reader, be prepared to pay $39. These prices are still relatively low compared to stands, terminals, and registers, though. That is why they are still considerably cost-efficient.
When it comes to fees, you only have to pay 2.6%, plus $0.10 for the following transactions:
- Swiped magstripe cards
- Swiped or inserted chip cards
- Contactless payments
- Gift cards
- POS swiped or inserted payments
- Swiped virtual terminal payments
The following transaction types have 3.5% plus $0.15:
- Manually entered cards
- POS API keyed-in payments
- Manually entered virtual terminal payments
Both systems give you a free card reader when you sign up and exact a fee on your next device. Square’s devices are less costly than QuickBooks GoPayment, though. The same can be said when it comes to transaction fees.
Since we are talking about money, systems must be secure to prevent the leak or theft of customers’ card numbers. The same goes for the company’s accounts, too.
Since GoPayment is under Intuit, you can expect it to have rigorous security measures. It is also PCI-compliant, and it applies protection standards required of the online banking industry. What’s more, connections are secure with HTTPS and SSL.
Intuit also ensures that there are no fraudsters by having merchants apply for an account. This is a process wherein applicants undergo scrutiny to determine their legitimacy.
Square also has stringent security measures. However, there have been some issues with the company’s security. That is because, as security experts pointed out, being PCI-compliant does not mean being protected against breaches. This is because the Square hardware did not have encryption when it first launched.
Customers can look forward to improvements, though, as Square had already added the necessary protections to its devices. What’s more, Square partnered with Visa to improve its security.
Intuit has paid attention to its security right from the start. It has ensured that there are no gaps in its protective measures. Square may have improved, but there are still issues surrounding it. That’s why QuickBooks GoPayment takes the bag on this one.
The Final Winner
After putting the two systems through rigorous examination, it is clear that they are very different from each other. QuickBooks GoPayment is designed for established business owners with varying transaction volumes. On the other hand, the simplicity of Square attracts individuals who are still starting or have low transaction volumes.
But at the end of the day, Square is still the better option. Sure, it has had security issues, but they have fixed those. Also, it is much simpler to use.
If you also run an online store or ecommerce business, you might want to check out ecommerce software, which also handles payment gateways and shopping cart solutions among other things.