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Who Has The Best Contactless Payments Options for Small Businesses in 2021?

With the accelerated adoption of contactless payments in 2021, 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 are 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 you’re 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.

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

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What Contactless Payment Solutions Does Square Have to Offer?

Stax offers the latest in all-in-one contactless payment solution, but how does it actually compare to the virtual payment options offered by Square?

Since its launch in 2010 with its now-iconic small-business credit card reader, Square has continued to focus on physical card payment options. Over the past few years, Square has started expanding into eCommerce which includes the acquisition of an online store platform.

Currently, 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)

Focused on small businesses without the need to instantly collect payments, 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 its 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 stripe 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.

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 are 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 “add-on” style payment processing solutions may initially appear beneficial for small businesses, they actually decrease efficiency. Business owners that need quick access to multiple core contactless payment features end up spending too much time assembling the solutions they need.

In addition, it is common to face challenges when adding separate solutions that were not originally built as one unified experience. Issues may include duplicated effort, having issues with managing multiple dashboards, gaps in information syncing, and 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. 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: Square Payment Fees vs Stax Fees

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 the 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 Do Stax Contactless Payments Solutions Have to Offer?

Unlike Square’s individual contactless payment options, Stax Contactless Solutions offers all the critical contactless payment tools small business owners need to modernize their business through one single platform. With the Stax Platform, Stax empowers small businesses by delivering the easiest, most cost-effective technology solutions they need in the digital space.

Through Stax’ all-in-one Contactless suite, you have access to a complete contactless payments experience from the start. This includes 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:

  • 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 Stax’ 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 Stax Contactless Solutions, you can leverage a seamless, contactless payments processing solution to offer a more complete experience in-store and online for your customers overnight.

Where Can I Find Out More About the Benefits of Stax Contactless Payments Solutions?

With Stax Contactless Payments Solutions, you’ll 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.

Also Check Out: Why Square Payments Rolling Reserve is Bad for Small Businesses

Learn more about Stax Contactless Solutions 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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