The Best EFTPOS Payments Systems for Tradies

As a tradie, it’s important to take card payments from your customers. On average, Australians make nearly 500 electronic payments a year, up from around 100 per year in 2000 – and visits to the ATM have significantly dropped (RBA 2018). 

As we move towards a cashless society, you can be prepared to stay ahead of the trend. Taking card payments offers convenience for your customers and means you’re more likely to get paid the right amount straight away. 

What should you look for in a payments system as a tradie? 

You’re probably taking payments on the go, have customers with different payment preferences and need to keep track of your payments all at the same time. 

Portable hardware

Times have changed since systems needed to be plugged into the wall or connected to a phone line. Equally, swiping cards and even reading chips is on the way out. Look out for systems that are able to take contactless cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay as well as read cards with chips. 

Square’s Contactless Reader allows you to accept payments from contactless cards, contactless devices and chip cards. Customers tap their phones or cards and payments are processed within seconds. 

If you’re out on the road you can charge your Reader beforehand. You can connect your iPhone or Android to Square’s free point-of-sale system using Bluetooth LE (rather than a headphone jack), tracking your payments as you go.

Invoicing tools

Sending professional quotes and invoices means verbal agreements are properly recorded for both you and your customers. Getting an invoicing tool that talks to your point-of-sale system means you can track payments back to the invoice. 

You can easily create and send estimates and invoices from the free Square Invoices app. All you need is a customer’s email address and amount (and quotes can be approved with a click). The app also allows you to set up repeat customers and recurring charges and securely keep card information on file. 

You can check the status of your payments easily and send one-time or automatic reminders to those who haven’t viewed or paid their invoices. You can also run reports on the app to track your revenue and stay on top of your sales goals. 

Take payments over the phone

Some customers may request to pay over the phone so you want to be ready to take their details securely. 

Square’s Virtual Terminal makes it easy to take a customer’s card details over the phone. You can log into your Square account and input their details, or choose a card already on file, and charge them on the spot. 

You can view all payments types coming in (via phone or Contactless Reader) on the Square Dashboard. 

Accept chip cards and Apple Pay everywhere.

Order the Square contactless and chip reader.

What to look out for when choosing a supplier

When you’re considering options for payments systems there are a few aspects to take into account including the varying costs involved. It’s worth thinking about the volume of transactions you make, your revenue and your goals to choose a payment system that suits your business. 

Hardware cost

The cost of a physical point-of-sale system, from traditional EFTPOS machines to newer solutions, can range a lot. Perhaps you would prefer to make an upfront purchase rather than go with a model that charges monthly rental fees, for instance. Square’s Contactless Reader is a one-off cost of $59.00 with free shipping

Transaction costs 

On top of the hardware cost, it’s likely every transaction will incur a fee. This could be capped at a certain amount, for example $1 per transaction, or be a percentage. For every tapped, inserted or swiped payment with Square, there’s a 1.9% fee. This means you’ll see $98.10 in your bank account on a $100 sale.   

Recurring costs or subscriptions 

Look out for setup fees, merchant fees and annual fees (among others!) on top of your hardware and transaction costs. A setup fee is an initial charge to establish your payment system and merchant fees will be issued by your bank and often have a minimum monthly turnover requirement. Annual fees can also be issued by your bank for using their point-of-sale systems. There are no hidden fees at Square.

Ease of use 

Make sure your payment system is easy for your customers to use as well as your team. Consider the speed and reliability of your internet connection and mobile phone network. Square allows you to set up your employees to take payments too, so you can easily see who took what payment and when. 

Deposit times 

Check how long it will take for payments to land in your account. With Square’s point-of-sale and invoicing system, see money in your account within one to two business days. Also take note of proof of payment notifications or remittances issued, which helps avoid unnecessary follow ups or disputes. 

Why Square is a great solution for tradies 

When you’re on the road organising payments can be a hassle. Square’s payment system means you can take payments quickly, easily and securely.

Take payments on the go 

Square’s mobile payment system lets you take in-person card payments anywhere you go. Being able to securely take card details over the phone means billing customers remotely is easy too.

Send and chase invoices 

You can easily create invoices and follow up payments manually or automatically. Because you only need an email address and amount, you don’t need to wait until you get back home or to the office to send your invoice.

Get paid fast  

With Square’s payment system, you’ll see money in your bank account as soon as the next business day. You can track your payments in real time, allowing you to stay on top of your cashflow. 

No monthly fees

Square doesn’t charge any additional fees – you pay only when you make a sale. So if you take a month off, you don’t need to pay anything! 


Square can create custom pricing packages for some businesses who process over $250K of card transactions annually. If that’s you, get in touch with our sales team to find out whether you’re eligible.