Credit card readers

Payanywhere vs Square payment solutions

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

We’ll help you choose between Payanywhere and Square POS card readers.


Comparison table
Overall verdict

Looking to better understand if Square or Payanywhere is the right credit card reader for your business? Both providers are game changers in a market traditionally dominated by banks offering card readers with long, inflexible contracts. 

Where these do differ however is in their cheap pricing, lack of any contracts and long term commitments and accepting payment from virtual wallets such as Apple Pay. So, which one is right for your small business? Find out below with our detailed comparison. 

  • Square: Cheaper overall than Payanywhere and best for most small businesses or occasional sellers and for those wanting free online and in-store POS systems
  • Payanywhere: Best for small sellers processing under $5,000 per month with an average transaction value lower than $20

Payanywhere vs Square: Summary comparison

The comparison table below provides an overview of these two card readers from pricing to transaction fees and more:

Monthly fees​​$0$0
Hardware costsFrom $0 for the Payanywhere Reader to $949+ for the Payanywhere Smart POS+ From $0 for the Square Reader to $1,343 for the Square Commercial Tablet with Stand Kit 
Processing fees2.69% to 3.49% + 19 cents per transaction2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction
Invoice fees3.49% + 19 cents2.9% + 30 cents, 3.5% + 15 cents if processed using card on file, or 1% for ACH bank transfers
Average payoutFree next-day funding; same-day funding for 1%Free 1–2 day funding; instant funding for 1.5%
Inactivity fee$3.99 per month after 12 months of inactivity$0
POS featuresBasic phone app is free. Using the POS hardware costs $39.95/monthBasic POS is free. Advanced options start from $60/month
Contactless paymentYesYes
Digital wallets acceptedGoogle Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung PayGoogle Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
IntegrationsFew appsNumerous apps
Customer SupportLive Chat, phone & email supportLive Chat and phone (Mon to Fri 6am to 6pm Pacific Time)

Now we’ll deep dive into the similarities between Payanywhere and Square, before investigating the differences in depth.  

Payanywhere and Square similarities

Mobile payment terminals

Both companies offer mobile credit card readers including the:

These two card terminals make it possible to collect card payments from customers both in store and on the go at a fair or event. 

Note: Both Payanywhere and Square offer mobile payment terminals and therefore require a compatible device (mobile or tablet) in order to operate. Square businesses can also connect multiple terminals to a cash drawer at no extra software subscription costs. 


Prices are also similar, with both offering a free mobile card reader when you first sign up. There are also processing fee similarities with Payanywhere charging 2.69% to 3.49% + 19 cents per transaction whilst Square charges 2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction. 

Opening an account

Opening an account with Payanywhere and Square takes place in a similar fashion. 

  • The signup process can be completed online in minutes
  • POS card reader gets delivered within a few days
  • Terminals work with most bank accounts

Both Square and Payanywhere’s target audience are smaller businesses, typically including clothing stores, cafes, boutiques, personal services, beauty salons and taxis. 

Payanywhere and Square differences

Mobile app – Square advantage

You can accept payments using a mobile reader and an Apple or Android device with the apps of Square and Payanywhere, both of which are straightforward and simple to use. If you lose your connection, both apps have an offline mode that queues transactions and a virtual terminal option that lets you enter a credit card even if you don’t have a physical card to use.

With either app, you can also add tips, send invoices, accept NFC payments, and create open tickets. 

The reliability of the mobile apps appears to be the primary difference. Users of Payanywhere claim that the app is unreliable, frequently crashes, or refuses cards without any known reason. According to customer feedback, Square’s dependability does not appear to be a major issue and is known to be reliable.

Pricing – Square advantage

The processing fees are similar, but if you need more hardware than a simple card reader, Square is by far the cheaper option. Its terminals are well-regarded by users and come with the software free. Payanywhere charges a subscription fee for software on its devices and has a $3.99 per month inactivity fee (after 12 months) if you stop using the app without canceling your subscription.

Payanywhere’s 2.69% flat-rate processing costs less than Square’s offer. However, Payanywhere also moves customers into a three-year merchant account with North American Bancard, which has a completely different pricing structure, if you process more than $100K per year in any 12-month period.

Square charges 2.6% plus $0.10 for all in-person payments, which is slightly more expensive than Payanywhere however Square is slightly cheaper for transactions larger than approximately $111. In addition, Square offers a virtual terminal for 3.5% plus $0.15.

Square doesn’t charge a monthly fee unless you buy a paid software package or add-on, like Square for Restaurants whereas Payanywhere’s pay-as-you-go plan with a basic mobile reader has no monthly fees however, if you make more than $100K in a 12-month period, you’ll be moved to the “Standard” plan, which has other fees like a $12.95 “basic service fee” per month.

POS hardware – Draw

Payanywhere and Square each offer a free mobile reader as well as the option to upgrade to a more advanced mobile reader, smart terminal, or POS system. In terms of the mobile Square reader vs. the Payanywhere reader, the two options are quite similar.

When comparing the two brands, we mainly compared the two best known terminals with both brands offering some different features and services. 

For Square, here are their main POS products:

TerminalSquare TerminalSquare Tap and Chip Card ReaderSquare StandSquare Register
Terminal info5.5-inch screen that fits in your handSimple card reader to accept chip cards and contactless at your counter or on the go.For 10.2” iPads, 10.5” iPad Airs & the iPad Pro 10.5”.Complete POS with 2 user-friendly displays & and built-in payments.
Monthly subscriptionFrom $0, $29 or more depending on bespoke requirementsFrom $0, $29 or more depending on bespoke requirementsFrom $0, $29 or more depending on bespoke requirementsFrom $0, $29 or more depending on bespoke requirements
Payment processingFees from 2.6% + $0.10 per transactionFees from 2.6% + $0.10 per transactionFees from 2.6% + $0.10 per transactionFees from 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction

Whilst for Payanywhere, here are their main POS products:

TerminalPayanywhere Smart TerminalPayanywhere Smart KeypadSmart PINPad ProPayanywhere Smart Flex
Terminal info5″ HD touchscreen, receipt printer, and barcode scannerIntuitive Smart Keypad accepts all payment types including EBT and PIN debit. Ideal if you don’t want a touchscreen.Secure: Separate merchant and customer keypad terminals.Hybrid terminal and point of sale with an 8″ HD touchscreen, 4.3″ customer facing display, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.
Monthly subscription$9.95/mo software fee$9.95/mo software fee$19.95/mo software fee$19.95/mo software fee
Payment processing2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction

Payanywhere’s free mobile reader connects via Bluetooth and allows merchants to take swiped and EMV (chip card) payments. Square’s free reader is a bit more basic, plugging in via your lightning port or headphone jack, and can be used to accept magstripe payments only. 

Optionally, you can upgrade to a Bluetooth 3-in-1 reader that accepts magstripe, EMV, and NFC (mobile payments) for $49.95 with Payanywhere or $49.00 if you choose Square’s contactless and chip reader.

Both Payanywhere and Square offer sleek, multifunction smart terminals and smart POS systems. Depending on the model, you can choose from features such as a customer-facing display, receipt printer, and barcode scanner, all in one portable package. Payanywhere does offer more all-in-one hardware systems than Square, but Square is compatible with more mobile devices overall. 

Also, Payanywhere hardware comes with a monthly fee and an installation fee unless you just use the 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 mobile reader, whereas Square’s hardware carries no monthly fee or installation fee.

Customer Support – Square advantage

Payanywhere offers customer support via phone, email, knowledge base and live chat. Square offers live customer support from 6am to 6pm Mondays through Fridays and email support outside of those hours. Square also has a knowledgebase and really good community forums.

Though they have similar support channels, the quality of Square’s customer support is superior to Payanywhere’s. This is based on numerous user reviews and complaints. 

Payanywhere users frequently report generic responses to their tech problems, though the company does seem to respond to all complaints. The superior quality of the online resources for Square vs. Payanywhere is also evident.

Ease of use – Square advantage

Setting up and using Payanywhere and Square are equally easy, but when you get to the reliability of each payment processor, you can break that tie and give the win to Square. Just comparing how intuitive each app is designed, Square pulls ahead.

Features – Square advantage

Both companies offer a variety of mobile POS features, such as invoicing, inventory, and innovative mobile hardware, all with next-day funding and a free plan. 

All in all, Square has a more extensive feature set compared to Payanywhere. In particular, Square includes eCommerce features and numerous software integrations.

Square’s features are frequently updated and continually refined, including a free online store on all accounts. Square is also compatible with numerous business software that can be used to expand your Square POS to do just about anything.

Payanywhere vs Square: Overall verdict? 

After in-depth study of the two offers, we find that Square and Payanywhere both offer a reliable and inexpensive alternative to traditional POS card readers.

Going head to head on Pricing, Features, Customer Support, Ease of Use, eCommerce features and Customer Reviews, then Square wins this bout. 

Square’s simplistic offering with no contract lock-ins, flat-rate fees and intuitive setup make this a winner for any small business. 


What are Payanywhere and Square?

Square and Payanywhere are both credit card processing solutions for small businesses and solopreneurs. Merchants may accept payments on their smartphone or tablet via a credit card reader.

What alternatives are there to Payanywhere and Square?

Among the card reader terminals in our comparison, we often recommend Clover or SumUp amongst the alternatives to consider.

Editorial Manager

Tom is the founder of He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.


Comparison table
Overall verdict

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We try to provide transparent information on the different products & services for entrepreneurs, the self-employed, freelancers and professionals.

We monitor multiple business sectors & issue opinions on various products and services that we view are worthwhile for any business to thrive and grow.

Our articles are written independently and the opinions expressed are our own. They are in no way reviewed by the various brands before we publish them.