Clover is an all-in-one point-of-sale (POS) system that offers a customizable virtual terminal. With fast payment processing and cloud synchronization, you can use Clover anywhere and expect reliable functionality. But is Clover all that it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a deep dive into the good and the bad to find out.
Clover Compared to the Best POS Systems
Clover is just one option of many in the category of point-of-sale systems. While we think they’re a quality option for some businesses, we have some other top picks that perform well for many business owners’ needs.
Lightspeed is perfect for quick service businesses that need to manage a high volume of transactions and need powerful reporting features. Reach out to Lightspeed and get a consultation on how they can serve your needs.
Clover: The Good and the Bad
Clover has a lot of good qualities you’d want to see from a POS system, and it provides enough customization to fit a lot of different business types. But, like all point-of-sale platform providers, there will be some drawbacks that you need to weigh against Clover’s good qualities. Let’s take a deep dive into both sides of the spectrum before you decide.
What Clover Is Good At
Clover delivers on some key POS system features. You get a platform that is customizable with an array of terminal options. And companies in the retail, dining, and hospitality sectors will enjoy the ease and capability for viewing staff schedules and fast payment processing.
Completely customizable: You can tailor Clover’s POS system to ensure it grows with your business the way you need it to. Whether you need bookkeeping software or sales reporting tools, Clover allows you to integrate the features you need through its app market. Clover also lets you mix and match the hardware to build the perfect system for you—select the countertop, portable, or mobile devices that work best with your type of business.
Virtual terminal: Clover lets you accept payments online through its virtual terminal system that you can access from anywhere. Even if you don’t lease a Clover device, you can still process payments and refunds by logging into your Clover web dashboard.
The virtual terminal is secure, with PCI compliance and end-to-end encryption to ensure no one steals your customer’s payment information. Clover’s virtual terminal accepts credit and debit card payments, lets you send digital receipts via email, stores your customers’ information, and protects against fraud with AVS and CVV.
Tracking and reporting: Clover offers robust reporting features to stay on top of your revenue stream and spot improvements. With at-a-glance sales reports and a reliable filtering system, you can see your busiest times, best-selling items, and monthly sales trends with a click of a button. Clover also makes it incredibly easy to track hourly revenue, top-selling items, refund and discount value, and open orders.
You can access your reports on any device and receive aggregated results across all your in-store locations. Customize and build business management reports to help you make better decisions and improve the way you read and interact with reports. View end-of-day reports for gross sales, refunds, tips, and server totals to help you distribute tips to your staff and track total sales per employee. Clover’s tracking and reporting tools are available with any plan.
Food service features: On Clover, you can map tables, create menu items, customize orders, and accept payments, even when the internet is down. For quick-service industries, you can use Clover’s POS system to send orders directly to the kitchen in one click, set up pre-set tip amounts, and manage all dine-in, online, and takeout orders seamlessly.
Cloud synchronization: This entire POS system runs on the cloud, meaning each device syncs seamlessly together—no complicated setup required. Every new device you attach to your Clover account will automatically have all the relevant information, including staff schedules, menus, customer payment information, and table service plans.
Fast payment processing: Enable contactless and mobile payments on any Clover hardware device to ensure faster and safer payment processing. Clover’s POS system accepts payments from all major credit and debit cards, including card chips and mobile wallet payments. You can even scan checks with Clover’s secure payment capabilities.
Make transactions even easier for your customers with digital receipts and one-touch tipping, plus you can process refunds, returns, and exchanges quickly on any device.
Schedule viewing: Clover makes it easy to oversee your team, view staff schedules, and manage shifts. With customizable administrative functions, you can set individual employee access permissions and base them on your team’s current structure and responsibilities. Clover also lets you stay on top of register activity by allowing you to view employees’ sales, tips, and refunds to help you identify top performers and reward them accordingly.
What Clover Is Lacking
Clover has a few key shortcomings you’re going to want to consider before committing to them as your POS service of choice. If the benefits of Clover listed above appeal to you, make sure these flaws don’t outweigh the value you can extract out of the platform.
Lackluster customer service: From long wait times to unhelpful advice, Clover’s customer support has been found wanting, based on many of the reviews we analyzed for this post. Some users found that they were on hold for up to an hour before being transferred three more times in one call. Others have had similar wait times without getting resolution on the issue.
This can be a dealbreaker for a POS system, but one has to imagine Clover is aware of this and is making improvements in the customer service department. Still, keep this in mind and perhaps put Clover’s customer support through its paces before committing to this platform long-term.
Opaque fees: You can lease hardware from Clover if you need terminals and POS equipment. Clover will outline this monthly fee on your agreement, but some Clover users have reported fluctuations in what they’ve ended up paying each month. One reviewer of Clover wound up paying nearly triple the agreed upon monthly fee.
There’s also the issue of account termination and hidden fees. While account termination fees themself aren’t surprising, Clover doesn’t seem to list information about this on their website so you don’t really have a ballpark of how much this would cost you. Some users have reported other unannounced charges, such as minimum usage fees.
Online sales issues: Clover’s POS platform can handle a lot of different types of transactions, but it seems the software has some issues when it comes to integrating your online sales. Some users noticed they never received notifications of online sales, which caused inventory crunches and delays in shipping. Another reviewer of Clover mentioned that there wasn’t a tool for calculating sales made online versus those made in-store, making it difficult for them to create a fulfilling report for their team.
Clover Options and Pricing
Clover offers five different types of hardware to serve as virtual or physical terminals in your business. Each can pair with one of Clover’s specialized platforms built for different industries. We’ll examine all your hardware options, with details on how they fit into Clover’s POS software packages.
The best option for mobile businesses, food trucks, pop-up shops, and independent vendors, Clover Go is a streamlined card reader that syncs easily with your mobile device via Bluetooth.
Accept chip reader, swiped, and contactless card payments, as well as digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Clover Go will also store digital receipts and send them to customers via email, text, or both.
You can get the Clover Go reader for free on one of two Clover platform options. Pay $49 once and no monthly fee for the Starter plan, which supports payments and include the virtual terminal in addition to the Clover Go reader.
Alternatively, get Clover’s reporting, tracking, inventory management, and order management features from the Standar plan. That will cost you a one-time charge of $49 just like Starter, plus a monthly bill of $14.95.
Clover Mini is made for the modern restaurant or bar. This is a complete POS terminal set up on a sleek device that can handle both a traditional register setup or a more portable POS arrangement.
Accept any type of card or mobile payment, including PayPal and Venmo, view real-time sales data, set up customer loyalty programs, and much more. The Clover Mini can handle anything that you’ll throw at it and look good doing it with its 8-inch full color touchscreen and subtly built-in receipt printer.
Clover Mini can be purchased as a part of two versions of the Clover POS platform:
- Retail and service-based business POS: $799 for the device, plus $14.95 per month for the
- Restaurant and food service POS: $799 for the device, plus $74.95 per month
Clover Flex sits neatly between the two previous hardware options. More powerful than the Go but more compact and portable than the Mini, the Flex gives you all the payment processing capability and flexibility you’ll need. Plus, it even includes a built-in camera and barcode scanner, great for retailers who don’t want a full terminal or cash register setup.
Retailers and other shops can wield the Flex as part of one of three Clover POS plans:
- Starter: $499 for the device and no monthly fee
- Standard: $499 for the device, plus $14.95 per month for inventory management and customer database
- Advanced: $499 for the device, $44.95 per month for the Standard features, plus promotions, gift cards, rewards programs, and inventory variants
This is the complete package in terms of POS equipment. Clover’s Station Solo and Station Duo devices are perfect for keeping the sales rolling without losing speed.
The only difference between the two Station options is that the Duo allows for both the employee-facing screen (same as the Solo) and a smaller customer-facing screen for payments, loyalty information, and other inputs.
Both pieces of hardware are powerful and capable point-of-sale devices, offering real-time sale reporting, inventory and customer management, back-of-house communication support, and an included cash drawer and receipt printer.
The Station Solo costs $1,349 while the Duo costs $1,799. Both options can be paid for in three monthly installments.
Keep in mind you’ll have to also opt for one of Clover’s paid POS plans for retail or food service, which range from $44.95 per month to $74.95 per month.
Clover in Summary
Overall, Clover offers an array of decent features alongside the ability to customize your POS platform. And its variety of equipment options helps you create a package that fits your business like a glove. Clover delivers features that can make life easier, but especially for eateries and drinkeries.
Keep in mind, though, that their customer service track record isn’t sterling and some users that have reviewed the platform noted unexpected fees. That’s not to say you’ll experience either of those, but keep those shortcomings in mind when trying Clover POS on for size.
And, don’t forget that there are many more options out there in the category of point-of-sale systems. Some recognizable, popular options like Square or Shopify may fit your business better. Or if you have more specialized needs, look to the bespoke platform that Lightspeed can provide.
The best thing to do is to go into your POS purchasing decision armed with as much knowledge as possible. Check out our full list of the best point-of-sale systems available to learn more about what features and benefits other providers deliver on.