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Best POS Systems for 2021

By Skye Schooley,
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
Apr 14, 2021

Here are the best POS systems for small businesses in 2021, including point-of-sale solutions for retail stores, restaurants and mobile businesses.
Best for Online Restaurant Ordering
Pricing starts at $69/month
Best for restaurants
Contactless ordering
Best Retail System
Pricing starts at $69/month
Best for retail & restaurants
Robust industry-specific features
Best for Small Businesses
Pricing starts at $60/month
Best for restaurants & retail
Free plan available
Best POS Hardware
Pricing starts at $9.95/month
Best for cafes & e-commerce
Clover-branded hardware
Best Restaurant System
Pricing starts at $69/month
Best for restaurants
200+ restaurant-focused features
Here are the best POS systems for small businesses in 2021, including point-of-sale solutions for retail stores, restaurants and mobile businesses.
Updated 04/14/21

We have updated this page with information Lightspeed's acquisition of the cloud-based retail platform Vend.

The Best POS Providers

Your small business needs more than a cash register to ring up sales and accept payments. You need a point-of-sale (POS) system that records sales data, manages inventory, generates reports and stores customer contact data. Whether you're in the market for your first POS system or looking to upgrade to a new one, it's challenging to decide which one will be the right fit for your business. As we evaluated more than 100 POS systems to find the best options for small businesses, we looked for affordable, cloud-based solutions that are easy to set up and use. Read on to find out why we chose our top picks and learn more about purchasing a POS system.

Find the Right POS System for Your Business

Fill out this questionnaire to find vendors that meet your needs.

The best POS systems do more than just process sales and accept payments. They make it easier to run your entire business, with features that help you analyze sales data, track inventory, connect with customers and manage employees. They include or have integrations for email marketing, loyalty programs, and other capabilities that streamline processes and save you time. The best POS vendors provide reliable customer support that you can contact around the clock, so even if your business keeps irregular hours or you're working late, you can receive help when you need it. 

As you compare POS machines and software, look for systems that give you maximum flexibility, with month-to-month software subscriptions, a choice of payment processors and compatibility with third-party POS hardware that you can purchase upfront. This way, you're not locked into a system or a lease for several years but can switch out whatever parts of the system you want, when you want – whether you are missing features, feel services aren't meeting your expectations or find a better deal elsewhere.

Support of advanced ordering and checkout technology is another important attribute of modern POS systems. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, demand for contactless payments is surging. Customers want a way to safely and securely pay for food and merchandise through contactless payments, and many POS systems have been enhanced to support this need. Self-serve ordering is also a growing trend due to the pandemic. Many POS systems have built-in software to turn tablets and smartphones into portable ordering stations. This allows customers to order food and beverages while maintaining a safe distance from employees.


Toast: Best POS System for Online Restaurant Ordering

Toast supports contactless ordering and payments.
It offers all-in-one POS plans and digital-ordering plans.
Not all third-party hardware is compatible with Toast.
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Toast is an all-in-one POS and restaurant management platform. Its POS system has everything a restaurant owner needs, including front-of-house, back-of-house, and guest-facing technology. Toast helps busy restaurant owners manage their sales; you can process debit and credit card transactions, including contactless payments. The system also assists with marketing, labor management, online ordering and more. Toast's partner network enables customer access to third-party apps. Toast serves establishments of all sizes, including fine and casual dining, fast casual, bars and nightclubs, cafes, bakeries, and multilocation restaurants.

One thing we especially like with Toast is the variety of online ordering plans that are available. Rather than only having one customer order-taking and delivery option, Toast users can choose from multiple plans depending on which features they need. If you want an all-in-one POS solution that supports online ordering and delivery, there are three plans to choose from: Starter ($69 per month, plus ordering and delivery add-on), Essentials ($99 per month), and Growth ($189 per month).

You also have the option to add a contactless payment solution for dine-in guests to place their order and pay using their phone. For digital ordering only, there are three plans to choose from, starting at $50 per month. Additional plans include Toast Now Plus ($75 per month) and Toast Now Premium ($150 per month). Having multiple order-taking and delivery options to choose from gives restaurant owners more flexibility in finding a solution that suits them.

Toast users can create customized POS solutions, mixing and matching a variety of hardware, like terminals, handheld devices and kitchen screen displays, starting at $799. Toast is compatible with some third-party hardware, although it charges a flat rate for in-house payment processing.

Toast is a hybrid POS solution – it is cloud-based software, but there is an offline mode. Plans can come with features to help you manage restaurant-specific functions like your inventory, tables, orders and menus. It also allows you to collect customer feedback and create several different types of reports and analytics about your restaurant. The software can also help restaurants fulfill order and delivery needs like contactless delivery and curbside pickup. Toast has an on-demand delivery driver fleet (a network of local delivery drivers for hire) and a takeout app as well.

If you want a POS system with customer-focused features, Toast may offer the POS solution you have in mind: It offers gift card capabilities, customer balance lookup, customer rewards and the ability to create automated marketing campaigns. Some plans come with employee management functions, like payroll and team management. Toast customer support is available by phone, email and webchat.

Read Review

Lightspeed: Best POS System for Retail Businesses

Lightspeed offers many retail-specific features, including inventory management and customer relationship management.
There is a wide array of pricing plans and subscriptions to choose from.
The number of payment processors Lightspeed supports is limited.
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Lightspeed is a leading POS provider hailing from Montreal. It provides POS solutions for businesses in the retail, golf and restaurant industries. Business News Daily chose Lightspeed as the best retail POS system because it has an impressive set of features geared toward retailers, the ability to choose from several pricing plans, and advanced loyalty and inventory management tools. Recently, Lightspeed acquired ShopKeep, which allows retailers to sell their goods online.

Retail customers can choose from five tiered POS system plans, ranging in price from $69 per month to $229 per month. Lightspeed plans come with one free terminal, something that other POS companies do not provide. Additional registers cost $29 per month each, which is less expensive than the cost of competitors' registers. Lightspeed customers also get a choice in terms of payment processors (with Vantiv and Cayan that are available), integrations, and the payment methods you can accept. The software is available risk-free via a 14-day free trial.

Since Lightspeed offers tiered POS plans, its POS features range from basic to advanced. You can see online and in-store inventory with Lightspeed's e-commerce tools, and you can manage your products with inventory management functions. You can upload thousands of SKUs at once, view preloaded catalogs, create and set product bundles and variations, and set low-stock alerts for items in your inventory. Managing your employees is a breeze with Lightspeed's timeclock functions, performance reporting capabilities and customized permissions. You can also use Lightspeed's customer relationship management (CRM) features and customer loyalty tools to manage your clientele. Access features like customer profiles and rewards programs help make your customers feel appreciated.

Tracking inventory, customer trends, product sales and employee performance are easy to do with Lightspeed's reporting capabilities. The software comes with more than 60 different built-in reports. You can also create customized home dashboards to have the critical information you need for your store right at your fingertips. If you have questions about Lightspeed software or hardware or encounter a problem, you can contact a representative by phone, email, or webchat. Lightspeed also offers online resources, including a blog, community forums and webinars.

April 2021: Lightspeed recently inked a deal to acquire Vend, a cloud-based retail management software company. The acquisition will allow Lightspeed to offer its POS customers access to expanded tools to help them manage their retail operations. These tools include the ability to manage and purchase inventory, create employee schedules, and track sales and finances. Both companies stated in a press release that they are well positioned to help small businesses succeed as they emerge from the pandemic.

Read Review

Square: Best POS System for Small Businesses

There are no monthly or annual fees for Square's credit card processing service.
Its basic POS app is free and can be augmented with advanced features as your business grows.
Its customer service isn't as robust as some of its competitors.
Visit Site

Small businesses don't always remain small. Some need a credit card processor that can grow with them. Square stands out in that regard due to its low rates, a free e-commerce app, and point-of-sale (POS) software that expands to support your expanding business's needs, making it our best pick for growing businesses.

One of the reasons Square stands out for growing small businesses is its low flat-rate pricing model. Square charges 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person payments and 3.5% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions. The cost for purchases through your Square online store, Square online checkout, e-commerce API, or via an invoice is 2.9% and an additional 30 cents. There are no monthly, gateway, setup, PCI compliance, early termination or annual fees, nor is there a chargeback fee, which we like. Most processors have steep chargeback fees.

We were also impressed with Square's credit card processing app. Not only can you process payments from nearly anywhere, but its POS software features help you track and manage inventory, collect and analyze customer data, and run reports on sales and inventory. The app works on both Apple and Android devices. It also integrates with several business applications, enabling you to combine your sales data with other accounting and management functions.

Square's retail- and restaurant-specific features support your business as it grows. Its inventory-and order-management tools help you meet demand now and predict future orders, and its e-commerce store enables you to sell products online for free. A bonus, Square's online stores can synchronize with your inventory and social media accounts.

Square's POS software also has a lot of accounting features we like for growing businesses – the ability to track invoices, accept payments and manage sales from one dashboard will appeal to business owners that want a central location from which they can assess their business.

Square Capital is the company's lending arm, and it provides small business owners with merchant cash advances, with funding as soon as 24 hours. You need to establish a processing history with Square to be eligible for the short-term loans, though, but these loans may be useful as your business expands.

Another aspect growing small businesses may like about Square is its Mastercard business debit card. Dubbed the Square Card, it makes it easy to access the cash from your transactions. There are no signup fees, annual fees, monthly fees, minimum balance fees or overdraft fees. Another perk: You get an instant discount of 2.75% when you use this card to shop with other Square sellers.


Clover: Best POS Hardware

Pricing for Clover software starts at $9.95 per month.
Clover works with third parties to sell its hardware, which drives the price down.
You must use First Data as your merchant acquirer (the financial institution that settles card transactions for your merchant account).

Clover offers affordable POS software and exceptional POS hardware. Clover's software pricing plans fit business owners' varying budgets. Plans start at $9.95 a month, with a 30-day free trial to test it out. Clover's POS supports online ordering and contactless payments. Clover allows you to use your own third-party hardware (if compatible), or you can purchase Clover's hardware, sold through third-party affiliates, so you can find the lowest price for your POS hardware.

For a simple, yet inclusive POS system, the company offers a Clover Station package for $1,399, or $466 per month for three months; it includes a POS terminal, cash drawer and receipt printer. For a more robust hardware package, the Clover Station Pro costs $1,649, or $549 per month for three months, and includes a POS terminal, cash drawer, high-speed receipt printer, and customer-facing screen. 

For those who want a more compact POS system, the Clover Mini is priced at $749, or $250 per month for three months, and those that need a handheld POS solution can purchase Clover Flex for $499, or $166 per month for three months.

If you have an iOS or Android device that you want to convert into a payment solution, the Clover GO card reader is only $69. Table-service establishments looking for a full-service restaurant POS option can look to Clover's restaurant POS hardware with preloaded Clover Dining features. The cost is $69.95 per month, plus payment processing that costs 2.3% and an additional 10 cents for in-person transactions and 3.5% and 10 cents for manual transactions.

Clover offers several hardware peripherals, too, to complete your restaurant POS system. You can add barcode scanners, cash drawers, POS stands, printer paper, label printers, kitchen printers, weight scales, PIN shields, to name a few. Clover also states upfront which accessories are compatible with which hardware type (e.g., Station, Mini, Flex, GO), which helps you easily find the right hardware that's compatible with your system.

Rounding out your Clover POS system, the company's software provides users with several POS functions like inventory management (auto inventory syncing, ordering and delivery, stock levels), customer management (customer profiles, marketing preferences, build customer email lists), employee management, and integrations (BigCommerce, Ecwid, Quickbooks, Gusto).

Read Review

TouchBistro: Best POS System for Restaurants

TouchBistro offers a robust suite of restaurant-focused software.
It supports third-party POS hardware.
TouchBistro is not a retail POS system.

TouchBistro is a Toronto-based POS system provider catering to restaurants across the globe. We chose TouchBistro as the best POS system for restaurants because of its suite of tools, robust inventory management features and affordable pricing that starts at $69 a month. This iPad-based POS provider supports tableside and self-serve ordering, has its own internal payment processing service, and integrates with several third-party applications.

TouchBistro is a mobile-friendly POS solution that runs on the iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro and supports third-party POS hardware (e.g., barcode scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, payment processing device), enabling business owners to keep the cost of add-ons down. Keep in mind, though, that just because TouchBistro works with third-party hardware, doesn't mean it's compatible with everything on the market – check TouchBistro's website or contact a representative to verify that your third-party hardware is compatible.

Pricing for TouchBistro starts at $69 per month. It is also customizable, giving restaurant owners the ability to add on features like an online reservation system (starting at $229 per month), online ordering capabilities (starting at $50 per month), gift card functions (starting at $25 per month), and loyalty programs ($99 per month). The company offers a 28-day free trial, so you have the opportunity to test-drive TouchBistro before committing to it. Although TouchBistro has its own in-house payment processor (TouchBistro Payments), it is compatible with third-party payment processors (e.g., Worldpay, TSYS, Square, Moneris, Chase).

Since TouchBistro is a restaurant-specific POS solution, its features are designed to help restaurants operate more smoothly. For example, you can create custom restaurant floor plans that accurately reflect your establishment with drag-and-drop table management tools. As customers come and go, you can track inventory stock levels and table turnover, create customer accounts, and manage balances. In addition to standard stationary ordering, you can take orders tableside and online. Instead of relying on a whiteboard in the kitchen to relay information to cooks and servers about out-of-stock items, you can edit food items in the software to relay which items you're out of. Businesses can also manage their staff by assigning staff roles, tracking attendance and performance, and maintaining employee profiles. There are more than 50 different reports you can run, and customer support is available 24/7.

Read Review

Epos Now: Best POS System for Ease of Use

Epos Now is a POS provider headquartered in the U.K., but it serves customers across the globe. It counts Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Studios, and Yankee Candle among its customers. We chose Epos Now as the best POS system for ease of use because it offers a bevy of features, customization and one-on-one onboarding. Epos Now is great for a variety of retail and hospitality businesses, and it offers multiple POS hardware options to meet each business's unique needs.

For example, Epos Now supports both Apple and Android devices, it has touchscreen POS systems, and then there is the Epos Pocket (a handheld POS option), receipt printers, and cash drawers you can purchase to create a complete POS system for your business. It also offers third-party products, giving customers a lot of options. Epos Now has more than 100 third-party integrations, which give its users more flexibility and capabilities with their POS system.

Epos Now is easy to use, and it claims business owner can train their employees on how to use it within 15 minutes. This is especially great for businesses that frequently hire new employees. If you have questions about Epos Now, you can contact customer support by phone, email or webchat. The company also provides one-on-one training.

If you want to purchase Epos Now hardware, you can choose from multiple hardware packages. There is a traditional POS package for $999 or $72 per month (currently on sale for less), which includes a touchscreen terminal, a cash drawer, a printer, and Epos software. If you use a tablet or iPad in your establishment, it offers packages for $599 that include an iPad or tablet stand, a cash drawer, a printer, and the first month of Epos Now software. Those who want a mobile POS option can purchase the Epos Pocket Plan One, which comes with a handheld ePos device, customer support and ePos' device protection care plan, ProtectNow. Plan One costs zero dollars upfront and $44 per month. Plan Two includes a handheld device and customer support (device protection is not included). It costs $189 upfront and $24 per month. Epos Now offers a 30-day free trial.

Regardless of which hardware you select, the Epos Now software provides access to a variety of features such as inventory management, customer management, and employee management functions and real-time reports. If you have a customer loyalty program, you can include that with your ePos Now system.

Read Review

Upserve: Best POS Mobile App for Restaurants

Upserve has on-the-go restaurant reporting like sales, labor costs, dicsounts, comps, and 86'd items.
Several add-ons are available (e.g., online ordering, gift cards, customer reporting), which you can add to your plan for additional fees.
It isn't compatible with third-party payment processors.

Upserve, by Lightspeed, is a restaurant POS system that caters to a variety of food and beverage establishments, like coffee shops, cafes, delis, bakeries, breweries, wineries, bars and nightclubs, pizza shops, quick service establishments, and fine dining restaurants.

There are three different subscription-based POS software plans: Core for $59, Pro for $199, and Pro Plus for $359. Refer to our review for the features Upserve includes in these plans. You're required to purchase at least one Upserve POS terminal with your plan, which can range from $40 to $60 per terminal. Additionally, you're required to use Upserve's payment processing solution, which charges a flat rate.

The Upserve POS software offers several inventory management features that help ensure your restaurant is always adequately stocked. For example, the system has automated inventory management, vendor management, one-click purchasing and low-inventory alerts. You can also use features like menu optimization and recipe costing to improve sales and profits.

Upserve knows that every business is different, so they offer customization options, like commission-free online ordering, gift card features and customer reporting. To help business owners manage their restaurants on the go, Upserve offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. You can access important information about your restaurant, such as your labor costs, sales, guest behavior, discounts and out-of-stock items.

You can also manage your staff with Upserve. You can create schedules, which are shared with all of your workers.

Upserve has customer-centric features that help regular patrons feel valued. You can create a loyalty program for customers ‒ and track customer rewards ‒ and offer and accept gift cards.

If you have any questions about Upserve or are experiencing an issue, the company has 24/7 U.S.-based customer support. Upserve claims to answer 84% of customer calls within 30 seconds or less. And if your Wi-Fi goes down, Upserve's offline mode keeps your business running until your Wi-Fi connection is restored. Upserve is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and received an A+ rating with the agency.

Read Review

Lavu: Best POS System for Integrations

Lavu has more than 300 POS features.
Lavu supports several in-house integrations and third-party integrations.

Lavu is an iPad-based point-of-sale system for restaurants of every kind and size. It can support, for example, coffee shops, pizza joints, food trucks, wineries, breweries, bars, restaurants, and ice cream shops. Lavu's POS terminal plans start at $69; multilocation businesses will need to contact Lavu to receive a custom price quote.

Lavu's mobile hardware is iPad-centric, and it offers an online shop from which restaurants can select a plethora of POS hardware and accessories, including terminals, kitchen display systems, cash drawers, card readers, printers, and networking devices.

One great thing about Lavu is its integration capabilities. It supports third-party credit card gateway and processing partners, including BridgePay, Heartland, PayPal, Square, and Moneris, or you can process customer payments through LavuPay, its in-house payment solution. This gives users even more flexibility to find the right POS choice.

Although Lavu has more than 300 POS features, it gives businesses further flexibility with its integration capabilities. Lavu has several in-house integrations that you can easily add to your POS plan. This makes it easy to customize a POS solution to suit your business. Since these integrations are in-house, they are virtually seamless. However, if you want to integrate your POS solution with third-party applications, Lavu may support those as well. It currently integrates nearly 30 other third-party apps, and nearly 60 other third-party integrations are coming soon. Lavu offers free software updates and 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and webchat.

Lavu software includes hundreds of features to help you run your business. Inventory management features like menu/inventory linking and inventory tracking allow you to maintain adequate stock levels of products and ingredients. Since Lavu is a mobile solution, you can also use it for tableside ordering. Businesses can manage employees and customers through other features like employee scheduling capabilities and customer loyalty features. To keep you updated on the performance of your restaurant, you can access real-time reporting and analytics on data like sales, inventory stock, labor expenses, customer orders, and bills generated.


Revel Systems: Best POS System for Customer Loyalty Programs

Revel offers loyalty programs you can customize to draw customers to your business.
The Revel POS system is compatible with some third-party payment processors and hardware.
You will need to purchase at least two terminals.

Revel Systems is a cloud-based iPad POS system for retailers, restaurants, and quick-service businesses. The cost of Revel software varies among different plans, but it starts at $99 per month per terminal billed annually. Revel Advantage charges a flat processing fee per transaction, and it accepts all card types. Businesses can use some third-party payment processors, including First Data, Heartland, TSYS, Worldpay, Chase Paymentech and Elavon, but your pricing will vary.

Although Revel has many great POS functions, its customer loyalty program capabilities are outstanding. With Revel, you can design unique settings for how customers earn loyalty points and rewards. You can track all customer data from one device and gain valuable customer insights. Revel offers an in-house loyalty rewards program that can be easily integrated into your POS system. If you use a third-party loyalty program (e.g., Punchh, Como, LoyaltyPlant, Spendgo, Pepper, LevelUp, and Repeat Returns), you can easily integrate those into Revel as well. Having options to use an in-house or third-party loyalty program allows small businesses great flexibility to create a loyalty program that best matches their customers' needs. 

Revel software plans require users to purchase at least two terminals; the company offers a variety of hardware (e.g., iPads, iPad stands, cash drawers, kiosks, payment devices, printers, barcode scanners, and networking devices) to create a customized POS setup. Revel hardware packages come preconfigured and are ready to use, although it is also possible to connect Revel with some third-party hardware. Businesses can add on supplemental services and products to further customize their POS solution (e.g., implementation onboarding, account management, delivery management, online ordering and multilocation management). Implementation onboarding costs start at $674, or you can access Revel's in-house support team for additional support.

Revel POS software has several additional features to help you run your business. For example, you can access inventory management and administrative features, like tracking products across all locations and managing labor operations from a single device.


Heartland: Best POS System for Customer Support

Heartland offers customer support via phone, a ticketing system and webchat.
Heartland is compatible with third-party payment processors and hardware.
It doesn't list pricing on its website.

Heartland Payment Systems is a full-service payment platform that offers a variety of business solutions like payroll, payment processing, billing, customer engagement, capital lending, and POS systems. Their POS system offering provides specific solutions for bars, restaurants, retailers, home services, service professionals and quick-service establishments. Heartland POS is a hybrid software, meaning it is cloud-based, but it can also work offline. This adds an extra layer of convenience for businesses.

Heartland is great for those businesses that want flexibility in their POS system. Its hardware is Apple-based, but it also supports third-party hardware. It offers a secure payment processing system that accepts and stores all payment types, but you can use a third-party processor if you prefer. These added capabilities are not found with every POS provider, but they are extremely useful for those wanting a customized solution.

If you need assistance setting up your Heartland software with third-party hardware or payment processor, Heartland customer support will assist you. Heartland support can also aid you in navigating the software. Representatives are available by phone, a ticketing system and webchat, so you can reach out to them the best way that works for you. Heartland responds to customers almost instantly, and it provides several phone numbers based on your needs. Having exceptional customer support can make a big difference when setting up or implementing a piece of technology integral to the success of your business.

Heartland's POS software gives you access to inventory features like real-time inventory stock levels, online ordering, sales and margin reports, and automated inventory alerts. It can support multiple business locations as well. You can use the guest engagement application for customer management capabilities like customer rewards, coupons, discounts, gift and loyalty features, and skip-the-line ordering. You can manage clients by tracking their important information and track employee hours with the system's timeclock functions.

Heartland doesn't list its software pricing online, but its representatives are easy to work with, so you can find a solution that matches your needs and budget. It also offers a seven-day free trial for users to test it out risk free.


CardConnect: Best POS System for Merchant Services

• CardConnect offers merchant services like CardPointe, Clover and Bolt.
It offers a highly secure solution, with PCI-validated security defenses.
CardConnect does not list its pricing online.

CardConnect is not necessarily a point-of-sale system, but instead, it offers a collection of merchant services for businesses of any size. CardConnect is a leading credit card payment processor for independent software vendor partner merchant accounts, agents, independent sales organizations and value-added resellers. Its collection of business solutions includes CardPointe (for businesses), Clover (for small shops), Gateway and Plugins (for e-commerce), Bolt (for software), CoPilot (for partners), and contactless payments (for software). One great feature about CardConnect is its security. It offers simple yet secure solutions and PCI-validated security defenses.

CardConnect is a payment provider that offers implementation and integration of systems from third-party independent software vendors (ISVs). CardConnect itself does not have its own software; rather, it specializes in implementing third-party POS systems for small businesses, helping companies make the most of their solutions. In this way, CardConnect is part of a partner community that includes a network of POS software vendors – CardConnect helps software vendors market and sell their products, and they help entrepreneurs implement and use those systems.

Small businesses looking for POS software through CardConnect can weigh two different POS solutions: CardPointe and Clover. The two platforms are similar, but one will suit you better based on your POS needs. CardPointe is a web-based POS system with features like transaction management. Users can access countertop and virtual terminals, giving them the flexibility to process payments the way they want to. CardPointe has free mobile apps, hosted payment pages and integrations (like Bolt). You can also add on functionalities like shopping carts.

Clover, the second option, is an affordable POS system; its software costs $9.95 per month. The software supports various POS features like inventory management, employee management, customer management, reporting and analytics, and application integrations. If you need to purchase specific hardware, Clover offers various proprietary hardware options that easily integrate with the software.

If you want to accept payments online, you may want to consider CardPointe Gateway, and if security is a top priority, consider Bolt. Regardless of which CardConnect solution you want, the company focuses on providing secure payment processing. If you have questions about one of CardConnect's products, you can contact a 24/7 support team and online resources.


POS Systems Costs

When evaluating and comparing POS systems, price, especially for budget-conscious small business owners, is a big factor, if not the deciding factor as to which vendor you chose. Make sure, though, to compare all of the elements – POS hardware, POS software and payment processing – when shopping for a POS system.

POS Software Costs

There's a lot of variation in pricing for cloud-based POS software. Some POS providers – Square and PayPal – offer free software as long as you use their credit card processing services, and others charge hundreds of dollars per month. 

Most POS providers give you several service tiers to choose from, with basic, standard and premium tiers that vary in features or the number of users they support. For quality, full-featured POS software that gives you a choice of payment processor and doesn't require a long-term contract, monthly costs for the starting tiers range from $40 to $100 for one register. 

Because each POS company offers different features with each tier, it can be tricky to compare systems, since you first need to decide which tier you need for each system. There may be times when a basic tier for one system includes the features you need, but you may need the premium tier of another system to get that specific feature. 

POS Hardware Costs

With POS hardware, you want to find out if, first, the system works with third-party hardware or if it's proprietary. The advantage of working with POS providers that support third-party hardware is that if you later switch POS software providers, you may still continue using your hardware – saving yourself thousands of dollars purchasing a new system. 

The second thing you want to find out is if the system is scalable. You may want to start out with a few basic pieces and add peripherals or additional registers as your business grows. For example, if your business is new or very small, you may only need a tablet (or even your phone) with the POS app installed on it and a card reader, allowing you to accept payments and then email receipts to your customers. 

You could also start with the peripherals you need to create a basic checkout station with a tablet, stand, receipt printer, cash drawer and card reader. If you already own a tablet, this setup typically costs between $600 and $1,000. 

Later, as your business and budget grows, you can add equipment like barcode scanners, scales, display screens, kitchen printers and even additional registers. Some POS systems can support multiple locations. 

Setup and Installation Costs

Some vendors charge a fee to help you get your POS system up and running. This ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and is influenced by factors such as the scope of the work involved and whether it's done remotely or on-site. If you choose a tablet POS system, this is usually an optional service. Installation services may include configuring hardware, migrating data, or setting up your product catalog or menu. Many companies also offer training services, which may be included with an installation package or available as a separate service. [Read related article: How to Set Up a POS System]

Integration Costs

If you plan to integrate your POS system with other software and services – such as accounting software, CMS platforms, customer loyalty programs and appointment-management apps – you'll want to find out ahead of time if the integration costs extra and whether it's a one-time or recurring fee.

Payment Processing Costs

Credit card processing costs can be significant; we at Business News Daily recommend that you choose a POS system that gives you a choice of credit card processors. This allows you to compare rates, fees, and terms so you can then choose the third-party processor that offers you the best deal.

If your POS vendor requires that you use a certain credit card processor, even if your rates increase or you have problems with that processor, you're stuck with it. 

Several POS companies have in-house payment processing services – which makes integration easy – but some of those companies require that you use it with their POS system or pay an additional monthly fee or additional percentage of each sale if you use a different processor. Regardless of which processor you choose, for the fees you will be paying the processor, you should be able to accept EMV chip cards and NFC payments, such as Android Pay and Apple Pay.

How to Decide on a POS System for Your Business

Before you choose a POS system, you need to determine what type of system you need, what features you require and how much you can afford. Ask yourself the following questions to help you narrow down your options. 

Do you want a cloud-based or server-based system?

Cloud-hosted POS systems that run on tablets are popular: They're mobile, easy to use and generally are less expensive than other options. With cloud-hosted systems, you can access your reports and other back-office features from any device with a web browser – you can keep tabs on your business and accomplish management tasks from anywhere. These systems also host your data in the cloud, so you don't need to set up, maintain and secure a local server. If you don't have reliable internet access, though, you may want a server-based system. 

Server-based POS systems, also called on-site or on-premises POS systems, are installed on a server and host your data locally instead of in the cloud. As mentioned above, the advantage of a server-based system is that you don't need the internet to run it. However, security and backups are your responsibility, so you may have additional IT and maintenance costs. 

Do you need retail or restaurant POS software?

Most POS providers offer one version of its software for retailers and another for restaurants. Some have a version for service-based businesses, but they often offer integrations or add-ons to tailor the retail version of the POS solution to make it suitable for service-oriented businesses. Other POS providers specialize in one vertical, only offering retail POS software or restaurant POS software. 

Do you prefer Apple or Android devices?

Some mobile POS systems work on both Android and iOS devices, and some even allow you to use both. Others are platform-specific, so they only work with iOS devices – iPads, iPhones, iPods and Mac computers – or with Android tablets and PCs. 

The advantages of using iPad-based systems are that they are known for being user-friendly, stable and secure. However, only one company, Apple, makes iOS devices, so the main drawback is they're usually more expensive than Android devices that are available from several different brands. 

The considerations involved with using Android devices are that in terms of benefits, Android systems are generally less expensive, and developers enjoy the greater customization that the Android platform allows. However, the drawback is there are only a few Android POS systems, so your options are more limited. 

Which POS System Features Are the Most Important for Your Business?

POS systems make it easier to run your business. They automate and streamline many business processes. Depending on your business, whether you run a restaurant or a retail shop, those processes will vary. Here, though, are some features you should look for from your POS vendor.

Inventory Management

Very basic POS systems may only support a product catalog, while others can track inventory on a component or ingredient level. Some systems include purchase ordering and vendor management features to simplify reordering. Consider whether standard inventory tools will be sufficient or if you need advanced features to keep your business well stocked. 

Customer Management

POS systems have varying customer management features. Some allow you to capture basic information, like email addresses that you can use for your email marketing campaigns, while others have CRM features that let you create customer profiles that include contact information, purchase histories, preferences, birthdays and notes.

Loyalty Programs

Ensuring a loyal customer base requires merchants and restaurant owners to reward their best customers. A POS system enables that with built-in loyalty software. The top POS systems can track information about your customers' shopping and dining preferences, and help you create loyalty and rewards programs around that data. Rewards can be customized based on how frequently the customer shops at your store, the products they purchase or the services they use.

Employee Management

Most POS systems allow you to add your employees to the system and manage their access to various features and information. Some have role-based access controls, while others allow you to customize the controls for each employee. Some have timeclocks built in so your employees can use the POS system to clock in and out. Some track employee sales or manage tips.


All POS systems have reporting capabilities, but some are basic, with just a handful of preconfigured reports and limited customization, while others are advanced, with dozens of reporting options and filters to help you analyze data for your sales, inventory, customers and staff. The best systems have real-time reports that you can access from any device with a browser or with a mobile app. Before purchasing a POS system, make sure it includes the specific reports that you need to run your business efficiently. 

Add-ons and Integrations

POS systems have a robust set of features, but it may not be enough for your small business. That's where add-ons and third-party integrations can be helpful. You may, for example, want to use a specific email marketing platform, offer a certain loyalty program or utilize the POS to work with your accounting software. The best POS systems have a ton of integration and add-on choices, ensuring you aren't limited as your business grows.

Customer Support

You should be able to contact your POS provider around the clock so you can receive help when you need it, even if your business keeps irregular hours or you're working late or on a weekend. Look for a POS provider that is quickly reachable via your preferred mode of communication (e.g., phone, email, text, webchat).

Additional Factors to Consider When Choosing a POS System

While factors such as price and features like inventory management or reports and analytics figure prominently in your decision, there are some additional, beneficial factors you don't want to overlook. Consider these factors as you evaluate various POS systems. 

POS SaaS vs. Licenses

Many POS vendors, similar to other software solutions, have cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) subscription plans. These tend to be the most affordable options. This type of plan usually includes customer support and regular updates, so you'll always have the most up-to-date version of the software. If you purchase a software license instead, you pay a large upfront fee for the license, a monthly fee for maintenance and customer support, and an annual update fee. 

POS Software Plans

Month-to-month subscriptions are your better option, especially when you are first using a POS system. If the system isn't a good fit for your business, you can cancel your subscription relatively easily. Some companies charge more for monthly plans. Some may offer a discount if you pay in advance annually. Before you take the discount, though, use the software long enough such that you feel comfortable with it and confident that you'll continue using it for at least a year so you aren't locked into a system you don't like.

Buying vs. Leasing POS Hardware

Buy your equipment, even if that means starting with a very basic setup. (You can add to it later as you're able to afford different items.) This will save you money and frustration. Some vendors offer "free" POS hardware if you sign a contract, or some give you the option of leasing POS equipment rather than buying it so you pay less upfront. As attractive as these options are, it's going to cost you more over the life of the contract (or lease) – often many times more – than if you buy the POS equipment upfront. 

If you decide to lease or accept free equipment, the terms are usually three to five years and are non-cancelable – even if you sell or close your business and return the equipment, you might be obligated to continue paying on it until the contract or lease expires (or you might have to pay a hefty early termination fee, which can cost hundreds of dollars). And, if the contract or lease has an automatic renewal clause (and most do), you have a very short time frame to cancel – usually 30 days, and in writing.

Frequently Asked Questions About POS Systems

What is a point-of-sale system?

A point-of-sale (POS) system records the products or services a customer intends to purchase, adds up the items' cost, calculates tax, accepts various forms of payment and generates a receipt. A POS system differs from a cash register in that it has advanced features that make it easier for merchants to manage sales data, inventory, customers and employees. POS systems have three parts to them: software, hardware and a credit card processor. 

What types of businesses use POS systems?

Virtually every business needs some way to accept and process customer payments, and POS systems help businesses do that (and so much more). However, the most common industries that use POS systems are customer-facing businesses like retail and restaurant establishments.

When does your business need a POS system?

As soon as you begin selling goods or services in person, your business needs a POS system, no matter how small your operation is. A POS system makes the checkout experience easier and faster for both you and your customer, reducing the time it takes to ring up a sale and decreasing human errors, such as miscalculations.

A POS system helps with inventory management, tracking the items you have in stock, and some can even assist with generating purchase orders. POS systems with advanced inventory management tools can track sales from both your e-commerce platform and your physical retail store in real time or across multiple locations.

Real-time reporting gives insight into which items are your best and worst sellers, so you can reorder popular items and offer promotions on underperforming items. It can also help you identify your busy and slow hours, days, and seasons so you can optimize how you staff your business.

What are the different types of POS systems to consider?

There are three types of POS systems. The right system for you depends on the type of business you're operating. Here are your three options:

  • Cloud-based POS systems: These systems are popular among merchants and restaurant owners. Cloud POS systems are easy to use, you can operate it with a tablet or mobile device, and POS companies offer different price points. Everything is stored online, which means you don't have to install the software on a server or hire an expert to maintain the service and secure it from hackers. Cloud-based POS systems tend to cost less than the other types of POS systems. However, a cloud-based POS needs the internet to operate. If you have spotty Wi-Fi, this system may not be for you.

  • Server-based POS systems: With server-based systems, also known as on-premises POS systems, the software is installed on a server that's located on-site. You are responsible for installing, maintaining and securing the system and backing up the data. All of this can get pricey. However, if you want total control over the POS system, then this is the system best suited for you.

  • Hybrid POS systems: A hybrid POS system gives you a combination of the above two types of POS systems. A hybrid POS system uses a local server, but the data is backed up to the cloud. That means that if the internet drops, there is no interruption in your business. You can continue to sell items. Once the internet connection is re-established, your data is backed up to the cloud.

What is the difference between a POS and an mPOS?

A mobile POS, or mPOS, uses a tablet or smartphone (using a card reader you can attach to the phone) as the terminal, enabling business owners to accept payments on the go. With a traditional POS system, the hardware stays put, but with a mPOS, you can take it with you. mPOS and POS systems use the same software and perform the same capabilities.

What is point-of-sale software?

POS software is the "brains" of your POS system. Most POS systems have software you install on tablets using mobile apps, as well as cloud-based software you access using a device with a web browser. POS software is designed for either retail or hospitality businesses, though some vendors offer solutions for both. Additionally, most vendors offer multiple POS plans, with service levels based either on the number of registers you need and how many people will be using the system or on the included features.

What payment methods can a POS system accept?

The payment methods you can accept using a POS system (aside from cash), depends on the credit card processing service you use. Whether you use the POS provider's in-house processing service or work with a third-party provider will determine which payment methods you can accept. Nearly all processors enable you to accept cards from all major brands: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

As for how you can accept card payments, that depends on your card reader or credit card terminal – which may be integrated with your POS system or used alongside it. Most card readers allow you to swipe magstripe cards and are EMV compliant, so you can accept chip cards as well. Many also have NFC (near-field communication) capabilities that allow you to accept contactless payments from contactless credit cards, smartphones and wearables.

What is point-of-sale hardware?

POS hardware encompasses a range of equipment. The hardware that you purchase for your business will vary based on the type of business you run and what capabilities you want your POS system to perform.

The most common POS hardware includes the following:

  • Tablet, touchscreen or computer monitor
  • Cash drawer
  • Credit card reader
  • Receipt printer

Retail and restaurants may need additional peripherals such as:

  • A barcode scanner
  • A customer-facing screen
  • A kitchen printer
  • A kitchen display system (KDS)
  • A kiosk
  • A handheld POS device
  • A scale
  • Thermal printer paper

How many register terminals does each location require?

The number of registers, or POS terminals, that each location requires depends on the specific needs of your business. A single POS terminal may be enough for small and new businesses, but you may want to add more if your business is busy and you need to reduce wait times.

Which POS systems are the easiest to use?

POS systems on iPads or Android tablets tend to be the easiest to use, because they're designed to be intuitive, and most users are familiar and comfortable with this technology. Before you buy a POS system, sign up for a free demo to learn how to use the major features. Write a list of the features you need so you can ask the sales rep to demonstrate how to use them.

Not all POS providers offer a free trial, so you should look for a company that does. It's a big purchase, and you want to ensure that the system you choose has all the features you need and is easy to use.

What is the difference between a POS system and a payment processor?

A POS system includes both the software that runs the point-of-sale program and the hardware, or the physical machines that the POS software runs on. It's where the action happens when a customer wants to make a purchase in a physical location. A POS system is much more than a means to accept payments; it's a hub that helps businesses keep tabs on sales, customer relationships and inventory.

Payment processors are the companies that handle your customers' credit card transactions at the point of sale. The payment processor sends information from a customer's credit card or debit card to your bank and their bank to facilitate payment. If the funds are available, the transaction goes through. Payment processors also undertake fraud checks to ensure the payment and person making it are legitimate. It sounds like a lot of work, but payment processors run these checks in seconds.

What credit card processors work with POS systems?

The best POS systems integrate with multiple credit card processing services so you can shop around for the best value. However, some vendors offer their own credit card processing service and bundle it with their POS software and hardware.

If I buy a POS system, does that make me PCI compliant?

There are multiple factors involved with PCI compliance, including the POS system and credit card processing service you use, whether your business stores cardholder data, and whether your network and internet connection are secure. Your credit card processor can help you with PCI compliance; you will likely need to complete an annual PCI self-assessment questionnaire, and you may need to submit to system scans.

Which POS systems are the least expensive to integrate?

Cloud-based systems are usually the least expensive to integrate because they're plug and play – all you have to do is connect to the internet and download an app. You don't have to purchase, set up and maintain a server.

Is there a free POS system?

Yes, free POS systems are available, but there are strings attached. If you work with a credit card processing company like Square or PayPal, basic POS software is included as part of your processing service – the catch is that you must use this company as your processor, though this may not be a big deal if you were planning to use the company anyway.

Then, there are POS providers that offer free hardware, but in addition to locking you in to using their processing services, they require you to sign a three- to five-year contract. These contracts are usually noncancelable and automatically renew with a 30-day window at the end of your term.

The company may also charge you fees for your "free" equipment, like a monthly "insurance fee" or "equipment maintenance fee." When you close your account, you may find that the equipment was "free to use," and you're required to return it.

How do POS systems make money?

The companies that provide POS systems make money in different ways. Many charge their merchants for the POS software and hardware and tack on more fees for additional services. These may include a loyalty program, support for gift cards or integrations with other software. If your business requires multiple POS systems, you could be charged for each additional one.

POS companies that act as a payment processor also make money from credit card transaction fees. Even among those that don't process payments, some will tack on small per-transaction fees.

How important is reporting or analytics for a small business?

POS systems come with extensive reporting and analytics tools. That is extremely important because it can help you optimize your business, identify sales trends, and gauge how well a particular product is selling, and if you have enough inventory.

You can also use a POS system to manage and analyze your staffing and customer management. These systems can be set up to run reports on your best-performing salespeople and your most loyal customers. Reports and analytics can inform staffing, sales, and promotions, all of which are important to grow your enterprise.

What security concerns should you think about in a POS system?

Before you buy a POS system, you want to ask the company what security protocols it has in place. Ask these questions:

  • How do you store my data?
  • How often do you back up your servers?
  • How physically secure are your servers?
  • Are your card readers EMV-compliant?

Finally, check whether the POS system lets you assign unique passcodes to each user and allows you to restrict employee access. This can help your POS system play an important role in reducing theft at your business, as it records every transaction – including who was logged in to the system – and you can choose whether or not a manager must approve returns and voids. Also, look for shift reports and blind cash reconciliation, as they discourage employees from stealing from the cash drawer.

What to Expect in 2021

Point-of-sale systems have come a long way. Today, cloud-based POS systems automate many processes of running a store or a restaurant. We predict further advances in POS technology in 2021, with POS vendors focusing on e-commerce, self-serve ordering and contactless payments. For good reason: The coronavirus pandemic has altered behavior and shopping habits forever. Consumers across the globe are comfortable shopping online, and merchants have no choice but to accommodate these changes. At the same time, curbside (and tableside) ordering and delivery are now commonplace and will remain so for years to come. POS vendors recognize that and are responding by baking more e-commerce and unattended shopping features into their systems.

Lightspeed's recent acquisition of New York-based ShopKeep highlights that. Montreal-based Lightspeed announced it purchased ShopKeep to meet demand from independent businesses wanting a POS system that supports e-commerce. Epos Now has also forayed into e-commerce. It recently signed a deal with BigCommerce, the e-commerce platform provider to help its brick-and-mortar customers sell online. "Consumer habits are shifting on an unprecedented scale. Our customers must move to capitalize on the growing demand for online retail," said Epos Now's Chief Growth Officer, Barbara Staruk in a press release announcing the deal.

Unattended POS in the spotlight for 2021

Mobile POS and self-service kiosks were popular prior to the pandemic, but now, they are in great demand by businesses. Restaurants, airports, retailers and many other consumer-facing businesses are turning their tablets into mobile checkout stations. We predict that mobile POS systems with self-service features will continue to surge in popularity as the pandemic continues. These systems provide business owners and consumers with many conveniences.

Loyalty will also be a theme among POS providers in 2021. With many businesses struggling, restaurant owners and merchants are turning to rewards programs to incentivize existing and new customers. POS systems are building new features and services around loyalty, whether it's a rewards program or customer outreach.

Business owners face a lot of challenges heading into 2021, but their POS provider shouldn't add to those. By taking the time to do your homework and comparing POS systems, you can choose the right one for your business.

Our Methodology

To help you find the best POS system, we researched and analyzed more than 100 options. Here's a roundup of our best picks for POS systems and an explanation of how we chose them.

Locating the Best Services

To identify the best POS systems for small businesses we polled small business owners about the systems they use and their likes and dislikes. We then compiled a comprehensive list of POS systems, relying on several sources. We included the POS systems we are familiar with, those that small business owners mentioned, as well as systems that were proposed by companies that reached out to us.

Choosing the Best Services

We then conducted further research on the POS vendors we were considering. Our process included watching video tutorials, reviewing how-to guides, and poring over companies' websites. We put the vendors through the paces, researching the aspects and features of their systems that matter to small businesses. Following this extensive round of testing, narrowing the list even further.

Researching Each Service

Armed with our smaller list, the final step of our process involved reading customer reviews, comparing pricing and features, and contacting customer support, posing as a small business owner interested in purchasing a POS system. Based on hours of research, dozens of phone calls and talking with small business owners, this is our definitive list of the best POS systems for 2021.

Full List of POS Systems

Acme Point of Sale from Total BusinessWare Inc. is an on-premises POS system built for specialty retailers such as grocery, hardware, hobby and pet stores. It's an affordable POS system with a complete back-office solution built into the software. It works with all major credit card processors and POS equipment.
Aireus is an advanced iPad POS system for midsize and large restaurants. Besides floor features like tableside ordering and payment acceptance, happy-hour mode, and bill splitting, it comes with back-end features like reports, built-in CRM software, a timeclock with payroll exporting, offline mode and web orders. Custom solutions are available.
Aldelo Express is an iPad POS solution for bars, restaurants, retail shops and professional service providers. The cloud-based software is free if you decide to use Aldelo Pay as your payment processor, or you can pay a monthly fee and use the software with the payment processor of your choice. The company also offers Aldelo Restaurant POS for small and midsize restaurants that prefer a Windows-based POS system.
Alice POS is an all-in-one, cloud-based POS system for independent retailers as well as those with multiple locations, such as chains, franchises and buying groups. It offers a choice of month-to-month or annual subscription plans for its POS software, and all of its plans support an unlimited number of users, customers and products.
Ambur is an iPad POS system for restaurants that also works on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Like many tablet-based systems, Ambur charges a monthly subscription fee, with three tiers based on the number of devices you add to the system. A discount is available with annual prepayment. Ambur also sells POS hardware, including iPads.
Bepoz provides POS systems to businesses in multiple industries, including restaurants, retail and hotels. It can be used by businesses with a single location or thousands, and it can link with accounting programs, property management systems, gaming and casino systems, and liquor dispensing systems. It has month-to-month subscriptions for its software and provides 24/7 customer support.
Big Hairy Dog Information Systems is a reseller that offers Retail Pro and QuickBooks POS software as well as hardware, supplies, implementation and training services, and technical support. It works with specialty retailers in the United States and Canada.
Based in Lebanon, BIM POS offers POS software and hardware solutions to retail and restaurant businesses in more than 16 countries. It offers the Masterdine POS for restaurants and the STORCheck POS for retailers. Features include real-time inventory tracking, an integrated loyalty program, and a multilingual feature that displays the interface in the preferred language of the employee who is signed in to the system.
Bindo comes with a bevy of tools to help you process transactions and run your business straight from your iPad, all at a friendly price for small businesses. It can be used by retail, restaurant, and salon businesses with one or multiple locations, and it has an inventory database, e-commerce solutions, a built-in timeclock and 24/7 customer support.
Bluestore is a simple and affordable POS system that works on different types of hardware, including iPads. Its plans support unlimited products, users and customers. Updates and maintenance are 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.
Brilliant POS is a reseller that offers Clover, Cash Register Express, and Restaurant Pro Express software along with hardware, setup, training, and support. E-commerce solutions are also available from this company. It works with many business types, including retail and grocery stores, bars and restaurants, and salons. It provides its merchants with account managers and 24/7 support.
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 for all retail stores, but it has special features for boutiques, hardware stores and pharmacies.
Comcash offers cloud-based POS software for retailers and a mobile POS app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that can be used as a line buster in retail stores or to take orders tableside in restaurants. It also offers e-commerce, CRM, mobile inventory and retail ERP solutions.
Computer Information Services (CIS) has all-in-one POS systems for restaurants, retailers, and specialty shops such as butchers, fashion boutiques, pharmacies, firearms, bookstores and pizzerias. Headquartered in Pakistan, the company also has offices in Texas, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.
Cumulus Retail from Celerant Technology is cloud-based POS software for smaller retailers. It has features for inventory, CRM, loyalty programs, promotions, reports and e-commerce. It integrates with third-party software such as QuickBooks and Shopify, and marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart. It gives you a choice of payment processors.
Denali, the on-premises accounting system from Cougar Mountain Software, can be used by businesses of all sizes, including those with multiple locations. The software is modular, allowing you to customize it with just the features you need. Modules include payroll, inventory and POS. POS hardware and e-commerce websites are also available from this company.
Datio POS is an iPad POS system for retail stores, salons, small cafes, quick-service eateries and full-service restaurants. The company charges a monthly subscription fee for its software, and there's no contract, so you can cancel at any time. It provides payment processing through Vantiv, and you can purchase its POS hardware either directly from the company or from Amazon.
Dinlr Waiter is a POS system for restaurants that runs on iPads and iPhones. You can take orders, manage tables and reservations, split checks, and accept payments with it. It manages inventory at the ingredient level, and its purchase-ordering system can automatically reorder supplies. Using Dinlr Table, your guests can place their own orders from iPad menus at each table.
ECR Software's Catapult is a unified POS platform for grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, and specialty food and beverage stores. It has traditional, accelerated, and self-checkout systems, as well as mobile and e-commerce solutions. Features include inventory, purchase orders, loyalty programs, gift cards, reports and multi-store management.
Enlite POS from Dark POS is designed for dry cleaning businesses with one or multiple locations. It supports automated assembly systems, emails customers when their clothes are ready for pickup, and includes the Driver Mobile App for dry cleaning delivery and laundry routes. It integrates with top payment processors, accounting and email marketing software, and social media platforms.
EposEX is an all-in-one POS solution from Ecologital, a U.K.-based software development company. It serves fashion, jewelry, grocery, and cash-and-carry retailers, as well as restaurants, pubs and bars, nightclubs, wellness centers, and wholesale businesses. Its POS systems include inventory management, delivery tracking, time tracking and marketing tools.
Erply is cloud-hybrid POS software for retailers; it suits independent stores as well as large chains. It runs on iPads and Android tablets, or any other device with a browser. It offers several plans, a choice of month-to-month or annual subscription, and is hardware agnostic.
Franpos, formerly iConnect, is a cloud-based franchise POS system that works with businesses in the beauty, retail and quick-service restaurant industries. Features include inventory, purchase ordering, booking, online ordering, loyalty programs, employee management and reporting. It runs on Android tablets and integrates with third-party software.
GiftLogic is Windows-based POS software for retailers. In addition to processing sales, GiftLogic can help you manage inventory, generate purchase orders and run reports. With its built-in CRM software, you can create customer accounts, track purchase histories and offer a rewards program. GiftLogic also has a full-featured inventory management tool with automatic reordering and discount scheduling.
GoFrugal is an ERP company that offers both retail and restaurant POS software that you can use as an on-premises system or as a web-based platform that you can access from a browser on any computer, tablet, or phone. Based in India, it's used by businesses in more than 60 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. It has integrations for e-commerce, loyalty programs and accounting software.
Gotmerchant.com provides credit card processing services and equipment to retailers, restaurants and online merchants. Its hardware options include credit card machines, wireless card readers, electronic cash registers and POS systems. It also offers touch-tone credit card processing and integration with Yahoo Merchant Solutions accounts.
Harbortouch is a Shift4 Payments company that provides POS systems and payment processing services to small businesses. It has both retail and restaurant POS systems that nearly every type of business can use. It also has a bar POS system, which is featured on the TV show "Bar Rescue."
Hospitality Control Systems, or HCS, is a reseller that supplies Focus, SoftTouch, and CAP POS systems and Berg Liquor Control Systems to retail and hospitality businesses in Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. It also provides installation services and tech support.
Imonggo is a retail POS system with a free plan for startups and very small businesses, specifically those with fewer than 1,000 inventory items that sell 1,000 products or fewer 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.
Instore is an all-in-one iPad POS system for restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delis, bars and retail businesses with one or multiple locations. With Instore, you can take orders and accept payments from anywhere in your store, manage your menu or product catalog, analyze sales data, track inventory, issue gift cards, and customize receipts with coupons and special offers.
The QuickBooks POS software transforms your desktop into a powerful POS system. Besides 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.
Kounta, recently acquired by Lightspeed, is a POS system that works with both Android tablets and iPads. It can be used by hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars, food retailers and hotels. It has a strong mix of features, and integrations are available so you can 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.
LivePOS is a cloud-hybrid POS solution suited for retail, service, and healthcare stores with one or multiple locations as well as franchises. In addition to register features, it has customer and employee management, inventory, and reporting tools. It also has an app marketplace and its own API, giving you plenty of options to fully customize the software. The company offers 24/7 phone support.
Loyverse is a free mobile POS system for iOS and Android devices that's packed with features to help you ring up sales and run your business. It has a user-friendly back office with a dashboard that makes it easy to access sales analytics, track inventory, manage employees and launch marketing campaigns. Loyverse is suited for retail stores, salons, restaurants and cafes.
Meridian Star is a Future POS reseller that provides software, hardware, installation, training, and support to restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It has solutions for full- and quick-service restaurants, pizzerias, bars, and nightclubs.
MicroBiz is retail POS software that can be used by many store types, including clothing, sports, toy, pet, garden, repair, liquor and vape shops, with single or multiple locations. Cloud- and Windows-based versions of the software are available, so you can store your data in the cloud or onsite. It integrates with QuickBooks and Magento.
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 timeclock. 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.
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, analytics, and email marketing and customer loyalty programs. This system is available from resellers that provide installation, custom programming, training, support and cloud-hosted solutions.
National Retail Solutions' POS+ system is designed for small, independent retail stores. It has dual touchscreens, a cash drawer, a scanner, a receipt printer and a card reader. The software includes register features, vendor and inventory management, reports, and a loyalty program. The company also provides payment processing.
Nobly is an iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, delis and food trucks. Although its focus is hospitality businesses, salons and retail stores can also use it. You can use it to take orders tableside, track inventory at the ingredient level, manage customers, offer loyalty promotions and generate reports.
NorthStar from Custom Business Solutions is an iPad POS system for quick- and full-service restaurants, cafes, bars, amusement parks, and cruise lines. It has tableside, online and kiosk ordering solutions; supports multiple menus and happy hours; and has cloud-based reporting so you can accomplish back-of-house tasks anywhere you have browser access.
Oracle MICROS for Restaurants is the POS solution from the Oracle Corporation, the parent company of NetSuite. It can be used by restaurants of every size, from small establishments to enterprise chains and large entertainment venues like stadiums and theme parks. It provides POS software and hardware, including mobile options. Features include inventory and labor management, reports and analytics, scheduling, loyalty programs, a self-service kiosk, and a kitchen display system.
Ordyx is a POS system for restaurants with single or multiple locations. It tracks inventory, generates reports, and has online ordering and delivery features. It also has a customer loyalty program and integrates with several accounting, payroll, property management, and email marketing applications.
PAR Technology provides cloud-based POS systems to some of the country's most popular restaurant chains, including McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Its Brink POS software is designed for quick-service and fast casual eateries, and its PixelPoint POS is for full-service restaurants. The company also offers payment processing through PAR Pay.
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 frequent customers. The company says your employees can learn to use the system in 20 minutes, and customer service is available by phone 24/7/365.
PayPal lets businesses of all sizes, including startups and microbusinesses, accept credit cards with minimal application requirements. It's affordable, has transparent pricing and terms, and is easy to use for both in-person and online transactions. It includes free, basic POS software and also integrates with many POS systems and shopping carts.
Pathfinder's POS system is designed to give retailers and restaurants data and insights based on customer purchases. The company, located in India and the UAE, specializes in systems for businesses located in airports and shopping centers. It also offers software for business intelligence, analytics and customer engagement.
PHP Point of Sale can be used by retailers, grocery stores, bakeries, coffee shops and museums. It runs on iOS phones and tablets as well as Mac and PC computers. It's compatible with several processors and various third-party hardware, so if you already own POS equipment, you may be able to continue using it.
Pinogy is an easy-to-use retail POS system with a full suite of features, such as inventory, customer and multi-store management, reporting, and integrated credit card processing. It offers a free version of its software for very small businesses that have fewer than 100 products and only need two user accounts. A paid version that supports an unlimited number of products and five users is also available.
CAP Retail by POS Nation offers a complete point of sale solution to streamline your small or medium-sized retail business. POS Nation supports retailers with a turnkey solution so you have the hardware, software, and payment processing needed to improve checkout, create happier customers, and grow your business. POS Nation's 10,000+ customers are backed by its dedicated customer service team, including 24/7 US-based support.”
POSGuys offers a wide range of products for retailers, restaurants and salons. Its solutions include POS software, traditional POS hardware systems with touchscreen monitors, and mobile POS systems that use tablets. Peripherals such as barcode scanners and scales are also available.
Pioneer Solution Inc. designs and manufactures POS hardware such as tablets, all-in-one touchscreens and printers. The company partners with software vendors, system integrators and value-added resellers in many industries, including retail, healthcare, hospitality, kiosk, gaming and manufacturing.
PointOS is a POS system designed for restaurants and bars. Its features include customer profiles, tab and table management, age identification, inventory tracking, timecards, and payroll reports. It offers options for automatic happy-hour pricing as well as item and check discounting, and you can send orders to the kitchen printer or the service bar. It also has an integrated music feature that you can use to create playlists for your establishment.
Posandro is a U.K.-based Android POS provider. Its POS system is built primarily for restaurants and other food-based businesses, though retail stores can also use it. It is affordable, has no lengthy contract requirement, is compatible with third-party POS hardware and has a good selection of features. It only has one payment processor integration, though you can use the system alongside your processor of choice.
Pose is a cloud-based POS system that can be used by stores, cafes, booths, salons and service providers working on location. It's a web-based system, so you can access it 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 the flexibility to take your POS system with you anywhere you go.
Poster is a restaurant POS system that runs on both Android tablets and iPads, and the company says you can set it up in 15 minutes. It has a web-based management console, so you can access it from any device with a web browser. It includes features for table, inventory, and menu management, and it lets your customers order or make reservations online.
Punchey is a cloud-based POS system for appointment-based retail businesses that you can use with the computer or laptop you already own. Features include appointment scheduling, employee management, inventory tracking, integrated payment processing, and gift card and loyalty programs.
If you're a clothing or shoe retailer, Quetzal has a solution for you. This cloud-based iPad POS system is packed with features, such as inventory management for up to 10,000 items and 2 million SKUs, sales analytics to help you identify buying trends, and customer engagement tools that help you understand your customers.
Rapid POS is a reseller and systems integrator that can set your small retail business up with NCR Counterpoint software and POS hardware such as all-in-one terminals, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and other peripherals. The company can configure and customize the POS system to meet your needs and provides 24/7 customer support.
Retail Pro is an enterprise-level POS system for specialty retailers. Its features include customizable workflows, personalized shopping recommendations for customers based on purchase history, CRM, inventory management, merchandising tools and accounting. Retail Pro is a scalable POS system, so you can start with the basics and add capabilities as your business grows.
Rezku is an iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, breweries and nightclubs. It has drag-and-drop menu management that supports photos and color coding, ingredient-level inventory tracking, and seat and table management. It also has a built-in timeclock and sales reports that show your most popular items, busiest hours, and top employees.
Sabor is a cloud-based restaurant POS system that runs on Windows 10 devices, including Microsoft Surface. It also has a companion app for Windows phones. The company says that its POS system has more than 200 features, including table management, kitchen processes, dashboard reports and a built-in CRM.
SalesVu is a cloud-based, all-in-one POS system. Its features include inventory management, employee scheduling, customer management, accounting, and email and social media marketing. SalesVu works on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch and is suitable for businesses in many industries, including retail, restaurant, and professional services.
ShopKeep is a cloud-based iPad POS system for retail stores and restaurants. It has a ton of timesaving features that small business owners need to run their businesses and boost sales. It also has multiple customer support resources, including free 24/7 phone and email support, live chat, and community forums.
Smartwerks is cloud-based POS software for specialty retail such as gift and hobby shops, jewelry boutiques, and furniture stores. 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, and it includes loyalty tools and a timeclock app.
Springboard Retail is a cloud-based POS and retail management system designed by retailers for multi-store, multichannel businesses, helping 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.
Swim's iPad POS system is made specifically to help jewelry retailers 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 wish lists) and view purchase histories.
The General Store is a POS and retail management system that you can use to process sales, track inventory, reorder stock, track employee time and commissions, and manage customers. It's suitable for stores with one or multiple locations and for nearly every specialty, including apparel, sporting goods and furniture.
Thr!ve POS from Granbury Solutions is a tablet-based point-of-sale system for delivery restaurants and pizzerias. It can be used by independent establishments as well as regional and national chains. Features include order management, a delivery app for drivers, employee scheduling and a timeclock, ingredient-based inventory tracking, and reporting tools.
TigerPOS is an easy-to-use, touchscreen POS system for bars and liquor stores. It includes features for age verification, shelf labeling, purchasing and receiving, reporting, and security camera integration. TigerPOS also has a retail-based POS system specifically for wine stores.
Tillpoint is an iPad POS system for retail businesses and restaurants that has a rich suite of features. In addition to its register capabilities, it helps you manage your inventory, suppliers, purchase orders, customers and staff. It has a built-in timeclock and accounting system. Its restaurant-specific features include reservations, table and delivery management tools, and a kitchen display system.
TouchSuite offers multiple POS systems and business services, including credit card processing. In addition to the TouchSuite Restaurant POS system, it resells Grubbrr kiosks and POS hardware for Clover, Talech, QuickBooks POS, and NCR Silver.
The uAccept POS system from Workwell Technologies comes with a touchscreen, card reader, receipt printer and cash drawer. Its POS software is for retail businesses and quick-service restaurants, and its features include a loyalty program, reporting tools and integrated text messaging. You'll need to add an EMV terminal to the system, as the built-in card reader only accepts magnetic stripe cards.
Union, a POS system designed for bars and restaurants, prides itself on being a fast system for busy businesses. As a hybrid POS system, it uses a local server and cloud backup to avoid service interruptions if your internet drops or lags. From the manager portal, you can view your sales data, schedule pricing events like happy hour, and manage your menu. One unique feature is its Union app for customers that allows them to see their tabs, add a tip and close out.
Veeqo is a POS and order management system that streamlines sales channels for multi-outlet e-commerce businesses. This cloud-based system has iOS and Android apps that allow you to access your sales data from anywhere. It integrates with your e-commerce platforms, online marketplaces, and shipping partners to automatically update and sync your inventory, fulfill orders, and create invoices.
Vend is our top pick for the best retail POS system. 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 a cloud-based system that 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 reports.
Cake from Sysco is an all-in-one restaurant point-of-sale system designed for small restaurant businesses. It's a hybrid system, so you can use its cloud-based software to access your reporting and other back-of-house tasks from any browser. It uses a router and has an offline mode, so you don't need to worry if your internet connection lags. Cake offers add-ons for guest management, iPad tableside ordering and online ordering. Third-party integrations are also available for this restaurant POS system.

Linga, formerly Benseron Hospitality, calls its iPad restaurant point-of-sale system the world's first rOS (restaurant operating system). It can be used by all types of food and beverage businesses, including table-service restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, bars, food trucks, pizzerias and franchises. Establishments of all sizes can use Linga, from those that are very small with one location and a single register to large chains with multiple registers at each location. This Naples, Florida, company works with restaurants in more than 65 countries and supports more than 30 languages. 

We selected Linga POS as the best iPad POS for quick-service restaurants because it has a strong feature set with innovative options well suited to this business type, like self-service kiosks, internet of things integrations (Nest cameras and thermostat) and Wi-Fi for guests. Even though it no longer offers a free plan, it continues to be one of the more affordable iPad restaurant POS systems because its plans are less expensive than competitors with similar feature sets. All plans give you the choice of month-to-month or annual subscriptions, and it works with third-party hardware and all major credit card processors, so you can comparison shop or use what you already have. 

Linga POS Pricing and Terms

The company has transparent pricing, so you can easily see what you can expect to pay and determine if it's within your budget before you spend time on the phone or attend a demo. Its website clearly displays its monthly and annual subscription rates for its cloud POS software, and provides a helpful feature comparison chart so you can see which features are included with each plan. It also posts the prices for its add-on services and hardware. 

POS Software

Linga offers four plans – all can be paid either monthly or annually – and you can add an unlimited number of users and products to the system. You can also add an unlimited number of registers, though pricing is per register, so additional ones will cost extra. If you need a custom solution, you can contact the company for a quote. 

One thing to be aware of is that the company charges an implementation fee, which will increase your startup costs significantly, so you'll want to plan ahead for that expense. 

The company offers demos and a 14-day free trial to help you decide if Linga POS is the right POS solution for your restaurant. Here's an overview of Linga's costs. 

  • The Basic plan costs $19.99 per month, per register (billed annually) or $39.99 if you pay monthly. It's best suited to counter- or quick-service restaurants.

  • The Pro plan costs $49.99 per month, per register (billed annually) or $69.99 if you pay monthly. It's a good choice for most other types of restaurants, including full-service, as it includes table management and inventory tools.

  • The Enterprise plan costs $89.99 per month, per register (billed annually) or $109.99 if you pay monthly. This is the plan you'll need if you have multiple locations.

  • Pricing for the Linga One plan isn't posted, so you'll need to call the company for a quote. It's designed for restaurants that need three or more registers, and in addition to the Pro plan features, it includes multiple add-ons, including online ordering, caller ID and reservation management. 

You can enhance your POS system with a variety of add-ons, though some require you to subscribe to the Pro plan first. Several other POS companies offer add-ons, but Linga POS is more upfront about them than most, posting what they are and how much they cost on its website. 

All add-on pricing is per month, based on annual billing. 

  • Caller ID costs $5.99 per site.
  • A customer display costs $9.99 per station.
  • Linga KDS costs $19.99 per station.
  • Texting alerts cost $19.99 per site.
  • Customer loyalty costs $29.99 per site.
  • Linga Schedules costs $29.99 per site.
  • A self-order kiosk costs $49.99 per station.
  • Online ordering costs $59.99 per site.
  • Waitlist and reservation costs $99.99 per site. 

For quick-service chains and franchises, Linga's Enterprise plan has an add-on to help you manage a central kitchen and warehouse. Call center services are also available. 

Service Fees

Linga offers a variety of support services for implementation, menu programming and training, all of which cost extra. These prices are posted on the company's website, which is admirable, but you have to hunt around a little to find them since they're not on the main pricing page. Rather, you have to go to the Shop page and click on the Support Services tab. 

While most are optional, the New Customer Implementation Package is mandatory, and at $999, it's very expensive. Linga isn't the only restaurant POS provider to charge an implementation fee, but it's higher than what some of its competitors charge. The website says training is also required, but the company representative we spoke with told us that it is included with the implementation package. 

POS Hardware

You can use an iPad, iPad Pro or iPad Mini with Linga POS. In addition to using iPads as registers, you can use them as customer displays and self-serve kiosks. 

You can purchase POS hardware on the company's website, either one piece at a time or bundled. It sells iPads, iPad stands, cash drawers, receipt printers, kitchen printers, scales, barcode readers and supplies like receipt paper rolls. If you already own POS equipment, you may be able to use it with Linga POS, so you'll want to check with the company for compatibility before buying new POS equipment. 

POS Software and Hardware Bundle

Linga POS offers a bundled solution for customers who need both POS software and hardware, though it requires you to sign a lengthy contract. 

The Platform as a Service (PaaS) plan costs $49 per month and has a three-year contract. In addition to the POS software and hardware, it includes software updates, a warranty and 24/7 phone support. 


Linga POS has an impressive feature collection, though the features vary from plan to plan, and some are add-on services that cost extra. If you need specific capabilities, make sure they're in the plan you choose. 

One of Linga POS's unique features is its ability to remotely connect with internet of things devices, such as Nest security cameras, thermostat controls and door locks. Also notable is its multilanguage feature that allows you to assign a language to each user. You can set the kitchen printer to print tickets in another language as well. Both of these features are useful when you have a multilingual staff. Linga supports multiple currencies as well, which can be a plus for restaurants near busy tourist destinations. 

Restaurant Management Features

Linga's app has a good assortment of order management tools. You can add photos of your menu items to the buttons on the register, manage the order in which dishes are served, and set optional and mandatory modifiers for menu items. If a customer has a special request, you can note it on the order. You can also track how long it takes for your customers to receive their orders and for your tables to turn over. When your customers are ready for checks, you can split them evenly, by seat or by item. 

With this iPad restaurant POS system, you can bundle menu items into combos, provide coupons, and offer event- or time-based discounts such as happy hour. You can also manage bar tabs. Tabs are searchable, and you can look up both open and closed tabs using the customer's name, the last four digits of their credit card, or by order number. 

For restaurants that offer delivery service, Linga POS has Delivery Dispatch, a feature that groups delivery orders based on destination and plans the most efficient route for your drivers. 

For restaurants that offer table service, it has table management tools you can use to create a floor plan and see at a glance which tables are open or occupied. It also has a waitlist and reservation add-on that you can use to estimate wait time and text guests when their tables are ready. 

Inventory Management

Linga POS's inventory management tools track your supplies at the ingredient level and allow you to set thresholds for low-stock alerts. The system can manage contact information for your vendors, and allows you to create and email purchase orders directly from the system. 


The dashboard displays your transactions, net sales, refunds and other metrics that give you an overview of your restaurant's performance. Sales reports reveal your most and least popular items, and the food cost analysis breaks down how much it costs to make each item on your menu. You can compare your inventory costs from the previous week or month to anticipate how much you need to order. You can also run reports to show you your busy hours so you can optimize your staffing and track labor costs. 

Customer Management

Linga POS has a customer database where you can create customer profiles, and use the information for your marketing efforts and delivery services. You can add names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, birthdays, notes and even profile pictures. If you offer customers free Wi-Fi, you can use it to collect customer email addresses, which you can then use to send coupons inviting your customer back for another visit. 

You can use the loyalty add-on to reward your repeat customers. This add-on provides customer analytics to help you understand their purchasing habits. 

Employee Management

Linga POS has role-based permissions that allow you to choose which features and information your employees can access. The software has a built-in time clock, allowing your employees to clock in and out of the system using a PIN. 


Linga POS integrates with Nest devices, allowing you to control your restaurant's thermostat, security cameras and door locks remotely. It doesn't post much information on its website about the other third-party applications it integrates with, which include Oracle NetSuite ERP, Givex for gift cards, Zenpepper for white-label online ordering apps, and Mailchimp for email marketing. Using an integration with Shogo, you can connect to popular accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero and Sage One. An API is available if you need custom integrations. 

Additional Considerations

Linga POS now has its own credit card processing service, called Linga Pay. However, it allows you to choose your payment processor from some of the biggest companies in the industry, such as FIS (Worldpay), Fiserv (First Data) and Global Payments (TSYS). Having a selection of processors allows you to shop around for the best rates and terms. 

Email customer support is available on all paid plans, but if you prefer to contact customer service by phone or chat, you'll need the Pro or Enterprise plan. If you experience a software issue, company representatives can, with your permission, remotely connect to your system to resolve it. Or, if you prefer to troubleshoot issues yourself, you can find a knowledgebase with user manuals, release notes and tutorial videos. 

The company provides a variety of support services, though they cost extra. It can provide training and menu programming remotely, or if you need onsite help installing the system, the company can send representatives or select a local company to install the system for you. 


Though Linga POS's Basic and Pro plans are very affordable for a small business and even its Enterprise plan is comparable to many of its competitors, there are still some costs to watch out for. 

The New Customer Implementation Package that you're required to have is expensive and increases your startup costs dramatically, which may be an issue for many small restaurant owners. However, even with this large upfront expense, it's still a better option than the three-year contract that many of Linga's competitors require. 

Another thing to carefully consider pricewise are the add-ons. There are a lot of great options to choose from, but each adds an extra monthly cost, so this system can get expensive if you need a lot of advanced features and start piling on the add-on services.


Toast is an all-in-one point of sale and restaurant management platform that includes front-of-house, back-of-house, and guest-facing technology. More specifically, Toast helps busy restaurant staff bridge the gaps between point of sale, payment processing, marketing, labor management, online ordering and more. Toast's partner network also allows users to tap into numerous third-party applications as needed. In sum, Toast's technology is designed to help you grow your business, provide contactless off-premise dining solutions, manage your team, and build your vision for the future. Toast serves establishments of all sizes, including fine and casual dining, fast casual, bars and nightclubs, cafes and bakeries, and multi-location restaurant groups.

Upserve POS, formerly Breadcrumb, is a feature-rich iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, clubs and similar establishments. It has hundreds of capabilities, including ingredient-level inventory management, and integrates with more than 50 third-party restaurant tools, so you can tailor the system to make it perfect for your business. Upserve offers 24/7 customer support.
Square - Restaurant POS Systems
Square has clear, affordable pricing on its credit card processing services with no contracts, credit checks or complicated setup processes. Its card reader and Square Point of Sale app turn your iPad or Android tablet into a robust POS terminal that lets you accept credit cards at the checkout counter or on the go. For businesses that need advanced features, it offers Square for Restaurants and Square for Retail POS software.
NCR Silver is a cloud-based POS system that delivers big-business features on a small-business budget. Its subscription prices include the hardware, and you can choose a system that works with your iPad or one with a built-in 10-inch display. It offers different versions of its POS software for retailers and restaurants.

Talech, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, provides POS solutions to small retailers and restaurant businesses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain. The company serves more than 8,000 businesses and was recently acquired by U.S. Bank. It has an app that lets you use an iPad as your POS terminal. Alternatively, you can use it with the Poynt Smart Terminal and the all-in-one Elo PayPoint. As it's a cloud-based system, you can access your data anytime, anywhere, from any device with a browser.

Talech Pricing and Terms

Talech posts its subscription-based software pricing on its website. It provides its POS software on a month-to-month basis, with no lengthy contract requirements or early termination fees. However, a discount is available if you decide to pay for the software annually. The company's terms of service, which you can read on its website, are shorter and more straightforward than many such documents. The company doesn't sell POS hardware, and it doesn't make offers of free or leased POS equipment that would tie you to expensive contracts with long, unfavorable terms. 

POS Software

Three subscription tiers are available from Talech for the retail, restaurant and services versions of its POS software. Features vary by tier, and the Standard and Premium plans include features that typically cost extra, such as a loyalty program, gift cards, kiosk mode and online ordering. There's no free tier or free trial available for Talech, just a demo – so if you know you need certain features, you should have a list of them ready when you call the company so you can ask which plans include them and how they work. Here is a breakdown of each plan: 

  • The Starter plan is $44 per month (based on annual billing) or $49 if you choose to pay month to month. This plan is for cafes and small retail stores that need a single device, have up to five employees, and sell up to 100 products. 
  • The Standard plan is $62 per month (billed annually) or $69 if you pay month to month. You can add an unlimited number of extra devices for $35 each per month (billed annually) or $39 (month to month). This plan is for quick-service or fast casual restaurants and midsize retail stores. There's no limit on the number of employees and products you can add to the system with this plan, and it supports multiple locations. 
  • The Premium plan is $89 per month (billed annually) or $99 (month to month). You can add an unlimited number of extra devices for $44 each per month (billed annually) or $49 (month to month). This plan is for full-service restaurants, large retail stores, salons and spas. There's no limit on the number of employees or products you can add to the system with this plan, and it supports multiple locations as well. 


Talech has a few extra features that carry additional costs. 

  • The Getting Started package is a mandatory add-on with the Standard and Premium plans that costs $199. With this package, Talech's training partner, Boomtown, helps you remotely set up your system and trains you to use all the features in a two-hour session. You can then schedule additional free remote training with Talech if needed. 
  • The Campaigns add-on is available with the Premium plan and costs $29 per month. With this feature, you can send an unlimited number of emails to unlimited customers. 
  • A feature that allows you to offer digital gift cards is available with the Standard and Premium plans and costs $49 per month. You can offer physical gift cards as well, but you will need to purchase the cards from a third-party printing company. 
  • Talech Online Ordering is available for restaurants. It includes a mobile-friendly branded website that automatically syncs with your menu, integrated payment processing, and seamless order management, with automatic notifications that are sent in the app as well as by email and SMS text. It also provides access to customer insights and reports. Talech doesn't post pricing for this feature, so you'll need to reach out to a sales rep to get a quote. 

iPad POS Hardware

The Talech POS app runs on iPads, and you can use whichever tablet size you prefer (iPad, iPad Pro or iPad Mini). You can use the iPad and app as a mobile register, ringing up orders on the sales floor or taking payments tableside, or you can attach the iPad to a stand or all-in-one dock to create a stationary checkout station. You can set up additional iPads in Guest Mode, which allows them to function as self-service kiosks that your customers can use to place and pay for orders, which may be especially useful for quick-service restaurants. The iPads can also be customer-facing displays that allow customers to see their sales ticket or order as you create it, and you can add custom messaging or promotional information to the screen. 

You can access the system's back office through any device with a browser, allowing you to view sales data, run reports and accomplish other tasks anytime, anyplace. 

Talech works with third-party POS hardware; you can view compatible makes and models on the company's website. This can save you money, as you may be able to use POS equipment you already own, and allows you to purchase POS hardware from the vendor of your choice if you decide to buy new equipment. 


Talech's website says that it has more than 100 features, though features vary by plan. The Starter plan is basic, though it does have inventory tracking, which some competitors only offer at higher tiers. The Standard and Premium plans include features that usually cost extra, such as loyalty programs and gift cards. Like other top cloud-based POS systems, Talech is regularly updated and posts its release notes online so you can see which features the company has added, enhanced or fixed. 

Inventory Management

All three plans include basic inventory management tools with inventory tracking. You can create item variations, add modifiers or exclusions, and set discounts. 

The Standard plan allows you to bundle products, sell items by weight and manage suppliers. It also supports automatic discounts and allows you to offer exchanges and store credits. You can print barcode labels with the retail version and add a kitchen printer to the restaurant version. 

The Premium plan has advanced inventory tools, such as low-inventory alerts that email certain employees when items fall below the thresholds you set, and popup warnings on the register to notify staff that items are out of stock. You can create and email purchase orders to suppliers from the system, perform stock takes, and view the inventory log, which shows details about product purchases and sales, including information about items manually added or removed from inventory. You'll need this plan if you want your system to support BOGO promotions. 


You can run a variety of sales reports to gain insights on your revenue, customer behavior, hot products and top-performing sales staff. You can access back-office features through the app or from any browser. The Starter plan comes with basic reporting, which doesn't include the dashboard, product mix report or automated reports. 

The Standard plan has most of Talech's reporting features, including the dashboard, insights, product mix, void, timesheet and labor cost reports. It also has an automated report feature that allows you to schedule which reports you receive daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. 

The Premium plan has all of the reports in the Standard plan, plus a staff utilization report. It also has an appointment-by-channel report for service-based businesses that use its appointment-scheduling features. 

Customer Management

All plans include customer management tools that you can use to create customer profiles and view sales histories. With the insight reports in the Standard and Premium plans, you can see data that helps you understand customer behavior, such as visit frequency and average amount spent per visit. These plans include a loyalty program at no additional cost and allow you to add gift cards for a monthly fee. 

The Standard and Premium POS plans have a "house accounts" feature that tracks customer balances and sends automatic monthly statements to them. Restaurants can use this feature to manage bar tabs. 

With the Premium plan, you can also subscribe to Campaigns, an email marketing solution you can use to run and track marketing campaigns, sending discounts, coupons and announcements to your customers. 

Employee Management

All plans allow you to add your employees to the system and set permissions to control the tasks and data they can access. 

The Standard plan has a built-in timeclock, so employees can clock in and out with this POS software. You can manage their timesheets and generate labor cost reports. 

The Premium plan has all the Standard plan features, plus time-off tracking. The restaurant version of the software has tip tracking by staff member, and the services version has staff scheduling tools. 


You need either the Standard or Premium plan to use Talech's integrations. It integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, Sage Business Cloud Accounting and Homebase employee scheduling software. The restaurant version of the POS software also integrates with Fresh KDS and Epson to send order tickets to kitchen display screens. An API is available for custom integrations. 

Retail Features

Talech has product list variations that allow you to specify item color, size, price, cost and quantity. You can create product bundles to group items or components together to sell at a set price. The software supports barcodes, which makes it faster to ring up products at checkout, and allows you to print barcode labels from any desktop printer. 

Restaurant Features

The Premium plan for Talech's restaurant POS software has table management features, allowing you to create a floor plan of your restaurant. You can see which tables are open or occupied and track how long it takes to turn a table, which can help you gauge the efficiency of your kitchen and waitstaff. 

Your servers have coursing tools to ensure items are served in the correct order. When diners are ready for their checks, servers can split shared orders across checks, merge orders and divide checks by seat position. You can set up the system to prompt for tips with suggested amounts and add automatic gratuity for large parties. You can also offer happy-hour and BOGO discounts. 

Online ordering is available from Talech. From your branded website, customers can place orders and then pay either online to complete their order or at the register when they pick up their orders. 

Services Features

The Premium plan for Talech's services POS software includes appointment booking with a mobile-friendly website for your customers to use, an appointment calendar and staff scheduling tools. It can send automatic confirmation and reminder messages by text or email. 

Additional Considerations

Talech integrates with several major U.S. payment processors, including Bank of America, Chase, Elavon, Fiserv (First Data), Heartland and Worldpay by FIS (Vantiv). This allows you to shop around for the best rates or continue working with your current processor, which is an important consideration in a POS system if you're already under contract with a processing company. 

The brands of credit and debit cards you can accept depend on your processing agreement. Whether you can accept EMV chip cards and contactless payments, such as mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay, depends on the type of payment terminal you purchase from your processing company, though they should all support all major card processors and offer credit card readers that support both chip cards and contactless payments. You can split payments with Talech and accept gift cards, cash, checks and store credit. 

You can reach Talech for customer support 24/7 by phone and email. Live chat is available weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, with no additional fee for this service. You can also reach the company on Facebook and Twitter. 

In case you prefer to troubleshoot problems yourself, the company's website has a variety of helpful resources, including a knowledgebase, video tutorials, a blog and how-to articles that give useful guidance on specific features. 


There's no free trial period for Talech, which makes it difficult to determine whether the software is a good fit for your business before you subscribe. However, you can check out how-to videos on its YouTube channel and schedule a demo to get some idea of how the software works and what it can do. If you want to take the software for a test run before buying, it's not a bad idea to start out with a month-to-month subscription to the Starter plan. You'll want to avoid the Standard and Premium plans until you're ready to commit, since they require you to purchase the Getting Started package, which costs extra. The setup and training fees are another extra cost to consider before signing up with Talech, as some of the other top POS systems don't charge extra for these services. 

The Talech website doesn't specify which reports are included with the basic accounting tools that come in the Starter plan. One item not included in the Starter plan is the dashboard, which most other POS systems include in all their plans. 

Talech doesn't offer as many integrations as some of its competitors either, so you might not be able to seamlessly use all your related programs in conjunction with the system.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Business News Daily Staff
See Skye Schooley's Profile
Skye Schooley is an Arizona native, based in New York City. She received a business communication degree from Arizona State University and spent a few years traveling internationally, before finally settling down in the greater New York City area. She currently writes for business.com and Business News Daily, primarily contributing articles about business technology and the workplace, and reviewing categories such as remote PC access software, collection agencies, background check services, web hosting, reputation management services, cloud storage, and website design software and services.
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