POS systems have remained a mainstay at the forefront of physical business operations for the past few decades and up until recently, their function was relatively straightforward — give owners the ability to process electronic payments.
Merchant services for the bulk of this time were restricted to unwieldy countertop technologies until the arrival of mPOS capabilities, and the race began.
Clover Networks launched its flagship consumer payment app in early 2012 and it wasn’t long before it was snapped up by First Data, one of the world’s largest payment-processing companies. It then spent the next year developing Clover Station, a hardware merchant system that would make an Apple designer envious.
Game-Changing Features and Functions
Now, the tablet-based Android platform provides many additional services to simplify the aspect of running a business. These include payroll integration, employee management, CRM capabilities and inventory tracking, plus the following features:
- QR Code Scanning: Aside from being able to scan conventional barcodes, Clover Station can also accept QR codes via the on-board high-resolution camera.
- Wireless Connectivity: Though Ethernet connections are possible, wireless and Bluetooth connectivity options are also built into the system.
- Encrypted Swiper: Incorporated into the side of the display screen is an impressive swipe-reader designed for maximum reliability.
- Optional Peripherals: Aside from the included cash drawer, business owners may opt to purchase a high-speed receipt printer and handheld barcode scanner.
Though this is just a cursory glance at what the technology can offer, its brushed aluminium finish can completely transform the front end of any business.
App Installation and Infinite Customization
Unlike some other merchant POS systems, Clover Station is completely customizable with an ever-expanding and constantly updated application marketplace.
The majority of these apps are free, or provided for a low monthly rate as outlined by NMS, and sync across multiple mobile devices. This system is both adaptable and able to evolve alongside your operations, ensuring an interdependent working relationship made to last for years.
Additionally, any owners looking to unlock the full potential of their business and business models will find the performance analytics app Insightics a vital indicator for areas of high-risk or opportunity.
Swipe Fees and Integration
Clover Station is available from more than 3,000 companies and as such, there is a fair amount of elasticity when it comes to swipe fees. For example, purchasing the POS system from First Data itself will attract a starting rate from as low as 1.39 percent while other providers may charge as much as 2.50 percent. So be sure you do your research.
Non-swiped card transactions will incur an added fee of 1.10 percent, though some companies will offer to process these at a flat rate depending upon your sales volume, credit rating and a number of other factors.
Ultimately, it will depend upon who you ask and which bank or entity you decide to go through.
You will need to consider your options carefully, however, as the country moves away from the conventional magnetic strip-based technologies and over to the new chip-and-pin framework, a shift expected to be completed by October 2015.
Industries Set to Benefit the Most
As Clover Station has been designed with the needs of both the business and customer in mind, it will function above and beyond most – if not all – owner expectations. That said, restaurateurs and other small-to-medium retailers operating in high-traffic environments will find this particular POS system especially useful.
In fact, everyone in need of a low-cost alternative to buying from the slow-moving monopolies in supply of suboptimal devices by today’s standards will be set to benefit from the disruptive technology of the Cloud and Clover Station’s boon to the world of business.
Photo credit: Clover
Kayla Mathews is a writer and blogger with a passion for technology and gadgets. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter to get updates on all of her latest posts.