Square Reader – Review, Test, and Overview


The Square Reader is the flagship product of Square Inc. This nomadic payment terminal allows you to easily accept payments via credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.

Its iconic design has made Square famous.

But can this small wireless reader compete with the payment terminals from Yavin, Zettle, or SumUp Air? Here is our review of the Square Reader.


✅ Clear and non-binding pricing
✅ Complete, free, and easy-to-use application
✅ Sleek design and fine finishes
✅ Lightweight, wireless terminal, easy to carry


❌ No keypad for entering the PIN code, which slows down the transaction
❌ Commissions are a bit high

Square’s Offering

Square targets small merchants and independents. This company aims to compete with top European companies like SumUp and Zettle. They do this by focusing on user-friendly products, modern design, and transparent pricing.

The model is simple: buy the terminal, then pay only a 1.75% commission on transactions with no fixed fees or subscriptions.

Square’s Payment Solutions

Square offers four payment solutions for physical points of sale:

  • Square Reader £19 + VAT
  • Square Stand £99 + VAT
  • Square Terminal £149 + VAT
  • Square Register £599 + VAT

To learn more, discover our complete review of Square’s offering.

Square’s Commissions

When you purchase a Square payment terminal, you get free access to Square POS or Square Restaurant software.

  • In-store payment 1.75%
  • Online payment (UK cards) 1.4% + 25p
  • Online payment (non-UK cards) 2.5% + 25p
  • Virtual terminal 2.5%

The Square Reader

The Square reader is a wireless, portable card reader. Ideal for mobile use. Connect it to your Apple or Android device via Bluetooth. Then launch the Square app to quickly accept your first payments.

In principle, the Square Reader costs £19 + VAT.

To charge your reader and facilitate counter transactions, you can also order a base for your Square Reader (£29 + VAT). But it’s optional.

The Square Reader is a wireless payment terminal with small dimensions that you can take anywhere you go. Ideal for mobile use.

The Square Reader is by far the lightest of Square’s payment terminals.

You must connect the Square Reader via Bluetooth to the App.


Square POS

First off, Square POS allows you to remotely control your Square Reader. The principle is the same as for the SumUp Air: you complete your basket in the app. Then when you click on “Bill,” the terminal wakes up so your client can present their card.

The Square POS software lets you send invoices, give discounts, take cash, and sell gift cards in your store.

With inventory management, you can track your stock and see your top-selling products quickly and easily. Square also enables you to manage your employees and their schedules.

Restaurants, on the other hand, can opt for Square Restaurant, a POS software specifically designed for the restaurant sector. Manage your menus, track ongoing orders and deliveries, accept payments, and much more!

How to Enter Your PIN on the Square Reader?

The Square Reader accepts mobile payments as well as card payments with or without contact. However, it hasn’t escaped notice that the device does not have a keypad, which may seem problematic at first glance.

In reality, everything happens on the Square app. After your customer inserts their card into the reader, a keypad will appear on your phone or tablet. This allows them to enter their PIN.

In our opinion, this raises two issues. The first is that your customer must feel secure enough to enter their confidential code. That’s why we recommend positioning your device so that your customers can easily shield the screen while they enter their code.

The second issue is more troublesome. Indeed, the lack of a keypad on the Square Reader may cause you to lose time. For every transaction, you will have to hand your tablet or smartphone to your customers.


Comparison: Square Reader vs SumUp Air

Square’s offering is remarkably similar to that of SumUp, the European leader in payment solutions for small businesses. However, the two brands differ in several respects.

Price-wise: the SumUp Air is a bit more expensive to purchase. Count £39 + VAT for the terminal alone.

The SumUp Air is slightly more expensive than the Square Reader. However, it comes with a screen and keypad. This feature helps to justify the higher price. Accepting card payments on this terminal is therefore much simpler and faster.

To use them, you must connect both the Square Reader and SumUp Air to an app. This means you always need to have a phone or tablet with you. If you prefer a standalone terminal, you might opt for their bigger brothers: the Square Terminal or SumUp Solo.



If you are interested in the Square ecosystem, the Square Reader is the perfect companion to begin with. And the device will allow you to explore the Square POS app.

Because of its small size, it is also an interesting option for processing payments on the go. It can easily accompany you to markets or during your exhibitions, for example.

Nevertheless, we recommend opting for the Square Terminal if you can afford it. This reader is more robust and, most importantly, it has a screen and keypad to facilitate card payments.

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