Square Hardware


Get a small business up and running with Square

Square’s payment card readers and POS systems for small business owners enable secure and affordable transactions, both in and out of a storefront.

What is Square hardware?

Square hardware is among the essential business supplies that can benefit small business owners. The chip, contactless, and, in some cases, magstripe card readers, terminals, registers, and related accessories are designed to facilitate transactions securely and affordably. There are versions designed to for mobile business and others for permanent, in-store set-up.

All card data scanned with Square hardware is encrypted to maintain security and privacy. Products work with Android and iOS devices and the free Square Register app and/or other software with features to help you run a business, including managing inventory, tipping, customizing orders, and more.

Business owners see Square payments deposited in their bank accounts quickly, often by the next business day. There are no monthly fees: owners pay a flat rate of 2.65% per credit card transaction and 10 cents per Interac payment, making Square an attractive and affordable option for start-ups, small shops, and sole proprietors.

Square hardware for mobile businesses

With the basic Square Reader, insert a chip card or tap a contactless card for quick payments through the free, secure Square Register app. Add the Square Dock to charge the Square Reader while also keeping it anchored in place on a flat surface. Plug it into the Square Stand (see below) for a more enhanced set-up as needed.

A simple Square Reader is ideal for small business owners who aren’t selling from a fixed location. Use it at fairs, mobile pop-up shops, home-based events, or during customer visits. It’s a viable solution in a small storefront as well.

The Square Terminal is a slightly larger, tabletop mobile point-of-sale (POS) system with a built-in battery. It supports a multitude of contactless standards, including NFC cards, Interac chip and PIN, and even Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay; as well as magnetic stripe cards. It prints receipts using standard 2.25-inch thermal printer paper and, with the optional USB Hub, works with accessories like a barcode scanner and cash drawer.

The Square Terminal is a step-up for small business owners with a dedicated storefront who may occasionally participate in sales at other locations, and who want to accept more payment method types and generate paper receipts.

Square hardware for small business storefronts

The Square Register consists of dual touchscreen displays (one for merchant, one for customer), a credit card machine, and free POS software that can be customized to specific business types, like retail, appointment-based businesses, and restaurants. This means you can manage appointments and reservations as well. It’s a more permanent set-up allowing the customer to review orders, even make changes on the fly before completing a transaction.

The POS stand for iPad is used with your own iPad. The 2nd gen model accepts payments wire-free, no separate reader needed while the 1st gen model is wired to the bundled Square Reader. Compatible with various iPad versions (a larger number with the 2nd-gen model), the swivel stand and touchscreen make for a simple and intuitive set-up.

This Square hardware is best for storefront businesses where the customers place orders with an employee (or via self-serve), add tips, and review and complete transaction. This could be a flower, coffee, or clothing store, for example, or customizable orders.