"Clover is both flexible and easy to use – not an easy balance to strike."
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0 Ease Of Use
0 Features
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Pros
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Highly customizable to suit every business
  • Access to the system from anywhere
  • Large range of integrations to choose from
Cons
  • Clover’s custom hardware is great quality but expensive
  • Pricing structures are fairly complex
  • Some online complaints about the level of customer service
Company Background

Clover is a California-based point of sale business since 2012. It was adopted by Bank of America as a system for merchants in 2013, and is the system of choice for a host of a number of other big names.

Plans & Pricing

Clover’s pricing structure can seem rather confusing initially. It gets easier once you understand that there are three main components to the cost: the software subscription itself, the cost of any POS hardware you need (covered separately below), and the fees you pay for transactions.

There’s a generous 30-day free trial on the software itself, and it’s possible to sign up directly on the Clover website.

Register Lite
$9.95/mo
30-day FREE trial
Register
$39.95/mo
30-day FREE trial
Counter Service Restaurants
$39.95/mo
30-day FREE trial
Table Service Restaurants
$69.95/mo
30-day FREE trial

Register Lite

“Register Lite” is intended for businesses that put through total annual card sales of less than $50,000. The software plan costs $9.95/mo with support for one device, with extra devices charged at $9.95 each. Transaction fees are 2.7% for in-person sales, and 3.5% for keyed transactions, with an additional fee of 10 cents per transaction.

Register

“Register’ includes a notable array of extra features over the “Register Lite” plan. These include inventory management and customer loyalty features. “Register” is suitable for businesses with an annual card transaction turnover in excess of $50,000 per year. This plan costs $39.95/mo for one device, plus $9.95 for each extra device. Keyed transactions cost the same 3.5% as on Register Lite, but in-person transactions cost a slightly lower 2.3%. All transactions are subject to the same 10 cent fee.

Counter Service Restaurants

The pricing tier for counter service restaurants also costs $39.95/mo. However, the transaction fees are slightly different. In-person transactions cost 2.5% plus 10 cents, keyed sales cost 3.5% plus 15 cents.

Table Service Restaurants

Clover’s software plan for table service restaurants costs $69.95/mo. Transaction fees are the same as on the “Register” plan, at 3.5% and 2.3% for keyed and in-person transactions respectively, plus the 10 cents additional fee.

Features & Functionality
Best For
Gift Cards

With options for both physical gift cards and electronic alternatives, Clover offers a selection of ways to sell gift cards or reward customers with them. You can migrate existing gift card programs to Clover, and send electronic gift cards directly to customers’ mobile devices.

Hardware Requirements

As Clover is cloud-based, you can log on to your Clover account from any internet-connected computer. However, Clover’s own hardware is bespoke and uses a custom version of the Android operating system.

There’s a large range of hardware on offer. At the more budget end of the scale, there’s the Clover “Go” at $69, a small hardware add-on for an existing mobile device that facilitates taking payments. Then there’s the “Flex,” a slick standalone mobile payments device at $499.

When it comes to fully-fledged static POS, there the “Mini” at $749, the “Station” at $1349, and the “Station Pro” at $1649. All of these systems are available on monthly installment payment plans.

You can mix and match different hardware, and there are also supplementary items available such as kitchen printers and customer-facing displays. The latter is included with the “Station Pro.”

Features
  • Retail Store
  • Coffee Shop
  • Nightclub
  • Quick Service
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Food Truck
General Features
Online Ordering

Clover has clearly looked into what businesses need in this new age of social distancing. For example, customers can order takeaway food online and collect it with contactless payment. There’s also “scan to order,” so that the restaurant customer who is eating in can use a QR-code-based system to order at their tables with no need for waiting on staff interaction.

Virtual Terminal

Clover’s software-first approach means that even businesses who’ve chosen POS hardware can process transactions without it. Clover users can log on to the cloud-based dashboard from any device, access the POS system and even process keyed transactions directly.

Staff Management Features

Clover is strong on the human resources side, with features to support everything from time logging to payroll. The software handles day-to-day admin tasks like managing tipping and commission. Solid reporting also helps management to see which staff are excelling and who could use some extra support.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Clover boasts one of the biggest app marketplaces of any commercial POS system. In many cases, you have the option of using Clover’s own features – for things like payment processing or customer loyalty – or hooking into a third-party service of your choice.
Notable integrations include Nav, for customer credit scoring, QuickBooks synchronization, and a whole host of different apps to support food delivery businesses.

Features
  • Inventory Management
  • Loyalty Program
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Online Ordering
  • Reporting
  • Split Checks
  • Manage Tips
  • Staff Scheduling
  • Offline Payments
  • Customer Profiles
  • Multidevice Payments
  • Gift Card Support
  • Accounting Integration
  • Tableside Ordering
  • Floor Plan Management
  • Customer-Facing Display
  • Self-Service Kiosk
Hardware & Software
Flexible Hardware Choices

Clover offers solutions at every end of the spectrum, from a simple, economical option running solely on a mobile device, to a heavyweight hardware POS system with multiple terminals and supplementary hardware.

While the huge range of options makes navigating Clover’s solutions initially intimidating, the flexibility means you can accommodate all kinds of business setups. For example, a restaurant can combine a fixed POS handling phone orders, with table-side orders taken using an extra “Flex” terminal.

Features
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cloud-Based
  • On-place Installation
  • Windows
  • Mac
Pricing Options
Features
  • Free Trial
  • Freemium
  • Monthly Subscription
  • Annual Subscription
  • One-Time License
Ease of Use

Ironically, the hardest part of using Clover is probably specifying the system and working out the selection of hardware and add-ons you need. The good news is that day-to-day usage is a breeze. Clover scores highly on ease-of-use and the user interface is a pleasure to interact with.

The customer management features shine through as well, making it straightforward to recognize returning customers and build their loyalty.

Customer Support

Clover offers the extensive range of technical support options that you would expect from a company of its size. Restaurants with late opening hours needn’t worry about losing access to the support team, as it’s fully 24/7 across phone, email and live chat.

Additional customer support:
Community Forums
There is a large and very active community forum available for Clover POS. There are plenty of new posts and threads each day, and lots of discussions around advanced usage and software integrations.

Blog
Clover provides a good quality blog called “The Green.” As well as blog posts there is some video content, and there’s plenty of industry news and advice, as well as some articles showcasing Clover features and hardware.

24/7 Help & Support
24/7 Help & Support
Available to all Clover customers via a selection of routes
Phone Support
Phone Support
Available with an added “let us call you” callback feature
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
Available 24/7
Email
Email
Access to a readily available support email address
Video Tutorials
Video Tutorials
Available via Clover blog, resellers and other third-parties
FAQ
FAQ
Available via Clover “Help Center” section
Final Word

Clover is a giant of a POS system in many ways. It’s the most favored POS system for several big names, and it also offered to customers by a host of resellers and third-parties. This can make navigating the pricing and the myriad options slightly challenging, but it’s worth the required effort. The system itself is both flexible and easy to use – not an easy balance to strike. Thanks to a huge library of integrations it’s also hugely customizable. As you will quickly tell from the community forum, this is a system that all kinds of companies have done very clever things with. The hardware itself is relatively pricey, but it shows in its quality and robustness. Clover means business, and has the ability to create a very professional impression of yours.

Ben Taylor
Author: Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor has worked in technology since the turn of the century. He produces articles on a range of technical subjects and has specialist knowledge in Point of Sale systems, cyber security and small business IT. When he’s not writing or fixing computers, he helps out other freelancers.