Square Vs. VeriFone Calculator: Which Service Charges Less for Mobile Payments?

Last Updated May 6, 2011 10:30 AM EDT


As the whole Square vs. VeriFone controversy has played out over recent weeks, there's one important piece of information that has largely escaped the discussion: Which service offers you the better deal? Which one charges the lowest fees for your particular kind of business?

Now there's an easy way to find out. The FeeFighters Square vs. VeriFone Calculator shows you the fees charged by both providers based on your average transaction size and total monthly volume.

For example, my sister-in-law sells homemade chocolates at craft fairs and similar venues. The average sale is about $10, and she probably grosses around $1,000 per month. According to the calculator, Square will charge $27.50 in fees, versus $79.71 if she was using VeriFone.

Interestingly, the higher your average transaction size and monthly volume, the closer VeriFone gets to matching or beating Square. So, let's say you're selling product at $100 a pop and moving around $50K per month; in that scenario, VeriFone will cost you $300 less in fees.

Scroll down the page a bit and you'll get a more detailed breakdown of the fees, including FeeFighters' take on the "VeriFone attack" and some general thoughts on the pros and cons of each product. (Example: "Square works with the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, while Verifone only works with the iPhone.") There's some really good data here for any business owner who's still trying to decide between the two mobile-payment services.

I must admit I didn't realize that VeriFone could end up being the cheaper solution for businesses with bigger-ticket items and higher volumes. I still admire Square for offering free hardware, wider compatibility, and flat-fee processing -- but the numbers don't lie. Check the calculator yourself before making a decision.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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