By Jesenia Vargas

Square Contactless Payments vs. Contactless by Omni

Who has the best Contactless Payments Options for Small Businesses in 2020?

With the accelerated adoption of contactless payments in 2020, a number of payment providers have continued to find new ways to provide small businesses with the payment tools they need to adapt. Contactless payments is not a relatively new concept, however low adoption rates in the U.S. have meant that many merchants today still do not offer contactless payment options.

Whether you’re exploring payment processing options for your new business or looking for new payment processing solutions in response to the urgent need of having touch-free payment options, it’s important to understand the best contactless payment processing solutions you have available.

Fattmerchant offers contactless payment technology solutions for all business types, and one major company that also offers similar options is Square.

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What Contactless Payment Solutions Does Square Have to Offer?

This month, we unveiled our latest all-in-one contactless payment solution, Contactless by Omni, but how does it actually compare to the virtual payment options offered by Square? 

Since their launch in 2010 with their now iconic small-business credit card reader, Square has continued to focus on physical card payment options, although they have started expanding into eCommerce within the past two years. This includes the acquisition of an online store platform.

At present, they offer 5 general sets of virtual contactless services, each with a unique combination of offerings focused primarily on a specific business model and setup. In addition to leveraging contactless terminals in-store, Square’s virtual and touch-free payment options include:

1. Online Store (eCommerce Payments)

Primarily designed for small businesses who need a basic eCommerce platform to easily sell their products online, including curbside and delivery.


  • There are four service pricing tiers: Free, Professional, Performance and Premium
  •  $72 a month to access the full Online Store suite

Fees: Standard eCommerce transaction fee is 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction with Performance and Premium tiers offering a slight discount per transaction

2. Online Checkout (eCommerce Payments)

Designed for small businesses that desire a simple online payment page without having to create a full online eCommerce store. Online Checkout is a single check out link or button that redirects the customer to a Square hosted online payment form for a single purpose or product, which can include accepting donations for a fundraiser.

Cost: $0 for existing customers with an existing Square account

Fees: Standard eCommerce transaction fee is 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

3. Virtual Terminal (Over the Phone or Email Payments)

Touted for businesses who want to charge customers using a computer, Square’s VT allows business owners to take payments in person using a connected reader or remotely over the phone or email.

Cost: $0 for existing customers

Fees: 3.5% + 15¢ per keyed-in transaction, or 2.6% + 10¢ per swipe

4. Square Invoices (Email or Recurring Payments)

Credit Card Processing Invoice

Focused on small businesses without the need to instantly collect payment, this contactless option focuses on the ability to bill customers via email or through recurring payments. When you create a Square Invoices account, you gain access to the Square Dashboard where you’ll find invoicing, sales tracking, and contact management. 

Cost: $0 for existing customers

Fees: 2.9% + $0.30

5. Contactless Card Readers and Terminals (in-store and mobile payments)

Square has 3 options for merchants: A bluetooth enabled contactless card reader, an all-in-one terminal, and their Square Registers.

Square’s Contactless and chip card readers can be connected to your Android or Apple mobile device wirelessly via Bluetooth. It only accepts chip cards (EMV) and contactless (NFC) payments, but works alongside their magstripe reader to swipe chip cards and magstripe-only cards. If you have the Square Contactless and Chip Card Reader connected to your device, however, you will not be allowed to swipe the magnetic strip on the cards if the card also has a chip. That is because both cannot be used at the same time as the contactless reader will only allow you to dip a card with a chip present. You would need to disconnect and turn off the contactless reader.

In lieu of a full POS system like their Square Register, their all-in-one terminal provides the capability for businesses to do both using one system. It is important to note that it does not have a web browser or any additional apps and, like all of their other products, is only compatible with Square’s credit card processing.


  • $49 for the Contactless Square Reader alone
  • $299 for the all-in-one Terminal. There is an additional cost of $39 for a hub that will allow the terminal to connect to the internet via Ethernet and add USB accessories
  • $799 for Square’s Register

Fees: 2.6% + 10¢ for every dip, tap, or swipe payment

Pros of Square’s Contactless Payment Options

  • Simple and easy to use for small businesses
  • Access to the Square Dashboard where you’ll find invoicing and sales tracking
  • Large marketplace with numerous 3rd Party Integrations

Cons of Square’s Contactless Payment Options

Including a wide variety of integrated, touch-free payment options is more important than ever as today’s businesses have to pivot rapidly and go digital. That means it has become critical for businesses to have quick, easy access to contactless payment options that work together seamlessly and can be set up with one simple click.

“Add-On” Style Payment Processing Solutions

While beneficial for small businesses who once only needed one or two payment processing options to begin with, business owners that now need quick access to multiple core contactless payment features end up having to spend time wading through the separate options and do the work in putting together the solutions they need – and only after they realize they needed them. This adds days or weeks lost in figuring out the right integrations (if they integrate with each other at all), in addition to going through the setup process.

In addition, it is common when adding separate solutions that were not originally built as one unified experience to go through duplicated effort, have issues with managing multiple dashboards, gaps in information syncing, worst of all, having to do multiple reconciliations and maintain separate records for transactions run through each solution. 

There is nothing more frustrating and time consuming than not being able to consolidate all of your customer and transaction data in a single place as sometimes seen when collecting payments for the same customer between Square’s Virtual Terminal and Invoiced payments. In addition, there are cases where you are unable to easily swap between two products at once, as seen between Square’s magstripe and contactless chip reader, which do not work together.

Related Article: Comparing Credit Card Processing Companies

Added Payment Processing and Technology Costs

If you’re a brick and mortar store and want to quickly add a curbside pickup or a delivery eCommerce solution, you only have two options when using Square (outside of building a whole new website via their Online Store, which is not quick or easy for most small business owners): Adding an extension with a 3rd party eCommerce company, or finding a developer to leverage Square’s API. Both mean extra costs and weeks spent in setting up. 

With independently set up solutions, you also risk finding yourself with different rates, different pricing tiers to choose from, different companies with their own unique business contracts, and multiple merchant statements that will need to be reconciled. Not to mention the limits placed on “free” tiered services that will result in future expenses as business expands and grows.

In addition, as you need to add on independent solutions you may find yourself paying more over the long term than in cases you have all of the tools already included in one comprehensive package. This is especially true in a closed merchant services system where there is a chance that you would need to purchase all new products due to compatibility issues or the fact that they have a limited number of hardware options resulting in an increased need for 3rd party add ons.

What Does Fattmerchant’s Contactless by Omni Have to Offer? 

Unlike Square’s individual contactless payment options, Contactless by Omni offers all the critical contactless payment tools small business owners need to modernize their business through one single platform. From before the launch of Fattmerchat’s virtual terminal in 2015 to today, we continue to empower small businesses by delivering the easiest, most cost-effective tech solutions they need in the digital space.

Through Fattmerchant’s all-in-one Contactless suite you have access to a complete contactless payments experience from the start, including the latest in data optimizations, analytics and reporting, and modern day payments technology. All without the need to spend hundreds of dollars on each individual solution and losing time having to build. Contactless features include: 

Omni Customized Payments Invoice

  • A One-click Instant eCommerce Shopping Cart
  • 2-way Text to Pay Platform 
  • Virtual Portal for Keying in Phone Orders
  • Multiple Touch-Free Mobile or Countertop Terminals options
  • Email & Text Invoices
  • Access to Omni’s robust analytics Dashboard
  • Award-winning 24/7 customer support 
  • Easy enrollment allowing you to set up a full suite of contactless options overnight
  • Access to the lowest credit card processing fees
  • Seamless integration across all contactless and traditional solutions

With Contactless by Omni, you can leverage a seamless contactless payments processing solution to offer a more complete experience in-store and online for your customers overnight. We take care of all of the heavy lifting so that you can focus on what matters most – your customers and your business. 

Related Article: What is Contactless by Omni?

Where Can I Find Out More About the Benefits of Contactless by Omni? 

With Contactless by Omni, experience the benefits of an entire integrated payments ecosystem that works seamlessly with your small business, when and how you need it. There are no tiers, no complicated up-charges, and no need for an expensive developer or technical resource. You have full access to the entire suite from day one.

Learn more about Contactless by Omni and find out more information on how you can quickly get started on offering touch-free payments today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you leverage the best all-in-one contactless payment processing solution for your needs.

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