December 28, 2019

Clover POS System Review

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Clover POS can handle the business needs of many industries. Does it suit your business? Read this review for the pros and cons.

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What Is Clover POS?

Clover is one of the most customizable cloud-based POS systems available today. But since it runs only on Clover equipment, you can't get the POS software using your existing setup.

Clover POS has two components:

  1. Hardware: The devices used to process credit card payments

  2. Software: The actual POS operating system to run your business

You can buy your Clover system either directly through Clover or via one of its resellers, such as:

If you get Clover through another merchant account provider, that provider will set the rates and fees, contract terms, and provide the customer service.

No matter where you purchase, you'll need a merchant account to process and accept credit card payments. If you shop directly through Clover, your merchant account will be with Fiserv (previously First Data).

Pros

Suitable for All Business Types
Clover POS works well with retail establishments, restaurants (quick service and full-service), and service businesses, such as salons.

Option to Shop Around
You can shop around at different merchant services providers that sell Clover. This allows you to find a provider with lower processing rates.

Works With More Than 300 Apps
If you need more than basic features, Clover integrates well with apps, including Mailchimp, Xero, Woo Commerce, Shopify, and DocuSign.

Accept Offline Payments
Once you have an internet connection, you can process your offline sales.

24/7 Customer Support
You can get customer support in the U.S. around the clock by phone or email. For common questions, simply access the Help Center for tutorials and articles.

Chip and Contactless Payments
All POS hardware options available through Clover enable you to accept swipe, EMV-chip, Apple Pay, and Google Pay payments.

Cons

Requires Clover Hardware
You must pay for the hardware in order to use the POS system and related apps.

Monthly Software Fee
There is no monthly fee if you only use Clover devices for payment processing only. But if you also want to use Clover's POS software, there are monthly software fees from $9.95 to $69.95 per month.

Equipment Cannot be Reprogrammed
Clover equipment only works with the processor that you purchased from. If you decide to switch providers, it cannot be programmed. Since Clover equipment isn't cheap, be sure to choose the right provider.

No Customer Service on Third-Party Apps
Clover provides access to hundreds of apps that it doesn't manage. If you have issues or questions, you must go through the app creator for customer service.

Hardware Features

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All Clover POS systems offer:

  • Registration to process payments
  • Promos to keep customers coming back
  • Feedback to hear from customers
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Customer lists
  • Clover Dining to manage restaurant floor plans
  • Employee management with Shifts

Read on to learn about the different devices Clover offers.

Clover Go

Cost: $99

Clover Go is the mobile card reader. Just attach the reader to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to accept swiped, chip, and contactless payments. All Clover Go transactions sync with your online Clover dashboard, which you can access from any device.

Clover devices can also accept offline payments for up to 7 days.

Clover Flex

Cost: $499

The Clover Flex's all-in-one system can replace the standard register. It has a 5" touchscreen display and built-in receipt printer. Here's what it lets you do:

  • Take orders
  • Accept swipe, chip, and contactless payments
  • Manage inventory
  • Manage customer data
  • Create and manage loyalty programs
  • Run sales reports

Clover Mini

Cost: $749

Minimize the use of counter space without sacrificing functions with the Clover Mini. It's a table terminal with a large 7" display and built-in receipt printer, camera, and barcode scanner. It allows you to:

  • Accept swipe, chip, and contactless payments
  • Set up tipping options for customers
  • Set up with barcode scanners and scales
  • Manage inventory
  • Run sales reports
  • Manage customer data
  • Access reporting from anywhere

Clover Station POS

Cost: $1,399 (Clover Station Solo) or $1,649 (Clover Station Duo)

The Clover Station is a fully-integrated POS system ideal for more robust retail and restaurant establishments. It's the fastest POS and has the highest level of security.

Clover offers two options: the Station Solo and Station Duo. Both come with a 14" seller facing screen. The main difference is that the Duo also has a smaller customer facing 7" display (basically a Mini), whereas the Solo swivels to face the customer.

Both options come with a cash drawer, receipt printer, built-in camera with barcode scanner, and fingerprint sensor for employee login.

With Clover Station POS, you can:

  • Accept swipe, chip, and contactless payments
  • Manage inventory
  • Manage employees
  • Run reports
  • Create custom orders
  • Set up tipping options
  • Set up with barcode scanners and scales

Can you buy a used Clover POS?
It's not a good idea to buy a used Clover POS. You may get a merchant contract that could put you on the hook for thousands of dollars. It might cost more to buy your Clover POS directly through your merchant account provider or Clover. But you can avoid succumbing to a scam.

Software Features

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Clover offers four software plans. Read on for the details.

Clover Essentials

Cost: $9.95 per month

Payment Processing:

  • In-person transactions: 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

POS Features:

  • Process orders with tax and discounts
  • Accept all forms of payments, including debit cards, credit cards, cash, and checks
  • Take offline payment
  • Instantly send receipts via text or email
  • Run sales reports
  • Set up customized taxes
  • Run refunds
  • Set up employee authorizations and manage hours
  • Up to $100,000 in data breach protection
  • Around-the-clock customer support

Does Clover POS have a virtual terminal?
Yes, you can accept credit card payments from any internet-enabled device via the Clover virtual terminal, which is included with each plan. After logging into your dashboard, you can collect payments, collect customer information, and send receipts, all without your Clover hardware on hand. But watch the fees, as keyed-in transactions have higher processing fees than swipe, chip, or contactless payments.

Clover Register

Cost: $39.95 per month

Payment Processing:

  • In-person transactions: 2.3% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

Features
Register includes everything from Register Lite plus:

  • Advanced inventory management
  • Customer loyalty program management
  • Customized tips
  • Customer feedback and replies
  • Marketing
  • Process exchanges
  • Open tabs
  • Manage tables

Clover Restaurant Plans

Clover also offers two POS plans specific for restaurants:

  • Table Service Plan - $69.95/mo. Ideal for dine-in restaurants. You can manage your entire staff, build floor plans, fire orders to kitchen, take online orders, and pre-authorize bar tabs.

  • Counter Service Plan - $39.95/mo. Ideal for quick serve eateries and food trucks. The main difference is that this doesn't include floor plan management.

All plans cost an extra $9.95 per month for each additional device.

How It Compares

Square
Square offers a powerful POS with no monthly fee. The easy setup makes it a great choice for new businesses. You can get a free credit card reader or pay for the Square hardware.

The tools aren't as robust in the free version. But they do offer expansive options for a monthly fee, including:

  • Employee management
  • Loyalty programs
  • Marketing

With Square, you won't get a choice of payment processors. You must process your payments directly through the company.

Lightspeed
Lightspeed, like Clover, offers a powerful POS system and payment solutions. It also has monthly fees and charges interchange-plus pricing.

Lightspeed caters to restaurants and retail operations. It simplifies running the day-to-day business and can help you manage:

  • Inventory
  • Employees
  • Data
  • Sales

Use Lightspeed's ecommerce platform to set up an online store.

TouchBistro
TouchBistro is an iPad POS for restaurants. It offers a mobile POS system to make servers more accessible to customers and features:

  • Restaurant table management
  • Tableside ordering
  • Restaurant CRM
  • Menu management
  • Inventory management
  • Reporting features

TouchBistro also offers programs for quick service, full service, and bar type restaurants. All plans have a monthly fee.

Bottom Line

The Clover POS is a popular option among many merchant account providers. If you are an established business looking for your own merchant account, chances are that you'll come across the Clover POS.

Be sure to read the fine print carefully and compare the costs to make sure you are getting a good deal.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.


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