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There are so many different POS options on the market that selecting the best one for you can be tricky. You want a flexible and mobile solution for processing transactions and managing sales that allows your business to serve customers from any device - and need the right tool for the job. I've got you covered! In this post, I share my personal experience having researched and tested dozens of tools and being exposed to POS solutions in large teams throughout my career, as I review and try to find the best mobile POS system.

What is a mobile POS system?

A mobile POS system refers to a point-of-sale solution that operates on mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones. It allows this through features like payment processing, inventory management, order tracking, and customer relationship management.

These features allow businesses to conduct transactions, manage inventory, and perform other retail-related functions on-the-go, providing flexibility and convenience in various retail environments.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Mobile POS Systems Options

Best for all-in-one payment management

  • Free demo available
  • From $99/month

Stax Pay is a powerful point-of-sale (POS) system designed specifically for B2B sellers. It offers a range of features and integrations to streamline payment processing and enhance business operations.

Why I Picked Stax Pay: Stax Pay combines payment processing with robust business management tools. This integration includes invoicing, analytics, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM) features, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses. Stax Pay provides omni-channel support, enabling businesses to accept payments seamlessly across multiple channels—online, in-store, and mobile. This cohesive experience helps businesses manage transactions and customer interactions in a unified manner, enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Stax Pay Standout Features & Integrations

Key features include flexible payment options (credit card, ACH, and eCheck), advanced invoicing, recurring billing, and customizable payment plans. The platform also provides detailed reporting and analytics, integrated fraud prevention, and a user-friendly dashboard for managing transactions.

Integrations include popular accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, customer relationship management (CRM) systems such as Salesforce and HubSpot, and ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. Additionally, Stax Pay connects with payment gateways like Authorize.net and Stripe, as well as marketing tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with popular tools
  • Advanced POS capabilities
  • Flexible payment options

Cons:

  • Limited support for international transactions
  • Slight learning curve for new users

Best for omnichannel retail sales

  • The first month is free and the following three months are only $1/month
  • Plans start at $31/month

Shopify POS is a highly adaptable, user-friendly mobile point of sale system, seamlessly integrating with Shopify's e-commerce platform to offer a unified retail solution for both online and physical store sales. This unified approach is what makes Shopify POS stand out for businesses aiming to maintain a cohesive retail experience for their customers, regardless of where the sale takes place.

Why I picked Shopify POS: It excels as a mobile POS system by offering a streamlined, efficient, and flexible sales solution, enabling businesses to sell anywhere and manage everything from a single platform. It is designed to cater to both in-person and online sales, offering a unified platform for inventory management, payment processing, and sales tracking. It supports a range of hardware options for efficient checkout experiences and integrates with various business tools to manage operations effectively.

Shopify POS Standout Features and Integrations:

Features that make this company stand out include its online inventory management which gives you the flexibility to pivot inventory to other locations or online based on performance. I also like its POS smart grid, which keeps your most-used apps, discounts, and products at your fingertips to speed up checkout.

Integrations include QuickBooks, Xero, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, LoyaltyLion, Yotpo, ShipStation, DHL Express, UPS, and Canada Post.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive app marketplace for expanding functionality.
  • Offers a comprehensive suite of mobile hardware and accessories.
  • Integrates flawlessly with Shopify e-commerce, enhancing unified commerce.

Cons:

  • Limited to countries where Shopify Payments is available
  • Some advanced features locked behind higher subscription tiers

Best for high-volume businesses

  • Free account available
  • From 0.50% + $0.25 per transaction
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Helcim’s mobile POS can process as many payments as you can throw at it.

Why I picked Helcim: Helcim offers low per-transaction fees, helping high-volume merchants keep their payment processing costs low. But I do mean “high-volume!”—you’ll need to process +$5M in transactions monthly to get the best pricing.

Helcim Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include low per-transaction fees, integrated inventory management tools, a customer relationship management system, and a secure card vault for storing card and banking information. I thought the low transaction fees were particularly appealing, especially when you’re processing a large volume and small savings can add up quickly.

Integrations include Quickbooks, WooCommerce, Magneto, Foxy.io, and GreatExposure.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Inventory management and CRM
  • No monthly fee
  • Low card processing fees, especially for high-volume businesses

Cons:

  • Additional cost for hardware
  • Pricing structure suited to high-volume sellers

Best for direct account manager access

  • Free plan available
  • From $13.95 plus 0.29% + 1.55% per transaction

Merchant One provides a payment processing solution that caters to various business sectors, including retail, restaurant, hospitality, B2B, ecommerce, and trade show/event spaces. The unique selling point of Merchant One is the direct access to dedicated account managers, which supports businesses with personalized service and quick resolution of processing issues.

Why I picked Merchant One: I chose Merchant One due to their direct approach as they are not brokers, which implies a more straightforward relationship with their clients. Their offering of next-day funding and an expedited setup process also influenced my decision. Merchant One stands out with its comprehensive POS system condensed into a compact form, a contemporary and swift solution for mobile payments, and a straightforward application for transactions where the card is not physically present.

Merchant One Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include the merchant gateway service I have described above for card not present and online transactions. I think merchants will also appreciate that Merchant One provides several credit card terminals, as well as a range of Clover products, all pre-loaded with its software. iPhone and Android card readers are also available.

Integrations are possible through Merchant One’s API, meaning you can connect the company’s software to any existing POS hardware.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Excellent customer support
  • No setup fee
  • Highly customizable solution

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Long-term contract

Best for ease of use

  • Free demo available
  • From 2.3% + $0.1 per transaction

Clover is a mobile POS system with an easy-to-use interface and reasonable payment processing fees, so it’s a great choice for most businesses.

Why I picked Clover: Clover has one of the easiest-to-use mobile POS systems in the industry, with a simple setup and a clean user interface. Despite its simplicity, the system is quite capable.

Clover Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include built-in invoicing and loyalty tools, a virtual terminal for taking payments from anywhere, inventory management capabilities, tracking and reporting functions, and employee management tools.

In my opinion, Clover does a nice job of giving you a simple user interface that can still deliver on functionality.

Integrations include Infuse, Abreeze Technology, True, MiPoint, Solupay, and Direct Source.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 24/7 live support available with some plans
  • Mobile hardware options
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Some features limited to higher-tier plans
  • Prices can get quite high

Best for occasional in-person sellers

  • 3 days free trial
  • From $29/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

Shopify is best known for its e-commerce offerings, but it offers a physical POS that can help online businesses expand to in-person sales.

Why I picked Shopify: I feel that if you already run an online store that uses Shopify, relying on the same company for your POS tools can make setup and management much easier.

Shopify Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include the ability to manage your e-commerce and physical stores in the same place, handle in-person returns or exchanges for online orders, inventory management tools, and reporting functionality.

I particularly like Shopify for its reporting features, which make it easy to track your revenues, sales volume, or any other data you want to see.

Integrations include tools to connect your e-commerce and physical presence, offering local delivery, shipping for in-person purchases of online products, and integrations with other Shopify apps.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive reporting features
  • Integrates with your online store
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons:

  • No free card reader
  • Premium plans can get expensive

Best for no monthly fee

  • Free plan available
  • From $36/month plus 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Square is one of the better-known names in the mobile POS world. If you’re just starting out or you’re working with a small budget, you can get up and running with Square’s mobile POS without breaking the bank.

Why I picked Square: it’s a great option for newer companies that want a simple solution that offers opportunities to scale up as the business grows.

Square will give you a free card reader to get started, so you only pay for card processing fees—not a bad deal.

Square Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include a monthly fee-free service that lets you start accepting payments with no upfront cost. It also supports next-day transfers and comes with live phone support when you need help with the tool.

I especially like that if you need technical assistance or support with the tool, you can connect with a real, live human—rare these days.

Integrations include other Square services, including payroll, online stores, email and text marketing, and third-party services like Quickbooks, WooCommerce, and Wix.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Customizable plans for different business types
  • Integrates with other Square services
  • Basic plan has no subscription fee and comes with a free card reader

Cons:

  • High fees for card payment processing
  • Hardware works better with Apple devices than Android

Best for restaurants

  • Free product demo available
  • From $0 per month plus 2.6% + $0.10 per card transaction.
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Toast offers POS equipment designed specifically for restaurants. You can even adjust the hardware to fit with your restaurant's decor.

Why I picked Toast: Toast is an ideal choice for restaurants because it was built to not break when dropped, spilled on, or dealing with other rigors of restaurant operations.

Toast Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include hardware that’s built to withstand the restaurant environment. It gives you a lot of customization options, plus additional services like payroll and scheduling, which I think makes it a solid all-in-one solution.

I also really like how there are no monthly fees for smaller businesses. You also get a free POS terminal when you buy a plan.

Integrations include UberEats, DoorDash, Resy, Chowly, Grubhub, Recipe Costing, Zuppler, ChowNow, BeerBoard, and Me&u.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • No monthly fees for basic plan
  • Optional payroll and scheduling features for an additional fee
  • Resilient hardware designed with restaurants in mind

Cons:

  • Requires a contract
  • Payment processing fees are not transparent

Best for advanced features

  • Free demo available
  • From $99/month.
Visit Website
Rating: 4.2/5

Revel offers a deep set of features that makes it ideal for large retailers and other businesses. However, smaller companies may want to steer clear of the high price tag.

Why I picked Revel: Revel offers a cloud POS system with built-in loyalty programs, inventory management features, and financial reporting and analysis tools.

Revel Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include customer loyalty programs and tools to help manage inventory and employee schedules.

If you offer delivery services, the Online Ordering XT feature lets your customers see what’s in stock before placing orders. It can also build customer profiles that allow you to send personalized communication and more relevant promotional materials.

Revel’s reporting features also stood out to me. You can pull up the Product Sales Mix report to quickly see your best-selling products, or find out which products are most profitable.

Integrations include 7Shifts, Adyen, Amaka, Appfront, Arch, Chowly, Compeat, Craftable, DigitalPour, eCard, FreedomPay, and Grubhub.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Large variety of integrations
  • Extensive reporting functionality
  • Compatible with a wide variety of hardware

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Pricing can be high

Best for inventory management

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $99 per month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

Lightspeed has impressive inventory management capabilities and works with a variety of hardware.

Why I picked Lightspeed: Lightspeed is designed to be a single platform for key sale and inventory tasks. The tool updates stock levels automatically with each sale, allowing you to manage multiple retail channels and their inventories more efficiently.

However, I think the price may be a little steep for small businesses. It’s better suited to large, more established companies, in my opinion.

Lightspeed Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout Features include a variety of third-party integrations that allow you to easily customize the tool to your team’s needs.

Lightspeed’s inventory management tools can track inventory across multiple channels and communicate your stock needs with suppliers.

And if you sell both online and in physical stores, I think you’ll appreciate how the tool consolidates inventory data from your brick-and-mortar locations and e-commerce channels so you can view and manage everything in one place.

Integrations include third-party services like AGendrix employee schedule, Amaka accounting, and AppCard loyalty tools.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Lots of mobile hardware options, including chip readers and barcode scanners
  • Inventory tracking tools
  • Wide variety of third-party integrations

Cons:

  • Many features are only available with the more expensive plans
  • High price
Tools Price
Stax Pay From $99/month
Shopify POS Plans start at $31/month
Helcim From 0.50% + $0.25 per transaction
Merchant One From $13.95 plus 0.29% + 1.55% per transaction
Clover From 2.3% + $0.1 per transaction
Shopify From $29/month (billed annually)
Square From $36/month plus 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
Toast From $0 per month plus 2.6% + $0.10 per card transaction.
Revel Systems From $99/month.
Lightspeed From $99 per month
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other Options

If you’re not convinced that the options on my list are the right choice for your business, these are a few reasonable alternatives.

  1. Rain POS

    Best for retailers

  2. Payment Depot

    Best for transparent, no hidden fee savings

  3. Odoo ERP

    Best for integrations

  4. STAX

    Best for quick processing speeds

  5. Loyverse

    Best for reporting and analytics tools

  6. ProMerchant

    Best for advanced fraud protection

  7. SumUp

    Best for loyalty program integrations

  8. NetSuite

    Best for integrations with a huge variety of Oracle Services

  9. KORONA POS

    Best for 24/7 support

  10. Epos Now

    Best for low-cost hardware

Selection Criteria for the Best Mobile POS Systems

To build this list, I looked at all of the top mobile POS systems on the market to compare their pricing, features, and other details.

Selection criteria

When comparing mobile POS systems, I examined the following criteria.

Core Functionality

To make it on my list of the best mobile POS systems, a product needed to accomplish a few core functions, including:

  • calculating order totals
  • applying applicable taxes
  • accepting customer orders
  • processing customer payments and issuing refunds
  • documenting sales transaction history
  • being portable

Key Features

When ensuring that a mobile POS could handle the above functions, I look for these features:

  • Payment acceptance: A mobile POS should have an app that lets you accept payments from a phone or tablet, or a handheld device that can handle card payments.
  • Checkout tools. A mobile POS should be able to keep track of the products you sell and make it easy to enter an order and calculate the price.
  • Reporting. It’s important to be able to look at your company’s sales history and keep track of not only how much money you’re making but what products you’re selling.
  • Inventory management. Retailers need to stay on top of their inventory levels to ensure they don’t lose sales due to stockouts. A good mobile POS should be able to help you track inventory and automatically update stock levels based on sales.

Usability

A mobile POS is designed to make it easier to accept payments while you’re on the go. That means that it’s essential that any service you select be easy to use with as limited a learning curve as possible.

Most POS systems are relatively intuitive once you set them up. Choose the products the customer is buying or enter the prices manually, then let the customer pay with a card or other method. For that reason, I paid close attention to the difficulty of setting up the tool and adding key integrations.

Price

I considered both the monthly fees charged by the vendor and the cost per transaction each time a customer swipes a card. I also took the price of the hardware into account.

You can expect a basic mobile POS to have no monthly fee or one that costs $25 or less per month.

Once you hit about $20,000 in sales you’ll want to upgrade to a service that will likely cost closer to $100. Massive companies clearing $1 million per year will need enterprise plans that can run into the hundreds per month.

Integrations

Many mobile POS systems integrate with third-party tools. I looked for integrations that made sense given the target market of the system.

For example, POS systems aimed at restaurants should integrate with apps like Grubhub or UberEats. A POS system also needs to work with any accounting and inventory tools you’re already using.

Support

If your POS system breaks, that makes it hard to do business and accept payments. That makes support, both for setting up the tool and for troubleshooting any issues that pop up, essential.

I looked for companies that have easy-to-contact support teams and a reputation for satisfying their customers.

FAQs

People Also Ask

Below are the answers to some of the most common questions that people have about mobile POS systems.

What is the difference between a mobile and a traditional POS?

The difference between a mobile and a traditional POS is right in the name. A mobile POS is a handheld device that you can easily move around. Often, they’re smartphone or tablet apps that connect to an external card reader.

A traditional POS, on the other hand, is a more permanent piece of hardware that usually uses a hardwire connection. It may also have more external equipment that is bulky or takes up space, such as a scale for weighing goods.

What are the must-haves for a mobile POS?

The most essential thing for a mobile POS to have is a good way to accept payments from customers. That can come in the form of an app that lets people tap their cards on your phone but ideally includes an external card reader that works with chip or swipe-enabled debit or credit cards.

Mobile POS systems need to be secure, keeping your company’s and customers’ data encrypted and protected from hackers.

Other essential features include reporting capabilities for tracking sales and inventory management features for monitoring current stock levels.

How do I choose the right mobile POS system?

Choosing the right mobile POS system for your company requires thinking about your business and its needs, then comparing those needs to the services offered by different vendors.

For example, if you’re running a restaurant, consider looking into POS systems designed for restaurants. They’ll offer key features like integrations with delivery apps, recipe cost tracking, and other useful tools.

If you’re running a retailer that also has an online store, look for a POS designed to help with multi-channel or omni-channel selling and marketing.

Is a mobile POS system secure?

When it comes to customer information and payment data, security is key. To keep customer data secure, mobile POS systems use a variety of encryption and other security tools. For example, contactless payments rely on one-time codes that authorize a specific transaction, making it hard for hackers to steal card data.

The most common issues for mobile POS systems relate to unauthorized access to the system and cyberattacks targeted at the backend of the POS. POS vendors implement various security measures to fight against these backend attacks.

As long as you follow standard best practices to ensure only authorized employees access your POS terminals, your customers’ data will be safe.

What can I expect from a mobile POS system?

A point-of-sale (POS) system lets a business accept payments and track transactions. Rather than relying on bulky equipment that needs to be connected to a power source or the internet to function, mobile POS systems give companies the freedom to do business anywhere.

A mobile POS system may be a purpose-built piece of portable hardware, but there are also many mobile POS systems that run through a smartphone or tablet.

As with any POS, you can expect a mobile POS to make it easy to deal with customer transactions. Mobile POS systems can scan the products customers want to buy, calculate the total price and appropriate taxes, and accept payment made using cards, cash, or digital wallets.

A good mobile POS will also include features that help with tracking your relationship with customers and keeping an eye on your company’s product inventory.

Conclusion

Having the right POS system is important for your customers, your team, and your bottom line.

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By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.