The 7 Best EPOS Suppliers in the UK

Person using an EPOS system
Zara Chechi

Square is our overall best POS system, scoring 4.8/5. Vend comes in second, scoring a 4.4/5, in our research.

Our independent research team compared 12 POS systems to identify the best for your business. We compared POS systems bases on several factors, including price, usability, business management features, and help and support. We know how important it is to choose a system that is affordable, easy to use, and that has the relevant features for your business.

You can get free quotes directly from the best EPOS suppliers in the UK through our free quote-finding tool. Simply answer a few questions about your business, and we’ll match you with the right companies.

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Square

Talech

Lightspeed

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

From £39/month

Pricing

From £29.99/month

Pricing

£69 – £199

Pricing

From £19/month

Pricing

From £59/month

Pricing

From £30+/mo

Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Suited to small businesses
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
Pros
  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features
Pros
  • Integrated CRM system
  • In-depth inventory management
  • Extensive report templates
Pros
  • 24/7 support
  • Seamless integration with Shopify ecommerce store

 

Pros
  • Designed for hospitality
  • Integrated CRM system
  • Add-on features
Pros
  • Has a handheld POS system
  • Easy to use
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
  • Limited customer support

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1. Square: Overall best EPOS supplier

Square
Pricing £0 - £49
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. The transaction fees are fairly steep however at 1.75% and 2.5%.

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

If your business is fairly small or mobile, you can simply download the app onto your mobile device, and along with Square's card-reader, priced at an affordable £16, you have yourself a 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. You have the option of scaling as your business grows, the free POS app and affordable card reader means you can use Square as a start-up but as your business expands, you can opt for more hardware and the paid plan, so you can access the more advanced features.

Square scores highly in all of our research areas, so you know the system will provide you with the features you need to manage your business efficiently.

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 by PayPal that provide a free POS app tailored to the hospitality industry. 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.

Pricing:

  • Free – £0
  • Plus – £49/month

Transaction fees:

  • Chip and pin/contactless – 1.75%
  • Virtual terminal/invoices – 2.5%

Hardware:

  • Square Reader – £16
  • Square Terminal – £149
  • Square Register – £50

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems

What makes Square unique?

Squares free POS app is definitely its biggest attraction. Not only is it free, but its easy to use, intuitive, and full of relevant features for businesses.


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.

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 integrations has some issues. Vend offers 24/7 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.

Pricing:

  • Lean: £39/month
  • Standard: £59/month
  • Advanced: £99/month

Pros

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

Cons

  • Shopify integration does not always work well

What makes Vend unique?

Vend offers add-on features so you can create a custom system that is right for your business.

3. Talech: Best for mobile businesses

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.

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. 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.

Pricing:

  • Starter: £29.99/month
  • Standard: £49.99/month
  • Premium: £69.99/month

Pros

  • Scalable
  • Wide range of features

Cons

  • Can be glitchy

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What makes Talech unique?

Talech offers different plans depending on your business, its Starter package is best for cafes or basic retail stores. Standard is best for medium-sized retail and quick service restaurants. Premium is best for full-service restaurants, multi-location stores, or salons and spas.

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.

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 organised 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.

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, so you can easily manage all your locations from one system.

Pricing:

Lightspeed Retail:

  • Lean – £39/month
  • Standard – £59/month
  • Advanced – £99/month
  • Enterprise – custom

Lightspeed Restaurant:

  • Essentials -£39/month
  • Plus – £79/month
  • Enterprise – custom

Pros

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

Cons

  • No free trial

What makes Lightspeed unique?

Lightspeed has advanced inventory tools, so you can manage and organise your business with ease.

5. Shopify: Best for 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.

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. 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.

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. Being able to seamlessly integrate and manage your online and physical store is the main benefit of Shopify POS.

Pricing:

  • Basic – £19/month
  • Shopify – £49/month
  • Advanced £259/month

Hardware:

  • WisePad 3 Reader – £49
  • 1D barcode scanner – £199
  • Zebra Label printer – £159

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

What makes Shopify unique?

Shopify's ecommerce integration means you can run your online and physical stores from one platform at the same time.

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6. TouchBistro: Best for restaurants

TouchBistro
Pricing From £59/month
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 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.

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

What makes TouchBistro unique?

TouchBistro offers a separate training mode so you can easily train your staff without any potential mistakes causing an issue.

7. Clover: Best for medium-sized businesses

Clover
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.

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 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 investment is costly

What makes Clover unique?

Clover offers a handheld POS system, Clover Flex. You can access the system from this small device, take payments on-the-go or away from your main register for ease and convenience.

Alternative EPOS suppliers

Whilst these suppliers didn't quite the make the cut in our research, we still think they have something to offer, especially for start-ups or small businesses.

takepaymentsplus

takepaymentsplus is aimed at small, independent businesses. For some small businesses, the current EPOS systems on the market are too complex but traditional cash registers were too simple. This is where takepayments comes in, giving you: the card machine that does more. 
takepayments boasts features and benefits including, a rapid checkout process, real-time reporting, employee tracking and the ability to get your money the next working day!
You save time by accessing insightful reporting, stay on top of stock levels and prevent mistakes caused by human error. The system is easy to use, with the ability to add products within seconds.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Designed for small businesses
  • Get your money the next working day

Cons

  • Lacks a lot of the features found on EPOS systems

Zettle by PayPal

Zettle's free POS app gives start-ups and small businesses the ability to manage their business, process payments, and carry out basic tasks, all from a mobile device.

Whilst the app itself is free, there is a transaction fee, priced at 1.75% for card transaction, and 2.5% for invoice and payment link transactions. This is lower than Square's transaction fees however Square offers a more comprehensive POS system.

Zettle is on the more basic side, but its perfect for businesses such as food trucks and cafes as it offers specialised features for the hospitality and retail sectors.

Pros

  • Free POS app
  • Hospitality and retail features

Cons

  • Fairly basic

SumUp

SumUp offers a range of card readers such as the SumUp Air, priced at £29, suitable for on-the-go payments. You can also purchase the SumUp 3G and Printer, priced at £149.

Once you have a SumUp account, you can various tools via the mobile app or online. These tools include, reporting, employee profiles, and item management. It can definitely be tricky to manage a retail store with a large inventory or an eatery with a big menu, however, for businesses that offer services, this is a great choice.

There's no monthly fee however each transaction has a fee of 1.69%, which is lower than a lot of other POS systems, and affordable considering there's no other reoccurring fees.

Pros

  • No monthly fee
  • Card readers are affordable

Cons

  • Only has basic POS features

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.

Expert 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 provider?
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 Clover, offering price plans ranging from £0 per month to just £29.95 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 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.