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Square Checkout vs. Payments API

Looking to add Square payments functionality to a custom-built eCommerce site?

Square Checkout vs. Square’s Payments API

With Square, you have two options for processing payments through your online platform: Square Checkout and the Payments API.

Square Checkout API is a secure, out-of-the-box solution that provides a beautiful checkout UI (hosted on a Square domain) and full functionality with a single integration.

Square’s Payments API, on the other hand, requires more integration work but gives you the ability to control your own checkout and payment UI and accept payment directly on your site without redirecting to a Square domain. See the table below for a complete comparison and to decide which solution is best for you.

Pricing for payments processed via Square Checkout or the Payments API is 2.90% + $0.30 per transaction.

Square Checkout Payments API
Itemization Yes Yes - using the Orders API.
Store Customer Data Yes Yes - requires separate integration.
Dashboard Reporting Yes - includes customer data and itemization. Yes - only includes transaction amount (not itemized or tied to a customer).
Customizability No - Checkout has a pre-built UI. The only points of customization are: include confirmation page (vs redirect back to your site), and include shipping field (or not). Yes - you can build your payment form and flow to your exact specifications.
Self-hosted No - Checkout is hosted on a Square domain. Customers will be redirected to the form on a domain to complete checkout; you can choose to redirect them back to your site for confirmation. Yes - payment will take place on your site.
Card on File No Yes - requires a separate integration.
Data Encryption and PCI Compliant Processing Included Yes Yes
SSL Needed No - Checkout does not require SSL We do recommend that your site be SSL certified, but it is not required to use Checkout. Yes
Developer Skills Required to Implement Yes Yes


Not working with a developer? Is your website on one of our partner platforms? We have partnered with the following sites to provide pre-built Square payments integrations, so you can easily connect Square to your site - no coding required:

Seller Community: Ask questions, get answers, and see how other Square sellers are connecting to eCommerce partners.

Learn more about: Payments APIs

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