Written by Zara Chechi Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 10 January 2023 On this page Square TouchBistro Lightspeed Epos Now Verdict How We Test POS Systems FAQs Expand Square is our highest scoring iPad POS system with a 4.8/5. Square's free POS software, affordable hardware, and easy to use system places it in the number one spot.Our independent research team has compared 11 different POS systems to find the best on the market.Read on to find out which of these offer the best iPad POS systems.If you’re short on time, don’t forget you can use our free comparison tool to be matched up with the best POS system providers for your business. Square Square 4.3 Quick overview Square is an all-in-one iPad POS system, complete with all the software and hardware necessary to run your business. Square is suitable for various industries, including retail and hospitality. It integrates front and back office, and allows you to take control over all aspects of your business at once.Square is a great option for small businesses as it comes with comprehensive, ready-made software packages. The interface itself is easy to use on an iPad, and best of all, there are no charges for the basic software package. This means you don’t need to commit right away, and instead you and your team can figure out if it's the right fit for your business first.Flexible and convenient, the software itself won’t cost you anything – all you need is an iPad and a card chip reader! Read more + Read less - Strengths Suitable for small businesses No monthly fees Well-priced hardware Weaknesses Not suited to high-risk industries Pricing See more See less POS software Free $0 Plus $60/month/location Shopify Shopify 4.1 Quick overview If you have an online business, Shopify POS is the perfect supplement to help take it off the screen. It also includes a great CRM (customer relationship management) system, so you can develop a relationship with customers and keep them coming back.It integrates well with your online store, so you’ll have an easy overview of all your sales. For anyone without an online store, this POS system is most likely not worth it – so you’re better off opting for a different system.Shopify POS works with a number of hardware, such as cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners. The app can be installed on multiple devices so you can use several cash registers at the same time, all at no extra charge, and run a smooth operation online and offline. Read more + Read less - Strengths Seamlessly integrates with your online store Flat-rate payment processing Easy to use Weaknesses Not worthwhile without an online store Confusing pricing Pricing See more See less Software Hardware Starts from $9/month Starts from $29 for chip and swipe reader TouchBistro Touchbistro 4 Quick overview This Toronto-based software company offers a cloud-based POS system exclusively for iPads. It can be used for restaurants, bars, night clubs, breweries and quick-service establishments. TouchBistro relies on food industry experts to create a system that’s genuinely useful and industry specific.You will need to commit to a minimum of 12 months, which is a drawback if you’re running a startup or small business, or simply don’t want to commit too quickly. The app is fairly easy to use, although it can be unresponsive on occasion.You can also opt for a self-service kiosk and a customer-facing display, both of which are customizable, meaning you can align them to your brand whilst giving your customers great service and more options. Read more + Read less - Strengths Self-service kiosk Easy to use Made for restaurants Weaknesses 12-month minimum commitment Customer service can be slow Pricing See more See less POS system Starts from $89/month Lightspeed Lightspeed 4.3 Quick overview A Canadian born and bred company, Lightspeed offers iPad POS systems for restaurants and retailers. One of its unique features is that you can customize the system to suit your business. If you don’t need this extensive customization, you can opt for a ready-made package instead.Lightspeed offers extensive stock inventory management tools to ensure you stay on top of inventory levels. Users have reported that customer service is great, with quick responses to enquiries.Lightspeed provides insightful analytics, making it easy for you to see employee performance, marketing, sales, inventory levels, and more. Read more + Read less - Strengths Customizable Easy to use Mac-based software Weaknesses Can be buggy Pricing See more See less Package Lean $69 Standard $119 Advanced $199 Epos Now Epos Now 3.8 Quick overview Epos Now is a flexible, customizable, cloud-based POS system. Because it’s cloud based, it can run on any device, including iPads. Epos Now boasts features such as inventory management, a customizable dashboard, automatic purchase orders (so you never run out of stock), and real-time reports.This system allows you to keep an eye on everything happening across your business. You can integrate third-party apps to create a comprehensive, functional system. You can also create profiles for customers and run loyalty programs or special offers to establish a deeper relationship with your customers.Unfortunately, the system cannot use different tax rates in different provinces in Canada, which can be a big drawback if you have multiple locations across provinces. Read more + Read less - Strengths 24/7 support Insightful reporting User-friendly Weaknesses Can be glitchy No integration with third-party apps Pricing See more See less Hardware Software From $1,145 Standard $39/month Premium $54/month Verdict iPad POS systems are affordable, future-focused ways to provide great customer service, organize efficiently and smooth out your operations. Choosing the right system can be a real struggle, so our top pics should help you cement your decision.If you’re still on the hunt, use our free quote tool to receive tailored quotes from suppliers. Give us a few brief details, and we’ll do the hard bit. You’ll then receive no-obligation quotes from POS system providers. How We Test POS Systems for BusinessesWe tested 16 market-leading POS systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, price, features, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to Canadian businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in eight main categories of investigation and 45 subcategories – in fact, we covered 61 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for POS systems are:Till: the core functionality of the POS system, which includes the processing of sales transactions. It involves features such as item scanning, item look-up, and price calculation.Business Management: the features and tools provided by the POS system to support various aspects of running a business, such as employee management, shift scheduling, and customer management.Stock Management: the POS system's capabilities to manage inventory and track stock levels, including inventory tracking, stock alerts and transfers, and purchase order management.Business Development: the features and tools provided by the POS system to help businesses grow and improve their operations, e.g. customer relationship management, marketing integrations, and sales forecasting.Usability: how easily and intuitively the POS system can be used by the staff, including the user interface design, navigation, ease of training, and overall user experience during setup.Price: the cost associated with acquiring and using the POS system, such as the initial purchase cost, licensing fees, subscription plans, and any additional charges or ongoing costs.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the POS system including documentation, tutorials, or knowledge bases.Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the POS product. This can include dedicated restaurant and retail functionality including KDS, loyalty management, and multi employee login. FAQs Can I use an iPad as a POS? Yes, you can – as long as you download a POS app, as you’ll need the software to help the iPad function as a POS system. iPad POS systems are comprehensive and fully functional apps that can carry out various processes and functions in place of traditional systems such as cash registers and other equipment. How much is an iPad POS System? Prices vary as you’ll often have to buy the software and hardware separately, depending on your needs. Some providers, such as Square, offer their basic software for free, with you only having to pay for hardware. What iPad do you need for Shopify POS? Shopify POS works on most iPads, iPhones and Android devices. For Apple products, you’ll need iOS 12.2 or higher. For Android devices, you’ll want version 7.0 or higher. Written by: 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. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.