Clover POS System 2019 Review: Features, Costs, Reviews

Maddie Shepherd

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current freelance writer. Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. Maddie has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American cultures from Barnard College.
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Ever since the portable point of sale (POS) came onto the scene, the market seems to have flooded with different versions of this product for small business owners to choose from. So much so that wading through all of your options might feel more inconvenient than the portable point of sale promises in convenience.

In this review we are going to narrow it down for you by focusing on one of the more popular portable POS systems on the market: Clover POS. We’ve compiled a guide to Clover’s suite of POS options to help you decide whether they are the right point of sale solution for you.

Clover POS: The Basics

One crucial thing to understand about Clover POS systems is their two-pronged nature.

When you choose a Clover POS system, you’ll be choosing from hardware options and from software plan options. This setup means you’ll be able to mix and match according to your business’s specific needs (on their website, Clover promotes solutions for restaurants, retail, and general service businesses). 

Following suit with the two-pronged nature of Clover POS systems, we’re going to break this review down into two sections—one on all of the Clover POS hardware options, and one on all of the Clover POS software plan options.

Clover POS System Hardware

Hardware What It Costs Setup Capabilities
Clover Go
$59
Mobile smart device attachment
Processes magstripe-only cards, chip cards, and contactless payments
Clover Flex
$449
Self-sufficient, handheld POS system
Processes magstripe-only cards, chip cards, and contactless payments; scans barcodes; and prints receipts, all with its own handheld display
Clover Mini
Starts at $599
Powerful countertop POS system
Processes magstripe-only cards, chip cards, and contactless payments; scans barcodes; and prints receipts, all with its own mini countertop display
Clover Station
Starts at $1,149
Powerful countertop POS system
Processes magstripe-only cards, chip cards, and contactless payments; scans barcodes; and prints receipts, all with its own countertop display

Clover Go POS

Clover Go is the most portable of the Clover POS hardware options. This piece of Clover Point of Sale hardware is a bluetooth smart device attachment that allows your business to process magstripe-only card, chip card, and contactless payments.

However, unlike other Clover POS system hardware options, Clover Go requires you to come to the table with additional technology—be it a smartphone, tablet, or iPad. Clover Go will only be able to process payments if it’s attached to another device.

This Clover POS hardware is $59, making it the most affordable of the Clover POS hardware options.

Clover Flex POS

Your next option for Clover POS system hardware is the Clover Flex. This handheld point of sale hardware offers a remarkable amount of capabilities for its size.

The Clover Flex can process all payments, capture customer signatures, scan barcodes, and print receipts—all in one, and all on the go. Accessing this combination of mobility and power will cost you, though—the Clover Flex retails for $449.

Clover Mini POS

The first fully countertop option for Clover POS system hardware is the Clover Mini.

This hardware offers the power and speed of a countertop POS hub without the associated price—Clover Mini costs $599. 

For your money you’ll be able to process all payments, scan barcodes, and print receipts—and do so with greater speed than you would with mobile Clover Point of Sale hardware options.

Clover Station POS

Finally, the most powerful of the Clover POS system hardware options is the Clover Station.

This Clover Point of Sale system allows you all the capabilities that the Clover Mini allows—but it offers them with the greatest speed and security that any Clover POS system can muster.

You’ll also have the option to access a second, customer-facing display with this Clover Point of Sale system, which can help provide a better customer experience. But beware: With this Clover POS system hardware option, you’ll need to be ready to invest—prices start a $1,149.

clover pos system

Clover POS System Software Plans

Software Plan What It Costs Capabilities
Register Lite
$14 monthly fee, plus $0.10 and 2.7% per in-person transaction, and $0.10 and 3.5% for keyed-in transactions
Accept all forms of payment, set employees permissions and shifts, track sales and reports, process payments offline, access Clover App market, and more
Register
$29 monthly fee, plus $0.10 and 2.3% per in-person transaction, and $0.10 and 3.5% for keyed-in transactions
All Register Lite capabilities, plus inventory management, ability to access customer feedback, add gratuity to checks, and much more

Now that we have seen the hardware options Clover Point of Sale provides, let’s learn a bit more about the software solutions you can pair with your hardware to complete your Clover system.

Register Lite

The first tier of the Clover Point of Sale software is the Register Lite plan. Register Lite will cost your business $14 per month. You’ll also pay 2.7% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person transactions, and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions.

For that price, you’ll gain access to the following capabilities:

  • Accept and process all forms of payment, including credit, debit, chip, and contactless
  • Track cash payments
  • Process payments offline
  • Ring up items, discounts, and tax
  • Email, text, and store digital receipts
  • Capture electronic signatures and tips
  • Track sales and reports
  • Item-level taxes
  • Process refunds
  • Set employee permissions and shifts
  • Liability protection up to $100,000 in event of data breach
  • Access the Clover App Market

Register

The more powerful software plan option for Clover Point of Sale is the Register plan. With this plan, your Clover POS system will cost your business more each month—$29 to be precise.

However, with that extra cost, your Clover system will be able to perform the following capabilities, on top of what you already get with the Register Lite plan:

  • Inventory management
  • Create customer loyalty program
  • Add gratuity to checks
  • Read customer feedback
  • Build mailing list

Plus, if you’re running a quick-service restaurant, the Register plan will also allow you to:

  • Edit orders easily
  • Send orders to a remote printer or display in your kitchen
  • Manage tables
  • Connect a weight to your Clover POS
  • Pre-authorize credit cards for bar tabs and reservations

Alternatively, if you’re running a retail business, the Register plan will empower your Clover POS system to:

  • Add variants and item-level costs to inventory
  • Exchange items
  • Track item-level profitability

Clover POS Customer Service

An underrated aspect of a POS provider is the support they provide. With Clover, you’ll get 24/7 phone support in the United States. This is huge considering a problem with your POS system could affect your entire business. Merchant’s can also send email inquiries for less urgent matters. On its website, Clover has a dedicated Help Center where you can access guides and tutorials on how to use various Clover products and services.

Clover POS System: Pros

Now that we’ve learned about Clover from both the hardware side and the software side, let’s take a step back and try and determine the benefits of using a Clover system for your business.

All-in-One Solution

With the exception of the Clover Go, all other Clover POS hardware options provide an all-in-one solution. Whether you need to process a contactless payment, scan a barcode, or print a receipt, odds are that your Clover POS system can do it.

Price

The Clover Station POS is no bargain, but both the Clover Flex POS and Clover Mini POS can be had for under $600. Compare that to other POS providers and you’ll realize what a bargain Clover is. With most businesses, you’ll need to spend upwards of $1,000 to get yourself a complete set of POS hardware. Clover’s affordability can’t be overlooked.

clover pos system

Clover POS: Cons

For all its merits, Clover isn’t a perfect product. Here’s the most notable downside to the Clover systems:

No Free Hardware Options

One major flaw that Clover has as a whole? They don’t offer any free hardware options. This means that, on top of payment processing fees, your business will also have to shell out a lump sum for a piece of Clover POS hardware, no matter how simple your payment processing needs are.

As such, if you’re looking for barebones, affordable payment processing, then you might want to explore other POS options that offer free hardware.

Clover POS: Reviews

Our opinion isn’t the only one that matters. Let’s see how Clover customers have rated the business on major review websites:

The general ranking of Clover leaves some room for concern. On BBB, only one complaint levied against Clover has been closed within the last year, which is not a good sign. In negative reviews, users complain of hidden fees that end up costing them more for their system than they had realized. Others report having a very difficult time working with customer service.

In positive reviews, users tout the flexibility offered by Clover’s four different hardware options. Others say Clover’s sleek and modern design minimizes their learning curve, and allows them to perform a variety of essential business functions with ease.

Clover POS Alternatives

If you’re on the fence about Clover POS systems—or you just want to shop your options—we suggest you check out the following options:

Square POS

Square POS addresses the imperfections that Clover POS systems tend to suffer from. Not only does Square POS offer a completely free magstripe reader, it also offers a free version of Square POS software that comes complete with inventory management capabilities. It’s payment processing fees are also similar to what you’d get with the Register Lite plan, and you can add a variety of features on to your Square POS, such as payroll processing and a customer loyalty program. 

Shopify POS

If you’re an ecommerce merchant, you’re probably not interested in all of Clover’s POS hardware. What you need is a proper ecommerce POS—and when it comes to ecommerce POSs, Shopify POS is the best in class. You can get a POS already integrated into your ecommerce website when you sign up for the Shopify Basic plan ($29 per month). This will give you access to all of Shopify’s customer and inventory management software, and payment processing rates of only 2.7% per transaction. If you upgrade to one of Shopify’s more expensive software plans, you’ll get even lower payment processing rates. Plus, Shopify also sells POS hardware if you need to sell in-person as well as online.

Clover POS Systems: The Bottom Line

There you have it—all the information you need to know in order to decide if Clover POS systems are right for your small business. As far as we’re concerned, despite their minor imperfections, Clover POS systems are some of the very best on the market—and they come at a price that won’t break the bank.

However, you know your small business better than anyone. So it’s up to you to evaluate Clover’s merits and make the right call.

Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.

Maddie Shepherd

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current freelance writer. Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. Maddie has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American cultures from Barnard College.

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