Point of sale or POS systems are necessary for most restaurant or retail businesses because of their efficiency in processing transactions, payments, and receipts. Because of this, they have immediately become a unified source of advanced inventory management, credit card processing, including eCommerce integrations.
If you’re running the same kind of business, it’s vital that you know what kind of POS system will best fit your needs. That being said, you should purchase a system that is not only affordable but also comes with nifty, excellent features that can maximize a streamlined and more efficient flow of your business operations.
The Clover POS System
Clover is a point of sale that operates on any mobile device or tablet. It initially only specialized in mobile payments but has begun offering POS systems for small businesses after being acquired by First Data Corp. Clover particularly caters to working with service providers, especially retail locations and restaurants. In fact, the company provides plenty of the most-sought features by restaurant entrepreneurs, such as contactless payments and online ordering.
That being said, Clover possesses the majority of the basic hardware you typically need for everyday business operations, not to mention intuitive and functional software. Albeit not the cheapest option in the market, the Clover POS system proves to be an affordable and solid choice for business service providers because of its easy-to-use features alongside versatile and high-quality hardware.
Before getting started with Clover, you first need to choose a software plan and the hardware you want to use. What’s great is that you can also mix and match the software and hardware to create a system that’s specifically tailored and customized for your business. All Clover POS systems are equipped with:
- Option to utilize Rapid Deposit, which allows you access for sales transaction generated funds for a 1% fee instead of waiting for one to three business days for them
- 24/7 responsive customer service and phone support
- Ability to accept online payments through virtual terminals
- Real-time syncing with third-party applications like Yelp and QuickBooks
- Ability to place physical or digital gift cards
- Functional reporting that lets you filter POS reports, view end-of-day reports, get aggregated sales across locations, track total sales per employee, track revenue, and more.
After being acquired by First Data in 2012, Fiserv – one of the biggest financial and payment technology providers in the globe – now possesses the rights to Clover. That being said, you will have to use Fiserv for backend payment processing when signing up with Clover. Even so, you can still choose to work through various merchant providers.
Clover POS System Hardware
- Clover Station
This hardware is by far the most powerful among Clover POS options. Moreover, it’s the best choice for any business that seeks a new way to run reports, accept payments, schedule staff, and offer customer loyalty options at the same time.
This all-in-one station helps you streamline an occupied day by speeding up transactions, easily managing employees, and simplifying business operations and tasks. While the Clover app store provides you with more tools, the Clover Station POS comes with pre-installed apps to maximize work productivity.
Here, you also have the option to add customer-facing displays, barcode scanners, registrar drawers, and basically anything that you think is vital in running your business more smoothly.
- Clover Go
A lightweight card reader, the Clover Go enables you to process and accept payments from wherever you are. This portable feature is a great advantage for restaurants and retail businesses where staff may sometimes need to take payments and assist customers from different locations throughout the physical store. The Clover Go presents pending, open, and completed transactions for easy viewing.
Additionally, you can also see relevant items to your business, like tips or discounts. There’s also no need to worry about data leaks because the Clover Go comes with encrypted technology that helps ensure that your customer information and business data remain protected and safe.
- Clover Mini
The adaptable Clover Mini makes for an excellent choice, especially if you want your workspace to be rid of bulky clutter. Despite being a small device, it packs the capabilities of a full POS system, all while being portable and handy. Furthermore, it’s equipped with a 7-inch high-definition touch screen, multiple connection options, and a built-in thermal printer as well. You can also run third-party payment applications directly from the App Store.
- Clover Station Pro
The Clover Station Pro is an upgraded version of the Station Pro. Unlike the former, it comes with additional capabilities like accepting tips and providing contactless payments.
- Clover Flex
With the Clover Flex, you get to process modern payments in the palm of your hand. You can consider it as the ‘swiss army knife’ of devices because of its portable, functional ability to make contactless payments in all forms while on the move. More than that, this is also ideal for at-the-counter or at-the-table transactions with WiFi or 3G connectivity. Its long-lasting and rechargeable battery makes it efficient for handheld use while providing you utmost efficiency in service operations.
Pros of Clover
Clover’s hardware functions with great ease and speed, making it suitable for a wide range of business purposes and services.
A Clover POS system almost has everything you ever need: payment processing, hardware, and software. Everything – with the exception of Clover Go – grants you access to all these systems without being overly dependent on a tablet or smartphone.
Compared to its other competitors, Clover offers more affordable and reasonable rates. The Clover Essentials plan requires a 2.6% + $0.10 transaction rate, while the registered plan comes in a lower rate of 2.3% +$0.10. Additionally, you can even purchase the mini POS and Flex POS for under $750, unlike other businesses, which typically need you to spend $1000 upward.
Cons and Drawbacks
Issues with Transparency
Once in a while, customers often complain about unexplained account holds, including early termination or hidden fees. Also, Clover has many resellers, which means that different business owners can receive largely different terms depending on the reseller they’re dealing with. Because of this, it’s important that you constantly ask questions about the term to avoid getting deceived.
No free hardware choices
Some POS systems offer free hardware options, but Clover POS does not. This means that aside from your payment processing fees, your business will still have to bring out a lump of cash for Clover POS hardware, no matter how simple your needs are.