Payanywhere vs. Square: Which One is Right for Your Business?

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Back in October 2014, Apple Pay launched in the US to thousands of merchants via a partnership with Payanywhere, a mobile card reader, giving merchants the ability to take secure purchases in-store, via apps and on the web.

Since then, the Payanywhere mobile card reader with NFC technology (i.e., Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or any mobile bank application that support Contactless) has been sold in Apple Stores across the country, and mobile payments have become a norm across the world. In 2018 it was reported that 36 percent of iPhone users had set up Apple Pay on their phone, and the previous year it was estimated that 87 million people used the app worldwide.

Beyond Apple, the mobile payments industry as a whole is estimated to reach a value of $14 trillion globally by the year 2022, illustrating just how quickly consumers are adapting to this way of transacting. 

Merchants in the modern world, have had to pay attention.

Mobile card readers are no longer new and unknown, but many merchants looking to adopt mobile card readers, or learn which is best, tend to come up stumped with a few questions: what’s the difference between Square and Payanywhere? And which is better? 

Square was a well-established brand of mobile card readers for some time before Payanywhere came into the consciousness of merchants. But since Payanywhere has reached the masses, thanks to their devices being sold through Apple, the two have become fierce competitors and worthy opponents. 

So, which of these mobile credit card readers is right for your business? Below we’ve reviewed the subtle differences to help you make the best decision for your business.

Square vs Payanywhere: At a glance

These two solutions are very similar and are neck and neck when it comes to key functionalities and offerings. Payanywhere does have a small edge when it comes to credit card processing, as it offers slightly lower rates for swiped transactions. 

Payanywhere also fares better when it comes to customer support, as the company offers customer service on the weekends.

That said, Square seems to have a bit of an edge when it comes to the features of its app. Square also has more integrations, so its easier to extend the functionality of its platform.

Read on to learn more about the distinctions between these two great solutions.

Credit card processing 

Square and Payanywhere are both credit card processing solutions for businesses. Best suited to small businesses — low volume and low dollar amount transactions (less than $10,000 in sales each month)— both offer a single rate for every card transaction. 

Payanywhere fees are 2.69% swiped and 3.49% and 19 cents for keyed in (virtual).

Square fees are 2.75% swiped and 3.5% and 15 cents for keyed in (virtual). 

*Apple Pay/NFC, for both of these companies, is processed at the “swiped” rate. 

Equipment  

Both Square and Payanywhere offer their classic swipe card reader for free, but the more high-tech readers come at a cost. 

Payanywhere:

  • Their free reader is magstripe and EMV compatible. 
  • Magstripe, EMV, and NFC compatible reader is $49.95.

Square:

  • Their free reader is magstripe compatible. 
  • EMV and NFC compatible reader is $49 or $17/month for 3 months.

NFC and EMV compatibility 

The point of each of these readers is to allow smaller merchants to accept the various forms of contactless payments at their locations. Today this includes several NFC (near-field communication) providers, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, and all of the other bank mobile applications that support Contactless. 

The 2-in-1 Bluetooth® Payanywhere Card Reader is free, giving merchants access to EMV technology with their free reader. For NFC compatibility, they have a 3-in-1 Credit Card Reader that accepts magnetic stripe, EMV chip cards, and NFC contactless payments. 

Square does not offer EMV compatibility with their free reader. Their paid product is an EMV and NFC compatible reader which lets merchants either “dip the chip” for EMV payments or “tap and go” for NFC.

App features 

Both Square and Payanywhere utilize a free iOS or Android app that pairs with the card readers in order to facilitate the sales transaction, as well as offering the user various reporting tools. Both apps are modern and user-friendly, designed for ease of use for both the merchant and customer. 

Payanywhere app features 

Payments

  • Easily split payments, add tips and accept signatures from your mobile Payanywhere POS system
  • Customizable receipts sent by email, SMS, or printed
  • Print receipts and store cash with Payanywhere receipt printer and cash register accessories
  • Simplify your checkout process with an item library and wireless barcode scanner
  • Send and track invoices from the mobile app
  • Create and send online invoices via a virtual terminal while letting your customers pay online
  • Set up recurring payments with autopay
  • Accept payments online from a secure payments page branded with your business information
  • Keep funds on hold and process payments later using pre-authorization
  • Sync your Payanywhere transactions to your Intuit QuickBooks Online account

Reporting

  • Retail-time business insights on sales, payment types, employees, and customers
  • View and manage dispute activity

Product and business management

  • Keep track of stock with inventory management tools such as low stock alerts
  • Create open tabs for food and drink orders
  • Streamline employee management and scheduling with Homebase integration.

Square app features

Payments

  • Functionality to process payments right on your device 
  • Record cash and other forms of tender
  • Send and track invoices from your device
  • Send receipts via email or text message
  • Apply discounts and issue refunds
  • Use with Square Reader, the debit and credit card reader for mobile
  • Connect your POS system to a receipt printer, kitchen ticket printer, barcode scanner, and cash drawer
  • Send invoices free from Square Point of Sale
  • Customize your invoices, set up weekly or monthly recurring invoices from your Dashboard
  • Lets customers pay online with a credit or debit card.

Product and business management

  • Track inventory in real time
  • Customize your products with photos, names, and prices

Reporting

  • Access real-time sales data and complete sales history
  • Sign into Square dashboard and view live sales data from the Square mobile app
  • Access powerful analytics and easy tools to help you track and improve your business

Customer service

With so many technical solutions now integrated to support the operation of small businesses, excellent customer service is essential to ensure no downtime and optimal functionality out of the platform’s solutions. 

PayAnywhere customer service

PayAnywhere customer service covers phone, live chat, and email from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They offer a customer support portal, including a knowledge base complete with guides and video tutorials to empower users to upskill and find solutions themselves. 

Square customer service

Square customer service includes phone, and email from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, no availability on the weekends. To counter their downtime, they offer a customer support portal, including a knowledge base with guides, videos, articles, and a seller community forum.

Where to go from here

Delving into the pricing, features, and functionality of each of these platforms, it is evident that there is no conclusive answer as to which is better. Both Square and Payanywhere have their own leading features, and both have clients who would swear that the option they have is the best. 

Ultimately, both platforms are great solutions for businesses in need of easy to use mobile card readers and supporting tools. 

Which is best is a decision that only the business in need of the solution can make after careful consideration comparing the credit card processing fees, app features, hardware features, and customer service support. The best solution is the one that best matches the needs of your business. 

Both Square and Payanywhere offer their apps for free; therefore it’s advisable to download both, read up on what each of them has to offer, have a play around with all of the features and see which feels more intuitive to you before going ahead and making your decision.