Do merchants necessarily need to have square accounts?

I am currently working on an eCommerce project that allows 3rd party merchants to sell on the site, customers to buy from the site and we will be charging a developer fee. I have been looking at the taking payments and collecting fees documentation . It seems that to split the total between the site (developer fee) and the merchants, the merchants will need to have square accounts. Is this absolutely necessary ? If not is there a way around this that doesn’t violate the terms and conditions? Also when customers add and store payment cards, these cards can be used for any purchase from many merchants right? The documentation isn’t clear on this topic Thanks

Yes, it is necessary. The seller wouldn’t be able to receive any money if they didn’t have a Square account (and nothing else would work either - they need a valid access token, etc).

If you are going to be taking an application fee you need to be using the OAuth API to onboard the Square seller (and yes, they need a Square account), and then using the OAuth API to generate a unique access token for their account to create payments (or do any other API calls on their behalf).

1 Like

Can you elaborate on how to onboard the Square seller using the OAuth API? I am keen to know if we can register merchants on their behalf, preferably through api.

Sorry if I caused confusion…the OAuth API will not create accounts for them, they would still need to create their own Square account themselves. Once they have an account…

  1. Your application provides the merchant with an OAuth authorization link (asking permission to access their account)
  2. Assuming they say yes, they would be redirected to some URL that you provide that includes a code.
  3. You exchange this code for a unique access token using the ObtainToken endpoint
  4. This access token is unique to their Square account; now you can make calls on their behalf using this access token