Merchant One and Clover are two of the best credit card processors that focus on serving small businesses. To help you choose between these two industry heavyweights, we did a deep dive into their offerings. We evaluated both services on several criteria, including cost, e-commerce abilities, hardware options, integrations and customer service.
This chart shows the key differences between Merchant One and Clover.
$6.95 per month plus $99 per year;
0.29% to 1.99% per transaction
$9.95 to $290 per month;
2.3% to 5% plus 10 cents per transaction
300-plus, including QuickBooks, Salesforce, Zoho and HubSpot
500-plus, including QuickBooks, Xero, BigCommerce, Facebook and Amazon
Pax S80, Pax S500, FD130, Verifone VX-520 and Clover devices
Clover Go, Clover Station Solo, Clover Station Duo, Clover Flex and Clover Mini
Virtual terminal, checkout page, 175 online shopping carts and open application programming interface (API)
Virtual terminal, online ordering, integrations and inventory management
24/7 phone support, text, email, online guides and dedicated account manager
24/7 phone support, email and live chat; frequently asked questions (FAQs) and online guides
Merchant One is best suited for high-volume businesses. Its subscription-based pricing model allows the company to offer a lower markup on its credit card processing services. That means Merchant One takes a smaller cut of your sales than other processors, which translates into fatter profit margins for your business.
We also like that Merchant One has a white-glove approach to customer service. The company’s technical support is available around the clock, and you can also contact a dedicated account manager. Merchant One offers a hosted checkout page for e-commerce sites so you can start selling online, as well as conduct in-person sales with contactless payments, EMV chips and mobile wallets.
Merchant One charges $6.95 per month, plus a $99 annual membership fee. Processing rates range from 0.29% to 1.99% per transaction. You are also required to sign a three-year contract:
See our full review of Merchant One.
Clover is an excellent choice for startups and new small businesses that are getting off the ground. In addition to credit card processing, we like that Clover offers one of the best point-of-sale (POS) systems for small businesses. Its integrated ecosystem of software and hardware makes Clover a one-stop shop for new businesses that want to get set up quickly and start taking payments. Clover’s hardware is sleek and user-friendly. It’s not difficult to see why many competing credit card processors (including Merchant One) integrate with Clover POS equipment. You can process credit card and digital payments, manage product returns, oversee inventory, enable tipping, start a customer loyalty program and produce informative analytic reports.
Clover’s pricing model is a combination of subscription and interchange-plus pricing. The company charges a monthly subscription fee ranging from $9.95 to $290 per month, depending on what plan you choose. You will also pay a credit card processing rate of 2.3% to 5% plus 10 cents per transaction:
See our full review of Clover.
Similar to Clover, Merchant One’s pricing plan works by charging a subscription fee as well as a fee for processing credit card transactions.
If you want to partner with Merchant One, you’ll be required to sign an agreement for a minimum three-year term. If you decide to cancel before then, you may be hit with an early termination fee. The amount of the fee depends on your equipment; you will be charged either a flat fee of $295 or $25 per remaining month on your contract, whichever is greater. You may be able to negotiate credit card processing fees by contacting the company directly.
One unique aspect of Clover is that it offers a wide variety of plans based on business category. Clover has three plan tiers (Starter, Standard and Advanced) for six different business types (full-service dining, quick-service dining, retail, professional services, personal services and home services). Each plan includes hardware that is appropriate for the business type. Plans can be purchased for either a monthly subscription or single annual fee. Monthly costs for Clover’s plans are shown below.
Home and field services
Additionally, Clover charges credit card processing fees that consist of a percentage of the transaction, plus a small, fixed fee. These fees depend on whether you subscribe to the Starter, Standard or Advanced plan:
Clover also charges a few incidental fees for chargebacks, disputed transactions, a PIN adjustment and even your application.
For business owners looking for the least expensive option, Merchant One beats Clover on pricing. Its monthly subscription fee is lower and its credit card processing fees are far lower as well. The only downside is that Merchant One requires you to sign a contract to access these low rates, whereas Clover offers more flexibility. Make sure you know what to look for in a credit card processing service agreement before committing.
Merchant One allows more than 300 integrations with third-party business apps. Merchant One also features an open API for businesses that want to create custom integrations. The built-in integrations include the following popular services.
Clover facilitates over 500 integrations with third-party business apps and social media platforms. You can search the full catalog on the Cover App Market. A few examples include the below.
Although both processors boast an impressive amount of integrations, Clover wins based on the numbers. However, notably, both Merchant One and Clover offer integrations that the other doesn’t. We recommend business owners check both services for compatibility with their preferred apps.
Unlike Clover, Merchant One doesn’t produce its own hardware. Instead, it is an authorized reseller of certain compatible POS devices. Some of the hardware is included for free when you sign a contract, such as the following handheld devices:
Notably, Merchant One also offers equipment from Clover, including the Clover Station, Clover Mini and Clover Flex.
The Pax S80 is one of the handheld terminals offered for free by Merchant One. Source: Merchant One
Clover offers a wide variety of in-house POS devices for business owners who want to upgrade their credit card terminals. You can choose from mobile card readers, handheld terminals and full-service cash registers. [Read our full review of Clover POS for an in-depth look at the point-of-sale software.]
Clover’s POS devices are offered by more than 3,000 authorized dealers, including competitor Merchant One. Source: Clover
Clover is the clear winner when it comes to hardware offerings. All of Clover’s devices are plug-and-play, with little required setup and an easy learning curve. The equipment is widely offered by rival credit card processors, including Merchant One, which speaks to how well it is regarded within the industry. Small business owners can choose from a variety of Clover devices to suit their needs.
While Merchant One doesn’t have the same hardware variety, its credit card processing services are available on some Clover devices. Merchant One also gives free equipment with a three-year contract.
Merchant One boasts a number of useful e-commerce tools, often going beyond the capabilities of most credit card processors. These functions include the following:
This screenshot shows the user interface for Merchant One’s virtual terminal. Source: Merchant One
Clover has user-friendly e-commerce solutions for crafting an online store or website, streamlining order processing and efficiently handling inventory and customer information. Through the Clover dashboard, businesses can market products, securely accept online payments, design menus and enable customers to schedule appointments. We found the following aspects notable:
With Clover, you can set up delivery services for your business’s products. Source: Clover
Although both services provide a solid slate of e-commerce tools, Clover has more advanced capabilities. We were impressed by Clover’s integration with major e-commerce platforms, which is a feature not offered by most credit card processors. Indeed, Clover’s focus on providing differentiated solutions for various types of businesses puts it ahead of the pack in terms of e-commerce tools.
In our investigation, we found that Merchant One prioritizes customer service more than other credit card processors. Technical support options include the following:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Merchant One boasts an impressive 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot for customer service.
We like that Clover doesn’t skimp on options for customer service, although it doesn’t provide a dedicated account manager like Merchant One. Technical support options include the below:
Clover maintains a 4 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot for its customer service. Although customers generally report positive experiences, some complained about difficulty getting answers and problems with canceling.
Merchant One wins on customer service based on its variety of technical support options and strong Trustpilot reviews compared to Clover. Credit card processors often miss the mark on customer service, but Merchant One customers report being satisfied with their service after calling in.
Choose Merchant One if:
Choose Clover if:
Clover is one of the few credit card processors with full mobile capabilities. The Clover Go app allows you to process credit card payments with an iPhone and other devices.
Merchant One was acquired by payments company Fiserv in 2023, which, notably, is the same company that owns Clover.
Clover equipment is sold by more than 3,000 authorized dealers, including Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo, Restaurant Depot and Sam’s Club.