Clover vs Zettle explained – Payment processing comparison

Updated on 10 July 2023

In the modern business landscape, the ability to accept card payments has become non-negotiable. This change has been driven by an increasingly digital consumer base, an accelerating move away from cash, and the need to deliver seamless, frictionless shopping experiences. Two notable players in the payment processing industry, Clover vs Zettle, have been helping businesses transition to this new paradigm.

 
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But when it comes to choosing between these two platforms, which one suits your business needs better? Let’s delve into an in-depth comparison.

Clover vs Zettle

Features / FeesCloverZettle
Basic HardwareClover Flex: £399; Clover Mini: £549; Clover Station: £1,269Zettle Reader 2: £59
Monthly FeeStarts at £9.95 per month for Clover Flex and Mini; £29.95 per month for Clover StationNone
Transaction FeeVaries based on the merchant account, typically between 1% – 2.5%1.75% per transaction
Customisable UIYesLimited
Offline ModeYesYes
Inventory ManagementYesBasic only
Employee ManagementYesLimited
Customer Loyalty ProgramYesLimited
Reporting & AnalyticsAdvancedBasic
E-Commerce IntegrationYesYes
App MarketplaceYesNo
Multi-Location ManagementYesYes, but limited
24/7 SupportYesLimited
RefundsYes, with a feeFree
Clover vs Zettle

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always best to check the companies’ websites for the most up-to-date information. This table should be used as a guide and does not account for any additional charges that may apply, such as those for certain payment types, refunds, or chargebacks. Also, Clover’s pricing can vary depending on the merchant account provider.

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Understanding Clover

Clover, an offering from Fiserv (formerly First Data), is a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) system with an integrated payment processing platform. Clover offers a wide range of hardware and software solutions, ranging from simple card readers to fully-fledged POS systems like Clover Station.

Key features of Clover

Integrated hardware and software: Clover offers an integrated POS and payment solution, meaning that your hardware and software are designed to work together seamlessly. This can simplify setup and maintenance, and it means that you don’t need to juggle multiple vendors.

Versatile device options: Clover offers a variety of devices to cater to businesses of different sizes and types. These include the Clover Station (a complete POS system), the Clover Mini (a smaller POS system), and the Clover Flex (a handheld card machine).

Wide app marketplace: Clover offers a comprehensive app market, allowing you to customise your POS system with various applications for inventory management, employee management, customer loyalty programmes, and more.

Advanced reporting and analytics: Clover offers advanced reporting capabilities that can provide you with deep insights into your business, from sales trends to staff performance.

Clover’s drawbacks

Expensive pricing: Clover’s high-quality offering comes at a cost. Their hardware and software packages are more expensive than many competitors, and there are also ongoing fees for software, payment processing, and potentially additional apps from the Clover marketplace.

Limited payment processing choice: Clover requires you to use its own payment processing. This means you can’t shop around for more competitive rates and are stuck with Clover’s pricing structure.

Understanding Zettle

Zettle, formerly iZettle and now owned by PayPal, is another popular payment processing option for businesses, particularly smaller ones. Zettle provides a straightforward and easy-to-use mobile POS system alongside its payment processing services.

Key features of Zettle

Simplicity and ease-of-use: Zettle’s payment system is simple and intuitive, which can be a boon for small businesses without a dedicated IT team.

Transparent pricing: Zettle operates on a pay-as-you-go pricing model. There’s no monthly fee, and you pay a flat percentage for each transaction. The pricing structure is clear and easy to understand, which can be appealing for small businesses.

PayPal integration: As a PayPal company, Zettle integrates seamlessly with other PayPal services. This means you can easily manage all your transactions and view your funds in one place.

Portable card reader: Zettle’s primary hardware is a small, portable card reader that works in conjunction with a smartphone or tablet app. This can be a great option for mobile businesses, pop-up shops, or businesses with limited counter space.

Zettle’s drawbacks

Limited feature set: While Zettle is simple and user-friendly, its features are relatively basic. This can be a limitation for businesses that require more sophisticated POS or inventory management capabilities.

Customer support: Some users have reported issues with Zettle’s customer service, citing difficulties in getting timely and effective help when needed.

Clover vs Zettle – who is it for?

The decision between Clover and Zettle will largely depend on the nature and size of your business, as well as your specific requirements.

Clover’s comprehensive features and integrated solution make it well suited to medium to large-sized businesses that require advanced POS capabilities, inventory management, and detailed reporting and analytics. However, this comes at a higher cost, which may not be justifiable for smaller businesses.

On the other hand, Zettle’s simplicity, transparency, and ease-of-use make it a compelling option for smaller businesses, sole traders, and those with basic POS needs. Its competitive, straightforward pricing can also be attractive to businesses with tighter budgets. However, businesses needing more advanced capabilities might find Zettle’s feature set limiting.

Conclusion – Clover vs Zettle

Both Clover and Zettle offer credible payment processing solutions, but they cater to different business needs. Clover offers a feature-rich, integrated system, best suited for medium to larger businesses, whilst Zettle delivers a simpler, more cost-effective solution aimed at smaller businesses. Therefore, when choosing between Clover and Zettle, businesses must consider their specific requirements, budget, and future growth plans to make the best decision.

FAQ

What types of businesses are Clover and Zettle best suited for?

Clover is best suited for medium to large-sized businesses that need advanced POS capabilities, inventory management, and detailed reporting. Zettle is more geared towards smaller businesses, sole traders, and those with basic POS needs due to its simplicity and competitive pricing.

Can I use both Clover and Zettle for my business?

While you technically could use both, it would be inefficient and potentially confusing. It’s best to choose one system that meets your needs and stick with it for consistency.

How do the transaction fees for Clover and Zettle compare?

Clover’s transaction fees can vary based on your merchant account and typically fall between 1% – 2.5%. Zettle charges a flat fee of 1.75% per transaction.

Do both Clover and Zettle offer e-commerce integration?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle offer e-commerce integration, allowing you to manage online and physical sales within the same system.

Can I use my own payment processor with Clover and Zettle?

Clover requires you to use its own payment processing, whereas Zettle, as part of PayPal, utilises PayPal’s payment processing.

Do Clover and Zettle have 24/7 customer support?

Clover offers 24/7 customer support, but Zettle’s around-the-clock support is somewhat limited.

How does inventory management compare between Clover and Zettle?

Clover offers advanced inventory management features, while Zettle offers basic inventory management capabilities.

Do Clover and Zettle offer offline mode?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle provide offline modes, allowing you to accept payments when your internet connection is down.

Can I customise the user interface on both Clover and Zettle?

Clover allows for considerable user interface customisation, while Zettle offers more limited customisation options.

10. Can I handle refunds with both Clover and Zettle?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle allow for refunds, though Clover may charge a fee for processing them.

Which is more expensive: Clover or Zettle?

Generally, Clover is more expensive due to its advanced features and the required monthly fee for its service. Zettle has a more straightforward, lower-cost pricing model with no monthly fee.

How do the customer loyalty features of Clover and Zettle compare?

Clover has a built-in customer loyalty programme that you can customise to your needs, while Zettle has more limited customer loyalty options.

Do both Clover and Zettle offer employee management features?

Yes, both do, but Clover’s employee management features are more advanced compared to the more basic options offered by Zettle.

How do Clover’s and Zettle’s reporting and analytics compare?

Clover offers advanced reporting and analytics, while Zettle provides more basic reporting options.

Can I use the Clover or Zettle card readers with any smartphone or tablet?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle offer solutions that are compatible with most modern smartphones and tablets.

Do Clover and Zettle offer solutions for businesses with multiple locations?

Yes, both offer solutions for businesses with multiple locations, but Clover’s multi-location management features are more advanced.

Can I add additional features or apps to my Clover or Zettle POS system?

Clover offers a comprehensive app marketplace that lets you add many features. Zettle does not have an app marketplace, so its features are more limited.

How do the setup processes for Clover and Zettle compare?

Both Clover and Zettle are designed for easy setup, but due to its simpler system and fewer features, Zettle may be a bit quicker to set up.

Do Clover and Zettle comply with PCI standards?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle are fully compliant with PCI-DSS standards, ensuring secure transactions.

Are Clover and Zettle available internationally?

Yes, both Clover and Zettle are available in numerous countries, but availability may vary, so it’s best to check on their websites for the most accurate information.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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