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POS 101: Choosing A POS System

    Merchant Maverick Contributor
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Merchant Maverick Contributor

Merchant Maverick Contributor

Merchant Maverick is a highly successful partner referral site which has helped over 1 million business since 2009. We provide high-quality, non-paid, unbiased reviews of business and e-commerce products and services to allow entrepreneurs make better decisions. At Merchant Maverick we make small business simple.

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    Mary Kerfoot

    I started reading this article with two POS in mind, Clover because with my bank it would be most economical. QuickBooks because it would be the easiest to use with my QuickBook accounting software. I also looked at Microbiz because someone bought it at one of the stores 6 months ago and never set it up. After reading this article I am so confused as to what system I need for my business. By the way your article was very informative. I have a sod farm with two retail outlet stores. We have a limited inventory and do not sale on line. We need to be able to accept all forms of payments, including checks and would like to email invoices for online payment. All of our bookkeeping and sales are done though QuickBooks. Writing an invoice as the customer waits is taking to much time. Can you recommend a system that would be good for us?

    Thank you –

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Thanks so much, Mary! I’d suggest taking a look at our post on Quickbooks compatible POS options. Hopefully, this post will help you narrow it down and identify the best POS solution for your specific business needs. Let us know!


        Thanks for this article as well. I’m looking for POS for a small retail and grower greenhouse in Canada that can integrate with Quickbooks Online with one sales receipt per day and that’s easy to reconcile to the bank. Also I need it to be able to handle the 2 taxes we have in our province. Square’s rates are higher than what we are paying now and my question is would Shopkeep be a functional option for us?

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Greg,
          Yes, ShopKeep would seem like a good option since it sounds like you’ve researched processing rates. It integrates with QuickBooks Online and it can handle multiple taxes although setting that up may be a bit time-consuming just by the looks of it. However, there may be a shortcut that someone from ShopKeep could easily help you with!


            I’m part of a small non-profit history museum that is looking for a POS for gift shop merchandise that is no-frills, cheap and easy to use (some of our volunteers are older and not as a tech savvy). Zelle or Venmo would be easiest but I’m not sure they can be legally used for merchant purposes. Would Square be our best option?

              Emily Hale

              Hi Alyse,

              Thanks for reading and for submitting your question. I’d be happy to point you to a few resources that will get you headed in the right direction for the museum. First, you’re right that Venmo isn’t going to be a good option since you can’t directly accept payments for products and services. Because you’re looking for a cheap and easy POS, and one that is easy to maneuver, I recommend that you consider Square. Whether you only use the mobile app with a reader or you opt for a handheld or counter solution, it’s very easy to get started and take a sale. The Square app itself is free and comes along with reporting and other great features. Check out this post on how to use Square as well as our full Square Review. Dharma is also a fantastic choice for the nonprofit, and I suggest you put them in the top running as well. Hope this helps and best of luck!

                Mary Woodruff

                My husband and I are going to open a small nano-brewery and taproom (no food besides prepackaged food) and merchandise. Which POS do you recommend?
                Also, a little confused by this article. It talks about needing to set up a merchant account, but when I click on the hyperlink within the article to read more in depth about merchant accounts, it says that you can either decide to proceed with a PSP or merchant account. One article states you need a merchant account to have a PSP, but another is comparing the two as differing options.


                  Emily Hale

                  Hi Mary,

                  Thanks for your question. I’d be happy to help clear some of this up for you. As far as a good POS option, I recommend checking out our ShopKeep Review as a good viable solution for you. As far as the difference between a PSP and merchant account, the tricky part is that even among the processors themselves these terms can be interchangeable. A PSP is the more specific term here, and it refers to a third-party processor model such as Square, Stripe, etc. For a good post that may help you choose what’s best for your type of business, I suggest reading our post The Truth About Third Party Credit Card Processing. Hope this helps and best of luck!

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