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Best POS Systems Shortlist

Here’s the shortlist of the POS systems that I’ll cover in this article. You can find detailed summaries below.

  1. Square - Best for ease of set up and use
  2. Aloha Cloud - Best for complex menus and inventory
  3. Clover - Best all-in-one system for small businesses
  4. Toast - Best for small restaurants
  5. Lightspeed - Best for multi-channel retail
  6. eHopper POS - Best low-cost option for retail
  7. Shopify POS - Best for e-commerce businesses
  8. Helcim - Best for high-volume businesses
  9. TouchBistro - Best all-in-one system for restaurants
  10. PayPal Zettle - Best for PayPal users
  11. Lavu - Best for customization
  12. Revel Systems - Best for customer loyalty programs

After investigating tons of POS systems for core features, pricing, and usability, I’ve chosen the top 12. Since each system has its pros and cons, I’ll explain what kind of businesses they best serve. Plus, I’ll cover all the pricing details, from monthly costs to transaction fees.

What is a POS system?

A point-of-sale system is an interface that you and your customer use to perform a transaction. For modern businesses, that means some kind of hardware or device to collect a customer’s payment information, usually through a credit or debit card.

POS systems also allow your staff to ring up an order, usually by accessing a catalog of products or menu items. The data can then be sent to a kitchen, order fulfillment, or inventory system.

Overview of the 12 Best POS Systems

Here’s my list of the top 12 POS systems for 2023. In the reviews below, I’ll cover key features, strengths, weaknesses, and pricing.

1. Square - Best for ease of set up and use

Square POS system home screen
Within Square, you can review sales trends, add and edit items, and manage orders. (Image Source)

Founded in 2011, Square is a payment processor and point-of-sale system offered by Block, the technology company behind TIDAL, Afterpay, and Cash App. Square started out as a simple and inexpensive way for small businesses to accept credit and debit cards, but it’s now a POS option for larger businesses as well.

Why I picked Square: Known for its simplicity and ease of use, Square is a good way for any business to get a POS system up and running. And, because there are no setup fees and you can use your own device as a virtual terminal, it costs nothing to start using Square.

Square Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the ability to set up and sell through an online store, as well as selling through Facebook and Instagram. As your business grows, you can add on tools for loyalty programs, managing your cash drawer, and even payroll.

Integrations include Zapier, Quickbooks, Groupon, Drupal Commerce, Wix, WooCommerce, Uber Eats, Xero, Linktree, Bookkeep, and Ovation.

Pricing: Starts at 2.6% + 10¢

Free Trial: With the free plan, you only pay for transactions.

  • Easy to get started
  • Hardware at a range of price points
  • No contracts
  • Rates too high for large sales volume
  • Incompatible with Windows OS

2. Aloha Cloud - Best for complex menus and inventory

Table interface on Aloha Cloud
Restaurant staff can use Aloha Cloud to assign orders to different customers at the same table. (Image Source)

Aloha Cloud is the most recent iteration of the Aloha POS system, made by NCR Corporation. With more than 100,000 restaurants using Aloha, the name is sometimes used interchangeably with “POS.” The cloud-based version offers a mobile app and helps your restaurant manage in-person and online orders.

Why I picked Aloha Cloud: Aloha Cloud is incredibly popular among restaurants because it’s designed with their needs in mind. As someone who worked in the service industry throughout college, I really appreciate how much focus Aloha puts on the employees’ user experience, making it easy for servers to manage large, complex menus. And management can streamline inventory by managing it in the same system.

Aloha Cloud Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a consistent user interface across devices so employees can work quickly on any hardware. Aloha Cloud also has an employee portal for submitting availability and time off requests, which is something I would have really loved to have during my time working in restaurants. Aloha also offers a kitchen display system to eliminate paper tickets and streamline back-of-house operations at restaurants.

Integrations include 7shifts, HotSchedules, DoorDash, Stax, CrunchTime, Quickbooks, AllianceHCM, QSROnline, and SailPlay Loyalty.

Pricing: Starts at 2.99% + $0.15

Free Trial: Offers a free starter plan

  • User-friendly
  • Inventory management tool
  • Barcode scanning
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Limited integrations

3. Clover - Best all-in-one system for small businesses

Clover POS virtual terminal
With Clover, you can use your computer or mobile device as a virtual POS terminal. (Image Source)

Launched in 2012, Clover is a cloud-based point-of-sale system and hardware collection which can be purchased directly or through a number of resellers. Along with credit and debit cards, Clover supports Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Why I picked Clover: Clover combines three important parts of business operations (point-of-sale, payment processing, and hardware) into one attractive system.

Clover Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include both virtual terminals and a wide range of hardware options. Clover also offers real-time reporting and sales analytics, which you can access anywhere from the Clover Go mobile app.

Integrations include Time Clock by Homebase, Thrive Inventory, BigCommerce, stockIt, Easy Labels, Magento, Yelp, and Paychex.

Pricing: Starts at $14.95/month and 2.3% + 10¢

Free Trial: 30-day free trial

  • Rapid deposits
  • Customer loyalty program
  • Highly customizable
  • Complex pricing
  • Poor customer service reviews

4. Toast - Best for Small Restaurants

Toast terminal with POS interface
Toast offers different POS interfaces for different types of business (bar, restaurant, food truck, etc.). (Image Source)

Initially an app to connect restaurants and customers for starting and splitting a tab, Toast is now a restaurant POS system that enables both online and in-person transactions. Used by more than 70,000 restaurant locations, they offer POS solutions for single locations, small chains, and enterprise brands.

Why I picked Toast: With integrations for food delivery apps and an online ordering page that’s directly tied to the POS, Toast enables small and local restaurants to expand their sales channels. And because the starter plan has no monthly fee, it’s an affordable option for tight budgets.

Toast Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include 24/7 support across phone, email, and web channels for all subscriptions. While the system is cloud-based and can be accessed anywhere, it also has an offline mode to avoid unexpected interruptions.

Integrations include Doordash, Uber Eats, 7shifts, CrunchTime, Homebase, Hotschedules, Punchh, Restaurant365, Sauce, and Grubhub.

Pricing: Starts at 2.49% plus 15¢

Free Trial: With the Starter Plan, you only pay transaction fees.

  • Online ordering page
  • Pay-as-you-go hardware option
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Charges for canceling and changing plans
  • Must use Toast’s payment processor

5. Lightspeed - Best for multi-channel retail

Lightspeed homepage metric customization window
Lightspeed users can customize what metrics they see on their homepage. (Image Source)

Lightspeed is a commerce platform and POS system with solutions for retail stores, restaurants, and golf courses. It also offers robust inventory management features, including multi-location tracking and stock purchasing within Lightspeed.

Why I picked Lightspeed: Like restaurants, the digital transformation of retail stores has accelerated since the COVID-19 pandemic. Lightspeed allows retailers to sell in their stores and across numerous online channels, all while maintaining centralized inventory and sales data.

Lightspeed Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the ability to manage multiple channels and stores (not to mention suppliers) from one platform. You can use Lightspeed to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.

Integrations include MailChimp, Kangaroo Rewards, Homebase, Podium, RetailNext, SKU IQ, Ticket-IT, and Swiftcount.

Pricing: Starts at $69/month and 2.6% plus 10¢

Free Trial: 14-day free trial

  • Customizable reports
  • Multi-location inventory management
  • Extensive documentation and help content
  • No free option
  • Unclear hardware pricing

6. eHopper POS - Best low-cost option for retail

eHopper POS interface with T-shirts
Retailers using eHopper POS can add images to their product catalog. (Image Source)

eHopper is a POS system that promotes itself as an all-in-one business management solution for small businesses. Along with in-person, online, and self-service capabilities, it offers a basic e-commerce site, CRM, and loyalty app.

Why I picked eHopper POS: eHopper gives a wide set of tools to retailers for a relatively small investment. The system is device agnostic and offers barcode scanning, transaction tax management, and cash management.

eHopper POS Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing you to maintain customer profiles and purchase histories, as well as implement loyalty programs. eHopper users can also customize receipts, both print and digital.

Integrations include PayPal, WooCommerce, Quickbooks, Mailchimp,, and Google Analytics.

Pricing: Starts at $39.99/month and 2.5% + 10¢

Free Trial: Free plan for up to 300 transactions/month

  • Free plan available
  • Organized, intuitive interface
  • Offers surcharging and cash discounts
  • Limited reporting
  • Few integrations

7. Shopify POS - Best for e-commerce businesses

Shopify POS modules and cart
With Shopify POS, you can edit your return policy and sales. (Image Source)

Shopify is an e-commerce platform with more than 20,000 online stores. It allows individuals and businesses to build digital storefronts and catalogs, manage and process orders, and collect payments. While the company is best known for online shopping, its POS system can also process in-person transactions.

Why I picked Shopify POS: For entrepreneurs and small businesses, building a Shopify store is a way to start earning revenue without the expense of a brick-and-mortar storefront. When those businesses want to expand to pop-up stores or permanent locations, the Shopify POS is an easy way to make the transition.

Shopify POS Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a customizable POS home page, where you can keep your most-used modules at the forefront. Shopify also touts its advanced inventory management and precise staff permissions feature.

Integrations include Mailchimp, Zapier, Hubspot, Buffer, Quickbooks, Xero, ShipStation, Etsy, SKU IQ, ShipHero, and Klaviyo.

Pricing: Starts at $39/month and 2.7%

Free Trial: 14-day free trial

  • Online store builder
  • Mobile transactions
  • Order management tools
  • Designed for e-commerce
  • Limited hardware

8. Helcim - Best for high-volume businesses

Ramen menu in Helcim POS
Helcim users can toggle between the POS interface and a database of transactions. (Image Source)

Helcim is a POS system and payment processing platform that emphasizes fee and rate transparency. They use an “interchange +” model. Interchange is the 1-3% that businesses have to pay to banks to move funds. This empowers businesses to choose the best payment processing rate they can find, to which Helcim makes only a small addition.

Why I picked Helcim: Along with their lack of setup and cancellation fees, Helcim’s pricing structure rewards you for selling more. That means that when you sell more products, you keep more and more of the profits. For high-volume businesses, the savings add up.

Helcim Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the ability to process partial payments or deposits, as well as automatically create customer profiles that you can edit and add notes to. You can send invoices and email customers for continued engagement.

Integrations include Quickbooks,, WooCommerce, Magento, and Great Exposure. While pre-built integrations are few, Helcim does offer an API for customization.

Pricing: Starts at 1.86% + 8¢

Free Trial: The software is free. You only pay for transactions.

  • User permissions
  • Virtual terminals
  • Mobile app
  • Requires 3rd party hardware
  • Very few integrations

9. TouchBistro - Best all-in-one system for restaurants

TouchBistro POS menu and table
In TouchBistro, you can view menu categories or your full menu, as well as seat-specific orders. (Image Source)

TouchBistro is a restaurant management system that offers a POS system, as well as kitchen display systems, gift card management, reservations, and marketing tools. Founded in 2010, it’s now used in more than 29,000 restaurants.

Why I picked TouchBistro: This platform gives restaurants a diverse tool set specific to their needs. Instead of juggling a POS system, a reservation platform, a time clock, a payroll system, and a loyalty app, you can manage it all in TouchBistro.

TouchBistro Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include sophisticated table and floor management for hosts and servers. Along with simple POS terminals, TouchBistro also offers customer-facing displays, cash registers, card readers, and receipt printers.

Integrations include Xero, Restaurant365, Quickbooks, Sage, Square, Chase, 7shifts,, MarketMan, and Bevchek.

Pricing: Starts at $69/month + payment processing

Free Trial: No free trial

  • Table management
  • Email, chat, and phone support
  • Add-ons for growing businesses
  • Not for retail businesses
  • Contract required

10. Paypal Zettle - Best for PayPal users

Deposits overview in PayPal Zettle
You can customize reports in PayPal Zettle and share them with others. (Image Source)

PayPal emerged as a digital wallet for shoppers in 1998 and now offers online and offline transactions in 202 countries. Their POS system, PayPal Zettle, brings the payment trailblazer to in-person transactions.

Why I picked PayPal Zettle: Like Shopify, PayPal is a fundamental tool for lots of small businesses. For PayPal users, Zettle brings the same speed and flexibility to in-person sales and gets funds into your account faster.

PayPal Zettle Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the ability to bulk upload thousands of products to your catalog, as well as manage inventory for both online and offline purchases. Zettle touts the speed of its card readers and the ability to deposit funds in your PayPal account in just minutes.

Integrations include Quickbooks, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and SalesVu.

Pricing: Starts at 2.29 % + $0.09

Free Trial: The software is free. You only pay for transactions.

  • No monthly fees
  • QR payments
  • Affordable hardware
  • Not designed for restaurants
  • Few integrations

11. Lavu - Best for customization

Lavu POS menu with pictures
You can use Lavu to manage tables and to-go orders, and you can use it as your time clock. (Image Source)

Lavu promotes itself as a restaurant POS system made by restaurant people. Along with the POS, Lavu also sells MenuDrive (a marketing and online ordering tool) and Sourcery (an invoice and bill-pay tool).

Why I picked Lavu: With their open API and menu of add-on features, Lavu allows you to build the POS system you need and customize it to fit your business.

Lavu Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include team management and inventory management, along with real-time reporting. While Lavu can process mobile wallets like Apple Pay, it also has a cash discount program designed to reduce the fees you pay for processing debit and credit cards.

Integrations include 7shifts, Bento Box, Quickbooks, Restaurant365, Yelp,, TableUp, TipHaus, Paychex, Open Table, and Doordash.

Pricing: Starts at $59/month + payment processing

Free Trial: No free trial

  • Highly customizable
  • Inventory management
  • Barcode scanning
  • Contract required
  • No free option

12. Revel Systems - Best for customer loyalty programs

Revel System item customization interface
Employees can modify menu items with Revel Systems’ intuitive interface. (Image Source)

Revel Systems is a cloud-based POS system that has been serving restaurants and retail stores since 2010. Its security and flexibility make it popular with multi-location businesses and enterprise chains.

Why I picked Revel Systems: While a few of the other POS systems on this list allow you to implement some sort of loyalty program, Revel Systems takes it a step further. Its loyalty program enables personalized email and SMS marketing and promotes program membership within the POS.

Revel System Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include inventory management and a sophisticated analytics and reporting suite. Revel Systems also has a unique solution to complex orders (like coffee drinks). With Conversational Ordering, employees can ring in items the way the customer orders to avoid repeating details. And “Always On Mode” allows you to continue taking card payments if the internet is interrupted.

Integrations include CrunchTime, Deputy, HotSchedules, Ovation, Restaurant365, Thanx, Wisely, Punchh, Quickbooks, MarketMan, and Homebase.

Pricing: Starts at $99/month + payment processing

Free Trial: No free trial

  • Inventory management
  • Enterprise restaurant management
  • Offers self-serve kiosks
  • High price point
  • Poor customer service reviews

Other POS System Options

Along with my recommendations above, here are a few more POS options that are worth considering:

  1. IT Retail - Best system for grocery stores
  2. Talech - Best for a diverse toolset
  3. KORONA POS - Best for tickets and events
  4. CardConnect - Best integrations and customization
  5. Epos Now - Best hardware bundles
  6. GoDaddy - Best e-commerce features

Selection Criteria For a POS System

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best Point of Sale systems for this article:

Core Functionality

Any point-of-sale system needs to enable a business to take orders, ring up items, and produce a bill of sale for customers. POS systems also need to enable you to collect payments, even if you use a third-party processor. I looked for sales systems that work with cash, cards, and mobile wallets.

Key Features

  • Item Catalog: Systems need to enable you to create a catalog of the items your business sells. Moreover, I considered how easy it was to find items through categories and search functions.
  • Online and In-person Sales: The ability to take both online and in-person orders is increasingly important for businesses of all sizes.
  • Reports: Your POS system should offer at least basic reporting capabilities to analyze sales trends.

Pricing and Fees

Because POS systems are entwined with payment processing, I considered both the monthly cost of the system itself, as well as the transaction fees that each payment accrues. For this list, I included the transaction fees associated with using the POS system’s default payment processor (if it had one).

Hardware Needs and Compatibility

Most businesses will need terminals through which to use a POS system. While evaluating these companies, I researched what hardware (POS terminals, card readers, receipt printers, etc.) the system offers and whether the system is compatible with third-party terminals. I looked for options with a range of hardware price points.

Customer Support

Because businesses use POS systems at all hours of the day and night, I looked for options with 24/7 support. I also considered through which channels customers could access support (phone, email, chat, etc.). Finally, I studied user reviews to learn how helpful real customers found the support they received.

People Also Ask

Still have questions about POS systems? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Point of Sale, On Point.

Your POS system has a huge impact on both your customer and employee experience. I wish it were as simple as pointing at a single best system, but their different features and pricing structures make it impossible to declare a single winner. I’ve narrowed down the field, and now you can use these summaries to find the right POS system for your business.

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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.