Expert Market has researched the cheapest EPOS systems offering affordability, rigidity, and value for money
These days, cheap doesn’t have to mean bad quality. In fact, there are plenty of high quality EPOS systems out there that won’t cost you the earth – you just have to know how to look.
And the first thing to look at? The technology. How sophisticated do you need your EPOS system to be? For example, a popup shop or restaurant business can get away with a very basic system, which keeps the price down by default.
This is because the hub of all modern point of sale systems is in the software, and most EPOS software is compatible with iOS or Android devices – which the majority of people already own.
And the taking payments part? Some EPOS suppliers, such as Square, offer pocket-friendly card readers that plug straight into your headphone jack. These simple devices will allow people to pay simply by tapping their card.
For bigger businesses, it’s all about looking for EPOS suppliers that offer you the best value for money. Search for suppliers that include the cost of a cash register in their monthly fees, and consider how many features they include in their most basic packages.
We know all of this research takes time – which is exactly why Expert Market has done the hard work for you.
We’ve taken into consideration factors including software features, value for money, and hardware quality to provide you with a list of the top five cheap EPOS systems. Fast track to the supplier that matches your priorities by clicking on the links in the ‘Jump to’ section below.
The best cheap EPOS software
The best cheap point of sale systems come from Square, Nobly POS, EPOS Now, TouchBistro, and Vend. See how they rate against each other in our table:
|Software Supplier||Best for||Star rating||Read more|
|Square||Free software||Read more|
|Nobly POS||Value for money software||Read more|
|EPOS Now||Value for money hardware||Read more|
The best free software supplier
Yep, we’re being 100% honest with you – Square really does dish out its software for free. And you’ll benefit from heaps of features, too. You can set up your inventory or restaurant menu, check out sales stats, manage your team of staff, and kickstart marketing campaigns.
Best thing is, you can order a Square point of sale system and get started straight away. Download its software onto your tablet, place your tablet on to the Square Stand, configure your card reader, then you’re ready to go.
While Square’s point of sale software is free, it charges more to process credit card payments (1.75%). This isn’t particularly an issue for businesses with a smaller turnover, but for those churning the big bucks, the fees could start adding up.
|Square Stand – £96|
Card reader – £29
2. Nobly POS
The best value for money POS software
While Square favours the smaller businesses, Nobly POS champions the bigger companies. Okay, so it doesn’t offer its software for free, but in terms of monthly outlay, it’s pretty cheap in comparison to other point of sale suppliers.
For a standard rate, you’ll receive a software package tailored to your business. That means restaurant owners and shop owners will receive software features that’ll help them manage the individual demands of their sector. And if you’re looking for more than software and a card reader, Nobly’s basic hardware bundle is pretty decent, too.
Unlike Square, Nobly isn’t a merchant account provider. That means you’ll have to set up your merchant account separately. Additionally, while it says its point of sale system is available with no strings attached, if you want to make it an even cheaper point of sale system, you’ll need to pay for the year in bulk – otherwise, you’ll find yourself paying £20 more every month.
|Basic hardware package – £654|
(includes iPad, cash drawer and receipt printer, and stand)
|Billed annually – £39/month|
Billed monthly – £59/month
3. EPOS Now
The best value for money hardware
EPOS Now is fairly new to the world of point of sale, but it’s certainly found its place in the cheap EPOS system market – and in a very good way. Its hardware is known for its rigidity, making it perfect for busy working environments.
Unlike other cheap EPOS suppliers, EPOS Now allows you to pay either upfront or in monthly installments. While the upfront cost may look expensive, it does include a powerful touchscreen terminal, software, a thermal printer, a cash drawer, and installation.
EPOS Now isn’t the right supplier if you’re looking for a portable terminal – its terminals are fixed. While some cheap suppliers offer contract-free services, EPOS Now does like to keep you on board. In fact, if you’re looking to pay monthly, you can expect to be tied into a contract for three years.
|Hardware||Software (if bought separately)|
|Basic hardware package – £1,199 upfront or £47/month.|
(terminal, cash drawer and receipt printer, and stand)
|Billed monthly – £25/month|
The best cheap POS system for restaurants
TouchBistro’s software has been designed for restaurants by ex-restaurateurs, so when it comes to the specifics of restaurant management, it has you covered. Whether it’s engineering a unique menu ordering system, or helping you to make essential business decisions, you can rely on this point of sale software to help you fine tune your restaurant’s operations.
Best of all is that TouchBistro has created cheap point of sale packages around your specific restaurant area. So whether you own a quick service food truck, a pub, a bar, or even a brewery, you’ll never pay out more than you need to.
The downside to TouchBistro is that it’s really just a software-only business. While its monthly fees can include the price of one to nine iPads, they use third party suppliers to provide you with other compatible hardware. The only issue with this is that you may be paying more for your hardware than if you went to the supplier directly.
|Cost of iPad – Included in software price||Billed monthly – £49/month|
The best cheap POS system for retail
Vend is the ideal cheap point of sale system if you’re looking to move your business from your current provider. Why? Because its system is compatible with hardware from a range of POS hardware suppliers. This means you won’t have to go about purchasing a brand new system when you switch.
Vend’s cheap point of sale software is particularly handy for businesses with online shops. Although you’ll be looking at purchasing the Pro package to have access to the online shop features, you’ll benefit from full reporting is enabled, whereas the equivalent package from a supplier like Shopify doesn’t come with that ability.
As we’ve already mentioned, the downside to Vend really is that the ecommerce package isn’t enabled in the lightest version of the software. This is a shame for businesses with a lower monthly turnover of £15,000, as they’d have to invest in the Pro package without necessarily needing the rest of the features.
|Cost of iPad – Included in software price||Billed monthly – £49/month|
Pro package billed monthly – £69/month.
While we’ve noted down the basic pricing, it’s probably not a true representation of how much you’ll end up paying. Even if you’re investing in the cheapest point of sale software package, you’ll still need to consider the hardware and installation costs.
To get a true idea of just how much one of these cheap POS systems will cost you, get in touch with suppliers. You can do this quickly and easily by filling in our online form. Once you’ve given us a few details about your business, the suppliers that best match your requirements will be in touch.