Square Terminal Review

Square Terminal Review 2024

Square Terminal is a multipurpose product that works as a POS system, credit card machine and receipt printer. Square is a competitive payment processing and POS company. It considered the growing need for mobile payment in the business industry and introduced its latest equipment (Square Terminal) into the market. This is the modified version and the fusion of two machines, the Square Stand and Register. The new device caters to the need for all in-store payment equipment; POS systems, mobile readers and bring-your-own-device plans in one package. Also, all the required hardware comes with it. 

This multifunctional credit card machine conveniently works over Wi-Fi. It doesn’t need to be connected to a computer or tablet for checkout. Its POS interface can be handled through a small touchscreen display. This way, your customers can make credit card payments quickly and get a print of their receipts immediately. However, there are also a few limitations, for example, complex designs and non-expandable features. Prices may also add up for processing rates. 

This Square Terminal Review will offer a detailed discussion about the device and its ins and outs. It will allow you to assess the worth of Square Terminal for your daily credit card payments. 

Square Terminal Specs and Features

The Square Terminal has a pair of rubber cuttings attached to its base to prevent slipping on slippery glass or marble counters. A roll of receipt paper is also provided with easy installation/replacement. In case of any doubt, a manual is provided in the box. 

Screen size and Weight

Square Terminal is manufactured as a small, lightweight machine that can easily be used remotely in stores. However, it weighs more (417g) than the conventional Ingenico card machines (300g). This is due to the screen size difference. Credit card machines typically have smaller screens than Square Terminal, which comes with 5.5 inches touch screen. Overall, it measures 5.6 inches in length by 3.4 inches in width and a height of 2.5 inches. 


Engineers at Square have also considered the importance of battery life and launched this product with an effective battery that can go the whole day without getting drained in the middle. Despite a greater consumption by the larger display, the battery gives excellent backup. 

Tests show that leaving it on standby drains the full battery within 24 hours. It is recommended to shut it down when not in use instead of putting it on standby. 

Also, it is suggested to set aside a charging spot as a backup if charging is running low mid-day.

Magstripe Reader

The square terminal has a magstripe reader on its side and a chip card reader located at the base. These peripherals review cardholder information and process cardless, magstripe and chip-based transactions. Square Terminal allows the signatures to be recorded digitally and manually for keyed-in transactions. 

Square Terminal Services

Square advertises its terminal as a straightforward device requiring minimal effort to utilize. Workers can digitally or manually enter the required product effortlessly. Along with it, store owners have an option to accept offline payments if the internet is down. With up-to-date security features, it ensures the safety of cardholders and transaction information. Here’s a comprehensive review of the features Square Terminal offer; 

Square Point of Sale

Square Terminal is enabled to independently work for payment, POS terminal software and built-in receipt printer. 

It runs the free version of the Square POS terminal app, which has an easy-to-learn system and is used to accept simple processing fees. It allows various add-ons and integrations to help out merchants.

The touchscreen of the system is used to control the POS features of the Square Terminal. Customers can use the screen to enter their credit card information to process transactions in case of card-not-present transactions. 

Given the POS features, it processes all the standard Point of Sales functions like item creation, receipt management and custom tipping. However, exclusive iPad features like cash drawer history, employee sales track and online sales items are unavailable.  

Compatibility with Other Square Apps

For the restaurant businesses, it offers Square for Restaurants but shows limited compatibility with it. Square for Restaurants has many features that manage the whole forefront and back business management. However, merchants can only use Square Terminal for tableside ordering. Although it supports standard modifiers, the downside is that it does not support advanced features like seat tracking, coursing, and conversational modifiers.

It also does not work with Square features like Square Appointments, Payroll App and Square for Retail.

Receipt Printer 

Square Terminal comes with a built-in receipt printer that prints the sales slip for customers. However, Square Terminal allows integration with a third-party receipt printer if you want to set up a printer from another company. 

Multiple Terminal devices 

Square allows merchants to connect multiple devices to a single cash drawer. But for this, you have to link the Ethernet printer. Plus, extra terminal devices do not entail more software charges, so the fees will remain the same besides the added purchase cost.


Square terminal only allows attaching of wire-based devices and USB. This is a big downside as using many wires can be challenging as they can entangle. However, Square Terminal provides a USB hub and specially designed power cable to solve this problem. 

Square terminal does not allow wireless connectivity with peripherals through Bluetooth. This significantly reduces the number of compatible devices such as barcode scanners.

Credit Card processor

Square Terminal works with debit, prepaid, corporate, and reward cards and processes FSA, HSA, and government and military cards at the same fees. Square Terminal also accepts mobile wallets, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Cards can be accepted through popular technologies like EMV, Magstripe and NFC.

Square reviewed traditional credit card processors and launched Square Terminal with updated features based on modern market trends. For example, using the device, you can accept gift cards and give loyalty rewards. It allows editing of the product library through the terminal. 

Square Terminal also directs all activities to the Square Account of the merchant. The Square account gives further access to features like integrations and additional tools. It becomes a central hub to add or remove features across all Square devices.


Square Terminal is available on the Square website, and third-party sellers also sell it for the same price. The original cost of the machine is listed as $299. However, Square also allows monthly installments of 3,6,12 and 24 months to make it cost-friendly for new merchants and small startups. These installments are interest-free and provide financing up to $27 per month if you choose a 12-month plan.

Furthermore, merchants can get add-ons like a scanner or cash drawer for additional fees. Square offers accessories like a countertop mount for $19, a belt clip for $59, a barcode scanner for $119, a cash drawer for $249, and an Eero Wi-Fi system for $199 and 20x receipt roll papers for $20 on the Square website. These can be attached to the Square Terminal for a better overall experience.

Square Terminal provides the same transaction fee plan for all local and international plans. All Cards are charged with the same amount whether you are a premium member or a free user. It is 2.6% plus 10 cents. However, keyed-in transactions through the terminal cost 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction. Rates for online transactions via Square store, e-invoicing and payment links are 2.9% plus 15 cents per transaction. 

Square transfers the transaction into your bank account within two business days without additional charges. However, for early transfer, you have to subscribe to Instant Transfer, which charges an extra 1.5% to instantly (within a few hours) transfer it to your bank account.

Customer service of Square Terminal reviews chargebacks and refunds without any terminal fee. All refunds are processed free, and chargebacks cost zero admin fee. 

Customer Service

Although Square claims to provide 24/7 support for their merchant services, this is not the course with Square Terminal users. Free app users can contact customer support during business hours from 6 am to 6 pm through Monday to Friday, but they need a customer code for it. However, 24/7 customer service is available only for emergencies. 

Apart from the contact number, their website has an extensive FAQs section that discusses common issues. In addition to that, information and tutorial videos are available, and merchants can also contact the representative directly if they want. 

Square Terminal comes with a 1-year warranty. Plus, a 30-day checking period is provided for a detailed review of the device. If you don’t like the product within 30 days, you can exchange it with any other Square Terminal device or get a full refund. 

Negative Aspects of Square Terminal

Square Terminal has a mixed bag of reviews. Where it gives some valuable specs, merchants also experienced difficulty using it. Having average rating overall, it is not considered a satisfactory terminal. There are some downs of the company reported in the reviews by the users. 

Customer Support

Although Square customer support is quite competitive in the industry and is considered better than other companies, it has many limitations. Customers find it difficult to find their representative’s contact number as it is not on the device. Merchants face account deactivations without warning and sometimes do not even get a refund after 90 days. Some reviewed that customer representatives are often unresponsive, and merchants usually get robotic answers. 

Device Design

No doubt, Square Terminal is an all-in-one device. However, balancing all the features within one machine has made it bulky and hard to handle. The hardware is not wrist-friendly and challenging to use. Design lacks practicality as it is heavier than conventional card readers. 

Inability to Work with Phone Networks

Square Terminal only works with a Wi-Fi connection and cannot use cellular data to connect to the internet. This is considered a big down of the device as Wi-Fi is not always accessible. 

Software Glitches

There are many software glitches in the system reported by the customers. The system stops working and shuts down on its own frequently. 

While Square claims the offline working of the device, customers have other views. The device works as long as it is connected to the internet and quits when it loses connection. 

Plus, the system fails to receive signals from nearby devices. It will connect if the device is placed close to the Wi-Fi source. Otherwise, it doesn’t detect signals. Merchants send hotspot signals from their mobiles to make it work. 

Although the company provides a one-year warranty, customers reported device breakdowns within the year and some even within a few days. 

The device gets very hot when it is put on charging, and it becomes difficult to handle it by hand. Another significant reason merchants doubt the company is that the screen becomes stuck and unresponsive, based on some reviews.

Deceptive Advertising 

There are reviews about deceptive advertising of the Square Terminal. They state the company does not send the product it claims to send. Many merchants have received the old and used Square Terminal while ordering a new one.


While the Square Terminal is an addition to the Square lineup of equipment, it is not as effective as Square advertised. It has introduced many changes and reestablished the concept of a payment terminal. However, it cannot replace conventional payment processing devices. Considering its shortcomings, the idea itself is not revolutionary and not widely accepted by the merchants in the market. 

The Square Terminal offers many services within a justified price range and comes with good customer service. Merchants can take remote payments as the device is small, but you need a dedicated Wi-Fi network.

You can conclude from this Square Terminal review that this device may work for new startups that cannot afford many devices to add to their system. Merchants with Square accounts can go for it as there will be no problem with the updates. However, retailers that require a reliable payment setup should rely on traditional countertop terminals and remote card readers.

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