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Best POS Terminal Shortlist

Here are the tools that I’ve selected after researching their core functionality, key features, and usability. Detailed summaries for each are included below.

  1. Square - Best all-around POS system
  2. Shopify - Best for e-commerce and retail
  3. TouchBistro - Best for restaurants
  4. Epos Now - Best for the hospitality industry
  5. Lightspeed - Best for customization
  6. Clover - Best ease of use
  7. Toast - Best for durable hardware
  8. GoDaddy Poynt - Best analytics features
  9. CardPointe by CardConnect - Best for range of payment methods
  10. Revel Systems - Best for large restaurant chains
  11. PayPal Zettle - Best option with no monthly fee
  12. Heartland - Best for apparel and fashion retailers

Below you’ll find my evaluation of the best POS terminals that are currently available. For each one, I’ve summarized their standout features, what I think each one does best, and some notable pros and cons.

What Is a POS Terminal?

A POS (Point of Sale) terminal is a hardware system used in retail businesses to conduct sales transactions.

A POS terminal processes payments, captures customer payment information, and transmits the data for approval and completion of the transaction.

POS terminals traditionally include a computer, cash register, credit/debit card reader, barcode scanner, and receipt printer.

However, many businesses opt for more lightweight solutions. Some modern POS terminals are as simple as a debit and credit card reader that plugs into your phone or tablet and can be used with your POS system’s app.

Overview of the 12 Best POS Terminals

I’ve summarized the key features that I think set these POS terminals apart, as well as any drawbacks or limitations to consider.

1. Square - Best all-around POS terminal

Square POS
The Square Stand is one of several POS terminal options you can choose from. (Image Source)

Square is a big name in the POS and e-commerce market. So, naturally, they’ve got one of the best and most widely-used POS terminals on the market.

Why I picked Square: With a line of POS hardware to choose from, Square has a solution that will fit pretty much any business model—whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retail store that needs a full register, a mobile dog groomer that just needs a card reader to accept payments on the go, or anything in between.

Square Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include data analytics and financial reporting tools that let you drill down into your cost of goods sold and analyze profit margins.

I especially like that Square sells hardware kits, but also lets you mix and match your own hardware, registers, terminals, stands, card readers, and other accessories.

Plus, Square has no equipment fees or long-term contracts, and you can cancel at any time.

Integrations include all of Square’s POS Solutions software and specialized solutions like Square for Restaurants, Square for Retail, and Square Appointments.

Pricing: From $399 or $34/mo with financing

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Highly customizable
  • Competitive pricing on transaction fees
  • User-friendly interface
  • Bulky design
  • Can’t run on Windows desktops or tablets

2. Shopify - Best for e-commerce and retail

Shopify POS Go terminal
Shopify’s POS Go terminal looks sleek and modern. (Image Source)

Shopify’s wireless hardware makes it a good choice if you’re selling your products at markets or pop-up events.

Why I picked Shopify: They offer a range of hardware solutions to fit all retail needs. You can choose the hardware that makes the most sense for your multi-store, single-store, or events-based business.

Shopify Standout Features and Integrations:

Features of Shopify hardware include the fact that they’re wireless, so you can close sales anywhere with your portable POS devices. The Shopify platform has 99.9% uptime, so you can be confident that you can take payments without running into issues.

I really like the flexibility Shopify offers in terms of the different POS devices you can create the custom setup that works best for your business.

Integrations include Shopify’s proprietary POS software.

Pricing: From $49 a month

Free Trial: Three months for $1 on select plans

  • Supports tap, chip, or swipe card payments
  • Wide range of accessories (like cash drawers and barcode scanners)
  • Highly adaptable
  • Expensive for larger or quickly-scaling businesses
  • Monthly fee for Shopify POS software

3. TouchBistro - Best for restaurants

TouchBistro POS terminal
TouchBistro’s POS terminal isn’t the best looking, but it’s an effective all-in-one solution. (Image Source)

TouchBistro’s specialization in the food services industry makes it a logical choice for restaurants.

Why I picked TouchBistro: Food service businesses have unique needs when it comes to orders and taking payments. TouchBistro’s systems and hardware are specifically designed to give restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, caterers, food trucks, and breweries an efficient way to accept customer payments.

TouchBistro Standout Features and Integrations:

Features of TouchBistro’s POS terminal allow you to process payments and tableside orders. Combined with their other hardware, you can manage your floor plan, menu, reservations, staff, inventory, loyalty programs, gift cards, and analytics.

I like how TouchBistro’s POS allows customers to order delivery and takeout directly from you, without you having to share part of your profit with third-party online ordering platforms.

TouchBistro has a wide range of integrations, including restaurant ERPs like Restaurant 365 and accounting software like Xero, Sage Intacct, and QuickBooks.

It also integrates with inventory management software, online ordering aggregators, payment processing (Square, Moneris, Chase, etc.), staff scheduling and payroll, and more.

Pricing: From $69/month

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Integrates with many other softwares
  • Restaurant-specific features
  • Easy to use
  • No free trial or free version
  • A la carte pricing per product quickly adds up

4. Epos Now - Best for the hospitality industry

Epos Now payment terminal
Here’s a look at a customer order on an Epos Now terminal. (Image Source)

Epos Now’s water-resistant touch screen makes it ideal for hospitality businesses like water parks and spas, where hardware may get exposed to the elements.

Why I picked Epos Now: Its hardware features make it resistant to the wear and tear you might expect to see in the hospitality industry. This terminal is able to handle outdoor weather and messy conditions better than other terminals on my list.

Epos Now Standout Features and Integrations:

Features of Epos Now’s Hospitality POS System include a terminal with water resistant touch screen and solid state drive, Epos Now Hospitality software, receipt printer, and cash drawer. All installation, configuration, and training are included.

There are other Epos Now hardware bundles to choose from. These include retail, restaurant, hotel, and pharmacy packages. I like that you can pick and choose the individual pieces of hardware that you need.

Epos Now also offers accessories like barcode readers and staff swipe cards.

Integrations include Xero, QuickBooks, Mailchimp, Loyalzoo, Shopify, Wix, as well as Epos’ own order and delivery software.

Pricing: From $139 per month

Free Trial: 30-day free trial

  • Easy setup
  • Durable hardware
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Only supports metric measurements
  • User interface is not always intuitive

5. Lightspeed - Best for customization

Lightspeed POS terminal
Lightspeed’s Bluetooth payments terminal is compact and portable. (Image Source)

Lightspeed lets you mix and match to create the POS setup you want.

Why I picked Lightspeed: They offer both an iPad POS hardware kit and a desktop hardware kit. Based on your business, you can decide if it makes more sense to have an iPad that you can remove from its stand and walk around the store with or, if you prefer, a securely mounted monitor.

Lightspeed Standout Features and Integrations:

Features of the iPad hardware kit include a LAN receipt printer, cash drawer, Bluetooth scanner, and iPad stand.

However, you should note that the iPad or payment terminal are not included in these kits. You can buy other individual accessories like POS terminals and mobile tap terminals separately.

I like that you can review your shipment history to see individual purchase orders and whether part or all of your order was received and look into any variances between purchase order amounts and the final invoice cost.

Integrations Xero, Shogo, and QuickBooks for accounting; Tenzo, RetailNext, and SMS Storetraffic for analytics; and Accumula, Kosmos eSync, and Restaurant365 for ERP.

Pricing: Custom pricing available upon request

Free Trial: 14-day free trial

  • Easy to use
  • Integrates with many other tools
  • Broad use across retail, restaurant, and golf businesses
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Lacks in-depth reporting

6. Clover - Best for ease of use

Clover Flex POS terminal
The Clover Flex has a simple, modern look. (Image Source)

Clover’s POS hardware is intuitive and easy to use, with a modern UI design.

Why I picked Clover: Clover’s Flex is a handheld POS system. That means you can accept payments, track sales, and place orders, all from the palm of your hand.

Clover Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include the ability to take all payment types, manage inventory, and use a loyalty program, all from a handheld device. Clover uses cloud storage, so your business data is available with you wherever you go.

I like that there’s minimal setup and training needed, so you can start using Clover’s POS as soon as you take it out of the box.

Integrations include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Clover has its own app market with hundreds of popular apps like Time Clock, Digital Loyalty, Payroll, and Stream. They also partner with integration services providers who can develop custom apps or integrations for your legacy systems as required.

Pricing: From $599 per month

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Easy to use
  • Mobile devices that can hold an 8-hour charge
  • Multiple integration options
  • No free trial
  • Higher upfront cost

7. Toast - Best for durable hardware

Toast Go 2 POS Terminal
The Toast Go® 2 is Toast’s newest mobile handheld POS terminal. (Image Source)

Toast’s hardware is built tough for everyday use in busy and messy environments.

Why I picked Toast: Its hardware performs well while also being able to handle everyday wear.

Toast Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include restaurant-grade hardware that’s spill-proof, dust-proof, and drop-proof. The Toast Go 2 has a 24-hour battery life. That's twice as long as an iPad and 3x longer than the Clover Flex.

I like that it has a 6.4-inch touchscreen, which makes it easy to take orders and payments indoors or outdoors. And it only weighs a little over a pound, so it’s easy for servers to carry for their entire shift.

Integrations include third-party delivery integrations like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, plus API integrations with dozens of apps like Shogo, Restaurant365, Punchh, Paytronix, and Tenzo.

Pricing: From $627 per month

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Durable hardware
  • Cloud-based data storage
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Hardware design is plain and boxy
  • More expensive than alternatives

8. GoDaddy Poynt - Best analytics features

GoDaddy Poynt Terminal
Here are a few of the shapes and sizes that GoDaddy Poynt terminals come in. (Image Source)

GoDaddy Poynt’s smart terminals work with a dashboard that allows you to manage thousands of POS devices and troubleshoot from anywhere.

Why I picked GoDaddy Poynt: Larger companies and merchants need an easy way to keep track of payments from multiple locations. GoDaddy Poynt allows you to see data and analytics from every terminal in one place.

GoDaddy Poynt Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include dual touchscreens and an 8-hour battery life. GoDaddy Poynt accepts all forms of physical payments, including swipe or chip cards, as well as contactless payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay. End-to-end encryption to keep your data safe.

They offer plenty of accessories, including wireless printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers. It’s an open platform that allows you to add optional apps and services to customize your devices. GoDaddy Poynt hardware also integrates with popular accessories from other manufacturers, so you aren’t restricted to only their products.

GoDaddy Poynt’s mobile app allows you to monitor your business while away from your terminal. You can access the monitoring tools on a browser, iPhone, or Android device.

Integrations include Bitpay to accept cryptocurrency payments, QuickBooks for accounting, Aloha, Micros, and Dinerware for restaurants, as well as 10+ additional apps for loyalty rewards programs, gift cards, employee scheduling, and more.

Pricing: Pricing available upon request

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Accepts cryptocurrency
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Plenty of integrations
  • Pricing isn’t transparent
  • Limited customizations

9. CardPointe by CardConnect - Best for range of payment methods

Cardpoint POS terminal
Here’s one of the available models Cardpointe offers for its POS terminal. (Image Source)

CardPoint accepts all card-present payment methods, including swiped (MSR), dipped (EMV), tapped (NFC), and manually entered.

Why I picked CardPointe: CardPointe lets you accept any form of card payment from customers. Additionally, it also has native support for Apple Pay and Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and other virtual wallets.

CardPointe Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include point-to-point encryption (P2PE) to keep your data secure. Terminals are EMV and NFC enabled by default.

I like the Tip Adjust and Server ID features, which seem like they’d be useful for businesses like restaurants and spas.

Integrations include Clover, CardPointe Virtual Terminal, QuickBooks, Money Network, and Amex OptBlue Program.

Pricing: Pricing available upon request

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Point-to-point encryption
  • Real-time transaction details
  • Virtual terminal
  • Pricing details are not transparent
  • Limited integration

10. Revel Systems - Best for large restaurant chains

Revel countertop POS terminal
Here’s an example of what a Revel POS terminal setup can look like. (Image Source)

Revel’s POS software and hardware are specifically designed with multi-store POS in mind. They provide what’s needed to handle the demands of a large restaurant chain and tie everything together.

Why I picked Revel: Revel has several POS hardware options to choose from, like self-serve kiosks, integrated scales, and WiFi access points, and they come pre-configured.

Revel Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include “always on mode”, which allows you to take payments uninterrupted whether offline or on a local network. Swiped payments taken offline are automatically queued and processed once your connection comes back. The offline mode can be disabled if you prefer.

Revel’s POS systems use PCI-compliant cloud technology and point-to-point encryption, so both your sensitive business data and customer information is kept safe.

“Conversational ordering” on Revel POS terminals provides an intuitive flow for entering orders in the way that your customers actually say them out loud.

I think large companies will also appreciate Revel’s inventory management features, as well as its reporting and analytics tools.

Revel integrates with dozens of other tools, such as Quickbooks, Restaurant365, Shogo, CheckMate, CrunchTime, Davo Automated Sales Tax, Delphi Display Systems, Grubhub, Moneris, Paytronix, and more.

Pricing: From $99/month per terminal

Free Trial: Free product demo available

  • Financial reporting and analytics
  • Tons of integrations
  • Pre-configured hardware
  • Overkill for small businesses
  • Expensive onboarding and implementation

11. PayPal Zettle - Best option with no monthly fee

Paypal wireless Zettle POS terminal
PayPal’s terminal has a sleek, stylish design. (Image Source)

PayPal’s all-in-one Zettle terminal is rich in features, but it still has a surprisingly affordable price tag.

Why I picked Paypal Zettle: The Zettle app is free, and there’s no monthly subscription. Plus, the terminal is relatively inexpensive at only $199.

PayPal Zettle Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include the PayPal Zettle app, which comes built-in, so you don’t even need a smartphone or tablet to check your inventory or accept payments. It’s an all-in-one terminal that accepts credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and Venmo.

I like that PayPal Zettle gives you an activated SIM card and mobile data so you can still use it even when you don’t have access to WiFi.

Integrations include Quickbooks, Woocommerce, SalesVu, Hike, and BigCommerce.

Pricing: From $199 per month, plus 2.29% + $0.09 transaction

Free Trial: Free product demo

  • Low transaction fees
  • Built-in barcode scanner that syncs with your inventory system
  • Mobile data included in purchase price
  • Limited integrations
  • Limited analytics data

12. Heartland - Best for apparel and fashion retailers

Heartland POS terminal
Here’s what Heartland’s wireless Terminal+ looks like. (Image Source)

Heartland’s POS terminal allows you to take payments from customers in-store, online, or anywhere else.

Why I picked Heartland: I like this option for companies in the apparel and fashion industries, where keeping track of inventory can be a big task. Heartland’s built-in barcode scanner automatically updates stock levels to help streamline inventory management and tracking.

Heartland Standout Features and Integrations:

Features include a sharp-looking touchscreen that’s easy to see indoors and outdoors, even in poor lighting conditions. It supports custom payment options like split payments, partial refunds, prepopulated tips, and cash payments, and works on WiFi and 4G.

In addition to Terminal+, Heartland offers POS registers, mobile payment options, and other accessories.

I think Heartland’s real-time reporting features are pretty impressive too, helping you spot and respond to trends as they happen.

Integrations include AppFront, BigCommerce, BoutiqueHub, Davo, Checkmate, Restaurant365, Shogo, and about a dozen others.

Pricing: Custom pricing available upon request

Free Trial: Free demo available

  • Designed with retail-specific features
  • Real-time reporting
  • Visually intuitive interface
  • Pricing is not transparent
  • No offline payment support

Other Options

While the following POS terminals didn’t make it onto my top 10 list, these alternative options that I came across in my research are still worth considering if none of the above options jumped out as the right choice for you.

  1. Lavu - Best for bespoke solutions
  2. Helcim - Best at providing transparent pricing
  3. IT Retail - Best for grocery stores
  4. eHopper - Best mobile terminal

Selection Criteria For POS Terminals

Here’s a short summary of the evaluation criteria that I used to determine the best POS terminals for this article:

Core Functionality

First, I evaluated and compared a wide range of POS terminals to see what basic functionality they had in common, and then made sure each terminal met these criteria before making it onto my shortlist.

  • Accept customer payments
  • Print or email receipts to customers
  • Serve as a sales transaction summary
  • Document transaction details

Key Features

To deliver the core functionality that I’ve outlined above, here are some key features that I think all modern POS terminals need to have

  • Ability to process all types of card payments: Terminals should support customers swiping their card, inserting their card and entering a PIN, or tapping. Support for Google Pay and Apple Pay is also a definite plus.
  • Customer loyalty and reward programs: This can be supported natively or through integration with third-party applications.
  • Reporting and analytics: An all-in-one terminal should let you review this data without having to switch to a desktop.
  • Security and compliance: End-to-end encryption is a must-have, especially when data is being transmitted wirelessly or stored in the cloud.
  • Mobile accessibility: The ability to check on your business or accept payments while you’re on the road is a must-have feature for many businesses that don’t have a traditional storefront.
  • Multi-store support: Larger businesses will need to have all of their POS transactions synced and stored in a central database. Terminals need a way to transmit their sales information back to the head office.


I prioritized POS terminals that would be quick and easy to set up and configure.

These devices are going to be used by people from all walks of life. It’s critical that they have user-friendly interfaces on the customer side, as well as intuitive workflows to minimize the learning curve for employees.

Value for Money

What you get for your money can vary widely with POS terminals. Your business size and industry will determine the caliber and type of system you need.

Small businesses likely want to minimize their upfront costs with an inexpensive terminal in exchange for fewer features. Larger companies probably won’t mind the higher upfront cost of a pre-configured, fully-equipped system.

POS terminal prices can range anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars.

A basic countertop terminal with simple functionality will be the cheapest, while an all-in-one POS system with more features will have a higher price tag.

To determine the total cost of using your POS terminal, you’ll also need to factor in transaction fees and monthly fees as well.

People Also Ask

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about POS terminals:

Other Accounting and Finance Software Reviews

If you’re in the market for another business tool or software too, check out some of our other reviews:

Online Accounting Software

Accounts Payable Automation Software

Credit Card Processing Companies

Point Of Sale Systems

Mobile POS Systems


A good POS terminal helps to make the process of processing payments a fast and frictionless one.

After reading through the options I’ve presented here, hopefully, you have a better understanding of the different options and you’re closer to finding one that’s a good fit for your team.

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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.