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7 Best Apple POS Systems For Restaurants, Retail, & Niche Businesses In 2023

Read on for a look at the best iPad POS systems, including Square, Shopify, Vend, and TouchBistro.

    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.

Apple POS systems are affordable, accessible, and low-commitment in-person sales software. The best retail iPad POS systems offer strong inventory management, flexible hardware options, and multichannel sales features. The best iPad POS for restaurants offers raw ingredient tracking, fast order-taking, and ticket management from multiple ordering platforms. iPad POS systems for niche businesses have very specific needs such as on-location ordering and appointment scheduling.

Keep reading our guide to Apple POS systems to find the best iPad POS system for your business.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Square POS

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  • Best Overall Small Business Apple POS
  • $0+/month:
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best Overall Small Business Apple POS
  • $0+/month:
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

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Lightspeed Retail POS

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To
  • Best for in-store retail, rentals, and hotels
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
To
  • Best for in-store retail, rentals, and hotels
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

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Revel POS Systems

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  • Best for established and niche businesses
  • $198+/month
  • Several payment processor options
  • Best for established and niche businesses
  • $198+/month
  • Several payment processor options

Visit Site

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TouchBistro

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  • Best for smaller restaurants
  • $69+/month
  • Cost-plus payment processing
  • Best for smaller restaurants
  • $69+/month
  • Cost-plus payment processing

Visit Site

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Shopify POS

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  • Best for multichannel retail
  • $9+/month
  • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.4-2.7%
  • Best for multichannel retail
  • $9+/month
  • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.4-2.7%

Visit Site

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talech POS

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  • Best budget POS
  • $0+/month
  • Several payment processor options
  • Best budget POS
  • $0+/month
  • Several payment processor options

Visit Site

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Loyverse

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  • Best free POS for small foodservice and grocery
  • $0+/month
  • Several payment processor options
  • Best free POS for small foodservice and grocery
  • $0+/month
  • Several payment processor options

Visit Site

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Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

7 Best Apple POS Systems In 2023

The best iPad POS systems offer flexible inventory management, multichannel selling, employee management, and integrations with software that your specific business may need to function. The best Apple POS systems also include loyalty programs, gift card sales, and multi-location sales capabilities.

1. Square: Best Overall Apple POS

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.

Pros

  • Free POS for retail, restaurant, and service-based businesses
  • Free online store
  • Affordable POS hardware
  • Unlimited devices on free plan

Cons

  • Locked into Square payment processing fees
  • Must upgrade for 24/7 support
  • No built-in ingredient-level inventory tracking
Square Apple POS system

Square For Restaurants iPad POS checkout.

Square iPad POS System Features

Square POS is a popular, highly affordable system for small businesses in the retail, restaurant, and service industries. There’s a very generous free plan available, which includes everything from an online ordering website to an appointment scheduler that’s so helpful, it places Square on our list of best salon POS systems (which you should definitely read if you’re in the beauty or wellness industry.)

Square Appointments iPad POS system

Square iPad POS appointment scheduling.

The free plan also includes social media selling capabilities and free employee management features. Most notably, the free plan also allows you to take payments on an unlimited number of iPad devices, a rare POS subscription feature.

Paid plans allow you to use Square in multiple locations, use an unlimited number of kitchen display systems (Square KDS), add Square mobile POS terminals at your restaurant, and use advanced inventory tracking tools.

  • Related: Read up on how to sell on TikTok using Square to increase your business exposure and online sales.

Square iPad POS System Pricing

Square has several free POS plans: Square POS, Square for Restaurants Free, Square for Retail Free, and Square Appointments Free. These plans are best for small businesses with only one location (or mobile-only/online businesses) and straightforward inventory needs.

The Square Plus plan costs $60/month for retail, $60/month for restaurants, and $29/month for service-based appointment booking businesses. These plans are best for multi-location businesses or businesses with more complex inventory and employee management needs.

Popular paid add-ons include:

  • Square Loyalty: Starts at $45/month/location
  • Square Marketing: Starts at $15/month
  • Square Payroll Services: $5/month/person (for paying contractors only); $35/month + $5/month/person (includes employees and contractors)

Hardware Cost

To use Square on your iPad or iPhone, you’ll need at least the $49 Square contactless card reader to accept chip and mobile wallet payments. This is ideal for businesses with no budget, especially mobile-only businesses.

You can also purchase a $149 Square Stand, which holds up your iPad and includes a built-in card reader, so you won’t need to deal with a separate card reader. This is a low-cost countertop POS option.

Business owners, especially restaurant owners, who want the ability to take payments on the go should consider purchasing the $299 Square Terminal or the new $249 Square Restaurant Mobile POS kit.

Square also offers register kits starting at $659, which include cash drawers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and more. The provider also offers hardware peripherals such as weight scales and stands to create self-serve kiosks.

Payment Processing

All Square accounts include processing with Square Payments. Square charges 2.6% + $0.10 for all in-person payments and 2.9% + $0.30 for all online payments.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square is entirely pay-as-you-go with no contract. You can even sign up for Square and decide to never use it, or only use it as a backup POS option.

The downside is that Square is a third-party payment processor, which means you don’t get the same account stability or customer service you’d typically get with a dedicated merchant account. As a result, some Square merchants have faced unexpected fund holds on large transactions and even sudden account terminations (in very rare cases).

Where Square Shines As An iPad POS System

We love that Square is such a low-cost, versatile, and easy-to-use POS system. Whether you’re an independent beautician working out of your house, a home services contractor taking payments on the go, a CBD business owner, a bakery owner, or any other type of business owner, you’ll find that Square has the majority of features you need for your day-to-day operations. Many people can get away with paying absolutely nothing to use Square (apart from payment processing, which you have to pay no matter which POS system you use.)

It’s also a highly scalable product. Although the free Square POS works great for quick-service and mobile businesses, the paid versions Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants have options to suit even larger retail businesses and full-service restaurants (these plans also offer a 0.1% discount on payment processing).

Note: Square’s base plan is free so you can just sign up, but there’s also a 30-day free trial of paid plans available.

Get Started With Square POS

Read our in-depth review

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2. Lightspeed: Best For In-Store Retail, Rentals, & Hotels

Lightspeed Retail POS


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Pros

  • Integrations for property/hotel management
  • Retail, restaurant, and golf systems are available
  • Excellent inventory management

Cons

  • Can get pricey
  • Early termination fee

ipad pos system

Lightspeed iPad POS System Features

Lightspeed POS offers specific software for restaurants, retail establishments, and golf courses. Due to its starting price and impressive feature set, we recommend Lightspeed for small businesses with physical locations that have a flexible amount of funding to invest in their POS software.

Lightspeed Retail includes all the standard in-store POS functions, along with multistore and multi-sales channel inventory management. There are functions for holds and layaways, shop by appointment, store credit, retail product reporting, and a free barcode scanner for scanning large amounts of inventory.

Lightspeed Retail also has rental item management integrations and appointment scheduling functions that make it one of the best POS systems for rental businesses.

Lightspeed iPad rental POS system

Lightspeed iPad POS rental business integration.

Lightspeed Restaurant includes integrations for hotel property management, intensive raw inventory tracking, a very customizable loyalty points program, and advanced restaurant reporting. You also have the option to integrate your POS with alcoholic beverage inventory tracking, waitlist software, and more.

The dedicated golf POS solution offers everything you need to run a public or private golf course, which is why Lightspeed is one of our best golf course POS systems.

Lightspeed iPad POS System Pricing

Lightspeed Retail offers three plans (prices for individuals who choose Lightspeed Payments as their payment processor):

  • Lean Plan: $89/month ($69/month with annual billing); for strictly in-person retail establishments
  • Standard Plan: $149/month ($119/month with annual billing); for business owners looking to sell online
  • Advanced Plan: $269/month ($199/month with annual billing); for business owners really interested in starting a loyalty program

Lightspeed Restaurant also offers three plans:

  • Essentials Plan: $90/month ($69/month with annual billing); best for quick-serve restaurants
  • Plus Plan: $246/month ($189/month with annual billing); best for single-location full-service standalone or hotel restaurants
  • Pro Plan: $519/month ($399/month with annual billing); best for multilocation hotel restaurants or standalone restaurants

Golf course owners must get a custom quote for a Lightspeed Golf POS software subscription.

Lightspeed plans all come with one POS register software license and Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed’s in-house payment processor.

Extra registers cost $59/device/month.

If you choose to use a third-party payment processor rather than use Lightspeed Payments, you’ll have to pay an extra $50/month.

Hardware Cost

To download Lightspeed software, you must use an iPad that can run iOS version 14.5 or higher. You can spend around $200 on an older iPad that still gets updates (e.g., iPad Air 2) or purchase one of the latest iPad models (e.g., 2022 iPad Pro) for up to $3,000.

You can purchase a Lightspeed Payments-compatible card reader terminal for somewhere around $250. Business owners in the US can purchase terminals from Verifone, Ingenio, and BBPOS.

You can source your own Lightspeed hardware or purchase a bundle directly from Lightspeed. To get pricing, you will have to reach out to Lightspeed for an individualized hardware quote.

Payment Processing

Lightspeed plans include built-in payment processing with Lightspeed Payments. Lightspeed Payments charges a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person payments.

It is possible to use Lightspeed Retail or Restaurant with an outside processor, but you’ll have to pay an extra $50/month to do so. The higher bill may be worth it if you get a lower payment processing rate from an outside payment processor.

Lightspeed Restaurant doesn’t have the same stipulation. However, the Restaurant version charges a higher processing fee for AMEX cards: 3.5% + $0.10 per in-person transaction.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed allows you to sign up for monthly or annual plans. While you’ll get the best pricing for annual plans, we recommend signing up for a monthly plan until you decide you really like your POS solution.

If you decide to cancel your plan before your subscription term is up, you will have to pay an early termination fee that, depending on your term length, can be pretty substantial. This is another reason to start out with month-to-month pricing.

Also, Lightspeed plans will automatically renew unless you let a Lightspeed Representative know that you do not intend to renew your plan within 90 days (if you have a longer contract length) or 30 days with a monthly plan if you signed up for a plan without a custom order form.

Lightspeed hardware is only eligible for the 30-day warranty (14 days on Apple products) if you verify that you have received your hardware within five business days of receiving it.

Where Lightspeed Shines As An iPad POS System

Lightspeed has many features built into the software on its own, but combine it with the several third-party integrations available, and you have a powerful all-in-one POS solution for your small business.

We appreciate that Lightspeed has split its offerings into separate industry offerings since different types of businesses need vastly different POS functions. Lightspeed is especially great for the in-person retail, rental, and hospitality sphere, specifically because of the strong inventory features and hospitality-focused integrations. Plus, its niche golf course POS makes Lightspeed the best choice for golf course owners.

This POS system’s steeper starting price does mean that individuals just starting out may not be able to afford Lightspeed’s higher-level plans, which offer the most benefits (or they may not be able to afford Lightspeed at all). If you have serious intentions to scale your business up, though, Lightspeed can be worth the investment.

Note: Lightspeed offers a free 14-day trial on Lightspeed Retail software. You can schedule a free demo for Lightspeed Restaurant and Lightspeed Golf.

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

Read our in-depth review

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3. Revel: Best For Established & Niche Businesses

Revel POS Systems


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Pros

  • Strong offline mode
  • Several payment processor options
  • Several built-in niche business features
  • Lots of software and hardware integrations

Cons

  • Pricing not transparent
  • Early termination fee

revel iPad Pos system

Revel Systems iPad POS System Features

Revel Systems is a highly customizable POS system with features for almost any business: drive-through restaurants, mobile catering companies, multi-store retail businesses, franchises, grocery stores, salons, and more. Revel is flexible enough to take one feature and apply it to many situations.

Revel POS has built-in drive-through ordering capabilities, self-serve kiosks, online ordering/delivery modules, multi-store management, in-depth inventory management, appointment scheduling, open ticket functions (to charge for rental items or custom services/repairs), invoicing, a loyalty program, a gift card program, and more.

Revel iPad POS for food truck business.

Revel Systems iPad POS catering reports.

Businesses that do on-site events or operate without a physical location will love that you don’t need a WiFi connection to take payments or for most of Revel’s features.

Plus, Revel offers several software and hardware integrations. There are even drive-through digital menu board and speaker system integrations, which is one reason why Revel is one of our best drive-through POS systems.

Revel Systems iPad POS System Pricing

Revel pricing starts at $99/month per terminal, with a two-terminal minimum. This price includes a three-year contract and payment processing with Revel Advantage.

Considering that Revel is made for established businesses, possibly with multiple locations, many business owners will get a custom quote for their monthly POS subscription.

There is also a mandatory one-time $674 POS implementation fee for professional software setup and training.

Hardware Cost

You must get a quote and then purchase hardware directly from Revel or get approval from Revel in writing for specific hardware purchases.

Revel offers a hardware and service leasing program from Apple Financial Services to help merchants reduce their upfront purchase costs with an extended payment plan. However, we generally recommend purchasing your hardware upfront whenever possible to avoid interest and so that merchants will never have their hardware taken away.

Payment Processing

Revel offers in-house payment processing, Revel Advantage, but like many payment processors, you must get a custom quote.

You may also choose to work with a number of external payment processors, such as Moneris, Adyen, and Tyro. Revel may charge an extra monthly fee for doing this, though.

Shop around for the best payment processing rate before committing to Revel Advantage. Consider bringing in a quote from an external payment processor and ask Revel to match it (or even beat it).

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel contracts have a 36-month standard term length, and to get the best pricing, you are expected to stick to this contract length and use Revel Advantage payment processing.

If you cancel your Revel contract early, you’ll pay an early termination fee equal to twice your usual monthly payment for the rest of the contract term length or $15,000, whichever is greater.

You can back out of your contract before an annual automatic renewal if you give at least a 30-day notice.

Do not start out with a long contract whenever possible. Get your POS provider to agree to a month-to-month contract or extended free trial before committing, especially when a provider expects you to sign up with them for at least three years.

Where Revel Systems Shines As An iPad POS System

We love that Revel is a well-established powerhouse of a POS that can handle large-scale restaurant and retail establishments, counting national chains like Cinnabon and Goodwill among its clients. It can also be customized to fit the needs of just about any niche business with specific needs, especially businesses that operate in one or several locations.

Revel offers real-time inventory management with a convenient matrix for importing mass items and tracking them across multiple locations. Revel’s comprehensive POS reporting suite features a convenient layout and runs nearly any report you could think of. Revel also has a fantastic kiosk option that allows customers to order and pay on their own, as well as an advanced kitchen display system to help to cut down on ticket times and increase communication between the front-end and back-end of a restaurant.

The only downsides to Revel are its high cost and long-term contract, which is why Revel is best for businesses with the budget for a premium iPad POS.

Note: Revel does not offer a free trial but the company does offer a free demo.

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

Read our in-depth review

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4. TouchBistro: Best For Quick-Serve Restaurants & Food Trucks

TouchBistro


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Pros

  • Several payment processor options
  • Fast server mode
  • Full offline mode
  • Easy to learn and use

Cons

  • No self-serve kiosk function
  • Add-ons are expensive

iPad pos systems

TouchBistro iPad POS System Features

TouchBistro is a POS designed by and for servers and kitchen staff to take orders, process payments, and monitor inventory as smoothly as possible.

It has all your standard restaurant POS features plus server-centric features such as a customizable server interface to promote smooth, correct ordering taking and upsell prompts to remind servers to ask about add-ons. With automated inventory tracking, items get auto-86’d when a key ingredient is out, so servers never sell what you don’t have in stock.

On the back-of-house side, TouchBistro has a great KDS system that allows you to monitor individual items by ticket priority, cook times, and ticket history. TouchBistro makes it easy for kitchen staff to navigate online, tableside, and third-party delivery app orders so you never miss a sale.

TouchBistro restaurant POS system offline payment mode.

TouchBistro iPad POS offline payment mode.

TouchBistro’s hybrid cloud-based/locally-installed setup allows your POS to function completely offline, making TouchBistro one of the best food truck POS systems out there

TouchBistro iPad POS System Pricing

TouchBistro pricing starts at $69/month for one terminal with annual billing. If you need more than one terminal, you’ll have to get a custom quote.

There are also several add-ons available, including an online ordering module for $50/month, a gift card program for $25/month, and a reservations system for $229/month.

The reservation system is very well designed, but given its price point, restaurant owners may want to choose another software for taking reservations.

Hardware Cost

TouchBistro sells iPad POS hardware kits including a kit for smaller venues with an iPad, router, kitchen printer, and cash drawer. Larger venues with a multiple-iPad setup can use a Mac mini server to sync all the iPads.

As with many restaurant POS vendors, you’ll have to call for a custom hardware quote.

Payment Processing

TouchBistro includes built-in payment processing with TouchBistro Payments (powered by Chase) which has an interchange-plus payment processing model.

You can also use TouchBistro with an outside payment processor, such as Square, TSYS, or WorldPay. As far as we can tell, TouchBistro doesn’t charge extra for using an integrated processor.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

TouchBistro requires a one-year contract. It’s not ideal but it’s at least much shorter than other restaurant POS systems.

Where TouchBistro Shines As An iPad POS System

We appreciate that TouchBistro was designed with restaurant owners and their employees in mind. TouchBistro’s strength lies in how simple it is for servers and restaurant employees to navigate, making things like splitting checks, walking through modifiers, and handling voids exceptionally easy. It also has a kitchen display system to keep your restaurant running smoothly, and lots of integrations if TouchBistro doesn’t have a built-in feature to meet your restaurant’s needs.

Being a locally installed POS system with a slightly basic feature set and an affordable starting price, TouchBistro is ideal for smaller, single-location restaurants.

Note: TouchBistro does not offer a free trial but the company does offer a free demo.

Get Started With TouchBistro

Read our in-depth review

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5. Shopify POS: Best For Multichannel Retail

Shopify POS


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Pros

  • In-person, website, social media, and marketplace selling
  • Several add-on apps
  • Good inventory management
  • Transparent pricing and contract terms

Cons

  • Limited offline mode
  • Third-party payment processing costs extra

Shopify iPad pos

Shopify POS iPad POS System Features

Shopify is first and foremost on eCommerce retail software but has since branched out into in-person, social media, and online marketplace sales. Retail sellers, and arguably subscription sales and digital item sellers, will find everything they need to run a successful business either built into the Shopify platform or within the Shopify App Store (which now offers over 8,000 free and paid apps.)

Multichannel retail sellers will appreciate selling options like BIPOS (buy online, pick up in-store), BORIS (buy online, return in-store), and local delivery. Plus, sellers can post in-store items on marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon, and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Shopify allows you to publish your items on all channels and automatically decreases your inventory across all channels when you sell something.

Shopify iPad POS system

Shopify iPad POS admin dashboard.

With Shopify, it’s easy to create and send gift cards, complete exchanges, take deposits and partial payments, create custom sales/discounts, and build your own marketing campaigns.

Shopify POS iPad POS System Pricing

Shopify’s basic plan for in-person selling from a brick-and-mortar retail store is $29/month and also includes your own eCommerce website. To add advanced features, you’ll need the $89/month Shopify Pro add-on.

Hardware Cost

Shopify POS can use iOS or Android hardware, but you’ll need to use an iPad to take advantage of all the features. To sell on an iPad, you will need a $49 Shopify card reader, and an optional POS hardware kit.

Shopify sells hardware bundles such as a $639 Star Micronics mPOP bundle that includes a tablet stand, cash drawer, receipt printer, and hand scanner (iPad not included).

Payment Processing

Shopify payment processing is included via Shopify Payments. The rate you pay is dependent on your plan level and in-person transaction fees can range from 2.4-2.7%.

You can also integrate an outside payment processor, but you will have to pay an additional transaction fee on each sale, ranging from 0.5 to 2%.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Shopify plans are month-to-month with no contract. However, you can save 50% on your first year of service if you pay ahead for a year.

Like Square Payments, Shopify Payments is a third-party payment processor, which means you won’t get your own dedicated merchant account and may not have great account stability. Shopify Payments is powered by Stripe, and you can read our Stripe Payments review to get a better idea of what to expect from this processor.

Where Shopify POS Shines As An iPad POS System

We love that Shopify POS is a scaleable, omnichannel retail selling solution and that it offers features for every size of retail business, whether you only sell at events or you have a multi-location retail outlet. Shopify’s online selling features cannot be beaten, and its eCommerce function is fully integrated with your POS so inventory stays synced across all your channels.

Shopify also has multichannel selling features that combine online and in-person sales, like the ability for customers to buy online and pickup in-store, or buy in-store and have the item shipped to them. Customers can also easily return items they purchase on your website in your store.

Even if you don’t sell online, Shopify’s plans are affordable and packed with in-person selling features, including gift cards, store credit, and custom discounts created at your iPad register.

Note: Shopify offers a three-day free trial, no credit card is required.

Get Started With Shopify POS

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6. talech: Best Budget POS For Service Industries

talech POS


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Pros

  • Many payment processor options
  • Retail and service-based charges
  • Fixed and variable pricing for products/services
  • Extensive appointment booking features

Cons

  • Most appointment booking features are on highest level plan
  • Limited integrations
  • Installation fee

talech ipad pos system

talech iPad POS Features

talech offers retail and restaurant POS solutions that are somewhat basic compared to other options. It’s talech’s service business POS solution that sets this system apart from its competitors. Business owners in industries such as beauty, wellness, repair, construction, repairs, and cleaning services will really benefit from talech’s service POS solution.

talech POS software offers features such as fixed and variable length service charges, start and end time padding, and (on talech’s highest-level plan) an online booking website. You can send invoices for consultations, products, and services. Customers can pay online or arrange for check or cash payments and will get an automated reminder if their payment becomes overdue.

talech iPad POS system

Talech iPad POS system invoice setup.

Your online booking website can operate on its own or be embedded as a booking button on an existing website. You can create appointment blocks for clients to choose themselves, block off time for walk-ins, charge appointment deposits, and charge for no-shows.

There are also retail sale features such as product sales by weight, product bundling, and selling products with variable options. You can track suppliers, get inventory alerts, and take stock. Plus, you can offer discounts and store credit for customers to build lifelong relationships with first-time buyers.

talech Pricing

talech offers four highly affordable plans, including:

  • Mobile Plan: $0/month; ideal for business owners who just need to take payments on location
  • Starter Plan: $29/month; for selling services and basic retail items
  • Standard Plan: $69/month; includes advanced retail features such as product customization, item discounts, store credit, plus employee management
  • Premium Plan: $99/month; extensive online appointment booking and management, plus all staff management features, purchase orders, and stock takes

Businesses that will really benefit from extensive appointment booking features, such as in-home cleaning services, salons, spas, and personal trainers will find everything they need on talech’s $99/month Premium plan, which includes all of talech’s features.

Extra iPads cost $29/month/device.

On the Standard and Premium plans, you are required to pay a $199 “Getting Started” package, which includes a personalized setup with a talech representative. It’s optional for the Starter plan and not available on the Mobile plan.

Hardware Cost

talech sells various iPad stands, kits, and other peripheral hardware. You’ll need to contact talech for ordering and pricing information.

Payment Processing

talech includes multiple payment processing options, giving you the ability to choose which one works best for you. Some options include ElavonGlobal Payments  Chase, and USAePay.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

talech offers month-to-month and annual plans. You can deactivate your plan at any time without facing any penalties. If you choose to reactivate your plan after deactivating it, you’ll be charged a $50 fee.

Where talech Shines As An iPad POS System

We love how many service-based features talech offers at such an affordable price point. With combined time-based and retail sales management software, service-based businesses of all kinds can find exactly what they need with talech.

Business owners who sell only services can easily be paid for their time on the go without paying a monthly subscription. Individuals performing plumbing, home repair, gardening, cleaning, consulting, and other on-location services can get paid immediately with a card or online via invoice.

Businesses such as florists, pet groomers, and print shops can sell both products and services easily, while businesses such as spas, salons, personal trainers, and massage therapists can use an all-in-one POS and appointment booking management system for one flat price.

Note: You can sign up for a free talech plan to see what talech is like, or sign up for a free demo to see advanced paid features.

Get Started With talech POS

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7. Loyverse: Best Free POS For Small Foodservice & Grocery

Loyverse


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Pros

  • Feature-packed even at free plan
  • Food and retail sales functions
  • Built-in loyalty program
  • Unlimited register, KDS, and customer display devices

Cons

  • No integration with Doordash, Grubhub, or Postmates
  • No online ordering site

Loyverse iPad POS system

Loyverse iPad POS System Features

Loyverse is a free POS system built with grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars in mind. It comes packed with the basic inventory, menu, and customer relationship management features plus more advanced features such as a kitchen display system, loyalty program,  and a customer display system, at no monthly cost.

Restaurants that want to sell takeout or prepackaged foods by weight can do so with Loyverse’s embedded weight barcodes, while bars will appreciate how Loyverse has set up drink ordering and inventory management functions.

Loyverse iPad POS system

Loyverse iPad POS liquid sales by weight.

Advanced (paid) features include extensive employee management, more inventory features such as purchase order creation and stock takes, and third-party app integrations.

Loyverse iPad POS System Pricing

Loyverse’s core POS package, which includes the POS software itself, the backend management dashboard, a kitchen display system, a customer display system, and a built-in loyalty program, is free forever.

Paid add-ons include:

  • Employee Management: $25/month/store
  • Advanced Inventory: $25/month/store
  • Integrations: $9/month/store

Hardware Cost

You may download the Loyverse app on any Apple device. Loyverse sells hardware such as barcode scanners (starting at $20), printers (starting at $150), cash drawers (starting at $109), and iPad stands (starting at $109).

You’ll have to purchase compatible card readers on your own.

Payment Processing

You may use Worldpay, SumUp, or PayPal to accept payments.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Loyverse offers monthly and yearly plans with no penalties for cancellation.

Where Loyverse Shines As An iPad POS System

We love how Loyverse strikes the perfect balance between feature sets and price for small restaurants. While this POS is not a full-scale POS for busy restaurants, small counter service restaurants, and places like specialty markets that sell food in some capacity, will appreciate how flexible Loyverse is.

Loyverse offers excellent retail sales and inventory tracking functions, plus a free kitchen display system and customer display, so both your customers and your employees can ensure their order is right every time. Plus, Loyverse’s sales by weight capabilities allow you to sell takeout by weight or package treats or cold meals to be cooked later.

Also, Loyverse’s loyalty program is free, very customizable, and will help your small establishment build a relationship with your customer base. It also has an offline mode, so you can be present at special events in addition to your storefront and really get your business’s name out there.

Note: You can download the free Loyverse app at any time, no credit card is required. There’s a free 14-day trial on paid add-on features.

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How To Choose The Right Apple POS System For Your Business

Not every POS can work for every business type. Here’s what you need to consider so you can choose the right Apple POS system based on your business type.

Choosing An iPad POS For Restaurants & Foodservice Businesses

While many iPad POS systems for restaurants can work for both quick-serve and full-service establishments, there are features unique to each type of dining experience.

Quick-serve restaurant POS systems need to be very easy to learn and navigate on the day-to-day, should have functions for takeout and delivery, and ideally will integrate with third-party delivery platforms. You might also want to have self-serve kiosks available, or even drive-through/curbside ordering functions.

Full-service restaurant POS systems may need to include things like reservations, waitlists, rotating menus, tableside ordering, handheld POS ordering, and meal coursing.

Then there are more specific business types to consider. For example, if you want to offer event catering or start a food truck business, you’ll definitely need an iPad POS with some form of offline mode. If you plan on selling alcohol, you should use one of the best bar POS systems, which offer niche features like drink inventory tracking and ID scanning. If you plan on selling pre-made items, you’ll need to consider where to sell them and include these items in your inventory.

In general, all food service business owners should strongly consider creating a loyalty points program and gift card program to build strong customer relationships.

Choosing A Retail iPad POS System

Your retail iPad POS system needs will mostly be determined by the complexity of your inventory, whether you have physical retail locations, what platforms you sell on, and whether you have employees.

If you sell custom items or items with several variations, you’ll need a retail POS that can accommodate more complex inventory needs. If you plan to sell on several sales channels (in-person, online marketplaces, etc.) your retail POS will need to sync your inventory in real time.

Mobile-only sellers need a retail POS that works well on the go, while multilocation retailers need to find a POS system that’s in their budget but still communicates vital sales information across locations.

If you have employees, you may need a POS that has user permissions, can help you create schedules, and can monitor employee performance.

Choosing An iPad POS System For A Niche Business

Niche businesses in areas such as home repairs, beauty services, subscription or membership-based sales, property management, item/location rentals, and event management have special POS needs.

If you require appointment scheduling and on-location payments, consider finding a POS that allows for online scheduling and invoices. You might need to take deposits, partial payments, or recurring payments if you sell subscriptions such as gym memberships or services such as bike repairs.

If you sell any regulated items like liquor or cannabis, you’ll need to find a POS that works with a high-risk payment processor.

In general, if you have a niche business, look for a POS that has the exact functions you need. If the POS that perfectly fits your niche needs is very expensive, consider using a cheaper one that you can modify to meet your current needs until you can afford the perfect POS for your business.

Final Word On The Best iPad POS Systems

The best iPad POS system for your business is one that fits both your business needs and your budget.

In addition to having the price and features you need, we also recommend choosing an iPad POS that offers month-to-month, pay-as-you-go pricing so that you can switch your iPad point of sale to another software if the first one doesn’t work out.

Ask for a free trial if the provider doesn’t specifically say it has one, and maybe they’ll offer you one. Otherwise, thoroughly try any free demos, ask customer service lots of questions, and argue for shorter contract terms before making any big commitments.

It’s also important to make sure the system offers competitive payment processing rates, so be sure to compare any quotes from at least a few different providers.

Always, always read your merchant agreement. Here’s how to read and negotiate a merchant agreement so you get the best rates and the least amount of fees possible.

Finally, if you can’t afford your POS hardware upfront, read our post on equipment financing to avoid leasing your hardware.

FAQs: Apple POS Systems

What is the best iPad POS System?

The best iPad POS system for you depends on your business type. Small retail stores will appreciate Square

Small to mid-sized retail stores or restaurants that need something easy to use and are looking for a strong built-in payment processor would likely find what they need with Square’s iPad POS system.

How much does iPad POS software cost?

iPad POS software costs between $0 and $400/month or more, depending on what special features you need and the number of registers you use at your business.

Read our post on POS costs to get a better sense of how much you may pay for your specific POS software setup.

Can I use my iPhone as a POS system?

You can use your iPhone as a POS system. Just download an app like Square, Lightspeed, or Loyverse and start selling from your smartphone.

What POS systems use iPads?

POS systems that use iPads include Square, Revel Systems, Lightspeed, TouchBistro, Shopify, talech, and Loyverse.

Can I use Square on my iPad?

You can use Square on your iPad and on your iPhone.

Which iPad POS system is easiest to use?

Square is the easiest iPad POS system to use since it has a fast signup, setup, and inventory management process.

What is the best iPad POS system for restaurants?

The best iPad POS system for restaurants is Square For Restaurants, TouchBistro, Lightspeed Restaurant, or Loyverse.

What is the best retail iPad POS system?

The best retail iPad POS system is Shopify, Lightspeed Retail, Revel, or Square For Retail.

Does Apple offer a POS system?

Apple does not currently offer a POS system. It offers Apple Pay, a mobile wallet payment option for customers, not for merchants to take payments.

In Summary: 7 Best Apple POS Systems In 2023

  1. Square POS:
    • Best Overall Small Business Apple POS
    • $0+/month:
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  2. Lightspeed Retail POS: To
    • Best for in-store retail, rentals, and hotels
    • $69+/month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  3. Revel POS Systems:
    • Best for established and niche businesses
    • $198+/month
    • Several payment processor options
  4. TouchBistro:
    • Best for smaller restaurants
    • $69+/month
    • Cost-plus payment processing
  5. Shopify POS:
    • Best for multichannel retail
    • $9+/month
    • Flat-rate payment processing at 2.4-2.7%
  6. talech POS:
    • Best budget POS
    • $0+/month
    • Several payment processor options
  7. Loyverse:
    • Best free POS for small foodservice and grocery
    • $0+/month
    • Several payment processor options
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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