pos-systemPoint of sale (POS) systems allow businesses to accept payments from customers either in person or virtually. An effective POS system can make operations more efficient, help manage inventory, and keep track of the all-important dollar on a day to day basis. Choosing the right point of sale system for your business can be challenging, however. There are several different options for POS platforms, both from a hardware and a software perspective. This variety of selection needs to be considered based on business needs and budget to ensure that the right POS system is in place.

Here are the most popular POS systems available today, along with notable features and pricing structure for each.

Square POS

By far, Square POS is the most common point of sale system used by businesses. Square, a leading technology company, offers several different options for merchants in the POS space. Its free POS software is used by more than 2 million businesses around the world. Similarly, many companies utilize Square for its hardware, including Square register and the Square reader for on-the-go payment acceptance. Some of the stand-out features of Square include:

  • Free POS app for desktop or mobile
  • Free Square reader for magstripe transactions
  • Inventory management tools
  • Customer profile creation and management
  • Sales reporting
  • Loyalty program
  • Gift card acceptance
  • Payroll and marketing tools for an additional fee

Square POS hardware is often a cost-effective choice for small businesses. The register which comes with two screens and acceptance of all payment types runs $999. The terminal, which includes a receipt printer and all payment acceptance is $399. Businesses also have options for contactless and chip readers through Square, for either $35 or $49.

Lightspeed POS

Lightspeed is another POS options, designed more specifically for small to mid-sized businesses. With both retail and restaurant systems, Lightspeed POS systems offer a variety of features to help manage payments and operations simultaneously. With this POS system, merchants receive the following:

  • Creation and management of product bundles
  • Purchase order management
  • Built-in product catalog
  • Inventory management and reporting tools
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Integration with client relationship management (CRM) software
  • Loyalty programs
  • Access on any device

Lightspeed POS is more expensive than other solutions, starting at $99 per month for the POS application. This price includes a single register, access for up to five employees, and onboarding support. For an iPad hardware kit which consists of a cash drawer, printer, stand, and scanner, merchants pay $699. Businesses may opt for a custom pricing plan by contacting Lightspeed directly.


Another POS option for brick-and-mortar or e-commerce businesses is Shopify. This point of sale system is designed for multi-channel sellers as it offers a single platform for accessing inventory, customer data, and sales. Shopify offers several different pricing models, ranging from $9 to $299 per month. Based on the option selected, businesses receive the following features:

  • Free POS application
  • Acceptance of all payment types, including gift cards and store credit
  • Tracking of debit and credit card payments
  • Smartphone or tablet used to accept payments anywhere
  • Custom emailed or printed receipts
  • Free card reader
  • Retail and product reporting
  • 24/7 support
  • Inventory management and reporting

The most basic Shopify POS plan allows for one staff account and in-person payment acceptance for $9 per month. More complex plans include reporting features, customizable payments, and online store experiences for businesses. Hardware kits are also available, starting at $229 for a card reader, docking station, retail stand, and mounting kit.


Another option is Shopkeep, a POS system catering to small businesses and boutiques. Shopkeep POS is a cloud-based platform that runs on an iPad. It offers several customization options for businesses, as well as marketing tools and reporting. Some of the standard features of Shopkeep POS systems include:

  • Integrated inventory management
  • Staff management with time clock reporting
  • Insightful data reporting on customer sales and inventory value
  • Integration with CRM and accounting software
  • Acceptance of all payment types
  • Offline payment acceptance
  • 24/7 support

Shopkeep does not post its pricing online. Businesses must call to get a quote for the POS system. However, the average price falls under $100 per month for most POS users.


Finally, Vend is another popular option among small businesses for a POS system. Vend POS offers a platform for small businesses to effectively manage sales and inventory over time. Through either web-based or iPad systems, Vend comes with the following features:

  • Acceptance of all payment types, including gift cards and store credit
  • Mobile and contactless payment options
  • Import of existing barcodes
  • Central product catalog
  • Real-time inventory and staff management
  • Sales and inventory reporting
  • Loyalty program and customer profiles
  • Accounting and CRM integrations

Vend pricing plans range from $99 to $129 per month. Businesses also have an option to request custom pricing for more extensive operations or needs. Each plan includes one register with the POS software. Additional hardware can be purchased if needed, starting at $49 per register.

About Melissa

Melissa is a freelance personal finance and fin tech writer, developing content for several different publications around the web and in print. She has several years of experience writing for top-notch publications, driven by her career expertise in the wealth management and financial planning arenas.

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