Clover vs PayPal: Which Works Best For Your Retail Business?

A customer deciding to pay on clover vs paypal.

Clover or PayPal—which of these two prominent players in the payment industry takes the cake? Payment providers have had to adapt their offerings to meet the needs of multichannel retailers and their customers. From cross-channel inventory tracking to digital wallets and virtual receipts, you need a payment provider that offers modern solutions and facilitates operational efficiency.

Clover and PayPal both offer a wide range of features to help businesses easily manage their finances. Let’s dive into both solutions’ attributes, pricing, and overall value to help you match the best fit for your business.

Payment Solutions Face-off: Clover vs PayPal

Understanding Clover: A Comprehensive Analysis

The Clover Payment System provides an all-in-one payment processing solution including credit card processing, point-of-sale hardware and software, and a virtual terminal. The system also supports online ordering, so you can provide your customers with a streamlined multichannel shopping experience.

Clover’s wide range of hardware lets you assemble your ideal customized combination of payment and operational features. Depending on the hardware you select, you can:

  • Accept payments in-store, on-the-go, or online.
  • Add on optional accessories like scanners, label printers, kitchen ticket printers, and cash drawers.
  • Track purchase histories and leverage customer data.
  • Create personalized shopping experiences to improve customer relationships.

Clover’s intuitive interface and simple configuration process allow merchants to get up and running quickly. Moreover, the Clover App Market offers access to numerous business integrations, such as accounting capabilities, inventory management, and CRM software solutions.

PayPal: Exploring the eCommerce Giant

PayPal Payments Pro is a comprehensive payment system that accepts all major credit and debit cards, PayPal, and PayPal Credit. You can set up recurring billing, activate advanced fraud protection, and integrate third-party systems. Moreover, it works across devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets to deliver a consistent experience regardless of the device.

PayPal Payments Pro is ideal for businesses that prioritize a simplified eCommerce checkout and a strong brand identity. Since customers remain on your company website for the entire checkout process, you maintain control over the customer journey and your brand presentation.

The optional handheld Zettle POS terminal also allows you to accept in-person credit and debit cards via magstripe, EMV chip, or contactless through NFC technology that supports Google Pay and Apple Pay.

PayPal Payments Pro also offers access to detailed transaction history and order management features. With accurate record-keeping, reconciliation, and reporting, you can easily monitor and analyze payment and sales activity.

Feature Comparison: The Strengths of PayPal and Clover

Dark blue credit card with an orange magstripe.

Payment Processing

Clover and PayPal both accept major credit and debit cards via magstripe, EMV chip, or contactless through NFC technology. Clover also facilitates gift cards; PayPal, meanwhile, has the benefit of also supporting ACH and eCheck processing. Both brands offer options that facilitate split receipts.

Bottom Line: While PayPal and Clover both enable you to accept in-person and online payments, PayPal lacks the robust hardware suite available with Clover.

Green checkmark surrounded by a light blue security shield.


Clover offers secure payments with features such as fingerprint sensors, end-to-end encryption, and integrated NFC chip readers. It also features optional two-factor account logins.

PayPal offers seller protection against fraudulent claims from buyers saying they never received their goods. Also, PayPal’s POS allows you to activate a screen lock to restrict POS system use.

Bottom Line: While PayPal and Clover both offer secure payment processing, PayPal is a very popular target for scammers and fraudsters.

A growth cart with a line and bar graph showing incresing numbers.

Tracking, Reporting, Analytics

Reports on sales, refunds, taxes, and other metrics are key to making informed decisions and optimizing your business processes. Both PayPal and Clover offer insights into sales trends, popular products, and the busiest business times. Additionally, you can monitor sales per employee.

Bottom Line: Clover offers a more comprehensive hardware suite, as its features are largely customizable for your business type.

Customer support representative wearing a headset.

Customer Service

Clover users have access to 24/7 telephone support as well as email and live chat through the Help Center. Users also have access to user guides and the Clover Help Center by logging into their accounts.

PayPal offers telephone support, email, and in-app support; however, depending on your location, telephone support may be limited to certain hours of the day.

Bottom Line: Both Clover and PayPal offer customer support, although PayPal does not have the best reputation when it comes to its support services.

Seamless Integrations: How PayPal and Clover Stack Up

PayPal Integrations

With PayPal APIs, you can integrate PayPal into your websites and mobile apps, keeping buyers on your site throughout their entire customer experience. PayPal Payments Pro facilitates online invoicing and phone-based credit card payments. In addition, the POS system allows you to track sales and manage inventory in a single hub.


  • Integrates with many common applications such as Shopify, DocuSign, and Mailchimp
  • Easy to integrate with eCommerce shopping carts
  • Accepts payments from customers without a PayPal account
  • Sends and receives payments in 25 different currencies


  • Merchants have reported frozen accounts and funds
  • Confusing transaction fees
  • Not compatible with high-risk merchants
  • A popular target for phishing and scams
  • Poor, hard-to-reach customer service
  • Substantial chargeback fees
  • Funds can take up to three days to clear

Clover Integrations

Clover integrates with popular applications such as Quickbooks and Shopify. It also offers a Clover App Market, containing over 100 integrations. In addition, these apps let you add additional features and functionalities to your Clover payment system according to your business needs, making your POS system an all-in-one solution for everything from staff management, marketing, inventory tracking, accounting, customer reporting, payroll, and order management.


  • All-in-one platform with a wide range of hardware tools
  • Access to over 100 additional app integrations
  • Robust inventory management features
  • Integrates seamlessly with your online store
  • User-friendly software
  • 24/7 support


  • Only works with Clover-branded hardware
  • Hardware can be a costly initial expense
  • MSPs may require long-term contracts

Breaking Down the Costs: Clover vs PayPal


The price of using PayPal for business is a combination of per-transaction fees plus an optional monthly subscription fee for online payment gateway services.

Per-transaction fees range from 2.29% to 3.49% (plus a $0.49 fixed fee per transaction) depending on the payment type and amount.

While you can make personal transfers to PayPal accounts free of charge, your bank will most likely charge a withdrawal fee as well as currency conversion, if applicable.


Clover offers a variety of pricing options specifically designed for different business types and budgets. While the price varies according to business type, packages are generally available in a Starter, Standard, or Advanced plan.

Additionally, this monthly fee will depend on:

  • Whether you purchase or lease your hardware
  • The hardware items you need
  • Features included in your package
  • The size of your business and annual sales

Clover’s transaction fees range from 2.3% to 3.5% plus $0.10 per transaction. Though, this may differ slightly depending on your specific MSP.

Comparing Other Payment Solutions With Clover and PayPal

While PayPal and Clover are giants in the payment industry, they’re not the only options. Let’s take a glance at some other payment prospects.

1. Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments is a payment gateway by Shopify that allows merchants to accept payments online. It integrates seamlessly with Shopify’s eCommerce platform. With Shopify Payments, merchants can streamline their checkout process and access built-in reporting tools to track sales and revenue.

The platform supports multiple currencies and offers competitive rates, making it an attractive choice for businesses of all sizes. Shopify Payments also offers advanced fraud prevention measures and supports popular payment methods like debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and even cryptocurrency.

2. Venmo for Business

Venmo for Business allows businesses to accept and process payments from customers directly through the Venmo app. It also integrates with eCommerce platforms; however, the setup can be slightly complicated.

Venmo for Business offers competitive transaction fees and provides access to detailed transaction history. In addition, the platform facilitates integration with your existing business systems and processes, streamlining workflow and reducing manual data entry. The downsides to Venmo for Business are that it is only available in the US, is subject to spending and receiving limits, and is a popular target for scammers.

3. Stripe

Stripe enables businesses to receive payments via credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, bank debits, and more. Additionally, Stripe also offers competitive rates, supports over 135 currencies, and has a unified API. Furthermore, its machine learning models recapture declines in real-time and detect ideal times to retry failed recurring payments, helping businesses maximize revenue.

Partnering With a Merchant Service Provider

One thing that Stripe, Shopify, PayPal, and Venmo have in common is that they are all payment aggregators. This means that the given platform has one large merchant account and all the businesses using the platform use that aggregator’s merchant account instead of having their own.

Essentially, these platforms collect the payment information from the customer and pass it on to the relevant processor. While this simplifies the undertaking for you, you have limited control over the payment process and customer data.

With your merchant account, you have greater control, more detailed insights, and the potential to customize the payment experience for your customers. In addition, with a payment solution like Clover, your payment processor delivers payments to your merchant account according to your business preference.

Choose the Champion for Your Business Needs

Choosing the right payment provider for your business can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and boost your profits. Clover offers a wide range of hardware terminals and software plans to simplify the operations of any business type. PayPal is a well-established industry leader in online payment processing, but its high pricing and reputation for poor customer service are drawbacks for some businesses.

If you aren’t sure which payment provider is the best fit for your business, reach out to PaymentCloud. Your dedicated account manager will consider your unique needs and help you select the best option. As a merchant services provider, we aim to find you the most competitive pricing and payment terms. Whether you want to get set up with Clover or need another solution for your retail business, we’re here to help.

Terminal ready to use for a merchant after deciding clover vs paypal

Set up in no time with our ready-to-use terminals!

close icon
card terminal icon

Get a FREE Terminal with a Merchant Account


By submitting this form, you consent to our terms

VeriSign Secured

Your information will not be distributed

close icon


By submitting this form, you consent to our terms

VeriSign Secured

Your information will not be distributed