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14 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses of March 2024

Factor in hardware portability, software integrations and your business’s specific industry needs to determine the best POS system.
By Lisa A. Anthony, Karrin Sehmbi, Hillary Crawford
Last updated on February 26, 2024
Edited byChristine Aebischer
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 26 minutes

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 (POS) systems do more than allow your business to accept payments from customers. These systems also 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.
Here are our picks for the best POS systems.

Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

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Estimates assume an average interchange fee of 1.81% + $0.10, based on our latest available data. Estimates provided reflect online and in-person transactions, but exclude any keyed transactions. Estimates are based on the lowest monthly plan and processing fees for each provider.

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Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
5.0/5

Best for Free version

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

and up.

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Shopify Retail POS

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for E-commerce platform integration

In-person: 2.7% + $0.00

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$29.00

and up for e-commerce plans with POS Lite; Can upgrade to POS Pro for an extra $89.

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

Stripe Terminal

Learn more

on Stripe Terminal's secure website

5.0/5

Best for International businesses

In-person: 2.7% + $0.05

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

Learn more

on Stripe Terminal's secure website

Helcim POS

Learn more

on Helcim POS's secure website

4.5/5

Best for High sales volumes

In-person: 0.4% + $0.08

Online: 0.5% + $0.25

Plus interchange

$0.00

Learn more

on Helcim POS's secure website

Clover POS

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for POS hardware

In-person: 2.3% + $0.10

Online: 3.5% + $0.10

$14.95

and up.

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

Toast POS

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

4.5/5

Best for Restaurants doing dine-in and online business

2.49% + $0.15

if you buy hardware upfront; 3.09% + $0.15 for pay-as-you-go option.

$0.00

Quick Start Bundle; $69 Core plan; $165 Growth plan. Custom plan also available.

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

U.S. Bank Merchant Services POS

Learn more

on U.S. Bank Merchant Services POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Bank POS provider

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

and up.

Learn more

on U.S. Bank Merchant Services POS's secure website

Lightspeed Retail POS

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Inventory management

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$89.00

for Lean plan, $149 for Standard plan, $269 for Advanced plan.

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

SpotOn Restaurant

Learn more

on SpotOn Restaurant's secure website

4.5/5

Best for Restaurant-specific add-on features

1.99% + $0.25

For most cards in paid plans.

$0.00

and up.

Learn more

on SpotOn Restaurant's secure website

TouchBistro

Learn more

on TouchBistro's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Food trucks

N/A

Quote-based.

$69.00

and up.

Learn more

on TouchBistro's secure website

Lavu

Learn more

on Lavu's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Cash discount program

N/A

Quote-based.

$99.00

and up.

Learn more

on Lavu's secure website

PayPal Zettle

4.0/5

Best for Mobile POS software

In-person: 2.29% + $0.09

Online: 2.89% + $0.49

$0.00

Loyverse

4.0/5

Best for Customer loyalty

N/A

Varies by processor.

$0.00

IT Retail

3.5/5

Best for Grocery stores

N/A

Quote-based.

$199.00

and up.

Our pick for

Free version

Square rises above competitors with a free version of its POS system that bakes in a great deal of functionality and for its transparent pricing, lack of a contract and hidden fees, and strong integrations with other hardware and software.

Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

Our pick for

E-commerce platform integration

Shopify seamlessly unites online and in-store sales with its integrated POS and e-commerce plans. And its in-house payment processing solution makes it a one-stop-shop for businesses.

Shopify Retail POS

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$29.00

and up for e-commerce plans with POS Lite; Can upgrade to POS Pro for an extra $89.

Our pick for

International businesses

Stripe accepts payments in more than 135 currencies, making it a strong fit for businesses with global reach. Stripe Terminal is not a POS system but an integration that allows you to extend your online business to in-person sales. With some coding, it can be connected to your POS app.

Stripe Terminal

Learn more

on Stripe Terminal's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

High sales volumes

As a full-service merchant services provider, Helcim can essentially do it all for a business: payment processing, point of sale, invoicing and business management. Because it offers volume discounts, Helcim is especially cost-effective for businesses with high sales volumes.

Helcim POS

Learn more

on Helcim POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

POS hardware

Clover’s POS hardware may be priced higher than many of its competitors, but not without reason. The recognizable branded hardware is built to last and rests on a strong reputation of dependability.

Clover POS

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$14.95

and up.

Our pick for

Restaurants doing dine-in and online business

Toast lets customers integrate online ordering options with their existing Toast POS system. If your restaurant has multiple locations, customers can choose where they’d like to pick up their order.

Toast POS

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.49% + $0.15

if you buy hardware upfront; 3.09% + $0.15 for pay-as-you-go option.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Quick Start Bundle; $69 Core plan; $165 Growth plan. Custom plan also available.

Our pick for

Bank POS provider

U.S. Bank Merchant Services offers payment processing and business bank accounts in addition to POS solutions, making it a one-stop shop for small businesses.

U.S. Bank Merchant Services POS

Learn more

on U.S. Bank Merchant Services POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

Our pick for

Inventory management

Lightspeed’s POS designed specifically for retailers offers several strong features, but it stands out particularly for its inventory management capabilities. The system is especially well suited for businesses with more than one location.

Lightspeed Retail POS

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$89.00

for Lean plan, $149 for Standard plan, $269 for Advanced plan.

Our pick for

Restaurant-specific add-on features

SpotOn Restaurant solutions are custom fit for your specific restaurant needs and numerous software integrations can round out your system. The company’s Restaurant Advisory Council provides regular feedback for continual improvement.

SpotOn Restaurant

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Learn more

on SpotOn Restaurant's secure website

Payment processing fees
1.99% + $0.25

For most cards in paid plans.

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

Our pick for

Food trucks

TouchBistro is a POS system designed specifically for food-industry businesses. With a wealth of restaurant-related features and the ability to easily take payments on the go — with or without an internet connection — it’s a particularly good choice for food trucks.

TouchBistro

Learn more

on TouchBistro's secure website

Payment processing fees
N/A

Quote-based.

Monthly fee
$69.00

and up.

Our pick for

Cash discount program

Lavu makes iPad-based POS systems for different types of restaurants, from delis and coffee shops to full-service dining establishments. The company’s cash discount program helps business owners save on processing fees by passing some of the costs onto customers who choose to pay with cards instead of cash. Those who pay cash can skip the fees, so be sure your business is equipped to handle cash transactions.

Learn more

on Lavu's secure website

Payment processing fees
N/A

Quote-based.

Monthly fee
$99.00

and up.

Our pick for

Mobile POS software

This all-in-one mobile POS and payment processing system is built for quick and easy setup and integrates seamlessly with many big names in business-related software. PayPal Zettle’s POS software is free, so business owners pay only for hardware and payment processing.

PayPal Zettle

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

Customer loyalty

Whereas some competitors only offer loyalty programs as an add-on, Loyverse includes one for free. You can use it to distribute scannable loyalty cards to customers, create point-based reward systems and offer discounts.

Loyverse

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Payment processing fees
N/A

Varies by processor.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our pick for

Grocery stores

As a grocery store POS system designed by grocers, IT Retail stands out with an expansive list of industry-specific features to cover a wide range of food retail businesses. While the system’s features and capabilities receive standout marks, NerdWallet gives it only 3.5 out of 5 stars due primarily to a lack of transparency around pricing and fees.

IT Retail

3.5
NerdWallet rating 
Payment processing fees
N/A

Quote-based.

Monthly fee
$199.00

and up.

Our picks for best POS systems

Square: Best overall POS system

NerdWallet rating: 5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Retail, food and beverage, professional services (beauty, health, repair, etc.) and custom-built options.
Why we like it: The Square POS system is an excellent option for small businesses that are looking for an easy-to-run, cost-effective POS. Square stands out among its competitors by offering a free version of its POS that contains a great deal of functionality, including sales tracking, inventory management and an offline mode to accept transactions without a Wi-Fi connection. Square also is transparent with pricing, doesn’t require contracts or charge hidden fees, and integrates with third-party hardware and software. Additionally, Square offers a free 30-day trial of its paid plan for both its retail and restaurant solutions; businesses owners can easily downgrade to the free software plan at the end of the trial with no additional fee or penalty. This is one of the most generous free trials offered by a POS provider, especially in the restaurant space, where it’s rare to find a free trial offer. Read our full Square POS review.

Stripe Terminal: Best for international businesses

NerdWallet rating: 5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Open application programming interface and ability to accept more than 135 currencies are primarily relevant to online sales.
Why we like it: Stripe Terminal extends Stripe Payments functionality for online businesses looking to add in-person payment capability. Because Stripe accepts all forms of payment — credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH transfers and even buy now, pay later options — in more than 135 currencies, it’s a solid option for online businesses that sell internationally. Stripe has a lot of customization options and some neat features that more tech-savvy business owners, or those with access to developers, may want to take advantage of. Read our full Stripe Terminal review.

Helcim: Best for high sales volumes

NerdWallet rating: 4.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Retail, service and e-commerce businesses.
Why we like it: Helcim is best known for payment processing, but its POS software isn’t something to gloss over — especially as it’s one of a few among the competition that works across both desktop and mobile, as well as Mac and Windows devices. Similar to Square, Helcim boasts no monthly or hidden fees and no contract, but it follows the interchange-plus pricing model for payment processing. Helcim offers competitive processing rates and offers discounted rates for businesses with $50,000 or more per month in card transactions, meaning it’s a particularly strong contender for businesses with higher sales volumes. Read our full Helcim review.

Toast POS: Best for restaurants doing dine-in and online business

NerdWallet rating: 4.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Restaurants (quick service, fine dining and full service), bars, cafes, and food trucks.
Why we like it: Toast’s POS systems can accommodate small restaurants and growing ones — especially those that want to build their online presence. Its online ordering add-on is customizable, meaning you can upload photos and change the color schemes and fonts. You can add your business to the Toast Takeout app to gain customers and use Toast Delivery Services to deliver orders. Built specifically for restaurants, Toast also offers spill-proof hardware that’s made to function among high heat and dust. Read our full Toast POS review.

SpotOn Restaurant: Best for restaurant-specific add-on features

NerdWallet rating: 4.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Fine dining, casual dining, quick service, bar and nightclub, food trucks and custom-built options.
Why we like it: SpotOn’s monthly software fee and payment processing fees along with its ability to integrate with third-party hardware make this system an affordable and appealing option. SpotOn offers customizable add-on features such as a loyalty program and team management software. The company also has a strong reputation for its hands-on approach to customer support, from installation and training to 24/7 availability for assistance.

Shopify: Best e-commerce platform integration

NerdWallet rating: 4 stars.
Types of businesses supported: E-commerce and in-store retail.
Why we like it:  Shopify POS is an ideal system for retailers and e-commerce businesses. The POS options available with Shopify’s e-commerce plans offer a number of valuable features, including customer profiles and history, inventory tracking, automatic sales tax calculations, basic reporting functions and more. Business owners looking for additional functionality can purchase the POS Pro plan, which offers inventory forecasting, alerts when stock is running low and a suite of useful staff-related features, among other capabilities. And with Shopify Payments, which charges flat-rate processing fees, business owners can run their store and accept payments in one unified solution. Retailers will also appreciate Shopify’s transparent pricing as well as its customer support resources. Read our full Shopify POS review.

Clover: Best for POS hardware

NerdWallet rating: 4 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Table service restaurants and cafes; counter service restaurants, cafes, diners and food trucks; and retail, service and e-commerce businesses.
Why we like it: Clover offers a lot of flexibility with its merchant processing. Its POS hardware does ring up at a higher price point, but it holds a strong reputation for quality design and dependable function. Add to that competitive flat-rate processing fees for in-person transactions and a range of monthly software plans, and Clover makes for a solid choice for small-business owners across different industries. Read our full Clover POS review.

U.S. Bank Merchant Services: Best bank POS provider

NerdWallet rating: 4 stars.
Types of businesses supported: In-person and online retail, bars, restaurants and personal, and professional services.
Why we like it: U.S. Bank is a merchant services provider that offers business banking, payment processing and POS solutions. In that way, it can serve as a solid option for a business that’s looking to consolidate all services under a single provider. It uses Talech and Elavon POS systems and accepts all major cards and contactless payment options. U.S. Bank’s processing rates are competitive and it offers a variety of software plans, all priced under $100 per month. With no long-term contracts, termination fees or PCI compliance fees, it stands apart from some on this list. U.S. Bank business account holders enjoy free same-day funding and a general funding schedule that allows for receipt of funds on any day of the week, weekends included.
Merchants opening a new Payment Solutions account are eligible to earn back 2.5% on transaction fees each month through 2025. Terms and conditions apply.

PayPal Zettle: Best for mobile POS software

NerdWallet rating: 4 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Retail, service and e-commerce businesses.
Why we like it: PayPal Zettle’s POS software can be downloaded for free to your mobile device. With a card reader and the creation of a PayPal Business account, you can quickly have a basic POS up and running for your business. Zettle POS includes a payment processing system that accepts all transaction types — cards, digital wallets, QR codes and keyed — along with standard POS functions such as sales tracking and reporting and inventory management. Another plus is the system’s easy integration with popular accounting and e-commerce software including QuickBooks and BigCommerce. Read our full PayPal Zettle review.

Loyverse: Best for customer loyalty

NerdWallet rating: 4 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Grocery stores, convenience stores, cafes, restaurants, retail shops and bars.
Why we like it: One of Loyverse’s most notable pros is its loyalty program, but that’s not the only feature that comes with its free base plan. Other free capabilities include basic inventory tracking, multi-location management, sales reports and barcode scanning. As for POS hardware, you can choose from a variety of third-party options from providers like Epson, Star and Citizen. Having multiple choices — as opposed to being limited to expensive proprietary hardware — can make it easier to stay within your budget.

TouchBistro: Best for food trucks

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Restaurants (full service, fine dining, quick service and fast casual), food trucks, breweries and wineries, bars and clubs, cafes and coffee shops, and bakeries.
Why we like it: TouchBistro is a worthy contender in the restaurant POS space. Hardware that enables mobile and offline payments and software features such as menu scheduling, upselling reminders and low inventory alerts make TouchBistro an especially strong choice for a food truck business. The POS software comes with dozens of detailed reports to give you important business insights on everything from sales to customer behavior to staff performance. TouchBistro offers relevant add-ons such as gift cards and a loyalty program for an additional monthly cost. The company is not as transparent as some competitors with its pricing, and you will be bound to a long-term contract that’s not easy to terminate, but the 24/7 customer support it offers by phone, email and chat sets it apart from some other POS providers. Read our full TouchBistro review.

Lightspeed Retail: Best for inventory management

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Retail (apparel, bike, CBD, electronics, gift store, health, home decor, jewelry, pet, sporting goods, toy, vape, other).
Why we like it: Lightspeed Retail POS stands out for its top-notch inventory management features, which include cataloging and tracking functions that are especially useful for businesses with large inventories and multiple locations. Additional features include customer relationship management and loyalty programs, employee sales and performance tracking, and data analysis and reporting. And if your business requires more, Lightspeed offers an entire marketplace of app integrations. Read our full Lightspeed Retail POS review.

IT Retail: Best for grocery stores

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: General, corner, dollar and natural food stores; butcher shops, fish markets and co-ops.
Why we like it: IT Retail is built specifically for grocery and related store needs, and excels in its POS software design. The list of software features it offers is extensive and includes a function for wholesale sales, a customer loyalty program as well as capabilities to accept EBT transactions and support sales of highly regulated items such as tobacco and liquor. Like many of the more industry-specific POS systems, IT Retail’s pricing is primarily quote-based, which is a large contributing factor to the company’s lower overall star rating. Were IT Retail to more readily share pricing information around payment processing fees, monthly software pricing and hardware costs as well as any additional fees that may apply, this strong POS system would likely receive a significantly higher score.

Lavu: Best cash discount program

NerdWallet rating: 3.5 stars.
Types of businesses supported: Restaurants, coffee shops and food trucks.
Why we like it: With so many restaurant POS systems on the market, Lavu stands out for its cash discount program. Customers who pay with cash save, while those who pay with card cover up to 99% of the resulting processing fees themselves. Its POS hardware selection is straightforward and iPad-based — you can add on cash drawers, kitchen display systems, iPad enclosures, card readers and printers to fit your restaurant setup.

What is a POS system?

A POS system makes it possible for your business to accept payments from customers during the checkout process. It can take the form of a countertop register with a cash drawer or a handheld device with a credit card reader, depending on whether you need to complete sales on the go. The system includes the POS hardware itself and the software you use to enter item prices and collect data on your sales, inventory, returns, etc. Strictly online businesses usually do not need hardware.
Providers may offer their own hardware options, like POS terminals with customer displays, receipt printers and cash drawers. Or, in some cases, you can simply download POS software to an iPad or tablet for a simpler, more portable solution. Similar to POS hardware, POS software varies in complexity and may include features specific to your industry.

Learn more about what a POS system does

Dig into how a POS system works, how much it costs and what it should accomplish for your business.

How much does a POS system cost?

A POS system is made up of multiple components that vary in price. Often, you can get the entire system from a single POS system provider. You can expect to pay a monthly fee, along with payment processing fees and hardware fees. Ideally, companies should be transparent about each of these costs. Generally, you want to avoid early termination fees or long contracts that are hard to cancel without penalty. If payment processing comes bundled with your POS, make sure you understand the pricing first and can avoid PCI compliance costs and high chargeback fees.
Consider these four main costs to estimate your total POS system expenses.

Software subscriptions

Many POS systems run on cloud-based software that requires you sign up for a monthly subscription. Some basic plans are free or start at $10 per month. Other plans are more expensive and cost upward of $199 per month. You might receive a discount by paying annually instead of monthly. 

Hardware costs

POS system providers might offer a free basic card reader that you can operate using a phone or tablet. In other cases, you might need proprietary hardware or a more robust POS terminal, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Other POS hardware items to consider include receipt printers, cash drawers, customer-facing displays and barcode scanners. 

Payment processing fees

Usually, a payment processor comes included with a POS system. Every time you accept a debit or credit card transaction, you’ll have to pay a transaction fee, usually around 2.5% to 3% of the transaction, plus 10 to 30 cents. Prices vary depending on the type of card and whether it’s being accepted in-person or online. Some processors use flat fees, so you pay the same rate for all in-person transactions, for instance. Others use interchange-plus fees, which means fees can vary depending on factors such as your industry and the type of card your client is using.

Add-ons

If you want multiple registers or locations or exceed a certain amount in revenue each month, a basic plan might not cut it. Certain features, such as inventory management and loyalty programs, might cost extra.

POS system features

Ultimately, the POS features you need depend largely on your industry. Here are several universal software and hardware features to look for in a POS system, as well as some industry-specific capabilities you might consider.

POS software features

  • Online store options: Giving customers the option to make purchases or place orders online can help bring you more business. Make sure your POS system accommodates all of your sales channels, whether they’re in-person, online or both.
  • Reporting: Regardless of your industry, you want a POS system that can generate reports on your sales, so that you can see which items or services are most profitable for your business and popular among your customers. 
  • Robust customer support: While some answers might be easy to find online, it’s nice to be able to talk to someone who can help you troubleshoot when you need it. Look for live chat and/or phone support options and verify that they’ll be available during your business’s normal hours. 
  • Inventory management: Restaurants and retail stores need to keep track of how many items they have on hand and when it’s time to reorder. For a more detailed list of options, see NerdWallet’s picks for the best inventory POS systems
  • Multi-location management: You want to use the same POS system across all of your business’s locations, so that you easily track inventory, menus or service in multiple areas. Multi-location management also lets you set different prices and tax rules for each location, and run reports to see how each location is performing.
  • Table or menu management: If you own a busy restaurant, this one is important. These features let you view the status of tables in your restaurant, see how long it takes to turn tables, update menus and track when you run out of certain items.
  • Loyalty program: Although they typically cost extra, loyalty programs can help re-engage your customers with a point- or discount-earning system that gives them a reason to keep coming back. You can also use them to send custom discounts for birthdays and other special events. 

POS hardware features

  • Mobility: Do you need a full countertop POS terminal, a pocket-sized card reader or something in between? Maybe your business sells items mostly online but occasionally needs to process transactions at a pop-up event. A simple card reader may be sufficient in that situation. However, brick-and-mortar retail stores will probably require a countertop terminal, while restaurants might need a handheld touchscreen device that lets employees take orders and process payments tableside. 
  • Accessories: Common POS accessories include cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners. Some POS system providers offer hardware bundles that include everything you need, while others function in a more a-la-carte manner. 
  • Durability: Depending on your business, you’ll want to see whether the POS hardware you’re considering is spill-proof and/or heat-proof. This is especially advantageous for busy restaurant settings. 

How to choose a POS system

Finding the right POS system for your business comes down to these key considerations.

Decide which POS software features you need

This will depend largely on what type of business you have, since many POS software plans are industry-specific. For example, restaurants may need table management and inventory management, while service-based businesses can benefit from the ability to schedule appointments. Decide which features are nonnegotiable for your business to help narrow your search. .

Choose compatible POS hardware options

Common hardware options include card readers, countertop terminals, handheld terminals, receipt printers and barcode scanners. Service-based businesses, cafes and restaurants that accept tips might also want a customer-facing screen with preset gratuity options. Not all hardware and software products are compatible with each other, so the easiest way to ensure compatibility is to find a POS provider with everything your business needs.

Calculate upfront and ongoing costs

Hardware will likely be your biggest upfront POS cost, and you’ll want to factor in per-transaction payment processing costs, too. Some monthly POS software subscriptions are free, but if you want a more robust feature set, expect to pay a fee. You’ll also want to look out for additional costs, such as setup and PCI compliance fees.

Pay attention to contract periods

Not all POS providers require you to sign a contract, which gives you the flexibility to switch systems at any time. However, some companies require you to commit for at least a year. While that isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, you’ll want to be sure that the product will work for your business in the long term. Read the “terms and conditions” carefully and seek out product demos so you can test functionality before committing.

Confirm it integrates with your accounting software

To ensure a smooth setup process, your POS software should also integrate with your accounting software, so that your books are always up to date. For more options, see NerdWallet’s choices for the best POS systems that integrate with QuickBooks.

Benefits of using a POS system

Compared to traditional cash registers, POS systems typically have greater flexibility and include more business management features. Here are some of the advantages of going with the more modern POS option:
  • Portability: Tablet-based POS systems can sit on the countertop, accommodate mobile businesses that make sales on the go, or let employees ring customers up from anywhere in the store. 
  • Robust feature sets: Many POS systems’ software plans go beyond basic sales tracking. They may include additional features like inventory management, employee time tracking and management, scheduling tools and customer loyalty programs. 
  • Seamless integrations: You can sync POS software to your accounting software to minimize manual data entry.

Types of POS systems

There’s no shortage of options when you’re comparing POS systems, and identifying main differentiating factors can help you quickly narrow down your choices. Here’s a handful of ways to describe different types of POS systems.
  • Free vs. paid POS software: Multiple POS system providers offer free POS software that includes the basics and can help keep costs down. However, you will still need to factor in payment processing fees and hardware costs, if you plan to accept payments in person.
  • Online vs. in-store POS system: Different POS systems accommodate different types of sales channels. Some specialize in e-commerce sales and even double as e-commerce platforms, while others focus more on in-person sales. 
  • Industry-specific vs. universal POS system: Certain POS systems are made for a particular type of industry, usually restaurants or retail, and offer specialized features. Providers’ websites typically let you know which industries they target. 

POS system FAQ

Last updated on February 26, 2024

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.
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