The 7 Best EPOS Suppliers in the UK

Person using an EPOS system

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With over 20 million people in the UK no longer using cash, according to a report by UK Finance, it's more important than ever to opt for an EPOS system to help process and manage your transactions.

The right EPOS system will make processing payments feel almost effortless – and with 15 years' experience researching and testing software, we can confidently say that Square is the best EPOS system currently out there, boasting a 4.8/5 overall score in our independent EPOS testing criteria.

In comparison to other EPOS providers like Vend, Square performed well across the board, with winning qualities including its low-cost, intuitive reader – and the fact that it allows you to create a webstore for free, standing out against the rest. That said, other EPOS providers might serve you better depending on your individual needs, so we've prepared a best EPOS ranking for you to gain a clearer view of the market, and which systems are best for which businesses.

What are the Best EPOS Suppliers?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our cost comparison tool to find the best service for your business

  1. Square – Best overall
  2. Vend – Best for scalability
  3. Talech – Best for mobile businesses
  4. Lightspeed – Best for bars
  5. Shopify – Best ecommerce integration
  6. TouchBistro – Best for restaurants
  7. Clover – Best for medium-sized businesses

If you'd like to cut the chase, you can get free quotes directly from the best EPOS suppliers in the UK through our free comparison tool. However, if you'd like know more about our research's findings, just head to our ranking below.

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Square

Vend

Talech

Lightspeed

Shopify

TouchBistro

Clover

Score
4.8
Score
4.4
Score
4.3
Score
4.3
Score
4.1
Score
4.0
Score
4.0
Best For

Overall

Best For

Scalability

Best For

Mobile Businesses

Best For

Bars

Best For

Ecommerce integration

Best For

Restaurants

Best For

Medium-sized businesses

Pricing

£0 – £69/month

Pricing
Pricing

From £29.99/month

Pricing

From £59/month

Pricing

From £19/month

Pricing

From £59/month

Pricing

Custom

Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Affordable hardware
  • Suited to small businesses
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Intuitive interface
  • Add-on features
Pros
  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features
Pros
  • Extensive report templates
  • Very easy to use and ideal for busy bars or restaurants
  • Powerful and scalable solution
Pros
  • 24/7 support
  • Seamless integration with Shopify ecommerce store
  • Powerful platform ideal for any-sized retail store
  • Affordable hardware

 

Pros
  • Designed for hospitality
  • Integrated CRM system
  • Add-on features
Pros
  • Sturdy POS system
  • Easy to use
  • Has a handheld POS system
  • Integrated online store
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems
Cons
  • Shopify integration does not always work well
Cons
  • Can be glitchy
Cons
  • Doesn’t work on Android tablets
  • Doesn’t allow you to integrate third-party payment processor
  • Support not available via live chat
  • No free trial
Cons
  • Works best when selling through your own Shopify store, not other ecommerce platforms
Cons
  • Difficult to get out of contract
  • Pricey
Cons
  • Limited customer support
  • Reporting could be better
  • Initial investment is costly

1. Square: Overall best EPOS supplier

Square
Pricing From £0
Quick overview

Square scores 4.8/5 in our research thanks to its affordability, ease of use, and range of features. One of Square's most attractive elements is that its POS app is completely free, although the paid version does start at £49 per month. That said, the transaction fees are fairly steep at 1.75% or 2.5%, depending on the payment method.

These transaction fees are higher than those charged by other POS systems such as Clover, however, Square takes several forms of payment and is a sturdy payment processor combined with a cloud-based POS system.

Pros

  • Free POS app
  • Affordable hardware
  • Suited to small businesses

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems

Why we like Square

If your business is fairly small or mobile, you can simply download the Square app onto your mobile device. Together with Square's affordable £16 card-reader, you have yourself a functional POS system.

If your business is larger and you want a more comprehensive set-up, you can opt for other hardware items such as a stand, terminal or register, allowing you to scale as your business grows.

In comparison to other providers, Square scored highly when we tested its business management features, stock management features, and customer support provision. It also scored well in the price section as it offers a free EPOS app, great for startups or businesses with a limited budget.

If you've ever considered going cashless, Square is a good choice as its card reader is affordable and straightforward.

How does Square compare to its competitors?

Square is more suited to retail businesses than the hospitality industry although it does have features relevant to the industry such as, integrated payments, eGift cards, and timecard reports. If you want a hospitality-focused POS system, you might be better suited to TouchBistro which has been designed for the industry. Although it's pricier than Square. A more affordable alternative is Zettle that provides free hospitality point of sale software. Whilst the transaction fees are lower than Square's, the POS system is a lot more basic and has less functionality.

Square's free POS app includes features such as, an integrated website builder, sales reports, and checkout tools. The paid version, priced at £49/month, has more advanced retail features including, advanced inventory tools, smart stock forecasts, and vendor sales reports.

Square's Pricing

Square's EPOS pricing starts from a rare £0:

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Free

Plus

Chip and pin/contactless

Virtual terminal/invoices

Square Reader

Square Terminal

Square Register

Pricing

£0

Pricing

£49/month

Pricing

1.75%

Pricing

2.5%

Pricing

£16

Pricing

£149

Pricing

£599

What makes Square unique?

Square's unique in the amount of features it packs in its free ecommerce integration. Beyond its free EPOS software, Square also allows you to build a webstore for free and start selling online – an incredible tool for business owners keen on expanding revenue to fight the rising business costs in the UK.

square new item creation
Listing a new product on Square EPOS

2. Vend: Best for scalability

vend logo
Vend
Pricing From £39/month
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.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy to use
  • Add-on features

Cons

  • Shopify integration does not always work well

Why we like Vend

Now part of the Lightspeed family, 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 while 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 integrations has some issues. Vend offers 24/7 support so you can always get assistance when you need it.

During our research process we liked that 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.

How does Vend compare to its competitors?

Vend is very much designed with retail in mind, so it's not suitable to help restauranteurs and hospitality business owners, like TouchBistro and Clover are. That said, it's one of the few providers we analysed that offers a training mode, which allows staff to be trained without entering live data into the system. It's also one of the only ones to offer customer support on phone, email, and live chat without charging extra for it – a trait it shares with Shopify.

Vend's Pricing

Since our last update, all of Vend's pricing plans have increased by £20.

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Lean

Standard

Advanced

Pricing

£59/month

Pricing

£79/month

Pricing

£119/month

What makes Vend unique?

Vend offers plentiful add-on features, such as advanced reporting and ecommerce integration, that render it the most scalable provider in our research. This is a plus since a scalable POS system helps to prevent overspending, as you can opt for the more expensive tiers once your business has grown.

vend pos dashboard
Vend's reporting dashboard

3. Talech: Best for mobile businesses

Talech logo
Talech
Pricing From £29.99/month
Quick overview

Talech comes in third with a 4.3/5 rating. Talech offers pricing plans from a 'Starter' package, which is £29.99 a month to a ‘Premium' plan, priced affordably at £69.99 per month. There's also a 'Standard' plan, which is £49.99 a month.

If you want any additional devices these are also priced the same as the plan you opt for, so if you need two devices on the Starter package, your monthly cost is £59.98. On the Premium plan, this would be £139.98.

Pros

  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features

Cons

  • Can be glitchy

Why we like Talech

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 we noticed that the software is easy to use, some users have reported issues with the hardware especially the card reader, which breaks often. 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.

The lowest-priced plan is suitable for mobile businesses such as food trucks, as it offers features suitable for small hospitality and retail businesses, at an affordable monthly fee.

How does Talech compare to its competitors?

As far as paid EPOS systems go, Talech's pricing occupies a middle ground, being more expensive than Square, but considerably cheaper than Toast and Vend. Its reporting tools are also limited (it only offers six), which puts it way behind TouchBistro, which offers over 50.

Talech's Pricing

Talech's Starter plan used to be £29.99 but they no longer charge a software fee for this package.

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Starter

Standard

Premium

Pricing

£0

Pricing

£49.99/month

Pricing

£69.99/month

What makes Talech unique?

Talech's the only provider in our research to offer unlimited devices on all of its plans, which is great if you need several people operating the system at once.

talech pos guest mode
Talech's register guest mode

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4. Lightspeed: Best for bars

Lightspeed
Pricing From £39/month
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 systemMulti-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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • No free trial

Why we like Lightspeed

Lightspeed 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, such as bars, as you can easily manage all your locations from one system.

Lightspeed has an integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system so you can foster better relationships with your customers. During our testing process we liked that you can store customer details, and build their profiles for tailored marketing and loyalty programs. Plus it can integrate with accounting platforms such as Xero and Sage.

How does Lightspeed compare to its competitors?

Lightspeed has a key asset in its CRM system, an organised way to store and manage customer information. It also packs more accounting integrations than Square. However, its customer support team is only reachable via phone and email, therefore lacking the live chat channel that Shopify has. For its part, Lightspeed keeps its live chat functionality open just for its sales team.

Lightspeed's Pricing

Lightspeed Retail:

Since our last update, Lightspeed Retail's plans have increased by £20.

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0 out of 0

Lean

Standard

Advanced

Enterprise

Pricing

£59/month

Pricing

£79/month

Pricing

£199/month

Pricing

Custom

Lightspeed Restaurant:

Lightspeed Restaurant's plan names and pricings have changed since our last update. The Premium plan, the most expensive plan, is a new plan and is designed for large enterprises.

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0 out of 0

Starter

Essential

Premium

Enterprise

Pricing

£59/month

Pricing

£109/month

Pricing

£339/month

Pricing

Custom

What makes Lightspeed unique?

Lightspeed has the most comprehensive inventory tools among the providers we researched, so for business owners keen on getting to the nitty-gritty of their stock, it's an ideal choice. It allows you to identify pieces of inventory with a unique serial number, track inventory levels and SKUs across multiple locations, directly import products from over 3,000 preloaded catalogues, among other things.

lightspeed sales screen
Lightspeed's sales screen

5. Shopify: Best ecommerce integration

Shopify
Pricing From £19/month
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.

Pros

  • Powerful platform ideal for any-sized retail store
  • Affordable hardware

Cons

  • Works best when selling through your own Shopify store, not other ecommerce platforms

Why we like Shopify

Even if you're a pop up store, you can still benefit from using a POS system to organise 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. During our research we noticed that the system is customisable so you can personalise 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.

How does Shopify POS compare to its competitors?

Befitting the fact that it's a product by an ecommerce powerhouse, Shopify POS is best suited to those who want to run their business online. If you're just interested in the POS system for a brick-and-mortar location, systems such as Square are likely to serve you better while costing less.

Shopify's Pricing

Shopify's software pricing plans have increased since our last update.

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0 out of 0

Basic

Shopify

Advanced

WisePad 3 Reader

1D barcode scanner

Zebra Label printer

Pricing

£25/month

Pricing

£65/month

Pricing

£344/month

Pricing

£49

Pricing

£199

Pricing

£159

What makes Shopify POS unique?

Shopify POS' unique selling point is the fact that it allows you to seamlessly integrate your online Shopify store with your physical points of sale, as well as manage them both through one single platform. For business owners who already sell via Shopify, that's a match tough to beat.

shopify checkout screen
Shopify's checkout screen

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6. TouchBistro: Best for restaurants

TouchBistro
4
Pricing From £59/month
Quick overview

Designed with the hospitality industry in mind, TouchBistro is a restaurant EPOS system, offering relevant features for 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get out of contract
  • Pricey

Why we like TouchBistro

Scoring a 4/5 in our analysis, we like that TouchBistro is customisable and offers add-on features so you can build a complete restaurant management system. For example, you can add online ordering, and marketing tools. 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.

How does TouchBistro compare to its competitors?

TouchBistro does not offer a free trial, making it more difficult to make an informed decision. During research we did realise that 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. That said, Square doesn't have the same advanced hospitality-focused features as TouchBistro.

TouchBistro's Pricing

From £56/month

What makes TouchBistro unique?

TouchBistro packs incredible reporting tools, including total sales, average spend, and payment type – and because it's cloud-based, you can access them wherever you are as long as you're online. This makes a great choice for restauranteurs keen on using data insights to develop new business strategies.

touchbistro checkout
TouchBistro tableside checkout

7. Clover: Best for medium-sized businesses

Clover
4.5
Pricing Custom
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.

Strengths

Sturdy POS system

Easy to use

Weaknesses

Limited customer support

Reporting could be better

Pros

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

Cons

  • Initial investment is costly

Why we like Clover

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 gave Clovers help and support a 3.5 during testing, as they offer each customer a dedicated Clover support number.

How does Clover compare to its competitors?

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 are better options.

Clover's Pricing

For pricing, you'll need to contact Clover directly.

What makes Clover unique?

Clover boasts some of the sturdiest hardware out there, which makes it a great choice for business owners that require that extra resistance, like an outdoor vendors.

Clover reporting dashboard
Clover's reporting dashboard

Our methodology

Our research team looked at several areas including:

  • Till – this area looks at the hardware a POS provider offers and whether it offers features such as bill splitting and receipt customisation.
  • Business management – this research area scores a provider based on the business features and tools such as offline mode, sales forecasting, and detailed reporting.
  • Stock management – this looks at the comprehensiveness of stock tools.
  • Usability – features such as digital receipts and software set up are taken into account.
  • Price – the average price of the system, plus, whether it has a free trial, demo, or plan.

The score of each area is combined to produce an overall score for the provider.

How do I choose an EPOS system?

We get it: with some many providers in the market, picking one can feel daunting. To help you out, we've listed some of the things you must consider choosing your EPOS system.

Budget

If you're starting out or run a seasonal business, you're better off sticking with providers that offer free software – like Square – so as not to incur a monthly fixed cost.

Business type

You must be attuned to your business needs: while providers like Clover and Lightspeed serve both retail and hospitality, others don't. Retailers would be wise to look for great inventory management tools, while restauranteurs can greatly benefit from delivery integrations and tableside ordering features.

Online integration

If part of your business operates online, consider a provider that makes integrating both the physical and virtual parts of your venture as seamless as possible. Out of the ones in our ranking, Square and Shopify POS are the best-equipped to tackle this.

Verdict

Square is our best POS system overall, scoring a 4.8/5, and Vend comes in second, with a 4.4/5. We recommend Square for start-ups and small businesses as it offers a functional POS system at an affordable price.

Vend is best suited to businesses that are looking to scale, as it offers add-on features so you can develop a system customised to your businesses unique needs.

You’ve read about the best EPOS suppliers – now’s the time to chat with the right one for your business. We can put you in touch with the nation’s leading EPOS companies, and all you need to do is answer a few questions on our free comparison tool. 

We use your answers to match your business with the right suppliers. They’ll then contact you directly with more information and no-obligation quotes tailored to your needs. Our service is quick, easy, and totally free.

FAQs

What is an EPOS system?
An EPOS (electronic point of sale) provider offers software and hardware that make up an EPOS system. Sometimes providers offer one system that can be built up or customised with add-on features and some providers offer industry-focused systems.
Which EPOS supplier is the cheapest?
The cheapest EPOS supplier is Square, offering price plans ranging from £0 per month to just £49 per month. But be careful – when looking at the cost of an EPOS system, it’s important you look at how many features you get on the cheapest plan, to ensure you’re getting value for money.
How do I choose the right EPOS supplier?
You need to look at the EPOS supplier’s pricing and features. This is to ensure the system will fit within your budget, and that it offers the most suitable features for your type of business. For instance, some EPOS companies offer industry-specific packages that might suit your needs better than those offered by other EPOS suppliers.
How does an EPOS system work?
EPOS systems combine hardware and software that are interlinked, helping you process transactions and manage your inventory. Information is passed from the hardware onto the system, which is then displayed on a touchscreen where you can generate reports and view your sales figures, plus much more.
Written by:
Zara Chechi
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 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.