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Square VS Clover

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Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson has been writing about payment processing and mobile payments since 2014, and has been quoted in articles for Credit Karma and The Next Web, among others. She graduated from The University of Kansas in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in English and journalism.
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17 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Mike

    I am sorry, but I feel really bad for the people reading and believing what is written in this article. Not being honest about comparisons is super damaging to long term reputation. You mentioned “flat-rate processing” for Square and not having to worry about qual and non qual transaction, but then show a diagram RIGHT AFTER showing the exact opposite… and this is just one very small example.
    It would be one thing to point out all of the HONEST pros and cons in both Clover and Square, but you put no this was wayyy off. Matter of fact, not only does Clover provide all of the things you listed for Square, but much more.

    The simple truth is if you are a very small business/startup or someone that has a hobby that brings in some extra income on the weekends, or maybe you run a stand at a flee market a couple times a month, then Square is perfect for you. You run all of your transactions under Squares’ merchant account (under their company).

    But if you are a regular small business or bigger, Square is going to break the bank, period! It is not designed for volume because of their expensive rates. You would be much more interested in just ab out any other POS System (even if it isn’t Clover). You need customized pricing, and possibly customized capabilities, which Square just simply doesn’t offer and probably never will because it’s not what they are going for.

    Anyways, I just wanted to put a bit of truth on here for people out there trying to make an educated decision, because trust me when I say that this article is not going to help provide that. At least not in an honest way…

      Emily Hale

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for reaching out with these concerns. I hope to clear up a few things for you so that you understand our intent and the information that we share in the post is accurate.
      This particular post is only focusing on the mobile versions of either, so you are correct in noting that you won’t find all of the features that come with Clover POS. This post focuses on Clover Go, an entirely separate offering. We make that clear in our introduction.

      In this post, at least, we’re not going to explore the various other Square POS apps or dive into the invoicing feature or the virtual terminal. Instead, we’ll stick pretty neatly to the mobile POS app and what it’s capable of. That allows the most direct and truthful comparison to Clover Go.
      Clover Go is actually a secondary app, an extension of the Clover POS. Because of this, it doesn’t function exactly like its parent app — you’ll see differences in the capabilities of the two. Namely, Clover Go is more limited in what it can do. As with Square, we’re not going to address the broader Clover ecosystem. Our focus will be on the mobile app.
      As far as your initial concern regarding qualified vs. non-qualified pricing, you are also missing the mark here in your understanding. Keyed entry and swiped/dipped/tapped rates are not the same as qualified/non-qualified pricing.

      All keyed entry (which is considered card-not-present) comes at a higher rate than card-present transactions. You’ll find this to be standard practice, and isn’t the same thing as a qualified / non qualified rate. Square won’t qualify transactions based on the card type or whether it’s a rewards card, so every card runs the same regardless of card brand.
      Additionally, Square does offer custom rates for larger businesses. The new 2.6% + $0.10 pricing isn’t quite as competitive for businesses with small transaction sizes, but the 2.75% rate Square offered until the change was just about the best deal a lot of these businesses could get. The 2.6% + $0.10 pricing is still a good deal for low-volume businesses because of the lack of monthly fees, monthly minimums, and other costs associated with a traditional merchant account.

      As we take a closer look at Clover, it’s important to note that the prices you’ll have ultimately depends on the source and your contract. There are a few good sources, but you’ll find it’s hit or miss as far as the rate you find and even hardware pricing as far as that’s concerned.

      We talk to businesses across the country and we know that there is no one-size-fits all solution. However, in the the post, our goal was to accurately describe both Square and Clover so a small business can make the right choice for their needs. Check out Why Tiered Pricing for Credit Card Processing Is The Most Expensive Option (And How To Avoid Overpaying) for a break down on qualified vs. non qualified rates and more on tiered pricing. Best of luck!

        Sissa

        Oh my, I just read their reviews and all thanks to your article. I guess you safe me from a expensive mistake. Thank you so much!!

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          kash

          Thank you for the analysis.
          Hey, I would like to have someone like you who can be good at social media, digital marketing and writing blogs. we are in southern CA and we need someone like you for our CBD specialty store.
          Thank you

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

            fran

            Thank you for your points of view. This helped me out a lot!

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Michael

              Great little article but I have one question I have two different businesses can I use the same Square reader for both going into different accounts?

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Hi Michael,

                According to Square’s help forum, “If you have multiple businesses or need individual separate accounts, you have the ability to create multiple accounts and use the same mobile device, reader, and bank account.” I hope that helps answer your question!

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Ruben Morales

                  It shouldn’t even be one star, For your well being kick the company out before you even consider the program, the sales person told me the fees are free and cheaper than square but they were more, The figures were around 3.2% and square was 2.9%, then I was told if I dont use it the program will not cost me anything then, when I wanted to cancel using their services I was charged 500 dollars, the worst company I have ever used and because of them I kick every sales person that comes n the shop because I believe that every sales parson is a crook, dont use them you’ll regret it, I went back to using Square and they have never charged me and they’re cheaper by a little but still cheaper

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    kristina baker

                    I see that you compare Square POS with the non POS of Clover. How does the full service Clover stand up against the Square equivalent?

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      Melissa Johnson

                      Hi there!

                      Square vs Clover on the whole is kind of a complicated matter because they’re both so complex. But I’ll try to sum things up succinctly. I’m more inclined to favor Square over Clover, but I admit Square isn’t for everyone.

                      Clover relies really heavily on leasing and its equipment can be VERY pricey. Leases are rarely a good deal for anyone, and you could easily wind up paying 3x the MSRP on a piece of leased equipment. So you are much better off buying equipment outright. Plus, you can also get a comparable Square setup for less than the cost of a Clover device at MSRP.

                      I also think overall most of Clover’s equipment is bulky and dated compared to the simplicity of Square. That said, the merchants I’ve talked to don’t seem to /mind/ the equipment. There are still better, more sophisticated solutions (like Square).

                      The other issue is that Clover relies on a network of resellers. You can get it directly through Clover Connect, but if you go anywhere else, you’re going to see wildly different pricing on processing as well as the hardware. For that reason, it’s hard to compare pricing in a meaningful way.

                      I don’t personally have experience using the full Clover POS so I can’t comment on the quality of it. I wasn’t super impressed by the Go app, but it’s not the same experience as a full POS. I recommend checking out our Clover Station, Clover Mini, and Clover Mobile reviews for more information.
                      https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/clover-mini-review/
                      https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/clover-mobile-review/
                      https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/clover-station-pos-review/

                      I will, however, say that I find Square to be very easy to understand and very intuitive. It’s quite feature-rich and the company is ALWAYS adding something new. It won’t give you the most advanced features (store credit, for example), but it can do a lot more than you’d expect from something that started as a mobile app.

                      And finally — Square is a third-party processor. That means there’s a certain degree of inherent risk that your account could be terminated with no warning. This is common to any sort of third-party processor. Clover, on the other hand, gives you a merchant account. So you get higher stability — though possibly at the cost of a three-year contract with an expensive ETF. Square has no monthly fees, no monthly minimums, no other hidden costs. It is really straightforward, which stands in major contrast to Clover, which….doesn’t have that reputation for transparency or consistency.

                      I hope that helps!

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Clover Guru

                        With Cloverguru.com there are NO cancellation fees. No Monthly Minimums. Clover Go and Square are definately not for everyone. Cloverguru.com offers true interchange (cost) plus pricing. Leasing is always an option but not required. Some business owners want this for the extended warranty and overnight replacement. If you’re going to have (10) clover Stations, it may be difficult to come up with $10K in cash to pay, and something always happens within 3 years where you will need a station replaced. I’m also a graduate from University of Kansas (rock chalk Jayhawk). It’s all about having a reputable sales rep, look closely at the contract, get their permission to record their “offer”. I own my own company, I offer clover solutions plus many others. I report to “no manager”. I have no fancy office or huge overhead, my mortgage is paid in full. I’ve been doing this for about 20 years and have offered clover to clients ever since clover was first introduced with only a few apps. Now there’s over 300. Check out cloverguru.com

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          Anthony M Slatton

                          It’s not complicated at all. If you don’t do at least $3250 a month in sales, you should not even look at Clover as they’re minimum monthly fee is $49.95 which covers mandatory service, security and support as their Sales Rep explained to me. $3250 is without CC fees and assumed at the 1.5% minimum fee the Sales Rep quoted. He didn’t say how much you have to do in sales to get the 1.5% CC fee, but assuming you have the volume to produce a minimum of $3250 every month to start, you at least cover the $49.95 monthly fee. Always be cautious when prices/fees are not posted, most often it means the sales personnel believe they can justify the cost, but if you read between the lines, you’ll see the lies.

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            Zan

                            Great article! I’m simply trying to charge for my Digital Marketing and Social Media services and I need no inventory. Sometimes I charge by hour and others by project. All I need is my client to pay via credit card either on my website or via form. The recurring payments would also be a great option in my case but if I can’t or it’s too expensive I can forget about that. I’m going to read your article again as it is very rich in details but I’d like to hear your opinion! Have a great day 😉

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              Patty

                              Melissa I think you are great and so helpful. I would love to speak with you as I have additional questions as a new business owner. Is it possible to email or call you?
                              Patty

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                Chloe Bahal

                                Hi Patty,

                                Please feel free to contact us here and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.

                                  Morten

                                  Hi, I don’t understand what “…greater account stability than you would with Square otherwise..”. What is meant by account stability?
                                  Thanks,

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    Chloe Bahal

                                    Hi Morten,

                                    That’s a great question. Basically, Square is a Merchant Aggregator, which means that it’s very simple to open an account with them, but, with that being said, they are also quick to shut down or place a hold on the account. With a traditional merchant account, there is a more intense process, but that also means they won’t be so quick to close or hold your account, should something happen (a chargeback, etc). You might find this article helpful as well. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let us know.

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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