Written by Zara Chechi Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 11 January 2023 On this page 1. Lightspeed: Best Overall POS System 2. TouchBistro: Best Restaurant POS System 3. Revel Systems: Best for Fast-Paced Environments 4. Quetzal: Best for Boutiques 5. Clover: Best POS System for Retail 6. Epos Now: Best POS System for Small Businesses Next Steps How We Test POS Systems FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. Inflation nationwide is subsiding – according to the Bank of Canada – and it's expected to fall to about 3% by the end of 2023. That makes this year a prime time for you to kickstart or scale up your business and seize a clientele who's about to see its spending power grow.In this scenario, if you run (or plan on running) a physical business, a POS system is an absolute must – and according to our independent research, Lightspeed is the best POS system in the market. It got the top spot due to its easy-to-use hardware (it runs on iPads) and insightful reporting, suitable to both retail and hospitality. Which are the best POS systems? These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our cost comparison tool to find the best service for your businessLightspeed: Best Overall POS SystemTouchBistro: Best Restaurant POS SystemRevel Systems: Best for Fast-Paced EnvironmentsQuetzal: Best for BoutiquesClover: Best POS System for RetailEpos Now: Best POS System for Small BusinessesThat said, POS systems aren't one-size-fits-all solutions and you must choose one tailored to your needs. The quickest one to do that is using our free comparison tool, through which we'll match you up with trusted providers, who'll then contact you with no-obligation quotes.However, if you'd like know more about the findings of our research, just head to our ranking below, in which we cover Lightspeed as well as other five strong contenders in the POS systems field. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Lightspeed TouchBistro Revel Systems Clover Quetzal Epos Now 4.3 4.0 4.0 3.9 3.5 3.8 Price From $89/month Price From $93/month Price $99 min. monthly fee (per terminal)On-boarding from $674 Price Payments – $0/monthEssentials – $14.95/monthRegister $49.95/month Price $75/location/month Price Hardware averages $750 (one-off payment)Software starts from $23 (monthly fee) Best overall POS system Best restaurant POS system Best for fast-paced environments Best for medium-sized businesses Best for independent retailers and boutiques Best for small businesses 1. Lightspeed: Best Overall POS System Montreal-based Lightspeed is the best POS system in Canada because it offers industry-specific packages.The first is Lightspeed Retail, enabling you to manage multiple retail stores from a single interface, making it our top POS system for retail, too. It also seamlessly integrates with Lightspeed eCommerce, which is ideal for retail businesses with an online store. Lightspeed’s restaurant-specific POS software is equally impressive, suitable for both pop-up stores and fine dining restaurants.Some of its restaurant-specific features include the ability to access online ordering and delivery apps on the POS system, diversifying your revenue and expanding your businesses reach. Another great feature is Direct Order Mode, suitable for takeaways, food trucks or even just rush hour at your restaurant, enabling you to take orders much quicker.Lightspeed's scalability is one of its big selling points, as you can start out with a system that's affordable for your business but as your business grows and expands, you can build your POS alongside it. This means you don't need to pay for features you don't want or need. Lightspeed offers a number of add-ons and integrations making is flexible and customizable however this does mean it can take a while to set up and get used to, especially for those who don't have a lot of tech experience. Add-on features do come at a cost, which can get pricey so keep this in mind although ideally you would opt for these features when its feasible for your business to do so.Lightspeed's POS app is accessed via an iPad making it convenient, flexible and efficient. The system does not run on Windows or Android however which can be a drawback if you only own devices that run on these systems or you prefer them over Apple. Another drawback of this iPad-exclusive system is that for restaurants and eateries, you might prefer restaurant-grade hardware, as these tend to be made to endure the heat and mess of restaurants.Pricing for Lightspeed starts from around $99 per month for a single register system. Pros Seamlessly integrate your physical and online stores with inventory management and more Lightspeed rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot Cons Not the most cost-effective option Sheer choice of features can be overwhelming Lightspeed Retail PricingPlanCostLeanUSD $69/monthStandardUSD $119/monthAdvancedUSD $199/monthLightspeed Restaurant PricingPlanCostLightspeed RestaurantUSD $59/month + $34/month /registerPrice correct as of January 2023. 2. TouchBistro: Best Restaurant POS System TouchBistro is the best-selling iPad-based restaurant POS solution in over 37 countries, offering hundreds of customization options backed by robust reporting features that help make service a breeze.Using an iPad POS gives you the flexibility to run your business from anywhere, you can hide menu items based on the time of day or your inventory levels, so your breakfast customers don’t order from the dinner menu, or order an item that’s just sold out. This makes it one of the best POS systems for coffee shops and busy restaurants.Our expert research has revealed that TouchBistro provides customer support, which is so important when running into any snags or issues. Having them dealt with as soon as possible makes running your restaurant that much smoother. Other great features include table management tools, where you can monitor tables by spend or time seated.The system is fairly fast and cope with a high volume of orders which is important to know as running into tech issues in the middle of a busy hour can cause a complete meltdown in your operations and your customers experience. Some users have reported that the card machine is a tad small, making it difficult for customers to use efficiently. You can opt for a third-party card readers, however these don't tend to integrate well with the system.There is no free trial with TouchBistro which can make it hard to make a decision combined with the fact that it can tricky to get out of a contract with TouchBistro once you're in. You must write to TouchBistro with written notice 30 days prior to the end of your contract, failure to do so means you get locked into another contractual period. Pros 24/7 customer support via phone and email Great features for restaurants and food outlets both large and small Best-selling iPad restaurant POS system Cons At $89 for your first license, it isn’t the cheapest Not suitable for retail stores TouchBistro PricingPlanCostSoloCAD $89/monthDualCAD $169/monthTeamCAD $409/monthUnlimitedCAD $569/monthPrice correct as of January 2023. 3. Revel Systems: Best for Fast-Paced Environments Revel provides leading cloud-based and iPad POS software. It’s won numerous awards including ‘Best iPad Business App of the Year’, and has over 25,000 POS terminals in operation with customers around the globe.When speed matters, Revel excels. That’s why its products are mainly used in restaurants and retail outlets, where high volumes of transactions are taking place, and quickly. This makes it one of the top mobile POS systems for food trucks and other busy retailers. Revel provides great inventory tools so you can always stay on top of your ordering and avoid running into any stock issues.Revel is suitable for lots of different types of businesses as it's customizable. This customizability means you can develop a system that's just right for your business needs. Revel offers customer kiosks so customers can self-checkout. These kiosks are customizable to your businesses branding and messaging, offering your customers a cohesive and efficient experience.Some users have reported that they have trouble getting in contact with customer service to solve their tech issues, this can be a huge drawback especially if you have an issue that needs to be fixed quickly to carry out business as usual.The software has a single dashboard to help you manage operations and transactions, and it’s supported by integrated social media management. Packages start at around $100 per month, per terminal. Pros Highly advanced and full of great features that make it ideal for larger businesses in particular (although smaller businesses will still benefit) User-friendly with great online guides and industry-specific advice Cons Only compatible with Apple iOS devices Setup is fairly complex, although it’s easy to navigate once done Costly, but generally considered good value given its capabilities Revel Systems PricingPlanCostPOS SoftwareUSD $99/month /terminalPrice correct as of January 2023. 4. Quetzal: Best for Independent Retailers and Boutiques Quetzal has an interesting niche, focusing on small clothing and accessory retailers.There are no contracts or setup fees, with the company providing free demonstrations and a free trial period. Its software is suitable for small to medium-sized retail companies, so if you run over 10 locations then you should consider a different POS system.The POS system is accessible an iPad any web browser, as it's cloud-based updates occur on all devices. This makes it easier to communicate across multiple locations, carry out cohesive business practices and provide customers with the same experience, whatever the location.The POS systems payment terminal allows for offline access, so you can take payments even if there is an issue with the internet connection. The system is designed to be easy-to-use, sleek and simple, which it is. However, it does not have a free trial, making it tougher to make an accurate and informed decision and it lacks integrations. This is to be expected from a smaller POS system compared to some of the bigger giants in the industry but the lack of integrations does mean you may struggle as your business grows or needs change.Quetzal software is intended for iPads, but it’s compatible with Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Pricing starts from $75 per month. Pros Excellent customer service team Niche focus makes it ideal for small retail or boutique stores Cons Not suitable for large businesses due to restricted features Not as affordable as Epos Now Quetzal PricingPlanCostPOS SoftwareUSD $75/location /monthPrice correct as of January 2023. 5. Clover: Best POS System for Medium-Sized Businesses Clover POS is a cloud-based system that includes specialized software for retail and restaurants. Inventory, sales, and and performance can all be monitored with ease. Clovers POS system includes finance, payment and inventory solutions, making it an all-in-solution without having to use third-party providers for these services. Clover offers in-depth reporting, such as showcasing sales-by-the-hour so you can plan accordingly.Users have reported that the POS system is incredibly easy to use, which is handy as there's no steep learning curve and staff can provide smoother, more efficient service even during busy periods.A unique offering is Clover Flex, a handheld POS system that allows you to take payments on the go. This is handy if you have a mobile element to your retail business or want to offer customers a convenient way to pay. Clovers ‘Scan to Order' feature gives your customers the choice to order and dine completely contactless with QR code menus. Customers can then browse the menu, order, and pay from their mobile phones. This feature is easy to setup and comes with no extra fees.Clover is not as comprehensive as some other POS systems on the market, for this reason they rely heavily on third-party apps to provide the features they don't have. This means your costs can rack up and Clover is not responsible if anything goes wrong with the integrated apps, so you'll need to contact the original provider themselves and attempt to solve any issues.Clover's lack of features is not always a drawback as some retailers with less complex needs may find that it includes the right amount of features. As a business grows and expand, third-party apps can be purchased to scale the POS system as necessary.Clover software can only be used on Clover hardware, which is incredibly sleek and modern however this does mean you'll need to purchase the hardware in order to use the software. This does make it costlier than an iPad POS system for example but the hardware cost is a one-off fee, so if you like the features Clover has to offer, this may be the POS system for your business. Pros Easy to use Great inventory solutions Good customer service Scan to order Cons Third-party apps do not always integrate well A little pricey due to hardware costs Clover Pricing:PlanCostStarter$1,349 or 3 payments of $450+ $74.95 monthly planStandard$1,848 or 3 payments of $616+ $84.90 monthly planAdvanced$3,497 or 3 payments of $1,165+ $94.85 monthly planPrice correct as of January 2023. 6. Epos Now: Best POS System for Small Businesses Epos Now is the best POS system for small businesses because it’s simple to use and excellent value. Its top features include integrated inventory management, customer management, and retail accounting, with software prices starting at just $50 per month.Epos Now offers features specific for restaurant and retail environments, making it a great choice for these types of businesses. It also offers hardware options that are robust and a great choice if you're looking for a system that offers hardware as part of its POS system.Epos Now's software offers great feature such as great inventory management tools, a customizable dashboard, in-depth live reporting and authorization levels so your staff only have access to what they need. There are extra costs for add-on features, so things can add up. The pricing for this isn't very transparent so it can be hard to gauge how much this could end up costing you.Epos Now POS software is cloud-based and compatible on Windows machines and iPad or Apple devices. It also offers an option to migrate your customer data, products, and stock information to your new Epos Now system as part of the implementation process. Pros Affordable and has a free trial on offer Compatible on both Windows and Apple software Great range of plugins to support every type of retailer Cons Not the most advanced system out there More stylish hardware out there EPOS Now PricingPlanCostPOS SoftwareCAD $55/monthPrice correct as of January 2023. Next StepsWe’ve shown you the best POS systems in Canada. Whether you’re the coffee shop on the corner, or a Walmart in the making, you need a POS system that will grow with your ambitions.The easiest way to find the right one for you is to compare free quotes, and choose the offer that best suits your budget and style.To get started, just tell us what you need on our free comparison tool and we’ll do the rest. We’ll match your business with trusted POS suppliers that best suit your needs, and they’ll offer you non-obligation quotes to compare. Get the best price for your POS system today Compare Quotes 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. FAQs1. What is POS?The ‘Point of Sale’ is where a retail transaction occurs. It can also be referred to as ‘Point of Service’ or POP, ‘Point of Purchase’. Point of Sale systems enable a payment transaction, with software and hardware to manage the process.2. What are the Benefits of a POS System?POS systems provide an innovative, fluid, and easy transactional system for both customer and store. With the long-term effects from COVID-19 expected to last for many years, these systems give your business greater flexibility when it comes to taking payments on the go if your brick-and-mortar store is temporarily closed.Customers will love using familiar tech devices, such as iPads, to make their purchases. With a good POS system, managers can rest easy knowing payments will be taken smoothly and securely.Plus, they can use the extra features to monitor stock and gather loads of valuable data. A good POS system will also be easy for employees to learn and use, and will make their life easier and their work far more efficient.3. How Does POS Work?Watch this short video to find out how a POS system actually works:4. What Equipment do you Need for a POS?POS HardwareHardware elements for POS include cash registers, payment terminals, barcode scanners and even scales, plus the computerized device that manages the process.A cash register can be combined with a screen, a PC with a register, or an iPad or tablet device.POS SoftwarePOS software delivers the functionality required to process payments, manage pricing, generate receipts, manage discounts and loyalty schemes, conduct stock control, and daily and periodic accounting.Good POS software will generate real time reports to help manage any aspect of a retail or hospitality business. POS software will deliver comprehensive reports for sales, marketing and accounting purposes.5. How much does a POS system cost?The cost will depend on your industry, the kind of software you need, and how much hardware you need to buy. Check out our page on how much a POS system costs for a full breakdown. 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.