By Lori Fairbanks, business.com Writer | Updated Jan 06, 2020
Clover is a point-of-sale (POS) system developed by Fiserv (First Data), one of the country's largest payment processors. It's available from more than 3,000 financial institutions, including processing resellers and banks, Sam's Club and Restaurant Depot. Businesses of all sizes can use it, and Clover has shipped 1 million devices since entering the POS market in 2014. It's available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Argentina.
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Clover is a good option for businesses that want to customize their POS system, as it offers multiple hardware and peripheral options as well as a robust app store that you can use to augment the system's capabilities and tailor them to meet your specific needs. It's suitable for retail businesses, both counter-serve and quick-service restaurants, and service-based businesses like salons and spas.
Clover Pricing and Terms
You sign up for Clover through credit card processors; some post the pricing for Clover POS software and hardware on their websites, but many don't. So, in most cases, you'll need to call for pricing quotes specific to your business. You can also sign up directly through the Clover or Fiserv websites, which offers free shipping on all orders and provides the first month of software for free.
Clover is a highly customizable system. The Clover App Market has hundreds of apps and integrations you can use to add features to the system or sync with your existing business applications. Some apps are free and some cost extra, so you'll want to consider which apps you need and what they cost as you compare systems.
There are two paid service plans for Clover's POS software, and you can switch between plans at any time. Here's what it costs if you subscribe through the Clover online store:
- The Register Lite plan costs $14 per month for each device and is recommended for businesses that process less than $50,000 of credit card sales per year. Processing rates for this plan are 2.7% + 10 cents for in-person transactions and 3.5% + 10 cents for transactions you key in.
- The Register plan costs $29 per month for each device and is recommended for businesses that process more than $50,000 of credit card sales per year. Processing rates for this plan are 2.3% + 10 cents for in-person transactions and 3.5% + 10 cents for transactions you key in.
The monthly subscription prices for the software, processing rates, and whether you're required to sign a contract to use Clover depend on the processor you choose to work with. As you select a payment processing company, keep in mind that the best processors provide service on a month-to-month basis and don't charge cancellation fees when you close your account. They also don't advertise leasing or free POS hardware with the intent of getting you to sign a lengthy contract with unfavorable terms.
You can choose from five POS hardware configurations. Before choosing which one is right for your business, you'll want to make sure any apps you need are compatible, as some apps are not available for all Clover hardware configurations. Here's what it costs to buy them from the Clover online store. Pricing you receive from your payment processor may vary.
- Clover Station with Mini bundle: $1,749
- Clover Station: $1,399 (Clover Station for full-service restaurants: $1,349)
- Clover Mini: $749
- Clover Flex: $499
- Clover Go: $69 (this mobile device works with iOS and Android tablets and phones)
There are also several peripherals available that you can use to customize your Clover POS system. Options include a barcode scanner, cash drawer, kitchen printer, label printer, hands-free barcode scanner and weight scale (you need the Register plan to integrate it).
All Clover card readers accept EMV chip cards, contactless payments such as NFC-powered mobile wallets and magstripe cards. Clover's POS hardware costs (and whether you can purchase the equipment outright, pay using an installment plan, or if you're required to lease) also depends on your processor.
As with any POS solution, purchasing your equipment upfront is the least-expensive option in the long term, plus you avoid being locked into lengthy leasing contracts, many of which are noncancelable.
If you're looking for a POS solution that you can customize, Clover is a good option. It has a good selection of features, and you can add many more using the apps and integrations available in the Clover App Market, allowing you to configure the system to your liking.
The Register Lite version comes with basic inventory tools that allow you to categorize and track items, and the Register version has advanced inventory features that support variants and modifiers. Clover supports an inventory of up to 15,000 items, 2,000 modifiers, 100 modifier groups and 100 categories. If you need advanced inventory management, apps are available from the Clover App Market.
The Register plan can build your customer mailing list automatically. You can accept customer feedback using digital receipts and reply with coupons. You can also set up a digital loyalty program, offer gift cards and run social media campaigns using Clover-branded or third-party apps from the Clover App Market.
Clover's POS software allows you to add your employees to the system, set user permissions and track shifts. Employee-scheduling and time-tracking apps are available from the Clover App Market, as is an integration with the payroll service Gusto.
You can run and export basic real-time reports for sales, tax and payroll using Clover's dashboard from any device, and track sales with item-level reporting. If you need additional analytics and reporting options, you can add apps from the Clover App Market.
As mentioned above, the Clover app store has a robust selection of apps, allowing you to customize the POS system with additional features or connect the system to the business programs you already use. For instance, you can extend your business online using the apps for BigCommerce or Ecwid, connect to accounting programs, add scheduling and time tracking with the app for Homebase, and much more.
If you need help, you can reach Clover's customer support team 24/7 by phone and email. You can also consult the knowledgebase, which includes getting-started and troubleshooting guides. The company offers blogs for its merchants and developers on its website. If you experience a hardware failure, overnight shipping for replacement parts is available.
You must use Clover POS hardware with this system, so it's best suited for businesses that are in the market to purchase new equipment. The hardware is locked, which means it only works with the credit card processor you purchased it from. If you switch payment processors, even to another Clover reseller, you can't continue using the hardware and will have to buy a new system.