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The Best POS Systems of 2022

Skye Schooley
, Staff
| Updated
Jan 07, 2022

Before you choose a POS system, check out our reviews of the best picks for 2022.
Best POS Hardware
Visit Site
Clover-branded hardware
Purchase or lease available
EMV chip sensors
Best for Online Restaurant Ordering
Visit Site
Tiered POS plans
Real-time fraud monitoring
On-demand delivery services
Best for Restaurants
Visit Site
Ingredient inventory tracking
Tableside orders and payments
Table management tools
Best for Retail
Visit Site
Catalogs with 8 million+ items
Built-in CRM and loyalty tools
Custom templates and dashboards
Best for Small Businesses
Square POS
Free and paid plans
POS customization options
iPad-based hardware
Before you choose a POS system, check out our reviews of the best picks for 2022.

The Best POS Providers

A point-of-sale (POS) system is more than just a fancy cash register. It rings up sales, accepts payments, manages inventory, and analyzes sales data, to name just a few of its capabilities. It's an important tool in commerce for all sizes of businesses.

POS system options abound, making it an arduous selection process for business owners. The wrong decision can cost you big time. To make the process easier, we did the research for you. We studied more than 100 vendors, poring over features and pricing to come up with our best picks for POS system.

Find the Right POS System for Your Business

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.

Compare Our Best Picks

POS systems Best for Industries Starting price Free trial Average contract length POS hardware Compatible with third-party payment processors? Integrations Payment options
Customer support
Epos Now Ease of use Hospitality, retail $39 per month 30 days Annual and multiyear plans Epos Now touchscreen, iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet, tablet stand, Epos Pocket, receipt printer, cash drawer Yes 100+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email and webchat
Lightspeed Retail Retail, restaurants, golf $69 per month 14 days Monthly, annual and multiyear plans iPad, devices with internet access Yes 200+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone and email
TouchBistro Restaurant Restaurants $69 per month No Monthly plans iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Mini Yes 20+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone and email
Toast Online ordering Restaurants $69 per month No Multiyear plans Toast Flex, Toast Go 2, Toast Flex for Guest, Toast Flex for Kitchen, kiosk (accessories available) No 65+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email and webchat
Upserve POS mobile app for restaurants Restaurants $59 per month (plus $60 per terminal) No Multiyear plans POS terminals, tableside devices, EMV payments, printers, kitchen display system, wireless networking No 45+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email and webchat
Square Small businesses Restaurants, retail, appointment booking $60 per month per location (free plan available) 30 days Monthly plans iPad, register, terminal, stand, card reader No 200+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email, webchat and social media
Lavu Integrations Restaurants $69 per month No Monthly, annual and multiyear plans iPad, terminals, starter kits, printers, networking devices, kitchen display system, cash drawers, card readers Yes 15+ in-house integrations and 30+ third-party integrations (60+ third-party integrations coming soon) Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email and webchat
Clover POS hardware Restaurants, retail, service businesses, e-commerce $69 per month 30 days Monthly plans Clover Station, Clover Station Pro, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Go (accessories available) No 100+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone and email
Revel Systems Customer loyalty programs Restaurants, retail $99 per month per terminal (minimum of 2 terminals required) No Multiyear plans iPad, iPad stands, kiosks, payment devices, printers, barcode scanners, networking devices, cash drawers and tills Yes 50+ Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone and online ticketing
Heartland Customer support Home services, liquor, restaurants, retail, service professionals, quick service Contact for quote 7 days Annual and multiyear plans Registers, terminals, handheld devices Yes Yes Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone, email, webchat and online ticketing
CardConnect Merchant services Growing businesses Contact for quote No Monthly, annual and multiyear plans Multiple device options (based on CardConnect solution) No Yes Debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards
Phone and email

Our Reviews

Clover POS System: Best POS Hardware

Clover is an all-in-one solution for credit card processing and POS functionality.
The flat-rate pricing structure is easy to understand.
You have to use Clover hardware with the service rather than picking hardware for yourself.
Visit Site

Clover is an affordable POS system for restaurants, retail shops, service businesses and e-commerce. Clover is sold through third parties, including Costco, and has prices starting at $9.95 a month with a 30-day free trial and anytime cancellation. You can use its software with your own hardware, allowing you to find the best rates, or you can purchase or lease Clover hardware.

Editor's score: 9.2/10

Clover's hardware is where it shines. It has multiple POS hardware solutions at varying price points. For example, you can get the Clover Station (POS terminal, cash drawer and receipt printer) for $1,399, or $466 per month for three months; the Clover Station Pro (POS terminal, cash drawer, high-speed receipt printer and customer-facing screen) for $1,649, or $549 per month for three months; the Clover Mini (a compact POS system) for $749, or $250 per month for three months; the Clover Flex (handheld device) for $499, or $166 per month for three months; or the Clover Go (card reader for iOS and Android devices) for $69.

Clover also has designated hardware for full-service restaurants, like the Clover Station for full-service restaurants for $1,349 (or $450 per month for three months) and the Clover Mini. These restaurant-specific POS systems come preloaded with Clover Dining. Table-service restaurants can access these options for $69.95 per month, plus 2.3% + $0.10 for in-person transactions and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions. You can accept all payment types with Clover.

Clover offers POS accessories like weight scales, barcode scanners, kitchen printers, printer paper, label printers, cash drawers, swivel stands, holsters, PIN shields, extenders, silicone sleeves, accessibility pads, travel kits and cable kits. Clover's software clearly displays which accessories are compatible, along with add-ons for each device type (the Clover Station, Mini, Flex, and Go). This simplifies the purchasing process. Some businesses can receive a $450 statement credit when they purchase a Clover Station, Mini or Flex.

When you purchase Clover software, you get access to several POS functions, like automatically syncing your inventory (e.g., products, stock levels, orders), taking orders for pickup and delivery, gathering customer contact info and marketing preferences, enabling donations, and building customer email lists and customer profiles. If you use a Clover device, you have access to more tools and functions, such as customer rewards and promos. You can manage employees, track sales patterns and trends, and integrate with platforms like BigCommerce, Ecwid, QuickBooks, and Gusto. Clover is secure with end-to-end encryption, integrated EMV chip sensors and fingerprint logins. The company offers a variety of customer support options and online resources.

September 2021: Clover recently launched Clover Station Solo, a new POS system geared specifically for restaurant owners that want one platform to run the front of the house, handle payments and manage inventory and online ordering.

Read Clover POS System Review

Toast: Best for Online Restaurant Ordering

Toast offers three all-in-one POS plans and three digital ordering solution plans.
Toast is cloud-based software that supports a fully functional offline mode.
Toast is not compatible with third-party payment processors.
Visit Site

Toast is a restaurant-focused POS system that serves various restaurant types, like fine dining, casual dining, fast casual, bars and nightclubs, cafes and bakeries, and chains. It has a lot of great features, but one standout is its online ordering capabilities for restaurants.

Editor's score: 9.3/10

Instead of only offering one ordering and delivery option, Toast gives users a choice. For example, it has tiered POS options that incorporate online ordering and delivery: the Starter plan for $69 per month (ordering and delivery is an add-on), the Essentials plan for $99 per month, and the Growth plan for $189 per month. It also has separate solutions specifically for digital ordering: Toast Now ($50 per month), Toast Now Plus ($75 per month) and Toast Now Premium ($150 per month). These separate options give restaurants more flexibility to determine what type of ordering and delivery solution they need.

For the standard POS plans, you can add on Order and Pay, which is a mobile solution for dine-in guests to order and pay from their phones. This is essentially another form of online ordering, and it also gives the option for delivery. Toast Now plans don't require additional hardware, but if you use one of Toast's all-in-one POS solutions, you can create custom configurations from a variety of restaurant-grade hardware (terminals, handheld devices, kitchen display systems, etc.) starting at $799. The hardware is spill-resistant and can accept contactless payments. Certain third-party hardware is compatible, but Toast recommends using its own hardware for the best service. Toast charges a flat rate for payment processing.

Toast is cloud-based software, but it also supports a fully functional offline mode, so you can keep ringing in orders even if your Wi-Fi is down. Toast offers necessary POS features like inventory management, order and table management, menu management, payment processing, guest feedback, reporting and analytics, and automatic upgrades. Some plans include online ordering and delivery features like curbside pickup, contactless delivery, dynamic throttling, on-demand delivery driver fleet, and the Toast TakeOut app (compatible with iOS and Android devices).

Toast now offers direct integrations with the food delivery services Doordash, Caviar, Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats. With the integrations, third-party orders are sent directly to the Toast POS, which provides restaurateurs with a clearer understanding of how third-party orders are performing. Through a single hub, restaurant owners can update their menus and hours of operation.

To help with cash flow issues, Toast also rolled out the Toast Restaurant Card, a business debit card that provides faster access to restaurant sales.

The Growth plan includes customer-centric features like gift cards (physical and electronic), liability reporting, online balance lookup, customizable customer rewards, and marketing campaigns. These features are also available as add-ons for the Starter and Essentials plans. Some plans also give you the option to add on payroll and team management functions. If you need help with your Toast software, you can contact phone, email and chat support 24/7.

Read Toast Review

TouchBistro: Best for Restaurants

TouchBistro has more than 200 restaurant-focused features.
It supports third-party hardware.
As a hybrid system, it might require more IT support and maintenance than other POS systems.
Visit Site

TouchBistro serves a variety of restaurants, including full-service establishments, quick-service joints, bars, clubs, food trucks and breweries. Since its POS hardware and software are specific to restaurants, you can rest assured that it has the features and capabilities you need to ring up orders and accept customer payments.

Editor's score: 9.4/10

TouchBistro's mobile-friendly software uses iPads as mobile registers. It is compatible with iPads, iPad Pros and iPad Minis. This is great for restaurants that want to offer tableside ordering and payment services. You can also use it as a self-serve ordering system to allow customers a contactless experience.

The software supports third-party POS hardware as well (cash drawers, receipt printers, payment processing devices, and barcode scanners), but you will need to check the TouchBistro website to ensure your devices are compatible. TouchBistro sells POS licenses starting at $69 per month. You can also purchase add-ons, like the ability to take reservations (starting at $229 per month), online orders (starting at $50 per month) or gift cards (starting at $25 per month). You can either process payments through TouchBistro Payments (its in-house processor) or integrate with third-party payment processors like Worldpay, TSYS, Square, Moneris and Chase. TouchBistro is running a promotion from now until the end of the year to get more restaurant owners to use its POS. Customers who refer a friend will get $2,000 deposited into their business bank account or PayPal account. TouchBistro's referral program typically pays out $500.

TouchBistro POS software has a plethora of features to help you run your restaurant. You can use drag-and-drop table management tools to create a restaurant floor plan, track table turnover, take orders online, and facilitate tableside ordering. You can manage and track your inventory, all the way down to each ingredient, which can help you maintain full stock levels for your most-sold items. It is easy to edit food items in the software, so servers can stay up to date on which items you have and which are out of stock.

You can create customer accounts to track customers' ordering history and manage balances. If you want advanced loyalty features, you can add the TouchBistro Loyalty program for $99 per month. You can also create employee profiles, assign staff roles, and track employees' performance and attendance. TouchBistro has more than 50 detailed reports to show you pertinent restaurant information, and it offers 24/7 phone and email support.

Read TouchBistro Review

Lightspeed: Best for Retail

Lightspeed gives you a choice of five flexible pricing plans for retail.
It offers robust e-commerce tools.
It limits the payment processors you can use.
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Lightspeed serves retail stores (apparel, bikes, CBD, electronics, gifts, health, home decor, jewelry, liquor, pets, sporting goods, toys, and vapes), restaurants (full- and quick-service eateries, bars, cafes, and hotel dining), and golf businesses (multicourse, municipal, resorts, private, semiprivate, and public). It offers four retail POS system plans, including Lean (starting at $69 per month, billed annually), Standard (starting at $119 per month, billed annually), Advanced (starting at $199 per month, billed annually), and Enterprise (customized quotes). Each plan includes one free terminal and the ability to accept payments with Lightspeed Payments (if selected); additional registers cost $29 per month. The additional features in each plan are tiered, offering varying levels of POS capabilities (such as e-commerce, accounting, customer loyalty and analytics). You can try out the product risk-free with a 14-day free trial.

Editor's score: 9.4/10

Although we chose Lightspeed as the best POS system for retail, it also sells restaurant and golf POS systems. Restaurant POS plans start at $59 per month (billed annually), with one register included; additional registers each cost $34 per month. You can customize your POS with basic add-ons for $12 per month or premium add-ons for $39 per month.

Lightspeed POS software features are tiered, but even the midlevel plans have retail POS capabilities, payment processing, and e-commerce functions for selling online and in-store. It has inventory management tools that 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 customer purchase history, create customer profiles, and build rewards programs and custom promotions. You can manage your employees with customized permissions and time-tracking and reporting capabilities. Lightspeed has more than 60 built-in reports, so you can check sales and trends, view inventory costs and transfers, and evaluate employee performance.

The company’s recent acquisition of Ecwid, the e-commerce platform, is enabling Lightspeed to offer more online features and functionality for merchants. With its new Lightspeed eCommerce tool, merchants can easily set up an e-commerce site, sell on social media and online marketplaces, and connect online and in-store platforms to reduce the time spent managing inventory and orders.

Whether you use Lightspeed for a retail store, restaurant, or golf course, it offers user-friendly software. You can create a personalized home dashboard, and the e-commerce functions include several mobile-responsive and customizable templates. If you need help with Lightspeed's software, you have access to plenty of resources. You can visit the Lightspeed website to view free tools, blog posts, events, webinars and more. For personalized support, you can reach out to a Lightspeed representative by phone, email or live chat.

Read Lightspeed Review

Square POS: Best for Small Businesses

Square offers free and paid plans, with several customization options.
The retail POS plans come with a free online store.
The Square Register POS hardware isn't compatible with third-party payment processors.

Square is one of the top companies in the POS industry, and for good reason. It offers POS options for restaurants, retail stores, and small businesses, as well as an appointment-scheduling POS system for customer-booking businesses.

Editor's score: 9.3/10

Square has several software capabilities that integrate with its POS system, which makes it a great one-stop shop for SMBs. The Square POS software is free to use; the only stipulation is that you have to process payments through Square (which charges 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person and invoice payments, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online payments). If you want more advanced features, Square offers the Plus plan for $60 per month per location (plus $40 a month per added POS device) and the Premium plan with custom pricing.

Square has a 30-day free trial, so you can try it out before making a commitment. If you want to customize your plan, you can add on tools like team management ($35 per month), payroll ($29 plus $5 per employee each month), a customer loyalty program (starting at $45 a month per location), marketing (starting at $15 a month per location), and one-on-one implementation help ($599). Square also offers an appointment-booking POS (free for one calendar, $50 per month for 2-5 calendars, $90 per month for 6-10 calendars, and custom pricing for 11 or more calendars) with a processing fee of 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10.

You can pair your Square POS software with an iPad, or you can purchase POS hardware from the company. Square registers cost $799, or $39 per month for 24 months; terminals are $299, or $27 per month for 12 months; stands for contactless and chip payments are $169, or $16 per month for 12 months; and readers for contactless and chip payments are $49. The Square mobile app is compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices. This variety of hardware lets you develop a unique POS setup that fits your needs and budget.

You can access a variety of features with Square, depending on the plan you choose. For example, you may be able to access inventory management features like in-store and curbside pickup. Retail plans have multi-location stock view, exchange capabilities, barcode label printing, purchase order and vendor management, and COGS (cost of goods sold) reporting. Restaurant plans offer features like table/course/item management, a Square kitchen display system, online menus, automatic gratuity capabilities, conversational modifiers, and remote device management. You can also manage your team with permissions and timecard functions.

Every plan includes some level of sales and reporting features, based on what you are using the POS for and how much you are paying. Every Square customer has access to customer support, an online support center, blogs, and a seller community.


Epos Now: Best for Ease of Use

This service supports multiple hardware devices.
You can work with the credit card processor of your choice.
The website doesn't offer a community forum.

Epos Now serves businesses in retail (convenience, apparel, electronics, gift, vape, and liquor stores) and hospitality (restaurants, bars, quick services, cafes, and hotels). It offers several POS hardware options to suit various needs – touchscreen POS systems, iPads, Samsung tablets, a mobile POS called Epos Pocket, receipt printers and cash drawers. It is also compatible with third-party hardware, which simplifies the transition for small businesses that want to use their current hardware. It can integrate with credit card processors and more than 100 third-party applications as well.

Editor's score: 9.5/10

Epos Now has a few pricing options, depending on what type of hardware you need. For example, its touchscreen package (terminal, cash drawer, printer, Epos software) starts at $999, or $72 per month (currently on sale for less). Its iPad and tablet packages (iPad/tablet, cash drawer, printer, Epos Now software) start at $599. Its Epos Pocket plan (handheld device, Epos Now software) starts at $0 upfront and then $44 per month, or $189 upfront and then $24 per month. Epos Now offers a 30-day free trial.

Epos Now software is feature-rich and easily scalable, which is great for growing businesses that want to start with a simple POS solution. It has inventory management capabilities to track one or more locations and stock alerts. It has customer management features like customer feedback options, or you can add on a customer loyalty campaign. The POS software also offers employee management features – allowing you to assign permissions based on job role, for example. Through the Epos Now dashboard, you can run reports and view real-time sales data, which can help you boost efficiency and profits.

The company boasts easy-to-use software, claiming a 15-minute training time, to get employees up to speed. This means your team can be set up, onboarded and trained on the software in minutes. Epos Now is there to help every step of the way: You and your team members can contact customer support representatives 24/7 by phone, email or live chat. The company also offers one-on-one onboarding and unlimited training and coaching to help users navigate the software.

Read Epos Now Review

Upserve POS: Best POS Mobile App for Restaurants

Offline and hardwired options are available to keep your POS running without Wi-Fi.
A live mobile app offers on-the-go restaurant management.
Upserve is not compatible with third-party payment processors.

Upserve by Lightspeed offers stellar POS options for a variety of restaurants (bars, coffee shops, breweries, cafes, pizza shops, nightclubs, wineries, quick-service establishments, delis, bakeries and fine dining). It has multiple plans to fit a wide range of restaurant needs: the Core plan for $59 a month (plus $60 per terminal), the Pro plan for $199 a month (plus $50 per terminal) and the Pro Plus plan for $359 a month (plus $40 per terminal). You must purchase at least one terminal with each plan. You can add on supplemental features like commission-free online ordering, gift cards and customer reporting. Upserve processes payments for a flat fee.

Editor's score: 9.3/10

One thing we especially like about Upserve is its live mobile app for iOS and Android devices. All Upserve clients can use this app to access a wealth of restaurant information that is collected on the POS, like sales, labor costs, discounts, guest behavior and out-of-stock items.

As an Upserve POS user, you'll have access to feature-rich software with inventory capabilities like a logbook, menu optimization, automated inventory management, recipe costing, vendor management, one-click purchasing and low-inventory alerts. There are also customer-focused features that allow you to track customer rewards, create custom loyalty programs, offer and accept gift cards, and maintain your reputation. These capabilities can help you identify your regular customers and keep them coming back to your restaurant.

Employee management tools are also available, allowing you to use training mode or offline mode, create staffing schedules, and track server performance. You can use reports to track your sales, product levels, labor performance and more. You can even view this information on the mobile app, so you can make important business decisions even when you're out of town. Upserve supports third-party platform integrations, helping your restaurant stay connected and streamline business functions.

Upserve offers 24/7 U.S.-based customer support, and the company claims it answers 84% of calls within 30 seconds. Not many competitors offer this level of customer support, and it's a great option to have, especially when you have questions about the Upserve software or mobile app. Upserve is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating with the agency.

Read Upserve POS Review

Lavu: Best for Integrations

Lavu has nearly 15 of its own in-house integrations and several third-party integrations.
Lavu is cloud-based software with offline capabilities.
Lavu is not compatible with Android.

Lavu is a mobile POS system that caters to restaurants, including bars, ice cream shops, food trucks, wineries, coffee shops, breweries and pizza joints. Businesses of any size can customize a Lavu plan that fits their needs. A single POS terminal plan costs $69, but those who need multiple terminals or enterprise plans will need to contact Lavu for a custom quote.

Editor's score: 9.2/10

Lavu uses iPad-based hardware, and it has an online shop where you can choose from a variety of hardware and peripherals. For example, it offers terminals, starter kits, printers, networking devices, kitchen display systems, gift cards, cash drawers, card readers and discounted products. These hardware options come in a wide range of prices. If you choose to process payment through Lavu's in-house payment solution, LavuPay, it offers an EMV-compliant PayPal chip card reader to accept cards, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. Lavu can also process payments through integrated third-party credit card gateway and processing partners.

Lavu is cloud-based software, although it also has an offline mode for system security. The Lavu POS includes more than 300 features. You can access inventory management functions, like linking your inventory to your menu for seamless tracking, managing vendor relationships, offering tableside ordering and table customization, and managing your menu, such as adding prompts for modifiers. You can improve customer experiences with gift and loyalty features, and you can manage employees with schedule creation capabilities. Lavu provides real-time sales and labor reports, inventory updates, and other financial reports to keep you up to date on how your restaurant is performing.

Where Lavu shines is its integrations. It has nearly 15 of its own in-house integrations that you can add on to the POS offering, which makes it easy to customize your POS setup. Few competitors offer this many in-house integrations to support their POS systems. You can also choose to integrate with nearly 30 other third-party apps, with nearly 60 additional third-party integrations coming soon. Lavu also has the Lavu Pilot app, which lets you track your payments, labor, menu items, trends and reports with your iOS device. Every Lavu plan includes free software updates and free 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and chat. Lavu also has an online resource database.


Revel Systems: Best for Customer Loyalty Programs

You can tailor custom loyalty programs for your business with Revel.
Revel is compatible with some third-party hardware and payment processors.
Revel requires a minimum purchase of two terminals.

Revel Systems provides cloud-based POS systems to quick-service businesses, restaurants, retail shops, pizza joints, and coffee shops. It is easy to use and has a lot of custom options.

Editor's score: 8.4/10

Revel software pricing starts at $99 per month per terminal, billed annually with a three-year Revel Advantage contract. You must purchase at least two terminals to use Revel. Implementation onboarding starts at $674.

Revel offers sleek POS hardware like iPads, iPad stands, self-service kiosks, payment devices, printers, barcode scanners, networking devices, cash drawers and tills. It is possible to connect Revel software with some third-party hardware; however, it recommends sourcing your hardware directly from Revel for the best experience. All hardware packages come preconfigured and ready to go. Additional services and products are also available, like account management, delivery management, kiosks and mobile order-takers, online ordering, multi-location management, and integrated partners. Revel is compatible with some third-party payment processors, or you can use Revel Advantage, its in-house payment processor. Payment processing is a flat fee, and it is EMV and Apple Pay ready, all card types included.

The Revel software has several POS capabilities, including inventory management. You can manage, track, and count products across all stores and sales channels, which is especially great if you have multiple store locations. You can also streamline administrative processes by managing labor operations from a single console.

Where Revel shines is its customer loyalty program capabilities. You can capture customer info from your POS, create custom loyalty programs, and designate how customers earn loyalty points (e.g., with each transaction, based on purchase amount, and/or for specific products). You can view your loyalty program data to gain customer insights as well. Revel Systems has developed an in-house loyalty reward card program for you to customize and build your own gift card program (with setup videos online), or you can integrate with Punchh, Como Sense, LoyaltyPlant, Spendgo, Pepper, LevelUp, or Repeat Returns. This gives you a variety of loyalty program options.

You can access real-time reports and online payment statements from anywhere. In addition to its loyalty program integrations, Revel integrates with multiple companies for analytics, payment processing, online and mobile ordering, accounting, delivery management, e-commerce, restaurant management, gift cards, employee management and payroll, CRM, and security services. Revel has an in-house support team and an onboarding package to help you get started.


Heartland POS: Best for Customer Support

Heartland is compatible with third-party hardware and payment processors.
Heartland responds to customers almost instantly.
Heartland does not list its pricing online.

Heartland Payment Systems offers payment solutions, payroll, capital lending, customer engagement, and POS systems with industry-specific solutions. It caters to retailers, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, quick-service and convenience stores, entertainment businesses, home services, hospitality, internet services, laundromats, liquor stores, municipalities, nonprofits, parking businesses, pharmacies, and service professionals.

Editor's score: 8.3/10

Heartland's POS system is cloud-based software, but it can work offline too. Its payment processing system is unlocked, so you can switch to another processor at any time, for any reason. You can accept payments by mobile phone, tablet, laptop, terminal, or POS, which gives you a variety of possible business setups (e.g., countertop, table, kiosk, food truck, website, or at a customer's home). You can accept all payment types and even store cards on file. Heartland is an Apple-based product, but if you want to use your own compatible processing system or hardware, you can easily work with a Heartland rep to implement it on a different platform. Heartland offers a seven-day free trial, so you can try out the product with no commitment.

With Heartland, you can take online orders, monitor inventory levels in real time, receive automatic alerts, review insights on your top-selling items and margins, offer two-tap ordering, and access multi-location capabilities. With the guest engagement app, you can access rewards, skip-the-line ordering, easy-to-use gift and loyalty features, coupons, and discounts. You can keep track of customer details (e.g., payments, orders, and invoices) and manage employees with timeclock features. Reporting capabilities are available, and Heartland integrates with third-party applications. Its integrations include 48 delivery services (such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates), or you can run your own deliveries with the built-in features.

Although Heartland is a full-service payment solution, its customer support is where it shines. Heartland support is available by ticket, live chat or phone. It prides itself on responding to customers almost instantly, and it lists a variety of phone numbers for you to choose from based on what you are calling about. Heartland also offers fraud protection, so you'll know you're in good hands.


CardConnect: Best for Merchant Services

CardConnect is a highly secure credit card payment integration.
CardConnect offers several solutions, including CardPointe, Clover, Gateway and Plugins, Bolt, CoPilot, and Contactless Payments.
CardConnect does not share its pricing online.

CardConnect is different from our other best picks, as it is not necessarily a POS system. Instead, it is a merchant services provider that offers various solutions for businesses of any size. Its primary solutions include CardPointe (for businesses), Clover (for small shops), Gateway and Plugins (for e-commerce), Bolt (for software), CoPilot (for partners), and Contactless Payments (for software). It is a leading credit card payment processor for ISV partners, merchant accounts, agents, ISOs and VARs. Since CardConnect offers a variety of solutions, it can support you as your business grows. Its mission is to grow commerce with simple, secure, and integrated payments, so it's a secure payment processing solution with PCI-validated defenses.

Editor's score: 8.2/10

If you are looking for a POS system with CardConnect, you may want to consider CardPointe or Clover. Each system offers something unique. CardPointe is a browser-based POS system for desktops, laptops and mobile devices. It offers transaction management, countertop and virtual terminals, free mobile apps and compatible devices, hosted payment pages (customizable, secure solutions for online stores), and integrations and add-ons (such as online shopping carts and accounting software). It can easily integrate with Bolt devices to process virtual transactions protected by EMV or chip card technology.

If you have a smaller business or want to use Clover's exceptional POS hardware, you can sign up with Clover through CardConnect. Clover software is only $9.95 per month, making it a perfect choice for small businesses. It offers a variety of in-house hardware for restaurants, retail stores, service businesses and e-commerce. It also has POS features for inventory management, customer and employee management, and reporting and analytics.

Regardless of which CardConnect solution you use, you can rest assured that your payments will be processed securely. CardConnect also offers 24/7 team support and a plethora of online resources. CardConnect is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has a B+ rating with the agency.


How Much Does a POS System Cost?

Thanks to advances in technology and a decline in POS prices over the years, there is a POS system for every size of business. The hardware no longer costs several thousand dollars, and the service contracts aren't hundreds of dollars a month. Today, there are price points to fit a one-shop merchant as well as a retailer with several locations.

POS system costs still vary widely, though, depending on the hardware and software features you need. There are three components to consider when determining the price of a system – hardware, software, and payment processing. Plan on comparison shopping for each one.

POS Hardware Costs

Depending on the business, a POS terminal can include a cash drawer, a credit card swipe bar, barcode scanners, a receipt printer, a card reader and signature-capture devices. The best POS providers are compatible with third-party hardware so you can shop around for deals (and may be able to continue using it if you switch software providers later). They're also scalable, so you can start with just the basics, then add peripherals as your business grows and your budget allows.

For very small businesses that only accept credit cards and can email receipts to customers, a phone or tablet and a card reader will suffice. If you already have mobile devices and only need to buy a credit card reader (EMV compliant and NFC enabled), this setup usually costs between $20 and $100.

Most small businesses will want a few more peripherals, such as a tablet stand, credit card reader, cash drawer and receipt printer. For this type of setup (using your own tablet), you'll typically pay $600 to $1,000. Additional peripherals like barcode scanners, kitchen printers and display screens cost extra.


Bottom lineBottom line: POS hardware typically costs between $20 and $1,000, depending on what type of hardware you need. Additional peripherals cost extra (e.g., barcode scanners, kitchen printers, display screens).

POS Software Costs

POS software costs depend on the services you need. You could pay anywhere from $25 to $250 a month. The most common payment model in the POS software market is monthly subscriptions.

Most of the cloud-based POS vendors offer pricing tiers with different features. Some tiers cap the number of users or the monthly sales volume you process. There are also POS vendors that offer free POS software, but there's a catch: You must process your payments through the POS provider.

If you want a basic, free POS system, the best options are from mobile credit card processors like Square, PayPal and SumUp. They include POS features as part of their mobile processing apps. You must use these companies for your payment processing in order to use their POS apps, 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 system, such as inventory management or e-commerce tools, expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 a month for one register. The more bells and whistles you want, the higher the monthly cost. Be mindful of the features in each tier when shopping for a POS system: One company might include all the features you need in the basic package, whereas you have to pay for a higher tier to access some of those features with another vendor. For example, inventory management with tracking capabilities may be standard in all packages with one vendor and an add-on with another.

Bottom lineBottom line: POS software typically costs between $40 and $100 per month for one register.

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 point-of-sale device. The best POS systems give you a choice of payment processors so you can shop around for low rates and fees, and if you decide to use a different processor, you won't have to switch out the entire POS system.

POS providers are increasingly offering in-house processing, which can be convenient but more costly. Some give you a choice to use their in-house processing service or not, while others charge an extra fee (either monthly or per transaction) for using a third-party processor. Others require you to use their in-house credit card processing service exclusively.

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

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 so you can calculate the total cost, including add-ons.

Types of POS Systems

The first step in choosing a POS system is determining which type is right for your business. The three main POS system types are cloud-hosted, locally hosted, and a combination of both.

Cloud-Based POS Systems

Cloud-based POS systems are popular with merchants and restaurant owners, as they offer a simple but comprehensive way to manage commerce. 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 resides on the internet. You don't need to set up a local server to host your data – the POS provider takes care of that for you.

With a cloud-based POS system, you can ring up sales, take orders, and accept payments using a tablet or smartphone anywhere in your store or restaurant. If you get a mobile cloud-hosted POS, you can take your register wherever you need. You can also access back-office functions from any browser, such as viewing sales data in real time or automatically restocking shelves.

Most cloud POS software providers charge a monthly subscription and little in the way of fees. Pricing is transparent, and the software is regularly updated; you don't have to worry about ensuring the POS software is secure and up to date. You won't pay extra for customer service either – many of these companies include customer service in the subscription price.

The one potential downside of a cloud-based POS provider is the need for reliable internet access. Many web-based systems have an offline mode so you can continue ringing up sales if you have the occasional glitch in your connection, but if your internet access is unreliable, you may need to consider a server-based solution.

Server-Based POS Systems

Server-based, on-premises, or onsite POS systems are installed on your server instead of hosted in the cloud. You don't need to be online to ring up sales, and you can customize the system. But you do have to maintain your own server, which means security and backups fall to you.

A server-based POS system tends to be more expensive than a cloud-based version. For starters, it may require extra computer hardware and IT support to maintain the system. Then there's the cost of the software, which can be high, and monthly support or maintenance fees.

Since the POS lives onsite, it may be difficult to access your system remotely. You'll need to be in the building to take care of back-office tasks like running reports and updating your product catalog or menu.

Hybrid POS Systems

If you want the mobility and convenience benefits of a cloud-based POS system and the stability of a server-based POS system, consider a hybrid solution. This type of POS system runs on a local server and backs up your data to the cloud, allowing you to access it remotely. If your internet drops or lags, there's no disruption to your system. These systems are typically priced as a monthly subscription, like cloud-based POS systems.

A hybrid POS system shares some of the downsides of server-based solutions. You will need some extra hardware and potentially IT support. It's also more involved to set up than a purely cloud-based system. You may need to back up the server manually, whereas a cloud-based system does it for you.

How to Choose a POS System for Your Business

The POS market is a crowded one, with vendors trying to differentiate their features and services. Some POS vendors sell software only, while others sell both software and hardware. Then there's payment processing: With some POS vendors, that service is part of a bundled package, 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. Make sure to include the costs for all three components (software, hardware and payment processing) in your calculations when you're evaluating your options.

Additionally, 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 so you can calculate the total cost, including add-ons.

Buying Guide

What POS Software Features Do You Need?

POS systems can have hundreds of features, but they are worthless if you don't use any of them. Depending on the specifics of your business, you may need a full arsenal of features, or you may prefer to keep things simple. As you look for POS software, think about what features you must have, those that would be nice to have, and which ones you'll never use. Sign up for a few demos and trial versions before making your final decision. You want to make sure the POS app is easy to use and checks off all the boxes on your must-have list.

Besides the basic cash register features that every POS solution has, you should look closely at some key feature sets before selecting a system. Keep in mind that specific capabilities within each feature set vary from system to system. Advanced features may only be available at higher service tiers, or you may need to add apps or integrations to the POS system.

Mobile App Support

The best POS systems have apps that you install on tablets and smartphones, transforming the devices into mobile POS terminals. Retailers can use them as mobile checkout devices to ring up customer orders anywhere on the store floor. Restaurants can use them to take orders and accept payments tableside. You can also attach the tablet to a stand and add peripherals, such as a cash drawer and a receipt printer, to create a countertop checkout station.

Be mindful of the platform the mobile POS supports when comparison shopping. Although some POS systems can be used with both Android tablets and iPads, some are specific to one platform. If you have a strong preference for one platform or already have tablets and phones you want to use, this is an important consideration. Dual-platform POS system vendors include Epos Now, Square and PayPal.

iPads are the preferred platform for most POS providers. These devices are well known for their user-friendly interface and stability. iPads also have superior security because of the closed nature of Apple's iOS. That makes it harder for hackers to install malware on the devices. But you pay for that added security; iPads tend to be more expensive than Android tablet POS systems. iPad POS systems include Vend, TouchBistro, Lightspeed, Talech and Revel.

Android may be the more popular platform with consumers, with over 2.5 billion devices in use, but not when it comes to POS systems. While iOS-based systems are more common, Android tablets 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. An example of an Android POS systems is Toast.

Inventory Management

A POS inventory management system does a lot of the work for you, automatically tracking and ordering items. When considering inventory management, 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 or SKUs, and others offer unlimited packages. If you do need advanced inventory management features and they're not available in the POS you want, make sure the POS system integrates with your inventory software.

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 need all the customer management and loyalty features some POS vendors offer. That's why it's important, again, to consider your needs.

If your business only needs to collect customers' payment and delivery information, you won't need a built-in CRM. But if you are 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.

Employee Management

If your employees will use the POS system, you need to control the data and functions they can access. For example, you may only want your store managers to handle refunds, or it can be a function of all cashiers. It's important to choose a POS vendor that can deliver on your employee management needs, simple or complex. Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you want to set permissions for individual users?
  • Do you need a timeclock for employees?
  • If you're already using time and attendance software, will it integrate with the POS system?


A big benefit of using a POS system is the reporting. Because the POS tracks all your sales, you get an overview of what inventory is moving and what is languishing. 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. The more advanced reporting you need, the more you'll pay for the capability.


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

Unattended POS Systems

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing trend for POS software is the ability to turn a tablet or smartphone into a self-serve kiosk. Customers can use these devices to choose and purchase items, enabling merchants to transform tablets and smartphones into self-ordering and self-payment stations.

Which POS Hardware Features Do You Need?

You have a lot of options for POS hardware and how you configure your system. A basic POS station has a tablet or a touchscreen, a credit card reader, a cash drawer and till, and a receipt printer. Some POS systems are compatible with additional peripherals:

  • Tablet stand: This holds the 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 POS system.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Coin dispenser: This reduces errors and speeds up the checkout process by automatically returning change to the customer.
  • Caller ID device: The POS system automatically starts an order when customers call your business.

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 – not to mention that leases have noncancelable, multiyear contracts. If you go out of business and return the equipment, you must continue making lease payments until your contract is up.

Some companies offer "free" POS terminals, but accepting these can also be more expensive than buying your equipment upfront. To get this deal, you're typically required to sign a lengthy contract for the company's credit card processing service. Usually there's a monthly fee on top of that for maintenance or insurance. Then there's the POS software subscription to cover each month. Keep in mind that if it's a "free placement program," you'll be required to return the equipment if you close your account when the lease expires.

Proprietary vs. Open-Source POS Hardware

Proprietary POS hardware only works with the system you're purchasing it for, so if you switch systems, it will be unusable. It's usually only available from that specific POS provider, so you can't shop around for a good deal.

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 comparison shop.


Credit Card Terminal or Card Reader

Most of the time, you'll buy the credit card terminal or mobile reader from your payment processing company. However, sometimes you must purchase it from the POS company. Whether you buy it from the processor or POS company, 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.

Best POS Software Systems for Small Businesses

In addition to having a comprehensive suite of features and providing reliable support, the best POS systems are those that give you the most flexibility with contractual terms and setup configuration. They don't lock you in with contracts, leases, or proprietary hardware, so you can move on if the system isn't the best fit for your business or you want to try a different solution.

They integrate with multiple payment processors and various business applications, allowing you to add more features to the system or connect with other systems you already use. Many also have an open API so you can build custom integrations if needed.

Finally, they can grow with your business, whether that means adding extra users, more devices or registers, or even a new location, allowing you to manage multiple outlets from a single account.



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 consumers of POS systems. POS systems serve businesses of all sizes, from one-person retail shops to operations with many locations.

Depending on your business's needs, your POS hardware may include a cash drawer, credit card reader, receipt printer and/or barcode scanner. On the software front, the POS performs a multitude of tasks, such as ringing up sales, processing payments, managing orders and promoting customer loyalty. The POS software should be able to integrate with your business's existing systems.

There are both server- and cloud-based POS systems. Cloud versions are more popular because they are cheaper and easier to use, and they require no maintenance on the business owner's part.


The types of businesses that use a POS system include retailers, restaurants, and just about any merchant that makes sales. A street vendor or food truck owner can use a POS system to accept orders and payments, just like an online store or a local merchant can use a POS system to ring up sales. 


The three main types of POS systems are cloud-based, server-based 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, as well as all software updates. The one potential downside is the software's reliance on consistent internet access and a strong connection.

  • On-premises POS: With this type of 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 POS system, partly because of the extra IT hardware and support you may need to maintain the system. Then there's the cost of the software, which can be high, and monthly support or maintenance fees on top of that.

  • 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 will all be there in the cloud. There will be no disruptions to your ability to conduct business if your internet is down. A hybrid solution isn't as easy to set up as a cloud-based one, though, and could require extra IT costs.


The big difference between a POS and mPOS is the ability to take the hardware on the go. With a POS system, the hardware is fixed within a restaurant or store; you can't ring someone up as they walk through the store or bring the digital menu to their table. You can do that with an mPOS system, since the terminal is portable. With an mPOS system, you can take your register on the go or to multiple locations. 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.

How can restaurants utilize POS systems to help with staffing issues? 

Automation, specifically the tools built into top POS systems, is a way to alleviate issues surrounding staffing shortage. The POS tools can help automate inventory and payroll, which frees up staff to help in other areas of the restaurant. Additionally, these systems can manage reservations and orders, as well as process payments. All of this ensures the staff you do have available can be where needs are most pressing. 

How can POS systems help with dynamic pricing?

Supply and demand influences dynamic pricing. Whether it's purchase patterns, increased demand, or seasonal increases or decreases, dynamic pricing can be instituted as a way to maximize profits. Using the tool built into POS systems, businesses can determine the right times to drop or increase prices.


We started our evaluation of POS systems with more than 100 options, including companies we were already familiar with, those that contacted us and others that we came across in our research.

From this list, we looked for cloud-based POS systems designed for small businesses. We searched vendors' websites for information, read customer reviews, browsed how-to guides and installation manuals, watched video tutorials, and tried out demos. Here are the aspects we examined to evaluate POS systems:

  • Contractual terms. The best POS software companies give you a choice between month-to-month and annual subscriptions. They don't require you to sign a multiyear contract or charge you fees if you cancel your account.

  • Monthly subscription fees. We considered how much it costs to use the POS software. We also looked for additional fees the company charges, such as for setup and installation, or for additional features and services.

  • Transparency of pricing. The best companies post their prices on their websites so you can determine whether the system is within your budget before you spend time on the phone with a sales representative.

  • Choice of payment processor. We looked for POS systems that work with multiple payment processors so you can shop around for good rates.

  • Inclusion of key feature sets and integrations. The best POS systems have a good mix of features. They also offer add-ons or integrations so you can customize the system to meet your needs and share sales data with business applications you already use.

  • Compatibility with third-party POS hardware. This is a cost-saving feature, as you may be able to use equipment you already own, and it gives you compatibility with future systems without you needing to switch POS providers.

  • Availability of customer support. You want customer support to be available whenever you need help. Because some businesses have irregular hours, and many business owners work long hours, we looked for systems that have 24/7 phone support.

Community Expert Insight

POS systems are rich in features, able to do everything from ringing up sales to automatically reordering inventory. But the small business owners we spoke with point to mobility, ease of use and customer experience as the attributes that matter most.

Take Scaffidi Restaurant Group in Steubenville, Ohio, for example. It recently switched to the Square POS platform from the Windows-based EmaginePOS. One reason it made the switch was Square's ability to take orders and process payments in a mobile fashion, such as tableside and carside.

"In this day and age, when either restaurants are forced to do only carryout/delivery or, when not forced, customers are gravitating towards that service, it is important to have a system that makes the process more streamlined, with less steps, and able to handle the volume that we need it to," said Frankie DiCarlantonio, director of the Scaffidi Restaurant Group.

With the company relying on delivery services like DoorDash, DiCarlantonio said it needed a POS that could automate the process of taking orders from these delivery services. "It cuts down on the processing time of taking the order they provide to us and entering it into our order processing systems manually," he said, noting it also reduces errors.

For Ravi Parikh, CEO of campground management software company RoverPass, a detailed customer-facing display is an important feature in a POS system because it ensures speedy checkout.

"So many POS systems just give an itemized list with the names on SKUs and little more," he said. "It's hard to read, scrolls by too fast, and leads to more confusion than anything else. Customers either ignore everything but the total, or they hold up the cashier to ask questions."

Parikh said a good POS system should at least list the item's full name, displayed in a clear font and at a readable speed. "If it's on sale, the display should show that to save time," he added.

Stephen Light, co-owner of Nolah Mattress, puts ease of use and security at the top of the list for anybody shopping for a POS system. According to Light, business owners should look for POS systems with easy-to-use interfaces that don't have a slew of bells and whistles.

"When businesses use a complex POS system with many unnecessary characteristics, it makes transactions longer and more prone to errors," he said.

Light also said to be mindful of the protections the vendor has in place to secure data. You want to choose a POS system that can tell the difference between authorized personnel and hackers.

"When a POS system has a reliable security certificate, it can limit sensitive data access to a selected few, giving business owners peace of mind," Light said.

What to Expect in 2021

The POS market has made great strides in features and technology over the years. That's not going to change in 2021 as e-commerce capabilities take center stage. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught business owners anything, it is the need for adaptability. When shutdowns forced retailers to close their doors, another channel quickly rose to the forefront: e-commerce. Recognizing this, POS vendors stepped up to offer more e-commerce features in their services. More of that is expected in 2021 as e-commerce remains vital during the pandemic and beyond.

Lightspeed's recent acquisition of New York-based ShopKeep is indicative of that trend. When announcing the deal, Montreal-based Lightspeed said the acquisition was driven by demand from independent businesses to replace legacy POS systems with modern ones that can support e-commerce. Meanwhile, global POS provider Epos Now recently inked a deal with BigCommerce, an e-commerce platform provider. When announcing the partnership, Epos Now said thousands of brick-and-mortar stores will be able to operate online through the alliance.

"Consumer habits are shifting on an unprecedented scale," said Epos Now's chief growth officer, Barbara Staruk, in a press release announcing the deal. "Our customers must move to capitalize on the growing demand for online retail."

In addition to the increasing demand for e-commerce services, selling on social media is a growing trend that POS providers are supporting in 2021. Many POS systems have built-in capabilities for merchants to easily upload products on social and SEO tools to boost sales online. More tools and features for e-commerce and social media selling are expected to appear this year.

Self-service, mobile POS software takes center stage in 2021

Before the pandemic, unattended POS systems were still in the taking-off stage. Self-serve kiosks were available already, of course, but now they are a mainstay. With social distancing being the norm now, businesses are increasingly rolling out self-serve stations, enabling customers to place orders and make payments without interacting with a human being. Many POS software vendors are wise to this trend, developing features that will turn tablets and mobile devices into self-serve ordering kiosks. Meanwhile, restaurants are using QR codes at the table to provide menus to customers and allow them to pay for meals without contact. With self-service kiosks comes the ability for merchants to accept a variety of payment methods. That ability is expected to become more common in 2021, as these methods provide safe and quick ways to make purchases.

Mobile POS systems are also expected to continue to grow in popularity in 2021. These systems enable merchants and restaurants to bring digital menus and cash registers to where the customers are. That means shorter lines and quicker table turnover. Merchants and restaurant owners can expect more services around loyalty programs and customer retention this year as well. With competition fierce and businesses suffering because of the pandemic, anything that can boost customer loyalty will be welcome in 2021.

Skye Schooley Staff
Skye Schooley is a staff writer at and Business News Daily, where she has written more than 200 articles on B2B-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and business technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products that help business owners launch and grow their business, Skye writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.
Image Credit: DERO2084 / Getty Images
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