Where to Go After Clover: How to Find an Alternative to Your All-in-One System

When it comes to choosing a payment processor, all-in-one systems like Clover are easy, convenient payments options. They have everything you need to start accepting credit card payments right away, making them a popular choice for new business owners. But as many have learned, the convenience comes at a cost. Not only is Clover hardware expensive, but payment processing through Clover also comes with significantly higher per-transaction rates.

When it comes to choosing a payment processor, all-in-one systems like Clover are easy, convenient payments options. They have everything you need to start accepting credit card payments right away, making them a popular choice for new business owners. But as many have learned, the convenience comes at a cost. Not only is Clover hardware expensive, but payment processing through Clover also comes with significantly higher per-transaction rates.But the costliest part of it all? Clover is a closed system, which limits the mobility of businesses that use it. Because Clover hardware only works with Clover payments, businesses are forced to continue using their services despite a steep price tag. That means that if you want to make a switch, you’ll have to get rid of your Clover system and buy entirely new payments hardware. Ouch.Business owners should recognize, however, that the costs of switching pale in comparison to costs that can come with an all-in-one system. Payment processing fees are the second highest operating expense that US businesses face, second only to labor. So, for growing businesses, finding a processing company that won’t cost an arm and a leg is vital. However, it can be difficult to know where to start, so here are a few tips to keep in mind while searching for an alternative to Clover:

1. You won’t find a one-size-fits-all solution.

Unfortunately, most businesses that claim to offer hardware, point-of-sale (POS) software, and payments in a bundle will also come with a hefty price tag. So, try not to take the easy way out. Sure, your search will be a tad bit more complicated, but it also means that you’ll have more control over how your business runs and how much you pay in processing fees. During your search, keep in mind that while hardware and processing can go hand-in-hand, it’s a good idea to find your POS elsewhere since many industries have specialized point-of-sale systems that were specifically created to cater to one type of business.

2. Start with your POS system.

When it comes to replacing your Clover system, your new POS will probably end up being what has the largest impact on day-to-day operations. The good news? You already have experience with one of the most well-developed POS systems out there, so you probably know exactly what you want (or don’t want) in your new POS.Like I said earlier, many industries these days have specialized POS systems that were created to address the needs of one industry. That’s the best place to start. You’d be surprised at how specific some of these systems can be – hair salons, restaurants, and even marijuana dispensaries have their own specialized POS systems.Once you’ve found a few that fit your trade, it’s time to use your experience with Clover to pick and choose the features you want. Keep in mind, of course, that some of the features offered by these industry-specific POS systems will be entirely unique to your field, so be sure to carefully evaluate if and how those would affect your business.

3. Shop around for processing.

Once you’ve found your new POS, it’s time to start looking for a credit card processor. The great thing about choosing your POS first is that you’ll weed out the processors that are unable to integrate into your chosen system, either directly or via a payment gateway, effectively reducing the number of processors you’ll have to research.Remember, it’s important to be careful when choosing your processor, too. Don’t simply choose the first processor you find that integrates into your chosen POS. That’s a mistake that can end up costing you just as much as sticking with your closed-off Clover system. Before signing onto a contract, make sure that the payment processor offers you a transparent pricing model and discloses any additional fees they’ll charge.When searching for your processor, shop around as much as possible. In fact, it’s a good idea to look into a minimum of three separate processors. This way you’ll be able to use the prices offered by other processors as leverage while negotiating for lower fees. Once you’ve reached a satisfactory price and created a new merchant account with your payment processor, they’ll assist you in integrating into your POS and selecting new hardware.Yes, all this research can certainly be tedious, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Choosing the right combination of POS system, processor, and hardware can save you thousands of dollars per year, making the time investment well worth it. By taking the time to really get to know the payments industry, you are taking a huge step towards minimizing your expenses and, in turn, increasing profits.

Michael Seaman

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. In his free time, Michael likes to play with his two daughters and skateboard.

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