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Square vs. Clover
The best choice comes down to whether you want to open an online store.
Square offers more robust e-commerce support, while Clover’s hardware can be used with third-party payment processors. But before you decide, also consider monthly fees, point-of-sale (POS) packages, customer support options and software integrations.
Which one is better?
Square is better for small businesses that want to establish an online presence, since it includes tools to build an e-commerce storefront. We also like Square for first-time entrepreneurs and folks with a side hustle, since a card reader is included for free when you sign up — a low-risk way to start accepting in-person transactions.
Clover, on the other hand, is best if you need hardware but not payment processing, because you can pair its POS services with a third-party processor. It's also better for restaurants, with a bundle of rich POS offerings designed specifically for the service industry.
How do Square and Clover compare?
Which should I choose?
Choose Square if you want to take your store online and don’t mind using Square as your processor. Its free proprietary card reader and all-in-one processing service can be a practical choice for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce merchants.
Choose Clover if you’re seeking an in-person POS system with 24-hour tech support. It's well suited to small- to medium-sized brick-and-mortar businesses.
Square offers payment processing, POS systems, an online store builder and the ability to link a debit card to your merchant balance.
Clover is best known for its sleek POS systems. To purchase its hardware directly from its website, you have to sign up for Clover Payments — powered by a First Data merchant account. But purchasing Clover hardware from third-party providers gives you the flexibility to use a different payment processor.
Monthly fees start at
Processing fees start at
2.6% + $0.10 for payment processing, POS software included
2.7% + $0.10 for in-person payment processing
BBB letter rating
Reputation and customer reviews
Square vs. Clover inventory tracking
Both Square and Clover offer free integrated inventory management with their point-of-sale software. And each platform’s approach is designed to help you quickly and painlessly organize and manage your inventory on the go.
Square’s inventory tracking software can be accessed from the Square Dashboard. The setup process is fairly straightforward and can be completed by importing products in bulk with CSV spreadsheets. Once you’re up and running, you’ll discover that the software is equipped with plenty of standards, including downloadable reports, daily stock alert emails and stock levels that can be exported to printable spreadsheets.
And if your business requires something a little more sophisticated, Square for Retail offers premium tools like multi-location inventory management, cost of goods sold, projected profit reporting, purchase orders and more. But keep in mind that while Square’s standard POS software is free, Square for Retail’s software costs $60 monthly per location.
Clover’s inventory management program is also free to use and comes standard with the Clover point-of-sale software. Products can be uploaded in bulk by downloading Clover’s spreadsheet template. Once uploaded, inventory can be sorted into categories, stock is automatically tracked across in-person and online sales and modifiers can be created to alter orders or transactions on the fly.
And in the event you want something more robust than Clover’s boilerplate inventory tracking, Clover also offers free and paid inventory management apps in its app market, including SimpleOrder and stockIt.
Clover vs. Square hardware
Both Clover and Square offer proprietary hardware for accepting and tracking payments.
Square Reader for contactless and chip
Card reader with screen
Small countertop POS
Magstripe-only card reader
Square Reader For magstripe
Square and Clover have a lot in common and are good for businesses just getting started. They both offer hardware, a free POS software tier and have similar processing rates. Square shines when it comes to hosting your online storefront, while Clover's flexibility when it comes to choosing a payment processor may come in handy for some.
Not sure about either yet? Review your options with other merchant services providers.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to host my own website with Square?
No, Square’s websites are hosted by Weebly.
Can I lease Clover hardware?
No. But if you purchase hardware through Clover’s online store, you’ll have the option of selecting an interest-free installment plan.
Do I have to use Clover as my processor?
If you purchase your hardware through Clover, you’re required to process payments using Clover’s parent company, First Data. But Clover systems are also available through a number of third-party processors if you don’t want to use First Data as your processor.
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