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Best POS Systems 2018

Best POS Systems 2018
The best POS systems for your business. / Credit: POS image via Shutterstock

The best POS systems are affordable and easy to use, and do more than just process sales and accept payments, as they include time-saving features that help you analyze your sales data and manage your inventory, staff and customers. The best systems also include or have integrations for email marketing, loyalty programs, and other capabilities that make it easier to run and grow your business. The best vendors also provide reliable customer support. 

All our top picks are cloud-based systems that you can access from any browser, so you can check your sales data and run back-office tasks from wherever you are, and they have apps for tablets, which are often less expensive than touchscreen systems. Here's a roundup of our 2018 best picks for POS systems and details about how we chose them. To help you find the right POS system for your business, check out our guide: How to Accept Credit Cards Online, In-Store or Anywhere.

Read Review
  • Pricing
    $69-$199 per month, based on annual payment
  • Devices
  • Support
    24/7 email and chat support; phone support with Advanced and Multi-Outlet plans; live chat
Read Review
  • Pricing
    Starts at $59 per month
  • Devices
  • Support
    24/7 email and in-app chat; live chat
Read Review
  • Pricing
    $69 per month
  • Devices
  • Support
    24/7 phone and email support; live chat
Read Review
  • Pricing
    Starts at $69 per month
  • Devices
    iPad and Apple AirPort router
  • Support
    24/7 phone and email support

Editor's Note: Looking for information on POS systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Vend has everything you need to run and grow a brick-and-mortar store. Beyond processing transactions, Vend has reporting and inventory management features and provides access to a variety of integrations that can help you run your business, save time and boost sales. This vendor is suitable for many different types of stores across a wide variety of industries. Whether you run a clothing store, a sporting goods store, or a specialty service-based business such as a car wash or computer shop, Vend has the features you need. [Go here for a full review of the Vend POS system.]

Bindo is a cloud-based POS system built especially for the iPad. It offers an intuitive user interface, is packed with business management tools, and comes with advanced capabilities like its product database that simplifies inventory input and its time-clock technology that photographs your employees when they clock in and out, ensuring accurate timekeeping. It also integrates with QuickBooks and has an API that you can use to create custom integrations. Bindo provides 24/7 customer support via email and in-app chat and is competitively priced. [Go here for a full review of the Bindo POS system.]

ShopKeep is a budget-friendly, cloud-based iPad POS system packed with all the time-saving features retailers need to run and grow their businesses. It comes with a wide range of advanced yet easy-to-use tools to help you save time and boost sales, without any long-term contracts required, though signing a contract may qualify you for discounted rates. The company provides free 24/7 phone and email support and also has live chat, a searchable knowledgebase, small business resources and more. [Go here for a full review of the ShopKeep POS system.]


TouchBistro is a simple and affordable POS system that focuses on the unique needs of restaurant owners, such as table, reservation and delivery management features. It's suitable for all types of food establishments – fine dining, casual eateries, cafes, pubs, food trucks and more. It works with the iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Mini, giving you flexibility and mobility, no matter which type of restaurant you own. TouchBistro offers 24/7 phone and email support, video tutorials, and setup guides. [Go here for a full review of the TouchBistro POS system.]

To find the best POS systems for small businesses, we asked small business owners which systems they use and what they like and dislike about them. We also read customer reviews to see what users with firsthand experience think about them.

We then compiled a comprehensive list of POS systems from several sources, including customer research, review sites and business websites, those we knew about or that were previously pitched to us, and some from our previous research on the best credit card processors for small businesses. In the end, we had more than 50 POS systems to choose from.

Next, we researched these vendors and narrowed down our list based on use cases for the Best Picks categories above. Our methodology included browsing each vendor's website, trying out demos, watching video tutorials and reviewing how-to guides, installation manuals, articles and other available resources. Additionally, we contacted vendors and asked several questions as small business owners in the market for a new POS system.

After much consideration, our top picks for POS systems for small businesses are Vend, Bindo, ShopKeep and TouchBistro. Our short list included Breadcrumb, Clover, Epos Now, Lavu, NCR Silver, PayPal Here, Revel Systems, SalesVu, Shopify and Square.

Here are the criteria we used to evaluate each POS system:

  • Cost, such as monthly fees (or swipe rates, where applicable)
  • Contracts and service terms
  • Merchant services options
  • Ease of setup and use
  • Back-end features, such as reporting and inventory management
  • Built-in solutions, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Industry-specific tools, such as online ordering for restaurants
  • Customization options
  • Third-party integrations
  • Customer service

Here's a full list of POS systems and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

Acme – Acme is an on-premises POS system built especially for specialty retailers and grocers. It's an affordable POS system with a complete back-office solution built right into the software. It works with standard POS equipment as well as desktop computers and mobile devices, giving your business flexibility and mobility options. acmepointofsale.com

Aireus – Aireus is an advanced iPad POS system for restaurants. It comes with nearly every possible feature a restaurant would need to function on an enterprise level. Besides floor features like tableside ordering and payment acceptance, happy-hour mode, and bill splitting, it comes with back-end features like reporting, built-in CRM software, a time clock with payroll exporting, offline mode and web ordering. aireus.com

Ambur – Ambur is another robust iPad POS system for restaurants that also works on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Like most tablet-based systems, Ambur charges a monthly subscription fee, with three tiers based on the number of devices you add to the system. Ambur also sells POS hardware, including iPads. amburapp.com

Bindo – Our pick for the best mobile POS system, Bindo comes with a bevy of tools to help you process transactions and run your business straight from your iPad, all at a small business-friendly price. It can be used by retail, restaurant and salon businesses, and it includes e-commerce integration, customization options, mobile payments and 24/7 customer support.  Read our full review here. bindopos.com

Bluestore Live – Bluestore is a simple and affordable POS system that works on different types of hardware, including iPads. We like that plans come with unlimited products, users and customers, and that updates and maintenance are all included in the low month-to-month subscription fee. The company is based in the U.K., but the POS system is available to U.S. customers. bluefishretail.com

Breadcrumb – One of our favorites is Breadcrumb POS by Upserve, a feature-rich iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, clubs and similar establishments. It comes with hundreds of capabilities, so you can tailor the system to make it perfect for your business. We also like that Breadcrumb offers 24/7 customer support and free customization setup. upserve.com

Cashier Live – Cashier Live bills itself as smart online POS software for retailers. With web-based access and an iPhone and iPad app, Cashier Live is available seamlessly across a variety of devices. The software helps you quickly ring up sales, track inventory, manage employees, access data, generate reports and more. Cashier Live works with any kind of retail store, but it has special features for boutiques, hardware stores and pharmacies. cashierlive.com

Clover – Clover is an advanced POS system for businesses that require more complex and highly customizable software. We like that you can start with the basic features, then add apps for other capabilities, such as staff scheduling, customer management and loyalty programs, either from the start or as your business grows. Even better, Clover has its own API, so your developers can create custom integrations if needed. clover.com

Datio POS – Datio POS is an iPad POS system for retail stores, small cafes and quick-service restaurants. The company charges a monthly subscription fee for its software, and there's no contract, so you can cancel at any time without penalty. The company provides payment processing through Vantiv, and you can purchase its POS hardware either directly from the company or from Amazon. datiopos.com/

Dinlr – Dinlr Waiter is a POS system for restaurants that runs on iPads and iPhones. With it, you can take orders, manage tables and reservations, split checks, and accept payments. It manages inventory at the ingredient level, and its purchase-ordering system can automatically reorder supplies. The company also offers Dinlr Table for restaurants that prefer to allow their guests to place their own orders from iPad menus at each table. dinlr.com/us

Dinerware – Dinerware is an easy-to-use restaurant and hospitality POS system designed for small and midsize businesses. It is flexible in design and can easily be set up to support a broad variety of restaurant concepts and workflows, including fine dining restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, pubs, wineries, breweries, golf clubs, hotels and casinos. There is also a remote access tool called Home Office, which lets business owners securely access the system, management tools and real-time data from any browser. dinerware.com

Edge POS – Edge POS is all-in-one POS software for restaurants that uses a touchscreen as a terminal. Although it looks like any other traditional POS system, Edge POS does more than process credit cards. It also comes with features such as online ordering, payroll services, inventory tracking, accounting and real-time reporting. gosilveredge.com

Epos Now – Epos Now offers full-featured POS systems for retail and hospitality businesses. Systems include mobile and tablet-based POS systems for iOS and Android, as well as software-based systems for Mac and PC. The company has its own app store, where you can find thousands of integrations for the business solutions you already use. eposnow.com/us

Erply – Erply is popular retail POS software that works on iPads and Android tablets, as well as any browser. This all-in-one software does everything a POS system is supposed to do and also includes powerful Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM solutions built right into the software to help you run a single or multi-chain retail operation. erply.com

GiftLogic – GiftLogic is an easy-to-use retail POS system. In addition to processing sales, GiftLogic can help you boost sales and manage your business. Its built-in CRM software comes with MailChimp email marketing integration, purchase histories, customer accounts, loyalty programs and more. GiftLogic also comes with a full-featured inventory management tool that helps you save time with automatic reorders, discount scheduling and other capabilities. giftlogic.com  

GoFrugal POS – GoFrugal POS is available as an on-premises system and as a web-based platform that you can access from a browser on any computer, tablet or phone. Based in India, it is used by businesses in more than 35 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. It has advanced retail management tools, easy billing capabilities, ecommerce integration and more. gofrugal.com

Gotmerchant – Gotmerchant offers "free" POS hardware for retailers and restaurants that sign up for the company's credit card processing services. This system has a touchscreen monitor, and cloud-based POS software is available. It uses the Harbortouch software outlined below. gotmerchant.com

Harbortouch – Harbortouch includes "free" hardware with its POS system. We say "free" because, although you don't have to pay for the hardware, you pay a monthly POS software fee and for Harbortouch's processing service. Harbortouch has two POS systems, the Echo and the Elite, and both use touchscreen monitors. The company offers additional services, including check services and merchant cash advances. harbortouch.com

iConnect – iConnect is a powerful POS system for all types of small businesses. We like that it gives you flexibility in hardware so you're not forced to stay in one ecosystem. It works on the iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, as well as over the web, so you can access it from any browser. iConnect is particularly useful for service businesses, such as salons and gyms, because it comes with features like booking and scheduling, check-in and checkout, and membership sales. iconnectpos.com

Imonggo – Imonggo is a simple retail POS system with a free plan for startups and very small businesses, specifically those with fewer than 1,000 products and 1,000 sales per month. A paid plan that supports an unlimited number of products and transactions is also available. Imonggo is web-based, so you can access it anytime, anywhere, from any browser. Features include inventory management, sales analytics, digital receipts and loyalty programs. imonggo.com

Instore – Instore is an all-in-one iPad POS system for restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delis, bars and retail businesses. We like how easy it is to set up – you just download the app to start a free trial. Instore lets you manage your menu, sales, staffing, inventory, marketing and other areas of your business. instoredoes.com

Kounta – Kounta is a POS system that works with both Android tablets and iPads, and can be used by retail and restaurant businesses. It includes a strong mix of features, and integrations are available, allowing you to connect to other business programs or augment the system's capabilities. There's no lengthy contract requirement for this system, and it's compatible with third-party hardware. It doesn't currently integrate with any U.S. payment processors, though you can use it alongside the processor of your choice. kounta.com

Lavu – Lavu is an iPad POS system for restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, bars, pizzerias and other types of eateries. We like how intuitive and easy to use the software is and that it comes with many features, including order management, inventory tracking, employee hours, customer data, analytics and sales histories. Setup is also a breeze – you just download the app from the Apple App Store or contact a Lavu specialist to get started. lavu.com

Lightspeed – Lightspeed is a full-featured POS system that offers dedicated solutions for retail and restaurant businesses. On the retail side, you get rich back-office tools to help you manage your store, as well as inventory management and e-commerce integration. Restaurants also get a wide range of features, such as a full touchscreen menu, table-to-kitchen ordering and floor-plan mapping. Both versions work on the iPad, so you can take your POS anywhere and sell anytime. lightspeedhq.com

Linga POS – Linga POS is a full-featured iPad POS system for restaurants from Benseron Hospitality. It's suitable for all types and sizes of restaurant and is competitively priced. There's no lengthy contract to sign, you can choose from multiple payment processors, and it's compatible with third-party POS hardware. One unique feature is that you can connect Linga POS to your IoT devices, like Nest thermostat controls and security cameras. lingapos.com

LivePOS – LivePOS is a robust, hybrid cloud POS solution that lets you automate different areas of your business so you can spend more time making sales and growing your business. We like that it comes with an app marketplace and its own API, giving you plenty of options to fully customize the software and tailor it to your business. LivePOS also offers 24/7 customer support, so you can reach a live person whenever you need help. livepos.com

Loyverse – Loyverse is a free mobile POS system for iOS and Android devices. The service is packed with features and comes with free tools to manage your business, sales and customers. This includes a user-friendly back office and dashboard that make it easy to access analytics, monitor sales, track inventory, manage employees and launch marketing campaigns. Loyverse also offers loyalty programs and capabilities that cater specifically to retail stores, restaurants and cafes. loyverse.com

mPower Beverage Software – Designed specifically for wine, beer, and liquor stores, this POS software has inventory and customer management tools, more than 70 reports and a built-in time clock. It runs on Windows-based hardware, including full-service Microsoft tablets, and integrates with QuickBooks. Cloud hosting is available for a monthly fee if you prefer not to manage a local server. mpowerbeverage.com

National Retail Solutions – National Retail Solutions' NRS POS+ system is an all-in-one solution for small, independent retail stores. It comes with dual touchscreens, a cash drawer, a scanner and a receipt printer. The software includes register features, vendor and inventory management, reporting, and a loyalty program. There's no contract requirement for this system, and the company can set up your payment processing, or you can work with the processor of your choice. nrsplus.com

NCR Counterpoint – NCR Counterpoint is a POS system for retailers of every size. It supports omnichannel sales and has tools for inventory management, tiered pricing, purchase ordering, and analytics, as well as email marketing and customer loyalty programs. This system is available from resellers, who provide installation, custom programming, training, support and cloud-hosted solutions. poshighway.com

NCR Silver – Another runner-up, NCR Silver is a cloud-based POS system that delivers big-business features on a small-business budget. It works on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, or you can purchase its Silver Register, which is built on a closed Android system. It offers different versions of its POS software for retailers, restaurateurs and service providers. We like that it comes with built-in email marketing and 24/7 customer support. ncrsilver.com

Passport POS – Passport POS from Gilbarco Veeder-Root is a touchscreen POS system for gas stations and convenience stores. It includes employee management, access control and reporting features. It also supports third-party loyalty programs that allow you to reward customers. The company says employees can learn to use the system in 20 minutes, and customer service is available by phone 24/7/365. gilbarco.com/us

PayPal Here – Our top pick for the best low-volume credit card processor, the PayPal Here credit card reader and mobile app turn your iPad or Android tablet into a POS system with anytime, anywhere credit card processing. Features include barcode scanning, automatic invoicing, digital receipts and debit card PIN processing. Read our full review here. paypal.com

Posandro – Posandro is an Android POS system built primarily for restaurants and other food-based businesses, though it can also be used for retail stores. It's a very affordable system with no lengthy contract requirement. It's compatible with third-party POS hardware and has a good selection of features. There's only one payment processor that integrates with U.S.-based businesses using the system, though you can use the system alongside your processor of choice. If you need customer support, you can email the company, but phone support isn't available. posandro.com

Pose – Pose is a cloud-based POS system that can be used in stores, cafes, booths and salons and by service providers working on location. It's a web-based system, so you can access Pose on any browser, whether you prefer to use a desktop computer, laptop or tablet (a native iPad app is also available). This system gives you a lot of flexibility, so you can take your POS system with you anywhere you go. getpose.com

POSGuys – POSGuys offers a wide range of products for retailers, restaurants and salons. Solutions include traditional POS hardware systems with touchscreen monitors as well as mobile POS options that use tablets. Peripherals such as barcode scanners and scales are also available. POSGuys also sells POS software, so you can conveniently purchase everything in one place. posguys.com

PremierMerchant – PremierMerchant is a cloud-based POS system for retailers. The company has partnered with several retail industry leaders to offer a robust set of features that help retailers boost sales and grow their businesses. Features include a built-in inventory system, shift management, customer loyalty programs and customized reporting. premiermerchant.com

Quetzal – If you are a clothing or shoe retailer, Quetzal has a solution for you. This cloud-based iPad POS system is packed with big-box features at a small-business price, such as better inventory management and customer engagement tools. We also like that it's fast and super easy to use, making it an efficient POS system for your business. quetzalpos.com

QuickBooks POS – QuickBooks' POS software transforms your desktop into a powerful POS system. Besides securely accepting credit cards and processing sales, QuickBooks POS lets you manage inventory, nurture customer relationships and perform other tasks to manage your business. As expected, QuickBooks POS easily integrates with QuickBooks' accounting solutions, and has automatic data syncing, payment reconciliation and more. quickbooks.intuit.com/point-of-sale

Retail Pro – Retail Pro is an enterprise-level POS system for specialty retailers. Features include customized workflows, personalized shopping for customers, CRM, inventory management, merchandising tools and accounting. Retail Pro is also a scalable POS system, so you can start with the basics and add capabilities as your business grows. retailpro.com

Revel Systems – Revel Systems is a runner-up for the best iPad POS system. Besides POS capabilities and e-commerce integration, Revel comes with a ton of additional business features, such as payroll management, appointment scheduling, analytics and QuickBooks integration. The company offers solutions for all business types and sizes, including retailers, restaurants, event companies and sports stadiums. Revel also lets you create custom POS integrations using its API so you can tailor the system to your business's needs. revelsystems.com

SalesVu – Another runner-up, SalesVu, is a cloud-based, all-in-one POS system and business management solution that you can use to run your entire business straight from the POS. Its modules and integrations include credit card processing, inventory management, employee scheduling, customer management, accounting, and email and social media marketing. SalesVu works on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices and is suitable for businesses in many industries, including retail, restaurant and professional services. salesvu.com

Shopify – Shopify is one of our favorite POS systems for retailers because it's affordable, easy to use and completely mobile. Shopify plans start at less than $10 per month, making it one of the most inexpensive POS systems for small businesses. Shopify has a simple interface, so it won't require much staff training, and works on the iPad and the iPhone, so you can sell in the store or on the go. Because Shopify began as an e-commerce solution, Shopify POS easily integrates and syncs with your Shopify online store. shopify.com/pos

ShopKeep – ShopKeep is our pick for the best POS system for retailers. This cloud-based iPad POS system comes with a ton of time-saving features that retailers need to run their businesses and boost sales. We also like that it offers many customer support resources, including free 24/7 phone and email support, live chat, and community forums. Read our full review here. shopkeep.com

Smartwerks – Smartwerks is cloud-based POS software for retailers. It caters to specialty stores such as gift and hobby shops, jewelry stores, and retailers selling home decor, mattresses, and hearth and patio furniture. It can be used by both small and midsize companies with either a single store or multiple locations. The software helps you manage your inventory, customers and staff. It includes loyalty tools and a timeclock app, and it's compatible with third-party hardware. smartwerksusa.com

Springboard – Springboard Retail is a cloud-based POS and retail management system that's built by retailers and is specifically designed for multi-store, multichannel businesses. Whether your customers are shopping in person or online, Springboard helps you deliver consistent service across your locations and your online store. It works on iPads and has advanced features for inventory and customer management, purchase ordering, and customizable reporting. APIs are available for custom integrations. springboardretail.com

Square – Square is our top pick for the best mobile credit card processor, and its POS system, Square Point of Sale, turns your iPad or Android tablet into a robust POS terminal that lets you process credit cards at the checkout counter or on the go. We like that it's both user- and consumer-friendly, with features such as digital receipts, inventory tracking, online ordering and appointment setting. Read our full review here. squareup.com/pos

Swim – Do you own a jewelry business? Swim's iPad POS system is made specifically to help jewelers process sales and manage their businesses. It comes with jeweler-specific features like instant quotes, custom orders, and stock counting with RFID and barcode support, as well as marketing tools like the ability to collect customer data, including customer wish lists, and view purchase histories. onswim.com

Talech – Talech is an iPad POS system that both retailers and restaurant owners can use. This POS software is offered on a monthly basis, with no long-term contract requirement or cancellation fees. It's compatible with third-party hardware, and it works with any major U.S. payment processor. Talech includes a strong selection of features and supports more than 25,000 items, and the company provides 24/7 customer support via phone, email and live chat. talech.com

Tiger POS – TigerPOS is an easy-to-use, touchscreen POS system for bars and liquor stores. Features include age verification, shelf labeling, purchasing and receiving capabilities, reporting, and security camera integration. TigerPOS also has a retail-based POS system specifically for wine stores. tigerpos.com

Toast – If you're looking for an Android POS system for your restaurant, Toast has you covered. This all-in-one restaurant management solution is packed with features like online ordering, delivery tracking and real-time reporting. It's fully customizable and can be used for all types of food establishments, from full-service restaurants to quick-service ones, cafes, bakeries, bars, nightclubs and more. pos.toasttab.com

TouchBistro – TouchBistro is our favorite POS system for restaurants because it's designed to fulfill a restaurant's unique needs and offers individualized solutions for different types of restaurants: fine dining, casual eateries, bars and breweries, food trucks, and more. It works with the iPad, so your restaurant can run with mobility, efficiency and the latest technologies. TouchBistro offers 24/7 phone and email support. Read our full review here. touchbistro.com

TouchSuite – TouchSuite offers the Poynt smart terminal and Clover POS systems. It has inventory and reporting tools and integrates with QuickBooks. TouchSuite provides credit card processing services as well, and you're required to use them with this system. touchsuite.com

uAccept – uAccept is a complete POS system that comes with a touchscreen, card reader, receipt printer and cash drawer. It's equipped with robust POS software for retail businesses and quick-service restaurants. It can maintain a customer loyalty program, perform advanced analytics and more. Note that you need to add an EMV terminal to the system, as the built-in card reader only accepts magnetic stripe cards. Also, uAccept doesn't work on the iPad (though you can access data over the cloud), so look elsewhere if you need a mobile POS system. uaccept.com

Veeqo – Veeqo is a POS and order management system that streamlines sales channels for multi-outlet e-commerce businesses. The system is cloud-based and has iOS and Android apps that allow you to access your sales data from wherever you are. It integrates with your e-commerce platforms, online marketplaces and shipping partners to automatically update and sync inventory, fulfill orders, create invoices and more in real time. veeqo.com

Vend – Vend is our top pick for the best all-in-one POS system. We like that it's affordable, easy to use and packed with features for all types of retail businesses, including fashion boutiques, car washes, computer shops, bike shops and other specialty stores. It's cloud-based and works on any device with a browser, and an iPad app is also available. Vend goes beyond the basics with features like inventory management, a built-in CRM solution and real-time reporting. Read our full review herevendhq.com

If you’d like your company to be added to this list and possibly considered as a best pick for our next round of reviews, please email your request to: b2bconsiderrequest@purch.com.

Ready to choose a POS system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Additional reporting by Sara Angeles and Chad Brooks.

Editor's Note: Looking for information on POS systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

buyerzone widget
Lori Fairbanks

Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as an editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She joined Purch in 2014 as a senior writer for Top Ten Reviews and now writes for Business.com and Business News Daily.