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The Clover Mini is different from both the Clover POS system and the Clover Mobile POS. How so? The Clover Mini is designed to take up less space than the full Clover station, but is intended for processing in a fixed location, unlike the portable Clover Mobile. In fact, the Clover Mini is even wall mountable. Here’s what you need to know about its features and pricing to determine if it’s the right equipment for your business.
With a sleek, brushed aluminum body and glass accents, the Clover Mini looks great with almost any decor. It’s available in 4G LTE and wifi versions and runs on cloud-based software, allowing you to access data and information from any internet-connected device, including phones, tablets, and computers. Like all of the Clover products, the Mini offers features that can help make accepting payments quick and easy. The Clover Mini boasts EMV chip card processing times as fast as 3 seconds, as seen in this video:
Need to scan barcodes or QR codes at the time of the transaction? No problem if you’ve got a Clover Mini. The machine offers scanning for both types of codes with the built-in front-facing camera.
There’s no need to fuss with an external printer – the Clover Mini comes with one built in so you can print receipts for your customers quickly. But, if your customers prefer not to deal with paper receipts, you also have the option of emailing them. Some functions are just easier on screen, like adding tips or signing for a purchase. With the Mini, customers can do both of those things at the time of purchase.
While most functions that typically require separate accessories (like printers and barcode scanners) are built-in to the Clover Mini, you can still add other optional accessories, like cash drawers or scales for businesses that need the option of selling products by weight, such as produce or frozen yogurt. You can also purchase a swivel stand to turn the mini around to face customers as needed.
If you need a lot more accessories or functions, it may be worth it to check into the more robust Clover POS system.
If you want to reward loyal customers and encourage repeat business, the Clover Mini is compatible with the Perka loyalty and rewards program, offering either points-based or punch-based reward options.
As a First Data product, the Clover Mini is required to use the TransArmor security solution. TransArmor features increased security through encryption and tokenization, helping to protect customer data from fraud. Additionally, a limited liability waiver offers coverage in case of breaches. TransArmor is an additional monthly charge (usually $9.95 – $19.95) and can’t be waived for the Clover family of equipment.
Just looking for the technical specs? We’ve got you covered:
The Clover Mini LTE runs on 4G LTE networks with data plans or can be used with an Ethernet cord or wifi. (802.11 a/b/g/n.)
The Clover Mini Wi-Fi runs on wifi (802.11 a/b/g/n) or can be connected with an Ethernet cord.
The Mini features a 7” antimicrobial Corning Gorilla glass display screen with 1280 x 800 resolution. The Clover Mini is 6.47” H x 8” W x 3.73” D and weighs 2.3lbs.
The cost for the Clover Mini itself will vary depending on where you purchase it, but expect retail prices to start around $400. That puts it around the same costs as other small footprint and tablet-based terminals. Some processors may offer it for less if you sign up for credit card processing at the same time. However, keep in mind that lower hardware costs are sometimes accompanied by higher rates for accepting credit cards. It won't help your bottom line to get a lower cost or free machine if it means paying more every time you take a card.
Taking credit cards is a core feature of the Clover Mini, but it's hard to class the system as either proprietary or universal. Any processing company that runs on First Data's platform (and that's a lot of companies) can offer the Clover Mini, but it cannot be reprogrammed. Once you purchase a Clover system, it will only work with the processor from whom you purchased it. In that sense, it's much closer to a proprietary system even though many companies can sell and support it.
Since many processing companies offer the Clover, details like rates and fees and customer service will vary. This can be a good thing, as it allows you to secure lower cost processing due to increased competition for your business.. However, it's important to make sure you're getting a competitive, transparent solution. CardFellow can help you determine the right fit for your needs.
Your costs for credit card processing using the Clover Mini will be set by the processing company you choose. The company must be compatible with First Data in order for you to use the Clover Mini. You can get quotes from compatible processors using this quote request tool.
Additionally, you'll need to purchase a software plan for your Clover Mini. The chart below shows the different available plans:
Basic inventory and order management includes item level entry and categories for inventory, and the ability to create or save orders. Advanced inventory and order management includes modifier capabilities, exchanges, and the ability to combine orders.
Customer engagement includes list building, customer feedback, push promotions, and rewards programs.
Employee management includes the ability to track shifts and control employee permissions on the system.
The Clover website offers more details on the features of packages from Payments Plus and up, as seen in the screenshot below.
Still need help deciding which is the right plan? Check out our guide to Clover software plans.
Many businesses wonder about the differences between the Clover Mini and Square Terminal. We've covered a lot of the differences in our comprehensive guide to Clover vs. Square, but let's recap some of the specifics regarding Mini and Terminal.
While the two systems have some similarities, including core functions such as payment acceptance, there are some important differences as well. Those include processor compatibility, pricing, and customer service.
As noted earlier in this review, the Clover Mini works with processors on the First Data platform. There's no shortage of compatible companies. By contrast, the Square Terminal only works with Square. If you're looking for a flat rate aggregator, that's fine. However, if you're seeking more competitive and transparent interchange plus pricing, Square Terminal won't be a great fit.
Note that as an aggregator, Square does not directly provide merchant accounts. First Data and its resellers do. Having your own dedicated merchant account is more "stable" in the sense that you're less likely to run into issues stemming from a lack of upfront underwriting. Square doesn't do much of a business review when you sign up. That makes it quick to get started, but can result in account freezes and closures later.
Traditional processors require more information in order to provide you with a merchant account, resulting in a slightly longer set up process (usually a few business days) but ultimately providing a more stable account.
Square Terminal pricing is set by Square, currently at a flat rate of 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction if you swipe (magstripe), dip (EMV chip) or tap (NFC / contactless, such as Apple Pay.) If you manually enter cards, you can expect to pay the keyed rate of 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction.
As for Clover Mini, there's no single answer. The costs for credit card processing are set by the processors and will be specific to your business. When looking for the best credit card processing for small businesses, you'll want to ensure that you're on a transparent pricing model such as interchange plus, and have a competitive markup over cost. If you're not sure where to start, check our CardFellow's free rate comparison tools and give us a call to walk you through the numbers.
There isn't a big difference in costs for the hardware. The Square Terminal itself is $399, though Square often runs promotions offering free equipment for new customers. Clover Mini pricing varies by processor, but generally costs around $400.
Another aspect to consider is customer service. Square is not known for accessible customer service despite adding a phone number in recent years. Even using that phone number, you'll need a "customer code" from your Square dashboard in order to actually reach customer service. Some business have reported that if an account is frozen or closed, they aren't be able to get through by phone to discuss the freeze/closure or their options. Even some businesses with active accounts report difficulties getting in touch with a representative.
If you prefer accessible phone support, Square is not your best bet.
That said, because Clover isn't one single company but a solution many different processors offer, there's no standard to its customer service. You could sign up with a processor that has terrific customer service, or a not-so-great one. In any case, you'll have access to First Data's 24/7 customer support, but if you can work with a processor that has better first-line support, you'll likely have a less frustrating time resolving an issues that do arise. If you choose your Clover-compatible processor through CardFellow, you can also call or email us for assistance.
In March of 2019, CardFellow became aware of an issue with older Clover Minis and certain credit cards, specifically metal cards. While many cards are still plastic, some premium credit cards are metallic. These cards are approximately the same size as plastic cards, but may be just slightly thicker, resulting in negative repercussions such as malfunctions with certain processing equipment.
The thicker cards damage the EMV chip reader, rendering it unusable. It may cause the Clover to "lock up." This problem appears limited to older model Clover Minis, not the newer LTE version.
So far, we've heard that the following card(s) have caused Clover malfunctions:
However, other cards may also be responsible for the same issue. We'll update this list as we hear more about other cards that may cause Clovers to lock.
We've reached out to First Data for details on how to avoid this issue. If your Clover has locked up as a result of accepting a metal credit card, contact your credit card processor for assistance.
Have you had a problem with your Clover locking up after accepting a metal credit card? Let us know!
We'v been using this terminal for 4 months. Very reliable. Android based. Can install some apps. Has built-in calculator. You can see which cashier made a transaction.