fattmerchant vs square

Fattmerchant vs Square

Fattmerchant vs Square

This is a Fattmerchant vs Square comparison. Actually, Fattmerchant (2) is the older name as they have changed the name to Stax in 2021 (1). On the other hand, we have Square, a payment processor that withholds up to 30% (4) (7) of the transaction to the retailer even without disputes, or chargebacks (3) what has already affected downgraded this processor (5) and was even recognized by the company (6).

In the Fattmerchant vs Square comparison, Fattmerchant is a preferred processor for larger companies with large volumes of transactions and even for small retailers while Square charges a high percentage of the transaction and also withholds 30% of the payments for four months since 2020.

Fattmerchant vs Square evaluation determined that while Fattmerchant’s payment processing subscription has a flat rate of $99, Square charges an average of 2.6 % on each transaction and retains up to 30% of the payments processed by their customers for four months since 2020.

Furthermore, when we analyze the software in the comparison of Fattmerchant vs Square, we encounter that Fattmerchant has better reporting and analytics. While Fattmerchant handles better a network of stores where the business owner requires to disaggregate and analyze data of each store, Square software is easier to learn for small store owners.

Therefore, we cannot recommend Square at all in this Fattmerchant vs Square comparison due to the policy adopted by Square of withholding 30% of the payments during the four months that we have described above. This practice occurs even without disputes and without chargebacks. This practice is very common in Square and started a couple of years ago, in 2020.

I cannot recommend a payment processor that retains to small businesses up to 30% of their payments even without a history of disputes and without chargebacks.

Users of Shopify will fill that the integration with Square is very smooth, and that is not the case with Fattmerchant in my opinion. Fattmerchant has a direct integration with Quickbooks and 3DCart.

Fattmerchant vs Square Costs

Fattmerchant bills a flat $99 per month to companies over $80,000 in annual sales (plus $0.08 per transaction) if they process more than $80,000 annually. A transaction of this size would cost less than 1.5% of the total amount. The company charges 2.9% + $0.08 per transaction for companies that sell less than $80,000.

For instance, Square charges 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction, while PayPal charges 3% + $0.07 per transaction. Square also has started to withhold 30% since 2020 to some selected merchants during four months, leaving their customers without that income for several months. There is no doubt that this is a much better price per transaction for businesses that accept smaller orders, in terms of cost per transaction, but once you start scaling it becomes more beneficial to move to Fattmerchant (Stax).

Taking advantage of Square is free very soon after you create an account and make payments. In addition, if you choose to take advantage of some of the features that Square has to offer, a few fees will apply.

In order to ensure that businesses can manage any fees associated with credit and debit card transactions, Square offers a flat rate for every transaction they perform.

There are other charges included with Square products that do not require a flat rate if you are using Square products since you will need to determine how you will collect the customers’ payments based on the way they want to be paid.

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

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)

Furthermore, it is important to note that their different rates differ for certain card-not-present transactions, for instance, the ones requiring payment by phone, through an online website, or virtually through an invoice sent through their website. If your transaction involves any of these cases, then your rate could jump upwards to 3.5% + $0.15. When thinking about the transfer or transaction fees that need to be considered, these are factors that need to be reviewed.

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, Fattmerchant (Stax) has lower pricing for in-person or card-present payments.

Fattmerchant (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.

Disaggregated Costs Fattmerchant vs Square

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

In order to get the most out of Fattmerchant you are required to sign up as a subscription customer and the payment is based on how much money your business processes annually, thus translating into how much work the Fattmerchant system must do.

Essentially, it offers the starter package for 99 dollars per month, which is meant to be used by businesses that make less than $500,000. Those of you who operate organizations that process more than half a million will be charged $199 a month.

The reason for a subscription-based model is that Fattmerchant does not charge an “interchange fee” or “interchange rate”

The Interchange Rate, of which Visa and Mastercard have complete control, is a rate that is non-negotiable. The amount of fees varies depending on factors such as whether the card is a credit or debit card, how the payment is made (via a swipe or a tap), and whether it is a rewards card or a corporate card.

Most payment processors include interchange rates in the transaction costs, completely aggregated without discrimination. Therefore it is nearly impossible to tell exactly how much each transaction costs. Fattmerchant commands a monthly subscription to hedge this.

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

PlatformFattmerchant Cost per Transaction (Starter)Fattmerchant Cost per Transaction (Enterprise)
EMV Terminal$0.08$0.06
Shopping Cart$0.15$0.12
Virtual Terminal$0.15$0.12
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

Cost Differences In The Hardware Equipment

The differences are evident in terms of equipment pricing. For instance, Square’s premium POS system labeled the Square Register can cost an average of $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, Fattmerchant (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.

Fattmerchant vs. Square: Side-By-Side Comparison

Profile This is a subscription-based application platform, which provides unlimited credit card processing at a direct cost to several industries, including retail, healthcare, professional services, and private individuals, providing a PCI compliant environment across EMV / virtual terminals, shopping carts, mobile and more.It is now possible to receive payments via Square Payments, an integrated payment processing service that integrates with Square hardware and POS software to allow businesses to accept payments online.
API for IntegrationYes, available, but I have not tested them.Yes, available, but I have not tested them.
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 ReportingYes, and much better than Square.Yes
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). When an account is blocked, there is no way to appeal this.
IntegrationsThey integrate with Authorize.Net, 3DCart 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 in my opinion.Complete billing and invoicing functionalities without billing portal or dashboard.

Key Factors Regarding Square

The most important thing to keep in mind is that Square is simply a third-party payment processor. They do not offer a merchant account like a traditional merchant service provider.

Square enables the business owner to open a free account with a few clicks and without impediments according to the business vertical where you operate

The fact that they have restrictions for some types of businesses to make use of their services does not mean that they are a traditional merchant services provider, and they do not require businesses to attend an underwriting process or risk review before they might be able to open an account with them.

Fattmerchant Features

In order to stay competitive, Fattmerchant offers a variety of features to take your business to the next level. The system has direct integration with a hundred of common business tools, such as 3D Cart and QuickBooks Online, which provides two-way sync with the platform. Add-ons for: will allow you to process your work as you have always done.

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

Reporting and Analytics

The Fattmerchant environment provides a powerful reporting system that can be used to help businesses become proactive rather than merely reactive. You can easily monitor your business health with it, and make better-informed decisions thereafter. Additionally, you will be able to identify specific areas and times when you need to improve.

fattmerchant vs square

Online Payments

With the Online Payments feature, you will be able to send invoices to your customers and tokenize their personal information. Besides being a very useful tool for service-oriented firms, it also provides e-commerce business owners with the ability to design a store based on these features.


Get access to the data you need at any time, from anywhere in the world, and you will never miss anything. Users of the mobile-friendly dashboard have the option to manage all locations on one single platform, and delegate responsibilities to team members as per their needs. 

Square Features

Square, a company that has served the market for years, has developed a suite of features designed for more than a dozen different industries. Retailers can send their receipts via email or text message to restaurants and restaurants can pay, tip, and sign with their Square mobile device. As well as these major advantages, there are a number of others as well:

Paperless Transactions

Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones from Apple and Android systems can be used to accept payments. Receipts generated by Square’s system will be automatically stored to be able to be retrieved later.

Intelligent Reporting

Square delivers insight through useful metrics and insightful reporting.
This level of access to real-time sales data and history provides a company with significant insight into its operations. It allows a company to make faster business choices, keep track of consumers, and optimize its workforce.

Manage Inventory

To manage inventory, you may log into the Square dashboard from any location.

You may download stock reports, order quantities in bulk, and receive daily email notifications. You can also subscribe to their newsletter. A vendor may even easily import thousands of goods into the system using a CSV spreadsheet.

Email Marketing

Sending automated emails to your audience can allow you to pitch to a more specific audience.

Create welcome emails, birthday offers, and other special offers to help you build great client connections. The technology allows you to create new profiles at the point of sale in order to expand your directory. Square also offers unique templates as well as a distribution list to make emailing more convenient.

The Square POS system may be expanded in terms of functionality by easily connecting with hundreds of third-party applications, such as:

  • Delivering invoices and keeping track of them
    Arranging and reserving time
    Employee administration
  • eCommerce
  • Accounting and taxation
fattmerchant vs square

Underwriting Difficulties With Square In Comparison With Fattmerchant

Square does not impose a charge-back fee on customers, however, their lack of an account underwriting procedure means you have an increased chance of having your Square account seized and terminated at any time.

In the event of sudden changes in patterns or large spikes in transaction amounts, Square can view it as suspicious, resulting in an immediate account freeze while they review the transaction history. At any given point in time, the cost of this is something that businesses cannot afford.

Their limited charge-back protection policy can significantly adversely affect your business’s profit margins in the end, particularly if you perform a great deal of transactions.

When it comes to chargeback protection, underwriting, and possible problems with your money, this is a critical topic to remember.

It may be difficult to advertise to and attract consumers to your company, much alone accept their different credit and debit card payments with the risk of your account being frozen.

Nonetheless, it may be much more difficult to manage your company and cashflows if you are unsure if the money you receive are guaranteed or are susceptible to being seized as a result of external checks and problems.

Remember to keep these considerations in mind as you go through.

Retail Payment Services

Square’s hardware and software are used in conjunction to provide traditional or register-style POS terminal payment services.
Square’s signature card readers, on the other hand, are little devices that connect to your cellphones or tablets.

All major credit cards and debit cards are accepted by these retail solutions, allowing you to expand your business. You may also take payment cards with magnetic stripes and EMV chips, which are both acceptable. Consider the following scenario: you decide to implement technology tailored solutions to your service sector or retail products company. If that is the case, you may also take use of other services such as meeting scheduling and inventory management.

The transaction fees for in-person transactions, on the other hand, stay the same, regardless of whether you are swiping a magnetic-stripe payment card or processing payments via chip-based cards. As a result of Square’s compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), it is equipped with the most up-to-date security measures for protecting the financial information of your clients.

In contrast, Stax’s point-of-sale system likewise has all of these characteristics. The point-of-sale terminal hardware that Stax supports achieves the right mix between design and practicality, making it an excellent choice for any business looking to create a feeling of comfort in its operations.

You have two options if you want to work with Stax: you may install your respective POS equipment from the market and integrate its solutions, or you can work with Stax to purchase the appropriate machine and integrate the software necessary to conduct your operations. With the goal of making the procedure as easy as possible, Stax strives to provide cost-effective solutions that enable you to effortlessly accept credit card transactions.

Mobile Payment Services in Square And Fattmerchant

The moniker Square is derived from the form of the company’s distinctive card reader.

It is possible to convert any current iOS or Android smartphone into a mobile payment processing solution with the help of this small and lightweight reader. This secure card reader may then take credit card and debit card payments in a number of ways depending on the configuration of the device.

As with the company’s retail or in-person POS systems, the Square mobile card reader is capable of accepting both magstripe and EMV chip transactions.

The card reader may be used from any location if it is connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth. However, in addition to serving as a replacement point of sale system that can be accessed from a distance, it can also take mobile payments.

You can use tap-to-pay systems like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay to make contactless purchases in the future, if you decide to do so in the future.

Payments made via NFC are possible provided the client has a mobile phone with NFC capabilities and characteristics that are suitable.

Please keep in mind that these tap to pay services are also accessible at Square’s point of sale (POS) solutions. In reality, the wireless payment processing software is just a base that allows for processing in a variety of ways.

On the other hand, Fattmerchant (Stax) also provides cutting edge, mobile payment options that go well beyond simple card reading and wireless operations.

You may also take mobile payments via tap-to-pay services if you have the appropriate equipment. This hardware is also available in the form of equipment that is powered by a smartphone.

Hardware And Equipment: Fattmerchant vs Square

I find here that Square has more options in terms of hardware variants and you can customize them yourself, while Fattmerchant has less variants (this is not a problem because the functionaity is in the software).

My only issue with Fattmerchant´s hardware is that there is more friction before you can start operating it as Fattmerchant has to do the configuration for each customer.

I am aware that this is not an issue for the majority of business owners and retailers and they prefer that Fattmerchant customizes the equipment based on the business requirements.

Fattmerchant Hardware

For this Fattmerchant vs Square comparison, we can define Square has more options in terms of hardware as we will study in the paragraph below. However, we should not analyze the hardware alone, but in relation with the software embedded and the integration architecture.

So, let´s go first with Fattmerchant, now rebranded as Stax since 2021.

There is nothing complicated about the Fattmerchant hardware. With the system, you will be able to accept chip, contactless pay (Apple and Samsung), as well as EMV terminals that have been pre-programmed for all types of payments. 

Prior to getting the equipment programmed, Fattmerchant works with each customer to determine exactly what they require. They will send the terminal to you just as you would like it, once they have heard what you want. 

Fattmerchant also offers a Bluetooth system that enables you to attach the reader to any smartphone or tablet. A transaction can be completed in seconds by instantly scanning or inserting a credit or debit card.

Square Hardware

fattmerchant vs square

In terms of hardware, Square has several different options to choose from and has five separate devices to support card transactions. Square Stand will only work with this platform, as well as the original magstripe readers. If you choose to use this product in conjunction with the following equipment, you have these choices:

  • 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.

Having the Square Reader working requires you to have access to a wireless network. There is no offline functionality on this product.

Software Comparison Fattmerchant vs Square

In terms of software, there is an advantage for Fattmerchant in the Fattmerchant vs Square comparison because of the reporting functions and complete view of the dashboard (in the Omni platform, function “Dashboard” and the same in the Stax platform right now)

The Dashboard is more complete and much more visual than in Square. Also, the reporting (Report function in Omni or now Stax) is more comprehensive.

If you have more than one store, it is easier to disaggregate each store in Fattmerchant (Stax) through Omni than in Square.

All the other operational features are good in both, but as the reporting is superior in Fattmerchant, there is an important advantage.

Fattmerchant Software

It should be noted that Fattmerchant’s Omni platform, now Stax since 2021, delivers much more features than just payment processing. In this way, a user can have a holistic view of the business by logging into the system from a single device and accessing all their data. With the dashboard, you are able to see payments, refunded funds, deposits, and customer behavior all at a glance.

fattmerchant vs square

You can manage multiple data points across your whole organization, whether that be locations, tools, or solutions, with Fattmerchant software. It helps to have a clear picture of what the future holds for a company when using the Omni Company Overview Report.

Square Software

In addition to the Square Register, which comes with software that can be downloaded automatically on iOS and Android devices, the Square software platform can be used with any device from Square (except for the Square Register).

It is slightly worse in my opinion than Fattmerchant because the latter has a better dashboard and reporting through their Omni platform, and I consider that if you cannot view your complete numbers it is difficult to succeed.

fattmerchant vs square

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.

Integration Architecture Fattmerchant vs Square

While Fattmerchant offers a better integration with 3DCart and Quickbooks, Square blends better with Shopify and Squarespace.

If you are into Shopify or Squarespace, you should definitely consider Square because the integration is easy to perform. Otherwise there is not a big difference in the Fattmerchant vs Square integration architecture.

In this comparison, I have not tested the integration with SAP or SalesForce because I consider that prospective customers of Fattmerchant or Square would not utilize any of the aforementioned ERPs.

Customer Support Comparison Fattmerchant vs Square

There is an advantage for Fattmerchant (Stax) in the customer service area. While both companies offer chat, account manager and phone call, Fattmerchant (Stax) assigns you a dedicated account manager.

However the main advantage in my opinion for Fattmerchant (Stax) in the customer service area is that Square blocks frequently the accounts of their customers and just sends an e-mail without the possibility to appeal.

Both platforms provide extensive features; their functions have also been designed to support these features, as both offer advanced features. In Fattmerchant’s Omni platform (now Stax, since 2021), you’ll find all information about the system under one roof, including FAQs, forums, account updates, and a chat room where you can contact the support team directly. You will also be assigned an account manager who will be responsible for all your Fattmerchant needs.

A similar support level is offered by Square as well.

All questions can be directed to Square via email or telephone. It is possible to access pos advice, articles, guides, FAQs, and videos through the 24/7 support center 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

In addition to this, sellers can also interact with their peers through the seller community. We are talking about a discussion forum here.

In spite of that, Square has a great number of complaints what is a big issue for a Fattmerchant vs Square comparison like this one. It is likely that this will be particularly true in the case of cancelling your account or withholding your funds. When your account is closed for whatever reason, you are sent an email informing you of this and you cannot appeal the decision in any way.

fattmerchant vs square

Conclusions For A Fattmerchant vs Square Comparison

I consider in the comparison of Fattmerchant vs Square, that Fattmerchant is preferable for most of the business owners in the retail industry because of their fixed-rate, better reporting, and analytics for networks of retail point of sales.

Square is the preferred option for business owners that are just starting and want a simplified and flexible option at the beginning of their business life cycle and those who want a smooth integration with Shopify.

There are many different types of software programs out there for small businesses to use, and they all have their benefits. The key is finding the one that matches your business’s needs best. It might simply be a matter of deciding which program will work with how much volume you’re expecting; subscription-based models like Fattmerchant tend to be more cost-effective when dealing with high-volume transactions.

Fattmerchant is a service that tends to make sense when handling high-volume transactions because it’s a subscription-based model.

As long as you do not charge additional fees for the cards that you run, you will be able to keep your prices low. 

However, to finish this comparison of Fattmerchant vs Square, some small businesses may only be able to afford this if they only process a few transactions during the month. Especially if you are on the smaller end of the business spectrum, Square might be a great option only for those. The amount saved through Fattmerchant may not be enough to offset the subscription cost for very new businesses.

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.

Complex industries that handle their own inventory and 3PL organizations have granular requirements about batch recalls, warehouse management and inventory reconciliation. They need handheld inventory scanners that connect in real time with their point of sales systems and ERPs. We review them here and test them connecting to a Zebra printer. Beautiful!

We have reviewed several POS providers. The most interesting according to their industry vertical are: OVVI POS, NCR Counterpoint, Alexandria POS Maid, Verifone Ruby 2 POS, Mynt POS, Indica Online, Reverse, Micros, 1st Pay, Simphony, and Appetize.

There is a type of POS that the majority of readers here do not seem to like. I refer to the POS Pin Pad type. I understand the readers that reject them, but we can recommend it for some type of businesses, as you will read.

Each industry vertical requires a different type of POS, so we cannot analyze them all together in one single group. Therefore, we have researched in different verticals to define which are the POS systems that we can recommend for each industry and why: Wholesale POS, POS for kiosks, fast foods, POS for restaurants and which of them work well in iPads because some work very bad in mobile systems in my opinion, gas stations, supermarkets, dispensaries, convenience stores, dry cleaning industries, furniture, liquor stores, and bike shops.

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.

We reviewed some specific type of point of sale systems that determine the price according to the weight, called POS scales.

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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