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8 Best Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems and Software

The best POS system depends a lot on the type of business you have. Here are our top picks for each category.
By Lisa Anthony, Claire Tsosie
Last updated on January 3, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The best point-of-sale systems do far more than handle customer payments. These systems help you manage sales, track inventory and improve daily business operations by offering numerous hardware options and feature-rich POS software.
Transparent pricing, intuitive flows and access to live support are also important when selecting your POS systems and software. Here are our top picks.

Best Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems and Software

Product
Best for
Payment processing fees
Monthly fee
Learn more

Square POS

Shop now

on Square POS's secure website

5.0/5

Best for Overall POS system

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.6% + 30¢ or 2.9% + 30¢ online, depending on plan.

$0

Free plan; $29 Plus plan; $79 Premium plan.

Shop now

on Square POS's secure website

Toast POS

Shop now

on Toast POS 2's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Restaurants

2.99% + $0.15

$0

Starter Plan. Essentials Plan also available

Shop now

on Toast POS 2's secure website

Lightspeed POS

Shop now

on Lightspeed POS's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Inventory management

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.6% + 30¢ online.

$69

$69 and up.

Shop now

on Lightspeed POS's secure website

Shopify Retail POS

Shop now

on Shopify POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for E-commerce

2.70%

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online (Basic plan).

$0

POS Lite; $89 POS Pro.

Shop now

on Shopify POS's secure website

Clover POS

Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Hardware

2.3% + 10¢

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

$45

Starter and Standard plans; $54.90 Advanced plan when hardware is paid in full. Full-service plans available.

Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website

PayPal Zettle

5.0/5

Best for POS software

2.29% + 9¢

in-person; 3.49% + 49¢ online.

$0

QuickBooks Desktop POS

4.0/5

Best for QuickBooks Desktop integration

2.7%

in-person

$20/Month

For lower processing rates

Stripe

Shop now

on Stripe Payments' secure website

5.0/5

Best for Best POS for International Businesses

2.7% + 5¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

$0

Shop now

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Our pick for

Overall POS system

Square POS

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Square POS's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.6% + 30¢ or 2.9% + 30¢ online, depending on plan.

Monthly fee

$0

Free plan; $29 Plus plan; $79 Premium plan.

Our pick for

Restaurants

Toast POS

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Toast POS 2's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.99% + $0.15

Monthly fee

$0

Starter Plan. Essentials Plan also available

Our pick for

Inventory management

Lightspeed POS

3.5
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Lightspeed POS's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.6% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

$69

$69 and up.

Our pick for

E-commerce

Shopify Retail POS

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Shopify POS's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.70%

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online (Basic plan).

Monthly fee

$0

POS Lite; $89 POS Pro.

Our pick for

Hardware

Clover POS

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website

Payment processing fees

2.3% + 10¢

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

Monthly fee

$45

Starter and Standard plans; $54.90 Advanced plan when hardware is paid in full. Full-service plans available.

Our pick for

POS software

PayPal Zettle

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Payment processing fees

2.29% + 9¢

in-person; 3.49% + 49¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

Our pick for

QuickBooks Desktop integration

QuickBooks Desktop POS

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Payment processing fees

2.7%

in-person

Monthly fee

$20/Month

For lower processing rates

Our pick for

Best POS for International Businesses

Stripe

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Shop now

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Payment processing fees

2.7% + 5¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

$0

Square: Best overall POS system

Types of businesses supported: Retail, food and beverage, professional services (beauty, health, repair, etc.) and custom-built options.
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.
  • $29 for Square POS Plus and Square Appointments Plus plans.
  • $60 for Restaurant Plus and Retail Plus plans.
  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.
Hardware:
  • $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
  • $49 for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
  • $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included).
  • $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer.
  • $799 for Square Register two-screen system.
  • $659-$1,479 for various bundles of stands, cash drawers, printers and card readers.
Payment processing: Varies by plan.
  • 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.
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.

Toast: Best POS for restaurants

Types of businesses supported: Fine dining, casual dining, fast-casual, bar and nightclub, cafe and bakery, and custom-built options.
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $0 for Starter Kit plan.
  • $69 for Point of Sale plan.
  • $140 + $4 per employee for Restaurant Basics plan.
  • $165 for Essentials plan.
  • Custom plans available.
Hardware: Full restaurant setups begin at $799 in the Starter plan.
  • $799 for Countertop Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $609 for Handheld Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $999 for Guest Self-Service Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
Payment processing:
  • 2.99% plus 15 cents per transaction, if you choose pay-as-you-go option on hardware.
  • 2.49% plus 15 cents for card-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • 3.50% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.

Lightspeed: Best POS for inventory management

Types of businesses supported: Retail (apparel, bike, CBD, electronics, gift store, health, home decor, jewelry, liquor, pet, sporting goods, toy, vape, other); restaurant (bar, cafe, full-service, hotel, quick-service, other); golf (multicourse, municipal, private, public, resorts, semiprivate, other).
Monthly POS software fee (retail):
  • $89 for Lean plan ($69 if billed annually).
  • $149 for Standard plan ($119 if billed annually).
  • $269 for Advanced plan ($199 if billed annually).
Prices are higher if you don’t use Lightspeed as your payments processor:
  • $119 for Lean plan ($99 if billed annually).
  • $179 for Standard plan ($149 if billed annually).
  • $299 for Advanced plan ($229 if billed annually).
Hardware: Undisclosed/quote only.
Payment processing:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.
  • 2.6% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.

Shopify: Best POS for e-commerce

Types of businesses supported: E-commerce and in-store retail.
Monthly POS software fee:
To use Shopify POS, you also have to have a Shopify plan for e-commerce.
  • $29 for Shopify Basic.
  • $79 for regular Shopify.
  • $299 for Shopify Advanced.
  • $2,000 for Shopify Plus.
Once you have a Shopify plan for e-commerce, add either:
  • $0 for Shopify POS Lite (free with all Shopify plans).
  • $89 per location for Shopify POS Pro (free with Shopify Plus).
Hardware:
  • $49 for Chipper 2X BT card reader or Tap & Chip card reader.
  • $219 for Retail Kit.
  • $399 for Shopify POS Go mobile device ($429 with case).
Payment processing:
  • 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.

Clover: Best hardware

Types of businesses supported: Table service restaurants and cafes; counter service restaurants, cafes, diners and food trucks; and retail, service and e-commerce businesses.
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $14.95 for Starter Retail, Starter and Standard Professional Services, and Home & Field Services plans.
  • $44.95 for Standard Retail, Starter and Standard QSR, and Advanced Professional Services plans.
  • $54.90 for Advanced Retail and Advanced QSR plans.
  • $74.95 for Starter Full-Service Dining plan.
  • $84.90 for Standard Full-Service Dining plan.
  • $94.85 for Advanced Full-Service Dining plan.
Payment processing:
  • 2.3% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions for most plans.
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions on Retail Starter, Personal Services Starter and Professional Services Standard plans, as well as Home & Field Services Standard and Advanced plans.
  • 3.5% plus 10 cents for online or keyed-in transactions.

PayPal Zettle: Best POS software

Types of businesses supported: Retail, service and e-commerce businesses.
Monthly POS software fee: Free.
Hardware:
  • $29 for first card reader; additional readers cost $79. Price includes USB cable.
  • $249 for Store Kit Mini (screen terminal with card reader).
  • $339 for Store Kit Portable kit with mobile card reader and printer.
  • $499 for Store Kit Standard (adds printer).
  • $699 for Store Kit Plus (adds barcode scanner).
Payment processing:
  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person and QR code transactions.
  • 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual entry card transactions.
  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing transactions.

QuickBooks Desktop: Best POS for QuickBooks Desktop integration

Types of businesses supported: Online and in-store retail businesses selling jewelry, clothing, shoes, accessories, sporting goods, bicycles, furniture, hardware and other home improvement items.
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $1,200 one-time fee for POS Basic.
  • $1,700 one-time for POS Pro.
  • $1,900 one-tine for POS Multi-Store.
Hardware:
  • Pay as you go: 2.7% for in-person transactions; 3.5% per keyed transaction.
  • Pay monthly: $20 per month; 2.3% plus 25 cents for in-person transaction; 3.2% plus 25 cents per keyed transaction.
  • 1% for ACH transactions.
Payment processing:
  • Pay as you go: 2.7% for in-person transactions; 3.5% per keyed transaction.
  • Pay monthly: $20 per month; 2.3% plus 25 cents for in-person transaction; 3.2% plus 25 cents per keyed transaction.
  • 1% for ACH transactions.

Stripe Terminal: Best POS for International Businesses

Types of businesses supported: Open application programming interface and ability to accept more than 135 currencies are primarily relevant to online sales.
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $0 for standard Stripe Connect.
  • $2 per account for Stripe Express (for marketplaces) or Stripe Custom (the white-label option).
Hardware:
  • $59 for Stripe Reader M2.
  • $249 for BBPOS WidePOS E card reader.
Payment processing:
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 3.4% plus 30 cents for manually keyed transactions.
  • 3.9% plus 30 cents for international cards or currency conversion.
Last updated on January 3, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s point-of-sale systems provider ratings reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale (POS) systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions