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A POS system is essential if your business is ready to sell goods. As there are a variety of POS systems on the market, in this article, we compare Square vs. Clover and provide the highlights of both POS systems below.

What is a POS system?

Business owners and employees use a POS or “point of sale” system to process customer sales in stores and online. 

Most POS systems are found at a designated location in a store, like a checkout desk. Still, with the rise of technology, many small businesses are using mobile POS systems to provide more efficient transaction processing from a tablet or smartphone. 

A POS system consists of software, such as a program or app, and hardware, like a touchscreen computer, barcode scanner, and receipt printer.

What are the highlights of Square?

Square is a simple, easy-to-use, plug-in software that can run on Apple iOS and Android devices. 

This POS system can process payments in the form of credit cards, cash, checks, and gift cards. You can add items to your POS and manage inventory in real-time. You can seamlessly manage your customer information, send digital receipts, and receive bank transfers as soon as the next day. 

You can also get support from Square via phone and email, manage all your online and offline orders, and utilize powerful sales reporting and analytics to grow your business. 

Once set up, Square’s users are automatically connected to Square’s merchant account. The Square POS app is free. There are no monthly fees. You are charged 2.6% plus 10 cents per tap, dip, or swipe. 

It is important to note that some merchant services providers may charge lower transaction fees than Square. But if you are looking for a straightforward fee schedule, Square offers that.

What are the highlights of Clover?

Clover’s POS system stands out in certain areas. For example, unlike Square, Clover supports users in managing their merchant accounts. They have their own merchant account system but allow users who already have one to use their own. 

With Clover, you will have transparent pricing, which will be discussed later on, as well as fingerprint security, 24/7 customer support, 4G/ LTE backup connectivity, and customer rewards programs. These are all free and bundled into the point-of-sale system. 

This POS system accepts contactless and traditional payments and can take online payments or off. They also offer digital receipts, one-touch tipping, and easy-to-process refunds. You can set up tax rates once and then automate them. 

Additionally, you may be able to see deposits as quickly as one day and receive $100,000 liability protection against data breaches. Clover also offers a robust inventory management system that includes item categories and modifiers. 

There are various transaction device options ranging from station duo, Go, Flex, and Mini. 

For pricing, there is 0% interest on installment plans, $0 monthly fees, and 2.3% plus 10 cents per tap, dip, and swipe. 

How do Square and Clover compare?

Comparing Square and Clover, both POS systems have free versions for new businesses to test. This allows potential customers/ business owners to try out each system and determine which one fits your business needs the most. 

Comparing software plans, Clover is the more expensive of the two because its price includes most “add-ons,”  unlike Square, where you need to pay per add-on.

Credit card processing systems.

Square: Square Reader has contactless capabilities and a chip, which costs $49 and can be attached to your phone or other devices, including tablets and handheld devices.

Clover: Clover Go, which costs $49, attaches to handheld devices and can sync with the Clover app so you can easily keep track of sales and inventory.

Payment processing fees.

Square: Merchants will pay 2.6% plus 10 cents for every mobile tap payment, dipped card payment, and swiped card payment. 3.5% plus 15 cents for keyed-in transactions.

Clover: With Clover, merchants will pay 2.3% plus 20 cents per in-person transaction. 3.5% plus 10 cents per keyed-in transaction. The Clover app can be paired with payment processors that do not charge a fee for each transaction.

Rewards and customer loyalty programs.

Square: Setting up and maintaining a rewards program costs $45 per month.

Clover: Rewards programs are automatically included in Clover’s total monthly fee.

Customer management.

Square: You can create customer profiles with contact information and purchase history. You can also save returning customers’ credit cards for easier processing.

Clover: You can store customer profiles and information to personalize your customers’ experience. You can also request and keep customer feedback and reviews to understand where you can make business improvements.

POS systems.

Square: Square’s register stand costs $799, a comprehensive payment station for your transactions. There is no outside POS integration compatibility and no Bluetooth pairing. 

The Square terminal costs $299 and is a smaller option than the register stand. It is portable and can work wirelessly or plugged in. The Square Stand costs $149 and is another mobile transaction processing device that works only with chip cards and contactless payments. 

For POS software options, Square has a free app that any user can utilize. For industry-specific capabilities, you will need to pay extra. 

Square has minimal integration capabilities. Platforms such as Acuity Scheduling, WooCommerce, Wix, and GoDaddy can be integrated. 

Clover: Clover Station Duo Wifi costs $1,799 and is an all-in-one payment station. Clover hardware includes a register and a receipt printer. 

For smaller POS options, Clover Mini costs $749 and accepts all payment types, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. Another smaller POS system is the Clover Flex which costs $499 and is a card reader that takes all sorts of card and mobile payments. 

Clover has three paid service plans for software options: Payment Plus, Register Lite, and Register. You will need to visit their website and decide which plan works best for your business. 

Clover has many different software integration capabilities, much more than Square. Integrations for industries like retail and restaurants are easily acquired with Clover. 

How does a POS system benefit your business?

Opting for a more modern POS system is ideal for restaurants, retail stores, salons, hospitality businesses, and small businesses because they offer a secure and streamlined checkout process. 

Today’s processing companies do more than just accept credit cards. They may include unique hardware options and offer the ability to evaluate sales, track inventory, and create customer reward programs. 

These features give small-business owners in any industry better control over inventory, forecasting, customer relations, and sales management. 

Benefits of POS systems for your business include:

  • Streamlined checkout experience for employees as well as customers
  • Increased efficiency
  • Optimized inventory management
  • Customer Insights
  • Attractive customer-facing display
  • Increased accuracy for payment processing and inventory tracking
  • Greater payment flexibility

When comparing popular POS systems such as Square and Clover, it is vital to keep your business needs in mind and consider how they can quickly solve everyday business issues.

Is Square or Clover better for my business?

We have already established that Clover software is more expensive than Square because it includes Square’s add-ons (like employee management) within its total price. 

Square POS might seem more attractive for new business owners because of its lower initial pricing and ease of use. When starting up a business, you may not need as many capabilities to start with and may have fewer things to keep track of. 

As small businesses grow, or for more established companies, Clover may seem more attractive because their all-in-one price includes many features, products, integrations, and capabilities. Clover can handle more transaction processes daily. 

Square has limited payment device choices, whereas Clover has a range of device choices to fit every size business. 

Depending on the size of your business, the number of employees, daily transaction volume, and what kind of business you have, you will have different things to consider when choosing between these POS solutions.

The bottom line.

In the comparison of Square versus Clover, each has unique features for your brick-and-mortar or online store. As discussed above, as a new business owner who wants to accept debit or credit card payments, you can test each POS system for free to decide which feels more intuitive and user-friendly. 

Square may be the best option for small businesses and entrepreneurs operating at a smaller scale because their base price is low and increases as you pile on more capabilities. 

Clover is an excellent service provider option for bigger, more established businesses that need to handle a larger volume of daily transactions since their price is all-inclusive.

If you are building a business and need guidance on where to start, explore the wealth of professional resources at Entrepreneur.com.

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