Discover how much an EPOS system will cost your business
The new: Modern iPad Cash Register The old: Manual cash register
Electronic point of sale (EPOS) 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 most expensive parts of an EPOS system already – a tablet.
Combine your tablet with EPOS software, a card reader, and a receipt printer, and you have a basic, relatively cheap payment system that’s good enough to meet the needs of most small retail and hospitality businesses.
But how much does an EPOS system 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.
Why not use our price comparison service to find out?
- 01 | POS Hardware Costs
- 02 | POS Software Costs
- 03 | Credit Card Fees
- 04 | POS Costs By Industry
- 05 | iPad POS Cost
- 06 | Expert Verdict
EPOS Hardware Costs
The great thing about an EPOS system is that you can make it as basic or as sophisticated as you want. A pop-up shop or restaurant could get away with a system as simple as a tablet and a card reader, while growing establishments can add receipt printers, additional tablets, and cash drawers, as and when required.
If you run a medium to large establishment, you’re more likely to look into a fixed EPOS system. This is because they’re more cost-effective when bought in bulk, and are more secure for payment stations that may be dotted around a retail or restaurant establishment.
We’ve provided you with a rough guide to how this could look cost-wise, based on your business’ size:
|Start-up retail unit or restaurant||Small business||Medium business||Large business|
2x card reader
|3x fixed EPOS systems|
|Price: $590.00||Price: $920||Price: $1,400||Price: $5,000 (includes software)|
POS Hardware Costs – In Summary
EPOS 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.
EPOS suppliers may also be able to provide discounts for companies that require a more sophisticated hardware package. See if suppliers can offer your business a deal on hardware, simply by filling in our short online form. We’ll match you with EPOS providers that can meet your business’ needs, and they’ll provide you with tailored deals to compare. Our service is fast, easy and free.
EPOS Software Costs
There are heaps of EPOS software providers out there, and for the most part, there’s very little between them. The majority of providers supply packages that are tailored to various industries and industry sectors, and often charge a similar amount per month.
Some suppliers will even supply you with software for free, although this is counterbalanced with higher credit card fees. You can find out more about these fees in the next section.
The cost of EPOS 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 idea, we’ve compared the most basic and most expensive plans of two EPOS software providers:
TouchBistro (for restaurants)
|Cheapest package (for one iPad)||Most expensive package (for six iPads)|
|Most expensive package (for six iPads)|
Floor plan and table management
Customer relationship management
|Price: $69/month||Price: $117/month|
VendHQ (for retail)
|Cheapest package||Most expensive package|
Small business reporting
Advanced reporting and analytics
Promotions and gift cards
Add-ons and e-commerce channels
Dedicated account manager
|Price: $99/month||Price: $114/month|
While software suppliers often have a standard price for basic packages, the more features you require, the more bespoke pricing becomes. If you’re unsure about which features you need for your business, we’d recommend that you get in touch with a supplier. They’ll either be able to recommend a standard software package, or build you a bespoke one for a custom price.
Credit Card Fees
For every retail or hospitality business, there’s a merchant account. A merchant account can either be provided by your bank, or by an EPOS supplier – although only some EPOS providers can do this.
A merchant account provider will charge you a fee to process each 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.
If you’re just starting out, choosing an EPOS provider that can supply you with hardware, software, and a merchant account is probably the easiest way to get off the ground.
Square is an example of an EPOS 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 2.75%.
Just bear in mind that Square charges one of the highest credit card payment processing fees, but this is because all of its software features are free. This is how the best free EPOS systems work.
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.
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, restaurant POS systems are designed with you in mind.
Restaurant POS systems cost less than you might think, and come fitted with special features like:
- Table management
- Customized ordering
- Inventory management
- Automated ordering
- Customer loyalty services
▶ Now read: Top Ten Restaurant POS Systems
A restaurant POS system can cost 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.
In the mid-range, Breadcrumb POS is a brilliant option. A one-year system lease includes equipment, software, credit card processing and 24/7 customer support for just under $1,200.
At the upper end of the price bracket is the BCI Restaurant/Bar POS. Starting from $2,600, the system includes Aldelo Pro software, a touchscreen POS-X terminal, receipt printer and a cash drawer.
▶ Now read: Restaurant POS Systems Cost Breakdown
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.
Core features include:
- Inventory management
- Accept coupons
- Customer loyalty programs
- ‘Mix and match’ pricing (i.e. set up special offers for specific product lines)
At the top end of the market is the BCI Grocery Premium Plus which retails for around $4,000. Features on this model include a 19 inch monitor, Inuit POS software, scanner, pole display, credit card reader and receipt printer.
For businesses looking for a budget option, the ShopKeep POS Basic is one to consider. This is an entry level POS system with iPad compatibility which allows users to take payment and monitor inventory levels. The monthly software subscription fee is a very reasonable $49 per month.
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.
Salon POS systems’ key features include:
- Appointment management
- Employee time tracking
- Online booking integration
- Customer account management
- Inventory tracking
One of the most popular models designed specifically for salons is the Stylist in a Box Point of Sale which includes MIKAL salon software, an 18 inch monitor, HP hardware, magnetic stripe reader, bar code scanner and cash drawer. This model retails for around $3,300 for a single terminal system.
On the entry level end of the scale, a system like Rosy's Cloud POS for salons and spas starts at just $29 per month for one user.
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.
Core features include:
- Happy hour pricing
- Bar tab tracking
- Liquor inventory control
- Credit card processing
- Age verification tools
The Bar Standard POS system from BCI costs around $2,300 and includes Aldelo Pro software, a credit card reader, a touchscreen POS-X computer, receipt printer and a cash drawer.
Alternatively, the PayPal Standard POS system costs around $550 for a basic terminal and card reader.
How Much Do iPad POS Systems Cost?
As touched upon already, iPad-based POS systems are 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:
- They are easy to set up and train staff to use
- They are mobile, which helps staff deliver consistent customer care across locations
- They have lower repair and maintenance costs than a lot of desktop-based systems
The NCR Silver is a great example of a system that caters to both crowds with desktop and iPad-based solutions. Costs for the iPad solution start from $500 for the hardware. This includes a swivel stand for the iPad, cash drawer, credit card reader, and a countertop receipt printer. The company 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.
To find out more about using an iPad as a POS system, check out our dedicated iPad POS page.
By now, you should have a better idea of how much various types of POS solutions cost. To summarize, POS system costs depend on three things:
- Industry: From multi-location retail to independent eateries, different POS solutions target different niches
- Hardware: The amount of hardware you need usually depends on the scale of your business
- Software features: Software pricing usually depends on the number of features you need
However, bear in mind that the prices featured in this article are just a guide. 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.
Competition in the POS industry is high, so you should be able to get a great deal for your business.
Discover great POS deals.