There are several choices, each with different costs and features. In this article, we’ll cover the monthly fees for Clover plans, hardware/software compatibility, and what you get with each software plan.
- Clover Equipment
- Clover Software Plans
- Professional Services
- Personal Services
- Home & Field Service Plans
- Other Clover Fees
- App Fees
- How much does a Clover system cost?
- Is Clover cheaper than Square?
As of autumn 2022, there are five choices for Clover credit card processing equipment: Go, Flex, Mini, Station, and Station 2018.
In the past, Clover had a few different options that detailed the features of the plan and the monthly costs. At the time of this update, Clover has somewhat simplified plans by first requiring you to choose the type of business for which you need services. From there, the company’s website states that you’ll choose between Starter, Standard, and Advanced plans. For example, if you run a sit-down restaurant, you would choose the “Table Service Restaurant” plan and then within that, select between Starter, Standard, and Advanced.
This means that while there are plans called Starter, Standard, and Advanced across multiple types of businesses, the pricing is not the same. A “Standard” plan for a restaurant has different costs than a “Standard” plan for a retailer.
To further confuse the issue, not every business type’s plan matches the business type. For example, professional service businesses will need to choose an “Essentials” or “Register” plan – the legacy plan names.
Because of this, we’ll start by breaking down the plans according to business type and then look at the Starter, Standard, and Advanced options within each of those business type plans. Even when you see reference to “Essentials” or “Register” plans, it is no longer the legacy “Essentials” or “Register” pricing.
Clover Software Plans
Clover currently lists 6 types of businesses as starting points for choosing the right plan: Full service dining, quick service dining, retail, professional services, personal services, or home and field services.
With any plan, Clover offers no monthly fee for the first 30 days. All plans let you accept credit and debit cards (magstripe, EMV chip, and NFC contactless transactions), take cash or checks, provide basic reporting and sales tracking, and give you the option of using Rapid Deposit. With Rapid Deposit, you can opt to receive your funds from credit card transactions almost instantly by paying 1% of the total.
Note that you’ll need compatible Clover hardware to accept EMV/NFC transactions and checks. You may also want to connect an optional cash drawer if you accept cash.
The plans also may include basic employee management for tracking shifts and setting role permissions so that employees can only access the functions necessary to complete their jobs. Each plan comes with 24/7 customer service.
Beyond those basics, the plans vary in features, as discussed below.
Full Service Dining: Table Service Restaurant Plan
When you choose full service dining as your business type, you’ll be able to choose between Starter, Standard, and Advanced plans within the Table Service Restaurant software plan.
All three plans include the Clover Station Solo system with a cash drawer and receipt printer. All plans also include necessary order management functions, such as table mapping, bar tabs, check splitting functions, and tipping. Online ordering capabilities are built-in, with all three plans supporting an online menu page, no-fee online ordering, pickup or delivery orders, and remote order firing. The plans also all support real-time sales tracking with detailed sales reports, tax reporting, and integration with popular bookkeeping apps like QuickBooks or Xero.
So what’s different?
The Standard and Advanced plans also include a Clover Flex handheld device, which can be used to take payments at the table. The Advanced plan takes it one step further, offering the Station Duo with a 14” screen facing you and a 7” screen facing your customers.
All three plans have the same per-transaction costs: 2.3% + 10 cents per transaction for “card-present” payments and 3.5% + 10 cents for “card-not-present” transactions. Monthly and hardware fees are as follows:
- Starter: $1,349 hardware + $74.95/month
- Standard: $1,848 hardware + $84.90/month
- Advanced: $3,647 hardware + $94.85/month
You can optionally add a kitchen printer to any of the plans for an additional one-time hardware cost.
Quick Service Dining: Counter Service Restaurant Plan
Like the Full Service Dining plan, the Quick Service Dining option gives you three plan choices (starter, standard, and advanced) within the Counter Service Restaurant Plan.
All three have the same per-transaction costs: 2.3% + 10 cents per “card-present” transaction or 3.5% + 10 cents per “card-not-present” transaction. Monthly and hardware fees are as follows:
- Starter: $799 hardware + $44.95/month
- Standard: $1,799 hardware + $44.95/month
- Advanced: $2,298 hardware + $54.90/month
The hardware included with the Starter plan is a Clover Mini. The Standard plan comes with a Station, and the Advanced plan comes with a Station and a Flex. A cash drawer is an optional add-on for the Mini but comes included with the Clover Stations.
All three plans offer contactless (QR-code menu) dining, online ordering options (supporting both pickup and delivery), item modifiers, “sold out” notifications, third-party menu integrations, real-time reporting (including tax reporting and detailed sales reports), individual employee logins, shift management capabilities, and integration with popular accounting programs such as QuickBooks and Xero.
The Standard and Advanced plans also offer a customer database to tie in with loyalty programs, and can support gift cards.
The Advanced plan in this situation primarily offers the benefits of the Flex, allowing for line-busting. If you don’t need or want that, you can opt for the Standard plan with the same general functionality.
The Retail Shops option is one place where the legacy software plan names come up. Retailers can choose between Starter, Standard, and Advanced plans, which are tied to Essentials or Register software plans. However, with the restructuring of plans, the names of the software plans are tied to specific overall plans, so they aren’t mix-and-match and don’t affect the feature sets.
Card-present transactions on the Starter Plan cost 2.6% + 10 cents, while they’re 2.3% + 10 cents for the Standard and Advanced Plans.
The card-not-present transaction pricing is the same for all three plans at 3.5% + 10 cents per transaction.
The additional hardware and monthly fees are as follows:
- Starter: $799 + $14.95/month
- Standard: $1,799 + $44.95/month
- Advanced: $2,298 + $54.90/month
As with the Quick Service Dining Plan, the Starter Plan comes with a Clover Mini, the Standard Plan comes with the Clover Station, and the Advanced Plan comes with a Clover Station and a Clover Flex.
The Clover Stations include a cash drawer while the Mini does not. (One can optionally be added.)
All plans include inventory options (including stock tracking by item, categories, and itemized orders), real-time reporting, bookkeeping (Xero and QuickBooks), a customer database, gift and loyalty card programs, employee logins, and the option to integrate with an existing online storefront.
The Starter Plan does not include item variant capabilities, such as listing an item in inventory and accounting for variations (such as size or color) within that record instead of creating multiple records. Additionally, the Starter plan can’t support weight scales for items sold by weight. If those are features you need, you’ll want to choose either the Standard or Advanced plans.
The Standard and Advanced plans both have the option of adding a barcode scanner for businesses that prefer not to ring in items manually.
Like the other industries, professional services have a choice of 3 plans. However, the “Starter” plan does not allow for card-present transactions, as payments are taken through a web portal. Rates and fees for the plans are as follows:
- Starter: $14.95/month + 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
There is no hardware cost for the Starter Plan.
- Standard: $14.95/month and 2.6% + 10 cents for card-present or 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
The Standard plan includes a Clover Flex and costs $499 for the hardware.
- Advanced: $44.95/month and 2.6% + 10 cents for card-present or 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
The Advanced plan includes a Clover Station and costs $1,349 for the hardware.
Clover Stations come with a cash drawer. One can optionally be added for the Flex or the web portal.
For the Starter plan, you can use a computer, tablet, or phone to take payments. All transactions will be “card-not-present” and charged accordingly. All plans allow you to accept cards, send invoices and track their statuses, and accept client payments online. They all include a customer database and the option to accept customer feedback.
The Standard and Advanced plans offer gift and loyalty card programs and promotions. For inventory and categorization, all plans offer tracking stock by item, and item-level discounting. The Advanced plan offers the option of item variants – perfect for businesses that have items that come in various sizes or colors.
For reporting, every plan comes with detailed sales and tax reports and can integrate with Xero or QuickBooks for accounting purposes. You can also set up individual logins for employees.
The Personal Services option (for businesses such as hair salons or home cleaners) is one of the few that has different hardware for all three plan types. The Starter plan comes with a Clover Flex, the Standard Plan comes with a Clover Mini, and the Advanced Plan comes with a Clover Station. Hardware costs, monthly fees, and per-transaction rates are as follows:
- Starter Plan: $14.95 monthly fee, $499 hardware fee, 2.6% + 10 cent per-transaction fee for card-present transactions
- Standard Plan: $44.95 monthly fee, $799 hardware fee, 2.3% + 10 cent per-transaction fee for card-present transaction
- Advanced Plan: $44.95 monthly fee, $1,799 hardware fee, 2.3% + 10 cent per-transaction fee for card-present transactions
All three plans have a 3.5% + 10 cent per-transaction fee for card-not present transactions.
For features, all plans offer the option to accept cards in person or online, as well as send invoices and set up recurring payments. You can also utilize the customer database and create loyalty programs or offer gift cards. Sales tracking (available in real time) as well as detailed tax reporting is available. You can optionally integrate with QuickBooks or Xero to handle accounting.
So what’s the difference between the plans?
For the Starter Plan, you will not have the ability to use item variants, such as inventoried items that are differentiated by size or color. You also won’t be able to integrate a scale to weigh items for sale.
The only difference between the Standard and Advanced plan is hardware – all other functionality is the same. As you can see, this is accounted for in the plan costs – only the hardware fee is different between the plans.
Home & Field Service Plans
Home and Field Service businesses include companies that operate primarily at a customer’s site or “out in the field.” It includes technicians in a variety of markets, as well as contractors, repair people, etc.
Like Professional Services, the Starter plan is a no-hardware-cost plan since you’ll accept payments through a secure web portal. The Standard plan includes the Clover Go low cost mobile phone-compatible card swiper, keeping the hardware cost down at $49. The Advanced plan kicks up the hardware to a Clover Flex for a cost of $499.
In addition, the plans have monthly fees and per-transaction costs, noted below:
- Starter: $14.95/month and 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
- Standard: $14.95/month and 2.6% + 10 cents for card-present transactions or 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
- Advanced: $14.95/month and 2.6% + 10 cents for card-present transactions or 3.5% + 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
All 3 plans allow you to accept cards at the time of service or to invoice customers for their payment. You can set up automatic recurring payments or automatic client notifications. All plans include detailed sales and tax reports to make business accounting easier. You can also integrate with QuickBooks or Xero for more advanced accounting functions. All three plans offer a client database with the option to privately collect feedback on the services performed.
The Starter plan does not allow for item variants, however most home or field businesses would not typically need that function. It’s up to you to determine if that’s a must-have for your business.
As the pricing implies, the difference between the Standard and Advanced plans is the included hardware. (A Clover Go vs. a Clover Flex.) There is no difference in plan features, just the differences in functionality between the Go and Flex. Be sure to check our CardFellow’s reviews of the Go or Flex if you need additional details on the systems.
Other Clover Fees
The Clover monthly fees for a software plan are not the only costs involved. You’ll also pay processing fees to accept credit and debit cards. Those costs vary and are set by your processor. If you go direct to Clover, processing costs start around 2.3% + 10 cents per transaction. Competitive interchange plus pricing may be lower. You can see pricing from multiple processing companies using CardFellow’s quote comparison tools.
Additionally, you’ll need to purchase Clover hardware.
You may also incur fees if you choose to use certain apps for specific functions. Clover devices come with access to the robust Clover App Market, a virtual store where you can download various third-party apps to customize your Clover system with the exact functions you need.
While the apps are compatible with Clover, they’re not Clover-created. Clover doesn’t provide the customer service or set the costs for those apps. The app creator is in charge of costs and support. Some apps are available free of charge while others incur a monthly fee. Be sure to check on the costs of any app in the Clover app market so you can plan accordingly.
How much does a Clover system cost?
As you can tell from this article, the total cost to use a Clover system varies depending on the specific equipment, plan, hardware, processor, and apps that you choose. You can expect $0 hardware costs if you use an existing computer or tablet to accept cards through a web portal, all the way up to a few thousand for Clover Station setups.
From there, software plans start at no additional charge (for basic payment acceptance) and go up to ~$95/month, though most plans are lower than that, falling more around $49.95.
Processing costs vary depending on the processor you choose. Clover is compatible with processors that operate on the Fiserv (formerly First Data) platform. If you choose to go direct to Clover, you can expect processing fees starting around 2.3% + 10 cents per transaction when you swipe cards, though some businesses will receive rates of 2.6% + 10 cents.
Additional fees may apply, and rates are subject to change at Clover’s discretion.
Alternatively, you can get quotes to use Clover with competitive interchange plus pricing. CardFellow offers a free quote marketplace where you can see real pricing from multiple processors. Try it now!
Apps are optional, so you may not have any additional costs from apps. If you choose to use apps, you’ll pay the monthly cost the app creator sets.
Is Clover cheaper than Square?
Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to that question, as it depends on several variables, including your average transaction size, your monthly processing volume, your industry, and the plan(s) you’re interested in. Since both Clover and Square have different pricing available for different machines and software plans, which one is cheaper will vary. Check out our full Clover vs Square comparison for more information on the features, equipment, and cost differences between these two popular processing options.
If you still need help comparing costs, fill out a free processing profile at CardFellow and contact us for assistance with the numbers.