As a small business owner, your choice of a payment processor is a crucial one. With cash payments being steadily on the decline, you need to offer a variety of payment methods to your customers. In fact, the share of card transactions in 2020 was a whopping 67% while cash transactions stood at 12%.
Choosing the right payment processor is critical because you don’t want a sub-optimal solution that eats away at your profits. You need a solution that suits your unique business needs and offers the best features at the lowest rates.
Both Clover and Stax offer robust, reliable, and impressive payment processing features, but which of them is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses? In this article, we’ll review both payment processing solutions and see how they compare against each other.
Stax offers three monthly subscription plans for small businesses: Growth, Pro, and Ultimate. Each one offers a different set of features that suit the varied needs of small business owners in different startup stages.
- The Growth plan includes free terminals or mobile readers, ACH processing, dashboard, analytics, and free surcharging capabilities.
- The Pro plan includes all that is included in Growth as well as digital invoicing, website-hosted payment links, mobile payments, API key integration capabilities, and enhanced dashboards and reporting.
- The Ultimate plan subsumes both Growth and Pro features, and in addition, provides recurring invoices, scheduled payments, one-click shopping cart setup, automatic updates for stored credit cards, data exports, and dedicated account managers.
Clover, on the other hand, provides a single all-in-one system for payments. The Clover POS system accepts payments from debit and credit card swipes using the Clover credit card machine. It is equally effective for online and gift cards. The Clover Mini also facilitates contactless payments.
- Clover provides a powerful analytics tool to help you gather insights and keep tabs on metrics such as revenue and sales.
- Clover is a flexible cloud-based POS system. The Dashboard gives you access from anywhere and even helps you run your business on the go.
When it comes to the sheer range of features, Stax is a winner hands-down. It provides three different plans that are uniquely suited to the needs of small businesses in various stages of growth. In contrast, Clover’s all-in-one solution may not be the best fit for businesses that are just starting out and/or need only a limited range of features.
The software and applications that your POS solutions are compatible with can liberate or suffocate you as an entrepreneur — especially when you are looking to scale up. Let’s take a closer look at the integration capabilities of Stax vs. Clover.
Stax Platform’s customizable and all-in-one API allows integration with wide-ranging software. Stax’s API and SDKs can easily accommodate any platform or mobile app into the payments ecosystem. This allows you to have end-to-end control of your user experience and meet your unique business needs.
HindSite Software, Service Fusion, Bigtime, and SaaSOptics are a few software biggies that Stax collaborates with. The platform’s various integrations are some of the greatest benefits that Stax offers. The solution is flexible, scalable, and highly customizable.
In contrast, the Clover POS system provides integration with two service providers: Infuse and Abreeze Technology. Infuse specializes in services like sales, reporting, accounting, club management, and inventory management. Abreeze provides solutions like legacy system integration, warehouse management, CRM/ERP integration, and remote ordering.
The pricing model is a very important consideration when choosing a payment processor for your business. Let’s try to understand how each provider charges you for its services.
Stax offers subscription-based pricing with a zero percent markup. This is great for small and mid-sized businesses having a decent volume of sales each month. The three Stax subscription plans mentioned are priced as follows:
- Growth – $99 per month
- Pro – $159 per month
- Ultimate – $199 per month
The rate is flat for all kinds of payment methods. This means no matter how you get your payments, no overhead or hidden charges will lurk in the shadows. The simplicity and transparency of Stax’s pricing model make it an attractive choice for small and medium-sized businesses.Learn More
Clover gets things slightly mixed up here. They claim to have a flat-rate pricing model just like Stax. However, it really depends on the kind of services for which you are getting paid. With Clover, you will pay one of these rates:
- 2.6% + $0.10 (Payments, Essentials)
- 2.3% + $0.10 (Register, Table Service, Counter Service)
There is another twist here. The above rates are for card-present transactions. In case you have a card-not-present transaction, Clover will charge you at the rate of 3.5% + $0.10. Besides this, businesses may expect to pay $39.95/month for the software and about $1,400 for the complete hardware on average.
So when it comes to a Stax vs. Clover comparison in pricing, the verdict has to be in favor of Stax. This is because of its clarity on rates and uniformity across businesses.
Does your payment processor help you out when a payment gets stuck or a customer asks for a refund? Which channels are they available on and how long do they take to respond? These are factors you must consider before choosing a provider. Here’s how the two solutions are faring on the customer support front:
Stax’s customer support team can be reached via phone or their website. They also provide a live chat tool on their site. Stax uses technology from Zendesk to help you create and track support tickets.
You can also help yourself by accessing their extensive support resources on the Stax Knowledge Base. Quite clearly, Stax has an omnichannel presence and customers often find their support services quick, easy, and effective.
Clover also provides a self-help center with guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting tips. This is supplemented with plenty of videos on their website as well as on YouTube. They also have a fairly active social media presence across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
On issues with third-party apps, however, the app providers themselves manage assistance. If you go through some reviews about Clover, you’ll find customers citing rude behavior by representatives, dodgy responses, and general dissatisfaction.
Customer ratings and reviews
Social media and other forums of discussion provide a great opportunity to listen to what customers are saying. If you are looking to invest in a payment processing solution, it’s better to hear it straight from the customers themselves. Here’s what we gathered on the Stax vs. Clover debate by scouring pages after pages of customer reviews:
Stax mostly has customers raving about their honest pricing, great customer support, and interoperability. Phrases like “great customer service,” “great experience,” and “best online payment solution” can be seen in abundance on a popular review forum.
On Trustpilot, a whopping 76% of reviewers have rated Stax as “Excellent” and another 14% as “Great.” One frustrated reviewer complained about delayed chargebacks that Stax quickly responded to — a testimony of their proactive support.
Customers have vented their frustrations about the high costs and lack of features by actually writing long-form blog posts in the comments section.
Pros and cons
Stax is great on a number of fronts such as transparent pricing, seamless software integration, easy-to-use dashboard and analytics, same-day funding, and highly responsive customer support.
The only complaints mostly revolve around the high monthly fees for most subscription plans. Stax is slightly on the expensive side if you have a new business with monthly transactions of less than $10,000.
Clover is easy to set up and use, and quite adaptive. The Clover Station and Clover Mini are fairly well-built products. Clover also offers additional features for gathering customer feedback.
However, Clover is suited mostly for businesses like restaurants and leaves out a wide array of other types of businesses. Many customers find the app confusing to operate, paralleled only by their complicated pricing scheme.
Its limited features and reporting are an area that Clover draws a surprising amount of flak on. Customer support is slightly problematic as well. Customers often complain about being left high and dry on issues with chargebacks, payment glitches, and ease of access.
Stax offers a tiered custom pricing plan that fits perfectly well with your needs if you are a growing business. As you scale up, you can subscribe to their advanced plans which are actually inexpensive given your economies of scale.
Stax is also a great solution for established professional services. This is owing to its invoicing and billing software, affordable transaction fees, and ACH payments. Stored payments and recurring billing options also make Stax a great choice for subscription-based retailers.
Clover’s adaptability and versatility make it a great choice for small businesses across industries. Clover has been touted to be the favorite for restaurants, spas, gyms, and retailers. However, the solution has plenty of scope for improvement in a lot of areas as already discussed.
Both Stax and Clover back themselves on being robust payment processing solutions. However, Stax has a well-chalked-out strategy, an appetite to listen, and a willingness to respond. The key lies in their relentless focus on enhancing end-to-end customer experience, boosting satisfaction, and seizing customer loyalty.
To learn more about how Stax’s payment processing solutions can help you scale your small business efficiently, contact us today.
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