BEST OF

4 Best Mobile POS Systems of December 2022

Cost, flexibility and convenience are top considerations when taking payments from customers with a mobile point-of-sale system.

Oct 25, 2022

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Mobile point-of-sale systems allow you to process customer transactions on a tablet, phone or mobile device. The best systems include a combination of fair pricing, flexibility and advanced capabilities. When comparing options, it’s helpful to consider these three costs:

Software: Using a POS system can mean paying a monthly subscription price, although the systems on our list offer free software options. Advanced plans and optional add-on features will cost extra.

Hardware: Some basic POS hardware, mainly card readers, are free or low-cost, while more advanced all-in-one devices can run a few hundred dollars or more.

Payment processing: In addition to the POS system itself, you’ll pay transaction fees for each payment that is processed.

Best Mobile POS Systems

Our pick for

Best overall

Clover
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on Clover POS's secure website

Clover POS

Clover

Payment processing fees

2.3% + 10¢

or 2.6% +10¢ in-person, depending on plan; 3.5% + 10¢ online.

Monthly fee

$40

Starter plan; $44.95 Standard and Advanced plans.

Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website


Why we like it

Clover’s impressive mobile hardware options, flexible plan selections and competitive payment processing fees make it our top pick overall. And the free Clover app paired with a low-cost Clover Go plan offers a mobile POS option for businesses that are just starting out.

Pros

  • Can pay for hardware in installments.

  • Clover Flex prints receipts.

  • Customer loyalty program available.

  • Includes option for customers to pay online.

  • 24/7 live support with software plans.

Cons

  • No free hardware options.

  • Differing pricing structures depending on business type.

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Our pick for

Restaurants

Toast
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on Toast POS's secure website

Toast POS

Toast

Payment processing fees

2.99% + 15¢

if you pay for hardware monthly; 2.49% + 15¢ if you buy upfront.

Monthly fee

$0

Starter plan; $140 Restaurant; $165 Essentials.

Shop now

on Toast POS's secure website


Why we like it

Toast’s restaurant-grade POS hardware and low-cost pay-as-you-go payment processing plan with no upfront costs or monthly subscription fees make it a top option for mobile businesses that serve food.

Pros

  • Free plan available with one or two POS terminals.

  • 24/7 phone, email and chat support.

  • Hardware is spill-resistant and built with restaurant-specific needs in mind.

Cons

  • Contract required.

  • Quote-based pricing makes it harder to compare payment processing rates.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Overall cost and transparency

Square
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on Square POS's secure website

Square POS

Square

Payment processing fees

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

Free plan; $29 and up Plus plan.

Shop now

on Square POS's secure website


Why we like it

Square offers an impressive POS system with pricing that is transparent and also highly competitive. With options for zero monthly fees and a free magstripe card reader, it’s a good option for new small businesses.

Pros

  • Offers free hardware and POS software with the option to scale up.

  • POS software is designed to work well for both in-person and online businesses.

  • Pricing is competitive and transparent.

  • Plans are month-to-month; you can cancel the service anytime at no cost.

Cons

  • The hardware lineup is best suited for Apple devices, though it also works with Androids.

  • The free magstripe card reader doesn’t have the option to tap or dip a card.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Alternate payment options

PayPal Zettle

PayPal

Payment processing fees

2.29% + 9¢

in-person; 3.49% + 49¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0


Why we like it

PayPal Zettle offers a complete POS system at a low cost with no monthly fee or contract. In addition to taking payments — including ones from PayPal or Venmo — you can also manage inventory, watch sales and review reports.

Pros

  • In-person transaction costs are low compared to other flat-rate options.

  • Low-cost hardware and free software.

  • Option to pay with PayPal or Venmo gives customers additional payment options.

  • No long-term contract.

Cons

  • The all-in-one POS terminal doesn’t have a built-in printer.

  • Funds are initially transferred to your PayPal account and not a bank account.

Read Full Review

Our picks for best mobile POS systems

Our pick for: best overall

Software cost: Free and up.

Mobile hardware cost: $49 for Clover Go card reader, which works with your own phone or tablet. $499 for Clover Flex all-in-one device.

Payment processing cost: 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction for Clover Go and Flex Starter and Standard plans; 2.3% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction for Advanced plan; 3.5% plus 10 cents per online transaction.

Why we like it: The mobile Clover Flex is an all-in-one device that includes an internal printer, which sets it apart from many other standalone POS devices. The economical Clover Go system lets you swipe, tap and dip cards with one small device — something Square’s smallest devices don’t do. The Clover card processing rate at higher plan levels is among the best flat rates, although it comes with a larger monthly fee.

Our pick for: restaurants

Software cost: Free and up.

Mobile hardware cost: A terminal or handheld kit is included with the free plan at no cost. Printers, barcode scanners and other accessories offered for a fee.

Payment processing cost: Quote-based pricing.

Why we like it: Toast is built specifically for the restaurant industry, which is evident in the details found throughout the hardware and software it offers. The mobile Toast Go 2, an all-in-one-device, is designed to last all day without a recharge, is durable and spill-resistant and works well in dim indoor settings as well as outdoors. It can process chip, swipe and contactless payments, and it makes sharing information with the kitchen easier with multiple-language support.

Our pick for: overall cost and transparency

Software cost: Free and up.

Mobile hardware cost: First Square magstripe reader is free, then $10 each. $49 for Square contactless and chip card reader. $299 for Square Terminal all-in-one device.

Payment processing cost: 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction; 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction; 3.5% plus 15 cents per keyed-in transaction.

Why we like it: Square works well for a variety of business types, including retail and restaurants. It offers free software, and many of its hardware options work with the phone or tablet you already have, which can be helpful for new businesses looking to get started on a budget. Like the Clover Flex, the Square Terminal is an all-in-one device that includes an internal printer, but Square’s is $200 cheaper.

Our pick for: alternate payment options

Software cost: Free.

Hardware cost: $29 for first reader, then $79 each. $199 for terminal only or $269 for terminal with printer and docking station.

Payment processing cost: 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person transactions; 3.49% plus 9 cents for manually entered card transactions.

Why we like it: PayPal Zettle offers a well-rounded POS system that is low cost and doesn’t require a long commitment. Also, the system’s ability to accept payments via QR code for PayPal and Venmo can be a convenience for you and your customers. Payment processing fees are quite competitive, especially if you do a lot of in-person business. The POS app is free to download, and there’s no monthly fee or contract to use it — you just pay per transaction.

Last updated on October 25, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Mobile POS Systems of December 2022