How Much Does a Point Of Sale System Cost?

By Aimee Bradshaw | Writer and researcher

Can you put a price on the perfect POS? You sure can. Read on to find out…


Point of sale (POS) systems have become so advanced, they’re pretty much computers – but that doesn’t necessarily make them expensive. In fact, you probably own one of the priciest parts of a POS system already: the tablet.

Combine your tablet with POS software, a card reader and receipt printer, and you have a relatively cheap payment system that’s good enough to meet the needs of most small retail and hospitality businesses.

But how much does POS really cost? Once you take hardware, software, merchant account fees, and installation fees into consideration, what seemed like a great deal on the surface may actually cost much more than expected.

However, we know that finding a POS system for the right price can be a time consuming process, so let our comparison service do all the hard work for you. Sounds cool right? To get involved, all you have to do is tell us about your business, and we’ll match your business with some trusted POS suppliers. POS has never been so simple!

To learn more about the latest POS prices, carry on reading below…

cake pos
The new: Modern iPad Cash Register
manual cash register
The old: Manual cash register

POS Hardware Costs

The great thing about a POS system is that you can make it as basic or as sophisticated as you want. However, to give you an idea of what you’ll need, we’ve created a rough guide on the average POS hardware costs based on the size of your business.

Size of business

What you’ll need

Overall cost

Start-up retail unit or restaurant

  • Tablet
  • Card reader

$590

Small 

  • Tablet
  • Card reader
  • Receipt printer
  • Cash drawer

$920

Medium 

  • 2x tablet
  • 2x card reader
  • Printer
  • Cash drawer

$1,400

Large

  • 3x fixed POS systems

$5,000 (includes software)

POS Hardware Costs Conclusion

POS providers are often flexible with their hardware packages, giving you the option to pay for the hardware on a monthly basis, or to purchase it outright. Most suppliers will also offer tablet stands, barcode scanners, and the option to purchase on-going supplies, such as receipt printer paper.

POS suppliers may also be able to provide discounts for companies that require a more sophisticated hardware package. Does that sound like your business? You can see whether our suppliers can offer your business some killer deals on hardware, simply by sharing some quick details on our handy online form

POS Software Costs

The cost of POS software usually depends on how sophisticated a package you require, and how many licenses you need (in other words, how many of your team members need to use it).  

To give you an overview of software costs, we’ve compared the most basic and expensive plans of two popular POS software providers.

TouchBistro

Best for restaurants 

touchbistro logo

Package

Price (Billed Annually)

What You’ll Get

Solo (for one iPad)

$69/month

  • Cloud reporting
  • Unlimited users
  • Tableside service
  • Offline capabilities

Unlimited (for six+ iPads)

$399/month

  • Inventory management
  • Floor plan and table management
  • Staff management
  • Menu management
  • Customer relationship management

Touchbistro also offers a Dual package at $129/month, for two licenses, and a Team package at $249/month, for three to five licenses. 

If you’re keeping your options open when it comes to finding the perfect restaurant POS system, we’d also recommend reading about the suppliers Clover, CAKE, and Aloha.

VendHQ

Best for retail

vendhq logo

Package

Price (Billed Annually)

What You’ll Get

Lite (the cheapest package, for one iPad)

$99/month

  • 24/7 online support
  • Small business reporting
  • Xero accounting
  • Unlimited products and users

Pro (for one to six iPads)

$129/month

  • Dedicated account manager
  • Customized onboarding

 

VendHQ also offers an Enterprise package suitable for more than six licensed iPads, but you’ll need to request a bespoke quote.

POS Software Costs Conclusion

While software suppliers often have a standard price for basic packages, the bespoke prices will increase the more features you require. 

Picking the right POS features for your business can be, well, tricky business. Our recommendations? Get in touch with a supplier, and they’ll be able to suggest a suitable software package to save you the hassle.

Refresh your retail store with a new POS system get free quotes

Credit Card Fees 

A merchant account processes the payments between your terminal and bank. They can either be provided by your bank, or by a POS supplier, and they will charge a fee to process each credit card transaction.

As a rough guide, the standard credit card processing fee in the US is usually between 2.3% and 2.5%. However, these are usually higher if customers purchase products through your website. There are other factors that can influence the percentage, but these are best discussed with an expert. 

Square is an example of a POS supplier that can do just that. Provided that you already own an iPad, you can purchase an iPad Stand for $199, buy a card reader for $49, and download the software for free. In return, Square requires that you pay a credit card fee of 2.60%.

Check out our credit card fee comparison table below for some of the most popular POS suppliers…

POS Provider

Swiped rate transaction fee

Keyed in rate transaction fee

Vend2.90% + $0.303.30% +$0.30
TouchBistro2.99% + $0.152.90% + $0.25
Upserve2.49% + $0.152.49% + $0.15
Square2.60% + $0.103.50% + $0.15
Lightspeed2.60% + $0.102.60% + $0.30
Toast1.8% + $0.151.8% + $0.15

POS Costs by Industry

Here’s a breakdown of the costs of a POS system by industry. Bear in mind that the following costs are a rough guide and you should speak to a supplier for more accurate pricing.

In this section, we’ll compare some of each industry’s most popular POS system packages, comparing the low, mid, and high-price range packages available. The prices shown are either a monthly subscription, or a one-off fee.

Restaurant POS Systems Cost

As a restaurateur, customizing menus, running financial reports and managing ingredients are just a few of your regular assignments. Unspecialized POS systems just can’t handle the heat of the kitchen. Luckily, the best restaurant POS systems are designed with you in mind.

The costs of a restaurant POS system can range anywhere from $700 to $3,000. A popular low-cost option is the Vend Premium bundle that packages POS software, hardware and peripherals for $800. 

However, no two businesses are truly the same, and so some will require fewer features. For example, if you need a POS system for your food truck, you won’t need to spend as much on your hardware.

Check out our table below explaining the most popular low, mid, and high-range restaurant POS options.

POS Package

Cost

What You’ll Get

VendHQ Premium (low-range)

$800 fee

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Small business reporting

Breadcrumb POS (mid-range)

$1,200 fee

  • Hardware equipment
  • POS software
  • Credit card processing
  • 24/7 customer support

BCI Restaurant/Bar (high-range)

$2,600 fee

Spice up your restaurant with a new POS system get free quotes

Grocery POS Systems Cost

Grocery POS systems are purpose-built to handle large numbers of customers. While you rack up sales, a great grocery POS lets you manage your inventory, set up automatic low stock alerts, and accept gift cards, all with the tap of a touchscreen. The best solutions even use advanced analytics and reporting to shed valuable insight into your best and worst selling products.

POS Package

Cost

What You’ll Get

ShopKeep POS Basic (low-range)

$49/month

  • iPad compatibility 
  • Take payments
  • Monitor inventory levels

BCI Grocery Premium Plus (high-range)

$4,000 fee

  • 19-inch monitor
  • Inuit POS software
  • Scanner
  • Pole display
  • Credit card reader
  • Receipt printer
Grow your grocery store with the perfect POS system i'd like a quote

Salon POS Systems Cost

The more time you spend pampering your customers, the more money you’ll make from their repeat business. But it’s easier said than done when you’ve got lots of payments to process and appointments to manage, especially during peak hours.

That’s where salon POS software can help. Bespoke salon solutions help you manage bookings with ease, reschedule appointments, and take requests for new ones. Purchasing a salon POS is a surefire way to boost the efficiency and profitability of your business.

POS Package

Cost

What you’ll get

Rosy’s Cloud (low-range)

$29/month per user

  • One click customer check-ins
  • Credit card processing

Stylist in a Box (high-range)

$3,300 fee per terminal

  • MIKAL salon software
  • 18-inch monitor
  • HP hardware
  • Magnetic stripe reader
  • Barcode scanner
  • Cash drawer
Compare quotes to save money on your next shiny salon POS system get free quotes

Bar POS Systems Cost

As a bar owner, you no doubt keep close tabs on hourly, daily and seasonal trends that affect drink prices. If you serve food, you probably also juggle ticket orders, food preparation and section seating. But what if your POS system could do all of that for you? Specialized bar POS systems can help with all of these tasks, and more.

Bar POS Package

Cost

What you’ll get

PayPal Standard (low-range)

$550 fee

  • Inventory management
  • Generate reports
  • Add multiple users

BCI Bar Standard (high-range)

$2,300 fee

  • Aldelo Pro software
  • Credit card reader
  • Touchscreen POS-X computer
  • Receipt printer
  • Cash drawer
Brighten up your bar with a new POS system get free quotes

How Much Do iPad POS Systems Cost?

As touched upon already, using iPad-based POS systems is the preferred option of many small businesses. Most suppliers offer some kind of tablet integration for their software.

Three big benefits of iPad POS systems are:

  • Easy to set up and train staff to use
  • Mobile, helping staff deliver consistent customer care across locations
  • Lower repair and maintenance costs than most desktop-based systems

One of the best iPad and desktop POS suppliers is NCR Silver. Check out its most popular pricing package below…

Package

Cost

What you’ll get

NCR Silver

$500 fee

  • iPad swivel stand
  • Cash drawer
  • Credit card reader
  • Countertop receipt printer

NCR Silver then charges $79 to register your device and 10 cents per transaction (up to a monthly maximum of $39). This monthly fee provides access to live support seven days a week. NCR are so confident of their POS that they even let you sign up for a free trial.

Expert Verdict

By now, you should have a better idea of the general POS costs. To summarize, POS system costs depend on three things:

  1. Industry: From multi-location retail to independent eateries, different POS solutions target different niches
  2. Hardware: The amount of hardware you need usually depends on the scale of your business
  3. Software features: Software pricing usually depends on the number of features you need

Bear in mind that POS solutions are no longer one size fits all. It’s now possible to invest in a POS system that is completely tailored to the needs of your business. This means the cost of a POS system should be completely tailored, too.

We know that finding a POS for the right price can be a time consuming process, but our quick, easy, and free comparison service does all the hard work for you. To receive tailored quotes from trusted suppliers, simply tell us about your POS desires and they’ll be in touch.

Aimee profile image
Aimee Bradshaw Writer and researcher

Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems, point of sale, and field service software go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about Dorset beaches.

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