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
Businesses needing a dedicated merchant account.
Small businesses, brick and mortar shops.
Businesses focused on eCommerce and international markets.
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.
Terminal and Register Pricing
Does not supply terminals.
Card Reader Pricing
2.3%-2.7% + 10¢*
2.6% + 10 cents to 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction.
2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
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.
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
Shift management, permission, clock in/out.
Time clock, permission, can add on Square Payroll and Team Management.
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
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
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
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
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.