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Square vs The Merchant Doctor Phone Swipe

Updated on January 9, 2013
Square vs Phone Swipe with The Merchant Doctor
Square vs Phone Swipe with The Merchant Doctor
Square vs Phone Swipe with The Merchant Doctor
Square vs Phone Swipe with The Merchant Doctor

Square versus The Merchant Doctor solution, The Phone Swipe! While the debate forges on about which mobile processing solution to accept credit cards on the go is best, is there a clear winner?

In the past we have written articles outlining the big differences between using Square to accept credit cards and The Merchant Doctor’s Phone Swipe mobile payment solution but with technology, updates, and new features coming out almost weekly it is time for an up to date honest comparison of the two products.

Let’s start out by looking at the similarities between the two credit card processing solutions. Both Square and Phone Swipe offer small volume merchants an efficient way to accept credit cards just about anywhere with NO contract, NO monthly fees, NO annual fees, NO PCI fees along with easy to understand credit card processing rates and FREE card readers. Both have a fully customizable free app that allows merchants to create virtual point of sale systems that can be integrated with cash drawers and printers. As a matter of fact Square and the Merchant Doctor solutions are just about head to head when it comes to the functionality of the app itself. So how do you decide which company is the best for your business to accept credit cards with? I would like to start with some of the technical differences between Square and Phone Swipe and then move onto service and functional differences.

Square is not a processor.
Square is not a processor.

First Off, Square is NOT a processor!

That’s right although they would love for you to think that they have somehow found a way to “cut out the middleman” Square Up is not a credit card processor. They are what’;s called an aggregator (more on that in a bit). Basically, just like a lot of merchant service providers, Square is simply a representative for the processing bank. Paymentech is the company that actually processes the transactions for Square, and JP Morgan Chase is the company's acquiring bank (also known as a member bank).

When a transaction is conducted, the Square application gathers credit card information and routes it to Paymentech whom routes it through the appropriate Visa or MasterCard networks to the customer's card issuing bank. When an approval code is issued Paymentech routes the funding.

So the truth is that Square is simply a merchant service provider and uses processors and banks to complete credit card transactions. This means that they are not immune to Interchange rates and fees or any Visa MasterCard assessments etcetera.

Square uses aggregate accounts.  Is your money safe?
Square uses aggregate accounts. Is your money safe?

There is one big difference when you have an account with Square vs the Merchant Doctor.

As I mentioned, Square is an aggregator. This means that when you have any account with Square they have simply given your business access to a large aggregate account that is in Square’s name and not the yours! This means that technically all that money from your hard earned sales is actually the property of Square and not your business! The problem with this goes beyond simple security concerns but with the fact that this gives Square the right (like PayPal) to do with your funds whatever they like , for instance,hold them if they see necessary. Since Square is not a credit card processor and they are getting the aggregate account from a credit card processor that means that the true credit card processor (Paymentech) also has the right to withhold funds if they see fit due to risk or any other circumstance. With the Merchant Doctor and Phone Swipe you will be assigned a customized unique merchant account in your (or your business’ name) with guaranteed deposits regardless of sales volume. This unique account will only have your funds moving into and out of it which means more security and control for you. It also means that you have a processor working on your behalf not their own.

What do customers say about Square?
What do customers say about Square?

When comparing Square with the Merchant Doctor’s Phone Swipe many start with customer reviews.

There is a clear winner when you look at the customer ratings on ITunes. The Phone Swipe gets a full 4 stars while the Square review only gets 3 stars. Most of the complaints regarding Square refer to Funds being held, lack of customer service, and poor, broken, or never received card readers. When looking at the Phone Swipe complaints a majority of the complaints were regarding the sales office representing the account and poor service or misrepresentation provided by that particular sales office. Remember, like Square, who is a representative for Chase Paymentec, Phone Swipe is a North American Bancard product and can be sold by any number of independent representatives who may or may not have the years of experience and customer service standards that the Merchant Doctor team is able to offer.

Who has the most reliable card reader?
Who has the most reliable card reader?

Next let’s compare the reliability of the Square Card Reader vs the Phone Swipe Card reader.

After huge amounts of pressure from the industry, concerned users, and even the government Square finally released an encrypted card reader. It still dumbfounds many as to how such a well funded company ever thought that it could issue such corruptible devices to just about anyone who asked for one. We do thank them for finally providing a more secure card reader to its users. Once again sourcing customer complaints from ITunes and the the Google Play store it is readily apparent that the Square card reader is highly unreliable and cheaply made. Many a Square review written by users of product love the idea, the pricing, and functionality of the app but find it useless do to the poor card readers that are provided and lack of customer service when one breaks. When compared to the Phone Swipe, their card reader is made by ROAM DATA who is the #1 manufacturer of mobile payment card readers in the world and is incredibly well built and reliable. The number one “problem” experienced by the reviews this author read of the Phone Swipe are claims that it does not work or function as a card reader. This is often a simply fix and all users have to remember is to make sure that the Media Volume on their device is turned up all the way to ensure that the card is read properly.

Accept credit cards and get the friendly personal service that your business deserves.
Accept credit cards and get the friendly personal service that your business deserves.

Square Service vs Phone Swipe with the Merchant Doctor.

One of the biggest complaints from Square users is their lack of service. Square only offers service in one of three ways - the online FAQ/Help page on their website, via Twitter, and EMail. Square does not provide any customer service center with real people that can interpret and assist with customer issues. The Phone Swipe too offers service via their FAQ/Training page and email but also provides a 24/7 customer service center based in the United States that merchants are able to easily call into for immediate assistance. Additionally Phone Swipe users who have accounts with the Merchant Doctor will appreciate that they are able to directly reach the Merchant Doctor team via email or direct phone line to answer questions and concerns.

Is Square putting limitations on your account?
Is Square putting limitations on your account?

Square Account Limitations vs the Phone Swipe.

Another big difference between these two providers are the limitations set on the amounts that can be processed either per transaction or on a monthly basis. All merchant accounts are created with some type of limitation based on the businesses’ needs. These limitations are put in place to help prevent fraud. With the Phone Swipe your account is fully customized to meet the needs of your business and is easily modified to grow or change with your business. This differs from Square who treats all businesses the exact same and places a $2002/month manual transaction limitation on all accounts. If your business processes over that amount Square holds your money for 30 days by contract. You may request to have that amount increased, however, there are a number of reports that this process is difficult and inefficient. Funds are deposited by both companies in 2 business days. Square does claim on their website that funds are deposited within 24 hours, however, if you look at the fine print the funds are released for deposit in 24 hours. Once funds are released it will take an additional 24-48 hours for those funds to be deposited into your account. So when it comes to deposit times both providers are equal with a reliable 2 (or 3 depending on your bank) day deposit time.

So what does Square offer that Phone Swipe Doesn’t?

Square has recently released their mobile wallet. The Square Wallet offers a way for customers to pay for goods and services without having to get out their credit card. Their payment information is stored within the wallet and allows customers to pay hands free at merchants who are using the Square Register system. The customers name and photo will appear on the register and payment will be accepted without having to exchange a credit card.

What can Phone Swipe and The Merchant Doctor offer you that Square cannot?
What can Phone Swipe and The Merchant Doctor offer you that Square cannot?

What Services does the Phone Swipe have that Square does not?

- With the Phone Swipe you are able to accept payments anywhere even if you do not have cell reception or WiFi access. With the Store and Forward feature you can accept a payment anywhere, securely store the transaction information, and then send it when you arrive at an area with reception.
- The Phone Swipe app can integrate seamlessly with your QuickBooks program to better help you track your finance information in real time
-Through the online portal not only can you create custom in-depth reporting graphically represented but you can schedule those reports to be automatically sent to your email on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
-The Phone Swipe with the Merchant Doctor offers a referral program where you get paid for referring customers. Taking advantage of this great program to make a little extra cash is simple:

1. Simply use the app on your phone or the merchant portal on your computer to enter the referrals basic information.

2. Your referral will receive an email with an application link

3. Once they have filled out the application and processed $300 or more you get paid!

-The Merchant Doctor also offers a “High Volume” plan so if your business grows or already processes over $5,000/month they will set you up with the lowest advertised Interchange Plus Pricing available.
-With Phone Swipe you can have an unlimited amount of card readers linked to the same account either with or without separate reporting for each.

From customer service to customer reviews it seems obvious that in the race to be the best that Phone Swipe is the clear leader. If you would like to get started and accept credit cards wherever you are simply visit the Merchant Doctor’s mobile site and fill out the simple 3 minute application.


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