Accepting Credit Cards Onsite – PayPal Here vs. Square


Guest Post by Craig Lloyd:
Not too long ago, going through the process of being able to accept credit card payments for small computer businesses was probably a daunting task for most. You would have to set up a merchant account and then buy expensive processing equipment. However, with the introduction of Square in 2009, the days of easy credit card payments are finally here, and PayPal just recently launched their own version, called PayPal Here, to take on Square. These services allow computer businesses to easily accept credit card payments through iOS and Android devices.

Both Square and PayPal Here have their own separate advantages, but are also so similar that it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your computer business. Let’s have a look at the two services and see which one would be ideal for you.

First off, Square and PayPal Here both charge a transaction fee for credit card swipes. Square charges a 2.75% fee, while PayPal Here charges a slightly lower 2.70% fee. The difference is very minute at first, but it can add up over time if you plan on bringing in a lot of transactions.

If, for any reason, you must manually enter in credit card transactions (if you don’t have the card reader for instance), both Square and PayPal charge a 3.5% + $0.15 fee per transaction. There’s also a $1,000 weekly deposit limit with manual entries. If you go over $1,000 for any given 7-day period, anything over the $1,000 will be held for 30 days before they’re released to your bank account.

However, there will be very few instances where you would manually enter in credit card details. Both Square and PayPal Here offer their readers for free with free shipping, and the accompanying app is free as well.

Customer service is obviously a huge factor when it comes to choosing a product or service. PayPal Here is promising to have both phone and online support 24/7, but since the service is just launching, it will be a little while before we find out just how good that support will be. As for Square, it hasn’t fared so well in the customer service department. Many Square customers have complained about the lack of live and easy-to-reach support. Only time will tell to see if PayPal eithers suffers the same fate or rises above.

Both Square and PayPal Here are great services and there’s nothing about either that would be an extreme deal breaker (unless you’re using Android, for which PayPal Here doesn’t support just yet). However, if you’ve been a loyal PayPal user for some time, choosing PayPal Here would be a good bet, since you’ll already have a wealth of features at your disposal. Plus, PayPal Here offers the ability to accept paper checks using your camera as a scanner of sorts.

If you’re going into it as a complete mobile-payment virgin, Square’s simple user interface makes the product really easy to use and they even have a separate app for the iPad that turns it into a full-fledged, easy-to-use register.

Whatever you choose, may your business flourish with the greatness of mobile-payment technology and let us know how it works out for you when you finally take the dive into the mobile payment pool.

Guest post by Craig Lloyd. Craig has been tinkering with computers for over eight years and is CompTIA A+ certified. For the past three years, he’s been writing about and sharing his love of technology at various websites across the internet.


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Comments (17)

  • BigNerd says:

    My main concern about these services would be the threat of chargebacks. You could do exactly what a customer has asked you to do, say cleared all viruses and then have something else go wrong and the customer will claim that you didn’t fix their computer and contest the charge. Anybody have enough experience with credit cards to know how often that happens?

    • Josh says:

      It’s not like they can’t already do this, a customer can stop a check as well. I have personally never had an issue with a customer not paying.

  • Tom says:

    It is worth mentioning GoPayments from Intuit as they provide a very good service as well and has been available for at least the last year.

  • David says:

    It would be great to see a comparison of Intuit’s mobile payment service as well. Since I use QuickBooks I would also consider their mobile payment service. Also, at what point, sales volume wise, would it be worth to start taking payments by credit card considering the transaction fees charged?

  • Anthony says:

    In the UK we don’t even have such services, I wish we did! We still have to set up & pay for a monthly merchant account PLUS all the other charges listed. I suppose this is a part of rip off Britain that we all know & love!

  • Jamie English says:

    I have been using Intuit’s go payment system for the last year and a half and i love it. The fees are comparable and the ability to take a card at the store or onsite is awesome. It has an easy to use interface on the pc and smartphone as well as an available card swipe at the pc for a small fee. No monthly fees just fees on the transaction and a small total fee at the end of each month. I have my money in the bank within two days and I have never had a charge back or a problem of any kind with the service. I use it every day.

  • Tech-Ted says:

    I use Intuit GoPayment for the security of the reader itself, and for the integration with all the other Intuit products. I tried Square. It was fine and when they dropped the +$.15 for keyed transactions it was even better. But I stoped when I realized the reader was so insecure. I really can’t say anything about PayPal Here, since it hasn’t been released to the masses yet. So currently I’d reccomend Intuit.

  • Wicked Wired up says:

    I happen to provide access to a card payment processor along with dealing with point of sales equipment, IT work in commercial and residential. I spent at least 6 months going through the various and assorted companies here in the US before becoming affiliated with the one I chose, and glad I did. With the intro of Square and PayPal into the mobile payments market it has only made things a tad more interesting. Believe me when I say that what they charge for processing the transactions well pays for the equipment they “give” you. In the business it is referred to as a “card present swiped” transaction. I am also a Certified Payment Professional through the Electronics Transaction Association. That rate of 2.75% or even 2.70% is EXTREMELY high for that type of transaction. And, while the type of business, personal credit, etc. are factors that are considered when setting up new accounts, a good company and an experienced rep can help get you into a substantially better setup then what either of the 2 companies mentioned offer outright. Granted, it is work to sort out the good from the evil when it comes to who to set up your accounts with, but if you are going to be doing business regularly and will need the ability to accept electronic payments on the spot, it will be worth the time spent.

    As for chargebacks, if your customer signs a statement that everything is working to their expectations and they are satisfied with the work received, then makes no attempt to contact you about their “bad service” etc., and simply challenges the charge, a copy of the form they signed should be just about all you need to support your position. Work with your processor and they can help you get through that part. I know, it’s a hassle, but it goes with being in business and taking anything but cash as payment.

    I hope this helps a bit. Great site and I think you are all doing a great job.

  • Wayne says:

    Totally agree with you Anthony.
    It REALLY annoys the hell out of me when here in the UK we are left in the dark when the technology is here, and because of our corrupt and greedy banking system we can’t use it.

  • Scott says:

    PayPal Here has announced that it will be available for the iPhone as well as the android phones with full functionality of the card reader. From what i have gathered reading a lot about this on the internet is that they may also expand eventually to the blackberry which square has failed to do.

  • Scott says:

    Our credit card processor has us setup with an virtual terminal and we are paying 0.1% + $0.10 per transaction above the interchange fees for transactions we are typing into the virtual terminal (ie. card not present.) Makes most standard Visa charges come through at about 2.2% if I remember correctly.

    The virtual terminal is just a SSL web page we hit with our Android or iPhones and even the clients now working computer. Takes a slight amount of typing and saves us a nice amount of money.

    • Steve - says:


      We have been using virtual terminal as online gateway along with Capital Payments as our merchant re-seller for over 4 years and in my mind gives you the best bang for you buck.

      Like you said Visa and MasterCard charges are at 2.19% plus batch transaction fees at 0.05 monthly fees are at $10.00 and that is all we ever pay.

  • TechLady says:

    Another option worth looking into:

    • Sodde says:

      One issue that really put me off Square was the fact that their support for transaction issues are all via e-mail. There’s nobody on the other end of a telephone when you have a customer in front of you and an issue with a card swipe. I’ve read some horror stories on line about this (not sure if they’ve changed their policies recently)and so went with intuit gopayment who’s service is supported via a phone call. I’m now looking at some options that Chase bank offer and may go that route as the charges are cheaper.

  • Robert Helton says:

    Guest whats coming soon from PayPal.

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  • Long Vo says:

    I like using Square with my IPAD as it gives me the ability to create a point-of-sales interface and even tracks my sales by volume and dollar. Changing the items in POS mode is also extremely easy. Can even add your own pictures to items and group them in categories that Square calls “shelves”. POS mode along with credit card reading ability makes Square a pretty good value for me for now.