Square vs Moneris – An In-Depth Comparison

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Searching for the right payment processor for your business can be tough especially with the sheer volume of options on the market at the moment.

We’ve no doubt that in your search you have come across many options, but there are probably two in particular that are starting to stand out. Square and Moneris!

Finding a clear comparison of the two, however, to help you make your decision is no easy thing.

We are here to help with that and take you step by step through comparing features, price, and popularity, and letting you know our thoughts on which is better.

Let’s dive in…

Square vs Moneris

First, let’s just get to grips with who these two companies are.

Square

Square launched in 2009 and quickly took the market by storm.  Their first idea was actually a swipe-based smartphone processor (which pre-dates anyone else!).

Now they offer a full payment processing solution and POS (point of sale) service that helps you run and manage your business finances all in one place.

Square is a popular payment processor for eCommerce, and their in-house sales hardware solutions are second to none.

They are particularly loved for their pricing, which we will go into in more detail later.

Moneris

Moneris is the largest payment processing company in Canada dealing with over 3.5 billion online transactions per year.  They are a Toronto-based company offering multichannel solutions, payment processing, and POS, that are fast and reliable.

They have some big partners in the financial world too like Sage and RBC, meaning they really do help you cover all bases for your company’s finances.

Features

On the surface of it, the features on offer from both Square and Moneris are fairly similar. They offer catered POS solutions for retail, restaurants, and industry.  Both offer eCommerce and in-store solutions and integration.  But when we dive a little deeper, we start to see some differences.

For a start, Moneris provides you with a merchant account which adds a layer of security to your companies’ finances. 

Square on the other hand is a payment service provider, which means it will accept payments for you and uses an aggregated merchant account for all its merchants.  You won’t have a unique merchant ID number.

Square being a third-party processor does mean that if your account has any issues, like being frozen, then the solution is not easy to come by.  This happens rarely though, so should only be a minor consideration.

Payment processing

Moneris and Square both offer excellent solutions for payment processing.  Both will accept payments online through eCommerce stores and have POS solutions for in-store selling.

Moneris also offers mobile payment solutions through their PAYD Pro app, which works on iOS and Android.  You need to purchase a separate pin pad in order to take payments but is a fantastic solution if you are just starting out.

If you wanted to compare the scope and reach for their payment processing solutions, however, then Square comes out firmly on top.

POS systems

Both Square and Moneris have POS systems that are specifically tailored to different industries including, retail, restaurant, and trade to name a few.

Both POS systems are robust, easy to use, and come with the ability to add functionality through additional apps and integrations.

Your POS systems with both companies come with inventory tracking, employee management, real-time reporting, customer information management, to name a few features.

Restaurant POS will also come with additional features like customized restaurant layouts and additional employee management.

Hardware

Both Square and Moneris offer hardware solutions to go along with their POS software systems for you to be able to manage and take payments in-store.

Their offerings range from a handheld reader to all-in-one stand solutions.  The range Moneris offer, in particular, is pretty staggering, and they have a device for pretty much any set up you might require.  You can find their full list of devices here.

There is a significant difference in cost, however, as you will see below!

Online Stores

Through Square Online and Moneris Online, both companies not only offer online payment solutions but the ability to set up your own eCommerce store.

There are some great advantages to this, not least of all the designed integration between your payment solutions and your store functionality means you can offer a seamless experience for customers through your eCommerce stores.

Square in particular makes integration with their POS easy, with automatic syncing of inventory between online and offline stores, as well as clear joint reporting.

Price

This is where we really start to see the two providers differ dramatically!

Let’s break the price down into two categories – POS software solutions and Hardware.

POS software

Square, incredibly, charge no monthly or signup fee for their base POS software solutions.  You get the point-of-sale software and employee management for free.  Their processing fees are also incredibly reasonable at 2.65% plus 10 cents for card payments.

If you are looking for their specialized POS systems for retail or restaurant then, again, the base system is free, but you do have additional tier options that come with a cost:

Retail – you have the plus plan at $79 per month per location which comes with additional inventory functionality, better reporting, and cheaper transaction fees of 2.6%.

Restaurant – the plus plan is $60 per month per location and comes with additional support, the Square KDS (kitchen display), and more in-depth functionality around customizing seat management, reopening closed bills, advanced discounts, etc.

Moneris on the other hand is not cheap.  Their prices range from $44.95 to $99.95 per month depending on what bundle you go for.  They’re not particularly upfront about their pricing and trying to find any sort of detail requires a fair amount of digging.

This, they say, is because they try to tailor to each business’s needs, and to get detailed pricing you will need to get in touch for a quote.

Suffice to say, any monthly cost makes them more expensive than Square.

Hardware

The hardware pricing doesn’t do Moneris any favors either.

Squares POS system comes with a free card reader, though if you’re wanting something with a bit more functionality like then there will be costs involved:

  • Square Terminal – $299
  • Square Stand – $199
  • Square Contactless reader – $59
  • Square Stand Kit – $806 (which includes a printer, till, etc)

Square also offers financing options for their hardware so you can spread out the cost.

Moneris offers hardware bundles that range from the basic bundle which includes an iPad, PIN pad, cash drawer, and receipt printer, to their premium bundles that also have a barcode scanner and cradle.

These bundles, however, unlike Square come with monthly costs, not one-off costs.  The basic bundle is $110 per month and the premium bundle is $130 per month.

It also needs to be noted that these hardware bundles from Moneris do not include the POS software, so whatever bundle you choose you will be adding on the software cost too!

There are without a doubt significant savings to be made with Square.

Contract length and termination fee

We also want to make a quick note on contract length as this is another area where the two companies differ massively.

Square has no set contract length or any sort of early termination fee.  Their additional services are on a month-to-month basis and usually, come with a 30-day free trial too. 

If you have used a financing option to pay for the hardware, however, then this will be a set contract, usually of 1 year, but once that is paid off there is no further commitment.

Moneris, on the other hand, lock you into a 3-year contract as standard and have an early termination fee of $300 per location.

Our Thoughts

Both Moneris and Square offer an impressive range of services and products that cater to just about any business you can think of.

Their POS systems are comprehensive, easy to use, and are well-loved.

On the surface, the decision between the two would be difficult as they are fairly comparable on all things. All things except the price that is!

Price is an important factor, as we all know, and in reality, between Moneris and Square, Square takes the lead.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.