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Stripe is well known as a powerful payment processing platform for e-commerce businesses, but the company also offers point-of-sale hardware and software for in-person transactions. With Stripe Terminal, you can integrate in-person payments into your online payment setup, or vice versa. Its transparent pricing and customizable features make it a good choice for online-first businesses looking to extend to in-person sales.
The company only started offering Stripe Terminal in 2019, so it’s fairly new compared to some of its competitors. Many of its features — including connecting hardware to software — currently require coding experience or your choice of “no-code” integrations.
If you’re already a Stripe user or are comfortable with advanced developer tools, it’s a worthy extension. But if you do most of your business in person or want a more user-friendly option, it’s best to go with a more straightforward POS system like Square or Shopify.
» MORE: Best POS systems
Online-first businesses seeking optional in-person functionality. Developer experience is a plus.
Pre-certified card readers with cloud-based hardware management from $59 to $249.
Payment processing cost
Accepted payment methods
No set contract length and no fees for termination as long as there are no pending transactions.
Daily, weekly, monthly and manual options. Funds arrive two business days after a transaction, or pay a 1% fee for instant payouts to a debit card.
24/7 phone, chat and email support.
Ease of use
Less user-friendly compared to competitors; requires use of basic developer tools or integrated no-code platforms.
How does Stripe POS work?
With Stripe Terminal, you can integrate Stripe payments into your existing in-person checkout flow or build in-person payments into your existing mobile or web-based application. The software works both ways, but it’s best used by e-commerce merchants looking to add on in-person payments.
If you have developer experience, you can integrate your payment processing to one of several hardware options through its software development kit, or use one of Stripe’s no-code POS partners. Several of these integrated partners are free to use.
Stripe offers EMV-certified card readers that are end-to-end encrypted and support chip cards and contactless payments, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Terminal works with Stripe Payments, Connect and Billing so you can manage online and in-person sales in one place. Stripe also integrates with outside applications, including digital wallets, Xero, Squarespace, Mailchimp and more, and can also integrate into your business’s own mobile app.
How much does Stripe POS cost?
Access to Stripe’s payment processing platform, including billing, invoicing and more.
Free to use; per-transaction payment processing fees apply.
All of the above plus volume discounts, country-specific rates, multi-product discounts and interchange pricing.
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for online payments, plus an additional 1% for international cards or transactions where currency conversion is required.
2.7% plus 5 cents per transaction for in-person transactions.
Stripe has three hardware options available to help your business process in-person transactions. All three are already EMV-certified and come with end-to-end encryption, though they do need to be connected with your Stripe account through the Terminal SDK.
Stripe Reader — $59
For mobile payments, this battery-powered card reader accepts EMV chip, contactless and swipe payments. It connects to the cloud via Bluetooth and comes with an optional charging cradle and tablet mount.
BBPOS Chipper 2X BT — $59
This is a fully battery-powered mobile card reader that accepts EMV chip, contactless and swipe payments. It connects to Stripe applications on your mobile phone via Bluetooth.
BBPOS WisePOS E — $249
For hybrid countertop and handheld use, this 5-inch touchscreen smart reader also accepts EMV chip, contactless and swipe payments. It’s Wifi-connected with an optional dock for Ethernet connectivity and can run on both battery and plug-in.
If you (or someone on your team) has developer experience, you can take full advantage of Stripe’s customizable checkout flow. You can use its API to create a payment processing setup that works for your business and integrate into mobile and desktop applications.
For a more user-friendly option, Stripe also partners with platforms that provide no-code POS solutions, as well as companies that provide hired experts to do the customization for you.
Stripe’s pricing is fully transparent, and its payment processing fees are comparable to competitors like Square and PayPal. Unlike many other POS systems and payment processors, there’s no monthly subscription fee to use the software, so your only costs will be an initial hardware purchase and per-transaction payment processing fees.
Stripe is geared primarily for online businesses. Its in-person point-of-sale capabilities are a fairly new extension and aren’t intuitive for users without a developer background.
If your business already uses Stripe and you’re looking to add on in-person transactions, the company’s 24/7 support and no-code POS integrations can help you get through the integration process, but it’s not the best option for new or brick-and-mortar-only businesses.
Requires developer experience
Even if you’re only using Stripe’s online payment processing system, many of its advanced features and customization tools require some coding. To use Stripe as your POS system and process in-person payments, you’ll need to set up a Stripe Terminal SDK before you can connect to a card reader.
There are several ways to do this, and Stripe provides clear step-by-step instructions on its support website — but without developer experience, this process can be complicated and may take some time to learn before you can start taking payments.
However, Stripe does integrate with over a dozen no-code POS software options, so if you’re willing to add on an extension, you can bypass the SDK process.
2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Why we like it: Shopify is another POS option that, like Stripe, is online first and in-store second. It’s ideal for multi-channel sellers, either in multiple online locations (Amazon, Facebook, Etsy etc.) or both in-person and via website. Its payment processing rates are comparable to Stripe’s, but Shopify makes it easier to integrate in-person and online sales without developer experience.
Payment processing fees:
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file (2.6% plus 30 cents with Premium plan).
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
Why we like it: Square POS offers both free and paid software options for restaurants and retail businesses. It’s easy to learn, mobile-friendly and comes with dozens of useful features, including reporting and inventory management, even in the free version. Hardware options range from free to $799 and up. It’s less customizable than Stripe, but much more user-friendly for businesses making in-person and online sales.