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4 Best Self-Checkout POS Systems

Here are the pros and cons of self-checkout POS systems and our top recommended vendors.

    Erica Seppala
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

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

Self-service POS systems are showing up everywhere, from restaurants and boutiques to salons and spas. Following the COVID pandemic, more businesses have added self-checkout options to provide social distancing while increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

We evaluated over 20 POS systems to find the best POS systems for all types and sizes of businesses. If you’re considering a self-checkout solution for your business, keep reading. We’ll break down the benefits and drawbacks of adding this technology to your business and provide our top recommendations for self-service POS systems.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review

Read More

  • QR code ordering and payments, online ordering, contactless takeout, and delivery options
  • $90-$519/month ($69-$399/month when paid annually)
  • No long-term contracts required
  • QR code ordering and payments, online ordering, contactless takeout, and delivery options
  • $90-$519/month ($69-$399/month when paid annually)
  • No long-term contracts required

Visit Site

Read More

Toast POS

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  • SMS messaging, contactless payments, QR codes
  • $0-$165/month
  • Payment processing contract up to 3 years
  • SMS messaging, contactless payments, QR codes
  • $0-$165/month
  • Payment processing contract up to 3 years

Visit Site

Read More

Revel POS

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  • Custom branding, suitable for restaurants & retail businesses, multilocation support
  • Starts at $99/month
  • 3-year contract required to secure lowest monthly pricing
  • Custom branding, suitable for restaurants & retail businesses, multilocation support
  • Starts at $99/month
  • 3-year contract required to secure lowest monthly pricing

Visit Site

Read More

KORONA POS

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  • Integrated RFID technology, contactless ticketing & admissions, customizable interface
  • $59-$89/month
  • No long-term contracts required
  • Integrated RFID technology, contactless ticketing & admissions, customizable interface
  • $59-$89/month
  • No long-term contracts required

Visit Site

Read More

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

What Is A Self-Service POS System?

A self-service point of sale system features hardware and software that a customer can use to manage their own orders. Customers can perform functions such as scanning items for purchase, buying tickets or paying admission fees, creating orders, and paying for products or services.

The type of POS system hardware and software you should get depends on what your business needs.

The Benefits Of Self-Service POS Systems

Self-service POS systems have moved beyond your local grocery chain. In fact, a PYMNTS survey on self-checkouts showed that 28% of consumers are more likely to shop at a non-grocery retailer if a self-checkout option is available. Additionally, the survey showed that 20% expressed interest in shopping at stores that were completely self-service.

Unsurprisingly, self-service options are becoming more popular with retailers and consumers alike. Here are some of the reasons why self-service POS systems are growing in popularity:

  • Convenience: According to an NCR report on self-checkout, consumers like the convenience of self-service kiosks.
  • Contactless Ordering & Payments: Self-checkout POS systems allow social distancing between customers and employees.
  • Speed: Many consumers — especially those with smaller orders or a few items in their baskets — like that self-checkout saves time.
  • Helps With Staffing Issues: Self-checkout can streamline many tasks, such as taking orders or ringing up customers, which is especially useful for understaffed businesses.
  • Cuts Costs: Self-checkout POS systems are a more cost-efficient solution for growing businesses. This option is often much cheaper than hiring new employees.
  • More Productive Staff: With self-checkout POS systems handling many tasks, staff members are free to focus on more productive activities.

The Drawbacks Of Self-Service POS Systems

Self-service POS systems have many great benefits, but there are also some issues to be aware of before investing in your own system. Some of the drawbacks of self-checkout systems include the following:

  • Chance For Increased Losses: One ECR report on retail self-checkouts showed that self-service POS systems accounted for up to 23% of respondents’ unknown losses.
  • Decreased Interaction: Although some consumers prefer to not interact with staff, other consumers feel that self-checkout makes the shopping experience more impersonal.
  • Tech Difficulties: Consumers who aren’t tech-savvy may find that using self-checkout kiosks and hardware is difficult and confusing.
  • Added Expenses: While self-service solutions can cut costs in some areas, purchasing hardware, paying monthly subscription fees for software, and maintaining equipment are all additional expenses.

The 4 Best Self-Service POS Systems

The best self-checkout POS systems are cost-effective, easy to use, and customizable to fit your customers’ needs. The best systems should include self-service features as well as the standard features you’d expect from a POS system. Here’s a look at our top four choices in self-checkout POS systems:

How The Best Self-Service POS Systems Compare

 Kiosks Custom Interface Suitable For Retail Suitable For Restaurants Loss Prevention Free Trial
Lightspeed Restaurant
Toast
Revel
KORONA POS

Lightspeed Restaurant: Best Self-Checkout POS For Restaurants

Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing3.1

Ease Of Use3.8

Features5.0

Customer Service4.3

User Reviews4.7

Pricing

$69-$399+/month

Online Ordering

Essential plan and up

Equipment Cost

$129-$519

Pros

  • QR code ordering and payments
  • Self-Ordering Menu for table and counter service
  • No contracts required

Cons

  • Limited offline mode
  • Moderate learning curve

lightspeed restaurant hardware bundle

Why We Chose Lightspeed Restaurant For Best Self-Checkout POS For Restaurants

We like that Lightspeed Restaurant simplifies the self-serve process for restaurants with Order Anywhere. With Order Anywhere, restaurant owners don't have to invest in extra equipment, and diners can order, pay, and even provide feedback from their smartphones by simply scanning a QR code -- no app downloads are required.

Owners can receive real-time transaction data and updates through their Lightspeed Restaurant POS. They can also choose how they set up their QR codes (for example, by table or by menu).

In addition to Order Anywhere, Lightspeed Restaurant boasts a number of other great features, including the Self-Order Menu app for tableside and kiosk ordering and payments, takeout options, delivery management, inventory management, advanced insights, and more.

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review Plans Price  When To Use
Starter $69/month Single-location restaurants looking to start a loyalty program
Essential $189/month Restaurants with one or more locations looking for online ordering capabilities
Premium $399/month Larger restaurants & hotels looking for custom payment processing rates

Restaurants that want QR code ordering and the option to order and pay at the table will need to upgrade to the Essential plan.

Optional add-ons such as order ahead and customer-facing displays are available for an additional fee.

Lightspeed Restaurant Features For Self-Checkout

Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review Features Availability
Multi-Store Support Essential plan and up
Contactless Payments Essential plan and up
Multi-Channel Selling Online and third-party delivery platform orders
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering Essential plan and up
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management Paid add-on
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Lightspeed Restaurant makes it easy to speed up service and reduce customer wait times with its self-service features, including:

  • Contactless Payments: With Lightspeed Restaurant POS, you can accept multiple forms of payment, including debit cards, credit cards, and mobile payments.
  • Self-Order Menu: Lightspeed’s Self-Order Menu app can be used with customer kiosks or right at the customer’s table.
  • QR Codes: With Order Anywhere, customers can order, split bills, and pay from their phones by simply scanning a QR code. You can create QR codes for specific menus or tables to fit the needs of your restaurant.
  • No App Required: Customers can use Order Anywhere without downloading an app.
  • Contactless Takeout: Lightspeed Restaurant allows you to take control of your takeout, eliminating third-party fees while providing contactless ordering and payment options for your customers.
  • Online Orders: Manage online menus across multiple locations, allow customers to order in advance, and have all online orders sent directly to your POS in real time.
  • Real-Time Data & Updates: All transactions and order updates are sent directly to your POS in real time.
  • Customer Feedback: Customers can easily provide feedback and reviews so that you can improve your processes.

Hardware Costs & Options

Hardware options available for Lightspeed’s iPad-based POS system include iPad stands, scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers, and complete hardware bundles. Contact Lightspeed for a custom quote.

Payment Processing Costs

Processing rates through Lightspeed Payments are 2.6% + $0.10 for inserted, tapped, or swiped payments and 2.6% + $0.30 for manually-keyed payments.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed Restaurant offers month-to-month plans with no contract requirements. However, longer-term options are available. While signing up for a long-term plan can help you save on your monthly subscription, there are early termination fees if you decide to cancel, so read over all contracts thoroughly before signing.

Get Started With Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review

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Toast: Best Android-Based Self-Checkout POS

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing2.6

Ease Of Use4.7

Features5.0

Customer Service5.0

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

$0-$165 plus custom plan

Online Ordering

Yes

Equipment Cost

$0+

Pros

  • Android-based POS
  • Self-ordering kiosks are easy to customize
  • Advanced reporting

Cons

  • Potentially lengthy payment processing contract
  • It can only be used with Toast’s hardware

toast self ordering kiosk

Why We Chose Toast For Best Android Self-Checkout POS

We like that Toast offers fully customizable self-service kiosks that improve efficiency in restaurant kitchens and dining rooms. Orders are sent to the kitchen in real time, allowing your staff to work to keep customers moving easily.

Adding and removing items is a breeze for restaurant owners and customers. Toast's kiosks even let customers sign up quickly and easily for restaurant loyalty programs.

Toast offers everything you'd want in a restaurant POS system as well as loads of great self-service features, including contactless payments, QR codes, and text message updates for customer orders.

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Toast Pricing

Toast POS Plans Price  When To Use
Quick Start Bundle $0/month You have a small, single-location restaurant with basic feature needs
Core $69/month You need a full point of sale suite with processing and custom hardware
Growth $165/month You need advanced features and are looking to bundle with digital ordering
Custom Custom Larger businesses looking to access the entirety of Toast’s features

In addition to its monthly subscription fees, add-ons are also available starting at $75/month. Add-ons include contactless delivery, delivery services, Toast TakeOut, Online Ordering, and more.

Toast Features For Self-Checkout

Toast POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Toast’s self-service kiosks come with features including:

  • Contactless Payments: With Toast Tap, customers are offered a variety of contactless payment options.
  • KDS: Orders from Toast’s self-service kiosk get sent right to your kitchen display system for maximum efficiency.
  • Fully Customizable Menu: Toast’s self-service kiosks are fully customizable, allowing owners to add daily specials and remove out-of-stock menu items in an instant. Customers can customize their orders with add-ons and modifiers.
  • SMS Messaging: Customers can opt-in to SMS updates on their order status.
  • Loyalty Program: Customers can easily sign up for your loyalty or rewards program using the Toast kiosk.

Hardware Costs & Options

Toast offers a wide assortment of hardware, from the handheld Toast Go 2 to the self-service Toast Kiosk. Other options include kitchen display systems, printers, card readers, scales, barcode scanners, and more. Contact Toast to learn more and request a quote.

Payment Processing Costs

Toast provides custom payment processing rates for its customers. The company promises clear and transparent rates, no hidden fees, and competitive pricing. The company also states that it will match the rates of your current payment processor. Contact Toast to receive your custom quote for payment processing.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Toast offers month-to-month all-in-one packages. However, some users have complained about lengthy payment processing contracts that could be as long as three years with early termination fees for canceling early. Before committing to any POS provider, review your service agreement carefully before signing.

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Revel Systems: Best Self-Checkout POS For Retailers

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing3.6

Ease Of Use3.9

Features4.7

Customer Service4.2

User Reviews3.8

Pricing

Quote-based

Contract

Three-year commitment for lowest rate

Equipment Cost

Call for quote

Pros

  • Suitable for larger businesses
  • Multistore capability
  • Advanced reporting

Cons

  • Pricing may be too expensive for smaller businesses
  • Contract required for lowest pricing

revel self service kiosk

Why We Chose Revel Systems For Best Self-Checkout POS For Retailers

One of the reasons we love Revel Systems is that it boasts plenty of features and is a great option for larger businesses and businesses with multiple locations. When it comes to self-checkout options, specifically, Revel also has a lot going for it.

Revel's Kiosk XT is suitable for retail shops and restaurants. This fully customizable system allows you to do everything from managing inventory and creating kiosk-specific menus directly from the kiosk to using your own branding for messages and promotions. Kiosk XT can be set up with your own identifiers (such as call names and numbers) to streamline operations while providing customers with an attractive and easy-to-use interface that improves the customer experience.

Revel Systems Pricing

Revel POS Plans Price  When To Use
Revel plan Quote-based: three-year commitment for cheapest plan Use if you are committed to the product and have a need for high-end features.

Annual pricing and a three-year commitment are required to receive this pricing. There is also a two-terminal minimum. Implementation is also available starting at $674.

Revel Systems Features For Self-Checkout

Revel POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Revel Systems’ Kiosk XT has plenty of features to simplify the checkout process for retail shops and restaurants, including:

  • Fully Integrated With Revel POS: Revel’s Kiosk XT is fully integrated with the Revel platform, allowing customers to do everything from purchase add-ons to pay for their orders with a gift card.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Not only can customers place orders through Kiosk XT, but they can also pay with a variety of payment methods.
  • Branded Messaging: Kiosk XT can be customized to display messages, product images, videos, and promotions.
  • Manager Dashboard: The manager dashboard makes it easy to process returns, issue refunds, add products, and update inventory directly from the kiosk.

Hardware Costs & Options

Revel sells everything you need for your POS, from iPads and stand-alone customer kiosks to cash drawers, barcode scanners, networking accessories, wall mounts, and more. Contact Revel Systems for pricing.

Payment Processing Costs

The standard Revel Advantage payment processing rate is 2.49% + $0.15 per transaction. However, you will need to reach out to Revel for a quote, which may include different rates.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel users must sign a three-year Revel Advantage contract to lock in the lowest pricing. Terminating the contract results in hefty fees: the higher of $15,000 or double the remaining contract.

Get Started With Revel POS

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KORONA POS: Best Self-Checkout POS For Events & Ticketing

Total Rating 4.4
Pricing4.9

Ease Of Use4.1

Features3.7

Customer Service5.0

User Reviews4.4

Pricing

$59-$69/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

Contact for quote

Pros

  • Multilocation capability
  • No long-term contracts required
  • Competitive monthly pricing

Cons

  • Limited inventory management
  • Limited integrations

korona pos hardware

Why We Chose KORONA POS For Best POS For Events & Ticketing

We love that KORONA POS uses one of the most advanced self-service POS options on the market. With RFID technology, the KORONA self-serve kiosk makes it easy for customers to check out, cutting down on errors and duplicate scans while also adding additional security.

We also love the versatility of KORONA's self-checkout kiosks, which can be used in nearly any type of business. KORONA's kiosks work for restaurants and retail shops but can also be used for ticketing and admissions-based businesses, salons, and more.

KORONA POS Pricing

KORONA POS Plans Price  When To Use
KORONA POS Core $59/month Basic business operations
KORONA POS Retail $69/month Advanced inventory needs

Annual subscribers will receive one free month. An Enterprise plan is also available.

KORONA POS Features For Self-Checkout

KORONA POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling With integration
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering With integration
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

KORONA POS has many great features, but businesses that want self-checkout options will love:

  • RFID Technology: RFID software can be used to streamline checkouts and reduce duplicate scanning errors.
  • Loss Prevention: KORONA’s kiosks and RFID tags can be used as additional security features to track inventory and prevent theft.
  • Self-Service Ticketing: Customers can purchase tickets for admission or events using KORONA’s contactless kiosks.
  • Customizable Interface: KORONA’s self-serve kiosks can be completely customized with your branding and designed with your customer in mind.
  • Works For Any Business: KORONA’s self-service kiosks are great for any business. It can handle orders and payments in restaurants, ticketing for events and businesses that charge admission, self-checkout in retail settings, and check-ins and appointments at salons and service-based businesses.

Hardware Costs & Options

KORONA sells everything you need for your POS system, including tablets, terminals, cash drawers, ticket scanners, and self-checkout kiosks. Contact KORONA POS for pricing details.

Payment Processing Costs

KORONA POS allows you to choose your own payment processor. KORONA supports a number of popular options, including TSYS, First Data, Heartland, EVO, and Global Payments. Fees vary by processor.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

KORONA POS does not have contracts; all users are on a month-to-month agreement. Subscribers can cancel at any time at no additional cost.

Get Started With KORONA POS

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Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing POS providers since 2012. Our writers have tested over 100 different point of sale systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate POS providers.

When comparing different POS software systems, we consider many data points, including relative pricing, the depth of niche features offered, the price of hardware, and any associated payment processing fees. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from multiple vantage points. The POS vendors we pick share qualities such as widespread availability, accessibility, user-friendliness, and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at niche features, such as check-splitting, inventory management, eCommerce, loyalty programs, gift cards, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

80+

Vendors evaluated

65+

Attributes assessed per vendor

20+

Features weighed

30+

Combined years of experience


Which Self-Service POS Is Right For Your Business?

Self-service kiosk POS systems are making their way into more businesses than ever due to increased customer interest and as a solution for challenges that business owners face. Self-checkout options gained momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic and show no signs of slowing down, but is this the right option for your business?

Evaluate the pros and cons of self-checkout POS systems while keeping in mind your business’s unique needs. If you determine that a self-checkout POS system is worth exploring, do your research and check out demos and free trials to find the best POS system for your small business.

Self-Service POS System FAQs

How much does it cost to install a self-service POS?

Numerous factors affect the cost of installing a self-serv POS system, including hardware costs, monthly software subscription fees, and the number of self-service checkout terminals or kiosks needed. Businesses can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars each year for a basic tablet setup to tens of thousands of dollars for custom kiosks loaded with the latest technology.

What is the difference between self checkout and POS?

A POS system allows businesses to accept customer payments, process refunds and returns, manage employee scheduling and timesheets, track inventory, and create customer loyalty programs. Some POS systems also offer self-checkout features that allow customers to ring up their own purchases, place orders, and pay for their products or services.

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Erica Seppala

Erica Seppala

Editor & Senior Staff Writer at Merchant Maverick
Erica began writing on small business topics in 2008. She joined Merchant Maverick in 2018 and focuses on loans, accounting, and POS. She is a Certified ProAdvisor for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll. She has been cited in MSN, Reader's Digest, Vox, U.S. News & World Report, and Real Simple. She is a graduate of Limestone University and resides in Greenville, South Carolina.
Erica Seppala
View Erica Seppala's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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