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Square For Canadians: Everything You Need To Know

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For Canadian businesses that sell products, online and off, a point of sale needs to be established.

While having an e-commerce website helps your business collect payments online, what happens if you have recurring payments, or need to charge a client in person?

Square is here to help!

The platform provides an all-in-one service that allows businesses to collect payments from their clients and customers anywhere, anytime.

From physical hardware to digital solutions, Square has Canadian entrepreneurs covered.

Want to learn more about Square and what it can offer your Canadian business?

Read on for more information.

 

Why Square?

Square offers Canadians the freedom and flexibility of paying and getting paid, that’s both quick and easy.

Canadian businesses can expect:

 

1. Fast payments

With Square, business owners don’t need to wait days or weeks to get paid.

They receive their money into their bank account as quickly as the next business day.

Square also ensures that the business owner never misses a payment opportunity by providing multiple ways to accept payments even when they don’t have an internet connection.

What’s more, Square keeps payments transparent.

The system allows you to watch your cash flow by providing real-time updates on your sales and inventory, so you always know what you’ve sold and what you have on hand.

 

2. Immediately Save Time and Money

Square makes sure that every business that signs up with their service can start taking payments within minutes of registering.

There’s no waiting period or credit checks and Canadian business owners don’t require merchant accounts or to visit their bank to start using the service.

What’s more, if there ever is a payment dispute, Square has experts on hand to deal with the bank on your behalf.

This service allows you to focus on more important things, like your business and your customer base.

 

3. Everyone’s Data Stays Secure

Square takes security seriously, and everything they do has security baked right in.

They stay up to date on and in line with industry requirements that help keep data safe.

This protects Canadian business owners and saves them from shouldering the responsibility themselves.

The company meets Level 1 PCI Data Security Standards.

In order to make sure the information of account holders and customers is safe, the platform is designed in a way that all information entered is encrypted and submitted to their servers securely.

Square’s systems are also continuously monitored for suspicious activity, and the company sends out notifications for suspect transactions to help Canadian businesses avoid losing money to fraudulent activity.

 

4. Excellent Customer Service

Square is known for its customer service, and Canadian business owners who run into any issues won’t just be tossed into an automated no-man’s-land.

Instead, Square merchants are able to speak to a representative of their in-house support team at any time from Monday to Friday between the hours of 6 AM – 6 PM PST.

Someone is always available 24/7 via their email support channel, and the company houses an extensive library of tutorial videos that can help users walk themselves through various aspects of the product.

There’s also a passionate Seller Community where merchants can collaborate with and learn from other Square users.

 

Flexible Payment Options That Suit Your Needs

Not all payments are online payments, and if your Canadian business is looking for flexible ways to collect from clients and customers, Square may be just what you are looking for.

Note that Square has a variety of ways Canadian merchants can collect payments.

While some are software, like the Square mobile app, others are physical accessories and include everything from terminals to readers and scanners.

You can browse Square’s many accessories here.

The various ingenious ways Canadian merchants can collect payments on Square include:

 

1. Tap

Where customers can pay in person by “tapping”, i.e.: using a contactless card or an Apple Pay/Google Pay enabled device.

 

2. Chip/swipe

Customers can insert or swipe their cards into one of Square’s provided Square Readers, a handy piece of hardware merchants can have on hand for physical transactions.

 

3. Online

Customer payments can be made online via the Square Online Store.

 

4. Key-in

Need to take a credit card payment over the phone?

No problem.

With Square, users can manually enter credit card details into the Square mobile app, computer, or Square Terminal.

 

5. Invoicing

Users can request payment via digital invoices which are completely customizable and trackable through Square’s Invoices app, browser, or Square Point of Sale.

 

6. Scheduled

If you are a business that requires customers to book your services online, Square provides you with a solution that allows clients to make prepayments up front, after which you can consult virtually with them.

 

7. Custom Solutions are Possible via Square’s API

When your business needs a specific type of payment method or gateway, you can rely on Square to have an option for you.

With their in-house API, businesses can scale their operations with ease while minimizing their payment risk.

The platform even handles compliance.

The API allows companies to build their own custom point of sale, self-service kiosk, or other in-person payment options using their Terminal or POS APIs.

You can learn more about the offering here.

 

8. Sleek Point of Sale Systems

As mentioned, Square provides a wide variety of POS systems.

They are all elegantly designed with a minimalist aesthetic that will look great at the check out of any physical business location.

Square also offers a good mix of stationary and mobile hardware, with solutions that can either live at physical locations or travel with you to wherever your clients are.

 

Whichever model you choose, know that Square has put time and effort in to making sure each POS system and accessory is:

  • Easy to use with a simple user interface that is intuitive and uncomplicated.
  • Customer-focused with POS systems offering lightning-fast checkouts.

    They also have the capability to build customer profiles and offer loyalty programs so you can both learn about your clients and offer them amazing deals all in one place.

  • Customizable so that you can brand your offerings as you see fit, making your customer experience amazing from end to end.

 

e-Commerce Capabilities

For businesses that want to move into e-commerce and would like to start selling online, Square has its very own Square Online Store platform to help you build a website that is specifically designed to sell products.

While Square also recently purchased the popular website builder Weebly, it should be noted that their Online Store platform is separate from Weebly and runs a little bit different.

The biggest distinction is that while Weebly is meant to build any type of website, Square’s Online Store is just that: a digital store that allows business owners to sell their wares.

It’s easy to get started, with a free e-commerce plan and no monthly fee.

Instead, Square charges a 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

The beauty of the platform is that it takes care of all aspects of the online business operations, including order fulfillment and shipping, from one central application.

An added bonus, for Canadian businesses that still intend to keep their physical locations, is that Square allows users to accept payments both online and in-person (or over the phone).

Every sale is kept in sync automatically, which prevents businesses from having to resort to managing two different applications for one business.

Those who choose not to take advantage of their in-house Online Store can still take advantage of Square, as the platform works with other website building partners (both Weebly and Wix, among others).

Square also allows users to sync the system with other apps that help Canadian businesses manage their entire sales and marketing infrastructure more centrally.

Popular integrations include:

  • Intuit Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Mailchimp
  • WooCommerce
  • Acuity Scheduling
  • And more.

The solution has a whole marketplace of apps to help Canadian business owners help reach more customers and organize their admin to streamline the entire process of running a business.

 

Customer Booking via Square

If your Canadian business runs on appointments, using software that integrates online scheduling with other business functions will help you stay more organized.

It will also provide your clients with a seamless customer experience.

Square does just that by integrating payments with other functionalities to help your business thrive.

The benefits of using Square Appointments include:

  • Being absolutely free to use for individuals (just pay a small fee for processing).
  • If you have a team, you can manage everyone’s calendar from one spot.

    You can even set access and permissions, see individual sales, and view appointment reports all from the app.

  • Syncing your Google calendar with Square so both you and your clients can see the most up-to-date availability
  • 24/7 client bookings. No need to be by the phone or to even have a website.

    You can easily manage your bookings right from your iPhone or iPad.

  • Sending invoices, accepting payments, and selling products right from the app.Customers can even have Square save their card information to make checkouts faster.
  • Reduction of no-shows.

    This is all but guaranteed with automated appointment reminders, prepayment options, and cancellation fees leveraged for online bookings.

  • Customer insights with the capability built-in to make notes, track preferences, and view appointment and sales history.

 

Invoicing Made Easy

Square makes it super simple to create and send estimates and invoices to clients and gives Canadian business owners the flexibility to send them out in a variety of ways (via the Invoices App, from their desktop, or right from Square’s Point of Sale).

Square’s invoicing software works for everything from one-time billing to recurring charges and allows merchants to accept debit, credit, cheques, or cash.

Using the invoicing software is a snap with invoices and estimates generated in seconds simply by entering the customer’s email and the amount of the transaction.

With Square, business owners can:

  • Create custom invoices
  • Send detailed estimates
  • Set automatic payment reminders
  • Accept payment online
  • Securely save client card information
  • Request deposits
  • Track invoices
  • Check payment status
  • Add attachments and receipts
  • Schedule recurring invoices

The platform offers free setup, promises no monthly fees, and doesn’t require the merchant to sign a contract.

All major credit cards are accepted, and Square only requires the merchant pay for processing, which works out to 2.9% + $0.30 per invoice.

When customers authorize Square to keep their card on file, merchants pay an adjusted 3.4% + $0.15 per saved card payment.

 

Charging Clients Over the Phone/In Person

While e-commerce is all the rage these days, there are still times merchants need to take payments either in person or over the phone.

You don’t need fancy equipment to collect payment on Square, and your client doesn’t even have to be present.

All you need is your computer (and, if you are swiping a card, a Square Reader).

The process is just three simple steps:

  1. Go to your virtual terminal after logging into your Square account
  2. Fill in your customer’s information and choose a card on file
  3. Charge you customer

That’s it!

For in-person or over the phone credit card transactions, Square charges a rate of 2.65% for every swipe and 3.4% + $0.15 for every card not present transaction.

In conclusion, Square really is a workhorse when it comes to Point of Sale and Online transactions.

Not only do they have the hardware and accessories a Canadian business might need for physical locations, but they also have a strong e-commerce presence to help you expand your reach online.

Coupled with the fact that you can really customize their solution to suit your unique business requirements (via APIs and e-commerce stores), Square makes making money, pleasing customers, and getting paid super simple within the tech-savvy Canadian marketplace.

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Nicole Vrbicek

Nicole is a digital nomad who calls Toronto home but finds herself elsewhere most of the time. She works with startups and tech firms around the world to help them develop and implement integrated marketing and social media strategies. She also writes.