Contactless payment. Close up of man processing contactless payment in cafeteria after drinking coffee. Concept: Square Vs PayPal
Betsy Wise
By: betsy_wise
Read in 10 minutes

Square vs PayPal: Which Is Better For Your Small Business?

Have you ever watched a balance scale teeter/totter up and down until the weight of each plate was the same? Each side of the scale gets higher or lower, depending on how much weight is added to each plate. 


In like manner, when you’re deciding between Square Vs PayPal, your goal is to find the right balance of payment choices for your business.

You may want a service that integrates with your eCommerce business or offers a range of credit card payment processing services. Or perhaps, you’re more concerned about having access to the best business management features.

We’ve compared Square vs PayPal to make your decision easier.

In this post, we’ll highlight the products and services each company provides, their fees, and significant features. Then, you’ll have the information you need to choose a service that complements your business.


Square Vs PayPal

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Square, Inc. has office locations in five other countries. Launched in 2009, the company’s goal is that “no one should be left out of the economy because the cost is too great or the technology too complex.” 

To that end, the company develops tools for sellers that are easy to understand and ones they can use to make a living.

Square makes readers that accept magstripe, chip cards, and NFC (near field communication) payments that work with all major credit cards and gift cards. It’s also possible to receive payments remotely by keying in payments.


Square Vs PayPal

Since 1998, PayPal has been creating ways to “manage and move money” when online, using a mobile device, an app, or paying in person. The payment platform enables over 19 million merchants to transact payments so they can build and run their businesses. 

The company is committed to helping people and businesses thrive on a global scale.

With PayPal, merchants can use a card reader, smartphone, or tablet to accept credit and debit cards or contactless NFC payments, whether someone pays online or in person. With Smart Payment Buttons, customers can choose how they want to pay.

Square vs PayPal: Products and Services

Compare the main features of both payment platforms to see their differences.

InvoicingSend invoices and custom estimates at no charge. Automatic payment reminders, real-time tracking, recurring billing, reporting, and compatibility with IOS and Android apps.Customizable invoice templates, send invoices from nearly any device via email or shared link, notified when a bill is undeliverable, recurring billing, and manage everything in one place. 
Using stored InformationPayment information can be saved to a customer profile and used to bill repeat customers, and customer receipts sent automatically to an email.View customer transaction history, import contacts, and manage everything from a mobile device.
POS SoftwarePoint of sale app with real-time analytics and sales reporting, manage customer and employee profiles, set employee permissions, import inventory items to CVS spreadsheets, make notes on profiles, manage inventory from the dashboard. Square offers apps so you can sync data and control information. In addition to invoicing, you can track sales, customize business profiles and receipts, create product lists with photos and descriptions, and manage inventory from any device. Run reports, apply discounts that can be accessed during checkout, and set up POS to partner with your favorite apps from PayPal’s partner directory.  
Fraud monitoringPayments encrypted from beginning to end, constant tracking of server security, defense layers to keep hackers out Monitors fraud 24/7 and supports EMV certified devices to protect customers’ financial data
Check processingNot offeredFree
Funds Availability36 hours or 1-2 business days from date of the transaction; fees charged for instant and same-day transfersImmediately when customers pay with a credit or debit card; bank transfers take 1-2 business days

Square vs PayPal: Fees and Rates

Fees and rates vary depending on the method of payment. The charges listed below are for each transaction. Keep in mind, each company has a separate pricing schedule to purchase reader hardware.

Square Pricing 

No long-term commitments or monthly fees, Square charges select fees for access to advanced features. 

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for every swipe, dip, or tap
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for invoices and eCommerce payments
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for virtual terminal and keyed-in transactions

PayPal Pricing 

No startup costs, no termination fee, no monthly fees, fees charged for advanced features.

  • 2.9% plus a fixed fee based on the currency – in the United States
  • 4.4% plus a fixed fee based on the currency – outside the United States
  • 2.7% in your store location – in the United States
  • 4.2% in your store location – outside the United States

Square vs PayPal: Extras

What other extras do these companies offer?


  • For a monthly subscription fee and a separate charge per employee, Square offers a full-service payroll system to pay employees and payroll taxes. You can access information relating to paid time off, total hours worked, and overall labor paid for employees. 
  • If you don’t have employees, you pay $5 for each contractor and are not charged a subscription fee. 
  • Square offers access to loans in much smaller amounts as compared to PayPal.


  • Business and working capital loans offered based on time in business and revenue. 
  • Marketing tools to gain insights about customers’ behaviors to help increase sales. 
  • Promotional financing offered to customers through PayPal Credit that’s part of the checkout menu. 
  • Customers can buy on credit to increase order size, purchase more, and buy again. PayPal Credit is subject to consumer credit approval. 

Illustration of online payment with credit card. Concept: what is a prepaid card. Designed by / Freepik

Square vs PayPal: Final Verdict

So how does Square Vs PayPal stack up in comparison?

Is one service more appealing to you than the other? 

PayPal is a household name and has been around longer, but Square offers equally competitive pricing. 

Square only accepts card payments in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan, whereas PayPal is accepted in more than 200 countries. Being able to integrate payroll with POS activities is a big plus in Square’s favor. 

While Square does offer online payment options, if you run an eShop, maybe PayPal is a better alternative.

On the other hand, if you run a brick-and-mortar store, your best bet could be Square (even though PayPal does offer point-of-sales terminals).

What if you have both an eCommerce and a physical store, though?

Well, it all comes down to what types of services you need the most. You can’t go wrong with any of these two options. In the end, it’s essential to choose a company that offers exactly what you need to successfully run your business.

The New Economy

We do feel like it’s important to mention that nowadays, in the post-COVID world, having an online store is crucial for your business’ survival: people now are migrating to shopping online.

If you only have a brick-and-mortar store, we wholeheartedly recommend you to start an eCommerce. While there are many website builders, Square does offer a tool to create a free online store.

Young Hispanic couple smiling to camera outside their shop. concept: square vs paypal

Achieve balance by using the right online payment processing service 

By comparing Square vs PayPal, you can see which payment processing service is most appealing for your business model. At Camino Financial, we understand the importance of obtaining balance in every aspect of your business.

Therefore, our motto, “No Business Left Behind,” is the driving force behind how we approach success. We invite you to keep reading:

Latina business owner accepting credit card with her payment processor at her business. Concept:Best credit card processing for small business

Best Credit Card Processing For Small Business


Another way we help you grow is our loans, designed with you in mind. We don’t require collateral, a social security number, or credit history. Our job is to create products and services that provide the best funding solutions so your business can grow.

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