Your customers will love being able to use credit cards to purchase your products or services whether it’s at a flea market or in their home. With the Clover Go app, you can take major credit and debit cards, including new EMV chip cards, and contactless (NFC) payments like Apple Pay. That makes it the first mobile processing option that can take magnetic strip cards, chip cards, and contactless payments using one device. (Rival Square offers a magstripe/chip card combo or an chip card/NFC combo, but doesn’t currently have a device that accepts all three.)
But these days, there are lots of options for mobile credit card processing. Read on to see if the Clover Go is the right choice for your business.
Clover Go is compatible with both Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. It will work anywhere that you have a Wifi connection or cell service. You'll need to download the Clover Go app, and sign up for a merchant account with a processor that is compatible with First Data systems. That doesn’t mean that you need a direct account with First Data – you just need an account with a credit card processing company that works on the First Data platform. You can get customized quotes for taking credit cards using the Clover Go with this handy quote request tool.
The Go is the only Clover option that allows for multiple merchant IDs. If you have multiple people with their own merchant accounts (such as salons with stylists that rent a chair) and want to use one machine, Go is the only choice within the Clover family.
However, the Go is not designed as a cash register replacement or a full POS system. For that, you'll want to check out other options, like the Mini or Clover Station 2018.
There are two 'components:' the Clover Go app and the (optional) reader. The app is necessary for taking cards, while the reader is optional but strongly recommended. If you don't use the reader, you'll have to key in card details, which will cost more and is a less secure option for card acceptance.
Clover Go includes several helpful features. You can set tax rates, give customers the option to add a tip, email or text receipts to your customers at the end of transactions, and manage multiple employee accounts with specific permissions for each employee, ensuring that only managers have access to management functions or only authorized employees can issue refunds.
A multi-user feature lets management view retail time sales data while employees are out in the field taking payments. And if customers want to pay with cash, you can keep track of those transactions as well for easy accounting.
The Clover Go app includes limited inventory capabilities, including the ability to enter item descriptions and prices. Items can be added and edited from the Clover dashboard, and you can optionally attach a barcode scanner to more easily ring up items during checkout.
Some inventory capabilities are only available on certain Clover software plans, so be sure to check for the features you need when choosing your plan.
In autumn 2016, a second version of the Clover Go reader was released. As mentioned, this version is the first smartphone option that accepts all three current common ways of paying – traditional magnetic stripe credit and debit cards, EMV chip cards, and contactless (NFC) payments like Apple Pay or Android Pay. First Data also claims that chip card authorization takes less than 4 seconds – a much faster authorization than customers are experiencing at some locations that take chip cards.
The new Clover Go also offers Bluetooth connections, meaning it will be usable with iPhones even if Apple removes the headphone jack, as is rumored to be happening on future iPhones. The First Data video below provides an intro to the new Clover Go:
The Clover Go app works seamlessly among multiple Clover hardware products, so if you have a Clover POS you can add a Clover Go for use on the road. The example First Data provides is a delivery service. A pizza shop could start a transaction on a Clover POS system when taking the order by phone, and the delivery employee could finish that same transaction on the Clover Go when bringing the food to the customer’s house. That allows you to get lower (swiped) transaction rates rather than keying in the customer's card details when they place the order by phone.
When you use Clover Go, you benefit from First Data’s TransArmor security. TransArmor helps protect customer data using encryption and tokenization technology. The Clover Go is PCI PTS 3.1 certified. The Clover Go app doesn’t store card information or sensitive details on your phone or tablet.
An online dashboard lets you easily access reports for your business and track cash sales. Clover Go’s Insightics reporting offers clear details on sales activity along with insights on other local companies in your industry. You can manage your business from any internet-connected device.
Clover Go comes with customer support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a problem or question about your Clover Go, you’ll be able to reach customer service to help you so you don’t miss out on sales. Depending on who you choose for a processing company, 24 hour customer service may be through that processor or may go direct to First Data's customer service department.
The Clover Go app itself is free to download, but accepting cards comes with costs. First Data’s website for the Clover Go publishes pricing of 2.69% + $0.05 per transaction. It’s important to note that this pricing is for accounts direct with First Data, but may not include all fees and may vary depending on your specific business. If you choose to work with a different processor, the costs will be different.
If you’re not going directly through First Data to get your Clover Go, the company you work with will set the pricing. If you need help shopping smartphone processing solutions, be sure to check out the CardFellow quote comparison tool.
In addition to the costs of accepting cards, you'll pay a one-time fee for the reader itself. The cost varies depending on where you purchase it, but you can expect it to cost between $39 and $129. The reader on Clover's website is priced at $69, but some processors may charge more or less.
Keep in mind that lower cost or "free" readers may come with higher transaction costs, which would negate any savings.
Credit card processors set pricing specific to your business, and you don't need to be a big company to get great rates. That's true for using the Clover Go app and reader as well. Since any processor on First Data's platform can offer the Clover Go, that gives you a lot of room to negotiate and find the best possible pricing.
The key to lowering credit card processor fees is to secure the lowest markup over cost. That means you'll need to secure a transparent pricing model that lays out the wholesale cost (interchange and assessments) and the processor's markup. CardFellow can help walk you through those numbers. Fill out a free business profile and give us a call for help.
Most businesses know Square as a mobile processing option and wonder how it stacks up to Clover. This topic is so popular that we've actually created a separate article, Clover vs. Square.
But for the sake of looking at just the Go vs. the Square readers, we'll recap some important points here. In truth, the two are quite similar, but there are some key differences, notably merchant account issuance, pricing, processor compatibility, and customer service.
Square is an aggregator, meaning that they don't actually issue you your own merchant account. Instead, you essentially "sublet" their account. The Clover Go system, on the other hand, comes from processing companies that issue merchant accounts directly. Does that matter for your needs? It may or it may not.
As a rough rule of thumb, having your own merchant account is more "stable" than having an account with an aggregator. Because aggregators don't do upfront underwriting / due dilligence, they sometimes circle back around to close a business' account later. While it's true that any processor can close your account after it's opened, this appears to be a more common problem with the aggregators, who haven't evaluated risk when you opened your account. Processors issuing merchant accounts evaluate clients upfront, resulting in a lower chance of unexpected account closure.
Square offers flat rate pricing while Clover Go pricing varies by processor. While Square's flat rate looks simple, it's not usually the most cost effective. If you're willing to pay more for simplicity, Square will provide that, but don't confuse simplicity for lowest cost. Unless you fit a specific profile, Square will be more expensive than competitive interchange plus pricing.
However, don't assume that Clover Go will automatically be lower cost. You'll still need to ensure that you're signing up with a processor offering a competitive markup. You can do that right through this profile by requesting quotes from companies that support Clover Go. The quotes you receive through CardFellow come with our protections, including our rate guard feature to protect you from price increases, a no cancellation fee clause, ongoing statement monitoring, and more. Try it now!
Square's app and reader only works with Square for credit card processing. The Clover Go app and reader work with any processor that operates on First Data's platform. (And there are a lot of them.) That gives you a lot more choice in who you work with to handle your processing, which in turn increases your ability to secure better pricing. (More competition for your business = lower costs for you.)
That said, having more choices also means more effort narrowing down the best option. Don't make the mistake of trusting processor reviews and "top processor" lists, as they can easily steer you to the wrong fit for your business. (Remember, pricing and terms are set individually, so one reviewer's rates and terms won't be the same as yours.)
The easiest way to find a competitive, transparent processing solution is to use CardFellow processor comparison marketplace. Check it out here.
Along those lines, customer service will vary. Square is not particularly well-known for customer service. While the company technically has a customer service phone number, you'll need a customer code to use it. Some businesses report difficulty reaching Square even with their customer code. If your account is locked or closed for any reason, you'll be trying to work it out with Square through emails, which some businesses report are canned emails that don't address their questions.
That's not to say customer service with Clover will automatically be good. In truth, it will depend on the processing company that you choose. Different processors have different levels of customer service. However, in all cases, you'd be able to contact First Data customer service. The company does have phone numbers and support reps available 24 hours/day. If you choose your processor through CardFellow, you're also welcome to contact us for assistance.
Have you used the Clover Go app and reader? What did you think? Leave a review!
Had multiple problems with devices and then after resolving those, First Data decided to start charging annual service fees of $119. They say it's for compliance, etc. Considering I was using Clover Go as a back up to my regular credit card processing with First Data, double account fees was a no go. I canceled both First Data accounts and will use Square from now on.
Trying to get a replacement Clover Go is a lesson in frustration. Have called, which is an adventure in itself. Got transferred to 3 different agents about same issue. My device doesn’t hold a charge, I have had to make customer read me card info while I key it in, ridiculous! Was told I could get a new one, not so, I have to pay for replacement. Seems I will be switching to a square or other device.
Lied about fees, told me I would not get charged if I don't use it. They are now charging me $44 a month. Making me pay $495 to cancel. Horrible company, stay away.
Company lies. Funds NOT available next day at midnight.. don't come until late afternoon at best. AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
They are full of hidden fees.
I have jewelry retail pop-ups around Los Angeles and I needed a Square kind of fast credit card payment methods for my business. The reason I chose Clover Go was lower charges on the received payments. I have been using Clover Go for a year and I sometimes have bugs/errors and problems. The biggest issue happened during last Christmas. In December, a lot of transactions we made disappeared and there is no info about the transactions that I could prove and claim for that. My jewelry was sold. I lost my products and over $2500.00. The customer service was not helpful. I sent all of my sales reports, faxed them. I tried to reach Clover Go and Merchant Service managers. Instead of covering my loss, they offered me to buy new terminal or cancel my agreement. They were not helpful and sometimes even rude. My suggestion to people who has a startup business please DO NOT USE CLOVER GO. Thanks.
I opened my company and bank account at Bank of America who signed me up for Clover, promising the most I'll pay is 3.2% - turns out there are dozens of hidden fees I was not told about. The worst part is THEY PUT IN THE WRONG TAX ID!!! I called like 10 times up until now and the refuse to change it. Unbelievable.
I am currently trying to get Clover's marketing verbiage off of my receipts to my customers. Yep. They PLASTER THEIR NAME all over YOUR customer's emailed receipts. They take advantage of YOUR business, your clients and your work by plastering THEIR name "Clover" all over your emailed sales receipts. They are REFUSING to change having their name IN BOLD all over the receipts. While YOUR company name remains in small font. Support call is about 45 minutes. Answer to this problem? "They are waiting "until they get enough customers" complaining about this." Really? Change it now. It's been over a month and they refuse to stop marketing on the back of my company's work and my customers.
The Clover Go can take chip cards and works with any processing company that uses First Data.