Top Point of Sale Systems for Business
Best POS Solution Overall
Best for Multiple Location Businesses
A point of sale (POS) system is an integral part of the sales process for any startup or small business. This is the interface used to create orders, accept payments, and track sales for better finance management and tax preparation. A seamless point of sale can also mean a better customer experience, increasing sales and building brand loyalty.
Finding the right POS system for your startup is crucial to running a smooth operation and ensuring pillars of your business, such as inventory and customer experience, are managed effectively. However, not every POS system is created equal. To determine the best point-of-sale system for your startup, you need to be searching for a service that matches your business type, fits your budget, and works within – or improves – your business’s operations.
Best Point of Sale Systems for Startups 2024:
- Square – Best POS System
- Lightspeed Retail – Best for Multiple Location Businesses
- Clover – Best for Free App Integrations
- PayPal – Best for Startups on a Budget
- Shopify – Best for Global Ecommerce
- Toast – Best for Restaurants
- GoDaddy – Best for In-Person Sales
- eHopper – Best Free POS Software
- Erply – Best for High Volume Businesses
- Helcim – Best for Side Hustles
- SpotOn – Best for Small Businesses
Best POS System: Square
Square is our overall recommendation for startup POS systems. Not only are they competitively priced, but their robust set of features packs in value for startup and small business owners alike.
Square has really become the “leader of the pack” within the POS space. The company not only designs great-looking mobile POS systems that integrate nicely with most storefront businesses, but it also has a wonderfully designed user interface making it super simple for store owners and their employees to process payments quickly and efficiently.
To use Square’s POS system, you can choose their limited free plan or their Plus plan for $29 per month. You can also create a custom Premium plan by contacting Square directly.
You will be charged 2.6% plus $0.10 for each swipe, insert, or tap made by a credit/debit card when it’s used in person. Fraudulent transactions can be detected more easily if the cardholder is present.
If you manually enter your customer’s credit card number into the system, the charge will be 3.5% plus $0.15.
For purchases made through a Square online store, Square online checkout, ecommerce API, or through an online invoice, the fee is 2.9% plus $0.30 and 3.3% plus $0.30 for online purchases and invoices, respectively. Online invoices paid through ACH bank transfer are charged 1% with a $1 minimum per transaction.
- A mobile POS system available for iOS and Android
- Online payment processing (process payments virtually anywhere)
- Create real-time, instant sales reports
- Track inventory at all times
- Send digital receipts
- Works for any type of company (restaurants, retail businesses, online startups, etc.)
- Manage inventory remotely
- Import products into inventory
- Update pricing, quantities, and menu items anytime
- Receive email notifications when inventory is low
- Manage online orders and third-party delivery partners (DoorDash, GrubHub, etc.)
- Sell in person, online, remotely, and over the phone
- Square POS system does not have a built-in cash drawer
- Flat-rate pricing may be more costly for larger businesses
- Add-on services add additional monthly costs
2. Lightspeed Retail
Like Square, Lightspeed offers many of the same benefits and features. What separates the two are the cost and multi-location functionality. Square costs less. However, Lightspeed is more ideal for businesses having multiple locations (e.g., franchise restaurant/hotel).
To utilize Lightspeed’s POS services, you will have to purchase a membership first, which ranges from $69 per month to $199 per month (billed annually).
You will be charged 2.6% plus $0.10 for each swipe, insert, or tap made by a credit/debit card when it’s used in person. For manually entered transactions, you will be charged 2.6% plus $0.30.
Note that you won’t be able to bring along your existing hardware. Instead, you must purchase Lightspeed's POS software because, as the company explains, other types of terminal hardware “have not been injected with the certified firmware." This is where costs begin to add up.
- Built-in inventory management
- Upload products from CSV files
- Upload supplier catalogs (place orders through the POS)
- Transfer and manage stock between multiple locations
- iPad to customer checkout
- Developed for multi-site businesses, affordable and scalable
- Cloud-based POS system, accessible from anywhere
- Mobile app, take your business with you
- Take your menu and checkout to your customers, iPad POS integration
- Built-in customer relationship management system (CRM), track customer and sales data
- Must purchase new equipment
- Expect higher costs overall
Clover is a flexible POS technology that is great for small and medium-sized businesses. It works well for restaurants and brick-and-mortar stores. What we like about Clover is its free apps which integrate into the POS to expand its overall functionality — letting you track analytics, reward customers, track employees, or develop it into whatever you want it to be.
To take and track payments with Clover, you can choose their free plan. Beyond this, monthly software plans start at $14.95 per month for basic POS setup and range up to $84.95 per month, depending on the functionality your business requires.
You will be charged 2.6% plus $0.10 for each swipe, insert, or tap made by a credit/debit card when it’s used in person. For manually entered transactions, you will be charged 3.5% plus $0.10.
For the higher-end POS hardware packages (e.g., Clover Register, Clover Table Service Restaurant, etc.), the pricing drops slightly to 2.3% plus $0.10 for each swipe, insert, or tap made by a credit/debit card when it’s used in person. For manually entered transactions, you will still be charged 3.5% plus $0.10.
- All-in-one payment processing solution
- Multiple hardware choices to fit any business
- Process payments handsfree and via traditional means
- Emailed receipts
- Process payments through different payment processors
- Offers card readers and hardware to fit any business
- Great for restaurants and small to medium-sized businesses
- Has reporting, staffing, and a CRM built into the POS system
- Table and waitstaff management integration
- No free hardware options
- Higher rates than Square and Lightspeed
4. PayPal POS Software
PayPal POS software makes it easy to make and manage payments from anywhere. From tap-to-pay phone features to an all-in-one payment terminal, there are a variety of payment solutions available with PayPal’s point of sale. The simplicity of the PayPal system is due to its easy-to-use app, where all your POS management and functionality are housed.
Rather than charging a monthly subscription fee, to use PayPal’s POS system, you only need to pay for the hardware you need and transaction fees.
You will be charged 2.29% plus $0.09 for every card-present transaction and QR code transaction. Manual card entries cost a bit more at 3.49% plus $0.09 per transaction.
For invoicing, you will pay an additional fee per transaction. For PayPal payments, invoicing costs 3.49% plus $0.49 per transaction. Other invoicing from cards and alternative payment methods are charged 2.99% plus $0.49 per transaction.
- Add, price, and manage product stock levels
- Trackable sales metrics, staff scheduling, and more
- Quick-charging, efficient card reader
- POS registered comes with activated SIM card, ready for use
- Accepts all major payment types
- All-in-one app includes everything you need to monitor and utilize your POS system no matter where you are
- Funds from sales are immediately accessible
- Sales can be made from mobile devices as well as POS hardware
- No monthly or hidden fees
- Barcode scanning available for sales and inventory
- Hardware add-ons cost extra
- No free hardware options
Shopify has become the leader in global ecommerce. Small retailers around the world have adopted Shopify to sell their wares around the world without disrupting local business sales. Shopify has become a game-changer for these lesser-known businesses making it possible for them to sell into the global economy. Shopify’s platform takes care of everything — ecommerce website, domain names, shopping cart, ecommerce hosting, mobile commerce, POS system, and hardware.
To use Shopify’s POS services, you will need to pay for one of their monthly plans separated by in-person and online businesses. In-person exclusive POS services cost $15-$79 per month (billed annually). To get both in-person and online services, you can choose from one of three packages ranging from $29-$299 per month (billed annually).
You will be charged 2.4% to 5% for each credit card/debit transaction, depending on the Shopify account you choose (e.g., Advanced, Shopify, Basic).
- Customizable Shopify POS app (Android/iOS)
- Inventory management (in-store and online)
- Set staff permissions and levels on the POS system
- Analytics for in-store and online sales
- Single back-office dashboard
- Complete all-in-one POS and “etail”/retail business combo
- Turn any mobile device into a POS (Shopify POS app)
- Customizable POS terminal (arrange apps, discounts, etc.)
- Works with compatible hardware (barcode readers, scanners, etc.)
- Built-in marketing tools and CMS
- Expect to pay more for website solutions
- Expect to pay more for third-party app integrations
- Expect to pay more for Shopify payments
- Can’t avoid transaction fees using other payment gateways
Restaurants need a comprehensive and efficient POS system to make daily operations a breeze, Toast’s POS system does that and more. With Toast, restaurants benefit from a POS system that was built for their needs and customizable to the exact requirements of their establishment. From building hardware that is spill-proof to tableside service functionality — this is a solution that was created to make running your restaurant a little easier.
To get started, you will need to choose a monthly package. For food tracks or single locations, you can opt for their free Quick Start Bundle. However, for more functionality, you will need to select either their Core package at $69 per month, their Growth package at $165 per month, or request a custom package.
From here, you can choose either pay-as-you-go pricing at 2.99% per transaction or their standard pricing option at 2.49% per transaction.
- Cloud-based software gives you access no matter where you are
- IP54 spill-proof rated hardware
- Increased payment speed
- Analytics and reporting features to measure your business’s performance
- Open third party integrations
- No hidden fees
- Tableside payment hardware and features
- Commission-free online ordering and delivery features
- Easily manage and update your menu
- Sleek and subtle POS system hardware
- Not ideal for businesses other than restaurants
- Higher cost packages than some competitors
GoDaddy is a trusted name in business services, specifically domains and website building. However, they also offer a POS system that is ideal for in-person sales and brick-and-mortar merchants as they offer low fees and no monthly package requirement to use their services. The only charge is the cost of hardware and a single percentage of each transaction, no additional fees.
If you would like to use GoDaddy’s POS services in person, you will need to purchase their hardware. The Poynt Card Reader costs $79 and the Poynt Smart Terminal costs $499.
You will be charged 2.3% per in-person transaction with no hidden or additional fees. For online transactions, you will be charged 2.3% plus $0.30 per transaction, and keyed-in transactions charge 3.3% per transaction.
- Sleek, modern hardware design
- PCI secure with a one-year limited warranty
- Easy-to-use sales dashboard allows you to track and manage your sales
- Turns any mobile device into a sales system
- Next-day payouts
- Low fees for transactions
- Provides buying options for customers to pick up in store, book online, and more
- Mobile devices easily transform into a tap-to-pay device
- Virtual terminal and online payment set up is free
- Free two-day shipping for hardware
- Hardware is expensive
- No usable for cryptocurrency or NFT startups
A great POS for any small business, such as restaurants, retail boutiques, small grocery stores, pizza shops, service stores, and much more, eHopper is a truly free point of sale system, charging merchants no credit card processing fees.
It’s easy to use the eHopper POS app on a mobile device or desktop computer. You can also create custom menus based on your preferences. All of these features make eHopper a nice POS for any small business owner.
eHopper lets you process credit and debit cards with 0% card fees. eHopper instead uses a credit surcharge or cash discount program. What this means is that customers pay a higher rate for items when purchased using their credit card or debit card, saving them money when paying with cash.
eHopper offers a free essentials plan that comes with free credit card processing, free POS software, free ecommerce integration, and even a free payment terminal (Integrated Pax S300).
As your business grows, the eHopper POS costs slide up to $69.99 per month. You also pay more for needed hardware. For example, the eHopper POS All-In-One Hardware Bundle (Samsung Tablet, Stand, Printer, Cash Drawer) is the most popular hardware offering and runs for $969. You can also purchase integrated scanners, thermal printers, and WiFi terminals to suit your business needs.
- Customizable menus
- Add photos to your menus
- Ask for reviews
- Provide customer coupons
- Built-in location finder map
- Free processing
- Free software
- Free hardware
- Free POS system trial
- Self-hosted retail point of sale system
- eHopper passes the fees onto your customers when they use a card to checkout
- Add-on features create higher monthly overhead expenses.
Built for businesses with multiple locations, franchises, and high volume, Erply is a cloud-based POS system with industry-specific services available. Their transaction fees are low, making them appealing to many different types of businesses. However, their robust set of features for chains and other multi-location businesses, such as their Franchise HQ module, may make them ideal for larger companies.
Erply has a few pricing plans to choose from, including a basic POS plan that is free. From here, you can opt for their ecommerce inventory plan for $39 per month, their inventory and retail plan for $69 per month, or request custom pricing for franchises or chains.
You will also be charged 2.2% plus $0.10 per transaction, which is lower than many of its competitors.
- Open and close features keep your cash accounted for and managed with ease
- Embedded employee timeclock
- Sales flexibility for in-store pickup or layaway
- Inventory management features
- Customer and sales saving features
- Robust features for individual business types
- Free trial available
- Flexible sales functions give you more control of the sales process
- Streamlined inventory management means better, faster service
- Low transaction fees compared to competitors
- May not be ideal for low-volume businesses
- Slight learning curve
Helcim is an innovative POS system offering businesses a customized solution without hidden fees. With Helcim, you can turn your phone or desktop into a payment system with ease and avoid any monthly plan costs to make running your business or side hustle easier and cheaper than before. Simply create an account, purchase necessary hardware, and create a quote that is customized to your business.
You will be charged a custom rate for Helcim’s services; however, their average in-person fees are 0.4% plus $0.08 per transaction and 0.5% plus $0.25 per transaction for keyed and online transactions.
- Unlimited accounts
- Smart reporting allows you to view sales trends and more
- Easily turn any mobile device or desktop into a POS system
- Inventory management features
- Customizable user permissions
- No monthly fees and lower costs than many competitors
- Free trial available
- Flexible pricing and hardware selection to meet your business needs
- Easily use devices you already have to run your POS system
- Additional accounts don’t cost extra
- No standard pricing available
- Hardware is slightly more expensive than some competitors
- Longer turnaround time for funds than some competitors
SpotOn offers restaurant and small business POS hardware – specifically retail, automotive, and health and beauty businesses. This service offers high customizability for their hardware and features; however, you will likely have to pay extra for some features if you want more than their basic offering. With solutions tailored to specific business types, SpotOn is a great choice for tailored POS services.
Pricing is difficult to find on the website. However, plans offered by SpotOn start at $25 plus setup and hardware fees. To get more information about pricing and fees, you will have to go through a demo with their team.
- Customer loyalty program capabilities
- Built-in camera for barcode scanning
- Customer-facing displays
- Cloud-based software integrates with third-party software
- Built-in, fast printer
- No long-term commitments
- Solutions tailored to your business type
- 24/7 customer support
- Local account executives are dedicated to your needs
- Hardware is customizable
- Pricing on the website is not transparent
- Additional features cost extra
While there are several excellent point-of-sale systems to choose from above, there are still a few options that may suit your business needs. These are some of the POS systems that didn’t quite make our list but may be the perfect solution for your startup.
Heartland is a POS system offering services for in-person and online selling as well as your startup’s own app. This last feature is what sets Heartland apart and what may make it a good choice for app startups. Their pricing is a bit higher than that of some competitors at $89 per month, as well as 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction.
Revel is a cloud-based iPad POS system built for multi-location business growth and used by successful brands such as Dave’s Hot Chicken and Buff City Soap. The biggest draw of this system is its customizability, allowing you to tailor the service to meet your business needs. However, they do not list pricing transparently on their website.
Wix is known primarily for their website builder; however, it also offers an advanced point-of-sale system for brick-and-mortar businesses and on-the-go sellers. Wix offers a wide range of hardware options for their POS customers. That being said, they are a bit pricey, and additional costs are not made clear on the website. However, if you are already a Wix customer, this system will fit nicely into your suite of tools offered by the company.
TouchBistro is a restaurant management and POS system, which means you can monitor and manage front-of-house, back-of-house, and customer relations all from one platform. This is a POS system built for restaurants, and therefore, all of the features included are tailored to increase kitchen efficiency, improve customer experience, and other food service-specific benefits. However, their specific solutions cost extra in addition to the $69 per month fee.
How to Choose the Right POS System
Knowing what to look for when choosing software for your startup or small business can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. The key considerations you should be making when searching for the right POS system for your startup are the type of business you’re running, the price and potential hidden costs, customizability, and customer service, to name a few.
The first consideration is price. If a software solution isn’t going to fit into your budget, it isn’t the right POS system for your business. That being said, you should necessarily opt for the least expensive system if it doesn’t suit your needs. Be clear on your startup’s POS non-negotiables, and look for a system that meets your criteria without breaking the bank.
Type of Business
Many POS systems are built for specific business types, such as restaurants or ecommerce startups. For this reason, it is important to determine the type of business your POS system is built for to ensure it will have the correct features and functionality to make your business run smoothly.
Every business is different; therefore, your POS system should match your business’s unique set of needs. Customizable software ensures that your business is served by the software it is choosing rather than forcing a fit with a system that just doesn’t fit into your team’s workflow.
Complications and issues arise with any software. Your service’s customer support team should be there for you when you need them. Read customer reviews and check up on the service’s customer service hours to ensure you will have support when you need it most.
Whether it is analytics reporting or the types of hardware offered, the features included with your POS system are crucial to the success of your operations. While it is possible you may have to sacrifice some features to fit into your budget, you should have an idea of the features that are absolutely essential to your business and choose a system accordingly.
What Is the Best POS System for Startups?
Every business has different sales needs. Whether you’re running a full-service restaurant or operating an ecommerce startup, your POS system should work seamlessly with your business operations and, ideally, improve them.
Our recommendation for startup POS systems is Square. Not only are they competitively priced and a trusted name in the space, but they also offer robust features, including inventory and reporting to help you run your business with ease.
What is a point-of-sale system?
A point-of-sale (POS) system facilitates a sale between a merchant and customer, typically using a combination of software and hardware.
How do POS systems work?
A POS system calculates the total order amount, factors in any applicable taxes, and conducts payment processing all in one system.
How do you use a POS System?
First, connect your POS system to a power source and ensure it is connected to WiFi if necessary. Then, you can begin either scanning items in or selecting from menu items listed in your system to find your customer’s purchasing total.
Finally, you can process your customer’s payment using the payment method allowed by your system and complete your transaction.
What are some advantages of POS systems?
POS systems are an essential tool for businesses to make and track their sales. This is valuable not only for managing their business finances and inventory but also for preparing their business’s taxes.
How do I find the best POS system?
The best POS system for your business depends largely on the type of business you’re running and its unique needs. We generally recommend Square for startup POS systems for their competitive pricing and robust set of features.
How much does a POS system cost?
POS systems vary in cost. However, you can expect to pay a percentage (generally between 2-4%) as well as a dollar amount (generally $0.09-$0.49) per transaction. You will also be required to purchase any hardware you will be using and in many cases, a monthly payment to use the service.
What POS system does not charge fees?
eHopper does not charge processing, software, or hardware fees.
What are the different types of POS systems?
The different types of POS systems include tablet-based, mobile, cloud-based, and legacy POS systems.