Ratings Methodology for Point-of-Sale Systems Providers

NerdWallet's ratings for point-of-sale systems providers consider the following factors:
  • System capabilities.
  • Cost.
  • Pricing transparency.
  • Customer service.
  • Integrations and add-on features.
  • Contract requirement and free trial period.
The best point-of-sale systems providers are priced competitively, and they make it easy for small-business owners to know how much they’ll pay for software and hardware. The products and services from these providers work in a variety of payment scenarios, integrate with popular accounting and sales tax platforms and have add-ons that allow for business growth or customization. The best point-of-sale systems providers also provide multiple customer service channels and make an effort to help business owners analyze and understand how their businesses are doing.

Data collection and review process

We collect data points for each provider from its public-facing website and from company representatives. These data points are then compared against one another and against NerdWallet's standards for good point-of-sale systems providers to determine a star rating.

Information is gathered on a regular basis and reviewed by our editorial team for consistency and accuracy. Final star ratings are presented on a scale of one to five stars, where a one-star score represents "poor" and a five-star score represents "excellent."

The reviews team

The writers and editors behind our point-of-sale reviews are small-business specialists who have had their work featured by The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, MarketWatch and many other publications. Each writer and editor follows NerdWallet’s strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Our small-business editorial team also covers business loans, business credit cards, business bank accounts and business insurance.

Rating specifics

Our star ratings are weighted based on our editorial and professional opinions. We use the following weightings when rating point-of-sale systems providers:
  • System capabilities (38.5%).
  • Cost (29.5%).
  • Pricing transparency (11.5%).
  • Integrations and add-on features (9.0%).
  • Customer service (7.0%).
  • Contract requirement and free trial period (4.5%).

System capabilities: These ratings are based on the types of payments the provider’s systems can process; whether and to what degree those systems work in an online, mobile or virtual setting; and whether the system can create invoices and recurring payments easily and inexpensively. The ratings also consider the types of features and capabilities built into the software and the availability of useful add-ons such as customer loyalty, email marketing or employee management. Additionally, the ratings take into account the hardware products available to customers and the payment plans available for them.

Cost: These ratings consider a provider’s costs in a variety of areas and assess how the provider measures up competitively.

Pricing transparency: This takes into account not only published prices and fee schedules but also the degree to which the provider makes the pricing obvious and available to consumers on its website.

Integrations and add-on features: We rate point-of-sale systems providers on whether their systems integrate directly with popular accounting and sales tax software and the kinds of additional software integrations they offer, such as with popular e-commerce and food delivery apps.

Customer service: We rate POS systems according to their customer service availability. Our methodology awards higher scores to providers who offer consumer-friendly features, such as phone, email and chat support; free setup help from a human; and help libraries or knowledge bases.

Contract requirement and free trial period: Ideally, small-business owners should be able to get out of their POS contract and move to another provider easily, as well as try things for free or with minimal investment. These ratings measure the availability of those options.