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Clover, Stripe, or Square: Which Credit Card Processing System Is Best for Your Business?

These days, virtually every business takes credit and debit cards. So, you need a system to process those cards. However, choosing the right option can seem confusing if you don’t know the facts. Clover, Stripe, and Square are all popular choices, but which will best suit your business’s needs? Here’s a comparison and guide on how to choose the best credit card processing system for your business.

Are you looking for expert insight on credit card processing? Connect with the pros at Cornerstone Credit Services!      

Who Owns Your Merchant Services Account?

A merchant services account is an account that is used strictly for accepting and sending payments by credit card or some other electronic method. Whoever owns your merchant services account with a credit card processing system has a certain amount of control over the funds in the account.

So, how do Clover, Stripe, and Square stack up?

With Clover, you own your merchant account. You do need to go through an application and verification process, but this system gives you more control over things like whether to issue a refund. When you choose Square or Stripe, they own the merchant account. In these cases, you are a sub-merchant of the credit card processing system company.

In addition, the system might not allow you to use a merchant account you already have. Clover devices can be used with some existing merchant accounts. Stripe and Square do not allow anyone to use existing merchant accounts.

Price Comparison

Comparing prices among credit card processing systems isn’t an easy task. The prices depend on the types of services you need and the amounts and volume of transactions you need to be processed.  To get a good comparison, you also need to compare the cost of setup, hardware, software, and transaction fees.

Some systems can be set up for free but make money with higher transaction fees. Both Stripe and Square have free setup options. Stripe doesn’t charge a monthly or annual fee, but they do charge transaction fees with an additional 1% for international transactions. Square also has a free setup option and charges transaction fees. With Clover, you can set up your system with no monthly fee for the first 30 days. You choose the software and hardware plan that meets your needs and the type of business you have. The price will differ based on whether you choose a Starter, Standard, or Advanced plan.

Customer Service

If you’ve ever struggled with inadequate customer service, you know that it can be frustrating and time-consuming to get help and answers. Great customer support is essential for any business owner but particularly for a new business owner using a payment processing system.

Square, unfortunately, has very low customer support ratings among its users. It has phone, chat, and email support, but the phone support isn’t 24/7. At first, Stripe offered only email support. In 2018, it added 24/7 phone and chat support for its users. Clover, on the other hand, offers customer support through email, a 24/7/365 call center, social media, and a vast knowledge base.

Is the System a Good Match for Your Business?

Different businesses have their own unique needs. Deciding which processing system to use is an individual choice based on what’s best for your unique business. Our blog describes what to look for in a credit card processing system. Here’s how these three systems fit the needs of particular businesses.

  • Square – good for low-volume merchants with quick setup and no long-term commitment
  • Stripe – good for businesses with most or all online sales
  • Clover – good for any volume of business and includes easy reports and sales-tracking

Discuss It with an Expert

The most effective way to get the best credit card processing system for you is to talk with someone familiar with the different systems. At Cornerstone Credit Services, we can help you make that determination. We learn about your business and what it needs. Then, we can explain details like different packages and their fees as well as all the features you get with each system. At CCS, we can help you make a choice that will prosper your business now and in the future!

Is your business just starting out or ready to make a change? Contact CCS for all your credit card processing needs!

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