Written by Lucas Pistilli Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 28 February 2023 On this page Best free EPOS software 1. Square - Best for ecommerce integration 2. SumUp - Best for restaurants 3. Zettle - Best for new businesses Best EPOS software with free trial 1. Vend - Best for scalability 2. Shopify POS - Best for omnichannel commerce Is free EPOS software worth it? Alternative EPOS software How much does an EPOS system cost? In a nutshell... How We Test EPOS Systems for Businesses Free and cheap EPOS software FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. Our research shows that Square is the best free EPOS system on the market.Backed by over 10 years of experience and first-hand use, we can say its affordable hardware, flat transaction rates, and powerful add-ons make its $0 price tag even more enticing.Read on to find out about Square and other free and cheap EPOS software to find the best system for your business. What are the best free EPOS software? Square – Best for ecommerce integrationSumUp – Best for restaurantsZettle – Best for new businessesBest EPOS software with a free trial:Vend – Best for scalabilityShopify POS – Best for omnichannel commerceThe links above will allow you to compare EPOS software to find the right fit for your business. Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Square SumUp Zettle Vend Shopify POS Score 4.8 Score 3.8 Score 3.7 Score 4.4 Score 4.1 Best For Ecommerce integration Best For Restaurants Best For New businesses Best For Scalability Best For Omnichannel commerce Key Features Website building and hostingLogo makerOnline checkout feature Key Features Paid promotional tools and loyalty programmesInvoicing featureEnables QR code payments Key Features Accounting integrationsAccepts 13 different card typesSimple sales reports Key Features Run on PC, Mac, or AndroidComes with CRM systemVast reporting tools Key Features Website building and hostingSocial media sale toolFinance and sales reports Free Trial/Plan Free plan Free Trial/Plan Free plan Free Trial/Plan Free plan Free Trial/Plan Free trial Free Trial/Plan Free trial Pros Cheap hardware Ecommerce integration Pros Great restaurant toolsEcommerce integration Pros Cheap hardware Versatile till set ups Pros Compatible with many devicesPlenty of third-party integrations Pros Ecommerce integration Great retail tools Cons Transaction fee build up Retail and restaurant variations only available on paid-for plans Cons Reporting could be betterSupport isn’t available via live chat Cons Transaction fee build upFew business development tools Cons Pricey No hospitality features Cons No handheld POS optionBest POS features are only available in top-tier plan Try Square Compare quotes Compare quotes Compare quotes Try Shopify POS Best free EPOS software 1. Square – Best for ecommerce integration Square 4.8 Quick overview Square is an EPOS system that doubles as an ecommerce platform. This means you can use it to build a website, link it with your Square POS system, and start selling online - for free. They’ll only charge transaction fees when you sell.No wonder Square scores a perfect 5/5 for price in our research. This ties it with Zettle, but puts it in a better position than SumUp and Shopify.Square allows you to start selling immediately with a low investment if you have a compatible smartphone and one of its readers. Also, Square offers the cheapest reader among the providers we researched: it costs £16 + VAT. All this made Square rank highly in our best EPOS providers in the UK. Read more + Read less - Pros Cheap hardware Ecommerce integration Cons Transaction fee build up Retail and restaurant iterations only available on paid-for plans Is Square right for your business?Square is a good fit for small businesses looking for more advanced integrations. Its free EPOS app makes it suitable for those with limited budgets but if you're after a simpler free system, Zettle could be a better fit.As well as its free EPOS software, Square's hardware is also affordable, starting at £16 for a contactless card reader. Its affordability combined with numerous integrations make it a good choice for businesses looking to easily and quickly both online and offline stores.If you're interested in going cashless, Square is a good choice as the card reader is affordable and easy to use, plus, you get a free EPOS app. 2. SumUp – Best for restaurants SumUp 3.8 Quick overview SumUp’s greatest asset is its focus on the hospitality industry. Like Zettle, it doesn’t bind you to a contract: once you buy the hardware you need (its cheapest reader costs £39 + VAT), you’re good to go. It also allows for web building and ecommerce integration, like Square.It’s worth noting that, for you to benefit from SumUp’s restaurant features, you’d have to pay for its hospitality add-ons.However, the breadth of those features, which includes promotional tools and loyalty programmes, led to a 4/5 score for business development in our research. This makes it tie with Square and beat Zettle. Read more + Read less - Pros Great restaurant tools Ecommerce integration Cons Reporting could be better Support isn’t available via live chat Is SumUp right for your business?SumUp is one of the best hospitality EPOS systems for businesses with more advanced needs. But if you're after a simpler system, Zettle is a good option, plus, its EPOS app is entirely free unlike SumUp's paid add-on hospitality features.SumUp's paid features are, however, very tailored to the hospitality industry so if your business requires a more comprehensive system, we recommend SumUp. 3. Zettle – Best for new businesses Zettle 3.7 Quick overview Zettle is a great choice if you’re starting out and want a quick and simple EPOS system. In addition to being free, its hardware is easy to use and very cheap. Granted, it’s not as cheap as Square’s, but it doesn’t incur monthly fees.Zettle focuses on the till experience and offers plenty of hardware options. This versatility earns the provider a high score of 4.5/5 in our till research category. This makes it tie with SumUp, but beat Square and Vend.Zettle also packs helpful reporting features that allow you to track sales performance and manage inventory. However, the scarcity of business development tools will be a drawback once your business starts to expand. Read more + Read less - Pros Cheap hardware Versatile till set ups Cons Transaction fee buildup Few business development tools Is Zettle right for your business?Zettle is a good choice for startups thanks to its free EPOS app and straightforward system. However, if you're after something meatier with numerous integrations and advanced features but still free, Square is a good option.Zettle offers features for both the retail and hospitality industry, plus, its hardware is fairly affordable, compared to other providers on this list, although not quite as cheap as Square. Compare EPOS Software Prices from Leading Suppliers Get free quotes Best EPOS software with free trial 1. Vend – Best for scalability Vend 4.4 Quick overview Vend is an EPOS system that’s big on compatibility. If you own a PC, Mac, or Android portable device, there’s a high chance that you can run Vend on it. This greatly reduces the need for a high initial investment on hardware.The provider’s reporting tools are vast, allowing you to generate end of days reports and even customisable ones. It also integrates with a wide array of third-party applications. Read more + Read less - Pros Compatible with many devices Plenty of third-party integrations Cons Pricey No hospitality features Is Vend right for your business?For businesses looking to scale, Vend, is a good option, however, it's on the pricier side and lacks hospitality features. If you're after a cheaper, hospitality-friendly EPOS systems that's still scalable, Square is a good option.Vend doesn't cater to retail businesses and lacks a table management system, which is fairly surprising for a hospitality EPOS system. Square, Vend, and SumUp all offer table management tools. 2. Shopify POS – Best for omnichannel commerce Shopify 4.1 Quick overview Shopify, an ecommerce giant, also offers a killer EPOS system. It allows you to integrate your website and physical store to sell across multiple channels, such as social media and online marketplaces. Due to this, Shopify POS scores a solid 4/5 for business development in our research.It includes staff performance tracking tools, as well as reports on sales and finances. However, its best POS features are only available in its costly POS Pro plan. Read more + Read less - Pros Ecommerce integration Great retail tools Cons No handheld POS option Best POS features are only available in top-tier plan Is Shopify POS right for your business?Shopify POS is a good fit for businesses that want or currently have a Shopify store. However, it can be on the pricier side, a cheaper option is Square which provides both a free EPOS system and ecommerce platform.Shopify POS lacks an offline mode which can be frustrating if you run into connectivity issues. Both Square and Vend can take payment while offline, so these could be better options if this is important to you. Is free EPOS software worth it?Free EPOS software is a great way to start selling quickly. With no contract (and therefore no termination fees), they really suit new and small businesses. Their lack of monthly fees also means low fixed costs.However, free EPOS software does have their catches. The free version or iteration of software rarely gives you access to the whole range of its features. For that, you’ll have to pay for chargeable add-ons or plans anyway.Scalability is also an issue. While free, they rely on transaction fees to generate an income. As your business grows and deals with more sales, these fees can snowball into a big expense.Because of that, medium and large businesses are better off with paid-for, bespoke providers. Alternative EPOS software1. eHoppereHopper is a low budget, no frills EPOS system. Its interface and hardware aren’t as sleek or stylish as the other POS systems, but it has features that include split payments, basic reporting, tip management, the ability to sell up to 50 products, and handle 300 transactions per month.2. takepaymentsplustakepaymentsplus is technically not an EPOS system, but a powerful and feature-enhanced card machine aimed at small, independent businesses. Through it, you can get real-time reporting, employee tracking, and next-working-day payouts. It’s also easy to use – and at £25 per month, its price is quite competitive for what it does. If your business only requires basic features to hit it off, this is an option worth looking into. Compare EPOS Software Prices from Leading Suppliers Get free quotes How much does an EPOS system cost?EPOS systems cost, on average, between £90-£180 for starting businesses and more than £800 for multi-location behemoths.The price tag relates to the sum of software and hardware costs (some of which can come as monthly subscriptions), plus setup and transaction fees.Paid providers usually offer price tiers that offer you different levels of features. For example, Shopify PRO Lite, included in Shopify’s Basic, medium and Advanced tiers, allows for order and product management.However, Shopify’s omnichannel integration only comes with Shopify POS Pro, which costs the sum of your Shopify plan plus £82 + VAT. In a nutshell... Square offers an incredible array of features for its price tag, and it’s the best free EPOS system according to the deep research we conducted.We were impressed by the fact that it includes web building and ecommerce integration with its free plan. Its solid reporting is also a key asset of the provider.We also tested Square’s support options. By allowing contacts via phone, email and live chat, it scores a perfect 5/5 in this category.If you’re still unsure about which EPOS to go for, or even if a free one would suit your needs, you can quickly fill in our free comparison tool and be matched with trusted providers that you can compare. Compare EPOS Software Prices from Leading Suppliers Get free quotes How We Test EPOS Systems for BusinessesWe tested 16 market-leading EPOS systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, price, features, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in eight main categories of investigation and 45 subcategories – in fact, we covered 61 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for EPOS systems are:Till: the core functionality of the EPOS system which includes the processing of sales transactions. It involves features such as item scanning, item look-up, and price calculation.Business Management: the features and tools provided by the EPOS system to support various aspects of running a business, such as employee management, shift scheduling, and customer management.Stock Management: the EPOS system's capabilities to manage inventory and track stock levels, including inventory tracking, stock alerts and transfers, and purchase order management.Business Development: the features and tools provided by the EPOS system to help businesses grow and improve their operations, e.g. customer relationship management, marketing integrations, and sales forecasting.Usability: how easily and intuitively the EPOS system can be used by the staff, including the user interface design, navigation, ease of training, and overall user experience during setup.Price: the cost associated with acquiring and using the EPOS system, such as the initial purchase cost, licensing fees, subscription plans, and any additional charges or ongoing costs.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the EPOS system, including documentation, tutorials, or knowledge bases.Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the EPOS product. This can include dedicated restaurant and retail functionality like KDS, loyalty management, and multi employee login. Free and cheap EPOS software FAQs What is an EPOS system? An EPOS system is a combination of software and hardware that allows you to process sales as well as manage aspects of your business, such as sales performance and inventory tracking. Which is the cheapest EPOS system? Square and Zettle are the cheapest EPOS systems we researched because both offer their software for free. Which is the best EPOS system? Square’s the best EPOS system according to our research. It tops our ranking because of its combination of solid reporting, ecommerce integration, and low price. Which is the best EPOS system for retail? Square’s the best EPOS system for retail. Its advanced retail features – which include cross-location inventory and profit margin reports – make it a great pick for this industry. Is Loyverse totally free? Loyverse offers its main software for free, but its features are limited. For extra tools, like employee management and integrations, you will be charged a monthly subscription. Does Google have an EPOS system? No, Google doesn’t currently have an EPOS system. Written by: Lucas Pistilli Business Services Expert Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS systems, merchant accounts, and franking machines. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher 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.