Just saw that Square is pay-walling "advanced" invoice features (templates, custom field, more than two payment installments). These are essentially just incremental improvements to the existing square product; easy to implement and not a distinctly different product.
I'm really concerned that Square is now taking a step to monetise basic improvements. This sets a precedent to make a 'free' tier of the square UX that just dangles pointlessly paywalled features in front of the user, and there's no reason for them to stop with a few invoices features. 'Advanced' features for inventory, user support etc.
This is the kind of behaviour I'd expect from a free/ ad-supported service, NOT one that we already pay to use. I'm already on a subscription with Square, to the tune of 2% of every sale that I make. If this doesn't cover basic and incremental product improvements moving forward, then i'm not happy with the service that i'm receiving.
I just want to be clear that as 3+ year user of Square, i'm happy with the experience, and as my business scales i'm happy to be paying more and more for the same level of functionality, development and support. but I am absolutely not okay with them allempting to paywall basic product improvements.
I see this forthcoming announcement as misguided and not respecting their paying client-base. If this goes ahead i'm going to be looking at leaving the platform.
Announcement text, for transparency:
|In the next few weeks, we will be launching Square Invoices Plus, a monthly subscription plan with advanced features (including some your business has previously used) that help you run your business more effectively. With Invoices Plus, you’ll have access to tools that will help you win more work, speed up invoicing and provide valuable information to customers faster.|
|Invoices Plus includes features your business previously used.|
In the past year, we released a series of features as part of the Invoices Plus limited time trial. These features include multi-package estimates, custom invoice templates and custom invoice fields. Invoices Plus will include these features, as well as two additional features – the ability to automatically convert accepted estimates to invoices and build milestone-based payment schedules (3+ instalment invoices). In the coming days, these additional features will include a ‘trial’ label in your Square Invoices software.
Any multi-package estimates, invoice templates, milestone-based payment schedules or custom fields that you have created in the past year will be editable (read/write access), if you choose not to subscribe to Invoices Plus. However, you will not be able to create any new files using these features.
You can still send unlimited invoices, estimates and contracts for free with the Invoices Free plan.
Invoice tracking, reminders and reporting tools will also remain free for you to use. Only pay for processing when you accept online payments.
Thanks for reaching out, I appreciate your honest feedback and I'll pass it on to our Invoices team for consideration.
Square has offered free and paid tiers for our products for quite some time, such as Square Online, Appointments, Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants.
As a card processor we do take card processing fees, and these help us firstly offer payment processing (we pay a portion of fees to card networks in order to use them), and secondly continue to release and maintain the free business tools we offer our sellers.
With the introduction of Invoices Plus, the goal is to be able to offer a more sophisticated product with comparable functionality to other Invoicing apps and software available as paid products, while continuing to offer the free version of Invoices.
The release of Square Invoices Plus doesn't mean that the standard features for Square Invoices won't improve going forward. We take feature requests and feedback into account when releasing changes to our products - both paid, and free. Yes, you are still paying a card processing fee on the free version, however this fee alone isn't necessarily going to provide the resources needed to build a product as sophisticated as other subscription-based Invoice apps and allow us to service that market. The same goes for our other paid products.
As a business owner, it's totally understandable you'd want to keep costs as low as possible while getting the most out of what you are paying for. It's ultimately your call as to whether Square's overall value proposition as both a card processor and ecosystem of free and paid products to help run your business is worth it over possible alternatives.
I am aware that many Square Sellers use some of our products for some things, and other products for other things. We even integrate with other invoice apps, so if you want to use Square as a payment processor on another Invoice app then you can.
All things considered, I think we offer pretty good overall value in our free products, with seamless payments integration over a range of apps and a business model where we are only successful when you are (ie the card processing fee). But I get your frustration here as a long time Square seller, and will certainly share your feedback internally.
Thanks again for taking the time to post, I'd be happy to take on any further feedback you have here!
Community Manager, Australia, Square
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I was surprised, as well as my customer, to find this great feature(installments) removed all of the sudden. The feature is already built into the app and so was already paid for by long time users like myself, paying a percentage on each sale. There is no square "free version" and to suggest it is condescending and disrespectful to those that have paid square any money. Disappointed and looking elsewhere.