As an increasing number of consumers embrace cashless transactions in the form of card, mobile and digital payments, more small businesses than ever are accepting credit cards, mobile wallets and additional payment methods.
Merchant One and Square are among the best credit card processors that cater to small businesses. One or the other may be an ideal payment processing solution for your company. We looked at our detailed Merchant One review and review of Square and gathered information about each platform’s costs, integrations, e-commerce features and more. Our goal is to help businesses make an informed decision when choosing between these industry leaders.
Over 300, including QuickBooks, Salesforce, Zoho and HubSpot
Over 350, including QuickBooks, Wix and DoorDash
24/7 phone support, email and text support, online resources and a dedicated account manager
24/7 support by phone, chat and email
Merchant One is an ideal choice for businesses with high-volume sales. It’s also a great option for companies on a budget that prioritize excellent customer service. Merchant One’s subscription-based pricing model enables a reduced markup on its payment processing services. In other words, Merchant One charges you a smaller percentage of your sales, ultimately leading to more substantial profit margins.
Additionally, Merchant One’s white-glove customer service sets it apart from many other payment processors we reviewed. We like that the company provides 24/7 technical support and assigns a personal account manager to assist you. Merchant One accommodates all transaction types, whether your business conducts e-commerce or in-person sales via contactless payments, mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay, or EMV chips. You can also take advantage of a hosted checkout page so you can start selling online.
Here are some pertinent Merchant One facts you should note:
Square is an ideal payment processing solution for startups, newer small businesses and e-commerce businesses. Its vast ecosystem of user-friendly hardware and software sets the vendor apart from competitors. For example, Square is considered one of the best POS systems for small companies. Square also integrates seamlessly with top e-commerce sites and over 350 third-party business apps.
We like that Square is willing to provide credit card processing for high-risk businesses, which isn’t the case with every credit card processor. We also appreciate its application process, which is straightforward with no hidden fees. The free mobile app can turn your smartphone into a mobile POS system, and Square provides free card readers for new customers.
Square stands out from competitors for the following reasons:
Merchant One charges a monthly subscription fee plus a small percentage of the transaction. Here’s a breakdown:
To become a Merchant One subscriber, you must commit to a three-year contract. You may incur an early cancellation fee (a flat fee or a monthly fee) if you decide the service isn’t for you.
Like Merchant One, Square charges on a subscription basis. It also uses interchange-plus pricing, where the company takes a small cut of your revenue plus a small fixed fee. We were impressed by Square’s robust free tier — a rarity in the industry (though you’ll still have to pay for credit card processing).
Here’s a breakdown of Square’s costs. Note that plan prices reflect a discount for annual billing.
2.6% + $0.10 (in person); 2.9% + $0.30 (online); 3.5% + $0.15 (manually entered)
Website builder, order fulfillment, Square POS and social tools
2.6% + $0.10 (in person); 2.9% + $0.30 (online); 3.5% + $0.15 (manually entered)
All free features, plus website customization, QR codes, customer accounts, personalization, PayPal and subscriptions
2.6% + $0.10 (in person); 2.6% + $0.30 (online); 3.5% + $0.15 (manually entered)
All Plus features, plus lower processing rates, real-time data, advanced customer service and no delivery fees
Like many credit card processors, Square offers additional selling and e-commerce tools for merchants, including the following:
Winner: Merchant One
Merchant One edges out Square on costs. Its monthly fee is significantly lower than Square’s paid plans, and its processing rates are also much lower. Even though Square offers a free version of its software, your subscription savings still won’t match Merchant One’s low processing fees in the vast majority of cases.
Integrations are important for businesses that want to connect crucial business software. Merchant One facilitates 300-plus third-party software integrations. Additionally, Merchant One offers an open API to help organizations develop customized integrations.
Here are some notable Merchant One integrations:
Square offers 350-plus business software integrations, including the following:
Although both providers offer comparable integrations, Square provides a better variety of well-known brands. That said, Square and Merchant One offer several unique integrations. Business owners should list the integrations they need and then check for compatibility on the Merchant One and Square websites.
Merchant One is an authorized POS device reseller; it does not manufacture proprietary hardware. When you work with Merchant One, the company will provide credit card processing machines for free. You may get one of these handheld POS devices:
Merchant One offers the Pax S80 handheld terminal for free. Source: Merchant One
Unlike Merchant One, Square manufactures its hardware in-house. These devices are easy to use and budget-friendly, making them an excellent choice for merchants that must upgrade their credit card terminals.
Top hardware options include the following:
These devices range in cost from $49 for the Square Reader to $699 for the Square Register; in some cases, monthly payment plans are available. Square also offers various hardware add-ons, such as tablet stands, cash drawers and receipt printers.
Square’s hardware lineup is sleek, affordable and user-friendly. Source: Square
Square is the hands-down winner in the hardware category. The company offers a wide variety of devices and options for accepting payments, ranging from plug-in card readers, handheld terminals and iPad software to full-service registers. Square’s hardware lineup is renowned for its user-friendliness; it’s also less expensive compared to other credit card processing hardware. While we like that Merchant One offers free hardware, customers must sign a three-year contract. Its paid hardware options are also more expensive than Square’s lineup.
Merchant One’s valuable e-commerce features are notably more extensive than other processors’ offerings. These tools include the following:
Merchant One’s virtual terminal lets merchants enter credit card information manually. Source: Merchant One
We like that Square offers various e-commerce solutions for small businesses, even on its free plan. With Square, you can keep in-person and online transactions on a central dashboard.
Some of the company’s best features include the following:
Square’s software lets you view in-person and e-commerce transactions on one dashboard. Source: Square
Merchant One and Square provide a nice array of e-commerce tools. However, Square takes the win here with more advanced functionality. In our opinion, restaurants will find Square’s pickup and delivery system particularly useful. We were impressed by how easy Square makes it to set up a website, even for business owners without web design skills. While Merchant One offers an open API, this isn’t a benefit small businesses can leverage without a skilled web developer.
We were impressed by Merchant One’s high-level customer service. You’ll have access to 24/7 phone, email and text support, as well as a dedicated account manager.
Merchant One scored a noteworthy score of 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot for customer support, which puts it far ahead of its small business credit card processing peers.
In an era where automated support systems are increasingly the norm, it’s noteworthy that business owners using Square can connect with a human for assistance. You can access phone support from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. The vendor also offers online resources like an FAQ page and a community forum.
Square scored 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot for its customer support, which is higher than many competitors in the credit card processing space.
Both Merchant One and Square stand out in the industry with positive customer reviews for their technical support. However, Merchant One wins this category because it supports more customer support channels. Merchant One also offers a dedicated account manager for all users, while Square only offers advanced customer support on its Premium plan. Customer service hours are another point of comparison — Merchant One offers 24/7 support, while Square’s hours are more limited.
Choose Merchant One if:
Choose Square if:
Merchant One is owned by Fiserv, the same company that owns Clover.
Square may hold up to 30% of your funds for a designated period for chargebacks (known as a “reserve”). This is higher than the industry average.