The 5 Best POS Systems in Australia 2023

Retail POS system
Zara Chechi

We compared 12 POS systems against each other to find the best in the market. Square takes the number one spot, with Vend coming in at number two.

Our research team focused on a range of features including: business management, usability, price, and help and support.

No matter what industry you're in, some of the most important factors to consider when looking for a POS system is price, how easy it is to use, and the features it offers to manage your business efficiently. That's why we used these factors to determine the best POS systems.

If you want to kick-start your POS search, you can use our free comparison tool to get quotes from trusted POS suppliers. With a few details about your business, we'll match you up with POS providers, who'll contact you with no-obligation quotes.

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Square

Vend

Lightspeed

Shopify POS

TouchBistro

4.8
4.4
4.3
4.1
4.0
Price

From $0/month

Price

From $79/month

Price

From $0/month (Hospitality)

From $79/month (Retail)

Price

From $0/month

Price

From $107/month

Best For

Overall

Best For

Scalability

Best For

Larger or scaling businesses

Best For

Retailers with an online store

Best For

Restaurants

Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Suited to small businesses
Pros
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Affordable
Pros
Pros
  • Integrates with Shopify ecommerce platform
  • No contract
  • 24/7 customer support
Pros
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems
Cons
  • Shopify integration does not always work well
Cons
  • Costly
Cons
  • Heavy focus on ecommerce
Cons
  • Difficult to get out of contract
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1. Square: Best overall

Pricing

  • Free: 0$/month
  • Plus: $109/month (Retail) or £129/month (Restaurants)
  • Premium: Custom
Square
4.8
Quick overview

Square scored a 4.8/5 in our research - largely aided by perfect results in all but two of the seven areas we looked into - and that makes it our champion overall. Square offers a free POS system and includes features such as a website builder, checkout tools, and sales reports.

Its Square for Retail variation, like the name implies, is suited to businesses who want more advanced retail features. This service offers vendor sales reports, an inventory counting tool, and smart stock forecasts - and is best if you're a retail business that is scaling or looking to scale. If you're not looking to pay a monthly fee for a POS system, you can start out with the free POS app, and then as your business needs change, you can switch to the Plus version.

Like Lightspeed, it has a version specifically tailored to the hospitality industry (Square for Restaurants), which does have relevant features for this field, such as timecard reports, integrated payments, and eGift Cards.

The transaction fees at 1.9% for in-person transactions and 2.2% for online/manual transactions - and therefore cheaper than retail-focused competitors like Shopify POS (which has transaction fees starting at 2.4%)

Square scored a 5/5 in all areas of research except in business development and till, where it scored a 4/5. Square does not come with traditional POS hardware and is run on a tablet device. That said, this is not necessarily a drawback, as you can choose to run the app on a tablet you already own and purchase necessary hardware such as the Square card reader ($59) or the Square terminal, which prints receipts ($329). 

You can also opt for the Square register, which offers one screen for you and one for your customers. Whilst this is a little pricey ($1,099 or $92/month for 12 months), this is a one-off fee and once you have the hardware, your software will be free unless you choose the Plus version. The monthly payment plan means you don't need to make a huge monetary investment if you want to purchase the register.

The software works very well and processes payments quickly, offering various ways to take payments. This gives both your staff and customers an easy experience and according to users, the interface is easy to use and adapt to.

Pros

  • Free POS app
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for small businesses

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems

2. Vend: Best for scalability

Pricing

  • Lean: $79/month
  • Standard: $129/month
  • Advanced: $199/month
  • Enterprise: Custom
vend logo
Vend
4.4
Quick overview

Vend scored a 4.4 in our research, scoring highly in the usability and help and support departments. The software is easy to use as is the setting up process. Vend works on iPads, Macs, and PCs, so even if you're already using a POS system but want to switch to Vend, the software will most likely be compatible.

Vend is cloud-based so you can access reports, inventory and other features from your phone, tablet or laptop even if you aren't physically present. If you travel often or want the security that you can keep an eye on your business even whilst you're away, cloud-based POS systems such as Vend are a good option. 

It comes in three set-priced tiers - Lean, Standard and Advanced, which cost $79, $129 and $199 per month on an annual plan, respectively. All of them include one register, with each additional one costing an extra $39 per month. It also has a tier designed for high-volume businesses, named Enterprise, which has bespoke pricing.

Vend integrates with various third-party apps such as Xero, Mailchimp, and Shopify. Although some users have found that the Shopify integration is often broken and does not work as seamlessly as it should. On the other hand, its 24/7 global support was highly praised by the platform’s clientele.

Its inventory solutions are vast: you can automate orders, monitor what is and isn't selling and manage stock across multiple locations. These extensive inventory tools make Vend a good option for retailers or restaurants that have more than one location.

We recommend Vend for businesses that are looking to scale as Vend offers add-on features such as advanced reporting and ecommerce, more suited to larger businesses. A scalable POS system helps to prevent overspending as you can opt for the more expensive tiers once your business has grown.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Shopify integration doesn't always work well

3. Lightspeed: Best for bars

Pricing:

Lightspeed Retail:

  • Lean: $79/month
  • Standard: $129/month
  • Advanced: $199/month
  • Enterprise: Custom

Lightspeed Hospitality:

  • Essentials: $0/month
  • Plus: $80/month
  • Growth: $160/month
  • Pro: $300/month
lightspeed logo
Lightspeed
4.3
Quick overview

Lightspeed offers solutions for retail and hospitality businesses, with specific features for each, and it scored 4.3/5 in our research. Lightspeed Retail has in-depth inventory management tools, such as being able to track items across multiple locations and setting up notifications to re-order an item when it's low in stock. These advanced tools make it suitable for larger businesses or those with multiple locations. 

It also has an integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system so you can foster better relationships with your customers. You can store customer details, and build their profiles for tailored marketing and loyalty programs. However, Vend’s CRM system is more organised and streamlined and puts it ahead of Lightspeed. Furthermore, Vend’s pricing structure is identical to Lightspeed Retail’s, so you're likely to be better served by the former if you’re a retailer.

Lightspeed really shines in its Hospitality incarnation. It allows for guest and table management, edits on product availability, which enhance customer experience, and integration with popular delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Handily, its offline mode keeps the show running even if during internet hiccups - a trait it shares with hospitality-focused service, TouchBistro.

Multi-location reports can also be run so you can easily keep an eye on all your locations. Like Square, Lightspeed Hospitality offers a free tier, called Essentials. It also comes in three paid tiers - Plus, Growth and Pro, which cost $80, $160 and $300 per month, respectively

Neither version of Lightspeed come with hardware on its own, but you can run it on your iOS, Android, Windows or mixed setup, which puts it in an advantage against Shopify POS, which requires you to buy their hardware.

It allows for Ethernet and Bluetooth printing options, works with standard cash drawers and integrates with accounting platforms Myob, Quickbooks and Xero. Also, because it's so comprehensive, we recommend it for businesses that have multiple locations, so you can easily manage all your locations from one system.

Pros

  • Software is free to install
  • Very easy to setup and use
  • Provides detailed analytics reports

Cons

  • 2.75% charge for non-card transactions
  • No live chat support
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4. Shopify POS: Best for retail

Pricing:

  • Starter: $8/month
  • Basic: $45/month
  • Shopify: $123/month
  • Advanced: $464/month

Shopify POS subscription:

  • POS Lite: $0/month
  • POS Pro: $138/month, per location
Shopify logo
Shopify
4.1
Quick overview

Shopify is best known for its ecommerce platform designed to run online shops but it also offers a POS system so you can easily integrate the two to create a seamless way to track and manage your inventory and orders. Overall it scored a 4.1/5 in our research, with stock management and usability scoring a 5/5.

Even if you're a pop-up store, you can still benefit from using a POS system to organise and manage all the moving parts of a retail business. Your mobile device can be turned into a POS system at your fingertips by downloading the Shopify POS app onto an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. The system is customisable so you can personalise it to suit the way you want to use it for your business. For example, you can keep your most popular discounts or products on the front page to make it easier to access.

Shopify POS is best suited to those who want to take their business online or who already have an online store with Shopify, especially because its Lite plan already comes with three of four Shopify's paid plans - namely Basic ($45/month), Shopify ($123/month) and Advanced ($464/month). Shopify POS' top tier, named Pro, costs $138/month per location on top of your chosen Shopify plan.

With that in mind, if you're just interested in the POS system, this system is not worth it as there are much better and more affordable systems such as Square or Vend.

Pros

  • Powerful platform ideal for any-sized retail store
  • Affordable hardware options

Cons

  • Works best when selling through your own Shopify store, not other ecommerce platforms

5. TouchBistro: Best for restaurants

Pricing:

Software starts at $107/month

TouchBistro logo
TouchBistro
4.0
Quick overview

Designed with the hospitality industry in mind, TouchBistro has relevant features to suit this industry and is one of the best equipped to serve it in Australia. This POS system - which scored 4/5 in our research - comes with a CRM (customer relationship management) system so you can store customer data accurately. A CRM system means you can connect to your customers better through targeted marketing and tailored loyalty programs.

Like Lightspeed Hospitality, TouchBistro has an offline mode, and provides you with the ability to offer mobile and pay-at-table solutions, so customers can have a more convenient, and efficient way to pay.

TouchBistro doesn’t offer a free trial, making it more difficult to make an informed decision. Once you've signed up, it can be difficult to get out of the contract as you'll need to send TouchBistro 30 day's written notice before the end of your contract. Failure to do this means your contract is automatically renewed. Other providers such as Square don't require you to sign a long-term contract, so you have more flexibility.

The system starts at $107/month and is customisable through add-on features, so you can build a complete restaurant management system which tackles your needs. For example, you can add online ordering from $77/month, and marketing tools from $154/month. Whilst this means you don't need to pay for features you don't need or want, it does mean that all these add-ons that you do need can make your monthly fee very costly.

Considering this, Lightspeed Hospitality might be a better alternative as it offers similar hospitality-focused features without the add-on fees. That said, TouchBistro does offers a wide variety of online tools to troubleshoot any issues, plus 24/7 phone support, which is a considerable plus.

Pros

  • Designed for hospitality
  • Add-on features such as marketing
  • Integrated CRM system

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get out of contract
  • Pricey
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Our methodology

Square tops the list out of providers for the best POS system, scoring a 4.8/5. Its affordability, ease of use, and range of features secures its number one spot. Our research team researched several areas including, till, business management, stock management, usability, and price.

We recommend Square for small businesses or start-ups, as it is affordable but has all the core features to manage a business. Vend takes our second spot and scores 4.4/5. We recommend Vend for businesses who are looking to scale, as it offers add-on features so you can comfortably expand your business.


Next steps

We’ve shown you the best POS systems in Australia, and you'll now have a better idea of which one is right for your business. To recap, according to our research, Square is the best POS system overall among the ones we surveyed, with Shopify POS and TouchBistro presenting themselves as being very good options for retailers and restauranteurs, respectively.

That said, we know it can be tricky to choose. The easiest way to find the perfect option for your business, and get an accurate price for your POS system, is by comparing quotes from trusted suppliers.

To that end, use our free comparison tool and we’ll match you up with the POS suppliers that best suit your business. They’ll then be in touch with free, no-obligation quotes for you to compare. This also gives you the opportunity to speak with suppliers yourself, and ask the questions most important to you before you spend a single dollar.

Best POS Systems Australia FAQ

What's a POS System?
A point of sale (POS) system combines software and hardware designed to help you complete card and cash transactions. These solutions store your sales data in one singular platform, and should help to boost staff efficiency – and, subsequently, your sales figures.
What should a good POS System do?
The best systems can do more than just help you take payments. They come with extra features that help you run your business more efficiently, such as sales performance reporting, tableside ordering, stock level alerts, and customer relationship management (CRM) email builders.
How do I choose a POS System?
Firstly, you need to find a POS system that suits your budget, and that comes with strong customer support to keep your business ticking along. You should also look for industry-specific features that would benefit your business. For example, small retailers might want customer email marketing tools to help encourage repeat purchases, while restaurateurs might want to use an iPad POS system to help with tableside ordering.
Which is the cheapest POS System?
Square is the cheapest POS system, offering free software and charging 1.9% transaction fees. You’ll need to pay $59 for a card reader, and $329 for a card terminal, but Square still represents great value for money.
Written by:
Zara Chechi
Zara Chechi Business Services Expert

Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts.