Last Updated on May 8, 2021 by Jay Clover
When running an online business, having a reliable and functional POS system is a crucial factor you have to consider. What with many of them available on the market, which one to choose?
The truth is that it’s hard to find a POS system you can trust. Fortunately, you don’t have to dig deep since there are two that stand out from the rest. Those are Clover and Square. They are both leaders in their industry and have a great reputation.
While both of them are an excellent choice, there’s the eternal question: Which one is better?
So, let’s find that out in this post!
Clover vs Square Features
Both systems offer the following features:
- Take payments from one credit/debit card to another online and offline
- Customer receipts
- Bank transfers
- Cash advance
- “Add a tip” option
- Manage your employees
- Engage with customers and reward them via gift cards, discounts, and loyalty programs
- Online business tools, and much more.
It’s worth mentioning that the features are only one part of POS’s functionality. The other part depends on your equipment, the pricing plan you choose, and whether you want to use an app or want the entire POS System.
Clover Go Mobile App vs Square’s POS App
Clover’s mobile app comes with plenty of features that make running your business and processing payments much easier. They include:
- Customer database
- Email receipts
- SMS receipts
- Full and partial refunds
- Customizable taxes
- Customizable tips
- Inventory and quick-sale modes
- Items library
- Integrated reporting with the rest of the Clover systems
- Offline mode
- Unlimited number of registered users
Square’s app also offers plenty of features, some of which are the same as those of Clover. They include:
- Customizable taxes
- Customizable tips
- Email receipts
- SMS receipts
- Full and partial refunds
- Set variable price points
- Adjustable tax settings in-app
- Adding items in-app
- Inventory management and sync
- Quick-sale mode
- Offline mode
Both systems come with plenty of impressive apps and tools that make managing a business much easier. Namely, Clover comes with hundreds of third-party apps, including:
- Menufy, Phone Orders, Order Kiosk, and DispenseMe – for managing orders and payments.
- Gusto, Time Clock, Tip Pooling, and Commissions – for managing your employees.
- Appointments Pro and Salon Scheduler – for managing appointments.
- SimpleOrder and stockIt – for inventory management.
- Commerce Sync and DAVO Sales Tax – for managing your accounting and finances.
- Yelp, Time Clock, or Payroll, Quickbooks, Woo, and Ecwid – app integrations.
On the other hand, Square comes with a bit fewer apps among which are:
- Cognito Forms
- GoDaddy Websites + Marketing
- Acuity Scheduling
- Intuit QuickBooks Online
- Local Line
- Ritual ONE
- Dynamics 365 Business Central
Regardless of which POS system you choose and which third-party apps you use, keep in mind that not all of them are free to use. Hence, you need to include those extra fees when considering your budget as a factor in choosing the POS system for your business.
Clover vs Square – Manage Your Business on the Go
Both systems allow you to manage your business on the go because they are cloud-based. Hence, you can use them wherever you are, whenever you want. All you need is an internet connection. Moreover, their mobile card readers are portable, which means you can take them with you anywhere you go.
Clover Mobile is an independent, fully-functional POS system that can either work along with the Clover Station or alone. Even when used alone, it can do a bunch of stuff, including:
- Accept card payments
- Send receipts
- Take customized orders.
On the other hand, Square Mobile Card Reader is a bit less functional than Clover Mobile, and all it can do is taking card payment. Still, it comes with awesome features, including:
- Plug it in and go – all you need to use this card reader is to plug it into the headphone jack of your smartphone.
- Square Stand POS compatibility – you can use it along with the Stand POS system.
Clover vs Square Compatibility
Having compatible software and hardware is of crucial importance in using POS systems. It’s a factor you must consider before making a choice. And, here, both systems differ.
Namely, Clover’s is an independent POS system that allows you to choose the best credit card processor for you. On the other hand, Squares can only be used with Square’s Credit Card Processor. This is nerve-breaking for many business owners because it doesn’t let them choose the payment processor that suits them most. Plus, there’s a 2.75% fee per credit card transaction.
Clover vs Square – Financial Business Support
Both systems share this very interesting feature that helps support your business financially when needed. Every business has ups and downs, and sometimes, a couple of hundreds of bucks or as much as a few thousand can save a business and even be the point from where the business will grow. And, not having them in your pocket can mean an end of your business.
This “Cash Advance” feature works like a bank loan but instead of asking the bank for a loan, you can simply request a certain sum in advance. Clover has the Clover Captial and Square the Square Capital.
When taking cash advance (using either of these systems), there’s no fixed monthly repayment nor an interest rate. Instead, the system takes money from future sales plus an additional fee. However, keep in mind that this option will cost you more, so plan wisely before using it.
Clover vs Square – Hardware
Now, we’ve comes to the physical part of these POS systems. Both of them offer several hardware options.
- Clover Go – A portable device you can connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It allows you to process payments from chip cards, magstripe cards, and via the contactless method.
- Clover Flex – A device you can connect to your smartphone and tablet via WiFi. It allows you to to the same payments as the one above, plus scan barcodes, print receipt, and save customers’ signatures.
- Clover Mini – It’s the same as Clover Flex when it comes to its functions. However, this one isn’t handheld but sits on your countertop.
- Clover Station – The most sophisticated POS system hardware of all. It sits on the countertop and includes a cash drawer. From the screen, you can access all the business management tools of Clover.
When it comes to Square, there are:
- Square Card Reader – There are many card readers you can choose from, such as a chip card, magstripe card, and a contactless payment reader.
- Square Terminal – A compact POS terminal you can connect to WiFi or Ethernet via a USB port. It allows you to read chip cards, magstripe cards, and process contactless payments.
- Square Stand – A POS hardware you can connect to your iPad. It allows you to read chip cards and process contactless payments. To use it, first, you need to connect it to your device and download the Square POS app.
- Square Register – A countertop POS system hardware with a customer-facing display. It allows you to accept and process the same payments as Square Terminal. But, this hardware is the most powerful and complex POS hardware piece of all that Square offers.
Comparison by Hardware Type
Clover Go vs Square Mobile Reader
As mentioned above, there are various Square mobile readers, one per each type of payment. Hence, if you want to process two (chip card and magstripe cards) or all of them, you’d have to buy their magstripe reader and EMV/NFC combo reader. In other words, you have to buy two devices instead of one.
Contrary to Square’s mobile readers, Clover Go can accept and process all types of cards and payments. Hence, you don’t need additional devices, only this one.
When it comes to their connectivity, you can connect your Clover Go to your smartphone or tablet and use it. On the other hand, Square’s mobile readers are super small that they do their job using only your smartphone.
Apart from differences, these two types of devices share some features, including:
- Tax adding
- Offering discounts
- Manual key-in transactions
- Signatures collecting
- Email or print customer receipts
- Add gratuity
Clover Flex vs Square Terminal
Both of these devices are small, portable, and lightweight. However, Clover Flex is a bit smaller, with a 5″ touchscreen, and weighs only 1 lb. On the other hand, Square Terminal is slightly bigger, with a 5.5″ touchscreen, and weighs less than 1 lb.
Another feature they share is the built-in printer. Indeed, they both have a printer built inside, which allows them to print receipts for their customers. The difference between them here is that Clover Flex also includes a built-in barcode scanner.
Clover Mini vs Square Stand
Both of these devices are immobile mini-POS systems. They differ from the full version of the POS system and must sit on the countertop. Actually, Clover Mini can also be mounted to a wall, if you prefer.
Also, they both can read chip cards, magstripe cards, and process contactless payments.
While they share the above-mentioned features, they differ in everything else, with Square Stand being more feature-rich.
Namely, is smaller, with a 7″ screen whereas Square Stand has a 9.7″ table (sold separately). Also, Clover Mini has a built-in printer, which allows it to print receipts, whereas Square Stand doesn’t. in fact, Square Stand has the feature of printing customer receipts, but you have to purchase a printer separately.
Furthermore, Clover Mini has a front-facing camera with which it scans barcodes and QR whereas you have to buy a separate barcode scanner for the Square Stand to do that job. However, the stand turns around so it can be turned to the customers to collect signatures or gratuity. Plus, the customers can pay a bill with multiple payment types and there are several payment functions, including checkout, sending receipts by mail, and adding taxes and tips option.
When it comes to their Customer Support, we can say that none of them has a stellar one they can pride on. It’s because none of them offers responsive, 24/7 support nor live char support. Namely, Clover is formed by numerous companies and each company takes care of their customers, which makes it hard to track the customer service provided to their users. Some companies are good while others not really.
However, you can reach them via phone or e-mail if you need any technical support. Also, there’s a self-service knowledge base where you may find the solution to your problem. The tech stuff is available 24/7, which is perfect.
On the other hand, Square offers close to no customer support. First, because it’s available only to paid users. Second, because lots of users have complained that their accounts have been closed or frozen out of nowhere. And, since there’s no account, there’s no way to get the code to reactivate or unfreeze your account.
The good thing is that they offer 24/7 email support but you’ll probably have to wait for several days before you get a response. Also, you can reach them via Twitter but the communication is slow and customers are comparing about it. And, probably the best thing, they have a self-help knowledgebase and a community forum both of which are extremely helpful. From answers to FAQs to tutorials and other troubleshooting answers are available there.
When it comes to the price of these two POS systems, we have to include, both, the price of the app and the price of the hardware you choose. So, let’s break down all these costs!
Software Pricing Plans
- Basic Plan – $9.95/month, in-person transactions fee – 2.7% + $0.10 and keyed-in transactions fee – 3.5% + $0.10
- Register Lite – $14/month, in-person transactions – 2.7% + $0.10 and keyed-in transactions fee – 3.5% + $0.10
- Register – $29/month, in-person transactions fee – 2.3% + $0.10 and keyed-in transactions fee – 3.5% + $0.10
There’s a 30-day free trial period so you can try out the app.
- Clover Go – $69
- Clover Flex – $499
- Clover Mini – $749 for any type of Clover Mini device your choose
- Clover Station – $1.349 for full-service restaurants; $1.399 for any business; $1.649 for counter-service restaurants.
Software Pricing Plans
Square doesn’t have any pricing plans because it’s completely FREE to use. Yes, there’s no cost for opening an account and using their app. You will only pay a transaction fee of 2.6% + $0.10 regardless of the type of payment.
- Square Card Reader – FREE for mobile card reader for magstripe; $49 for a reader for contactless and chip;
- Square Terminal – $299
- Square Stand – $169
- Square Register – $799
Clover Pros and Cons
- Customizable – a POS system for any type of business
- Integrates with many apps which allows you to make most of it
- Plenty of features (depending on the pricing plan chosen)
- Complaints about customers being locked into long-lasting contracts, which makes it hard to change the services.
Square Pros and Cons
- Free app.
- Affordable hardware.
- Square’s Virtual Terminal turns your computer into a POS terminal.
- Perfect for e-commerce businesses.
- Not many apps are available.
- It may turn out more expensive than Clover if your business requires extra software.