The best POS systems for small businesses in 2021 We review the top POS systems to help you decide what type of EPOS system is best for your business. Scarlett Cook October 8, 2021 12 min read About us Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a multi-time entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was co-authored by: Scarlett Cook Writer Aimee Bradshaw Senior Writer After thorough research and in-depth product analysis, it is clear to us that the best POS system for small businesses is dependant on the type of industry your business operates in:For hospitality businesses, including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs – the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system is the outright winner. And with over 250 integration partners, a fully functioning offline mode, and excellent 24/7 customer phone support it's easy to see why.For retail businesses, including supermarkets, florists, and homeware stores – the EPOS Now complete POS system is the top provider. With in-depth business reporting, barcoding, stock management, and hardware all included in one affordable package.If you're looking for the easiest way to find the best POS system for your small business, you can always shop around through Startups.co.uk. We've designed our Cost Comparison Tool to help you find the right providers for your needs based on your answers to a few simple questions. Our custom-built comparison tool has helped over a thousand businesses find the right POS provider for them, so we're certain it can help you too.Point Of Sale systems are fundamental to any small business's operations, and with so many providers offering different products and services, all with various features and price tags – picking the right one for your business is crucial.While the process of shopping around for the right solution for your store, restaurant, bar, or market stall might feel overwhelming, thankfully, help is at hand. Read on for our deep-dive comparison of the best retail, hospitality, and mobile EPOS systems in the UK. Save by comparing POS costs Does your business use a POS system already? Yes No In this article, we’ll cover: At a glance: Overview of the best small business EPOS systems Compare small business POS systems UK Choosing the best small business Point of Sale systems: Next steps The Best POS Systems for Small Businesses UK: At a glanceWhat is the best POS system for small business? Here are our top picks of UK providers by industry:POS SystemBest forPrice - totalPrice - multiple paymentsLightspeed hospitality POSHospitality N/AMost popular plan starts at £59 per month (with an annual plan on a per store basis)Zettle Food & DrinkHospitality Store Kit - Mini costs £189 without an iPad, or £458 with a 32GB Space Grey iPad. Store Kit - food and drink costs £399 without an iPad; £668 with an iPadStore Kit - retail costs £599 without an iPad; £868 with an iPad£29/monthFirst 3 months free for sign-ups until end of Sep 2020Nobly POSHospitality – Businesses needing to work offline Available upon requestAvailable upon requestEpos NOW complete POSRetail – May have more features than a small business needs£1,199£47 per monthEPOS Direct Mobile SystemMobile, pop-up or off-site businessesStarting from £1,199 Starting from £23.99 per week over 12 monthsVendHQ Mobile SystemMobile, pop-up or off-site businessesN/A£49 per month for the Lite plan, £69 per month for the Pro plan (billed annually)EPOS Now Retail SystemRetail £1,199£47 per monthCasio V-R7000/V-R7100Retail Contact providerContact providerRevel retail POS systemRetail – businesses with lots of stockAvailable upon requestAvailable upon requestFirst Data retail (now Fiserv)Retail – businesses who run in-store promotionsAvailable upon requestAvailable upon requestTouchBistro Restaurant and Hospitality POS SystemHospitality N/A£49 per month plus VAT for one licence (billed annually). Further licences are available with additional chargesiikoHospitality Available upon requestSoftware PAYG subscription costs: Basic - £49 per month, professional - £69 per month, enterprise - £99 per month (price per till)PointOne hospitality POSHospitality Available upon requestAvailable upon requestThe Good Till Co hospitality POSHospitality Starter packages from £795 or Core POS Module per screen at £29 per tillOptional modules £9 per month A Deep-dive into the Best POS Systems for Small Business UKOur picks for the best point of sale systems for UK small business.The best POS systems for retail businesses:EPOS Now complete POS – Good for growing businessesEPOS Now Retail System – Good for customer support and training function Casio V-R7000/V-R7100 – Good for managing multiple storesRevel retail POS system – Good for high-stock retail businessesFirst Data retail – Good for in-store promotions in retail businessesThe best POS systems for hospitality businesses:Nobly POS – Good for working without wifiTouchBistro Restaurant and Hospitality POS System – Good for customisation and flexibility Lightspeed hospitality POS – Good for restaurants, bars and clubsThe Good Till Co hospitality POS – Good for coffee shops, bars and restaurants PointOne hospitality POS – Good for restaurants, nightclubs, pop-ups and market stallsZettle Food and Drink – Good for bars, cafes and restaurantsiiko – Good for food and drink businessesThe best POS systems for mobile, pop-up or off-site businessesEPOS Direct Mobile System – Good for when having to work offline VendHQ Mobile System – Good for growing and mobile businesses Feel a bit bewildered? Want a simple way to single out the best POS system for your small business? Thankfully, we developed our comparison tool to save you hours of time researching different providers. Once you've taken five minutes to answer a few questions, it'll pair you with the right provider for your business' needs. You'll soon receive quotes and more information – and there's zero obligation on your part. Best POS systems for retailEPOS Now complete POSGood for: Retail businesses – more systems can be added as requiredBusiness size: S, MIncludes: Touchscreen terminal, retail software, receipt printer, cash drawerThird party (card machine) integration: PaymentsensePricing Hardware costs/rental feesAvailable to buy for £1,199 or £47 a month (complete system, including hardware, software, installation and training)Initial setup cost- Payment processing costs-Software costs/rental feesAvailable to buy for £1,199 or £47 a month (complete system, including hardware, software, installation and training)The retail solution from EPOS Now comes as a package with everything you need, including the terminal, receipt printer, secure cash drawer, installation, configuration and training. Notably it comes with the specific EPOS Now retail software.This is undoubtedly one of the best POS software options for small business that’s available for the retail market. You get a customisable dashboard with useful reporting, which integrates to a back office management system. The system offers barcoding and stock management. A booking system is also available.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesPC, Mac, tabletCustomer supportPhone support available 24/7, unlimited individual coaching and training, engineers available for onsite visits throughout the UKWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationXero, Sage OneEPOS Now Retail SystemGood for: Retail businesses – more systems can be added as requiredBusiness size: S, MIncludes: Touchscreen terminal, retail software, receipt printer, cash drawerThird party (card machine) integration: PaymentsensePricing Hardware costs/rental feesAvailable to buy for £1,199 or £47 a month (complete system, including hardware, software, installation and training)Initial setup cost-Payment processing costs-Software costs/rental feesAvailable to buy for £1,199 or £47 a month (complete system, including hardware, software, installation and training)The retail solution from EPOS Now comes as a package with everything you need, including the terminal, receipt printer, secure cash drawer, installation, configuration and training. Notably it comes with the specific EPOS Now retail software.This is undoubtedly one of the best POS software options for small business that’s available for the retail market. You get a customisable dashboard with useful reporting, which integrates to a back office management system. The system offers barcoding and stock management. A booking system is also available.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty features-Cloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesHardware available; software compatible with iPad, Android, Mac and PCCustomer supportHelpline and online formWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationXero, Sage One✔ With its tailored retail software and great customer service reputation, EPOS Now is a strong choice for retailers looking to bolster their delivery service during the Covid-19 pandemic. Like the sound of these small business point of sale systems but still not sure whether they're right for you? Our expert team has over 20 years' helping small businesses and is ready to help! In 2020 alone, over a thousand small businesses found their perfect POS system through our quiz – and your business could be next. Just click on the thumb that describes your situation to get started. Casio V-R7000/V-R7100Good for: Retail businessesBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Water and dust resistant display screenThird party (card machine) integration:PricingContact providerThe Casio V-R7000 and V-R7100 systems been designed specifically with retail use in mind.The terminals include a 15.6-inch widescreen LCD display and work on an Android platform. The terminals have an IP53 rating, meaning they are resistant to dust and water. Printers and cash drawers can be connected to the terminals. In addition to the central terminal, there is the option to include a shop support system for managing sales, or tools to help assist managing multiple stores.Additionally, the terminals have a sleek and stylish design, and are compact.Inventory trackingN/ACustomer loyalty featuresN/ACloud-based?N/AGood for multiple storesN/ACompatible devicesN/ACustomer supportN/AWorks offline?-Accounting integrationN/ARevel retail POS SystemGood for: Retail businesses with lots of stockBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Inventory control and stock managementThird party (card machine) integration: Braintree, StripePricing Hardware costs/rental feesContact providerInitial setup costContact providerPayment processing costsContact providerSoftware costs/rental feesContact providerThe Revel POS system offers multiple features, including the option to create a loyalty programme, manage multiple locations, as well as offline functions and flexible payment options. It also offers inventory control, stock management, customer account management, and reporting.The system is modular, so you can choose which elements will suit your retail business best, without paying over the odds for things you do not need.The Revel System aim to bring you a customised package, making this a fantastic option for any retail business.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPadCustomer supportOnline support centre and localised phone supportWorks offline?Yes, with offline modeAccounting integration5.5 Degrees/Amaka, Expensify✔ Thanks to its sophisticated inventory management, Revel Systems is great option if you're looking to weather the Covid-19 storm by providing a delivery service. First Data retail (now Fiserv)Good for: Retail businesses who run in-store promotionsBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Customer loyalty featuresThird party (card machine) integration: –Pricing Hardware costs/rental feesContact providerInitial setup costContact providerPayment processing costsContact providerSoftware costs/rental feesContact providerFirst Data offer a retail EPOS system, called Clover, that is suitable across a range of retail businesses. Clover is available in a variety of forms, including the Clover Mini payment terminal, the Clover Flex all-in-one device and the Clover Station, a complete business system. The Clover Go allows mobile devices to accept card payments. A rewards programme, sales analytics and mobile gift cards are also available. Additionally, all solutions are offered with the Clover Security package to maintain security and compliance standards.Inventory trackingYes, with the Clover Station EPOS System and via Clover App Market Customer loyalty featuresYes, with the Clover Station POS System, Clover Flex, Clover Mini, and Clover App MarketCloud-based?YesGood for multiple stores-Compatible devicesHardware availableCustomer supportEmail and phone (lines open 07:00-midnight every day)Works offline?-Accounting integration- You've read this far, but perhaps you're still undecided on which POS system is right for your business? We've developed our comparison tool as a quick and easy way for you to find the POS system you need.It'll ask you some basic questions that'll enable us to find out things like what kind of business you run and whether you'd be open to an iPad-based POS system, and then you'll receive POS quotes and more information – basically, we'll do the comparison leg-work for you!Click the thumb that's relevant to you to get started. Best POS systems for hospitality Nobly POSGood for: Hospitality businessesBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: iPad POS software; hardware availableThird party (card machine) integration: Paymentsense, Barclaycard, SumUp, ZettlePricingAvailable upon requestNobly POS offers an iPad based POS system, with prices offered on a quote basis. This system is more focused towards the hospitality sector, such as bars, coffee shops and restaurants.Nobly’s POS back office logs all sales and stock information, and then presents business owners with the data, letting them make informed decisions about menu changes and stock updates. Working off an iPad, staff will find it easy to get to grips with the system, as it’s already running on hardware they are likely accustomed to. It also includes an inbuilt customer loyalty scheme.One of Nobly’s main selling points is its ability to work offline, making it great for businesses on the move, such as food trucks, or establishments with unreliable wifi. Customers can decide which hardware they will need for their business — usually depending on their size — and Nobly will provide. These can include iPads, tills, receipt printers and card machines.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPadCustomer supportOnline and phoneWorks offline?Yes, with offline modeAccounting integrationQuickBooks, XeroTouchBistro Restaurant and Hospitality POS SystemGood for: Hospitality businesses, though may include more than some needBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Software; hardware is available through partnersThird party (card machine) integration: –Pricing Hardware costs/rental feesContact providerInitial setup costContact providerPayment processing costs-Software costs/rental fees£49 per month plus VAT for one licence (billed annually). Additional licences available at an extra cost - see TouchBistro pricing for more informationTouchBistro is a restaurant POS system which has been refined by need. It combines speed and agility, with industry-specific features like tableside ordering and table management to help you run your business effectively.The nature of the system is such that your staff can be as mobile as they need to be on a restaurant floor, able to relay information, and send orders, without errors. It’s even possible for your waiting staff to entice customers with images and menu displays.Unlike some POS systems that struggle with the intricacies of restaurant businesses, the TouchBistro system is flexible and customisable, allowing you to match the floorplan to your own venue and customise receipts with your own branding.As well as the interface of TouchBistro, the behind the scenes side of the system is useful too. You can use TouchBistro to manage inventory and staff schedules.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?Hybrid POS; cloud reportingGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPadCustomer support24/7 technical support phone lineWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationQuickBooks, Xero, Sage One, Shogo ✔ Suitable for small, medium, and large business, and with integration to the Uber Eats delivery management system, TouchBistro is ideal for restaurants looking to get online quickly! Did you know? In 2018, the worldwide POS terminals market accounted for $62.34bn. And between 2019 to 2025, it’s expected to register a [CAGR] of 7.8% according to data published by Grand View Research. Lightspeed hospitality POSGood for: Restaurants, bars and clubsBusiness size: S, MIncludes: Features that can help during busy periods and monitor staff salesThird party (card machine) integration:Pricing Hardware costs/rental feesContact providerInitial setup cost-Payment processing costs-Software costs/rental feesThe most popular plan starts at £59 per month (with an annual plan on a per store basis)Lightspeed offers a range of monthly subscriptions for its restaurant POS, which is an all-in-one complete system. It is a mobile hospitality EPOS system, which utilises cloud technology. Orders can be taken tableside and are sent directly from the waiting staff to the kitchen. This means that staff no longer have to wait for an open terminal to complete the order, cutting down the time between customers ordering and receiving their food.In addition to its software, Lightspeed can also provide hardware, which is available as a kit or individually so that it can be customised to your needs. Lightspeed’s hardware components range from printers to scanners and cash drawers.This is a POS system that looks to help businesses future-proof themselves. You can visit Lightspeed to learn more about how they aim to help businesses be “future-ready”, even in uncertain times for the hospitality industry.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPad; reporting available via iPad, mobile or desktopCustomer supportOnline help centre and forum, as well as email and phone support availableWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationQuickBooks, Xero, Sage (only compatible with L Series)The Good Till Co hospitality POSGood for: Retail, food and drinks, sports and entertainment businessesBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Third-party integration with brands like Zettle and BarclaycardThird party (card machine) integration: Barclaycard, ZettlePricing Hardware costs/rental fees and Software costs/rental feesStarter packages (hardware and software) is available for £795. The Core POS Module is priced per screen costs £29 per till. Optional modules are available for £9 per monthInitial setup costContact providerPayment processing costs-The Good Till Co (also known as Goodtill) offer a tailor-made iPad hospitality EPOS software. As your package is completely tailor-made, this is a highly customisable option. Goodtill has an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot.The inventory management aspect of the software is great keeping track of light stock, as well as managing waste. It also offers clock in/out features to monitor staff schedules. Goodtill provides an online support portal, as well as email and phone support.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPadCustomer supportOnline support portal; email and phoneWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationXeroPointOne hospitality POSGood for: Restaurants, nightclubs, pop-ups and market stallsBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Fast transaction processing and tableside ordering functionalityThird party (card machine) integration: Fingopay, Paymentsense, Verifone, Global PaymentsPricing Hardware costs/rental feesContact providerInitial setup costContact providerPayment processing costsContact providerSoftware costs/rental feesContact providerPointOne offers an excellent EPOS solution for restaurants and other hospitality businesses, particularly marked out by its tableside ordering functionality. The cutting edge Android EPOS solution features touch screen technology, allowing for fast transaction processing as well as intuitive navigation for both front and back of house uses. It is integrated with contactless Verifone chip and pin technology.PointOne comes on a modular basis, with a range of available ‘add-ons’ including stock control, cloud reporting, online ordering, caller ID, driver and dispatch management, as well as CCTV integration and more. This is a scalable system that can be designed and built to suit your startup’s particular needs.The PointOne Android EPOS solution has been specifically designed with casual dining in mind.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?Cloud reportingGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devices-Customer support-Works offline?-Accounting integrationSage, XeroZettle Food and DrinkGood for: Bars, cafes and restaurantsBusiness size: S, MIncludes: Zettle app Third party (card machine) integration: Zettle Reader 2 and other compatible card machinesPricing Hardware costs/rental feesVaried - a range of accessories are available to buy through the Zettle Accessories store. Initial setup cost£0 (if using your own equipment). Alternatively, Zettle offers the Store Kit - Mini for £189 without an iPad, or £458 with a 32GB Space Grey iPad. Other kits for retail and food and drink businesses are available too.Payment processing costsWith Zettle Go, the card transaction fee is 1.75% and the ecommerce card transaction fee is 2.5%. Software costs/rental feesThe apps are available at the following rates: Zettle Go - £0 per month. Zettle Go - £29 per month (a 14-day free trial is available).Zettle Food and Drink offers a custom EPOS system targeted at bars, cafes and restaurants. It offers a cost-effective, space-saving system, with access to reporting and analytics. Zettle operates without lock-in contracts, offering your business greater flexibility. With industry-specific features that allow you to manage tables and payments, as well as being able to take orders offline and offer loyalty programmes. The Zettle app has a training mode to help your staff use the system.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesApple iPad Air 2 or higher with latest version of iOSCustomer supportOnline support centre as well as via an online form and phoneWorks offline?Zettle Food and Drink can work offlineAccounting integrationQuickBooks, Xero, e-accounting partnersiikoGood for: Food and drink businessesBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Software (offered on a subscription model, hardware also available)Third party (card machine) integration: UnknownPricing Hardware costs/rental feesAvailable upon requestInitial setup costDepends on if have hardware already or notPayment processing costs-Software costs/rental feesOffered on a PAYG subscription model. Basic - £49 per month, professional - £69 per month, enterprise - £99 per month (price per till)iiko offers EPOS software aimed at food and beverage businesses. Its systems offers all-in-one front of house features, allowing you to manage table, counter and delivery services, for example. Real time data is available for inventory management and its sales forecasting function uses AI technology, offering 95-99% precision. The iiko system also provides automated purchasing, suggesting products that need to be bought to meet demand.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devices-Customer supportOnline support available via instant messagingWorks offline?-Accounting integration- All of this information leaving you a bit baffled? We admit – it's a lot to take in! So why not clear the noise? Click on the thumb below that best describes your current situation. You'll be taken to a short questionnaire designed by our team of POS experts. Answer a few simple questions to tell them what they need to know, then they'll find the right POS provider for your small business. Best POS systems for mobile, pop-up or off-site businessesEPOS Direct Good for: Mobile or off-site businesses; retail, cafes, delis, takeaways, restaurants and barsBusiness size: S, M, LIncludes: Mobile tablet, a thermal printer, a cash drawer, and Emperium EPOS software.Third party (card machine) integration: VeriFone chip and pin solutionPricing Hardware costs/rental feesCombined cost, see belowInitial setup cost- Payment processing costs- Software costs/rental feesCombined cost, see belowEPOS Direct offers three different POS packages: the stylish POS, the EPOS ED19 (which is new for 2019), or the all-in-one POS. The ED19 is the cheapest of the three, priced at £1,199 or £23.99 per week over 12 months. Following the same pricing structure, the all in one is available for £1,699 or £34.99 per week, while the stylish POS costs £2,299 or £44.99 per week.All systems feature a touch screen display. EPOS Direct systems are marketed for retail, cafes, delis, takeaways, restaurants and bars. EPOS Direct’s recommended option is the stylish POS system. The major selling point for this one is that it can work offline. The package also includes a touch screen display, a cash drawer, a thermal receipt printer, and is ready to use. Online training and a dedicated account manager are also provided.Whichever system you choose, you will receive everything you need to get up and running with mobile payments quickly, including a mobile tablet, a thermal printer, a cash drawer, and Emperium EPOS software. Emperium is highly regarded as being a global leader in POS software for small business.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?-Good for multiple stores-Compatible devicesHardware providedCustomer supportFree online trainingWorks offline?-Accounting integration-VendHQ Mobile SystemGood for: Pop-up shops, market traders or food vans that sell at events or have stands at trade showsBusiness size: S, MIncludes: Real-time inventory management, reporting, 24/7 online and phone supportThird party (card machine) integration: Paymentsense, Windcave, PayPal, Square, Zettle, SumUpPricing Hardware costs/rental fees- Initial setup cost- Payment processing costs- Software costs/rental feesLite £49, pro £69 (per month, billed annually). Enterprise solutions available on a quote basisVendHQ has a scalable mobile POS system, which is ideal for small businesses that are seeking to grow. It offers a range of packages, the most basic of which is just £49 per month (billed annually), and ideal for a small business with up to £15,000 monthly turnover.As a customer you get everything you need in the box, and can be up and running in just a few minutes. Suitable for business owners who’ll be selling on the shop floor or even at a trade show or an event, VendHQ uses an iPad technology-infused mobile system that can accept a wide range of payments. There is also some integral reporting which can be useful for managing your business, while support is available 24/7 online or via phone.This system isn’t a package as such, so you may need to add a cash register, or Xero accounting, for example, for an additional cost. However, you can take a pick-and-mix approach to what you need.Inventory trackingYesCustomer loyalty featuresYesCloud-based?YesGood for multiple storesYesCompatible devicesiPad, Mac and PCCustomer support24/7 online supportWorks offline?YesAccounting integrationXero, QuickBooks All this talk about POS software and hardware can get confusing. But three million other UK businesses have taken the plunge and invested in a POS system, so it's definitely worth thinking about getting on board too. Don't forget we're here to help you find the right system. Our comparison tool saves you time, effort, and money and best of all – it's a stress-free way to find the right provider. Click on the relevant thumb to get started! Choosing the best pos system for small business (UK): Next stepsTo sum up, when it comes to choosing a POS system in the UK, you have to consider what your business needs specifically: If you’re in retail, with one shop, your needs are going to be significantly different from a restaurant with several branches. What is important is that you choose the right EPOS system for your particular type of small business.You need to evaluate the level of support you need, the customisation you'll want, and your budget. An EPOS system for a small business should bring with it a worthwhile return on investment.The best way to find the perfect fit is to request quotes directly from top suppliers based on your business requirements. You can significantly reduce the amount of time you need to spend researching EPOS systems by using our POS comparison tool. It only takes a minute to complete our quick and easy form. Once you're done we'll partner you with the suppliers that match your needs. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Scarlett Cook Writer Scarlett writes for the energy and HR sections of the site, as well as managing the Just Started profiles. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.