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Updated Jul 10, 2024

The Best POS Systems of 2024

Modern POS systems like Clover allow mobile sales, enable fast credit card processing and even facilitate loyalty programs.

Quinn Springett Headshot
Quinn Springett, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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A business.com editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best All-in-One POS System
Clover POS System
Clover logo
  • Base price: $14.95 per month
  • 600+ integrations
  • Must use native payment processor
USALinks to Clover POS System
Visit Site
  • Base price: $14.95 per month
  • 600+ integrations
  • Must use native payment processor
Best for Online Restaurant Ordering
Toast
Toast logo
  • Base price: $0
  • 80+ integrations
  • Must use native payment processor
USALinks to Toast
Visit Site
  • Base price: $0
  • 80+ integrations
  • Must use native payment processor
Best for Scalability
Shopify POS
Shopify logo
  • Base price: $5 per month
  • 8,000+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor
USALinks to Shopify POS
Visit Site
  • Base price: $5 per month
  • 8,000+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor
Best for Efficiency
CAKE
Cake by Mad Mobile logo
  • Base price: $69 per month
  • 18+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor
USALinks to CAKE
Visit Site
  • Base price: $69 per month
  • 18+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor
Best for Retail
Lightspeed
Lightspeed logo
  • Base price: $69 per month 
  • 250+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor
  • Base price: $69 per month 
  • 250+ integrations
  • Allows 3rd-party payment processor

Table of Contents

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At business.com, our team of technology experts has analyzed hundreds of tools and services designed to improve essential business operations, from POS systems to GPS fleet management services to remote PC access software, and we use these experiences to provide business owners with actionable guides and industry insights. Every playbook and explainer is infused with advice from real IT consultants, implementation experts, security specialists, software developers and more.

Our rigorous product review process involves in-depth industry research, vendor interviews, hands-on testing and service comparisons. Each analysis — whether for a business phone system, CRM platform, call center software or website builder — is independently verified by a business.com editor to ensure our recommendations are free of bias and errors. Learn more about our editorial process.

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How We Decided

We searched for the best point-of-sale (POS) systems featuring cutting-edge technology that would allow businesses to process sales at terminals and kiosks and with mobile devices and e-commerce sites. We looked for solutions that accepted multiple payment methods and studied how challenging each program was to navigate on both the business-facing and customer-facing sides. We considered whether the vendor allowed third-party credit card processing, examined the quality of the hardware provided and tested tools like inventory management. Finally, we compared pricing and plans and whether attractive features like loyalty programs and gift cards were included or available as add-on services.

112

evaluated

14

researched

7

chosen

We searched for the best point-of-sale (POS) systems featuring cutting-edge technology that would allow businesses to process sales at terminals and kiosks and with mobile devices and e-commerce sites. We looked for solutions that accepted multiple payment methods and studied how challenging each program was to navigate on both the business-facing and customer-facing sides. We considered whether the vendor allowed third-party credit card processing, examined the quality of the hardware provided and tested tools like inventory management. Finally, we compared pricing and plans and whether attractive features like loyalty programs and gift cards were included or available as add-on services.

112

evaluated

14

researched

7

chosen

In today’s world, a point-of-sale (POS) system needs to do more than just ring up sales. Traditional cash registers just don’t cut it. Instead, to make the most of sales and further customer relationships, businesses must use a multifaceted POS system capable of not just payment processing but also inventory management, customer management, employee management, mobile accessibility and more.

The best POS systems on the market, such as Clover and Square, help retailers, restaurants, hospitality businesses and other enterprises launch and maintain loyalty programs, schedule worker shifts, track stock levels, and streamline operations through integrations with other business software. Some of the top solutions we found also have e-commerce abilities and all boast strong analytics tools for monitoring performance and making sales forecasts. Simply put, with the right POS system, a business can drive sales and growth. After careful research and testing, our top recommendations hit all these beats and more.

Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
Clover POS System
Shopify POS
Lightspeed
TouchBistro
Square POS
Rating (Out of 10)9.79.59.59.59.49.49.1
Best use case

All-in-one

Online restaurant ordering

Scalability

Efficiency

Retail

Restaurant

Startups

Industries

Restaurants, retail, service businesses, e-commerce

Restaurants

Retail, hospitality, e-commerce

Restaurants

Retail, restaurants, golf

Restaurants

Restaurants, retail, appointment booking

Starting price

$14.95 per month

Free

$5 per month

$69 per month

$69 per month

$69 per month

Free

Free trial

90 days

None

3 days

None

14 days

14 days

30 days

Contract length

Monthly and annual plans

Multiyear plans

Monthly, yearly plans and multiyear plans

Monthly plans

Monthly, annual and multiyear plans

Monthly plans

Monthly plans

POS hardware

Clover Station Solo, Clover Station Duo, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Go (accessories available)

Toast Flex, Toast Go 2, Toast Flex for Guest, Toast Flex for Kitchen, kiosk (accessories available)

Countertop kit, POS Go, card reader

Terminal, customer touch display, card reader, kiosk (accessories available)

iPad POS kit, desktop POS kit, receipt printers, cash drawers, Bluetooth scanners (accessories available)

iPad, kitchen display system, customer-facing display

Register, terminal, stand, card readers (accessories available)

Compatible with third-party payment processors?

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Integrations

600+

80+

8,000+

18+

250+

25+

200+

Customer support

Phone, email, webchat

Phone, email, webchat

Phone, email, webchat

Phone, online ticket, email

Phone, email

Phone, email, webchat

Phone, email, webchat, social media

Review Link
Scroll Table

Our Reviews

Clover logo
  • Base Price: $14.95 per month
  • Top Features: Virtual terminal, automatic inventory sync, mobile app
  • Trial Period: Yes, 90 days
Editor's Rating: 9.7/10
Visit Site

Why Clover is Best for All-in-One

Clover is the ideal solution for businesses looking for a powerful all-in-one system that combines the best of point-of-sale and credit card processing in one platform. Clover offers industry-specific POS plans, fast in-house payment processing and additional services like Clover Rapid Deposit and Clover Capital. We love that Clover has a variety of proprietary hardware options, or you can access a virtual terminal to accept payments without hardware. You can also enjoy invoicing features, save payments and set up recurring payments as needed.

We were impressed with Clover’s robust software. Clover’s software gives you access to several POS functions, such as automatic inventory sync, pickup and delivery orders, customer contact information, marketing preference collection, options to accept donations, and customer rewards and promos. We like how you can manage employees, track sales patterns and trends, and integrate with platforms like BigCommerce, QuickBooks and Gusto. Clover is secured with end-to-end encryption, integrated EMV chip sensors and fingerprint logins.

Clover Pricing

Plan Price Features
Full-service restaurant Starter $165 per month Table mapping, open tabs, bill splitting, item and order-level discounts, contactless dining, tipping, online menu, no-fee online ordering, pickup and delivery, item and category management, stock tracking, third-party menu integrations, real-time sales tracking, sales report, cost tracking by item, shift management, Station Solo device, cash drawer, receipt printer
Full-service restaurant Standard $220 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus tableside ordering, tap card payments, mobile wallet payments, Flex device
Full-service restaurant Advanced $325 per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus Station Duo device
Quick-service restaurant Starter $105 per month Contactless dining, item and order-level discounts, online menu, no-fee online ordering, pickup and delivery, item and category management, stock tracking, third-party menu integrations, real-time sales tracking, sales reports, cost tracking by item, shift management, Mini touchscreen device
Quick-service restaurant Standard  $145 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus customer database, promotions, loyalty program, gift cards; Station Duo device instead of Mini touchscreen
Quick-service restaurant Advanced $200 per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus line busting and Flex device
Retail Starter $60 per month Item and category management, stock tracking, itemized order creation, item and order-level discounts, real-time sales tracking, detailed sales reports, tax reporting, dashboard for online and offline sales, existing online store integration, customer database, promotions, loyalty program, gift cards, shift management, Mini touchscreen device
Retail Standard $135 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus item variants, itemized returns and exchanges, scale integration, cost tracking by item; Station Duo device instead of Mini touchscreen
Retail Advanced $190 per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus Flex device
Professional services Starter  $14.95 per month No-hardware transactions, email invoicing, online payments, automated recurring payments, automated client notifications and receipts, invoice status tracking, client database, real-time sales tracking, detailed sales reports, tax reporting, item and category management, stock tracking, itemized order creation, item or order-level discounts, shift management
Professional services Standard $50 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus tap card payments, mobile wallet payments, gift cards, promotions, loyalty program, Flex device
Professional services Advanced $125 per month Everything in the Standard plan (except tap cards and mobile wallets), plus item variants, itemized returns and exchanges, cost tracking, Station Solo device
Personal services Starter $50 per month Customer database, promotions, loyalty program, gift cards, real-time sales tracking, detailed sales reports, tax reporting, item and category management, stock tracking, itemized order creation, item or order-level discounts, shift management, Flex device
Personal services Standard $95 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus item variants, itemized returns and exchanges, scale integration, cost tracking; Mini touchscreen instead of Flex device
Personal services Advanced $135 per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus Station Duo device instead of Mini touchscreen
Home & field services Starter $14.95 per month No-hardware transactions, email invoicing, online payments, automated recurring payments, automated client notifications and receipts, invoice status tracking, real-time sales tracking, detailed sales reports, tax reporting, client database, item and category management, stock tracking, itemized order creation, item or order-level discounts, shift management
Home & field services Standard $49 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus tap card payments, digital wallets, gift cards, Go device
Home & field services Advanced $50 per month Everything in the Standard plan, plus item variants, itemized returns and exchanges; Flex device instead of Go

Payment Processing Fees

  • Starter: 3.5% + $0.10 for card-not-present transactions; 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions
  • Standard & Advanced: 3.5% + $0.10 for card-not-present transactions; 2.3% + $0.10 for card-present transactions

Clover Advantages

  • Clover’s industry-specific pricing plans give businesses flexibility.
  • The POS software and hardware are so well regarded that some rival credit card processing companies and POS vendors like Payment Depot and Brilliant sell them.
  • Recent security updates include reCAPTCHA to combat fraud attempts in Clover’s hosted checkout.

Clover Disadvantages

  • Clover is not compatible with third-party payment processing.
  • The hardware is more expensive than some competitors charge.
  • You may have a long wait when you call customer service.

Trustpilot Score: Clover has a TrustScore of 3.6 stars out of 5 based on nearly 1,500 reviews. One user said, “Clover POS is easy to use and has reasonable fees. I am glad I replaced another brand with Clover a few years ago. The Dashboard on the website is great and customer service has been top notch.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL CLOVER REVIEW

Toast logo
  • Base Price: $0
  • Top Features: Online ordering, Mobile Order & Pay, payroll integration
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Why Toast is Best for Online Restaurant Ordering

Toast is one of the best restaurant-focused POS systems serving most restaurant types, like fine dining, casual dining, fast casual, bars and nightclubs, and cafes and bakeries. We were impressed with its online ordering capabilities for restaurants, including order scheduling, curbside pickup, contactless delivery, dynamic throttling, an on-demand delivery driver fleet and the Toast TakeOut app. Toast’s online ordering is entirely commission-free, helping you save money while supporting multiple online orders. When testing the platform, we especially liked Mobile Order & Pay, a mobile solution for dine-in guests to order and pay from their phones.

We also like Toast’s partnership with Google, which gives diners the ability to order directly from the search engine. The Order with Google integration provides a better customer experience and offers another sales channel for business owners. If you need help with your Toast software, you can access phone, email and chat support 24/7.

Toast Pricing

Plan Price Features
Starter Kit $0 Restaurant-grade hardware, flat-rate payment processing, table and order management, digital menus, mobile payments, guestbook, employee timekeeping, basic scheduling, hardware configuration for one terminal
Point of Sale $69 per month Everything in the Starter Kit plan, plus custom hardware configuration and wider selection of add-ons
Build Your Own Custom quote Choose your own features

Payment Processing Fees

  • Custom rates

Toast Advantages

  • Toast has a partnership with Google, allowing customers to order directly from the search engine.
  • The Toast Go handheld device and Toast Flex register are both designed with restaurants in mind.
  • Customer support is available 24/7.

Toast Disadvantages

  • Toast doesn’t advertise hardware costs on its website.
  • You must use the built-in payment processing.
  • The system is only compatible with Android devices.

Trustpilot Score: With more than 1,000 reviews, Toast has a TrustScore of 3.4 stars out of five. “I absolutely love Toast! The integrations, it’s user friendly and my staff and customers love the capabilities as well. I recommend Toast to all of my business owner friends,” read one of the testimonials.

CHECK OUT OUR FULL TOAST REVIEW

Shopify logo
  • Base Price: $5 per month
  • Top Features: Online store, extensive integrations, 24/7 customer support
  • Trial Period: 3 days
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Why Shopify is Best for Scalability

Shopify is a well-known platform many e-commerce businesses use to accept payments and manage inventory. With several POS service packages, we love that customers can easily upgrade their plan as their business expands and scales. Plus, while Shopify is best known in the e-commerce world, its POS system is also capable of serving the needs of businesses with physical stores. We find it valuable that Shopify provides a free trial without requiring any payment details, something that can’t be said of its competitors.

With an easy-to-use dashboard, excellent customer support and tons of integrations, it’s tough to find something not to like about this platform. It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices, and the system is fully customizable.

Shopify online store

Shopify unifies the management of brick-and-mortar and online stores in one POS system supported by mobile devices. (Source: Shopify)

Shopify Pricing

Plan Price Features
Starter (in-person) $5 per month Limited online store, POS Lite, one POS login, encrypted payments, unlimited registers, unified inventory, order management and fulfillment network, cash tracking, split payments, gift cards, refunds and returns, analytics, mobile apps, 24/7 chat support
Retail (in-person) $79 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus POS Pro and unlimited POS logins
Basic (in-person and online) $29 per month + $79 per month for POS Pro Full-featured online store, POS Lite, unlimited POS logins, encrypted payments, unlimited registers, unified inventory, order management and fulfillment network, cash tracking, split payments, gift cards, refunds and returns, analytics, mobile apps, 24/7 chat support
Shopify (in-person and online) $79 per month + $79 per month for POS Pro Everything in the Basic plan, plus five additional staff accounts, discounted USPS rates, shipping insurance
Advanced (in-person and online) $299 per month + $79 per month for POS Pro Everything in the Shopify plan, plus 15 additional staff accounts, custom reports and analytics, third-party calculated shipping rates, duties and import taxes, enhanced chat support

Payment Processing Fees

  • Varies based on the service plan you select.

Shopify Advantages

  • Shopify has a variety of features and integrations that businesses can take advantage of as they scale.
  • The POS system is packed with extensive inventory management tools.
  • 24/7 customer support is included in all plans.

Shopify Disadvantages

  • Shopify’s payment processing rates vary by plan, in addition to whether the customer is paying online or in person.
  • You have to pay an extra transaction fee if you don’t use Shopify Payments.
  • Additional costs like a domain name fee and currency conversion fees may be too much for smaller businesses.

Trustpilot Score: Across 2,000 ratings, Shopify has a disappointing TrustScore of 1.5 stars out of 5, indicating “bad” reviews. However, one happy customer said, “I’ve been using Shopify for over 7 years now, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with their service. Of course, like any platform, there have been occasional hiccups, such as website crashes or checkout issues, but what sets Shopify apart is its consistently responsive customer support. They’ve always been there to promptly assist me whenever I’ve encountered any problems. Here’s to many more years of successful business with Shopify!”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL SHOPIFY REVIEW

Cake by Mad Mobile logo
  • Base Price: $69 per month
  • Top Features: QR code payments, self-service kiosks, tableside ordering
  • Trial Period: None
Editor's Rating: 9.5/10
Visit Site

Why Cake is Best for Efficiency

We found Cake to be the best POS system for food businesses prioritizing efficiency because of how straightforward and seamless it makes the customer and staff experiences. Business owners and employees can understand how the system works in under an hour. Restaurant customers can see their orders as they’re being built while communicating with the host via Guest Manager. We especially like that the system is cloud-based, but also love that an offline mode allows you to accept payments even if you run into internet connectivity issues — further fueling your establishment’s efficiency. Additionally, we were impressed with its bill-splitting tool. Other POS platforms aren’t as good at this as Cake.

Cake POS

Cake’s POS system is a restaurant-focused solution with tools specifically designed to aid food and beverage businesses. (Source: Cake)

Cake Pricing

Plan Price Features
Essentials $69 per month POS station, menu management, reporting, QR code payments, system health monitoring, remote training, Cake University, unlimited 24/7 support
Plus $125 per month Everything in the Essentials plan, along with commission-free online ordering, gift cards
Pro $295 per month Everything in the Plus plan, along with  Guest Manager, email marketing, loyalty tools

Payment Processing Fees

  • Competitive rates

Cake Advantages

  • Cake has an implementation team that guides you through setup and training.
  • The vendor offers discounts on subsequent terminals you purchase as your business grows.
  • The bill-splitting tool is more impressive here than with other restaurant-specific POS platforms.

Cake Disadvantages

  • Some of the most appealing features, like the Guest Manager suite, require the top-level Pro plan or are only available as add-ons.
  • Most rivals offer far more integrations.
  • The daily management reports aren’t as detailed as those of competitors.

CHECK OUT OUR FULL CAKE REVIEW

Lightspeed logo
  • Base Price: $69 per month
  • Top Features: Stock alerts, extensive reports, employee time tracking
  • Trial Period: Yes, 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9.4/10

Why Lightspeed is Best for Retail

Lightspeed offers multiple industry-specific POS plans for retail stores, restaurants and golf businesses, but we especially like its retail options. Each plan includes one free terminal and the ability to accept payments with Lightspeed Payments or a third-party payment processor. The features in each plan are tiered, but even the low and midlevel plans have robust retail POS capabilities, payment processing and functions for selling online and in-store. When testing out the software, we liked how you could create a personalized home dashboard, and the e-commerce options include several mobile-responsive and customizable templates. [See more of the best retail POS systems.]

Lightspeed’s inventory management functions set it apart from the competition. We like how its inventory management tools allow you to create product variations and bundles, upload thousands of SKUs at a time, access preloaded catalogs with over 8 million items and set stock alerts. Its built-in CRM and customer loyalty tools let you track customers’ purchase histories, create customer profiles, and build rewards programs and custom promotions.

Lightspeed Pricing

Plan Price Features
Retail Basic $89 per month Retail POS, one register, integrated payments, inventory management, access supplier catalogs, Lightspeed Capital, onboarding and professional service options, 24/7 chat support
Retail Core $149 per month Everything in the Basic plan, plus in-store loyalty; advanced sales, safe and inventory reports; accounting, e-commerce and marketing integrations, mobile scanner app
Retail Plus $239 per month Everything in the Core plan, plus custom reporting, API access, workflows, custom user roles, 24/7 phone support
Restaurant Starter $69 per month Customizable POS, menu manager, floor plans, advanced insights, take out and delivery, single-view reconciliation, pre-auth bar mode, CRM and loyalty, integrated payments
Restaurant Essential $189 per month Everything in the Starter plan, plus online ordering, contactless orders, tableside ordering and payment, Lightspeed Live app, multilocation management, advanced inventory management
Restaurant Premium $399 per month Everything in the Essential plan, plus raw API access, multiple revenue center support for hotels
Golf Custom quote Tee sheet, online booking, players database, dynamic pricing, event management, promotional engine, SMS marketing, monthly updates, Business Intelligence Lite, live support

Payment Processing Fees

  • 2.6% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions

Lightspeed Advantages

  • Lightspeed gives you a choice of three flexible pricing plans for retail POS systems.
  • The retail POS solution has robust e-commerce tools.
  • The robust inventory management functions set Lightspeed apart from the competition.

Lightspeed Disadvantages

  • Lightspeed charges more if you don’t use its payment processor.
  • Pricing for hardware isn’t transparent.
  • 24/7 phone support is only available with the highest-tier plans.

Trustpilot Score: Lightspeed has earned a TrustScore of 4.4 stars out of 5, indicating “excellent” ratings. Among the nearly 2,000 reviews, one customer wrote, “I’m pleased I went with Lightspeed. It took a little while to get the hang of everything. Very good help when I need it.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL LIGHTSPEED REVIEW

TouchBistro logo
  • Base Price: $69 per month
  • Top Features: Menu management, tableside ordering, staff management
  • Trial Period: 14 days
Editor's Rating: 9.4/10

Why TouchBistro is Best for Restaurants

TouchBistro’s target market is the restaurant industry, including full-service establishments, quick-service joints, bars, clubs, food trucks and breweries. When testing the platform, we found a plethora of restaurant-specific features, like drag-and-drop table management tools, customizable menu dashboards, ingredient-level tracking, upsell settings and forced modifiers. TouchBistro’s mobile-friendly software uses iPads as mobile registers, which is helpful for restaurants offering tableside ordering and payment services. You can process payments through TouchBistro Payments (partnered with Chase) or integrate with a third-party payment processor.

TouchBistro Pricing

Plan Price Features
Point of sale $69 per month Floor plan and table management, menu management, staff management, reporting and analytics, tableside ordering
TouchBistro Payments (add-on) Custom quote Payment processing
Customer-Facing Display (add-on) Custom quote Counter screen
Kitchen Display System (add-on) $19 per month Order ticket views
Profit Management (add-on) $330 per month Inventory and financial tools
Online Ordering (add-on) $50 per month Commission-free ordering
Reservations (add-on) $229 per month Table reservations and status tracking
Loyalty (add-on) $99 per month CRM and rewards platform
Marketing (add-on) $99 per month Marketing platform
Gift cards (add-on) $25 per month Physical and digital gift cards

Payment Processing Fees

  • Cost plus pricing model

TouchBistro Advantages

  • TouchBistro has more than 200 restaurant-focused features.
  • You can create customer accounts to track order histories and manage balances.
  • More than 80 detailed reports give valuable insights into your business.

TouchBistro Disadvantages

  • TouchBistro has only one POS plan and charges a la carte for certain services, like online ordering and gift cards, potentially driving up your costs.
  • As an iPad-based system, this POS solution isn’t compatible with Android devices.
  • Due to customization options, TouchBistro may take a little longer to set up than other systems.

Trustpilot Score: TouchBistro has a TrustScore of 3.9 stars out of five. “Have been using touch bistro for about 10 years now. It’s a great POS platform for restaurants,” said one review, continuing, “Their technical support team is always available and waiting time is 0-5min never more than 5. System is so good for restaurants and also easy to edit. I recommend this to restaurant owners if you are looking to upgrade your business. Their reports are easy to understand and have many online options like reservation and gift cards.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL TOUCHBISTRO REVIEW

Square logo
  • Base Price: $0
  • Top Features: Contactless payments, online and offline selling, team management
  • Trial Period: 30 Days
Editor's Rating: 9.1/10

Why Square is Best for Startups

We love that there are no monthly fees to use Square’s POS software, which makes it a perfect fit for startups looking to save money. Square has several software capabilities that integrate with its POS system, another reason it’s an excellent one-stop shop for startup businesses. Square’s customization options let you add services for team management, payroll, customer loyalty programs, gift cards, marketing, online sales and invoicing, so you can create a more versatile POS system for your unique needs as you grow beyond the startup point. We also like Square’s sleek hardware and that the mobile app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Square POS

Square offers a general POS system as well as specific packages for retail, restaurant and service businesses. (Source: Square)

Square Pricing

Plan Price Features
Point of sale $0 End-to-end encrypted payments, contactless payments, offline payments, POS mobile app, Square magstripe reader, dispute management, takeover protection, fraud prevention, gift cards, item modifiers, customizable item grid, itemized refunds, digital receipts, customized receipts, custom tips, automatic discounts, customer directory, order notes, online ordering, order manager, online checkout links, Square Analytics, low-stock alerts, multilocation management, Square Team Management, phone support
Square for Retail $0 Square Retail Point of Sale app, online store, social media selling, Google product listings, basic inventory and catalog management tools, payments and invoicing, gift cards, refund management, order management, shipment manager, sales reports, customer profiles, unlimited passcodes, employee time tracking and scheduling
Square for Retail Plus $89 per month Everything in the free plan, along with advanced inventory tools, barcode scanning, customer accounts, cross-location returns, additional sales reports
Square for Retail Premium Custom quote Custom features, professional website tools, one-on-one onboarding
Square for Restaurants $0 Unlimited countertop POS devices, unlimited locations, open checks, menu management, table management, cash management, auto-gratuity, order manager, advanced discounts, ticket routing, real-time order updates, multidevice sync, kitchen performance reports, offline payments, remote device management, service chart reporting, analytics reports, online ordering, employee time tracking and scheduling, weekday phone support
Square for Restaurants Plus $60 per month Everything in the Free plan except only one countertop POS device, along with order-ready texts, additional reports, unlimited kitchen display devices, 24/7 phone support
Square for Restaurants Essentials Bundle $153 per month Everything in the Plus plan, along with mobile POS, Square Online Ordering Premium, Advanced Access, Square Shifts Plus, Square Team Communication, Square Payroll
Square Appointments $0 Mobile app, unlimited calendars, custom schedule, text and email reminders, Square Assistant, Square Online booking website, booking integrations, credit cards on file, invoices, Cash App Pay, tap to pay, item search and barcode scanning, discounts, prepayments, offline payments, stock counts and low-stock alerts, item categories, sales reports, customer groups, automated marketing campaigns, Square Go, Square Messages, customer profiles, appointment and sales history, automated contract sends, Square hardware, Bookings API (read access)
Square Appointments Plus $29 per month Everything in the Free plan, along with multilocation management, class booking, waitlist, Google calendar sync, email and text confirmations, custom text notifications, cancellation policy, additional reports, Bookings API (write access)
Square Appointments Premium $69 per month Everything in the Plus plan, along with resource management, unlimited permissions and advanced access tools, employee scheduling and time tracking, service costs tracking, custom contract fields

Payment Processing Fees

  • 2.9% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions
  • 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed-in transactions

Square Advantages

  • Free add-ons include virtual terminals, digital invoicing and employee scheduling tools.
  • The vendor provides 30-day free trials of its Square for Retail Plus plan, Square for Restaurant and Square Appointments plans.
  • Square also offers no-fee business checking and savings accounts, as well as loans.

Square Disadvantages

  • Square’s POS systems aren’t compatible with third-party payment processors.
  • Loyalty programs are an add-on service costing a minimum of $45 per month per location.
  • Some customers have complained about the company’s customer service.

Trustpilot Score: Square has racked up more than 4,000 ratings and a TrustScore of 4 stars out of 5. One of the user reviews stated, “I have used many different Credit Card Solutions and POS Systems. I’ll take Square over all of them. It’s just easy and straight forward. No hidden fees or crazy calculations needed to determine the fees. Also great support. And you can take pretty much every payment except Venmo direct in the app. Their Support is fantastic.”

CHECK OUT OUR FULL SQUARE REVIEW

Pricing for POS Systems

Lightspeed software

While businesses will have a monthly subscription fee for the POS software, their upfront costs will vary based on their chosen hardware. (Source: Lightspeed)

Advancements in technology and a reduction in point-of-sale hardware and software prices have widened the market for POS systems for all types and sizes of businesses. Hardware no longer costs several thousand dollars, and the service contracts aren’t hundreds of dollars per month. Today, there are price points to fit one-shop merchants as well as retailers with several locations and e-commerce businesses.

There are three components to consider when determining the price of a POS solution: hardware, software and payment processing. POS system costs vary depending on the hardware and software features you need, as well as the payment processor you use. You’ll want to do some comparison shopping to ensure your chosen POS system will cater to all your needs. Monthly software subscription costs can range from $0 to over $200 for systems with cloud-based functionality. With select vendors, some hardware is complimentary, while others charge as much as $1,200 for a robust POS register system.

POS Hardware Costs

There are a variety of POS hardware options that will impact your costs. Depending on the business, a POS system may need a terminal, tablet or computer; a cash drawer; a card reader; barcode scanners; a receipt printer; and signature-capture devices. The best POS systems are compatible with third-party hardware, letting you shop around for deals (and continue using your chosen hardware if you switch software providers later). They’re also scalable, allowing you to start small with a single terminal and add peripherals as your business and budget expand.

For small businesses with basic needs primarily revolving around accepting credit card payments, a phone or tablet and a card reader will suffice. If you already have mobile devices and only require EMV-compliant and an NFC-enabled credit card reader, this setup usually ranges from $20 to $100. [Learn why restaurant businesses should use tablets.]

Most small businesses will want a variety of accessories, such as a tablet stand, cash drawer and receipt printer. For this type of setup (using your own tablet), you’ll typically pay between $600 and $1,200. Additional hardware like barcode scanners, kitchen printers and display screens cost extra.

Bottom LineBottom line

POS hardware typically costs $20 to $1,000, depending on what you need. Peripherals such as barcode scanners and display screens will add to your expenses.

POS Software Costs

The cost of POS software largely depends on the services you need. You could pay anywhere between $25 and $300 per month for a POS software plan. Monthly subscriptions are the most common payment model in the POS world.

Most cloud-based POS vendors have pricing tiers with different features. Some packages limit the number of users or the monthly sales volume you can process. Some POS companies like Toast provide free POS software, but there’s a catch: You must process your payments through them instead of a third-party processor.

If you want a basic, free POS system, the best options are from highly rated mobile credit card processors, such as Square. These credit card processing companies include POS features in their mobile processing apps. You must use the same provider for your payment processing in order to use its POS app, but you aren’t locked into a long-term contract. Processing fees are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is ideal for very small businesses.

If you need more out of your POS software, such as inventory management, e-commerce or employee scheduling tools, expect to pay $40 to $100 per month. The more bells and whistles you want, the higher the monthly cost will be. Whether you get an industry-specific plan, like those offered by Clover and Lightspeed, will also affect your software expenses.

When shopping for a POS system, be mindful of the features in each tier: One company might include all of the tools you need in its basic package, whereas you may have to pay for a higher tier to access some of those same features with another vendor. For example, inventory management with tracking capabilities may be standard in all packages with one company and an add-on with another.

TipBottom line

Before deciding on a POS system, get a full demonstration of the software you’re interested in. Some vendors offer self-guided demos while others employ sales representatives and product specialists who can show you how the platform works.

Payment Processing

The final piece of the POS pricing puzzle is payment processing. This is the cost to accept and process customers’ payments through your POS device. These involve transaction fees for card-present, card-not-present and keyed-in credit card payments. Rates typically vary by processor.

The best POS vendors provide you with a choice of payment processors, giving you the opportunity to shop around for low rates and affordable fees. This means you won’t have to switch out your entire POS system if you decide to use a different processor. [Check out our recommendations for the best credit card processors.]

However, some POS providers are increasingly offering in-house processing, which can be convenient but more costly in the long run. Some give you a choice to use their in-house processing service, while others charge an extra fee (either monthly or per transaction) for using a compatible third-party processor. Notably, Clover and Square require you to use their in-house credit card processing service exclusively. 

FYIDid you know

The average credit card processing fee ranges from 1.3% to 3.5% per transaction.

POS System Software Features

Toast POS system

While most POS systems have the same basic functionality, industry-focused solutions like those offered by Toast (for food and beverage businesses) include specific features and tools designed for the business type. (Source: Toast)

POS systems can have hundreds of features, but they’re meaningless if you don’t use any of them. While some businesses may require a full arsenal of point-of-sale tools and features, others may prefer to keep things simple. As you look for POS software, think about what your business needs, the functionality that would be nice to have and which features you’ll never end up using.

Besides the basic cash register features that every POS solution has, look more closely at each platform’s unique feature set before selecting a system. Keep in mind that specific capabilities within each feature set vary by system and by plan. Advanced features may be available only at higher service tiers, or you may need to add apps or software integrations to the POS system to augment its functionality.

Below are the standard software features you should look for when shopping for a POS system.

Mobile App Support

The best POS systems come with apps that are installed on tablets and smartphones, transforming the devices into mobile POS (mPOS) terminals. Retailers can use them as mobile checkout devices to ring up customer orders anywhere on the store floor, while restaurants can use them to take orders and accept tableside payments. You can also attach a tablet to a stand and turn it into a stationary kiosk. From there, you can add peripherals, such as a cash drawer and a receipt printer, to create a countertop checkout station.

When comparison shopping, be mindful of the operating system the mobile POS supports. Although some POS solutions can be used with both Android and iOS devices, some — like Toast and TouchBistro— are specific to one or the other. If you have a strong preference for one operating system or already have tablets and phones you want to use, this is an important consideration. If you’re looking for a dual-platform POS system, check out vendors like Clover and Lightspeed.

  • iPad mPOS: iPads are the preferred platform for most POS providers. These Apple devices are known for their user-friendly interface and stability. iPads also have superior security due to the closed nature of Apple’s iOS. That makes it harder for hackers to install malware on the devices. But you will pay for that security, as iPads tend to be more expensive than Android-based POS systems. Popular iPad POS systems include TouchBistro and Revel.
  • Android mPOS: While iOS-based systems are more common, systems using Androids tend to be less expensive. With multiple manufacturers, there’s more competition in the market, resulting in lower prices and broader product selections. That can save you money as you set up your system, add devices or replace broken, lost or stolen tablets. Restaurants seeking an Android-compatible solution should consider Toast.
Did You Know?Did you know

With over 2.5 billion devices in use, Android has roughly 70 percent of the mobile OS market share worldwide, according to StatCounter. However, most users prefer iOS when choosing a mobile POS system.

Inventory Management

If you want to keep track of your inventory and orders, a POS inventory management module does a lot of the work for you. When considering inventory management tools, think about what you really need.

  • Do you need a basic product catalog or menu-item countdown?
  • Do you need to track quantities, including components or ingredients?
  • Do you need low-stock alerts or automatic reordering?

If you have a retail business, estimate how many SKUs you need the POS system to support. Some vendors support a limited number of SKUs, and others offer unlimited packages. If you do need advanced inventory management features and they’re not available in the POS system you want, make sure the POS system integrates with the third-party inventory software you plan to use.

Customer Management and Loyalty Programs

Customer retention is an important part of running a store or restaurant. Many POS systems have built-in tools and features to help you manage and retain your customers, but you may not want all the customer management and loyalty program features some POS vendors offer. That’s why, again, it’s important to consider your needs.

If your business needs to collect customers’ payment and delivery information only, you won’t need a built-in CRM. But if you’re looking to create customer profiles with detailed purchase histories and to add notes (such as customers’ birthdays, preferences or allergies), then you want a more robust system. In that case, you might want to look into Square, Lightspeed and TouchBistro.

Employee Management

If your employees are going to be using the POS system, you need to control the data and functions they can access. For example, you may want only your store managers to handle refunds. It’s important to choose a POS vendor that can deliver on your employee management requirements, whether they’re simple or complex. Here are some things to consider with employee management functionality.

  • Do you want to set permissions for individual users?
  • Do you want to create shift-based schedules through your POS software?
  • Do you need a time clock for employees?
  • If you’re already using top time and attendance software, will it integrate with your preferred POS system?

Reporting

The reporting and analytics functionality built into POS systems is a huge benefit for businesses. Because the software tracks all of your sales, you get an overview of what inventory is moving and what isn’t. This can help you identify sales trends and ultimately boost your bottom line.

All POS systems can generate reports, but the number of reports, specific report types and customization options differ between systems. Some POS systems offer a much deeper look into sales data, while others give only a surface glance. The more advanced reporting you need, the more you’ll pay for the capability. If you’re a company that requires detailed reports, Clover is a good POS system to consider.

Integrations

Most web-based POS systems have integrations or apps that make it easier for you to share data between the various business software solutions you use. For example, connecting highly rated accounting software to your POS system saves you the time of exporting sales data. Integrating with your e-commerce platform will ensure accurate inventory across sales channels. Look for a POS system that integrates with the business programs your company already relies on, such as accounting software, payroll services, e-commerce platforms and email marketing services.

FYIDid you know

The best POS systems boast native integrations for a seamless technology experience. Some vendors have marketplaces loaded with hundreds of compatible third-party apps that can streamline your operations. Others have open APIs that allow you to develop your own integrations.

POS System Hardware Features

Clover Flex reader

The Clover Flex is a portable, handheld device for tableside orders and payments, although it can be used at other locales as well. (Source: Clover)

You have a lot of options when it comes to POS hardware and how you configure your system. A basic POS station has a tablet or touchscreen, a credit card reader, a cash drawer and till, and a receipt printer. Some POS systems are compatible with additional peripherals, like the accessories listed below.

  • Tablet stand: This holds your tablet in place.
  • Barcode scanner: This makes it faster to enter items into the system at the checkout station.
  • Scales: These allow you to sell bulk items by weight.
  • Customer display screen: This shows the customer their sales ticket as you enter items into the system.
  • Kiosk: Customers can use a kiosk tablet to place their own orders.
  • Digital menu boards: These are large screens that display your menu and promotions.
  • Kitchen printer: This sends orders to the kitchen for the cooks to prepare.
  • Kitchen display system: This is a digital alternative to the kitchen printer, showcasing orders on a screen.
  • Coin dispenser: This reduces errors and speeds up the checkout process by automatically returning change to the customer.
  • Caller ID device: This enables the system to automatically start an order when customers call your business.

Consider which of these hardware technology options your business will need.

Buying, Leasing and ‘Free’ POS Hardware

It’s always best to purchase your POS terminal upfront, even if that means starting with just the basics. You could pay much more than the equipment is worth if you lease it — not to mention that leases have noncancelable, multiyear contracts. Even if you go out of business and return the equipment, you must continue making lease payments until your contract expires.

Some companies offer “free” POS terminals, but accepting these can also be more expensive than buying equipment outright. To get this deal, you typically have to sign a lengthy contract for the company’s credit card processing service, and there’s a monthly fee on top of that for maintenance or insurance. If it’s a “free placement program,” you’ll be required to return the equipment if you close your account when your service agreement expires.

A few vendors, like Clover, allow you to pay for equipment in monthly installments, although that may be more costly in the long term.

Proprietary vs. Open-Source POS Hardware

Proprietary POS hardware works only with the system you’re purchasing it for, so it’ll be unusable if you change systems. Because the hardware is system-specific, you can’t use the hardware if you want to switch to a new system.

Open-source POS hardware can be used with multiple POS systems. If you switch to new POS software that supports open-source hardware, you might be able to continue using the equipment you already own. It’s usually available from the POS company and multiple third-party vendors, enabling you to do some comparison shopping. Open-source hardware offers a little more flexibility to users, especially to ones who are familiar with the technicalities involved. Clover is an example of a company that provides its hardware to other vendors.

Credit Card Terminal or Card Reader

Most of the time, you’ll buy a credit card terminal or mobile reader from your payment processing company. However, sometimes you must purchase it from the POS company you sign up with. Whether you buy it from the processor or POS vendor, you want it to be EMV-certified so you can accept chip cards at your point of sale. You also want it to have NFC capabilities so you can accept contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. For companies that don’t accept in-person payments, you can get by without purchasing a card reader, but you’ll still need a payment gateway so customers can complete transactions.

How to Choose a POS System

Square timecards

Businesses need to consider whether they want their POS software to include scheduling and timekeeping tools like those offered by Square or if they rather use a standalone time and attendance system. (Source: Square)

To choose a POS system for your business, follow a few basic steps. Start by making a list of your feature needs and determining your budget. Then, search for systems that include your desired tools at a price point you can afford. Take advantage of demos and free trials to test the platform and read user reviews to gauge customer satisfaction. Compare your test experiences and price quotes from vendors to narrow down your options to the best solution for your business.

As you move through the decision-making process, the top two factors to keep in mind are pricing and features.

Pricing

Some POS vendors sell software only, while others sell software and hardware. When it comes to payment processing, some POS providers include that with their bundled packages, while others don’t offer it at all. Because of all this, making an apples-to-apples comparison when shopping for a POS can be challenging. Include the costs for all three components (software, hardware and payment processing) in your calculations when evaluating your options.

Features

Each POS system offers a different mix of features based on the service plan you choose. Many systems are customizable, allowing you to add hardware and software programs for an extra cost. As you evaluate systems, decide which features you need to calculate the total cost, including add-ons. You want to get the most bang for your buck, so your buying journey should focus on identifying the systems that provide the most value at a reasonable cost.

Be sure to read through all contract terms before signing any service agreement.

Benefits of POS Systems

Having the right POS system in place is like adding to the power of your workforce without actually hiring additional employees. Thanks to these solutions’ automated tools and innovative features, you can take the strain out of otherwise manual, intricate tasks like reaching new and existing customers, tracking spending and tweaking operations to make your company run smoother. Offloading these important but energy-draining activities will free you up to focus on the creative strategies that allow your business to thrive.

Below are just a few of the benefits of implementing a high-quality POS system.

Increased insights

Tired of shooting in the dark when it comes to saving money, assigning employees to certain tasks and improving customer relationships? Insights from POS-generated reports on company sales trends, employee behavior, customer interactions and more can set you on the path toward advantageous decisions that take your business to the next level.

Better customer relationships

If you’re looking to improve your connections with existing customers and reel in new ones along the way, a modern POS system can give you the marketing and loyalty tools to do just that. Newsletters, birthday recognitions, specially tailored promotions — it’s all at your fingertips with the right POS platform.

Significant savings

Whether you need to get a better handle on inventory, cut down on discounts due to mistakes or eliminate the need for additional employees, a POS system can drive cost efficiencies. When you’re a business owner, every penny counts, and a little help in reducing operational expenses through AI-boosted POS tools can mean significant savings.

Streamlined operations

The right POS system can help you streamline operations for your business in a big way. Depending on your industry, a POS program can help you keep a closer eye on inventory levels, get customer lines moving and better coordinate between your marketing and sales teams. It’s worth looking at how you can use a POS system to adjust the aspects where your business operations are bottlenecked.

Additional Options Worth Exploring

While we’re confident our top picks above will meet your company’s point-of-sale needs, the additional POS systems we examined below are alternative options that also have notable selling points.

Lavu

If you’re looking for a restaurant-specific POS system with lots of flexibility, the iPad-based Lavu platform comes packed with more than 200 customizable POS features and tools so businesses of any size can customize a plan to fit their needs. Lavu also rises above its competitors with its add-on features and services; it has nearly 15 in-house integrations that you can add to its POS offering, making it easy to expand your setup. Few competitors offer this many native integrations to support their POS systems. You can also integrate the software with several third-party apps to tailor the system to your needs. Learn more about Lavu.

Helcim

With a rate guarantee and processing fees that are better than those of its rivals, Helcim is one of the best POS solutions if you’re concerned about payment processing. Helcim is a payment processor first and foremost, but it offers an application that operates as a POS system on any device, including computers, tablets and smartphones. Like Clover, Helcim is an all-in-one platform providing merchants with various payment and billing methods, and we also like that merchants can take advantage of a free online store as part of their plan for no additional cost. Helcim takes a no-frills approach, so you get all of the features with a single interchange-plus rate and don’t have to worry about a monthly fee. Read our review of Helcim for more details or visit the Helcim website.

GoDaddy

Similar to Shopify, GoDaddy offers comprehensive POS and e-commerce functionality, making it ideal for businesses geared toward in-person and online sales. Some GoDaddy e-commerce features and tools that we didn’t find in many POS competitors include website design templates, custom domain connections, website security (SSL) and online store creation. We like that you can list thousands of products online, automatically sync your inventory across various locations (e.g., Amazon, Etsy, social media sites) and manage your inventory from a single dashboard. You can also take advantage of marketplace and social selling tools. See a breakdown of plan options in our full GoDaddy review.

CardConnect

CardConnect shines in offering secure payment processing services. CardConnect works closely with Fiserv in order to provide its customers with top POS products, including those offered by Clover. CardConnect can supply your business with high-quality countertop terminals that provide support for both EMV and NFC mobile payment methods, like Apple Pay. We also like how CardConnect allows you to set up hosted payment pages to receive payments or donations online. You don’t have to know any complex programming languages to get started, and there’s no charge for using its primary system, CardPointe.

ePOSNow

Epos Now serves businesses in retail and hospitality with POS software to fit each industry’s specific needs. It offers numerous hardware options and great compatibility between devices, including touchscreen POS systems, iPads, Samsung tablets, a mobile POS called Epos Pocket, receipt printers and cash drawers. The Epos Now software is rich in features and easily scalable, which is excellent for growing businesses that want to start with a simple POS solution and then expand it. It can integrate with credit card processors and more than 100 third-party applications, allowing your business to create a completely customized system. Find out about features and pricing in our comprehensive Epos Now review.

Revel

Revel’s iPad-based POS system for food and beverage businesses excels with its customer loyalty capabilities. You can capture customer info through your POS software, create loyalty programs and designate how customers earn loyalty points. Revel developed an in-house, customizable loyalty reward card program so you can build your own gift card program or you can integrate it with Paytronix, Punchh, Como, LoyaltyPlant, Spendgo, Pepper, LevelUp or Repeat Returns. Only a few POS systems we researched have such a wide selection of loyalty programs.

Wix

Many small business owners turn to Wix to create their websites at cost-effective rates. The nice thing about Wix POS is that you can integrate your website with an online store. That means you can easily manage your sales and inventory in one place. Plus, with Wix and Stripe’s business partnership, you get a fully mobile POS system with flat-rate payment processing and e-commerce functionality. We especially value how easy it is to learn the platform and, if you’re not satisfied with your hardware, you can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee. Learn more about Wix.

Brilliant

One of the highlights of the Brilliant POS system is how good it is for employee management. Inside the labor scheduler, you have comprehensive details about payroll and scheduling for each staff member. If you’re using the system for a restaurant, you can see how your team and specific employees are performing, as well as get a breakdown of the busy times of the day to help plan shifts. In addition to employee management, Brilliant also stands out for its affordable pricing. Check out the costs in our Brilliant POS review.

POS System FAQs

A point-of-sale, or POS, system is a combination of hardware and software designed to ring up sales and process payments. Retailers, restaurant owners and online merchants are common users of POS systems. They serve businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops to large chains.

Depending on your business’s needs, your POS system’s hardware may include a cash drawer, credit card reader, receipt printer and/or barcode scanner. On the software front, a modern POS system typically performs a multitude of tasks, such as ringing up sales, processing payments, managing orders, tracking employee time and promoting customer loyalty initiatives.

There are both server- and cloud-based POS systems. Cloud versions are more popular because they are cheaper, easier to use and require no maintenance on the business owner’s part. They also provide full access to the system wherever you have an internet connection available, making them ideal for management. However, server-based and hybrid systems mean you aren’t relying on a stable internet connection for the platform to function.

The types of businesses that use a POS system are retailers, restaurants and just about any merchant that makes sales. A street vendor or food truck can use a POS system to accept orders and payments in the same way that an online store or a hair salon can use a POS system to ring up sales. Hotels, golf ranges and home and field services also commonly use POS systems.

The three main types of POS systems are cloud-based, on-premises and hybrid systems. The right type for you depends on your business’s needs.

  • Cloud-based POS: This is the most common type of POS system on the market and tends to be the cheapest. With a cloud-based POS, all the software is online. You don’t need to set up a local server to host your data; the POS provider takes care of that, along with all software updates. The one potential downside is the software’s reliance on consistent internet access and a strong connection.
  • On-premises POS: With an on-premises POS system, the software is installed on your server instead of hosted in the cloud. That eliminates the need to access the internet to ring up sales, but you have to maintain your own server. A server-based POS system tends to be pricier than a cloud-based POS system, partly because of the extra IT hardware and support you may need to maintain the system.
  • Hybrid POS: A hybrid POS system gives you the best of both worlds: the convenience of a cloud POS with the reliability of a server-based system. With this type of POS, the system runs on your local server and backs up to the cloud. If you need to access your sales data on the go, it’ll be in the cloud. If your internet is down, you won’t have to worry about disruptions to your sales process. A hybrid solution isn’t as easy to set up as a cloud-based one, and it may require extra IT costs.

The big difference between a POS and mPOS (mobile POS) is the ability to take your point-of-sale hardware on the go. With a POS system, the hardware is fixed within one physical location; you can’t ring someone up as they walk through your store or bring a digital menu to their table. You can do that with an mPOS system since the terminal is portable. An mPOS system is ideal for business owners who have multiple locations or work in places with unusual accessibility, as they can conveniently take their POS system with them.

Keep in mind that mPOS and POS systems use the same software, so you can accept and process payments, track inventory and run reports with both systems. The only difference is the portability; if you need to ring up sales wherever you are, you’ll require an mPOS system.

A POS system can help restaurants with staffing issues in multiple ways. Consider the below advantages.

  • Automation: Restaurant-specifc POS systems have built-in tools that automate a lot of the functions that drag restaurants down, like staff scheduling, inventory management, reservations, payments and payroll.
  • Accuracy: POS systems reduce the chances of errors happening with orders, and that means staff won’t have to waste time fixing mistakes.
  • Better customer service: POS systems provide detailed information for orders, which gives staff more time to focus on customer service.
  • Data insights: POS systems collect data on customer behavior and sales trends, helping restaurant owners make better decisions to improve their establishment’s efficiency.

POS systems can help with dynamic pricing if they feature throttling functionality. These tools will automatically adjust your product pricing based on supply and demand, allowing you to maximize profits. You can also set limits that determine when to drop prices and when to raise them.

What to Expect in 2024

In recent years, the POS market has made great strides in improving features and functionality to address modern point-of-sale needs and increasingly digital preferences. That will not change in 2024 as POS systems continue to evolve with advancements in tech and changes in consumer trends.

Here are a few things to expect in the year ahead.

  • E-commerce features: In 2021, global e-commerce sales exceeded $5 trillion. According to Statista, this figure is projected to exceed $8 trillion by 2027. Recognizing this, POS vendors have stepped up to offer more e-commerce tools in their services, and we’re sure to see more of that in 2024.
  • Artificial intelligence: Over the past year, AI products designed for consumers have become widespread. In the realm of POS, predictive AI can carry out tasks like identifying potentially dubious transactions and suggesting products for inventory. We also expect to see more AI-driven automation in POS software, improving workflows and making operations more efficient.
  • Social media sales: In addition to the increasing demand for e-commerce services, selling on social media is a growing trend that POS providers will continue supporting in 2024. Many POS systems now allow merchants to easily upload products on social media and use SEO services to boost online sales. More tools and features for social selling will likely appear this year.
  • Self-service capabilities: Self-serve kiosks have been available in the past, but now they are a POS staple. Expect more businesses to allow customers to place orders and make payments on their own with self-service kiosks. Many POS vendors are offering kiosk hardware as well as developing features that will turn tablets and mobile devices into self-serve ordering stations.
  • Mobile POS: Mobile POS systems should keep growing in popularity in 2024. These systems enable merchants and restaurants to take digital menus or product catalogs and cash registers to where their customers are. That means shorter lines and quicker turnover.
  • Automation: Labor shortages afflicted many small businesses in 2023, and we expect that will continue throughout 2024. This underscores the importance of POS vendors including more software features that help business owners automate tedious tasks and do more with less staff.
  • Loyalty: Merchants and restaurant owners can also expect more POS services around loyalty programs and customer retention this year. To maintain a dedicated customer base, it is essential to recognize and reward your most loyal customers. Utilizing a POS system with built-in loyalty tools can help you achieve this.
  • Integrated financing: There are already a few POS vendors that offer integrated financing, giving approved businesses instant access to funds they need. This option can be a lifesaver when it comes to making large or unexpected purchases, and we think more providers will have this perk as time passes.
  • Sustainable systems: Sustainability has gone beyond a buzzword that appeals to a few to a reality that business owners in nearly every industry have to consider. Energy-efficient devices, recycled materials and digital receipts will continue to grow in popularity in the POS corner of the tech world.

Business technology is always evolving to meet the needs and expectations of consumers, and POS systems are no exception. In 20 or 30 years, these solutions are likely to have software and hardware features that no one has even thought of yet.

Quinn Springett Headshot
Quinn Springett, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Quinn Springett is a technology expert who helps businesses make the most of the equipment they need to run their enterprises, whether that's a restaurant-specific POS system or a specialty van for a mobile health clinic. Springett specializes in testing software and hardware to identify where different solutions excel and where they fall short. Based on this first-hand experience, Springett compares products and gives his analysis so business owners can make informed purchasing decisions.
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