POS Software Guide

Researchers have estimated that by 2023, one in four Point of Sale transactions will be conducted using mobile based devices. The increase is being driven by increased availability and affordability of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones along with the continuing shift towards the digitization of payments.

Below is a list of the top Point of Sale Software Applications. Read into the in-depth articles to find the best software for your business.

The brief:

Used by more than two million businesses globally, Square is a mobile Point of Sale and payment processing app that can be customized to suit a retailer’s needs.

Touted as POS software built for simplicity, Square not only facilitates mobile payment processing with hardware but offers an advanced point of sale app and store management system that extends from a credit card reader to a merchant's mobile device and beyond to their laptop.

Launched in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square has developed into one of the leading payment processing systems in the world that goes well beyond handling transactions to managing an entire store, or customer service business via an app and online dashboard.

Features at a glance:

• Dashboard and mobile app
• Inventory management
• Payments
• Reporting and analytics
• Employee management
• Customer management

Card Processing Cost:
Per Month
Per transaction on Readers and Stand

Per Month
2.6% + 10¢
Per transaction on Square Terminal

Per Month
2.5% + 10¢
Per transaction on Square Register

The brief:

Lightspeed Retail is a mobile Point of Sale Cloud-based software platform that was first launched in 2005.

Considered the first mobile Point of Sale app of its kind, it arms retailers with a suite of sales and inventory management tools and is now used in over 100 countries globally.

Lightspeed is available in two different forms – a web-based server that allows it to be used on desktop and other devices running Windows, Mac OS, Apple iOS and Google Chrome, and a dedicated app that is specifically designed for iPads.

Features at a glance:

• Inventory management
• Reporting and analytics
• Mobile point of Sale
• E-commerce
• Integrated payments
• Customer management
• Omnichannel
• Multi-store management

Card Processing Cost:
Monthly Cost:

Transaction Fee:
2.6% + 10C

Manual Keyed-in Rate:
2.6% + 30C

The brief:

With the mantra “Sell anywhere. Accept any payment. Grow your business”, Shopify offers a Point of Sale app and associated hardware designed for business of all shapes and sizes.

They note their mobile software is equally suited to the occasional seller or major retailer, with “hardware and software that’s easy to use, and ready to go out of the box”.

This simple approach to Point of Sale sees the Shopify platform utilised by more than 800,000 businesses globally.

Here’s an insight into the features it offers and the benefits it provides.

Features at a glance:

• Secure payments
• Multi-channel selling
• Advanced checkout
• Plug and play hardware
• Inventory management
• Employee management
• 24/7 support

Card Processing Cost:
Monthly Cost:
Starts from $29

In person credit card fee:
2.4% + 0¢

Online credit card fee:
2.4% + 30¢

The brief:

First released in 2012, PayPal Here was part of the mega-company’s push to extend beyond the online realm by offering a face-to-face processing solution for real world retailers.

The result is a simple payment processing app accompanied by a choice of card readers that allows merchants to easily take payments in person.

Now available in the US, UK and Australia, PayPal Here has attracted millions of downloads worldwide, providing merchants with an easy way to track sales, input merchandise and accept payments from credit, debit cards or via cash and check on their mobile device.

Features at a glance:

• Payments in person, via invoice or online
• Product input
• Customized receipts
• Basic reporting and analytics
• Basic employee management and permissions

Card Processing Cost:
US card swipe:

Manual Keyed-in Rate:
3.5% + 15¢

invoiced payments:
2.9% + 30¢

The brief:

Designed by merchants for merchants, ShopKeep is a Cloud-based, iPad Point of Sale app that is available in the US, Canada and UK. From retailers to restaurants, bars and even franchises, the software accommodates a variety of business models, with specific features to suit each.

First launched in 2008, ShopKeep is now used by over 25,000 merchants. It’s widely regarded as intuitive to use, well supported and affordable.

Here’s an insight into what it is, what it offers and the features it contains…

Features at a glance:

• Suited to a variety of business models (restaurants, retailers, cafes, bars etc)
• Extensive inventory management tools
• Comprehensive reporting
• Employee management
• Offline ability
• Proprietary or open source hardware compatible
• Targeted at small business, but able to accommodate larger ones

Card Processing Cost:

Contact Shopkeep to get a quote. Pricing is not provided on their website.

The brief

Targeted squarely at the restaurant industry, TouchBistro is a ready-made iPad-based Point of Sale for restaurants of all shapes and sizes – from quick food to full-service restaurants, bars, breweries, and food trucks.

Founded in 2010, it supports tableside ordering, custom restaurant layouts, custom menus, bill splitting, sales reports, and an unlimited number of order and cash register printers.

Along the way, TouchBistro has picked up a host of awards including best-rated restaurant POS of 2019, so let’s take a deep dive into how it works and features and tools it offers.

Features at a glance:

• Table mapping
• Table-side ordering
• Menu building
• Split billing
• Integrates with numerous payment processing providers
• Customer relationship management
• Inventory management
• Advanced reporting and analytics


Option 1 – Solo $69/month (software only and one license)
Recommended for quick service venues “that want the power of an iPad POS at their counter, but don’t require multiple terminals. This low-cost POS system pricing plan allows you to perform all point of sale functions on one iPad”.

Option 2 – Dual $129/month (software only and two licenses)
Recommended for “quick service venues and small restaurants that want the flexibility of two terminals. This plan allows venues to leave one iPad stationary and take another mobile to line-bust or take orders tableside”.

Option 3 – Team $249/month (software only and three to five licenses)
Recommended for mid-size restaurants or bars “that want the convenience and efficiency of always having a POS within arm's reach. This plan allows you to keep an iPad stationary in each of your service areas, or have servers bring them tableside”.

Option 4 - $399/month (software only and more than six licenses)
Recommended for high-volume restaurants or bars that want the freedom to scale their POS solution with their growing business. “This all-in-one POS pricing plan allows you to add iPads as your business grows and is perfect for venues that want to enhance customer experience with tableside ordering.”

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