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Updated Jan 17, 2024

Merchant One vs. Clover: Credit Card Processing Comparison

Merchant One and Clover are two of the best credit card processors for small businesses. See how they compare.

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 As more consumers abandon cash for plastic and mobile payments, it’s more important than ever that small businesses learn how to accept credit cards.

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.

Clover vs. Merchant One

Merchant One vs. Clover Compared

This chart shows the key differences between Merchant One and Clover.

 

Merchant One

Clover

Cost

$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 

Third-party integrations

300-plus, including QuickBooks, Salesforce, Zoho and HubSpot

500-plus, including QuickBooks, Xero, BigCommerce, Facebook and Amazon

Hardware

Pax S80, Pax S500, FD130, Verifone VX-520 and Clover devices

Clover Go, Clover Station Solo, Clover Station Duo, Clover Flex and Clover Mini

E-commerce

Virtual terminal, checkout page, 175 online shopping carts and open application programming interface (API)

Virtual terminal, online ordering, integrations and inventory management

Customer service

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

Who Do We Recommend Merchant One For?

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: 

  • Merchant One is a subscription-based credit card processor, with rates ranging from 0.29% to 1.99% per transaction. 
  • Merchant One’s customer service is rated highly on user-generated review sites. 
  • You can gain access to free equipment when you sign a three-year contract.

See our full review of Merchant One.

Did You Know?Did you know
Credit card processing fees consist of interchange rates set by the card networks and the processor’s markup set by the credit card processing company itself.

Who Do We Recommend Clover For?

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:

  • Clover offers a full suite of top-notch POS hardware/software in addition to credit card processing services.
  • You can choose from various plans and equipment options to suit your business’s needs.
  • Unlike some POS providers, Clover does not charge per employee. 

See our full review of Clover.

Merchant One vs. Clover Comparison

Cost

Merchant One

Similar to Clover, Merchant One’s pricing plan works by charging a subscription fee as well as a fee for processing credit card transactions. 

  • Subscription fee: $6.95 per month, plus a $99 annual fee 
  • Keyed-in transactions: 0.29% to 1.99% per transaction for POS terminal or virtual terminal payments
  • In-person transactions: 0.29% to 1.55% per transaction for swiped, tapped or dipped card payments

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. 

Clover

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. 

 

Starter

Standard

Advanced

Full-service dining

$150

$195

$290

Quick-service dining

$90

$130

$175

Retail shops

$60

$130

$175

Professional services

$14.95

$50

$120

Personal services

$50

$90

$130

Home and field services

$14.95

$49

$50

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: 

  • Starter: 3.5% plus 10 cents for card-not-present transactions
  • Standard: 3.5% plus 10 cents for card-not-present transactions; 2.6% plus 10 cents for card-present transactions
  • Advanced: 3.5% plus 10 cents for card-not-present transactions; 2.3% plus 10 cents for card-present transactions

Clover also charges a few incidental fees for chargebacks, disputed transactions, a PIN adjustment and even your application.  

  • Chargeback fee: $30 for credit cards and $25 for rejected automated clearing house payments.
  • Disputed transactions: $30 
  • PIN adjustment: $25
  • Application fee: $149 (nonrefundable) 

Winner: Merchant One

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. 

FYIDid you know
Check to see if you'd be considered a high-risk business as you research credit card processors. This can affect whether a credit card processing company will work with you.

Third-party integrations

Merchant One

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

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.

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Gusto
  • ADP
  • BigCommerce
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • eBay 

Winner: Clover

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. 

TipTip
Read our review of QuickBooks Online for a closer look at this top accounting software provider.

Hardware

Merchant One

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:

  • Pax S80
  • FD130
  • Verifone VX-520

Notably, Merchant One also offers equipment from Clover, including the Clover Station, Clover Mini and Clover Flex. 

Pax S80 Merchant One

The Pax S80 is one of the handheld terminals offered for free by Merchant One. Source: Merchant One

Clover

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 Go: This small reader pairs with a smartphone to accept credit card payments from your mobile device. 
  • Clover Flex: This handheld tablet can be used to accept credit cards tableside or on the sales floor. 
  • Clover Mini: This more advanced tablet-like device can be used to accept payments, as well as manage inventory and personnel. 
  • Clover Station: This restaurant-focused device can be used to create custom orders, split checks and take online orders. 
  • Clover Station Pro: This advanced terminal can be used to create loyalty programs, bar tabs and more. 

Clover POS device

Clover’s POS devices are offered by more than 3,000 authorized dealers, including competitor Merchant One. Source: Clover

Winner: 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. 

E-commerce

Merchant One

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: 

  • Shopping cart integration: Merchant One integrates with more than 175 online shopping cart providers. 
  • Checkout page: You can use Merchant One to build your own hosted checkout page, complete with a “buy now” button.
  • Open API: Merchant One features an open API for developers to create tailored e-commerce solutions for small businesses. 
  • Virtual terminal: With Merchant One’s virtual terminal, you can manually key-in customer credit card data. 

Merchant One virtual terminal

This screenshot shows the user interface for Merchant One’s virtual terminal. Source: Merchant One 

Clover

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:

  • Platform integration: Clover integrates with several major e-commerce platforms, including Etsy, eBay and Amazon.
  • Online store: Through a partnership with BigCommerce, Clovers users can build their own e-commerce store. 
  • Online ordering: Clover includes tools for creating interactive online menus and pickup/delivery for restaurant businesses. 
  • Payment page: Clover offers a hosted online payment page for accepting debit and credit cards. 
  • Inventory management: Using the Clover dashboard, you can manage your e-commerce business’s orders, inventory, customer data and more. [Read about the effective inventory management.]
TipTip
Be sure to check out our guide to starting an Etsy store for more information on using this popular crafts platform.

Clover delivery setup

With Clover, you can set up delivery services for your business’s products. Source: Clover 

Winner: 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. 

Customer service

Merchant One

In our investigation, we found that Merchant One prioritizes customer service more than other credit card processors. Technical support options include the following:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Email support
  • Text-based support
  • Dedicated account manager 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Merchant One boasts an impressive 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot for customer service. 

Clover

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:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Email support
  • Online FAQs page

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. 

Winner: Merchant One

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. 

Merchant One vs. Clover Recap

Choose Merchant One if: 

  • You want a more cost-effective monthly subscription. 
  • You need lower credit card processing rates.
  • You’re looking for white-glove treatment when it comes to customer service. 

Choose Clover if: 

  • You want a large number of integrations with third-party business apps. 
  • You need easy-to-use POS hardware that’s simple to set up. 
  • You’re looking for an integrated POS and credit card processing solution. 

FAQs

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.
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