Clover vs Square
While both Square and Clover are great for accepting in-person and online payments, there are some major differences between the two in terms of how they do it.
Square offers a simplified, all-in-one solution for small businesses, while Clover offers varying levels of customization for businesses that require more robust arrangements.
The question is, which system is right for YOUR business?
Today, we'll help you decide. Continue reading to learn more.
Choose Clover If...
Clover is optimal for businesses that need a more customized solution. With plenty of third-party integrations and the ability to set up your own merchant account, Clover is one of the most flexible systems on the market today.
Clover is also a great choice for high-risk businesses, as it allows you to set up high-risk merchant accounts using reputable processors, such as Payment Cloud.
Choose Square If...
Square is the best option for businesses that want a simple, all-in-one solution with an included merchant account. We highly recommend it for startup businesses and small business owners. They offer a free POS system, which we recommend using at the beginning so that you can get a feel for it, and then add third-party integrations as you continue to grow.
When looking into Clover fees vs. Square fees, it's easy to see that Square is one of the most affordable POS systems on the market. Plus, they have tons of excellent hardware options.
Clover POS vs Square POS Comparison
Businesses that require customization
Businesses that want a budget-friendly, all-in-one solution
$49 to $1,649
$49 to $799
$14.95 per month starting
$0 per month starting
2.3% to 2.6% + $0.10 depending on plan
24/7 phone and email support
Customer support from 6 AM to 6 PM PST over phone, email, and live chat. 24/7 support for Premium plan users
Depends on provider
Oversight for third-party sellers, vendor management tools, and invoicing
24/7 support hours with free plan, vendor management tools in free plan, age-restricted online purchasing tools, and tiered payment processing fees
Digging Into The Details
Clover's Best Features:
Merchant service provider Flexibility
One of the standout features of Clover POS is that you'll be able to integrate with the merchant account company of your choice. This feature is especially helpful if you already have a provider that you are working with. Clover is one of the most widely sold POS systems on the market today. In fact, there are over 3,000 providers that sell Clover products, most of whom provide merchant account solutions as well.
You can always get in touch with Clover to see if they accept your current merchant account.
Customer Relationship Management
While both of these POS system solutions come with customer relationship management features that allow you to store your customer's contact information, purchase history, and more, Clover takes it a step further by providing built-in rewards capabilities without charging an extra monthly fee.
To go along with its customer relationship management features, Clover also provides a handy feedback app, excellent for businesses that want to gain better insight into what customers think about their products and services.
Clover has staffing functionality right out of the box, unlike Square, which charges an additional monthly fee for the same features. You can measure the performance of your employees with accessible staffing reports. You'll also find plenty of unique employee incentive tools that you can use to reward your best employees.
One excellent feature found in the staffing tools is the customizable permissions. Essentially, you can give certain employees access to certain parts of your point of sale software.
Clover has a robust payroll management system with high-end tracking capabilities, which are automatically included when you have the Clover App. This payroll feature allows you to manage the essential payroll, time-tracking, and scheduling duties, which often take up quite a bit of time and resources.
This high-end payroll management system will increase accuracy and lower the costs of these types of tasks.
While Square has more budget-friendly hardware costs than Clover, Clover has several robust, high-end hardware options for all types of businesses. Plus, Clover devices excel with its offline mode, which coordinates inventory and sales. Square, on the other hand, only handles payment processing duties when offline.
The wide range of Clover hardware includes everything from handheld devices to countertop customer-facing display options.
The Clover Flex, for example, is an excellent device for servers taking tableside orders.
Here are some of the top Clover devices you can choose from:
Square's Best Features:
The beauty of Square POS is that you can start using it for free.
When you sign up for Square, they send you a small card reader that you can plug directly into your smartphone. This Square reader is unlike anything you'd get with a Clover system, as the company does not offer any free hardware options.
Plus, as your business continues to grow, you can upgrade to different Square hardware options, many of which are cheaper than Clover.
For example, the wireless card reader, which accepts chip cards and mobile payments for Square POS system costs $49, while the same device through Clover costs $99.
The iPad Square Stand only costs $149, offering just about the same functionality as the Clover Stationary register, which costs $749.
Both of these developers also offer customer-facing displays, though the Clover device, called the Clover Station, costs $1,649. It is much higher priced than the $799 Square Terminal. Head over to our Clover Station POS and Square Terminal review guides if you'd like to learn more about either of these options.
We absolutely love the Square Register, as it comes with plenty of high-quality features that can work for just about any business, including digital receipts, discounts, returns, and touch tipping.
If your business already has an online store, Square will allow you to embed its Online Checkout system to your website for zero cost. Of course, you will have to pay the payment processing fee, which is 2.9% + $0.30, though that cost is far less than what you might pay through other POS providers to integrate into a website.
Plus, Square has an excellent system for setting up a brand new eCommerce website, which doesn't require you to know how to code. For example, a restaurant can use Square Online to create QR codes for in-person orders or accept online orders for delivery.
A similar service through Clover costs $9.95 per month plus transaction fees, which are 3.5% + $0.10 per online transaction.
Square's inventory system is a bit stronger than Clover's, especially if you're using the $60 per month Square for Retail plan. You'll get access to a number of top-notch inventory tools, as well as helpful retail reports and tools to help you integrate with multiple locations.
You can easily track your inventory via any device with an internet connection and import or export products using CSV.
Whenever you have to order new products to fill your inventory, Square will send you low-stock alerts.
However, it is worth noting that you only get basic inventory management features if you don't upgrade to the paid plan.
Square for Restaurants is an industry-specific POS system solution that Square set up a few years ago. This all-in-one software comes with built-in features for all kinds of establishments, including full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, fast casual restaurants, breweries, cafes, and more.
You can take advantage of included features, such as CRM, kitchen display systems, free online sites for pickup and delivery, mobile, tableside, and contactless payments.
While Square is an all-in-one solution that comes set up and ready to go right out of the box, it also comes with more third-party integrations than Clover. You'll find tons of additional marketing tools and reporting tools if you need them.
The business management integrations allow you to view analytics reports, connect with your customers, track inventory, manage sales, and more. Plus, the intuitive system makes it super easy to integrate your new tools and start using them right away.
While both of these developers offer mobile payment processing, Square is superior, thanks to the fact that it works very well on both iOS and Android. Clover works much better on Android devices, limiting its ease of use.
Square has positive customer reviews for its mobile POS solutions, as the app is incredibly intuitive. Plus, when you install the app on your tablet, it's completely free, sans processing fees.
One of the major drawbacks of Clover is that the company does not provide much oversight for third-party sellers. You need to be very cautious when purchasing Clover systems from other developers, as the contracts can vary in terms of quality. Of course, the upside is that you can find plenty of good deals through reputable service providers, though you'll need to search carefully.
It is important to understand that Clover's hardware will be connected to your merchant account. Since this is the case, you will not be able to use Clover hardware with a different processor if you determine that your initially chosen processor is not right for you. Brand new Clover hardware will need to be purchased in order to start working with a new credit card processing company.
Lastly, Clover lacks built-in vendor management and invoicing features, which can be a major disadvantage if you work with third-party sellers.
One of the main drawbacks of Square is that the company provides limited customer support hours unless you upgrade to one of its higher-tier plans. This can be a major hassle for businesses that operate outside of standard work hours, such as bars or clubs.
The payment processing through Square can also get very expensive if you're running a high-volume business. With Clover's flexibility, you can find payment processors that work with your needs and sales volume. Unfortunately, Square does not provide this same amount of flexibility, as you'll be integrated with the company's credit card processing.
It's also worth noting that Square does not have age-restricted software for online purchases. If you sell age-restricted products, such as alcohol or vapes, this can be a major issue.
Clover vs. Square - Which is A Better Value?
Both Square and Clover are excellent options for small business owners. The decision will depend on your budget, your needs, and your preferences.
If system flexibility is a priority, we recommend going with Clover. You'll find plenty of excellent features, such as employee management and happy hour features, as well as third-party integrations for industry-specific needs.
However, if you're only looking for a simple, all-in-one solution that can gel with just about any business, Square is the better choice.
We also recommend considering the payment processing fees. If you sell items below $15 on average without very many credit card sales, Square is best. But if you have high sales volumes, you'll be better off going with one of Clover's many merchant account providers.