square vs clover vs stripe

Square vs Clover vs Stripe – A guide to finding the right POS for your business

A business operation includes a range of management, administrative, and marketing skills. The right POS (point-of-sale) system for a business can reduce manual entry work and a lot of human errors in reporting. There are similarities amongst many of these systems, but there are some key features that stand out in different systems that can help in choosing the perfect POS system for a business. Though implementing new technology can be overwhelming, businesses need to consider the disadvantages of not having a POS in place. Knowing about different POS systems, their software and hardware components as well as their features, can help in making an educated buying decision.

While there are many options of point of sale systems, Clover, Square, and Stripes are three of the most popular solution providers. In this guide, Clover, Square, and Stripe are compared, to help in determining the right payment solution for a business’s needs.

Square vs Clover vs Stripe – A Comparison




Suitable For

Businesses needing a dedicated merchant account.

Small businesses, brick and mortar shops.

Businesses focused on eCommerce and international markets.

POS Hardware

Range of hardware to suit different needs.

Full suite of products and accessories; compatible with third-party devices as well.

Custom build or connect to existing POS, Offers pre-certified card readers only.

Software Monthly Subscription

Free – $39.95/month.

$0–$299/month with add-on programs.

Varies (third-party).

Terminal and Register Pricing


$299–$799 (all-inclusive).

Does not supply terminals.

Card Reader Pricing




Processing Fee

2.3%-2.7% + 10¢*

2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction.

2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Average Payout

Payout times vary.

Free 1–2 day funding; instant funding for 1.5%.

2 business days, per a schedule you set; instant payout for 1%, minimum 50 cents.

Online Payments

In-store terminals and mobile, connection to eCommerce software, virtual terminal, mobile POS, delivery options.

In-store terminals and mobile, Square Online store, payment links, add checkout to an existing site, Facebook, Instagram, mobile POS.

Integrate with eCommerce, mobile apps, CRM software, and more.

Ease of Use




Employee Management

Shift management, permission, clock in/out.

Time clock, permission, can add on Square Payroll and Team Management.

Third-party apps.

Customer Service

24/7 customer support by phone or email, resource library online.

Monday–Friday phone support, 24/7 automated chat support, seller community, and resource library.

24/7 chat and phone support, email, resource library.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer details, card-on-file, loyalty.

Personalized marketing, loyalty program, card-on-file.

Basic customer information.

Traditional merchant account




* These costs are from Clover directly. Costs may vary for other Clover providers.

This table comparing square vs clover vs stripe helps understand the basic differences, let us explore these payment systems in detail.

Top POS Systems

1. Clover

Clover is a Fiserv company that builds point of sale solutions for small & medium-sized business owners. Their products are improving the consumer/merchant experience by providing seamless customer-merchant interactions.

  • Clover offers flexibility in payment processing and app integrations.
  • Analytics features of Clover give insights into sales, profits, revenue, refunds, and more.
  • Clover is a cloud-based system which implies your metrics are accessible to you from anywhere.
  • Clover comes with many features, like employee capabilities.
  • Clover provides staffing reports so their performance can be measured.
  • More Clover apps can be added to the system to extend its functionality. Some of the apps of the Clover POS system are Register, Promos, Feedback Rewards, Shifts, Happy Hour, Clover Dining, and many more.

Clover POS Hardware

Clover offers a variety of choice of the device of POS. The user can choose the device depending upon his needs. Clover also offers the option of handling payments directly from your laptop without any additional device.

a. Clover Station
Clover Station Duo
Img Src: Clover.com

This is the most comprehensive hardware offered by Clover. It is an all-in-one POS system that includes POS, cash drawer, and receipt printer. It has a large display that makes processing sales quick and reliable. It comes in two variants: Station Solo & Station Duo.

b. Clover Mini
Img Src: Clover.com

Clover Mini is also an all-in-one POS system that comes with a smaller display with a built-in card reader. It allows you to process sales and accept all payments types. It can be integrated with weight scales, barcode scanners, and other accessories.

c. Clover Flex
Flex clover
Img Src: Clover.com

Clover Flex is a card reader. It supports swipes, dips, and taps. All credit card types as well as mobile and contactless payments can be accepted by this device. It is a compact solution for businesses that don’t require a lot of space as it can replace cash registers and printers.

d. Clover Go
Clover Go
Img Src: Clover.com

Clover Go is a lightweight card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It can be used for making payments on the go. It syncs with other Clover devices and with the Clover Go app that allows tracking of payments, running reports, and email receipts. Clover Go must be attached to another device to process payments.

2. Square

Square is a feature-rich out-of-the-box POS and payment processing platform. It is best for small businesses that require an all-in-one solution. Square is aimed at new businesses that need simple, user-friendly and pocket-friendly POS systems without extra capabilities. Square has become one of the biggest names in the POS systems market since it launched in 2009. It offers seamless point-of-sale (POS) solutions to sync online, mobile and in-store credit card transactions.

Square’s costs are transparent which means all charges and terms can be found on the website without too much digging. Anyone can sign up for free and decide later whether to use it or not without any extra cost as there is no termination fee.

Square has all the fundamental features that can be expected from a POS system including ringing sales, processing payments, inventory management, analytics capabilities, and customer relationship management. Additional features can be added at an extra cost. These include employee management, payroll feature, marketing, and loyalty programs

Square POS Hardware

a. Square Register
Img Src: squareup.com

Square Register is a countertop payment processing system that includes a customer-facing display. The card reader is a built-in part of the device that can accept magstripe cards, chip cards, and contactless payments. The Square POS app is included in the hardware. Square Register does not support Bluetooth, nor does it have a browser.

b. Square Stand for contactless and chip
Img Src: squareup.com

This hardware solution works with an iPad. It is a stand that can be connected with an iPad. Then once the Square POS app is downloaded to the iPad and the included hardware is connected to it, the iPad can be used as a POS system.

c. Square Terminal
Img Src: squareup.com

Square Terminal is a compact all-in-one hardware solution that lets you process payments and receipts. It can accept all the payment types that Square Register accepts. It can be plugged in wirelessly or work with a power source as it can connect via USB, Ethernet, or WiFi.

d. Square Readers
Img Src: squareup.com

Square offers various external hardware, all of which are built to accept different types of payments—a chip card and magstripe card reader, a magstripe card reader, and a chip card and contactless payment reader. Users get a magstripe card reader for free when they sign up.

3. Stripe

stripe pos
Img Src: stripe.com

Stripe, a technology company, was launched in 2011. It builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Stripe has offices in many cities across the globe including London, Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo, with headquarters in San Francisco and Dublin. Their software can be used by businesses of every size,  from new startups to public companies, to accept payments and manage their businesses online. There is a powerful payments engine at its core that makes moving money easy. In addition, there are applications to prevent fraud, manage revenue and expand internationally. The cloud-based infrastructure of Stripe provides scalability, reliability, and security.

  • Stripe is geared mainly towards eCommerce businesses and provides limited support for in-person POS.
  • Stripe may be too overwhelming for someone looking for a simple processing system.
  • The main difference between Stripe and Square is that Stripe requires technical knowledge and needs to be installed on a separate website or app to accept payments.
  • It is better suited to enterprise-level companies. Stripe is best for tech-savvy eCommerce businesses, B2B, and international sales.
  • Stripe supports the processing of over 135 currencies.
  • With over 700 partner apps, Stripe is the best choice in payment processing software for integrations.

Stripe Terminal requires a closer look by those who are searching for a large-scale, robust, all-in-one solution to unify online, mobile and in-store transactions. It is to be noted that Stripe uses a separate mPOS, GoControl, for mobile processing at $29/month.

Stripe POS Hardware

Stripe Terminal is the POS hardware that enables you to build your in-person checkout to accept payments in the physical world. Targeting eCommerce platforms and modern retailers, Terminal helps you unify your online and offline channels with flexible developer tools, pre-certified card readers, and cloud-based hardware management.


So, compare and research square vs clover vs stripe completely before making a choice of the POS system best suited to your needs.

Also check out top 2d payments gateways.

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2d payment gateway in usa

Top 5 2D Payment Gateways in USA

In today’s digitalized world, everyone from merchants who have an online business or a brick-and-mortar retail shop anywhere in the United States; are looking for easy ways to accept payments from their customers, need an effective and quick payment gateway. Read on to find the best 2d payment gateway in USA.

2D Payment Gateway is one of the most trusted tools for receiving payments by merely using your business phone number.  These services work as client applications that can easily integrate with mobile wallets such as Android Pay and Apple Pay.  Since these payment gateways operate over SMS, they provide you access to debit/credit card information of both new and recurring customers. With this service set up on your website, you will be able to collect payments directly through credit or debit cards without having to worry about handling sensitive details because everything is handled automatically when a payment is initiated.

Top 2D Payment Gateway in USA

1. Stripe payments

stripe-2d payment gateway in usa
Img Src: stripe.com
  • It is one of the most popular e-commerce payment methods that offer instant gateway integration and provides a simple API for web applications, as well as, native apps (iOS/ Android).
  • It offers complete fraud protection and risk management mechanisms through Stripe Radar technology; hence making it very important for all types of online businesses from professionals to startups.
  • Moreover, Stripe has partnered with many big brands like Airbnb, Lyft, etc.
  • In addition to this, it also helps you to integrate other services like Mailchimp (Email newsletter), Zapier, Slack, etc.
  • You can also use Stripe for in-person transactions by using the Stripe terminals.
  • Moreover, it offers you an easy developer experience and free test accounts starting from $0/month.
  • So if you are thinking of getting started with an e-commerce store you should consider Stripe’s 2D payment gateway for your business.

2. PayPal

paypal- 2d payment gateway in usa
Img Src: paypal.com
  • If you are thinking of starting a business, PayPal (a 2D payment gateway in USA) is one of the best options for you as it offers safety and security to your customers.
  • It has over 200 million active customer accounts in 203 markets and 25 currencies.
  • It is a very popular and widely used payment processor that offers quick integration, as well as, easy to use API for small businesses or individuals who wish to have a simple way of selling digital content online like music, videos, etc.
  • It also provides subscription programs with flexible billing options to meet the needs of all kinds of customers and businesses worldwide.
  • PayPal helps online vendors in creating customized shopping carts using Buy Now buttons, displaying variable products questions, eBay integrations, shipping management, etc.
  • It also offers live customer support and multiple language options so it provides a great user experience while making payments online through PayPal.
  • Moreover, PayPal has partnered with more than 460 financial institutions worldwide to offer their customers various products like credit/ debit cards transfers, bank transfers, etc.

3. Amazon Payments

2d payment gateway in usa- amazon
Img Src: Amazon pay
  • It is an ideal choice for small businesses that are looking for a simple and affordable way to accept online payments.
  • It is easy to integrate with various web platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Bigcommerce, etc.
  • Amazon Payments offers one-click payment options through which customers can make payments by entering their name, email id, or mobile number.
  • This gateway also provides access to millions of paying customers around the world in over 100 countries through Amazon Global Store as well as local currencies at low transaction fees (if you are planning to expand your business globally then this could be the best option of 2D Payment Gateway in USA.
  • It has a 2D Secure feature that helps save merchants and customers from frauds and chargebacks since it requires a customer’s CVV code whenever he/ she enters his/ her credit card details as well as the name of the cardholder and expiration date.

4. Authorize.net 

  • Authorize.net is one of the best 2D payment gateway in USA with a simple & easy user interface for its users.
  • It integrates without any problem with various shopping carts such as Shopify, Magento, etc.
  • Authorize.net provides many features like Paypal integration, recurring billing facility, real-time notification, etc.
  • Almost all the countries accept it as their preferred online payment method and it also offers mobile applications for customers who want to pay via smartphone or tablet device instead of PC/Laptop.
  • It allows you to support multiple currencies on your website for your customers in the USA from where they can select their preferred currency so that there is no need of converting the price into respective payment card currency which may lead to some unnecessary conversions charges from merchant’s side. This solution will help you to eliminate all these extra costs from your business.
  • It has the Recurring Billing feature which enables recurring billing facility on your website with Authorize.net payment gateway, thus allowing your existing customers to pay automatically every month/year/or whatever period you need without any need of manual intervention and wasting unnecessary time and money for processing payments manually each month (that means no more bounced checks!).

5. eBay Payments Inc (USA)

  • This is one of the most popular forms of 2D Payment Gateways in USA simply because most of the small businesses in the USA sell products on eBay.
  • eBay Payments Inc, a subsidiary of eBay is available for merchants in more than 200 countries around the globe.
  • It provides a wide range of payment solutions to help you run your online business. It serves all businesses irrespective of their size and planning stages.
  • The service supports PayPal as well and provides some additional features like pay by phone toll-free number with customer support, fraud management gateway for Card-Not-Present transactions, etc.
  • One can integrate this gateway using GoPayment or payment processing tools.
  • It offers simple integration with e-commerce platforms like Magento, Bigcommerce, WordPress, etc.
  • In addition to this, it also offers the best class fraud and risk management system that helps merchants from chargebacks, as well as, identity theft.


If you’re an online retailer or in the e-commerce business, it is not difficult to see why 2D Payment Gateways are so important. They help you eliminate all of those extra costs that come with manual processing and bouncing checks every month. So, choose a payment gateway that suits your needs and start your account today.

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