Compare payment processors and secure the lowest credit card processing fees for your business

You'll only deal with us. We are not a lead generation company.
No multiple sales agents. No call centres. No referring your details.

Square Reader vs Zettle Card Reader 2 ms payment logos

Compare payment processors and secure the lowest credit card processing fees for your business


Square Reader vs Zettle 2: Which Is Best For Small Businesses in 2024

Square and Zettle provide two of the most affordable card readers and payment solutions for small businesses. 

If you’re looking for reliable payment technology solutions across software and hardware systems – without breaking the bank – these are two of the best options on the market.

In this head-to-head comparison review, we put the Square Reader against the Zettle Card Reader 2 so you can decide which solution is most suitable for your business.

square vs zettle

Square and Zettle both offer affordable, portable card readers for accepting in-person payments – as well as additional software and hardware for accepting payments in-store and online. 

Both companies provide something very similar so choosing between the two can be tricky, but this is why we’ve created this comparison.

Square Reader Pros

Square Reader Cons

Zettle Card Reader 2 Pros

Zettle Card Reader 2 Cons

Which card reader has the best features?

Square and Zettle offer almost identical features with their mobile card readers.

Square Zettle 2
Chip and PIN
Mobile payments
Swipe strip
Virtual terminal

The one big difference is Zettle doesn’t include a payment gateway, which means you have no native option for taking payments over the phone. If this is important to your business, Square takes an early lead in this comparison.

Both companies also offer similar hardware options for you to build physical POS stations at your business.

What POS functionality do Square and Zettle offer?

 SquareZettle 2
Charging dock
POS station
iPad stand
Cash drawer
Receipt printer
Barcode scanner
Receipt rolls
Bundle kits

Square’s hardware is generally cheaper across the board but both offerings are highly affordable and the quality of Zettle’s hardware is slightly (but noticeably) higher.

Which is the difference in weight and height?

The Square Reader is significantly lighter and smaller than the Zettle 2Zettle’s card reader is significantly larger and heavier but only by comparison. This is still a compact mobile reader you can take anywhere but it’s more robust and some customers may prefer the physical keypad for typing in PIN numbers. 
Size and weight
 SquareZettle 2
Size66 x 66 x 10 mm134 x 133 x 34 mm

Which is the card reader has the best compatibility? 

Both card readers are compatible with Apple and Android operating systems.
 SquareZettle 2
iOSiOS 9 +*iOS 12 +
AndroidAndroid 4.4 +Android 5 +

Which is the card reader has the best battery life?

There is no real difference in the battery life and both should get through about 100 transactions before they need recharging. 

Battery Life
 SquareZettle 2
Full charge~100 transactions~100 transactions
USB charging cableIncludedIncluded
Charging dock£25£39

What card types do Square and Zettle take?

Considering Visa handles 82% of all card payments in the UK, both readers have you covered for the vast majority of situations but Zettle supports payments for JCB, UnionPay, Discover and Diners Club cards as well.

 SquareZettle 2
American Express
Visa Election
Diners Club
V Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Samsung Pay

Usability & Third-Party Integrations

Square Reader vs Zettle Card Reader 2 Square POS
Square POS

Square and Zettle both offer free POS software solutions with paid options available for retail and food and drinks businesses. The free versions of each POS offer the same basic features while the paid versions offer specialist tools for table management, stock, orders and other tools to help you run your business.

Square Reader vs Zettle Card Reader 2 Zettle POS
Zettle POS

The Zettle POS looks newer and more up-to-date but the paid versions of Square’s POS are more intuitive and flexible.

Zettle supports dozens of integrations for Shopify, WooCommerce, Lightspeed, Xero and plenty of other software options but Square supports hundreds of integrations through its App Marketplace – the clear winner in this category.

Which has the best security & customer support?

 SquareZettle 2
Tamper proof design
Data encryption
PCI compliance
24/7 support
Weekend support
Online documentation
Phone support
Email support

Square and Zettle provide industry-standard security, including PCI compliance, and data protection protocols to keep you and your customers safe. You also get the same quality of customer service from both companies with email support and online documentation, plus phone support from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays from both companies.

Which is best for integrating with eCommerce platforms?

Zettle integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and Shopware to support online stores but it doesn’t provide any native eCommerce features other than processing online payments.

Square is different. You can integrate with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce but they also have their own ecommerce system which includes a payment gateway and online checkout. 

It’s not the most sophisticated eCommerce solution although it’s great for small businesses that primarily sell in-store but want the ability to sell online such as restaurants looking to support online orders.

Which is the cheapest card reader? 

 SquareZettle 2
Card reader£16£29
Transaction fees (in-person)1.75%1.75%
Online transaction fee1.9%-2.9%2.50%
Keyed-in transaction fee2.50%N/A
Chargeback fee
Charging dock£25£39

The square reader is cheaper in terms of hardware but they both charge 1.75% per in-person transaction. Square also charges less for online card-not-present (CNP) transactions. 

Square vs Zettle FAQs

Are Zettle and Square easily scalable and can they follow my business growth?

For small businesses, both Square and Zettle will scale as you grow but the 1.75% transaction fees are relatively expensive compared to other merchant account providers. The trade-off is that these card readers are pay-as-you-go and require no monthly contract. 

So, if you open branches across the country, you’ll get a better deal elsewhere as a high-volume merchant – fill out our form for custom quotes if this applies to your business.

How quickly are funds deposited into my bank account via each card reader?

With Square, you should receive your funds the next working day while deposits can take up to two working days with Zettle.

What businesses are Zettle and Square most suitable for?

Both Square and Zettle are suitable for small businesses, primarily independent retail stores, food and drinks businesses or micro-businesses that need a mobile payment solution, such as food trucks or hairdressers visiting customers’ homes.

Square vs Zettle: Final Verdict

All things considered, Square offers a slightly cheaper package and provides key features if you need to take payments online or over the phone. 

The Square Reader is also the smallest, lightest and most portable card reader on the market. Zettle isn’t far behind and the quality of its hardware is noticeably higher than Square’s, even if it’s half a step behind on the software front.

Either way, these are two of the best mobile payment solutions for smaller businesses and you have to split hairs to find meaningful differences.

On this page

Process more than £25K per year?

Card machines with a merchant account will normally be the better and cheaper option. Click below to compare the lowest transaction fees available for your business.

Copyright © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2023
Merchant Savvy is a division of VUBO Ltd (Company Number 09017066).
Address: Spaces, 9 Greyfriars Rd, Reading, RG1 1NU.

Square Reader vs Zettle Card Reader 2 payment types top

Compare Payment Processors