The Best POS Systems 2022

Person using a POS system

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

Talech

Clover

4.0
4.8
4.4
4.3
4.3
4.1
4.0
4.0
Price
  • Starter – $0
  • Restaurants Basics – $110/month
  • Essentials – $165/month
  • Custom – bespoke
Price

$0/month

Plus: $60/month

Price
  • Lean – $69/month
  • Standard – $119/month
  • Advanced – $199/month
Price

$0 – $99/month

Price

From $69/month

Price

$29 – $299/month + subscription fee

Price

From $69/month

Price

Clover Station: $1,199

Clover Mini: $599

Best For
Best For

Overall

Best For

Scalability

Best For

Mobile Businesses

Best For

Bars

Best For

Online and Retail Stores

Best For

Restaurants

Best For

Medium-sized Businesses

Pros
Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Suited to small businesses
Pros
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Affordable
Pros
  • Free mobile app
  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features
Pros
  • In-built CRM system
  • Extensive report templates
  • Advanced inventory management
Pros
  • Powerful platform ideal for any-sized retail store
  • Affordable hardware options
Pros
  • Designed for hospitality
  • Integrated CRM system
  • Add-on features
Pros
  • Handheld POS system
  • Easy to use
Cons
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems
Cons
  • Shopify integration does not always work well
Cons
  • Can be glitchy
Cons
  • Costly
Cons
  • Works best when selling through your own Shopify store, not other ecommerce platforms
Cons
  • Difficult to get out of contract
Cons
  • Lack of features
  • Third party apps do not always integrate well

Square

Best Overall POS System

Pricing: Software price plans range from $0 per month to $60 per month

Quick overview

Square scores a 4.8/5 in our research, giving it the number one position. Square offers a free POS system and includes features such as, a website builder, checkout tools, and sales reports.

Square Plus is $60 per month and is suited to businesses who want more advanced retail features. Plus offers vendor sales reports, an inventory counting tool, and smart stock forecasts. Plus 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 businesses needs change you can switch to the Plus version.

Whilst Square is not necessarily tailored to the hospitality industry, it does have relevant features such as timecard reports, integrated payments, and eGift Cards. Zettle by PayPal also offers a free POS app, more tailored to the hospitality industry. Zettle's transactions fees are much lower than Squares, at 1.75% compared to 2.6% and 3.5%. However, Zettle offers less features and a more basic POS system.

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. This is not necessarily a drawback however as you can choose to run the app on a tablet you already own and purchase necessary hardware such as the Square card reader. Or, you can opt for the Square register which offers one screen for you and one for your customers.

The Square register costs $799 or $39/month for 24 months. Whilst this is a little pricey, 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 transaction fees are fairly steep at 2.6% + 10¢ for in-person transactions and 3.5% + 15¢ for online/manual transactions. However, this is offset by the fact that the core POS app is free.

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
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Vend

Best for Scalability

Pricing: From $69/month

vend logo
Vend
Quick overview

Vend scores 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.

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.

Vend offers 24/7 global support so you can always get assistance when you need it.

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 offer 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 does not always work well

Talech

Best for Mobile Businesses

Pricing:

Mobile: $0

Starter: $29/month

Standard: $69/month

Premium: $99/month

Talech
Quick overview

Talech comes in third with a 4.3/5 rating. Talech offers pricing plans from free mobile software to a 'Premium' plan, priced affordably at $99 per month. The free mobile software allows you to use your own smartphone to take payments. This is best suited to mobile businesses who don't need a comprehensive system and instead want an easy way to take payments. Although this free software comes with features such as menu management, basic order management, and multi-level tax support. You can also access reports online.

If you want a meatier POS system, you can opt for a paid version which starts from $29. All versions are suited to both hospitality and retail businesses with features to manage both types of businesses. These features include inventory tracking, customer management, and order management.

Although the software is easy to use, some users have reported issues with the hardware especially the card reader, which breaks often. The free mobile software  Users have also reported that the software can be fairly glitchy and you'll need to contact tech support to fix it, which can be frustrating. Square's software appears to have some of the best user experience with the features and interface being easy to use and intuitive.

For the hospitality industry, you can set up a floor plan with multiple rooms. Having this bird's eye view of your available seats so you can serve new customers quickly and easily. The order management tools include being able to void an item and apply taxes, gratuities and other service charges.

Additional devices cost $29/month for every paid plan, and there's no limit to additional devices you can have.

Pros

  • Free mobile app
  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features

Cons

  • Can be glitchy
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Lightspeed

Best for Bars

Pricing:

  • Lean: $69/month (billed annually) $89/month (billed monthly)
  • Standard: $119/month (billed annually) $149/month (billed monthly)
  • Advanced: $199/month (billed annually) $269/month (billed monthly)
  • Enterprise: Custom
lightspeed logo
Lightspeed
Quick overview

Lightspeed offers solutions for retail and hospitality businesses, with specific features for each. The hospitality POS system includes features such as one-tap ordering, self-ordering, and the ability to manage multiple locations on one system. Multi-location reports can also be run so you can easily keep an eye on all your locations.

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.

Lightspeed 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. Other POS systems such as Vend also offer loyalty programs however a CRM system gives your business a more organized way to store and manage customer information.

Accounting platforms can be integrated into the POS system, such as Xero and Sage, although other POS systems such as Square also offer this integration. Square offers integration with Xero only so Lightspeed does offer more options, especially if you want to continue using your current accounting software.

Whilst Lightspeed is pricier than a lot of other POS systems, starting at $69 a month, it offers a wide range of features that are super focused on both the retail and hospitality industry. 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

  • Very easy to use and ideal for busy bars or restaurants
  • Powerful and scalable solution

Cons

  • No free trial

Shopify POS

Best for Retail Stores

Pricing:

  • Basic: $29/month
  • Shopify: $79/month
  • Advanced: $299/month

Shopify POS subscription:

  • POS Lite: $0/month
  • POS Pro: $89/month, per location
Shopify POS
Quick overview

Shopify is best known for its ecommerce platform, giving you the ability to run an online store. Shopify also offer a POS system so you can easily integrate the two to create a seamless way to track and manage your inventory and orders. Overall Shopify scores 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 organize 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 Retail POS app on to an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. The system is customizable so you can personalize 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. 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 Talech. Being able to seamlessly integrate and manage your online and physical store is the main benefit of Shopify POS.

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

TouchBistro – Best for Restaurants

Pricing:

  • Lean: $89/month
  • Standard: $159/month
TouchBistro
Quick overview

Designed with the hospitality industry in mind, TouchBistro has relevant features to suit this industry. This POS systems 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.

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 does not offer a free trial, making it more difficult to make an informed decision. Once you've signed a contract with the provider, 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.

Of course, Square doesn't have the same advanced hospitality-focused features as TouchBistro.

The system is customizable and offers add-on features so you can build a complete restaurant management system. For example, you can add online ordering from $50/month, and marketing tools from $99/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. Lightspeed might be a better alternative as it offers similar hospitality-focused features without the add-on fees.

TouchBistro scores a perfect 5/5 in our research for its help and support. You can access a wide variety of online tools to troubleshoot any issues, plus 24/7/365 phone support.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get out of contract
  • Pricey

Clover – Best for Medium-sized Businesses

Pricing:

  • Starter: $799 or 3 payments of $266 + $14.95/month
  • Standard: $1,799 or 3 payments of $599 + $44.95/month
  • Advanced: $2,298 or 3 payments of $765 + $54.90/month
Quick overview

Clover scores a 4/5 overall in our research, and offers strong features for managing your business. Clover's handheld POS system, Clover Flex, is great for businesses that are mobile so you can take orders on the go or away from your till area. It also doubles up as a barcode scanner.

For the hospitality industry, Clover offers relevant features such as, offering customers the ability to view the menu and pay via a QR code on their table. You can also create custom floor plans, customise orders, and track sales in real-time.

Retailers can also use this POS systems as it has an integrated online store, plus the ability to manage your inventory of the online and physical store from one system.

We score Clovers help and support a 3.5, as they offer each customer a dedicated Clover support number.

Clover's software only runs on Clover hardware, so the initial cost can be fairly expensive as hardware starts from around $1,000. If your business needs more than one terminal, the price is fairly steep.

Clover is a good fit for your business if you want sturdy POS hardware and a good payment processor. However, the software itself can be a little difficult, as it lacks some features which can be added via a third party. This means issues with integration, and if something does go wrong you'll need to contact the third party yourself. If you want a more feature heavy software, Vend or Square Plus is a better option.

 

 

Pros

  • Has a handheld POS system
  • Integrated online store
  • Sturdy POS hardware

Cons

  • Initial set up is costly

Our Methodology

Square tops the list out of 12 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.

Square scores a 4/5 in the till area, and Vend scores a 3.5. Whilst both offer software and hardware to run a till, Square's software tends to run smoother and more efficiently.

For business management, Square scores a solid 5/5, and Vend, 4.5/5. Although the scores are close, with both providers offering a range of features however Vend is lacking in some departments, for example, you'll need to use a third-party ecommerce platform whereas Square offers an integrated online store.

Both providers score a 5/5 in stock management as they both offer retail-focused features to manage and organize inventory.

Usability-wise, both providers also score a 5/5, as both systems are easy to use, and don't require a steep learning curve.

Square wins by a landslide in the price department with a 5/5 score compared to Vends 3.2/5. Its difficult to beat a $0 fee for the Square POS app although Square Plus does cost $60 per month, but this is still less than Vends starting price of $69 per month.

Vend is more suited to established businesses who have the budget and ability to scale and expand whereas Square is fitted to start-ups or small businesses.

Next Steps

We’ve shown you the best POS systems available in the United States. Having compared their features, pricing, customer support, and ease of use, you now know which one is best for you.

That said, most POS suppliers provide bespoke pricing, which can make it hard for you to plan your budget. But worry not – the easiest way to get crystal clear pricing is by comparing free quotes, which is where we can help you.

Simply tell us what you need from your next POS system using our quick form, and we’ll match your business with the best POS suppliers for your unique needs. They’ll then be in touch, offering non-obligation quotes for you to compare. It’s quick, easy, and free to get started.

Save on your POS system by comparing free quotes today

FAQs

What is the best POS software for retail businesses?
The best POS software for retail businesses is Square. Square offers a free POS app, retail-specific features, and is easy to use.

Square also offers a paid version which is $60 per month, offering more advanced retail features, such as ‘end of day' and ‘live sales' reports.

Which POS system is the cheapest?
The cheapest POS system is Square, as it offers a free POS app!
What is the best POS system for a small restaurant?
For a small restaurant, Zettle by PayPal is a good choice, as it offers basic hospitality-specific features but it's more suited to businesses such as small cafes or food trucks.

For a meatier POS system with more advanced features, TouchBistro is best. TouchBistro has been designed for restaurants and includes features such as an in-built CRM system and an offline mode.

zara chechi headshot

Zara is a law grad with a penchant for wordsmithing. As Expert Market’s CRM and payroll expert, she relishes researching and writing expert content.