Worldpay vs Square explained – Payment processing comparison

Updated on 25 April 2024

Navigating the world of payment processing systems can seem a daunting task, especially given the number of companies vying for your attention. This article aims to demystify two of the most popular options in the market: Worldpay vs Square. By the end of this piece, you’ll have a clear understanding of the services offered by each, along with their relative merits and drawbacks.

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Worldpay vs Square

Pricing StructureQuote-basedFlat-rate
Transaction FeesVaries, based on quote1.75% (chip and PIN/contactless)
PCI Compliance FeesYes (amount varies)No
Payment Gateway FeesYes (amount varies)No
Early Termination FeesYes (amount varies)No
Payment OptionsCredit/debit cards, mobile wallets, multi-currencyCredit/debit cards, mobile wallets
Hardware OptionsCountertop, portable, mobile card machines, POS systemsSquare Reader, Square Stand, Square Terminal, Square Register
Customer Support24/7 support24/7 support and self-service portal
SecurityPCI DSS compliantPCI DSS compliant
eCommerce IntegrationYesYes
Mobile Payment OptionYesYes

This table offers a general comparison, and it’s essential to consider your specific business needs and circumstances when choosing a payment processor.

A brief overview of Worldpay and Square

Worldpay and Square are both renowned payment processing companies, but they follow different models.

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Worldpay, a UK-based entity, has been a longstanding stalwart in the industry, boasting decades of experience in payment processing. The firm was acquired by FIS in 2019, which has since solidified its global presence.

Square, on the other hand, is a relatively young company. Launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2009, it’s a US-based firm that quickly gained traction with small to mid-sized businesses due to its user-friendly interface and simplified pricing.

Pricing and fees

When comparing Worldpay and Square, it’s crucial to discuss pricing structure, since it’s a vital determinant for many businesses.


Worldpay operates on a quote-based system, meaning the fees vary depending on your business’s unique needs and transaction volume. This model offers greater flexibility and potentially lower costs for businesses with high transaction volumes or those that can negotiate lower rates.

However, this pricing method can lead to a lack of transparency as merchants might not have a clear idea of the costs until they’ve engaged in a lengthy sales process. Also, additional fees may apply, including PCI compliance fees, payment gateway fees, and early termination fees if you decide to switch providers.


In contrast, Square adopts a flat-rate pricing model, charging a standard fee for each transaction. Square’s rates for card-present transactions are 1.75% for chip and PIN or contactless payments in the UK.

This model is straightforward and predictable, making budgeting easier for business owners. However, as transaction volumes increase, businesses may find that Square becomes a costlier option, especially if they could negotiate lower rates with other providers.

Payment options and compatibility

In our increasingly digital world, being able to accept various forms of payment is a significant advantage.


Worldpay stands out for its wide range of payment options, accepting a variety of credit cards and debit cards, along with mobile wallet payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It also handles multiple currencies, making it a good fit for businesses operating internationally.

In terms of hardware compatibility, Worldpay offers a variety of POS terminal options, from countertop devices to mobile card machines, catering to businesses of all sizes. It also integrates with various eCommerce platforms and shopping carts for online businesses.


Square is somewhat more limited, primarily accepting Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and mobile payments. However, it’s worth noting that Square’s hardware – particularly its stylish, minimalistic readers and stands – have become something of an industry standard in many retail and hospitality environments. It’s also highly compatible with both iOS and Android devices and can integrate with a wide range of third-party apps and software.

Hardware comparison

The hardware a payment processor provides is critical, as it’s the point of contact between your business and your customers’ payments. Here’s how Worldpay vs Square stack up in terms of their hardware offerings:


Worldpay offers a range of hardware options to cater to different business needs. Its countertop card machines are perfect for fixed checkout locations, offering fast and secure transactions.

For businesses that require flexibility, Worldpay offers portable card machines that operate via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing payments to be taken anywhere within your premises. Furthermore, Worldpay’s mobile card machine enables payments on the go, using a GPRS data connection. This is especially beneficial for businesses such as food trucks, market traders, and mobile services.

Additionally, Worldpay also provides a variety of point of sale (POS) systems, including fully integrated systems that combine hardware and software for a seamless experience. These systems can be tailored to suit specific business requirements, including retail, hospitality, or large-scale enterprises.


Square’s approach to hardware is sleek, modern, and user-friendly. Its most recognisable offering is the Square Reader, a compact card reader that can be used to accept chip and PIN and contactless payments. Paired with a smartphone or tablet running the Square Point of Sale app, the Reader offers a mobile payment solution that’s particularly popular with small businesses and those just starting out.

For more established businesses, Square offers the Square Stand for iPad, which transforms an iPad into a complete POS system. For businesses looking for a fully integrated solution, the Square Terminal combines a card reader, receipt printer, and digital interface in one device, and the Square Register is a fully integrated POS system with a customer-facing display.

While Square’s hardware may not offer as much variety as Worldpay’s, its aesthetic appeal, simplicity, and competitive pricing make it a popular choice, particularly amongst SMEs and startups.

Hardware – Making the right choice

Choosing the right hardware boils down to your business needs. If your business operates in multiple locations or on-the-go, Worldpay’s range of mobile and portable options may be more suitable. However, if simplicity, design, and ease of use are key factors for you, then Square’s intuitive, sleek hardware might be the better choice.

Remember, the choice of payment processing system is significant and requires a comprehensive understanding of both your current business operations and your plans for future growth. Take the time to thoroughly investigate all available options before making your decision.

Customer service and support

Customer support is another crucial aspect of any service-based offering.


Worldpay provides 24/7 customer service, which can be a lifesaver in a pinch. However, some customers have reported long waiting times and varying levels of service quality.


Square also offers round-the-clock support but, rather uniquely, they have a robust online self-service portal. This portal is full of articles and resources that allow businesses to troubleshoot issues on their own, a feature which many of Square’s customers appreciate.


Both Worldpay and Square adhere to the highest industry standards regarding security. They’re both PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant, ensuring that cardholder data is securely handled.

Conclusion – Worldpay vs Square

So, who comes out on top: Worldpay or Square?

There isn’t a definitive answer as the choice between the two largely depends on your business needs and preferences. Worldpay’s robust infrastructure and flexibility may appeal to larger, international businesses, while Square’s straightforward pricing and user-friendly approach make it an attractive choice for small to medium-sized businesses, especially those in the retail and hospitality sectors.

When making a choice, consider factors such as transaction volume, international requirements, the need for a simple or variable pricing structure, and the level of customer support desired. By weighing these factors, you’ll be able to make an informed choice that best suits your business needs.


How do Worldpay and Square differ in terms of pricing structure?

Worldpay uses a quote-based pricing structure, which varies based on each business’s unique requirements and transaction volume. Square, on the other hand, charges a standard flat rate for each transaction.

Can both Worldpay and Square handle mobile payments?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square can process mobile payments. They can also accept payments from a variety of credit and debit cards.

Are both Worldpay and Square available for use outside of their respective home countries?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square have a broad international reach. Worldpay supports transactions in multiple currencies, which can be beneficial for businesses operating internationally.

How do the hardware options offered by Worldpay and Square compare?

Worldpay offers a variety of hardware options, including countertop, portable, and mobile card machines. Square offers hardware like the Square Reader, Square Stand, Square Terminal, and Square Register, which are known for their sleek design and user-friendliness.

What kind of customer support do Worldpay and Square provide?

Both Worldpay and Square offer 24/7 customer support. Square also has a comprehensive online self-service portal.

How do Worldpay and Square ensure the security of transactions?

Both Worldpay and Square adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which ensures that cardholder data is securely handled.

Do Worldpay and Square integrate with eCommerce platforms?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square provide integrations with various eCommerce platforms, enabling online businesses to accept payments efficiently.

Are there any hidden fees with Worldpay and Square?

Worldpay’s quote-based model might include additional fees such as PCI compliance fees, payment gateway fees, and early termination fees. Square’s pricing is more straightforward, with a flat fee per transaction.

Which is more suitable for small businesses, Worldpay or Square?

Both can serve small businesses well, but Square’s user-friendly approach and straightforward pricing have made it a popular choice amongst smaller operations.

How do the transaction processing times of Worldpay and Square compare?

The transaction processing times for both Worldpay and Square are relatively quick, typically happening in real-time. However, the time it takes for funds to reach your bank account may vary.

Can both Worldpay and Square handle high-volume transactions?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square can process high volumes of transactions. However, Worldpay might offer more competitive rates for businesses with high transaction volumes due to its quote-based pricing structure.

Do Worldpay and Square provide analytics and sales reports?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square offer comprehensive analytics and sales reports to help businesses track their performance.

Do Worldpay and Square offer solutions for businesses in the hospitality industry?

Yes, both Worldpay and Square offer industry-specific solutions. Worldpay offers tailored POS systems, and Square has features beneficial for the hospitality industry, like tipping and splitting bills.

How easy is it to set up a merchant account with Worldpay compared to Square?

The process is straightforward with both, but Square is often praised for its quick and easy setup, which can be particularly appealing to new businesses.

Can I use my own hardware with Worldpay and Square?

While Worldpay and Square both offer their own hardware, the compatibility with third-party hardware can vary. It’s best to check with each provider.

How do Worldpay and Square handle refunds?

Both Worldpay and Square allow businesses to issue refunds, though the process and any potential costs should be checked within their respective terms and conditions.

Are there industries that Worldpay or Square don’t serve?

Both Worldpay and Square have restrictions on certain high-risk industries. Check their terms of service or contact their customer service for specific information.

Can I switch from Worldpay to Square or vice versa?

Yes, businesses can switch from Worldpay to Square or vice versa. However, it’s worth noting that Worldpay may charge early termination fees.

What kind of training resources do Worldpay and Square provide to new customers?

Both Worldpay and Square provide ample resources and support to new customers, including user guides, tutorials, and customer support.

Are there any contractual commitments with Worldpay or Square?

While Square generally operates without long-term contracts, Worldpay might require a contractual commitment, and there may be an early termination fee. It’s essential to check the details before signing up.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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