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The Best Free POS Systems For All Kinds Of Small Businesses

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

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.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext Steps
Square is an excellent all-around app-based POS software for small businesses. You even get a free credit card reader, which lets you accept (swiped) card payments from your phone or tablet.

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Read More

ShopKeep is an iPad POS geared toward QSR and coffee shops, and it offers a lot of restaurant POS functionality. However, this versatile POS also has useful features for small retail businesses.

Visit Site

Read More

Vend is a retail-centric POS with an entry-level plan that might work for you if you only sell a few products---for example, sales at craft fairs or farmer's markets or small startup businesses.

Visit Site

Read More

Imonggo's free plan allows for up to 1,000 inventory items, which means you could find a use for the free option even if you have a large inventory. Imonggo also includes integrated inventory management with its free version.

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Aside from a few add-ons to its product, Loyverse is entirely free. This POS is best suited for small retail businesses, cafes, or food carts.

Read More

Other Featured Options:

  • eHopper: eHopper provides an astounding number of features for free, including inventory management, customer management, modifiers, reporting, order tracking, tip management, and more.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Can You Really Get Free POS Software?

Yes — but expect trade-offs. Most free POS plans have some type of restrictions on the account in terms of number of inventory items, number of monthly sales, number of users, etc.  Usually, but not always, free POS software is offered as an entry-level plan, and you may be required to upgrade to a paid plan after reaching a certain threshold. Another consideration is that you may be limited to using the POS system’s in-house payment processing, which could cost more than you might pay with your own merchant account.

So is a free POS worth it? It’s up to you to decide.

Jump back to comparison chart

1. Best All-Around: Square

Square



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Read our Review

Square is an excellent all-around app-based POS software for small businesses. You even get a free credit card reader, which lets you accept (swiped) card payments from your phone or tablet. Square is able to offer its software for free because it is primarily a payment processor, meaning the company makes money through your business’s credit card sales.

While Square offers paid monthly plans with advanced POS features, you can access the free POS via an app that you download to your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone/tablet; the software also runs on Square’s proprietary mobile terminal and register kits. Though somewhat basic compared to advanced POS systems, Square offers a number of useful features for a variety of business types, from cafes to spas. With Square’s free plan, you get free eCommerce, email receipts, free invoicing, inventory management, and integrations with other business software.

The only real caveat is that Square is a third-party merchant processor—meaning you do not get your own dedicated merchant account. As a result, sensitive fraud controls can leave some merchants prone to withheld funds. Square’s only payment processing option is Square Payments, whose credit card processing rate is currently 2.6% + 10¢.

Square POS Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transaction rate: 2.6% + 10¢
  • Works on iOS, Android, & Square’s custom hardware
  • Free magstripe card reader
  • Free online store
  • Multiple users and locations
  • Restrictions: No choice of processor—must use Square Payments

Get Started with Square

Read our in-depth review

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2. Best For New Businesses: ShopKeep

ShopKeep POS



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Read our Review

ShopKeep is an iPad POS geared toward QSR (quick-serve restaurants) and coffee shops, and accordingly, it has a lot of restaurant POS functionality. However, this versatile POS also has useful features for small retail businesses. Some notable ShopKeep features include easy returns, split tickets, detailed reporting, downloadable inventory and customer spreadsheets, and a marketing dashboard. What’s even better is that all of these features are available with ShopKeep’s free plan.

While you’ll have to call ShopKeep for a quote for monthly pricing on larger (multi-user, multi-register) packages, ShopKeep also offers a free starter plan. On the free plan, users are limited to a single location and a single staff member. Customer support options are limited as well. Previously, the free plan was limited to businesses processing $5,000 or less per month, but they recently removed this limitation. Businesses on the free plan can also now have unlimited inventory items. So really, the free plan has very few limitations at all! For any newer small business that only needs a single register, ShopKeep provides a pretty amazing value.

Free plan (ShopKeep Starter) users can begin accepting cash payments immediately after signup. In order to accept other payment methods, Starter users will need to sign up for either ShopKeep Payments—which offers interchange-plus pricing customized for each business—or a merchant account.

Shopkeep POS Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Interchange-plus pricing with ShopKeep Payments
  • Unlimited inventory
  • Free detailed reporting 
  • Compatible with iPad & Clover
  • Restrictions: Only 1 user and 1 location, no live customer support

Get Started with ShopKeep POS

Read our in-depth review

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3. Best For Small Inventory: Vend

Vend POS



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Read our Review

Vend is a retail-centric POS with an entry-level plan that might work for you if you only sell a few products—for example, sales at craft fairs or farmer’s markets or small startup businesses. The free plan includes one register, one user, 10 products, and 1,000 customers. Note that a product variant counts as a product when calculating the 10-item limit.

Vend’s browser-based POS software works on any internet-connected device, whether you have an iPad, Mac, Android, or Windows device.  Easy to use and onboard, Vend users praise the software’s user-friendliness and useful features like reporting, price books, inventory management, and customer management. Payment processing options include PayPal, Square, Worldpay (formerly Vantiv), EVO Payments, North American Bancard, and CardConnect. This means that if you want to keep things light and use a no-monthly-fee merchant service provider, you could use Vend with Square or PayPal, both of which are pay-as-you-go with no monthly fees or contracts.

For access to phone support, advanced features such as promotions, loyalty, eCommerce, integrations (Shopify, Xero, etc.), and advanced reporting, you’ll have to upgrade to Vend’s $99/month plan.

Vend POS Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Compatible with Square or PayPal for free (pay-as-you-go) payment processing
  • Can use on any device
  • Restrictions: 10 products, 1,000 customers, no add-ons/integrations

Get Started with Vend POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. Best For Large Inventory: Imonggo

Imonggo POS



Read our Review

Imonggo 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, web-based Imonggo’s free plan allows for up to 1,000 inventory items, which means you could find a use for the free option even if you have a large inventory. 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 transaction lines per month—this means 1,000 items sold, not 1,000 actual transactions. This means only very low-volume sellers could realistically use Imonggo’s free plan as their primary POS. Also, you can only create 1,000 products in the account’s lifetime, after which you will have to upgrade. Another very important caveat is that the free plan also has no direct credit card processing integration, so you have to find your own payment processor outside of the POS.

Imonggo POS Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Web-based—can use computer, iPad, Android, iPhone, or other web-connected device 
  • Free inventory management
  • Restrictions: No credit card integration, 1,000 products, 1,000 transaction lines/month, 1 location, 1 user

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. Best For Loyalty-Centric Businesses: Loyverse

Loyverse



Read our Review

Loyverse is unique in that it currently doesn’t even offer a paid plan. Aside from 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.  It also has a convenient kitchen display system and supports a customer-facing display for easy checkouts.

It’s possible to upload your inventory via a CSV file, which means it’s very easy to get started with this system. Loyverse’s interface doesn’t have a lot of frills on the front or backend but it’s easy enough to navigate. Loyverse also integrates with several different payment processors.

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.

Loyverse POS Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Payment provider options include First Data, Worldpay (formerly Vantiv), SumUp, & iZettle
  • For iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet
  • Free loyalty program, kitchen display system, & customer-facing display 
  • Restrictions: No advanced inventory management or employee management

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Best For Choice In Payment Processor: eHopper

eHopper



Not Yet Rated

Read our Review

eHopper, 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, order tracking, tip management, and more. 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 customer support under the free plan, though if you don’t anticipate having problems with a relatively straightforward system, eHopper has a lot to offer.

Like Imonggo’s free plan, eHopper’s free plan also does not include any payment processing/merchant services integration; you’ll have to use an external/non-integrated payments option if you want to accept credit cards. However, this can be a good thing if you already have a payment processor you like and just want to add some POS features to your setup.

eHopper Fast Facts

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Available on Android tablets, iPad, Windows PCs
  • Free inventory management and customer management
  • Restrictions: Must use external/non-integrated payment processor; no customer support

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Is A Free POS System Right For You?

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. But is a free POS system really right for you?

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on your needs. Free POS software can have restrictions on things like inventory size, monthly sales/transactions, and number of registers/users. Usually, they only include basic features such as basic register functionality, basic inventory management, and basic sales reports. Some free POS plans do not include integrated payment processing, which could be a pain if you don’t have another way of taking payments. Limitations on customer support could also be problematic for some merchants, since problems are bound to arise from time to time.

If you answer yes to the following questions, a free POS could work for you:

  • Do you only need one register?
  • Do you only sell a few different items?
  • Do you sell fewer than 1,000 items per month?
  • Do you only need basic POS features (register functionality, basic inventory management, sales reports)?

If you answered no to one or more of those questions, it might be worth paying a bit more for advanced features.

Before deciding on a free POS system, be sure to test it out to make sure it meets all of your needs. Many free POS systems also allow you to do a free trial of their paid plan, which can help you determine if you would actually use the added features and functionality that come with a paid account.

In the event that you do decide to go with a free POS, I would recommend Square as the best all-around option, as has the most features and doesn’t have the same limits that most other free systems have. Square includes integrated payment processing, unlimited inventory and transactions, multiple users and locations, and phone-based support. You can also integrate with other business software to extend its functionality. However, if you’re not sure any of these options fit the bill, check out our POS comparison chart for some of our favorite options!

A Last Look At Our Top Picks

  1. Square
    Summary - Square is an excellent all-around app-based POS software for small businesses. You even get a free credit card reader, which lets you accept (swiped) card payments from your phone or tablet.
  2. ShopKeep POS
    Summary - ShopKeep is an iPad POS geared toward QSR and coffee shops, and it offers a lot of restaurant POS functionality. However, this versatile POS also has useful features for small retail businesses.
  3. Vend POS
    Summary - Vend is a retail-centric POS with an entry-level plan that might work for you if you only sell a few products---for example, sales at craft fairs or farmer's markets or small startup businesses.
  4. Imonggo POS
    Summary - Imonggo's free plan allows for up to 1,000 inventory items, which means you could find a use for the free option even if you have a large inventory. Imonggo also includes integrated inventory management with its free version.
  5. Loyverse
    Summary - Aside from a few add-ons to its product, Loyverse is entirely free. This POS is best suited for small retail businesses, cafes, or food carts.
  6. eHopper
    Summary - eHopper provides an astounding number of features for free, including inventory management, customer management, modifiers, reporting, order tracking, tip management, and more.
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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28 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.

    Meynell

    Thank you for this listing and also for the one for paid-for software.

    I have been trying to sort out an appropriate software for my needs for some time now and always get confused and give up! Perhaps you can guide me?

    I sell books. The bookseller is highly specialised in the area of children and play and we mostly sell at Conferences. We want to sell online as well. We stock around 300 new titles and about the same in used books.

    I want a system that will manage our stock, that has ‘back office’ functionality where we can keep information about the publishers as well as where we have to purchase from and has the ability to track our purchase price. Something that will generate invoices and keep our stock number correct.

    Currently, everything is managed on an Excel spreadsheet and at Conferences we have a price list and track sales through a handwritten list from which we have to physically update the spreadsheet.

    Maybe I am asking too much from a POS but I just don’t know. Please can you help me?

    Thanks

    Meynell

      Emily Hale

      Hi, Meynell!

      Thank you so much for your kind words and question, and we’re sorry for the delay. We recommend that you check out Shopify first. That’s because their basic plan is cheap and obviously will integrate directly with Shopify’s excellent eCommerce platform for selling online. Additionally, even at the basic level, it comes with what should be enough inventory and purchase order functionality to handle what you’ll need. If for any reason you find Shopify doesn’t meet your needs, we recommend looking into ShopKeep. Best of luck in growing and expanding your bookstore!

        Fallou

        Looking for basic and simple POS for retail.
        1 inventory In
        2 inventory out
        3 check available products
        4 Customers profiles
        5 Print receipts.
        Off line use
        No Credit cards
        No monthly payments.??????

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Emily Hale

          Hi Fallou,

          The first in our list, Square can actually meet your needs with all that you mention. If you opt for the traditional Square account, you won’t have a monthly fee, and you can add hardware like the Square Terminal. If you have extensive inventory, you may need the more robust plan with a monthly fee, however. Best of luck in finding the right solution!

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Tracey

            I am looking for a BASIC POS for a small cafe ~ as cheap as possible
            DO NOT need credit card processing as I’ve just signed up with a new merchant company
            Looking only to do table orders and have it print to the kitchen printer ~ would love to be pointed in the right direction or talk to someone in person for advice

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Dakota Fillet

              Hi Tracey, I’d suggest you check with your processor to see which POS systems they integrate with. You may also want to check our Restaurant POS Software Comparison to see which one may be the best fit for you needs.

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Teri Yoder

                Any suggestions on a POS system for a cleaning service? Something for on-the-go. But would like to have a reward program option of some sort.

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Jessica Dinsmore

                  Hi Teri,

                  Depending on your processing volume, I’d suggest looking into Square or Shopkeep. They check all of your boxes and are both on our list of top-rated mobile processors.

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    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?

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      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!

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        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

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          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!

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            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.

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              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

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                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

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  Takara Beatheagudell

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

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    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!

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                      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.

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                        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.

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                          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!

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                            Vinh Le

                                            Want to know more about the pos system

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                              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!

                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                Patricia Hayes

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

                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                  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.

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                    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?

                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                      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.

                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                        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

                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                          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.

                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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