The 5 Best POS Systems in Australia 2022

Retail POS system

If you’re looking for the best POS system in Australia (and considering this article’s title, there's a good chance you are), you’ve come to the right place. Combining our 10-year expertise in the market and solid research into this field, we found Square to come out on top amongst the competition, with Vend as a runner-up.

When you’re starting a business, we understand that you want to hear those cha-chings – and you want to do so quickly – but surveying the market is bound to take time which could be spent elsewhere. With so many POS solutions out there, finding a good fit for your business can be downright tricky.

What You Should Be Looking For

Every POS system enables you to sell your product or service, but the best out there also allow you to capitalise on the customer experience, manage other sides of your business and integrate with other platforms to make your life easier. Stock level alerts, loyalty programs, marketing emails and performance reports are some of the resources top POS solutions can offer – and that you should look for when picking one.

No doom and gloom here, though: we can help with that! Our free comparison tool is not only super quick and easy, but also the best way to get no-obligation quotes from trusted POS system providers which are strictly tailored to your needs. If you provide us with some details on what you’re looking for, we’ll then match with companies that are best-equipped to help your business thrive.

However, if you’d like to know more before getting those quotes sent your way, don’t worry: just stay with us. For those who like cutting to the chase, the table below has the main takeaways of our research. For those who favour in-depth reads, the rest of the article covers the main features of the best POS systems we looked into, along with some of their pros and cons – all of which should give you a welcome insight into your options.

The Best POS Systems in Australia: The Top 5

From our research and industry expertise, we know that the best POS systems in Australia are Square, Vend, Lightspeed, Shopify POS and TouchBistro.

SupplierStarting PriceBest
Square$0/monthOverall
Vend$79/monthFor scalability
Lightspeed$0/monthFor multi-location
Shopify POS$42/monthFor retail
TouchBistro$99/monthFor restaurants

Now, let’s take a closer look at these systems and what we like (or dislike) about them…

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1. Square: Best Overall

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.

Square Plus is $109 per month and 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, 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 ($129). 

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.

Square’s Pricing

PlanCost
Standard$0/month
Plus$109/month (retail) / $129/month (restaurants)
PremiumBespoke

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems

2. Vend: Best for Scalability

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

Vend’s Pricing

PlanCost
Lean$79/month
Standard$129/month
Advanced$199/month
EnterpriseBespoke

3. Lightspeed: Best for Multi-location

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

Lightspeed’s pricing

ServicePlanCost
RetailLean$79/month
Standard$129/month
Advanced$199/month
HospitalityEssentials$0/month
Plus$80/month
Growth$160/month
Pro$300/month
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4. Shopify POS: Best for Retail

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 Shopify's paid plans – namely Basic ($42/month), medium-tier ($114/month) and Advanced ($420/month). Shopify POS' top tier, named Pro, costs $128/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

Shopify POS’ Pricing

PlanCost
POS LiteIncluded with Shopify’s Basic, medium-tier and Advanced plans, which cost $42, $114 and $420/month, respectively
POS ProCosts the price of your chosen Shopify plan + $128/month per location

5. TouchBistro: Best for Restaurants

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 researchcomes 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 costs $100/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 $72/month, and marketing tools from $143/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

TouchBistro’s Pricing

PlanCost
POS System$100/month
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Verdict

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 Is 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.
What 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 $129 for a card terminal, but Square still represents great value for money.

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.