Square Vs Clover POS – Forbes Advisor


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When a business needs to quickly set up the ability to sell goods, an easy point-of-sale (POS) system is absolutely necessary. In addition to collecting payments in all forms (cash and credit cards), a POS system should be able to offer inventory tracking and be easy to learn for employees. A user-friendly POS system can support a new business’s launch and make it run smoothly and successfully.

When comparing popular POS systems like Square and Clover, it is important to understand your business’s needs and how these systems can offer quick solutions to common issues. The software of the Square and Clover POS systems is very easy to use, and there are multiple hardware options for both based on how much space you have for the payment station.

To compare Square and Clover, we’ll go over how efficiently these systems work and how cost-effective they are for your business’s needs.

Square vs. Clover: At a Glance

Both Square and Clover have free versions for businesses just starting out. Using a free POS system is a good idea in the beginning because it allows you some time to figure out what you need from a POS and how to manage payments and inventory.

Clover is more expensive because adding on capabilities in Square comes with extra fees, while most of the same ones are already included in Clover.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Square

Square

Hardware Options

Mobile and countertop hardware options available for payment stations

Square

Hardware Options

Mobile and countertop hardware options available for payment stations

Pros & Cons

  • Fundamental POS features are all free with Square
  • Cheaper hardware options good for small businesses
  • Ability to purchase add-on features: employee management, payroll, marketing and analytics
  • CRM offers creation of customer profiles
  • Square hardware compatible with Apple and Android for on-the-go sales
  • Extra monthly cost for all add-on features
  • Square POS requires you to use its system to process payments
  • Customer service only available during regular business hours

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Clover

Clover

Monthly fees

Monthly fees starting at $9.95

per month

Hardware Options

Mobile and countertop hardware options available for payment stations

Clover

Monthly fees

Monthly fees starting at $9.95

per month

Hardware Options

Mobile and countertop hardware options available for payment stations

Pros & Cons

  • Software add-ons included for free with the cost of Clover’s monthly subscription fee
  • Includes customer feedback, Clover Dining feature to streamline restaurant management
  • Ability to pair Clover POS system with any credit card processor
  • 24/7 customer support and live chat
  • Monthly fee and Clover hardware are both more expensive than Square
  • Clover software only works on Clover devices (unable to test Clover on another type of tablet)

Square vs. Clover: Credit Card Processing Comparison

With a variety of hardware options, both Square and Clover are built for businesses doing a lot of daily transactions quickly and easily. Both are very simple to use and allow you to input photos for the merchandise inventory so all employees can easily get familiar with the products and prices. As opposed to an old-fashioned cash register, the visual displays of Square and Clover make the job easier for cashiers and sellers.

However, the biggest difference is how many features Clover has included in the service while the higher-functioning capabilities of Square all cost extra per month. As a new business owner, you also want to take into account how important it is to avoid the processing fees from Square and Clover. Clover allows you to pair it with a payment processing device that won’t take a cut of the credit card processing, so you end up keeping more money.

As a new business owner, Square is the more attractive option because it is cheaper and there are fewer things to keep track of. However, as your business grows, Clover will be able to support more of your processes, from more employees to a greater number of daily transactions.

Square vs. Clover: POS Comparison

The size of the POS system is an important factor in new businesses or small businesses that are introducing new merchandise and trying to save space. Since both Square and Clover have portable options that take a variety of payment options, you can take your merchandise and business out to different locations.

For food sellers, something like the Square Terminal or the Clover Flex is a great way to travel to places like farmer’s markets and still keep all of your payment options for customers. Businesses that don’t yet have brick-and-mortar locations will also find these portable options incredibly useful.

The most important part of these POS systems is that they take a variety of payment options. Beyond just credit cards, they need to take Apple Pay and Google Pay and any other mobile payment options as well. One of the benefits of Square is that it offers a free mobile magstripe reader with the Square Register. For a business just getting started, this extra hardware can make a huge difference in the ability to process customers more quickly.

Clover devices and the software plans tend to scale with how many credit card transactions you’re taking. Register Lite is for businesses with below $50,000 of credit transactions while Register is for when you go over that amount. The thing about Clover is that you have a consistent fee that you can expect to stay the same from the beginning, and then changes once you start taking in more income. Square has add-ons for a monthly fee for marketing and employee management, but these are already included with Clover.

Square vs. Clover: Business Needs Comparison

Square and Clover have the majority of the same needs provided for a variety of businesses. The most common businesses that need things like inventory management, employee tracking, dining table management and sales reports are likely to be retail stores and restaurants. This is why Square and Clover have specific add-ons and applications for them. While you can find all of these for no additional cost on Clover Apps, Square has add-ons that take monthly payments.

As a business grows, you need more access to various software to get a high-level view of how much you’re selling. If you plan to grow quickly, Clover has all of these readily available for you, even if they have a higher upfront cost than Square.

Bottom Line

Overall, Square and Clover provide high-quality software and services to small and growing businesses. Clover is, for the most part, more popular than Square.

Since Square has a free service that pairs with tablets and smartphones, it’s perfect for a business that is at the beginning of its journey. Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants offer easy options for stores and dining at an extra cost, which can be a bit cumbersome for a small business.

If your business is growing quickly and you want the ability to take customer feedback, easily track sales trends, set employee hours and manage payroll, all of these features are available in Clover’s plans without an extra monthly fee. This is important when a business wants to scale up and figure out where to put resources. If a business has multiple locations, retail reporting and customer feedback are helpful for understanding what to stock and where.

Square will help you save money if you really only need the most basic payment processing capabilities for your POS system, while Clover is best for businesses that are growing and need to manage multiple employees, as well as keep track of inventory and customers.

Top Square and Clover Alternatives

There are many excellent POS solutions on the market. The best fit for your business needs to strike a balance of affordability and scalability. Here are some of the best POS systems that you may also want to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does a POS system cost?

POS system pricing depends on the features you need and the size of your business. Some systems, such as Square and Clover, have free versions, while others can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. Starting with a free POS system is a good idea, as it will allow you time to figure out what you need, and how to manage payments and inventory.

What are the different types of POS systems?

There are several different types of POS systems, including full-service terminals, mobile POS systems, cloud-based POS systems and web-based POS systems.




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