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8 Best iPad POS Systems For Retail & Restaurants In 2022

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

    Shannon Vissers
  • 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.

iPad POS systems help a small retail or restaurant business streamline their payments and business management with modern iPad point of sale technology. Whether you’re upgrading from a basic cash register or switching from another iPad POS, this list of iPad point of sale systems is for any small business looking for a cost-effective, flexible, and mobile iPad POS system to meet their needs.

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CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Lightspeed Retail POS

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  • Best all-around
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best all-around
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10

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Revel POS Systems

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  • Best for established businesses
  • $99+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.49% + $0.15
  • Best for established businesses
  • $99+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.49% + $0.15

Visit Site

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Square POS

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  • Best free iPad POS
  • $0+/month:
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best free iPad POS
  • $0+/month:
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

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TouchBistro

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

Visit Site

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Shopify POS

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

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Vend by Lightspeed

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  • Best for small retailers
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  • Best for small retailers
  • $69+/month
  • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10

Visit Site

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talech POS

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  • Best budget POS
  • $0+/month
  • Multiple processing options
  • Best budget POS
  • $0+/month
  • Multiple processing options

Visit Site

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Lavu POS

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  • Best for cash discount processing
  • $59+/month
  • Multiple processing options
  • Best for cash discount processing
  • $59+/month
  • Multiple processing options

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

8 Best iPad POS Systems: Features & Pricing

iPad POS systems should track and manage your inventory, employees, customers, and payments. An iPad POS should also accept contactless and online payments.

The best iPad POS system options for retail and restaurants are Lightspeed, Square, Revel, TouchBistro, Vend, Shopify, talech, and Lavu.

1. Lightspeed: Best All Around

Lightspeed Retail POS



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Pros

  • Dedicated systems for restaurants & retail
  • Exhaustive feature set
  • Numerous software integrations

Cons

  • Needs internet for credit card payments
  • Requires one-year commitment for best price (Retail version)

ipad pos system

Lightspeed iPad POS Features

Lightspeed provides numerous features; the feature set depends on whether you’re using Lightspeed Retail or Lightspeed Restaurant. Here are some of our favorite features of each POS:

  • Lightspeed Retail
    • Works on iPad, PC, & Mac
    • Multistore, multichannel inventory
    • Gift cards & gift certificates
    • Built-in eCommerce
    • In-store & online loyalty points
    • Holds & layaways
    • Store credit
    • Social media selling
    • Advanced retail reporting
    • Free barcode scanner app for iOS
    • Shop by appointment
  • Lightspeed Restaurant
    • Works on iPad
    • Raw ingredient tracking
    • Menu builder
    • Table management
    • Online ordering integrations
    • Takeout & delivery module
    • QR code payments
    • Tableside ordering
    • Advanced restaurant reporting
    • Hotel PMS integrations
    • Built-in loyalty & gift cards

Lightspeed Pricing

Lightspeed Retail pricing starts at $69/month for one terminal. This price requires the use of Lightspeed Payments with annual billing. Lightspeed Restaurant starts at $39/month.

Hardware Cost

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 doing so will result in a higher monthly software fee in the case of Lightspeed Retail. Lightspeed Restaurant doesn’t have the same stipulation; however, the Restaurant version charges a higher processing fee for AMEX cards—the AMEX rate for Lightspeed Restaurant is 3.5% + $0.10.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed does not require a contract, which means you can pay monthly with no long-term commitment. However, to get the best price when using Lightspeed Retail, you’ll have to pay upfront for one year of service.

Where Lightspeed Shines As An iPad POS System

Lightspeed has separate offerings for both retail businesses and both quick-serve and full-service restaurants. Lightspeed has very few weaknesses and is known for its attention to detail in both the retail and restaurant industries. Both systems 0ffer 24/7 customer support, robust reporting, numerous software integrations, and built-in features for selling online.

Lightspeed is scalable for any size business and there are few, if any features absent from either platform, making Lightspeed the best all-around iPad POS for any retail or restaurant business.

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

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2. Revel: Best For Established Businesses

Revel POS Systems



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Pros

  • Advanced features for retail & restaurants
  • Powerful enough for enterprise-level businesses
  • Strong offline mode

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • Requires three-year commitment for best price

revel iPad Pos system

Revel Systems iPad POS Features

Revel has advanced iPad POS features for both restaurant and retail businesses:

  • Inventory management
  • Employee management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Multistore management
  • Process credit cards without internet
  • Native online ordering & delivery
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Kiosks & mobile order takers
  • Numerous hardware options (caller ID boxes, KDS bump bars, etc.)
  • Highly customizable with open API

Revel Systems Pricing

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

Hardware Cost

Revel uses iPad POS hardware, which you can purchase yourself or from Revel. Revel’s hardware pricing is quote-based. Revel also offers a hardware and service leasing program from Apple Financial Services to help merchants reduce their upfront purchase costs with an extended payment plan.

Payment Processing

Revel Advantage payment processing charges a flat fee of 2.49% + $0.15. You can use an outside payment processor with Revel, but you’ll have to pay a premium to do so.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel requires a long-term commitment—three years, to be exact. If you break this contract, you will likely have to pay some hefty fees.

Where Revel Systems Shines As An iPad POS System

Revel Systems is a powerhouse of a POS that can handle large-scale restaurant and retail establishments, counting national chains like Cinnabon and Goodwill among its clients. 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- and backend of a restaurant.

The only downsides to Revel are its high cost and long-term contract. Accordingly, Revel is best for larger, established business with the budget for a premium iPad POS.

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

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3. Square: Best Free iPad 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 & restaurants
  • Free online store
  • Unlimited devices

Cons

  • Occasional fund holds
  • Upgrade for 24/7 customer service

ipad pos system Square

Square iPad POS Features

  • Free flagship POS (Square POS)
  • Free niche POS systems for restaurants, retail, & service businesses
  • Incredibly easy to set up and start using
  • Affordable upgrades & add-ons
  • Unlimited devices
  • Excellent hardware options
  • Hundreds of software integrations
  • Free Square online store
  • Free headphone jack card swiper
  • Affordable iPad kitchen display system (Square KDS)

Square Pricing

Square has several free plans: Square POS, Square for Restaurants Free, Square for Retail Free, and Square Appointments Free. Square also has paid versions of its restaurant, retail, and appointment POS systems, as well as paid add-ons for features like advanced team management, advanced eCommerce, loyalty, payroll, and much more. Since the list of offerings is so exhaustive, the best way to see all of Square’s pricing is to visit Square’s website.

Hardware Cost

If you’re using Square with an iPad setup (smartphone, Android, and proprietary hardware setups are also possible), you’ll probably want to use it with a Square Stand which has a built-in NFC, EMV, and (optional) swipe card reader, and swivels so your customer can approve the transaction and tip onscreen. This device costs $149; Square also sells various other iPad hardware accessories on its website.

Payment Processing

All Square accounts include processing with Square Payments. Square charges 2.6% + $0.10 for all in-person 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 rare cases).

Where Square Shines As An iPad POS System

Square has become a giant in both the processing and the point of sale industry for a number of reasons. Square has one of the best free POS apps around, though it’s also highly scalable; though 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).

Square’s interface is exceptionally easy to use and the company prides itself on customers being able to get their products up and running and ready to sell in a matter of minutes. Square is built for mobility and has great integrations for online ordering as well as eCommerce. For any restaurant or retail business that wants a free POS, there is no better option than Square.

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4. TouchBistro: Best For Smaller Restaurants

TouchBistro



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Pros

  • Complete restaurant feature set
  • Easy to use
  • Locally installed system can operate without internet

Cons

  • Some features are overly basic
  • Expensive add-ons

iPad pos systems

TouchBistro iPad POS Features

TouchBistro offers the following POS features for restaurants:

  • Table management
  • Course/menu management
  • Reporting
  • KDS
  • Staff management
  • Inventory management
  • Split checks
  • Tableside ordering
  • QR code payments
  • Pre-auth for bar tabs
  • Numerous integrations
  • Add ons for gift cards, online ordering, loyalty, reservations, & marketing

TouchBistro Pricing

TouchBistro pricing starts at $69/month per terminal.

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 which the iPads will all sync to. Call TouchBistro for a 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 I 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, like Revel or Toast.

Where TouchBistro Shines As An iPad POS System

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 kiosk mode and a kitchen display system to keep your restaurant running smoothly. TouchBistro has plenty of software integrations and even has its own reservations module, which is something a lot of restaurant POS systems lack (unfortunately, it’s pretty pricey at $229/month).

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

Get Started With TouchBistro

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5. Shopify POS: Best For Multichannel Retail

Shopify POS



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Pros

  • Advanced retail features
  • Built-in eCommerce
  • No long-term contract

Cons

  • Limited offline mode
  • Third-party payment processor

Shopify iPad pos

Shopify POS iPad POS Features

Shopify has a very complete retail POS feature set for selling online and in-person with an iPad:

  • Built-in eCommerce
  • Social media selling
  • Create & print barcodes
  • Easy exchanges
  • Purchase orders
  • Multichannel gift cards (at Basic plan level)
  • Custom staff permissions
  • Multichannel inventory
  • Custom sales & discounts
  • Accept custom payment methods, partial payments, & deposits
  • Mobile POS module to sell on-the-go
  • Categorize products by type, season, sale, etc.
  • Multichannel selling options like BOPIS, BORIS, & local delivery
  • Domestic & international shipping options
  • Numerous integrations

Shopify POS Pricing

Shopify POS pricing starts at $5/month for Shopify Starter, which includes mobile POS and social media sales. 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 Bluetooth payment 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

Shopify POS is a scaleable, omnichannel retail selling solution, with features for every size of retail business, whether you only sell at events or you have a multilocation retail outlet. Shopify’s online selling features cannot be beaten, and its eCommerce 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. And 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.

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6. Vend by Lightspeed: Best For Small Retailers

Vend by Lightspeed



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Pros

  • Excellent user interface
  • Numerous retail features
  • Strong built-in loyalty program

Cons

  • No built-in eCommerce
  • Requires one-year commitment for best price

ipad pos systems for restaurants

Vend iPad POS Features

Here are some of Vend’s most notable features:

  • Runs on iPad POS app or any device with a web browser
  • Built-in, points-based loyalty program
  • Branded gift cards
  • Returns & store credit
  • Order holds & layaway
  • Track customer purchase history
  • Automated stock reordering based on custom inventory rules
  • Consignment selling features
  • Employee sales monitoring
  • Free barcode scanner app for iOS & Android
  • Free Ecwid subscription for integrated eCommerce

Vend Pricing

Vend pricing starts at $69/month for one register, billed annually, with Lightspeed Payments as the processor.

Hardware Cost

You can use your own iPad POS hardware or buy it directly from Vend. Vend sells hardware kits for iPad, PC, and Mac setups. For example, you can purchase a “Pro Hardware Kit” that includes a 10.2” iPad, Heckler Windfall stand, a Socket Mobile barcode scanner, Epson Tm-M30 compact printer, and an APG Vasario 16 x 16 cash drawer, for a total of $807.

Payment Processing

Vend uses Lightspeed Payments processing, which charges 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person payments. Optionally, you can integrate an outside processor, but this will incur a higher monthly software fee.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Vend is month-to-month, but to get the lowest price, you’ll need to agree to annual billing.

Where Vend Shines As An iPad POS System

Vend does a nice job catering to its specialty: small to mid-sized retail.  Although the software is geared to smaller, independent retail stores, Vend is more than capable of handling a multi-store operation. However, it’s missing a few features that larger outlets might need, such as built-in eCommerce.

Vend especially thrives in the area of customer management. It offers a built-in and comprehensive loyalty function and makes it easy to take and store customer information for future promotions. The inventory management tool offers everything a small business would need, with the ability to import via a CSV file and an option for creating purchase orders. Vend integrates with loads of other software apps and has strong 24/7 customer service.

Get Started With Vend by Lightspeed

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7. talech: Best Budget POS

talech POS



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Pros

  • Low starting price point
  • Features for retail and restaurants
  • Not locked into a particular payment processor

Cons

  • Basic features
  • Limited integrations

talech ipad pos system

talech iPad POS Features

talech offers many iPad POS features for retail and restaurants:

  • Works on iPad, Android, & Poynt smart terminals
  • Item bundles
  • Time-based services
  • Sell items by weight
  • Barcode label printing
  • Clock-in and timesheets
  • Kitchen printing
  • Automatic discounts
  • Exchanges
  • Store credit
  • House accounts
  • Appointment booking
  • Gift cards
  • Online ordering
  • Inventory alerts
  • Purchase orders
  • Inventory log
  • Stock take
  • Table management
  • Pay by position
  • Split and merge orders
  • Coursing
  • Automatic gratuity
  • BOGO discounts

talech Pricing

talech has a free Mobile plan with limited features; most basic retail or cafe-type businesses using an iPad to sell would want at least the Starter plan, which is $29/month (per device). Other plan options include the $69/month Standard plan and the $99/month Premium 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. Som 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.

Where talech Shines As An iPad POS System

talech is a solid budget POS system for iPad that provides all the basics a small retail store or quick-serve restaurant would need. talech does plenty of things well, starting with a strong and functional inventory management system. You can generate your own barcodes and print them from any device, track product history and performance across multiple stores, and create complex inventory bundles. Employee management is another strength; talech makes it easy to track an individual’s sales and actions. There is also a function that makes it so that managers, via swipe cards, are the only ones allowed to make voids.

talech isn’t the most advanced iPad POS available, but it’s highly affordable, and there’s no contract so it is easy to switch to another POS if you find this one doesn’t meet your needs.

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8. Lavu: Best For Cash Discount Processing

Lavu POS



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Pros

  • Strong restaurant feature set
  • Option to pass credit card fees to customers
  • Excellent integrations

Cons

  • Higher price to use outside processor
  • Some customers pressured into long-term contracts

lavu ipad kiosk

Lavu iPad POS Features

Lavu offers these and other restaurant features with its iPad POS:

  • Cash discount program
  • Self-ordering kiosk
  • Built-in loyalty program
  • Restaurant inventory management
  • Full cash management functions
  • Lavu KDS
  • Team management
  • Tableside ordering
  • QR code ordering
  • Gift cards
  • Reporting
  • Local server option in case internet goes out
  • MenuDrive Online Ordering
  • DoorDash delivery
  • Sourcery AP Automation for invoicing

Lavu Pricing

Lavu pricing starts at $59/month for one terminal. Add-ons cost extra. Some examples include online ordering ($99/month), KDS ($30/month), kiosk ($50/month), and tableside ordering ($30/month for up to 5 devices). According to Lavu’s website, customers who pay upfront (for a year) can receive 10% off their software fees.

Hardware Cost

It’s possible to purchase your Lavu hardware outright from Lavu’s website. For example, you can buy aVault Pro Line Enclosure for iPad Pro for $225, and a PayPal chip-and-swipe reader for $55 but some customers have reported being pressured into a multiyear hardware lease. On its website, Lavu advertises “Up to 50% off hardware on qualified plans” with a three-year term.

Payment Processing

Lavu offers in-house payment processing via Lavu Pay, but it doesn’t offer much information about this processing solution or how much they might charge. Lavu does mention it has a cash discount processing option, which you can try with no risk or contract.

It’s possible to use an outside payment processor with Lavu POS, but you’ll have to pay an additional $25/month per terminal.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

The standard Lavu contract is one year. However, some Lavu merchants have reported they were steered into three-year service contracts.

Where Lavu Shines As An iPad POS System

Designed specifically for iPads, Lavu is an impressive POS that can fill the needs of most small and mid-sized food industry businesses (either quick-service or full-service). Order-taking is simple and table and menu layouts are all intuitive and customizable. Lavu has a very convenient system for creating and executing modifiers as well. Servers can log in with a key code and their hours and overtime are easily tracked. Lavu’s inventory management feature allows for bulk importing and automatic alerts when products run low. If you are operating multiple stores, inventory can quickly be transferred from one location to another.

Interestingly, Lavu also offers a cash discount program for restaurants, which can help you save money in processing fees by incentivizing customers to pay in cash (this processing setup works best for quick-serve restaurants with smaller tickets). Just make sure you understand the terms of your Lavu contract, and try to avoid committing for longer than a year in case you don’t want to stay with Lavu for the long term.

Get Started With Lavu POS

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Which iPad POS System Is Right For Your Business?

The best iPad POS system for your business is one that fits both your business needs and your budget. For example, it may be important that your POS integrates with QuickBooks accounting or that you have an eCommerce-friendly POS. Or, you may be looking for an iPad POS with a total monthly spend of under $100 or even a free POS system.

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. 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.

Have you tried any of these iPad point of sale systems and have some thoughts about them? Let us know in the comments!

The Best iPad POS System: FAQs

What is the best iPad POS System?

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?

Not considering the iPad itself, you can find iPad POS software with no monthly fees (in addition to payment processing). Other iPad POS software with more advanced features can run up to $50 to $100/mo.

In Summary: 8 Best iPad POS Systems: Features & Pricing

  1. Lightspeed Retail POS:
    • Best all-around
    • $69+/month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  2. Revel POS Systems:
    • Best for established businesses
    • $99+/month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.49% + $0.15
  3. Square POS:
    • Best free iPad POS
    • $0+/month:
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.5% or 2.6% + $0.10
  4. TouchBistro:
    • Best for smaller restaurants
    • $69+/month
    • Cost-plus processing
  5. Shopify POS:
    • Best for multichannel retail
    • $9+/month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.4-2.7%
  6. Vend by Lightspeed:
    • Best for small retailers
    • $69+/month
    • Flat-rate processing at 2.6% + $0.10
  7. talech POS:
    • Best budget POS
    • $0+/month
    • Multiple processing options
  8. Lavu POS:
    • Best for cash discount processing
    • $59+/month
    • Multiple processing options
Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
The former editor-in-chief of SteelOrbis, Shannon has been researching and writing about small business software and financing since 2015. Her shopping and retail expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, MSN, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates . She has also published articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, eHow, Life'd, and other websites. Shannon attended San Diego State University, graduating in 2005 with a BA in English.
Shannon Vissers
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