Skip to content

Clover POS System Review: Features, Costs, Top Alternatives

Reasonable prices and a good mix of hardware options make Clover's point-of-sale system a good choice.
Last updated on April 30, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The Clover point-of-sale system is a good option for business owners of many types: restaurants, retail outlets or professional services. Its hardware is on the pricey side, but the reasonable monthly cost and low payment processing fees help offset that upfront investment over time.
You can buy Clover directly from the company or through one of many third-party vendors, where the terms and services provided may vary. Only the plans offered through Clover are addressed below.

Clover deciding factors

Payment processing fees
  • 2.3% plus 10 cents or 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions, depending on plan.
  • 3.5% plus 10 cents for online transactions.
Note: Prices are based on using Clover’s parent company, Fiserv, as your merchant service provider. If you use a different provider, your costs may differ.
Monthly fee
  • $14.95 for Starter Retail, Starter and Standard Professional Services, and Home & Field Services plans.
  • $44.95 for Standard Retail, Starter and Standard QSR, and Advanced Professional Services plans.
  • $54.90 for Advanced Retail and Advanced QSR plans.
  • $74.95 for Starter Full-Service Dining plan.
  • $84.90 for Standard Full-Service Dining plan.
  • $94.85 for Advanced Full-Service Dining plan.
Hardware cost
  • $49 for chip, swipe and contactless Clover Go card reader.
  • $499 for Clover Flex mobile POS with printer.
  • $799 for Clover Mini POS.
  • $1,349 for Clover Station Solo.
  • $1,799 for Clover Station Duo.
Software
Industry-specific packages range from $14.95 to $94.85 per month.
Accepted payment methods
Major credit cards, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Contract length
Month to month.
Customer service
24/7 phone, chat and email support.
Pros
  • Competitive flat rates for payment processing.
  • Hardware performs well and is well designed.
Cons
  • No free options.
  • Pricing can be tough to understand.

How does Clover work?

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

Clover makes POS hardware and software and processes payments. The company also offers business software, including customer engagement and employee management, that is supported by its POS system.

Standard features

Regardless of the specific combination of Clover hardware and software, you'll have access to the following features:
  • Reporting tools that allow you to track revenue, filter your POS reports to see your busiest times and your best-selling items, get aggregated sales across all your locations, view end-of-day reports, track total sales per employee and more.
  • 24/7 customer service phone support.
  • The option to use Rapid Deposit, which gives you access to the funds generated by sales transactions within minutes — for a 1% fee — instead of having to wait the typical one to three business days.
  • The ability to:
    • Set up both digital and physical gift cards.
    • Accept payments online through virtual terminal.
    • Accept PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
    • Sync with third-party apps.
Clover is owned by Fiserv, a payments and financial technology provider. Fiserv processes on the back end, though you can choose your own merchant service provider.

How much does Clover cost?

The amount you’ll pay depends on three things: an upfront cost for hardware, a set monthly fee to use Clover’s POS software and a monthly amount for payment processing fees — which varies by your sales figures.
Clover combines those elements into three pricing tiers, named Starter, Standard and Advanced. The specifics of each tier depend on your business. For example, there’s a Starter tier for retail and a Starter tier for quick-service restaurants. You can also work with Clover for a custom configuration.

🤓 Nerdy Tip

The prices below represent buying from Clover directly. Clover is also sold through multiple third parties, including banks and stores, where you might encounter different pricing.

Quick-service restaurants

Features on Clover POS systems for restaurants are generally standard across tiers, unlike other POS systems that limit features on lower priced options. The primary difference is the number and types of hardware Clover’s software runs on. The difference in price between tiers is around $10 — significantly less than price jumps of $50 to $100 elsewhere.
Payment processing: 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-person transactions and 3.5% plus 10 cents for each keyed-in transaction.

Full-service restaurants

Features on Clover POS systems for restaurants are generally standard across tiers, unlike other POS systems that limit features on lower priced options. The primary difference is the number and types of hardware Clover’s software runs on. The difference in price between tiers is around $10 — significantly less than price jumps of $50 to $100 with some other POS systems.
Payment processing: 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-person transactions and 3.5% plus 10 cents for each keyed-in transaction.

Retail

As you go up the three pricing tiers in Clover’s retail, you get more hardware, but there are also other differences to consider. The Standard and Advanced plans have a lower payment processing rate: 2.3% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction compared to 2.6% plus 10 cents in the Starter plan. Additional software features in the two higher plans include the ability to itemize returns and exchanges and integrate a scale to weight items.

Personal services

You can use Clover if you provide personal services, like a hair salon or fitness studio. Like the retail plan, the Standard and Advanced plans have a lower payment processing rate and can handle a few more complex tasks, like weighing items and itemizing returns.

Professional services

Unlike restaurants or retailers, professional service providers like an architect or a designer might regularly accept payments in a variety of ways — invoices, over the phone or in person, for example. If you don’t expect to accept in-person payments, the Starter plan will save you money as it doesn’t require hardware.

Home and field businesses

If you’re an electrician, landscaper or other type of professional who travels to job sites, Clover allows you to take payments in the field. If you prefer to send electronic invoices, the Starter plan is the best pick. The other two plans include a mobile card reader that connects to a phone so you can get paid anywhere.

Hardware options and costs

Clover Go - $49
A white square Clover Go card reader

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

The Clover Go pairs with your phone through Bluetooth and enables you to accept magstripe-only cards, chip cards and contactless payments.
Clover Flex - $499
The Clover Flex credit card reader.

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

The Clover Flex is a 5-inch hand-held device that can take orders, process payments, capture customer signatures, scan bar codes and print receipts.
Clover Mini - $749
A Clover Mini card reader

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

This tablet-size countertop device processes payments, scans bar codes and prints receipts. Perched on a swivel, you can turn it to your customers to complete purchases.
Clover Station Solo - $1,349

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

The Clover Station Solo system combines a 14-inch touch screen, a cash drawer and a receipt printer. It includes a built-in camera and barcode scanner and fingerprint login.
Clover Station Duo - custom pricing
The Clover Station Duo sits against a white background with a screen on top of a cash box, a customer screen facing the camera, and a receipt printer.

(Photo courtesy of Clover)

The Station Duo combines the Station Solo for staff use and a Clover Mini for customer use.

Benefits of Clover

Low flat rates for payment processing

The rate of 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-store purchases is an option in most Clover plans, which is lower than industry heavyweights like Stripe and Square. The higher your average sales volume, the more beneficial this low rate is.

Decent monthly rates and features

POS systems can easily cost $100 or more in monthly fees. Clover’s priciest POS system for retail is $49.90 per month, and its top restaurant plan is $94.85. Choosing a POS system is also about more than price. You’ll want to be sure that the system you get has the features you need — and Clover’s POS system does have many popular features, including table mapping and remote order ticket routing for restaurants, and low-stock alerts and itemized returns for retail.

Top-notch hardware

Clover's distinctive white and silver hardware looks sharp and is built for point of sale — it isn't just an app you run on your own phone or tablet. Its hand-held device stands out for a few reasons. It can be used in retail settings, unlike Toast’s restaurant-only device, and it has a built-in printer, unlike Square’s. Zettle’s mobile card reader is more expensive and doesn’t accept cards that swipe while Square’s is $49 — like Clover Go — but it also doesn’t take swiped charges.

Drawbacks of Clover

No free options

Unlike some retail POS systems, the Clover POS doesn’t have any free hardware options. And while its software is moderately priced relative to peers, it doesn’t offer a no-fee POS option. POS systems that let you bring your own device aren’t exactly free — the device costs something at some point — but they can mean less outgoing cash at the time you get started.

Products and pricing can be hard to understand

It can be tough to find all the information you need about Clover’s products on its website. You can buy Clover directly, but there are many other resellers, including Citi, Wells Fargo, Dharma Merchant Services and Sam’s Club. Each has its own pricing, which makes it hard to compare your options. You also might be required to sign a long-term contract, which limits your flexibility in the future.

Alternatives

For flexible, straightforward plans: Square

As an alternative, consider Square POS. The company provides a deep set of POS features, plus additional services like payroll and customer loyalty programs with fees comparable to what you’d get with Clover, and they are simpler to understand — no third parties to navigate. Square also doesn't require long-term contracts, which means you can switch if a better fit comes along.

Square Payment Processing

If payment processing is your biggest concern: Payment Depot

Clover is well priced for flat-rate plans, but its payment processing fees aren’t the lowest available. For potentially cheaper rates, consider Payment Depot — a merchant services provider that offers membership pricing and wholesale interchange rates. Memberships start at $59 monthly. Payment Depot resells several of Clover’s POS systems, including the Flex, Mini and Station Solo. Other tools include a payment gateway and virtual terminal.
Point-of-sale software
Square POS Great for small-business owners looking for a top-notch POS with quick setup and easy-to-understand fees. Read Review.
Clover POS Great for small-business owners looking for reasonable prices and versatile hardware options.

Merchant account providers

Stax Great for midsize or larger companies that process $20,000 and up per month. Read Review.
PaymentCloud Great for businesses in high-risk industries.
Payment Depot Great for cost-effective credit card processing for midsize businesses.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s ratings for point-of-sale system providers reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
On a similar note...
NW SMB Payments Marketplace
Accept payments, avoid surprises
Answer a few questions to match your business with our selected payment partners.