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The Best Free POS Systems

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Who doesn’t love stuff for free? If you’re raising your hand right now, not only do you look silly, but you’re also a liar. Go to any major sporting event that features America’s greatest contribution to society — the t-shirt cannon — and you’ll see just how much people love free crap.

That said, as an intelligent and perceptive consumer, you know that it’s nearly impossible to find something both truly useful and completely free. In fact, the only things I can think of that meet the brief are love and the following point of sale systems.

Read on for a look at five of the best, no-cost POS systems on the market today. We’ll also talk about Square; it isn’t technically true point of sale software but it does have wide application in the POS industry and is used by a variety of retail and restaurant vendors.

Square

Square (read our review) is, by far, the most popular and feature-rich mobile register solution with no monthly fee. But unlike the other free POS’s on this list, Square is less a software solution and more a fully mobile payments solution, meaning it runs via an app on your smartphone or tablet rather than a web browser on a computer (you can access your backend reports and your online store on desktop/laptop but you cannot process payments this way). 

A quick look at Square’s services

ReadereCommerceRetailFood Service
Free App & ReaderSquare eCommerceSquare for RetailSquare for Restaurants
Get StartedGet StartedGet StartedGet Started
Free, general-purpose POS software and reader for iOS and AndroidEasy integration with popular platforms plus API for customizationSpecialized software for more complex retail storesSpecialized software for full-service restaurants
$0/month$0/month$60/month$60/month
Always FreeAlways FreeFree TrialFree Trial

Square is a lot more than just a mobile register, offering tons of useful back-end features, including an integrated online store if you also do business online, inventory reporting, and built-in integrations with accounting software and many other programs. You can also continue to run the app and process payments offline if your internet connection goes out.

Linga

Linga (read our review) doesn’t have Vend’s innate functionality, but for a small business with a limited product range, Linga’s free service is fairly robust. You are limited to one register and 25 items, but the rest of the feature list at the free level is impressive.

Linga allows for modifiers, happy hour, check splitting, coupons, returns, and voids. On the back end, you get sales dashboards, employee performance tracking, and email marketing — among other things.

You don’t get great inventory monitoring or much of a loyalty program with Linga’s free plan, but considering the fact that you’re already limited to 25 products, that may not be a deal breaker. Linga’s interface can take some getting used to and there aren’t as many good resources for getting through the initial setup process as some POS systems offer. Still, for the price of nothing, Linga has a lot to offer. If you like Linga and want to upgrade, the basic plan (which features unlimited products) starts at just $19.99 a month.

Imonggo

Imonggo (check out our review) is an interesting system which, depending on your business’s needs, could be a perfect solution. The company was the first to offer a truly free POS system in 2009 and still offers more than a lot of its competitors with its no-cost plan. Most notably, unlike Vend and Linga, Imonggo’s plan allows for 1,000 products, which means larger retailers could find a use for the free option. Imonggo also includes integrated inventory management with its free version. You’ll have access to strong customer support and a nice sales analysis feature as well. This system is exceptionally easy to use. Set-up takes a matter of minutes and you can fly through its basic functions seamlessly.

Now for the downsides. You may be able to sell 1,000 products, but you are limited to 1,000 transactions per month. What’s more, Imonggo isn’t yet EMV compatible, meaning you can’t process chip cards. You also can’t process cards offline, although Imonggo is partnered with Authorize.Net, which gives you other processing options.

Fortunately, there’s not a lot of risk to using Imonggo. The company offers a 30-day free trial and there are no contracts. If you decide to upgrade at some point, the system stays affordable at just $30 a month.

Loyverse

Loyverse (see our review) is unique in that it currently doesn’t even offer a paid plan. Aside from selling a few add-ons to its product, Loyverse is entirely free. This POS is best suited for small retail businesses, cafes, or food carts. As you would expect, Loyverse’s features are pretty simple, but there are a lot of them. The system offers multi-store functionality, sales analytics, inventory management, and a surprisingly strong loyalty program. You’re not going to find another free option on the market with all of that included, period. It also has a convenient kitchen display system.

It’s possible to upload your inventory via a CSV file and, just recently, Loyverse integrated with Vantiv to make processing payments easier. Its interface doesn’t have a lot of frills on the front of backend but it’s easy enough to navigate.

For an additional $5 per customer, you can add employee management. And for $25 a month, you can add advanced inventory (both features come with a 14-day free trial). Customer service, including the ability to live-chat, is included.

eHopper

eHopper (see our review), though it has its flaws from a design standpoint, provides an astounding number of features for free. In fact, the free plan comes with inventory management, customer management, modifiers, reporting, and merchant processing. There aren’t a lot of customization options and things like reporting are pretty limited (just 15 reports available) but smaller businesses are likely to find just about everything they might need here.

A few nice bonuses include the ability to create customer profiles, add item descriptions, and operate across multiple locations. However, if you’re new to the POS game, you may find some difficulty setting up — there isn’t a lot of training help. You also don’t have access to email support, though if you don’t anticipate having problems with a relatively straightforward system, eHopper has a lot to offer.

ehopper POS

I will say that I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to the $30/month package as there are far more user-friendly options available for the price. But those of you with experience in the POS industry may find eHopper intriguing.

Final Thoughts

If you’re opening a small business, chances are you’re looking to save a few bucks wherever you can. Point of sale software can certainly get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on your needs and what you’re willing to sacrifice, you may be able to function perfectly well without spending a dime on your system.

Before choosing a new system, free or otherwise, make sure you check out our selection of comprehensive point of sale reviews.

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Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Point of sale writer at Merchant Maverick
Matt Sherman has been immersed in point of sale systems for over a year now. Previously, he spent 14 years in the newspaper industry, the majority of which was as the sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers in suburban Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he majored in English because he knows where the money is. Matt is the father to a pair of energetic boys and can easily be distracted by Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go.
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20 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Gregory

    I just took over ownership of an insurance and financial services agency and we process 5-10 cc and debit transactions a month. Square will not work with our industry (apparently insurance is prohibited). Do you have any suggestions for low transaction, low cost services. We pay about $75 a month plus pretty high fees.
    Suggestions?

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Gregory,

      We aren’t aware of any high-risk providers that specifically cater to insurance companies. Durango or PaymentCloud should be good overall choices, although even with them the costs will be higher than what a low-risk business would have to pay. Best of luck to you!

        kathy lavender

        We own and operate a haunted house, we are only open for 8 to 10 days a year. We are no longer accepting credit cards due to our remote location. I would still like to use a POS and have that ability to use cards at a later date . Can you recommend something for us.
        Thank you, Kathy

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Kathy,

          I think Square is what you’re looking for. They even have a free card reader, if you get to that point, but it should meet your needs now. Loyverse would be another good option, as long as you don’t have a lot of inventory. Happy Halloween!

            J

            Do you have a recommendation (fee or otherwise) for a POS in a bridal/prom boutique? There seems to be so many options that it is somewhat overwhelming.

              Matt Sherman

              Hello! Shannon’s article here is a good place to start. https://www.merchantmaverick.com/top-5-pos-systems-for-boutiques/
              I really like Shopify for boutiques and Square is also always one to check out for affordability.
              -Matt

                Reggie Mason

                We use POS Pizza. What’s nice about the paid version is that you pay for it and that’s it. No additional monthly fees. You use your own hardware. If you need support there are service options but are not required. The free version is not bad either. No reason this product could not be used by any food vendor or restaurant.

                The reporting is quite flexible as well. I print out a monthly sales report and enter it into Excel. I then use a product that converts the xls file into an iif file that imports into Quickbooks. The monthly report dates match the dates of my Bank statement. When I balance my statement I mark off all the daily deposits that add up to the journal entries deposit sum. Works Great

                  Takara Beatheagudell

                  Your thoughts on Shopify POS?? I’m considering for my boutique.
                  Thanks.

                    Jessica Dinsmore

                    Hi Takara,

                    We rate Shopify POS 4.5/5 stars! Check out our in-depth review of them and see what you think. Best!

                      Ferdinand Devereaux

                      These solutions isn’t really “free” . I use Chromis POS.
                      It’s fancy? No. Friendly? Certainly, no, but it’s a gnu/FREE pos.

                        Peter Noval

                        I currently use Harbor Touch they too are a free POS system with a small monthly fee. They also process all of our credit cards and receive those fees as well. We need more out of the POS, they have very complicated ways of retrieving information. We are a small restaurant with the need of 3 server station terminals one being the bar. We might be in need of three more, but that is in the future. Are any of the mentioned systems something we might be able to use.

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi Peter,
                          We aren’t too sure if there are any free options that accommodate three plus server stations, but we suggest checking out Loyverse, as the most likely option. Best of luck!

                            Vinh Le

                            Want to know more about the pos system

                              Jessica Dinsmore

                              We have a wealth of POS information on our site Vinh! Check out our POS reviews and comparison chart for all the info you should need. Thanks for reaching out!

                                Patricia Hayes

                                When you say the above programs are free, does that mean no per transaction fee or just setting it up is free?

                                  Jessica Dinsmore

                                  Hi Patricia,

                                  The software and features listed are free but there will still be transaction fees that will vary depending on the credit card processor.

                                    Christine Sather

                                    Any feedback on Harbortouch, out of Allentown, PA, in particular? If you’re familiar with them how well do they compete in the hospitality space (bars & restaurants) with other key players? Do most smaller sites get their merchant services from their bank these days making it a touch market?

                                      Shannon Vissers

                                      Hi Christine! Thanks for the feedback. I will let know when we update the article (probably soon) and if/when we review HarborTouch. It looks like they have kind of a lot of negative reviews on the BBB, though, and several of the reviewers mention hidden fees and early termination fees. Some POS systems are “free” in that they don’t charge a monthly charge, but they might gouge you with the merchant services contract. It looks like you have to use HarborTouch payment processing with this POS; it’s always preferable when a POS system gives you the option of using an outside payment processor.

                                        Christine Sather

                                        Hi Shannon,

                                        I’m new to learning about the PoS market… You post above was very informative; however I see it dates back to Dec. 2015. Wondering if you have a market update on who’s who in the market? Thanks any feedback you may have.

                                        Christine

                                          Barnaby

                                          There is one more called eHopper – http://www.ehopper.com. Recently appeared startup, all features are included without any additional payments. What is covered: inventory, orders management, employees management (tips), simple and understandable reporting.

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