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Clover vs Square: Which Solution Is Better?

Introduction

Point of Sale systems helps small businesses with sales transactions such as accepting payments from customers, keeping track of sales, etc. The system used can be hardware or software, depending on whether the store has a physical outlet, an online shopping website, or both. 

Using the right POS system for a small business makes the complex process simpler. Clover and Square are some of the best Point of Sales Systems (POS) that small businesses can use, but each has its own set of pros and cons. Today we will discuss the details of POS systems to understand the best choice for a small business.

What Is Square?

Square is a company that provides cloud-based POS solutions that can be used in Android and iOS devices or any of the hardware devices produced by Square. Square helps perform tasks such as making transactions, managing customers, inventory, invoices, and payments. It also comprises tools that help manage customer loyalty, marketing activities, employees, and payroll.

Some of the hardware products produced by Square include Magstripe, Chip, and contactless card readers, who are used to accepting payments from Google Pay, Apple Pay, debit cards, and credit cards. It also allows payments without a card reader using Square Virtual Terminal through a computer. Using this technology helps collect payments by entering just the card details without needing a card reader.

What Is Clover?

Clover is also a company that provides cloud-based POS solutions used in Android and iOS devices. It has options to choose from either software, hardware, or a system of both, depending on the needs of the business. The system can be adopted depending on the type of business such as restaurants, retail stores, service businesses, etc. 

Some of the hardware products produced by Clover include Clover Go, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Station, etc. It facilitates payments through credit cards, debit cards, and Apple Pay. Clover has reporting tools that help track the best sales time, the best selling product, track revenue, etc. It also allows online payments through virtual terminals. We will look into some of the aspects of both the POS systems that should be considered before making a decision.

Merchant Accounts

Merchant accounts are required by businesses of all sizes to accept payments and process payment transactions using cards electronically. Merchant accounts can be provided by the Point of Sale System pointer or another third-party merchant account provider. Square has its merchant account system. Square users can automatically use merchant accounts to accept payments. The whole payment process happens end to end. The users become sub-merchants of Square. Hence, a separate merchant account is not required. 

On the other hand, Clover does not have a merchant account. Hence, Clover users need to get merchant accounts from other merchant account providers. The users can choose from Clover’s partner financial institutions like Citi, BBVA, PNC, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, and retailers such as Restaurant Depot and Sam’s Club. Clover has partnerships with over 3000 financial companies. 

Pricing System

The pricing system for different POS systems depends on whether only software or hardware is being used or a combination of the two is used by the business. Square uses a simpler fixed pricing system. Square users can use the free version with no monthly payment with limited features or use Square Plus, which has additional features for about $60 per month. 

Clover users have to pay a different price based on the hardware used and the type of business it is used for. It allows a grace period of 30 days to try the product without a monthly fee. After that, we can select from their Starter Plan, Standard Plan, Advanced Software, and Hardware Plans. The basic pricing structure includes the monthly fee for the software being used plus the processing rate for each transaction. 

Clover caters to full-service dining, quick service dining, retail shops, professional services, personal services, and home & field services. So the coverage area is vast, and after meeting the service provider categories, we can work with Clover to meet our payment needs using a POS system specially designed for our business.

Square is suitable for small businesses where the transactions do not involve any complex processes when comparing the two. In contrast, bigger businesses can use Clover to suit the payment process to their needs.

Processing Fee Rates

A processing fee is applied every time the POS system is used to process a sale. When using Square POS solutions, the processing fee for transactions whenever a customer makes an in-person payment (swipes, taps, or dips their card in-person) is 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction. Card-not-present payment methods require a higher processing fee due to the increased risk of fraudulent activities.

Every time a customer enters their card details to make a payment, the customer pays 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction, and when the payment is made through a Square online store, the fee is 2.9% plus 30 cents. 

For Clover, the processing fee for in-person transactions starts at 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction, and for keyed-in payments, the processing fee is 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction. 

Hardware

Each of the POS companies provides different hardware solutions based on our needs. The following are some of the hardware sold by Square for Point of Sale purposes:

Square Terminal

It is an all-in-one credit card terminal used for making payments and receipts. It costs $299 or $27 per month for a total of 12 months.

Square Reader For Contactless And Chip Transactions 

The device can make contactless credit card payments, Apple Pay, and Chip cards. The cost of the device is $49.

Square Reader For Magstripe

Square provides the first reader for magstripe for free after signing up with their website. Any additional reader can be bought for $10. The free card reader can be used with a smartphone or tablet and accept payments using the Square Point of Sale App. The reader for magstripe has two versions: one that works with the headset jack and another that works with a lightning connector.

Square Register

This register has two display features, one for the small business and another for the customer. This way, we can have an eye on the process, and the customer can view all the things being paid for. The cost of a Square register is $799.

Square Stand

This is an iPad POS system used to make contactless payments and through chips. The kit comes along with a Square reader and Dock. It costs around $169. 

The following are the POS hardware sold by Clover:

Clover Go

This compact mobile credit card reader can accept payments on the go using a WiFi or Internet connection. All there is to do is charge the device and connect and pair it with the Clover Go app on the mobile. The cost of the device is $49.

Station Solo

Station Solo is a device that can be used to perform multiple Point of Sales tasks. This device can process customer payments, print their receipts, and track all the sales transactions. The overall cost is $1349 or $450 a month for three months.

Station Duo

Previously known as Station Pro, this POS system allows customers to initiate any payment with its second display screen, print receipts, and track all the sales transactions. Station Duo also costs about $1649 one-time payment or $549 a month for a period of 3 months.

Flex

Clover Flex is a handheld POS system. This device allows the collection of all payments and tracks all the sales transactions. The cost of the product is $499.

Clover Mini

Clover Mini is a sleek version of Clover with a powerful system that is used to manage payments, check inventory and payroll, etc. The cost of Clover Mini is $749.

When comparing the prices of hardware offered by both Square and Clover, the price of Clover hardware systems is higher than that of Square but offers better customization. Businesses with basic payment transaction needs can use the hardware system from Square. In contrast, businesses that involve a lot of transactions can use the hardware system from Clover, which also performs additional tasks such as inventory management, sales transactions analysis, etc.

eCommerce Transactions 

Square POS allows existing online stores to embed Square’s online checkout into their website for free. The online transaction fee remains the same, though. In the case of a business not having a website, Square can set up a website without any kind of code.

Clover does not support free embedment or website creation. It needs to be either created by oneself, hire a website designer, or use Clover’s app integration to perform the online transactions.

In this case, Square serves as a better option for businesses that depend on online payments and transactions.

Category SquareClover
Merchant Accounts It is provided by Square.It doesn’t have merchant accounts facilities but has tie-ups with over 3000 financial institutions in the US.
Monthly FeesThere is no monthly fee for using the free version of the app. Square Plus users need to pay $60 per month to get additional features.Clover gives a free 30 day trial for new users. No-hardware users have to pay $9.95 each month, whereas businesses that use hardware can pay up to $69.95 based on the device’s type.
Processing FeeFor In-person transactions: 2.6% plus 10 cents.
For Online transactions: 2.9% plus 30 cents.
For Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% plus 15 cents.
For In-person transactions: 2.6% plus 10 cents or 2.3% plus 10 cents, based on the type of hardware used. Online and keyed-in transactions: 3.5% plus 10 cents.
Hardware CostsSquare Terminal – $299 Reader For Contactless and Chips – $49 Reader For Magstripe – The first device is free. Extra costs $10 each.
Square Register – $799 Square Stand – $169
Clover Go – $49
Station Solo – $1349 or $450 
Station Duo – $1649 
Flex – $499
Clover Mini – $749
Customer Service Phone E-mail Live Chat Phone Email

When comparing the two POS services, Square can help save money and get the job done cost-effectively. If something very specific is needed, opt for Clover.

Why Is Octopos The Best Solution For Point Of Sale?

Octopos is another POS solutions system like Square and Clover, but with better features. This system is suitable for all sizes of quick-service restaurants, dine-in restaurants, bars, grocery stores, clothing, sports, and retail stores. 

Some of its salient features include tip management, EBT integration, Scanner scale integration, wireless price tag printing, inventory management, etc. Octopos uses sophisticated tools to help manage inventory, engage with customers and get insights to improve business.

Octopos’s customer displays allow customers to know the exact progress of their order. The system can also be used to give points and rewards to customers based on their purchases. This increased customer engagement and retention. One of the prominent features of using our POS system is that the system can send email and SMS marketing to customers to update them with their cash points, rewards, discounts, etc. 

Octopos gives access to wholesale interchange, which helps save a lot of money spent in paying processing fees. In addition to it, our POS system doesn’t have any minimum contract and can be canceled at any time.

We have a large range of hardware such as android tablets, printers, scales, barcode scanners, pin pads, label printers, android inventory phones, and customer display screens. The hardware bundle can be bought for just $49 per month paid for a period of 6 months.

Conclusion

The right type of POS system for a small business suits the needs of the business. A new business owner or entrepreneur with simpler transactions and payments can opt for the Square POS system. A much bigger business with complex needs can go for Clover, allowing better customization options based on the business. To get better customization options for small businesses, choose Octopos to meet the POS needs of a business at affordable costs.

    It's very easy to get started with Octopos!