by John Beatty, CEO, Clover
It’s incredible how quickly 2019 has come and gone. A lot has happened this year—from new products and services to stronger security—but what has not changed is how much value we place on our relationships with you, our merchants. You’ve kept us honest, and you’ve kept us busy!
On behalf of my team and our extended Clover family, it’s with a lot of gratitude that I share the highlights of 2019 and a quick peek under the hood for what’s to come in 2020.
One of the most critical and rewarding aspects of our business is listening to our merchants. Without understanding your needs, wishes, and frustrations, we would not be able to build POS systems that work the way you need them to.
It’s in the details, as they say, and that’s what our merchant community has been saying as well. We’re looking at ways our POS systems can better serve restaurants, retail stores, beauty salons, automotive shops, building contractors, accounting and law firms, and other industries. Because no matter what kind of business you run, you’ve got customers, you’ve got staff, you’ve got inventory or services, and you need to take payments. So for us it’s not just the big flashy stuff that matters; it’s also the small tweaks and improvements that exercise a lot of leverage. It’s things like making the Clover dashboard more integrated and functional, Clover Dining more robust, our security protocols tougher, and our 3rd-party integrations deeper (more on that in the next section).
Future-Proofing Your Business
For us, future-proofing is about making sure we’re always a few steps ahead, so by the time you need something, it’s already there. So we spend a lot of time poking under the hood. Asking you questions. Listening to what works, what doesn’t, what you really want, and what you don’t need.
Big on our list is helping you get paid no matter how your customers want to pay. Our systems already accept debit, credit, and gift cards, NFC contactless payments, checks, and cash, but now with Virtual Terminal, launched early in 2019, you can take payments directly on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. That of course includes other activities related to transactions, like refunds and receipts.
Also top-of-mind is the speed and power of our hardware. Our latest hand-held POS, the Flex 2nd Gen, was launched just last month—and it’s all about speed. Speed of payments, applications, even the device itself—Flex is now 250% faster.
Another area of attention for us is Clover Dining. Since its launch in October 2018, Clover Dining has been gaining steady, solid traction among our restaurant merchants. But we haven’t exactly been sitting on our laurels. This year we introduced Scan to Pay, which enables guests to take care of their bill on the spot with Apple Pay®, and other features that make things simpler and more efficient for restaurants and guests alike.
We’ve also been busy working on more ways to help you build lasting relationships with your customers, through our Customer Engagement (CE) solution. For starters, you can now reach out to your customers directly from the Clover Dashboard, via Promos. We’ve given digital receipts a facelift with a new rich-format template. Most importantly, you get more out of CE for free: building customer lists is no longer behind a paywall, and you also now have 3 free trials for Promos.
On to Clover Go, our go-to POS solution for smartphones. We added inventory management, in-app reporting, more admin controls, support for Rapid Deposit, and continuity of service during outages.
The Clover App Market has been busy as well. Our merchant community has reviewed over 110 3rd-party apps, giving them an average rating of 4.2. We appreciate your feedback because it helps improve the apps, and helps us understand what you need and why. We take a lot of pride in making sure our key app partners deliver the very best and stay on top of features and functionalities that support your business needs.
For example, if you use Nav, you can now enable fraud and credit alerts. Over in the Yelp world, you’ll now see your most recent customer reviews directly on your device, whether or not you’ve claimed your business (we of course recommend that you do).
Your Financial Health
The financial stability of our merchants’ business is a key priority for us. This means everything from cash flow to access to capital to reporting and billing.
We’ve overhauled the reporting platform on the dashboard from both a front-end and a back-end perspective. The visual redesign makes the dashboard reporting functions much clearer and more intuitive, and gives it a better look & feel. We’ve added an easy-to-read deposit report, which provides insights into details such as card processing fees and final net amounts deposited.
On the billing side, we’ve made the automatic notifications you receive simpler and clearer. Details like these might be small, but we know they can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to your numbers.
We’ve also expanded our services to include access to capital for our merchants. Rapid Deposit is a great way to speed up the traditional settlement process and get your money in as little as a few minutes, and Clover Capital is an advance against your future sales with flexible repayment options. More details on those two services here (please note they’re available only via select sales channels).
Security, Compliance, and Accessibility
We take privacy, compliance, accessibility, and security very seriously, and continue to invest time and resources to these areas. We stay up to date on our regulatory obligations in the United States, Europe, and other territories where we operate, and design our products and services with those obligations in mind. We take equal pride in making sure that our devices and systems are compliant and properly accessible, and that your and your customers’ data is secure.These are the things you, as a business owner, should never have to worry about.
A good example of our security measures is Virtual Terminal’s new card-on-file functionality. This ensures that saved credit cards are properly encrypted, reducing the risk and impact of data breaches, malware, and phishing attacks.
All of this is our way of doing the right thing by you and your customers.
Paying It Forward
At Clover, we believe in being an active member of our community, whether on a local, national, or international level. This year, I’m personally proud to share that we started up our own internal employee volunteer program, called Clover Cares. This program organizes service opportunities for our internal staff and makes it possible for them to realize meaningful impact in their local communities. 140 of our employees completed over 350 volunteer hours. We have served 16 non profit organizations across 6 of our locations in California, Colorado, Georgia, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.
Another initiative from this year that I’m especially proud of is CloverAchievers. We launched CloverAchievers this past May, during National Small Business Week, to honor small businesses throughout the U.S. Three Grand Prize winners were selected and awarded a package worth a collective total of $100,000.
Finally, you can pay it forward straight from your Clover system: our partnership with DonorsChoose enables your customers to round up their purchases, and you to donate that extra cash to schools in your community.
Looking Ahead to 2020
This year, Clover became part of Fiserv, a global payments and fintech leader. As part of our integration with Fiserv, which will continue into 2020, we made our debut at Fiserv Forum, home of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks. Clover now powers payments for all Fiserv Forum food and beverage concessions.
We’re excited about our association with this company of innovators and experts, and proud to have the support of Fiserv’s trusted brand as we move into the new year. We’ve certainly got a packed 2020. Here’s just a taste of the year ahead:
- Helping you deepen the merchant-customer relationship. Relationships are what lies at the core of every transaction and interaction. It’s just as true for us as it is for you. So we get how important it is for you to build deeper relationships with your customers. Watch for new enhancements in CE, our customer engagement suite.
- Taking the merchant experience up another notch. Streamlining the complete merchant experience on a system as complex and multi-faceted as Clover doesn’t happen overnight. Look for continued innovation there.
- Innovating our hardware. For us, hardware is just as big a part of the Clover experience as software and payment systems. We’re always working on ways to make our devices faster, sleeker, and more powerful. More to come on that front in 2020.
As we close out 2019, on behalf of my entire team here at Clover, I want to wish everyone a great holiday and to thank you for being a part of the Clover community. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to our blog to stay in touch and up to date as we head into another exciting year.
To learn more about Clover, visit www.clover.com.