SumUp vs Square: What’s the Difference?

sumup vs square

SumUp and Square are two prominent players in the mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) industry, providing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to accept card payments. While they share similarities in their core functionalities, they differ in several key aspects. This comparison will cover various dimensions such as hardware, software, fees, features, customer support, and geographical availability to help you understand the differences and determine which might be the best fit for your business needs.


SumUp is a European-based company founded in 2012, primarily targeting the European market but also expanding into North and South America. SumUp focuses on simplicity and affordability, offering a streamlined product lineup aimed at small businesses, sole traders, and mobile professionals.


Square, founded by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey in 2009, is based in the United States. It has grown rapidly, expanding its services beyond mPOS to include a suite of business solutions such as invoicing, payroll, and marketing. Square aims to provide a comprehensive ecosystem for SMBs to manage their operations seamlessly.


SumUp offers a range of card readers, including:

  1. SumUp Air: A compact, wireless card reader that connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It supports chip and PIN, contactless payments (NFC), and magnetic stripe transactions.
  2. SumUp 3G: A standalone card reader with built-in 3G connectivity, allowing merchants to accept payments without needing a smartphone or tablet. It includes a free data SIM card.
  3. SumUp Solo: A more advanced, standalone card reader with a touchscreen interface and built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

SumUp’s card readers are designed for simplicity and ease of use, making them ideal for small businesses and mobile professionals who need a reliable and portable payment solution.


Square offers a variety of hardware options tailored to different business needs:

  1. Square Reader for Magstripe: A small, free reader that plugs into the headphone jack or connects via Lightning port for swiping magnetic stripe cards.
  2. Square Reader for Contactless and Chip: A wireless reader that supports EMV chip cards and NFC payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. It connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet.
  3. Square Stand: A robust, iPad-based POS system that includes an integrated card reader for chip and contactless payments. It also has a built-in swivel stand for easy customer interaction.
  4. Square Terminal: A standalone, all-in-one device that combines a touchscreen display, receipt printer, and card reader. It supports chip, contactless, and magstripe payments.
  5. Square Register: A comprehensive POS solution with a customer-facing display and integrated hardware for chip, contactless, and magstripe payments. It’s designed for more permanent setups in retail or restaurant environments.

Square’s hardware lineup offers more variety and caters to a broader range of business types, from mobile vendors to brick-and-mortar stores.

Software and Features

SumUp provides a straightforward app for Android and iOS devices, offering essential features such as:

  1. Payment Processing: Accepts all major credit and debit cards, as well as contactless payments.
  2. Virtual Terminal: Allows businesses to accept payments over the phone by entering card details manually.
  3. Invoicing: Create and send invoices directly from the app.
  4. Sales Reporting: Basic analytics and sales reports to help businesses track their performance.
  5. Product Catalogue: Add and manage a list of products and services for easy checkout.

SumUp focuses on simplicity and ease of use, making it a great option for businesses that need a reliable, no-frills payment solution.


Square offers a more comprehensive suite of software solutions, including:

  1. Square Point of Sale (POS): A feature-rich app available for Android and iOS devices, with capabilities such as inventory management, employee management, and customer relationship management (CRM).
  2. Square for Restaurants: A specialized POS system designed for food and beverage establishments, offering advanced features like table management, menu customization, and kitchen display systems.
  3. Square for Retail: Tailored for retail businesses, providing advanced inventory management, barcode scanning, and multi-location support.
  4. Square Invoices: Allows businesses to create and send professional invoices, with the ability to track payment status and send reminders.
  5. Square Appointments: A scheduling tool integrated with the POS system, ideal for service-based businesses like salons and spas.
  6. Square Online Store: Enables businesses to create an e-commerce website, sync inventory with their physical store, and manage online orders.
  7. Square Payroll: A full-service payroll solution that integrates with the POS system, simplifying employee payments and tax filings.
  8. Square Marketing: Tools for creating and managing email marketing campaigns to engage customers and drive sales.

Square’s ecosystem of software solutions provides a comprehensive suite of tools to manage various aspects of a business, making it suitable for more complex operations that require integrated solutions.

Fees and Pricing

SumUp’s pricing model is straightforward, with no monthly fees or long-term contracts. The main costs include:

  1. Card Reader Cost:
    • SumUp Plus: Approximately $54
    • SumUp Solo: Approximately $99
    • SumUp Solo Printer Bundle: Approximately $169
  2. Transaction Fees: SumUp charges 2.6% + 10¢ for in-person, 3.5% + 15¢ for online and manually entered and 2.9% + 15¢ for SumUp invoicing in the U.S.

SumUp’s simple pricing structure makes it easy for businesses to understand and predict their costs.


Square’s pricing includes both hardware costs and transaction fees, as well as optional subscription services:

  1. Card Reader Cost:
    • Square Reader for Magstripe: Free for the first reader, $10 for additional readers
    • Square Reader for Contactless and Chip: Approximately $49
    • Square Stand: Approximately $149
    • Square Terminal: Approximately $299
    • Square Register: Approximately $799
  2. Transaction Fees:
    • 2.6% + $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe for in-person payments
    • 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed-in transactions
    • 2.9% + $0.30 for online payments
    • 3.3% + $0.30 for invoices
  3. Subscription Services (optional):
    • Square for Restaurants: Starts at $60 per month
    • Square for Retail: Starts at $89 per month
    • Square Payroll: Starts at $35 per month plus $6 per employee
    • Square Marketing: Starts at $15 per month

Square’s pricing model is more complex due to the variety of services and subscription options available, but it offers greater flexibility for businesses with diverse needs.

Customer Support

SumUp provides customer support through various channels, including:

  1. Help Center: An online resource with articles and guides on common issues and questions.
  2. Email Support: Available for more in-depth queries and assistance.
  3. Phone Support: Available during business hours for immediate help.

SumUp’s support is generally well-regarded, though the availability and responsiveness may vary by region.


Square offers extensive customer support options:

  1. Help Center: A comprehensive online resource with articles, guides, and troubleshooting tips.
  2. Email Support: For detailed inquiries and technical assistance.
  3. Phone Support: Available for direct help, with dedicated lines for different business needs.
  4. Community Forum: An online forum where users can ask questions, share experiences, and get advice from other Square users.
  5. Social Media Support: Active support through platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Square’s customer support is known for being accessible and comprehensive, with multiple channels available to address various issues.

Geographical Availability

SumUp is available in over 30 countries, primarily in Europe but also in North and South America. Some of the key markets include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • United States
  • Brazil

SumUp’s focus on the European market makes it a strong contender for businesses operating in this region.


Square is available in a growing number of countries, including:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Ireland
  • France

Square’s expansion into international markets is ongoing, but it remains most widely used in the United States and other English-speaking countries.

Pros and Cons
  • Simple and affordable pricing
  • Easy-to-use hardware and software
  • No monthly fees or long-term contracts
  • Reliable and portable card readers
  • Limited features compared to Square
  • Less comprehensive software ecosystem
  • Customer support may vary by region
  • Wide range of hardware options
  • Comprehensive suite of business solutions
  • Advanced features for specific industries
  • Extensive customer support options
  • More complex pricing structure
  • Higher upfront costs for some hardware
  • Subscription fees for advanced features

Choosing between SumUp and Square depends on your business needs, budget, and geographical location. SumUp is an excellent choice for small businesses and mobile professionals looking for a simple, affordable, and reliable payment solution, especially in Europe. Its straightforward pricing and easy-to-use hardware make it ideal for those who want a hassle-free experience.

On the other hand, Square offers a more comprehensive ecosystem of tools and services, making it suitable for businesses with more complex operations or those looking to integrate various aspects of their business management. While Square’s pricing is more complex, its advanced features and extensive support options provide significant value for businesses that need a robust and scalable solution.

By evaluating your specific requirements and considering the differences outlined above, you can make an informed decision on which mPOS provider best suits your business.

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