Clover vs. Square: Which POS System Is Better?

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    Point-of-sale (POS) systems are more than just cash registers. With the help of this operating system, businesses can manage retail payments and track inventory in real-time. Utilizing a POS system can also provide a smoother shopping experience to customers.

    Nowadays, businesses looking for the best POS system have many options to choose from. Clover and Square are among the most widely-used point-of-sale system providers because of their valuable features.

    Role of Point-of-Sale Systems In Businesses

    Before the widespread use of POS systems, customers and businesses relied on cash registers to track sales manually, which took time. Services are also limited because customers need to be physically present during the transaction. With the help of POS systems and payment service providers, businesses can now transact with customers no matter where they are.

    Aside from accepting payments and tracking deals, some POS systems also include features to record your inventory and manage your staff. The right POS software and hardware can help your business grow by boosting sales and improving transactions. 

    In order to choose the best POS system for your business, it’s essential to analyze your company’s needs, operations, and system shortcomings. Considering these factors will help you make an informed decision in finding a suitable POS system.

    Clover vs. Square: Which POS System Is Right For Your Business?

    Clover and Square offer distinctive features and advantages for businesses. Both provide integrated hardware and software, online payment processing, and contactless payment tools at different price points. They also offer a free trial version for startup businesses.

    We rounded up the different features and capabilities of Clover and Square to help you choose what's right for your business.

    FeaturesCloverSquare
    Monthly FeesNon-hardware user subscription fees: $9.95Hardware user subscription fees: $69.95Free PlanSquare Plus Plan: $60 (comes with additional features)
    Transaction CostsIn-person transaction: 2.6% - 2.3% + 10 cents (depends on the hardware used)Online/Keyed transaction: 3.5% + 10 cents(Charges may differ with a different merchant provider)In-person transaction: 2.6% + 10 centsKeyed-in transactions: 2.9% + 30 centsOnline transactions: 3.5% + 15 cents
    Hardware CostsWireless reader - $99Handheld card reader - $499Stationary registers - $749, $1349, $1649Magstripe reader - FreeWireless reader - $49Swivel iPad Stand - $169Terminal - $299Register - $799
    Payment ProcessorsCloverWells FargoPNCCitiRestaurant DepotSam’s ClubOthersSquare merchant account
    Customer Service24/7 email & phone supportFree account 6 AM - 6 PM PST (Phone, email, live chat, social)Plus & Premium (24/7)

    Reasons To Choose Clover

    While Clover requires a hefty investment up front, businesses can take advantage of its own merchant services account. Here are more features that make Clover stand out against Square.

    Variety of Features

    Clover has numerous valuable features such as inventory management, application of discounts and taxes, item-level reporting, and more. Businesses with plans of expansion will find these features very useful.

    Flexible Merchant Processing

    Clover offers flexible merchant processing for businesses that prefer other merchant providers. It has over 3,000 merchant retailers of Clover products and various merchant accounts. Keep in mind that getting merchant accounts outside your POS provider also comes with pros and cons.

    Cost-Effective

    For businesses that are only starting up, getting their own merchant services account complicates things. However, during expansions, it saves money on transaction fees in the long run. Businesses can use Clover in combination with payment service equipment that doesn't take a cut of credit card processing fees, allowing you to cut costs.

    Software Options

    Clover has three software options that businesses can choose from. Depending on their needs, business owners can choose which Clover system best fits their operation.

    Reasons To Choose Square

    Square is often recommended for small businesses for its straightforward pricing. Square’s integrated point-of-sale system also offers seamless transactions.

    Versatility

    Square is one of the most versatile POS systems available in the market. It’s user-friendly and designed specifically for businesses with many transactions. Its flexible point-of-sale systems allow startup businesses to save on hardware costs since companies can install the system on their iPads or Android devices.

    Reasonable Pricing

    Another feature users like most about Square is its reasonable pricing. Unlike other systems that charge per month, Square charges its users for every transaction. This pricing is desirable for startup businesses who want flexible POS service fees.

    Payment & Merchant Account Inclusion

    Square also offers its users an end-to-end payment process, which means they no longer need to open an account because they are sub-merchants. These are all included in Square’s POS purchases.

    Free Software

    Square has a free software version. For businesses just starting up or companies looking to transition to a different POS system, the free and accessible version of Square allows them to try the features first before upgrading to a paid plan. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Here are some of the most commonly asked questions for business owners choosing between Square and Clover.

    Are Square and Clover the same? 

    While both Square and Clover offer point-of-sale systems, they have different features and price points.

    What percentage does Clover take?

    For in-person transactions, Clover charge 2.6% + 10 cents per transactions and 3.5% + 10 cents for keyed-in transactions.

    Is Square good for small businesses?

    Square is excellent for startup businesses because it offers flexible payment terms, as well as free software versions.

    The Verdict

    While both systems have unique features and advantages, Square leads in terms of reasonable pricing. This feature is an enticing offer for startup businesses. On the other hand, Clover can help you save more money in the long run while enjoying more features. 
    At the end of the day, analyze what your business needs first before choosing a POS system. If you want to learn more about payment processors for your business, head over to Processing Card.

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