Fattmerchant vs Square


Fattmerchant vs Square

In our Fattmerchant vs. Square comparison, we found that Fattmerchant is better for companies selling high-ticket items and conducting a large volume of transactions, while Square is better for smaller businesses. This is because Fattmerchant offers a flat rate payment processing subscription, while Square charges a percentage fee off each transaction.

Key Differences Between Fattmerchant And Square

It is important to note that Square is simply a third-party payment processor and does not offer a traditional merchant services account.

Square allows you to quickly pick a starting point to immediately open a free account. That means that while they do have restrictions for certain business types in using their services, they are not a traditional merchant services provider and have no risk review or underwriting process for businesses to go through to open an account.

Fattmerchant vs Square Costs

If you process more than $80,000 annually, Fattmerchant charges a flat $99 per month (plus $0.08 per transaction). This works out to less than 1.5% per transaction, which is a total steal. For companies that sell less than $80,000, they charge 2.9% + $0.08 per transaction.

Square, on the other hand, charges 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. This is a much better per-transaction rate for businesses accepting smaller purchases, but it really adds up once you start to scale.

While opening an account and starting to process payments is free, there are several Square fees that also come into play as your business starts to need additional options and services.

Square offers a flat rate on each transaction a small business processes regardless of whether it’s a debit or credit card.

For transactions that are processed using an in-person POS or card reader when a customer has swiped, dipped, or tapped their card they charge 2.6% + $.10 per swipe.

However, this does not account for the rates they offer when using specific Square products as the flat rate will vary based on how you collect your customer’s payment.

Additionally, Square offers other transaction rate options based on what Square product you’re using. For example:

  • 2.5% + $0.15 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction using a Square Register
  • 2.6% + $0.15 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction using a Square Terminal
  • 2.6% + $0.10 per swiped, dipped, or tapped transaction using Square Appointments (or 2.5% + $0.10 for Teams)

That is not to mention their different rates for certain card-not-present transactions where you need to collect payment by phone, through a website, or virtually through an online invoice. In these cases, the rate can jump up to 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction. These are factors to consider when thinking about fees paid per each transfer or transaction.

Both platforms also allow for integration with popular apps like Quickbooks for expanded functionality. Let’s dive into the features, pricing, and support offered by both companies.

Underwriting Difficulties With Square In Comparison With Fattmerchant

Additionally, their limited chargeback protection policy can cost your business, in the long run, the more you transact.

While Square does not charge any chargeback fees, their lack of an underwriting process means your Square account has an increased risk of sudden account holds and terminations. Any sudden changes in patterns or large spikes in transaction amounts may be seen as suspicious, resulting in a freeze while they review your account. This is something businesses can ill afford at any point in time.

There is a Noticeable Difference in Pricing

Square charges 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction for every in-person payment. This includes credit card and debit card payments on the point of sale (POS) terminals and equipment, as well as mobile payments that are processed through the tap-to-pay solutions.

On the other hand, Stax has lower pricing for in-person or card-present payments.

Stax offers a simple monthly subscription cost with variable costs ranging from six cents to fifteen cents depending upon your rate of transactions and method type. For instance, the variable costs differ in keyed and swiped payments.

This difference in pricing also shows up in card-not-present (CNP) payments. For Square Virtual Terminal, the pricing for entering and processing card details manually is 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction. This also applies to any card on file transactions through a virtual terminal.

Whereas, processing online transactions through the Square payment processor where the customer enters their card details by themselves is charged at 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. These charges are applicable for Square eCommerce stores, using Square eCommerce API in apps, and using the card on file for eCommerce transactions.

Stax once again surpasses Square credit card processing in terms of affordability. For CNP transactions entered using the Stax Platform, the price stands at the monthly cost plus the direct cost and the twelve cents or more per transaction. For online transactions such as shopping carts and invoices that are processed by the customer’s end, the charges will also vary but will have a simple monthly cost.

But the differences in pricing do not end there. They are also evident in terms of equipment pricing. For instance, Square’s premium POS system labeled the Square Register can cost a whopping $799 to set up.

Similarly, your first Square card reader that connects to mobile devices is free, but you need to pay $10 for each additional reader that you acquire. Whereas, Stax provided POS systems of the same level are offered at varying competitive prices depending on the model chosen.

This outlines that Stax is a far more affordable option than Square in terms of one-time equipment and ongoing transaction costs.

Retail Payment Services

Conventional or register-style POS terminal payment services are offered as a combination of Square’s hardware and software. Conversely, Square’s signature card readers attach to your smartphones or tablets.

These retail solutions give you the ability to accept all major credit cards and debit cards. You can also accept payment cards built with magnetic stripes and EMV chips alike. Suppose you move forward with software solutions that are designed for your service industry or retail goods business. In that case, you can also benefit from additional services such as appointment booking and inventory management.

The Square POS system comes in sleek hardware, which makes it easy for you to adapt it to your everyday activities. The intuitive software also remains simple to use, which further enhances its overall value proposition.

At the same time, the transaction costs for in-person transactions remain the same, regardless if you are swiping magnetic-stripe payment cards or processing payments through chip-based cards. Since Square is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), it also comes with optimal security mechanisms to safeguard your customers’ financial information.

In comparison, Stax’ POS solution also offers all of these qualities. The POS terminal hardware that’s supported by Stax strikes the perfect balance between style and functionality, which makes it an ideal fit for any operation that wants to bring a sense of ease to its activities.

If you seek to collaborate with Stax, you can install your respective POS device from the market and integrate its solutions or work with Stax to acquire the right machine and integrate the software to run your operations. Stax aims to make the process as simple as possible while delivering cost-effective solutions that help you seamlessly process credit card transactions.

Mobile Payment Services

Square’s name comes from the shape of its distinct card reader. This compact reader can attach to any modern iOS and Android device to turn it into a mobile payment processing solution. This secure card reader can then accept credit card and debit card payments in a variety of ways.

Like the company’s retail or in-person POS solutions, the Square mobile card reader can also accept magstripe and EMV chip payments. With the attachment of a smartphone, the card reader can be operated anywhere. But apart from being a substitute POS equipment that can be used remotely, it can also accept mobile payments itself.

This ensures that if you plan to branch out to contactless payments, you can easily do so through the tap-to-pay solutions such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay. These payments are powered through NFC and can occur if the customer has a compatible cell phone and features. It is prudent to note that these tap to pay services are also available at Square POS solutions. The wireless payment processing software is merely a foundation that enables processing in many forms. 

In comparison, Stax also offers state-of-the-art mobile payment solutions that go beyond card reading or wireless operations. Through this equipment, you can also accept mobile payments through tap to pay services. This hardware is also available in the form of cellphone-powered equipment.

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The critical points that you must think about when it comes to additional Square fees are the need for software, auxiliary equipment, and the level of protection present within the process.

Remember that each of these points is critical when you are starting your business and when you are growing your business. It is best to choose the service that can process different payment types for your business without adding more stress to your shoulders as you scale up.

This is a crucial point when it comes to chargeback protection, underwriting, and potential issues with your funds. It can be a challenge to market and bring customers to your business and accept their various card payments.

But it can be even more difficult to manage your business and cashflows if you are not sure if the funds you receive are definite or subject to be frozen due to external checks and issues.

Remember to think about these aspects as you move forward.

Fattmerchant

Fattmerchant started with the idea that any business, big or small, should not be hindered by the cost of accepting credit cards. They offer a stable, monthly-based model that has proven successful in the industry. The brand exists to level the playing field for companies. They help to achieve growth by bringing fair, simple, and transparent processing to everyone.

Square

Square derives its name from the free hardware that every merchant receives with an account. In 2009, the Square-shaped card reader is what launched the brand into the stratosphere in San Francisco. They seek to fill the niche of a small business’ mobile point of sale needs. 

Fattmerchant vs. Square: Side-By-Side Comparison

 
ProfileFattmerchant is a subscription-based payment platform offering unlimited credit card processing at direct cost, giving industries such as retail, healthcare, plus professional and home services with integrated, PCI compliant solutions across EMV / virtual terminal, shopping cart, mobile and moreSquare Payments is an online payment processing solution which integrates with Square hardware & POS software to allow businesses to accept payments
API for IntegrationYes, available.Yes, available.
Cash managementNo cash management and no cash transactions supported.Yes, cash management and transactions supported.
Compliance ManagementDoes not offer a Compliance management module with compliance reporting.Yes, compliance management supported for complex requirements.
Contract basisIt is subscription basedNo subscriptions.
ACH Payment ProcessingYes, always covered ACH paymentsYes, covers these payments since 2021.
POS Software Starting PriceDownload for free. It requires a subscription later on$0 per month for standard
but more options are available for a fee.

Payment Processing
$99 per month
+ 8 cents per transaction
(+ 15 cents for manual entry).
2.6% + 10 cents
(3.5% + 15 cents for manual entry)
HardwarePhysical, virtual, and mobile terminals
that come with subscription.
Magstripe reader is free
(additional hardware starts at $49).
Platforms supportediOS, Web based and Android but not WindowsiOS, Web based and Android but not Windows
Analytics and ReportingYesYes
Employee ManagementSeveral integrationsAccounts, time tracking, payroll, exports, and more.
Customer ServiceSlightly better than Square: Phone, email, and 24/7 live representative support (chat), training. But neither FAQs nor forums.Phone, email, and limited live support (chat).
IntegrationsVery few, but they integrate with Authorize.Net and QuickbooksYes, all major integrations except Authorize.net
SecurityLevel 1 PCI service provider.PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
BillingComplete billing and invoicing functionalities plus a billing portal that is user-friendly.Complete billing and invoicing functionalities without billing portal or dashboard.

Fattmerchant Features

Fattmerchant offers a variety of features with a competitive edge. The system integrates with hundreds of common business tools that includes a two-way sync with QuickBooks Online. Keep processing as you always have with add-ons for:

  • Management systems
  • CRM
  • Inventory and stock management
  • Accounting
  • And more…

Reporting and Analytics

Fattmerchant offers a robust reporting feature that allows a business to be proactive instead of reactive. It takes the guesswork out of planning while you monitor health and make more informed decisions. This also allows you to see where and when you can improve.

Online Payments

Send invoices and tokenize customer information with the online payments feature. Not only does this function well for service businesses, but the shopping cart feature enables a brand to set up an e-commerce store.

Mobility

Access the business anytime, from anywhere, and grab a convenient view of the data you need. The mobile-friendly dashboard provides access to users to manage all locations in one place and delegate important tasks. 

Square Features

After serving the market for years, Square has built a catalog of features for a variety of industries. Restaurants can pay, tip, and sign on a Square mobile device while a retailer can send receipts via email or text. Other key benefits include:

Paperless Transactions

Accept payments using Android or Apple smartphones and tablets. The Square system automatically stores digital receipts.

Intelligent Reporting

Square generates feedback via valuable analytics and intelligent reports. This type of access to real-time sales data and history gives a business valuable insight into operations. It enables a brand to make quicker business decisions, keep tabs on customers, and optimize the labor force.

Manage Inventory

Sign into the Square dashboard from anywhere to manage inventory. You can download reports on stock, order quantities in bulk, and receive daily alerts by mail. The system even allows a vendor to quickly import thousands of products via a CSV spreadsheet.

Email Marketing

Send automated emails to your list for more targeted marketing. Set up welcome emails, birthday offers, and more to establish strong customer relationships. The system lets you create new profiles at the POS to build your directory. Square also provides custom templates and a distribution list for easier emailing. 

The Square POS system can extend functionality by seamlessly integrating with hundreds of apps that include:

  • Invoice sending and tracking
  • Booking and scheduling
  • Employee management
  • eCommerce
  • Accounting and tax

Hardware

Fattmerchant Hardware

The Fattmerchant hardware is straightforward. The system comes with pre-programmed EMV terminals that accept all forms of payment including chip and contactless pay (Apple and Samsung). 

Fattmerchant meets with each customer prior to programming the equipment to determine exactly what you need. Simply tell them what you want, and the terminal arrives ready to go. 

Fattmerchant also has Bluetooth readers that can attach to your phone or tablet. Swipe or insert a card to complete a transaction in seconds.

Square Hardware

Square offers a variety of hardware choices and has 5 separate devices for card transactions. Square Stand and the original magstripe reader will only work with the platform. Here are the options you have for equipment with this product:

  • Square Reader for Magstripe –swiped card payments via iOS and Android.
  • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip –chipped, tapped, and swiped payments. 
  • Square Terminal – An all-in-one that accepts all payment types.
  • Square Register – Fully functional system that includes a touchscreen and stand.
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip – Built for iPad and includes the Square Reader.

Please note, for the Square Reader to work you must have access to wi-fi. It will not run transactions offline.

Software

Fattmerchant Software

Fattmerchant’s Omni platform offers much more than just payments. One login allows a user to access all data from any device for a holistic view of your business. Monitor payments, refunds, deposits, and customer behavior all within the dashboard.

Whether it’s locations, tools, or solutions, Fattmerchant software allows you to manage multiple data points across your entire network. The Omni Company Overview Report helps a company accurately plan for the future.

Square Software

The Square software platform can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices and used with any Square device (except the Square Register which comes with software).

Additional features include:

  • Customized text and printed receipts
  • Store cards on file, send invoices, and process refunds
  • Robust staff scheduling and management
  • Accept cards offline and online
  • Create a menu or catalog with custom categories

The Square app also allows a business to view advanced analytics, manage inventory, and integrate add-ons to streamline operations.

Cost

Square Costs

The cost of using Square hardware:

  • Square Reader for Magstripe – Free
  • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip – $49
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip – $199
  • Square Terminal – $299
  • Square Register – $799

Processing Fees

  • 2.75% + 10 cents for any transaction that is swiped, tapped, contactless, virtual, or gift card.
  • 3.5% + 15 cents for any transaction that is manual, on file, or entered virtually.
  • 2.9% + 30 cents for any transaction that is through invoicing or e-commerce products

Fattmerchant Costs

Fattmerchant is priced as a subscription service and is based on how much money your business processes annually (i.e. how much work the system must do). The starter platform is $99 per month and is for a business that brings in less than $500,000 a year. The monthly cost is $199 if your organization processes more.

The reason for a subscription-based model is that Fattmerchant does not charge an interchange fee. This is a non-negotiable rate set by card brands like Visa and Mastercard. They are variable on a number of factors including whether the card is credit or debit, how the payment is made (swipe or tap), and if the card is rewards or corporate.

Most payment processors include the interchange rate in the processing cost, so you never know what you are spending per transaction. Fattmerchant charges a monthly subscription to get the lowest rate possible.

The cost per transaction will change depending on the subscription you choose. These break down as such:

PlatformCost per Transaction (Starter)Cost per Transaction (Enterprise)
EMV Terminal$0.08$0.06
Shopping Cart$0.15$0.12
Virtual Terminal$0.15$0.12
API$0.15$0.12
Mobile$0.15$0.12
Integrations$0.08$0.08
FATTMERCHANT vs SQUARE in regards to the type of transactionFATTMERCHANT SQUARE
Swiped/in-person$99.00 /mo. + $0.08 /transaction2.6% + $0.10 /transaction
Keyed/card-not-present$99.00 /mo. + $0.15 /transaction3.5% + $0.15 /transaction

Customer Service and Support

Since both platforms offer extensive features, they also have functions in place to support them. Fattmerchant’s Omni platform is the one-stop-shop for all knowledge on the system including an FAQ, forum, account updates, and direct access to the support team via chat. You are also assigned a dedicated account manager that knows your name, business, and everything you need for success.

Square offers the same level of support. However, since the brand has been around longer, they tend to have some complaints. This is especially apparent when it comes to the account termination process. When your account is closed for any reason, you are sent an email with no option to appeal.

Square answers all queries via phone or email. The 24/7 support center offers tons of materials like:

  • POS tips
  • Articles
  • Guides
  • FAQ
  • Videos

There is also a seller community where you can interact with peers. It is a forum. Fattmerchant, instead, does not have any seller community or forum.

Conclusions

Choosing between Fattmerchant and Square may just boil down to the size of your company. When running high-volume transactions, a subscription-based model like Fattmerchant tends to save money. You are not being nickeled and dimed for every card that is run. 

However, this can also be costly for a business that may only process a few transactions per month. If you are on the smaller end of the business spectrum, Square might be the best choice. The amount saved through Fattmerchant may not be enough to offset the subscription cost.

Recommended Readings

We have compared Fattmerchant vs Square, thinking that they were very similar POS and payment processors, but we found many differences and we were surprised by these findings.

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What about cash registers? We have reviewed some and we have found good and bad products: cash registers for gas stations, small businesses in general, and restaurants.

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We have studied barcode and label printers, as label printing is a legal requirement in some industries

Restaurants, fast foods, delis and food trucks, require a separate kitchen printer integrated with the POS with a separate hardware unit. We have reviewed them here.

We do not usually review printers for POS, we simply dedicate to review a complete POS system with its hardware. However we had so many criticism and discussions around printers for Square, that I have decided to investigate further here.

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