Best Free POS Software of 2021

Point-of-sale systems don't have to be expensive. These options give you the features you need for free.
Whitney VandiverOct 1, 2021

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Point-of-sale software products allow businesses to accept customer orders, collect sales data and organize day-to-day operations on computers or mobile devices. There are several free POS software products available, including those with features such as inventory tracking and integrations with accounting software. Generally, you'll have to pay for more advanced features and add-ons like POS hardware, such as card readers or terminals, and payment processing. Here are NerdWallet's top picks for free POS software.

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Square: Best overall

Software: Free version includes comprehensive features, including sales dashboard, reporting, inventory management and multiple location management. Payment processing included: Yes; transaction fees apply. App: iOS and Android OS. Desktop: Virtual terminal available for Mac and Windows OS.

Pros

  • Works with all Square readers to accept all types of credit card payments.

  • Includes a virtual terminal for manually entering credit cards remotely.

  • Offers customer service Monday through Friday for free plans via chat and phone.

  • Integrates with apps like QuickBooks Online for accounting and WooCommerce for e-commerce.

Cons

  • Some of the more advanced options require a paid subscription.

Why we like it: Square’s free POS is small-business focused and includes less-common features, like email notifications for low inventory and a wide range of app integrations. The company also offers solid customer service, a variety of credit card readers, including a free magstripe reader, and app options for Apple and Android OS.

PayPal Zettle: Best for mobile sales

Software:  Free version includes robust features including sales dashboard, reporting, inventory management, staff productivity tracking and more. Payment processing included: Yes; transaction fees apply. App: iOS and Android OS. Desktop: Virtual terminal.

Pros

  • Works with the PayPal Zettle card reader to accept all credit card payments.

  • Accepts payment via QR codes in the PayPal and Venmo platforms.

  • Integrates with accounting software and e-commerce apps.

  • Includes a virtual terminal function to let you enter credit card information remotely.

  • Offers customer support via message, community forum and phone, including assistance when resolving customer payment issues.

Cons

  • Funds land in your PayPal account and have to be transferred to your bank account.

Why we like it: PayPal Zettle's free POS software comes with several features, including inventory management and reporting, and works with the company's mobile card reader, named one of NerdWallet's best card readers for iPhones. The system also allows you to accept QR codes as a payment method in both PayPal and Venmo platforms and integrates with accounting and e-commerce software, like QuickBooks Online and Shopify.

Loyverse: Best industry-specific features

Software: Free version includes POS access for multiple stores, inventory management, analytics, loyalty program, transaction details and kitchen display system. Payment processing included: No. App: iOS and Android OS. Desktop: No.

Pros

  • Can be used for a variety of businesses, including retail stores, boutiques, grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and bars.

  • Integrates with several payment processors, including SumUp and Zettle.

  • Can be used with other payment processors without an integration.

  • Customer support is available 24/7 by email and chat.

Cons

  • Not all features are available with the free version, including employee management and integrations into accounting and e-commerce apps.

Why we like it: Loyverse offers free POS software with several features well-suited to businesses in retail or food and drink industries. It can support inventory tracking for mixed drinks in bars and order management for cafes and restaurants, for example. It can also handle retail store inventory.

eHopper: Best for saving on payment processing fees

Software: Free version includes basic features, including inventory management, customer management, cash discounts, split payments and basic reporting. Payment processing included: No. App: Apple iPad iOS, Android tablet OS and Windows tablet. Desktop: Windows PC only.

Pros

  • Works with a variety of processors.

  • Customer support requests can be submitted through a ticketing system; support also includes a virtual assistant and a set of articles.

Cons

  • The free plan has limited features, including only one POS license to cover 50 products and 300 transactions per month.

  • Certain integrations, such as with QuickBooks, are unavailable with the free plan.

Why we like it: The POS software eHopper offers businesses in qualifying states a cash-discount program, allowing businesses to accept credit card payments without paying the processing fees. This means you offer your customers two prices for the same service: If they pay by credit card, the customers pay your processing fees. If they pay with cash, there is no processing fee, so they pay a cheaper price for the same service or product.

Nextar: Best for sales commissions

Software: Free version includes basic features, including barcode scanning, sales tax setup, supplier catalog and inventory management. Payment processing included: No. App: No. Desktop: Windows desktop only.

Pros

  • Chat and email support are available on business days.

  • The free plan allows you to calculate sales commissions.

Cons

  • Only works on Windows desktops, not on smartphones or tablets.

  • To accept card payments, you need a paid plan.

  • No multiple registers on the free plan.

  • Doesn’t offer accounting or e-commerce integrations.

Why we like it: With Nextar’s POS, you can run reports to calculate commissions for each salesperson, a feature many free POS options don't offer. The product allows you to set a default commission percentage for all employees or custom commission percentages for specific products. While you can’t take credit cards with the free version, it's a solid no-cost option for cash-based small businesses.