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10 Best POS Systems For Small Business In 2022

A POS isn’t just a point of sale system; it’s a hub of operations. The best POS system for small business gives you everything you need to keep your business running smoothly.

    Nicolette Kier
  • UPDATED

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

The best POS system for small business fits your unique size, budget, and industry. Our team has reviewed both well-known and lesser-known point of sale systems best for various small business types, so you’ll find the right POS system for you in this post.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Lightspeed Retail POS

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  • Best for customization
  • $69+/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  • Best for customization
  • $69+/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments

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Square POS

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  • Best free all-in-one
  • $0+ Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best free all-in-one
  • $0+ Month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10

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Clover POS

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  • Best for simplicity
  • $0+/ Month
  • Flat-rate 2.3%-2.6% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)
  • Best for simplicity
  • $0+/ Month
  • Flat-rate 2.3%-2.6% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)

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Revel POS Systems

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  • Best highly customizable POS
  • $99+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 with Revel Advantage
  • Best highly customizable POS
  • $99+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 with Revel Advantage

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Lightspeed Restaurant POS

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  • Best for small to midsize food service
  • $39/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  • Best for small to midsize food service
  • $39/ Month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments

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Toast POS

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  • Best for customer support + Android users
  • $0+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 for most in-person payments
  • Best for customer support + Android users
  • $0+/ Month
  • 2.49% + $0.15 for most in-person payments

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Payment Depot Mobile

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  • Best for mobile payments
  • $10/ Mo. for low volume or $49/ Mo for high-volume
  • Offers both flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10 and interchange pricing
  • Best for mobile payments
  • $10/ Mo. for low volume or $49/ Mo for high-volume
  • Offers both flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10 and interchange pricing

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Shopify POS

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  • Best for omnichannel sales
  • Starts at $5/ Month
  • 2.4% to 2.7% with Shopify Payments
  • Best for omnichannel sales
  • Starts at $5/ Month
  • 2.4% to 2.7% with Shopify Payments

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Vend by Lightspeed

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  • Best for complex inventory needs
  • $69/month to $199/month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions
  • Best for complex inventory needs
  • $69/month to $199/month
  • 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions

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Loyverse

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  • Best free & simple POS
  • Free $0/ Month for basic POS
  • Several payment processing options available
  • Best free & simple POS
  • Free $0/ Month for basic POS
  • Several payment processing options available

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

10 Best POS Systems For Small Business

The best POS systems for small business have robust tools suited to your specific industry with features including: employee management, inventory management, eCommerce options, reports, social media and other marketing tools, and more options when it is time to scale.

Our top POS systems for small business in 2022 include:

  1. Best free all-in-one: Square POS
  2. Best for simplicity: Clover
  3. Best highly customizable: Revel
  4. Best for flexibility: Lightspeed Retail POS
  5. Best for small to midsize food service: Lightspeed Restaurant POS
  6. Best for Android users + customer support: Toast
  7. Best for mobile payments: Payment depot
  8. Best for omnichannel sales: Shopify
  9. Best for complex inventory: Vend by Lightspeed
  10. Best for free & simple POS: Loyverse

Find out more about what each of these top systems could add to your business by exploring each option below.

1. Lightspeed Retail: Best All-Around

Lightspeed Retail POS



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lightspeed best pos system

Pros

  • Made especially for retail businesses
  • In-house eCommerce platform
  • Strong inventory management

Cons

  • It can get expensive if you want all the features

Lightspeed Features

Lightspeed Retail offers the following extensive POS features for small business owners:

  • Item holds and layaways
  • Quote and special order creations
  • Form builders
  • Tracking numbers for deliveries (which you can provide to customers)
  • Reusable gift cards and certificates
  • Customer wishlists
  • Online and in-store loyalty points program
  • Appointment scheduling, with automated email confirmations/reminders
  • Online reservations (items, venues, etc.)
  • Subscription and membership sales
  • Customers may initiate their own returns and exchanges with support tickets
  • Item bundling and wholesale breakdowns
  • Stock transfers between stores
  • Vary item pricing across locations
  • Completely customizable stock management
  • Work and purchase order monitoring
  • eCommerce site builder (paid add-on)

Lightspeed Pricing

Lightspeed Retail pricing starts at $69/month for the “Lean” plan, which includes the core Lightspeed point of sale software. You can upgrade to the $119/month “Standard” plan to get accounting and the built-in eCommerce features or the $199/month “Advanced” plan to add loyalty and analytics. Additional registers on any plan are $29/month/register.

Hardware Cost

Lightspeed sells iPad and desktop PC hardware kits as well as individual hardware components, all of which are quote-based.

Payment Processing

In-house processing with Lightspeed Payments is included on all plans. The rate is 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments. Manually keyed-in payments are charged at a rate of 2.6% + $0.30 (including online payments). Lightspeed optionally allows you to integrate an outside payment processor for an additional monthly fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

The above monthly subscription prices are for merchants using Lightspeed Payments with an annual contract; integrating an outside payment processor or paying month-to-month will incur a higher subscription price.

Where Lightspeed Retail Really Shines For Small Business

Lightspeed Retail is easily one of the best retail POS systems at its price point. As long as you’re willing to pay a bit extra, Lightspeed has everything small-to-medium-sized retail businesses could need to sell and manage their business, with excellent customer support to guide you through it all. Lightspeed is the best POS system for any retail store that needs features, such as advanced inventory management, vendor purchase orders, built-in eCommerce, and a plethora of software integrations in case you want to make your system even more powerful.

Lightspeed Retail is also one of the best POS systems for rental businesses, specifically because of the system’s quoting, reservation, and extensive inventory management capabilities. Whether you rent out photography equipment, party furniture, or wedding venues, Lightspeed Retail has got you covered.

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2. Square: Best Free Option

Square POS



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Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Square best free point of sale system for small business

Pros

  • Feature-packed free plan
  • Works for any industry
  • Works on most mobile devices

Cons

  • Account stability issues for some merchants

Square Features

Square is looking to dominate the online/offline sales world, with the company creating new hardware and software features at a rapid pace. Some of Square’s best features for small business owners (especially ones on a budget), include:

  • Free web builder
  • Free Square Online checkout links for selling online even without a website
  • Free appointment scheduling through Google, Facebook, Instagram, and your own website
  • Free online social media selling (including making sales on TikTok)
  • Free form builders
  • Free employee clock-in/clock-out, timecards, and payroll exports
  • Free digital gift cards and (paid) physical gift cards
  • Return to a gift card
  • Loyalty program
  • Square Payroll, an all-in-one payroll system
  • Deposits and prepayments
  • Send estimates and quotes
  • Physical and digital gift cards
  • Multilocation management (starting at Square Plus plan)
  • EBT and CBD sales capabilities
  • Automated purchase order creation and tracking (starting at Square Plus plan)
  • Low-stock alerts
  • Full and partial order receiving
  • Invoice creation and payments
  • Barcode and label printing (paid add-on)

Square Monthly Pricing

Square POS is free ($0/month) with unlimited registers/devices. You can, however, purchase paid Square add-ons, such as advanced team management ($35/month/location), email marketing ($15+/month), and loyalty ($45+/month/location). Additionally, Square has dedicated point of sale systems for specific industries, including Square Appointments (for salons and other appointment-based businesses), Square for Restaurants, and Square for Retail, all of which offer free and paid plans.

Hardware Cost

Hardware prices range from $0 (just use your mobile phone and a free Square magstripe reader) to $1,668 for a complete Square Stand Restaurant Station kit. The kit includes an iPad, swiveling Square Stand with magstripe reader, portable Square Terminal ($299 when purchased separately), Square chip and tap reader, cash drawer, kitchen printer, and USB receipt printer.

Payment Processing

Square has built-in payment processing on all plans, charging a flat 2.6% + $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe. Manually keyed-in card payments have a rate of 3.5% + $0.15, while online payments are 2.9% + $0.30.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square’s month-to-month contract is ideal for any business that doesn’t want a long-term commitment. After signing up, you’re not even committed to using the POS at all, as there is no monthly minimum. A caveat is that Square has an aggregated merchant account model (i.e., businesses do not get their own dedicated merchant accounts), which can lead to withheld funds on transactions that Square’s algorithm flags as high risk or even sudden account termination for some merchants.

Where Square Really Shines For Small Business

Square is one of the best free POS systems because it offers free eCommerce, free employee management, free inventory management, free appointment scheduling, and more. No other free POS provider offers as many features as Square does, or at least no provider executes these offerings as well as Square.

Square is also one of the best CBD POS systems, as Square has a CBD-specific POS program. The program allows merchants to sell CBD online and in person.

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3. Clover POS: Best Out-Of-The-Box Features

Clover POS



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Best POS system

Pros

  • Plug-and-play, all-in-one POS
  • Sleek, flexible hardware options
  • Customizable to any industry

Cons

  • Some Clover systems are sold by sketchy merchant services companies

Clover Features

Clover is one of the most easy-to-use POS systems for small businesses, but don’t think it’s lacking in features. Some of Clover’s standout features include:

  • Offline payment mode
  • Online and contactless payments
  • Buy online, pick up in-store/delivery options
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Integrations with scales, barcode scanners, etc.
  • Apply additional charges for large parties/groups
  • Customizable inventory management and item tracking
  • Item returns via virtual terminal
  • Simple item exchanges
  • ID verification, including automated denial if age requirements are not met
  • Pre-authorizations
  • Employee clock-in/clock-out
  • EBT transactions
  • Integrations with some of the best payroll software for small businesses
  • Customer database building
  • Automated marketing campaigns
  • Loyalty program setup
  • Automated and on-the-spot discounts
  • Custom digital and physical branded gift cards
  • Internal and competitor comparison reports
  • 450+ add-on apps available

Clover’s built-in ID verification, EBT capabilities, and lottery sales app make Clover one of the best convenience store POS systems.

Clover Pricing

Clover pricing starts at $0/month for its payments-only plan. To get the full Clover POS feature set, most businesses will choose the $39.95/month Clover Register Plan, $39.95/month Counter Service Plan, or $69.95/month Table Service Plan, depending on your industry. The Clover POS feature set includes built-in apps for loyalty, promos, employee management, inventory, and more. Additional terminals on any plan are $9.95/month.

Hardware Cost

Clover hardware starts at $99 for a Clover Go Bluetooth credit card reader, which pairs with your smartphone, but most businesses wanting a complete countertop POS will go with the $1,349 Clover Station Solo. Other hardware options include a portable Clover Flex for $499, a pint-size Clover Mini for $749, or a Station Duo for $1,699. You do not need to purchase any Clover hardware if you choose the “No Hardware” plan, which lets you process payments online exclusively.

Payment Processing

Clover plans purchased through Clover.com include built-in payment processing on all accounts, with in-person rates ranging from 2.3%-2.6% + $0.10, depending on your monthly software plan. However, Clover systems purchased elsewhere may have different payment processing fees.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

All Clover systems and associated contracts sold on the Clover website are month-to-month. However, numerous merchant services companies sell Clover point of sale systems with their own contracts and pricing. Some of these Clover providers may have expensive processing and restrictive, long-term contracts and hardware leases. Make sure you purchase your system from Clover directly or one of the best Clover resellers.

Where Clover Really Shines For Small Business

Clover is a one-of-a-kind POS system that is mobile, modern, and uniquely designed for small businesses. Clover is an ideal choice of POS if you want a plug-and-play POS with strong out-of-the-box features.

Once you purchase your Clover system — you’ll buy your complete hardware setup as a package, complete with bundled software apps — you can get up and selling in minutes. You can also add additional features from a vast Clover app market to create a system perfectly tailored to you, whether you have a retail, quick-serve, full-service restaurant, or service industry business.

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4. Revel Systems: Best For Advanced POS Features

Revel POS Systems



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top pos system for small business

Pros

  • Advanced iPad POS
  • Adaptable to any industry
  • Strong offline mode

Cons

  • Long-term processing commitment
  • Expensive for smaller businesses

Revel Systems Features

Revel Systems offers the following feature set:

  • Offline payment capabilities
  • Open API (Application Programming Interface) so you can connect Revel to any other third-party software you want
  • Full and partial purchase orders
  • Customer profile building
  • Employee time tracking
  • Employee performance reports
  • Self-ordering restaurant kiosks
  • Tableside, online, mobile, and customer-facing display sales
  • Kitchen display system
  • Digital menu boards synced with Revel menu updates
  • Loyalty and gift card programs
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Intelligent reporting suite (reports on ingredients sold, labor versus sales, gift card usage, and more)
  • Delivery tracking and optimized driving routes
  • Multilocation management

Revel Systems Pricing

Revel Systems POS monthly pricing starts at $99/month, billed annually, with a two-terminal minimum. There is also a $674 one-time implementation fee. Add-ons, such as online ordering, delivery management, kiosk ordering, multilocation management, and software integrations, are offered at a premium. However, Revel does not publicly disclose the pricing for those services.

Hardware Cost

The iPad-based Revel POS hardware sold on Revel’s website is quote-based.

Payment Processing

Revel has an in-house flat-rate payment processing service called Revel Advantage, with a standard rate of 2.49% + $0.15 per transaction. You can also integrate an outside payment processor of your choice for an additional fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel’s $99/month package requires annual billing, with a three-year processing contract with Revel Advantage. Given the two-terminal minimum, this means you are committing to pay at least $2,376 upfront per year for the next three years (in addition to payment processing fees).

Where Revel Really Shines For Small Business

Despite its steep price tag and long-term commitment, Revel Systems is arguably the most advanced iPad point of sale system out there, particularly for quick-serve (though many retailers use it too). Whether you need digital menu boards, self-order kiosks, caller ID integration, or all of the above, Revel has got you covered.

With this very customizable system, it’s one of the best options for even very specific niches, which is why Revel makes our list of best golf course POS systems.

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5. Lightspeed Restaurant: Best For Restaurants

Lightspeed Restaurant POS



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lightspeed best pos system for small business

Pros

  • Can accommodate any type of restaurant
  • Advanced digital ordering features
  • Affordable starting price

Cons

  • Limited offline mode

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed has wisely recognized that retail and food service businesses have vastly different needs. So, the company created different POS software for retailers and for restaurants. Some of the best Lightspeed Restaurant features include:

  • Online ordering and takeout
  • Customizable floor planning
  • Reservation functions, including booking via Facebook and Instagram
  • Third-party delivery service integrations
  • Payment via QR code (free) or self-ordering system (paid)
  • Smart tipping option
  • Split and separate checks
  • Card preauthorizations
  • ID verification (add-on)
  • Timed discounts (e.g. 20% off tacos for “Taco Tuesday”)
  •  Raw ingredient tracking
  • Waitstaff notifications when you’re out of a menu ingredient or there are menu changes
  • Item modifications (e.g. forced modifications for allergies, optional modifiers for customer preference)
  • Product discounts, service fees, and combo deals
  • eCommerce builder (paid add-on)

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed Restaurant fees start at $39/month (billed annually). Additional terminals are $34/month, and paid add-ons, such as a customer-facing display or self-order table menu, start at $12/month. Premium add-ons, such as online ordering for restaurants and delivery integration, start at $39/month.

Hardware Cost

Lightspeed Restaurant sells iPad POS hardware kits and individual hardware components, which are quote-based. You can also source your own hardware.

Payment Processing

In-house processing with Lightspeed Payments is included on all plans. The rate is 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments. Manually keyed-in payments are charged at a rate of 2.6% + $0.30 (including online payments). Lightspeed optionally allows you to integrate an outside payment processor for an additional monthly fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed encourages annual contracts with Lightspeed Payments for payment processing. Restaurants that choose to integrate an outside payment processor or month-to-month billing will pay a higher monthly fee.

Where Lightspeed Restaurant Really Shines For Small Business

Besides its strong core restaurant POS functionality, Lightspeed Restaurant has all the digital ordering features restaurants need to thrive in today’s world. These include third-party delivery service integration, as well as an in-house online ordering system for pickup or delivery, and an integrated eCommerce website to sell merch online.

Restaurants can also let customers order and pay on their phones via QR codes or place orders from a self-ordering restaurant kiosk. Whether you own a food truck, a nightclub, or any other type of eatery, Lightspeed Restaurant has the tech-forward features you need.

Looking for more restaurant point of sale options? Check out our complete list of the best restaurant POS systems to succeed this year.

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6. Toast: Best Customer Service

Toast POS



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Toast pos hardware bundle starter kit

Pros

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Restaurant-grade Android hardware
  • Advanced online and mobile ordering features

Cons

  • Complicated pricing

Toast Features

Toast is a POS system that runs entirely on Android devices, so if you want to avoid using an iPad for your sales, this particular POS is already a great option. The following are some of the best features Toast has to offer:

  • Ordering via tablet or countertop terminals that can convert to customer-facing terminals
  • Online ordering
  • Toast TakeOut mobile ordering app (pickup/delivery options)
  • Customizable tipping
  • Employee clock-in/clock-out
  • Recipe costing tool, food cost calculator, and menu engineering chart
  • Intuitive kitchen display system
  • Third-party delivery integrations
  • Digital receipts and ratings
  • eGift cards and loyalty programs
  • Menu and pricing variations across locations
  • Scheduling and payroll (paid add-on)

Toast Pricing

Toast pricing starts at $0/month for the Pay-As-You-Go plan. However, since this plan comes with a high payment processing rate (2.99% + $0.15), most businesses should choose the $69/month core subscription ($59/month billed annually) or $165/month Essentials plan to include online ordering and delivery.

There is also a Growth plan for $272/month, which adds gift cards, loyalty, and marketing. Handheld ordering devices are another $50/month per device, while a kiosk terminal or kitchen display system will set you back another $90/month and $25/month, respectively.

Hardware Cost

Toast hardware starts at $0 if you choose a Starter Kit on the Pay-As-You-Go plan. The kit includes Toast’s proprietary Android-based Flex POS terminal, Toast Tap payment device, and router. Alternatively, you can pay for your Starter Kit upfront for $799. Pricing for other kit configurations and individual components is listed on Toast’s website.

Payment Processing

Toast payment processing on the standard plan is 2.49% + $0.15 for most in-person payments. Note that unlike the other providers on our list, Toast charges more to process American Express cards — 3.29% + $0.15, to be exact. It is not possible to integrate an outside payment processor to use with Toast POS.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Toast requires a two-year payment processing agreement. Similar to Clover, Toast hardware is proprietary and can’t be used with any other POS system if you decide you don’t like Toast. Make sure you have thoroughly read your merchant agreement so that you understand all the fees (including online processing fees, cancelation fees, and others) before you decide to commit to Toast.

Where Toast Really Shines For Small Business

Toast’s features hold their own with pretty much any other restaurant POS system out there, even though it doesn’t follow the ubiquitous iPad POS model. Toast has also beefed up its digital ordering extras to include eGift cards, contactless delivery, and even a mobile delivery app.

But most significantly, Toast has some of the best customer service that we’ve come across in our reviews. Toast has a thorough onboarding and training process, walking you through every step of setup, and it doesn’t end there. Even after you get up and going, Toast customer support is available 24/7/365 via call, email, or webchat.

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7. SwipeSimple By Payment Depot: Best Basic Option For Mobile

Payment Depot Mobile



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swipesimple by payment depot pax terminal

Pros

  • Mobile POS
  • It comes with your own merchant account
  • Plans for low-volume and high-volume sellers

Cons

  • Pared-down feature set

SwipeSimple Features

SwipeSimple is a straightforward, highly affordable mobile payment solution that includes:

  • Offline payment mode
  • Invoice creation, reminder emails, and online payment links
  • Add online payment links to social media posts and/or an existing website
  • Send email and text payment links
  • Subscriptions and installment payment plans
  • Card-on-file to speed up future transactions
  • SMS/email receipts
  • Custom tipping
  • Per-item and transaction discounts
  • Print special orders on receipts
  • Inventory tracking and low-stock alerts
  • Product catalog and item modifiers
  • Employee user accounts and employee sales tracking

SwipeSimple Pricing

Payment Depot offers two pricing setups for SwipeSimple. For low-volume merchants, it’s $10/month with flat-rate pricing. For higher-volume businesses using SwipeSimple, Payment Depot offers $49/month membership pricing with interchange-plus rates.

Hardware Cost

SwipeSimple can use a $25 Bluetooth card reader with an app installed on your smartphone or a PAX all-in-one terminal.

Payment Processing

Payment Depot offers both flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10 and interchange pricing, depending on your monthly plan.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Payment Depot has month-to-month contracts with no cancellation fees or monthly minimums. You can cancel your contract at any time on either monthly plan. You also get your own merchant account with Payment Depot, which provides greater account stability than you get with another mobile POS provider, such as Square or Shopify. Note that like Clover, SwipeSimple is also offered by other providers that have different contract terms than Payment Depot.

Where SwipeSimple By Payment Depot Really Shines For Small Business

SwipeSimple by Payment Depot is one of the best Square alternatives for taking mobile payments. The SwipeSimple app offers basic inventory management, reports, discounts, tips, digital receipts, an offline mode, 24/7 support, and 24 to 48-hour deposits. But the main benefit of using SwipeSimple over other mobile POS options is that you get your own dedicated merchant account. This makes SwipeSimple by Payment Depot the best choice for businesses that just need mobile payment processing with basic POS features.

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8. Shopify POS: Best For In-Person & eCommerce Sales

Shopify POS



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shopify hardware

Pros

  • Syncs eCommerce and in-person retail sales
  • Month-to-month plans with no long-term commitment
  • Unlimited devices per location

Cons

  • Complicated pricing
  • No offline payment mode

Shopify POS Features

Shopify’s in-person sales solution integrates well with the company’s eCommerce software, which means you can use an omnichannel solution to sell in-store and online.

With Shopify’s holistic sales software, small business owners get the following built-in feature set:

  • Split and custom payment options (deposits, partial payments, etc.)
  • Local delivery, curbside pickup, ship to customer
  • Social media selling (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • Cross-platform selling on eBay, Amazon, Walmart Marketplace, and Etsy
  • Website builder (starting at Shopify Basic plan)
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Product grouping
  • Product categorization (by season, type, sales volume, etc.)
  • Real-time inventory syncing across all sales channels
  • Returns and exchanges online and at a physical location
  • Multilocation product and employee management (paid add-on)
  • 4,200+ Shopify add-on apps

Shopify POS Pricing

Shopify plans start at just $5/month for the Shopify Starter selling plan but can range up to $299/month for an Advanced Shopify plan. There is no fee to add additional register devices at the same location. Shopify also has a Shopify Pro add-on for $89/month, which includes staff roles and permissions and advanced omnichannel features.

Hardware Cost

Shopify POS hardware ranges from a $29 chip card reader that you can use with a mobile phone to iPad POS hardware bundles listed at $789 (not including the iPad). All Shopify hardware pricing is listed on Shopify’s website.

Payment Processing

Processing with Shopify Payments is included on all plans, or you can use an external processor for an additional fee. In-person payment processing fees for Shopify Payments range from 2.4% to 2.7%, depending on which plan you’re on. Online processing fees range from 2.4% to 2.9% + $0.30.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

All Shopify plans are billed month-to-month, which means there is no long-term commitment. Something to know about Shopify Payments is that it is powered by Stripe, which is a third-party payment processor like Square. So you will not have your own merchant account with Shopify and could potentially experience account instability, particularly if you own a high-risk business.

Where Shopify Really Shines For Small Business

Shopify is especially known for its strong eCommerce functionality, as this retail system started as an eCommerce company that made it easy for retailers to sell online. Shopify POS provides a bridge between your online and in-person sales, effortlessly syncing your inventory across multiple channels. With all Shopify plans on the Basic ($29/month) tier and up, you can start your Shopify online store and blog. Advanced omnichannel features, such as BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) and BORIS (buy online, return in-store), are included on all Shopify Pro plans.

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9. Vend: Best For Inventory Management

Vend by Lightspeed



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vend hardware bundle

Pros

  • Strong inventory management
  • Features designed specifically for retailers
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No built-in eCommerce
  • Gets expensive fast

Vend Features

Vend (which Lightspeed acquired in 2021) includes the following feature set for retailers:

  • Label and barcode printing
  • Barcode scanner app
  • Custom product variants and bulk uploads
  • Product bundling and breakdowns
  • Central product catalog, which is great for multilocation and mobile sellers
  • Real-time inventory syncing and re-syncing after working offline
  • Custom price books by location, customer grouping, etc.
  • Low-stock alerts and automated stock reordering
  • Full and partial inventory counts
  • Item transfers across locations
  • Demand forecasting, so you always have the right amount of stock
  • Laybuys
  • Split tenders
  • Returns and store credit
  • User roles and permissions
  • Cash management
  • Discounts and promotions
  • eCommerce integrations
  • API access
  • Cash management

Vend Pricing

Vend has three subscriptions ranging from $69/month to $199/month if you pay for an annual plan and agree to use Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed’s in-house payment processor, for payment processing.

Additional registers (each plan comes with one register) cost $69/month/register. You will pay an extra $199/month/location if you have more than one store.

Hardware Cost

Through its hardware partner POS Portal, you can purchase a complete Vend POS hardware bundle, including a 10.2″ iPad for $806.49 or a starter kit that you can use with your laptop or iPad for $694.99.

Payment Processing

Lightspeed Payments, which Vend uses for its in-house payment processing, charges a payment processing fee of 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions and 2.6% + $0.30 for card-not-present transactions.

You can use third-party payment processors such as Worldpay, PayPal, CardConnect, EVO, North American Bancard, TSYS, and Square. If you do, you’ll pay an extra $30/month.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

You will pay much more per month if you choose not to use Lightspeed Payments for payment processing. That fee will depend on the number of registers and locations you have.

For example, on the Lean subscription plan with one location and one register, you will pay $99/month if you use a third-party payment processor, rather than $69/month. On the Lean plan with two locations and two registers, you’ll pay $198/month instead of $138/month if you process payments without using Lightspeed Payments.

Where Vend Really Shines For Small Business

Vend’s retail-centric inventory management makes this system a strong choice for stores with extensive inventories. Vend lets you add tags and photos to inventory items for easy searching and add items to themed bundles. You can also use the Vend Scanner app for iPhone to look up items from the shop floor or conduct mobile stocktakes.

The system additionally includes automatic reorder points to refill stocks of popular items, multilocation inventory transfers, and inventory analytics to show you what’s selling and what’s not.

Get Started With Vend by Lightspeed

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10. Loyverse: Easiest To Use

Loyverse



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loyverse hardware

Pros

  • Free POS with built-in loyalty
  • Works with most mobile devices and payment processors
  • Excellent ease of use

Cons

  • Somewhat basic functionality

Loyverse Features

Loyverse is a very straightforward POS system for small businesses. Some of Loyverse’s best POS features include:

  • Offline transactions
  • Split tenders
  • Product and product component tracking (e.g. ingredient tracking)
  • Automated low-stock notifications
  • Stock transfer between locations
  • Purchase order creation
  • Barcode support
  • Product performance analytics
  • User roles and access levels
  • Employee time clock
  • Workload predictions, which help with scheduling needs
  • Cash management
  • Customer profiles
  • Loyalty points program and loyalty cards
  • Print kitchen orders
  • Kitchen display system
  • Order/product modifiers

Loyverse Pricing

Loyverse POS is free ($0/month) and includes a free built-in loyalty program, a free kitchen display system option, and free customer-display functionality. There are three optional paid add-ons for Loyverse, including advanced inventory management, employee management, and software integrations (such as the QuickBooks integration), all of which are offered at $25/month per store.

Hardware Cost

For $439, you can purchase a complete mPOP™ Multifunction System from Loyverse’s website for use with iPad, Android tablets, and Windows tablets. You can also purchase individual POS components for iPad and Android tablet POS setups.

Payment Processing

To process payments with Loyverse, US merchants can choose from Worldpay, SumUp, Zettle by PayPal, and CardConnect. You can also use your own merchant service provider as a non-integrated payment option.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Loyverse POS is completely free and month-to-month, with no requirement to purchase hardware or use a particular processor. If you choose to buy a paid add-on, you can select a month-to-month plan or an annual plan for a discount. It is easy to cancel your plan at any time.

Where Loyverse Really Shines For Small Business

Being a relatively basic, free POS application, Loyverse is incredibly easy to use on virtually any device, from an iPhone to a Windows tablet. And even though Loyverse is not the most advanced POS system available, it provides an impressive amount of functionality considering the free price tag.

Loyverse is one of the best cafe POS systems. It also makes our list of the best boutique POS systems, especially because of the software’s strong loyalty program capabilities.

Get Started With Loyverse

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Which POS System Is Right For Your Business?

When choosing the best POS system for your small business, take into account your business’s niche area, plus its size and monthly (or annual) budget. Also consider where you want to sell on your own online store, strictly in person, on social media, etc.

If you’re a retailer looking for the most advanced solutions, Lightspeed Retail and Revel are your go-to POS systems. If you’re looking for a strong omnichannel retail solution, though, Shopify is a strong POS contender.

Food service businesses looking for advanced features should look into Lightspeed Restaurant, while smaller eateries looking for a more simple (and sometimes less expensive) POS option should consider Toast.

The best free POS systems are Square and Loyverse, so if you’re on a budget, consider both of these POS providers. Square, in particular, offers a fully developed online/offline sales solution.

If you want more merchant account options, do more research on Clover and Payment Depot. Both are simple to use and you may find better payment processing deals.

FAQs: POS Systems

What is the best POS software for small business?

Lightspeed and Vend are best for small retail businesses, while Toast and Lightspeed Restaurant are best for small restaurants.

Shopify is the best POS with eCommerce, and Revel Systems is best for larger businesses that need advanced features.

Square and Loyverse are the best free point of sale systems, while Clover is the best plug-and-play option.

SwipeSimple by Payment Depot is one of the best best mobile POS systems.

Is there free POS software?

Square and Loyverse are among the best free POS systems for small businesses, offering features and tools to run your small business without a monthly price tag.

Which point of sale software is easy to use?

Most cloud point of sale systems for small business are easy to use. Loyverse is exceptionally easy to use, as are Square and Clover.

How much is a POS system for small business?

The monthly cost of POS software for a small business varies significantly. Square POS software starts at $0/month, which comes with basic inventory tools. Other more advanced systems, like Lightspeed, start at $69/mo.

Which small business pos systems offer good loyalty programs?

Offering targeted benefits through a loyalty program helps you reengage customers to visit you again. Square, Clover, Revel, Lightspeed, Toast, and Loyverse, and Shopify all offer tools to incentivize your customers to come back to your shop.

In Summary: 10 Best POS Systems For Small Business

  1. Lightspeed Retail POS:
    • Best for customization
    • $69+/ Month
    • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  2. Square POS:
    • Best free all-in-one
    • $0+ Month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  3. Clover POS:
    • Best for simplicity
    • $0+/ Month
    • Flat-rate 2.3%-2.6% + $0.10 (dependent on monthly plan)
  4. Revel POS Systems:
    • Best highly customizable POS
    • $99+/ Month
    • 2.49% + $0.15 with Revel Advantage
  5. Lightspeed Restaurant POS:
    • Best for small to midsize food service
    • $39/ Month
    • 2.6% + $0.10 for all tapped, inserted, and swiped payments
  6. Toast POS:
    • Best for customer support + Android users
    • $0+/ Month
    • 2.49% + $0.15 for most in-person payments
  7. Payment Depot Mobile:
    • Best for mobile payments
    • $10/ Mo. for low volume or $49/ Mo for high-volume
    • Offers both flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10 and interchange pricing
  8. Shopify POS:
    • Best for omnichannel sales
    • Starts at $5/ Month
    • 2.4% to 2.7% with Shopify Payments
  9. Vend by Lightspeed:
    • Best for complex inventory needs
    • $69/month to $199/month
    • 2.6% + $0.10 for card-present transactions
  10. Loyverse:
    • Best free & simple POS
    • Free $0/ Month for basic POS
    • Several payment processing options available
Nicolette Kier

Nicolette Kier

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
As a small business owner, contributing writer Nicolette Kier has been sharing her knowledge on all things related to freelancing and eCommerce since 2019. She earned a BS in Physics and a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
Nicolette Kier
View Nicolette Kier's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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