Clover review – A good choice for payment processing? Features, fees, pros and cons explained

Updated on 6 July 2023

In the world of business transactions, Clover has established itself as an industry leader offering an all-in-one point of sale (POS) solution. Operating globally, this comprehensive payment processing service aims to streamline the sales experience for businesses of all sizes. But how does it truly perform when scrutinised? This review dives into the details of Clover’s offerings, assessing its benefits, drawbacks, fees, and how it compares with its competitors in the marketplace.

 
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Overview of Clover – what’s on offer?

Founded in 2012, Clover quickly rose to prominence as a robust and flexible POS system. The company was soon acquired by First Data, a significant player in the payment processing landscape, which subsequently merged with Fiserv, further solidifying Clover’s standing in the industry.

The platform’s appeal lies in its all-inclusive service. It merges payment processing with a range of features designed to support and streamline business operations, from inventory management to detailed sales reports and customer engagement tools. A stand-out feature is the platform’s flexibility. The software is customisable, with an extensive app market, allowing businesses to tailor their POS system to their unique needs.

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Clover’s product line includes a variety of hardware options: Clover Go for mobile payments, Clover Flex for portable payments, Clover Mini for small counter spaces, and Clover Station for comprehensive countertop solutions. This ensures businesses can choose a solution that best aligns with their size, requirements, and budget.

Pros and cons of Clover

Like any service, Clover has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to assess these before deciding if Clover is the right fit for your business.

Pros

  • Comprehensive POS System: Clover’s all-in-one service combines payment processing with an array of business management tools.
  • Customisable Software: Businesses can adapt Clover to suit their specific needs, thanks to its robust app market.
  • Wide Range of Hardware: From mobile to countertop solutions, Clover offers devices tailored to various business needs.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Clover provides round-the-clock assistance, which can be crucial for businesses operating outside traditional hours.
  • Integration: Clover integrates seamlessly with other apps and platforms, such as QuickBooks and WooCommerce.

Cons

  • High Initial Cost: The upfront cost for Clover’s hardware can be steep, particularly for small businesses.
  • Long-term Contracts: Clover often requires a long-term contract that may not suit businesses seeking short-term or flexible options.
  • Transaction Fees: While common in the industry, Clover’s transaction fees can add up, especially for businesses with high sales volume.
  • Limited Outside the USA: Although available globally, some features and services are less robust outside the United States.

Clover products and services guide

Clover’s product line is extensive and aims to cater to businesses of all sizes and needs.

Clover Go

This is a mobile card reader that accepts contactless, chip and swipe card payments, ideal for businesses that operate on the go.

Clover Flex

This handheld device allows businesses to manage transactions and print receipts from anywhere in their store.

Clover Mini

This compact, countertop POS system can handle a full range of payments, manage orders, and even track inventory.

Clover Station

Clover’s most comprehensive offering, this robust POS system is designed for businesses requiring detailed inventory tracking, sales reporting, and customer engagement tools.

Additionally, Clover’s platform offers a suite of services beyond payment processing. These include employee management tools, customer loyalty programmes, gift card management, and detailed reporting. These features help businesses gain insights into their operations and enhance the customer experience.

Clover pricing, fees and charges explained

Clover’s pricing model can be complex, as costs depend on the specific hardware, payment plans, and additional features selected.

The cost of Clover’s hardware varies significantly, ranging from the Clover Go, which can be as little as £69, to the comprehensive Clover Station, which can exceed £1,000.

Beyond the upfront hardware cost, businesses will also need to factor in payment processing fees. Clover offers a couple of options here: a flat-rate fee, which is generally around 2.3% + 5p per transaction; or a customised rate, which can vary but may offer savings for businesses with a high sales volume.

On top of these, there are monthly fees for using Clover’s software, which range from £9.95 for the basic package to £39.95 for the more advanced package. This does not include the cost of additional apps from the Clover App Market, which can vary significantly.

While the initial cost may seem steep, it’s important to consider the comprehensive service Clover offers, which combines payment processing with a full suite of business management tools.

Alternatives to Clover

While Clover offers a robust and flexible POS system, there are other alternatives worth considering:

  • Square: Known for its simplicity and ease-of-use, Square offers a comprehensive POS system with no monthly fees. However, it charges a higher transaction fee than Clover.
  • Shopify: Ideal for businesses that operate both online and in-store, Shopify offers a POS system that integrates seamlessly with its e-commerce platform.
  • SumUp: Known for its low-cost card readers and transparent pricing, SumUp is a solid choice for small businesses looking to accept card payments.
  • Zettle (formerly iZettle): Zettle offers a straightforward POS solution with a simple pricing structure, making it another good choice for small businesses.

Each of these alternatives has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice will depend on the specific needs and budget of your business.

Conclusion – Is Clover a good choice?

Clover offers a comprehensive and flexible POS system that integrates payment processing with a suite of business management tools. Its diverse range of hardware and customisable software makes it a good choice for businesses of various sizes and industries.

However, Clover may not be suitable for all. Its high initial cost and transaction fees could be prohibitive for small businesses or those with high sales volumes. Additionally, the need for long-term contracts may not suit businesses looking for more flexible options.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on the specific needs, budget, and long-term plans of your business. It’s recommended to compare several options, including Clover’s competitors, before making a decision.

FAQ

What is Clover?

Clover is a comprehensive POS system that integrates payment processing with business management tools.

Who owns Clover?

Clover is owned by Fiserv, a global leader in financial services technology.

Is Clover available globally?

Yes, Clover operates globally, but some features and services may be less robust outside the United States.

What types of payments does Clover accept?

Clover accepts all major credit and debit cards, as well as contactless payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Does Clover require a long-term contract?

Clover often requires a long-term contract, although terms can vary.

What are Clover’s transaction fees?

Clover’s transaction fees are typically around 2.3% + 5p per transaction, although customised rates are also available.

What additional features does Clover offer?

Clover offers a suite of business management tools, including inventory management, employee management, customer engagement tools, and detailed reporting.

Can Clover integrate with other platforms?

Yes, Clover can integrate with other platforms and apps, such as QuickBooks and WooCommerce.

What alternatives are there to Clover?

Alternatives to Clover include Square, Shopify, SumUp, and Zettle.

Is Clover suitable for small businesses?

While Clover can be used by small businesses, its high initial cost and transaction fees may be prohibitive for some.

Does Clover offer customer support?

Yes, Clover offers 24/7 customer support.

Does Clover offer mobile payment solutions?

Yes, Clover Go is designed for businesses that need to accept payments on the move.

Does Clover offer e-commerce solutions?

Yes, Clover integrates with a number of e-commerce platforms.

How secure is Clover?

Clover uses state-of-the-art security measures to protect sensitive information and is PCI PTS approved.

Does Clover offer a loyalty programme?

Yes, Clover offers tools for businesses to create and manage their own customer loyalty programmes.

Can I use Clover if I already have a card reader?

Yes, but you would need to use Clover’s payment processing service, which may involve additional fees.

Does Clover offer inventory management?

Yes, Clover has built-in tools for inventory management.

What hardware does Clover offer?

Clover offers a range of hardware including Clover Go, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, and Clover Station.

Does Clover charge a monthly fee?

Yes, Clover charges a monthly fee for using its software, which varies based on the package you select.

Can Clover handle multiple locations?

Yes, Clover can manage businesses with multiple locations, making it a good choice for franchises or businesses with several branches.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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