Clover Station is an all-in-one, point of sale system by Clover. The Clover Station original has existed for several years, but Clover announced that it is phasing it out by 2022 and introduced the Clover Station, a new and improved version of the original. There is currently no restocking of the original device, but software updates are available on the Clover market app. To get your hands on the Clover Station you invest from $1,049.99 to $1,399 depending on the bundle you choose to have. The bundles available come with different hardware pricing:
- Clover Station with thermal printer and a cash drawer- $1,049.99
- Clover Station with NFC printer and cash drawer- $1,149.99
- Clover Station with thermal printer, cash drawer and Clover mini- $1,399.99
These hardware bundles can be bought through First Data and cannot be reprogrammed so you to have settled on the proper fit for your business before purchase. The new Clover Station has a larger swivel display screen 14” with a measurement of 11.0” * 7.5” and 9” from top to countertop and a weight of 5 lb. It’s mounted and not flexible to be moved about, but the screen can tilt either horizontally or vertically. The vertical display has many details, however.
The Clover Station by Clover POS is network enabled and can use Ethernet, wireless network, Bluetooth and also has four USB ports. The front-facing camera helps in accepting contactless (NFC payments) and comes with a built in chip card and magstripe reader. The station has a QR and barcode scanner and is partnered with a printer and a cash drawer. For printing receipts, the Clover Station uses 3-1/8” *230” thermal paper rolls except Star kitchen printer that takes 3-1/8” *150” rolls.
Some of the Clover Station applications include: register, orders, sale, refund, transactions, cash log, close out, reporting, inventory management, employee or staff management, customers, authorizations, phone sale, manual printer, voice authorization, rewards, printers, feedback, promos, app market, help and setup.
The station helps streamline the retail and restaurant options with the following features:
The Clover Station has a built-in chip card reader capabilities that allows it to read credit and debit chip cards as well as contactless payments and cash. The in-person card payments rates are 2.3% + $0.10 per transaction and the keyed-in transactions at 3.5% + $0.10. This rate varies depending on the bank or financial provider.
PIN requiring payments are not processed, however one needs to tether the Clover mini device or the FD40 app. Clover Mini is used to accept PINs for debit EBT cards. When the Mini and FD40 are tethered, the POS cannot process payments and the merchant has to use the device to complete payment. The Station can bypass the PIN step and process the card as a signature debit.
The Clover Station lets you create categories, enter individual items, add variations and allow for modifiers to order.
- Clover lets you compartmentalize items and different categories to provide a convenient way of organizing merchandise. An item refers to individual goods and or dishes while categories allow you to form a group that will contain multiple individual items. This makes the Clover Station is the best of all the Clover devices for a variety of businesses as it comes with everything inbuilt into the system and one doesn’t have to purchase an app for additional POS system functionality unless a specific feature is missing.
- Modifiers and variants. Modifiers apply to restaurant items and are related to ensure customer receives the correct item or dish. Variants then lets you create an item and then specify that there are multiple versions. Easier for staff to correctly enter the item or meal requested as it also shows what is available and what is not.
The Clover Station is cloud based and stores your information online with multiple forms of compiling reports such as by filtering through dates, payments, type of transaction, employee and more. They are categorized into 4:
- Payment reports- these are reports that can be filtered further by timelines such as shifts, days, weeks, months, biannual and annual. They capture the type of payment, i.e. card or cash, time paid refunds and total collections. It can capture different departments so as to enable accounts reconciliation. Depending on the accounting requirements, reporting can be customized to receive appropriate data.
- Item reports- they show the items on sale, what is in stock, damages and the ones that need restocking.
- Discount reports- capture any discounts and rewards given.
- Taxes- helps compile the amount in revenue incurred through total sales during a given timeline to help in quick filing of returns to relevant authorities.
The Clover Station is efficient in building a customer profile to capture regularity in purchases by capturing their data. This program lets you set rewards depending on the number of visits one has had or their purchases. You can also provide a percentage off the next purchase as a way of retaining and appreciating your client base.
The points based system is another loyalty program that one can choose to activate where a customer earns points for every purchase. A receipt may be printed with a code to allow them to redeem points or claim them, whenever they feel ready.
This feature works hand in hand with the loyalty program. A receipt may be printed with a code that allows the customer to message back their experience or take part in a survey. This feature is free with the Clover Station but if advanced set up is required the merchant can purchase one at Clover.com.
This feature was rolled out early 2019 by Clover to provide centralized reporting across multiple locations that go up to 25. It works with multiple merchant IDs (MIDs) with the same email address, but is not fit for individually owned operations held under one name. It uses the register software monthly plan and is suggested for quick serve restaurants, full serve restaurants and simple retail businesses.
It helps in consolidating reports across different locations of the same business by tracking stock across multiple stores. One can update menus and pricing from a central place for all businesses, but works best with businesses with very little variations in items across locations.
The Clover Station helps with better management of employees by pre-authorizing their permissions, arranging sales under their names and evaluating employee performance in a timeline especially in regards to sales. Staff can clock in and out of their shifts as well as communicate among themselves to switch shifts.
Clover App Market
Wide and full access to the Clover market place is exclusively through the register app that Clover Station is well equipped with. One can access apps such as Quickbooks integration, payroll management, time clock management and recipe management among other depending on the needs at hand.
Extra apps may lead to an increase in monthly charges as fewer are free and that could be an annoyance to someone who needs an upgrade with little money. Some screens may also have buttons on top for apps like payroll and Quickbooks, but one can cancel them on the top corner to remove them. Clicking on them would lead one to a download page and is safe because of the security system installed.
Clover Station with Mini
This system utilizes two Clover devices, both the Clover Station and Clover mini. The Clover Station acts as the merchant device while the mini is the customer facing display. The mini is connected to the station using a USB cable to tether the two devices together. The USB ports are put into the USB ports of both the mini and at the Clover Station. After tethering, both devices are plugged into a power output, then the merchant has to download a USB Pay Display app from Clover market and install it.
The mini doesn’t have all the details displayed on the merchant device as all it displays is the items ordered, price, total, tax and discounts offered if any. The Clover Station does not process payments if the mini is attached, one has to clear using the mini in that instance.
The following are steps to be followed when setting up the Clover Station:
- Connect the receipt printer to one of the connectors at the bottom of the station.
- The hub should then be connected to the bottom of the station.
- Attach both connectors to the bottom of the device with a screw driver.
- Connect the power brick to the hub.
- Connect the power cable to the power brick.
- Plug in the power cable to an electric outlet.
- Press and hold the power button until the Clover logo appears.
Visit the First Data or Clover customer support to find more Clover Stations support you may require during a startup. Clover support is a 24/7 department that receives all forms of communication despite the time of day and have been proved to be reliable. They are also a click away in your app features on the screen.
If one opts for different hardware other than the Clover hardware, they are advised on a few that are compatible with the Clover Station. Change in hardware means one has to delete a pre-existing one through the following steps:
- Open the hardware app
- Click on the hardware name you want to remove
- On the right hand corner you can now click delete.
The following are some of the suggested hardwares:
- Hand held barcode scanners from ID Tech Value Scan II Mid-Range CCD Scanner.
- Kitchen printer that can withstand kitchen temperatures and environment such as Star Micronics SP742ML.
- A label printer helps a business put descriptions on their products. A label needs to be legible and meet the purpose of the label. The Brother QL-710W can print up to 90 labels a minute.
- The compatible weight scale with the Clover Station is the CAS SW-RS that measures up to 20 pounds.
Clover Station is adaptable to different kinds of industries even if it dominates some, but it can be whatever you want it to be. It’s best suited for businesses that want a feature rich simple point of sale process that comes compacted into well-designed and devices that are comfortable to operate. It’s not however the standard point of sale system you’re used to running a traditional business with like a restaurant or bar. So therefore, a learning curve for adapting to the device is necessary for you or your staff and should be taken into consideration before making commitment to it.
Softwares are also not as cheap per month and can get pricy. After setting up and getting settled into the system, you’ll find that it’s a very easy to learn system and can be taught to almost any staff quickly. Clover is now sold on multiple platforms other than First Data such as banks and other resellers. Its considered have the boss’s power at the fingertips of the user because of its ability to control one or multiple location functions from only tab away.