Best Mobile POS System
Having a high-quality mobile POS system allows you to make transactions on the go, whether you're traveling for events, doing pop-ups, or running a mobile business. The beauty of these systems is that they offer plenty of robust back-end solutions for restaurants, retail businesses, and more.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is invest in a device that can't perform the functions you need!
That's where we come in. Today, we'll explain the features of the top 7 mobile POS systems, allowing you to find the perfect fit for you!
Continue reading to learn more.
Best Mobile POS Systems
- Best mobile POS overall
- 2.6% + $0.10 payment processing fee
- $0 per month starting
- Best for restaurants
- 2.49% + $0.15 payment processing fee
- $0 per month starting
- Best alternative payment options
- 2.29% + $0.09 payment processing fee
- $0 per month starting
- Best for retail businesses
- 2.6% + $0.10 payment processing fee
- $69 per month starting
- Best for low-volume businesses
- Payment processing fee is processor-dependent
- $0 per month starting
- Best for eCommerce businesses
- $9 per month starting
- 2.7% payment processing fee
The 7 Best Mobile POS Systems
Clover uses Android devices and gives you a variety of hardware packages to choose from, including:
Clover Mini is the best choice for businesses that need a more full-featured solution, as it's just a bit smaller and more portable than the Clover Station, which is hardwired. The plug-and-play service that Clover offers is great for smaller retail stores and quick-service restaurants.
With that said, it still has more than enough capability to serve full-sized restaurants and larger businesses too. It even has a built-in eCommerce platform for those who need it!
The Clover Mini comes in at $749 and has a mobile-friendly design, allowing employees to sell on the floor or outside the boundaries of a physical store location. You can even sync it up with other acquired Clover hardware to create more streamlined communication between various systems.
If you want a piece of hardware that is a bit more portable, we recommend Clover Go. This intuitive hardware syncs up with your smartphone, making it easy to conduct business no matter where you are.
All of Clover's plans go through Fiserv, which used to be First Data. When you purchase one of these plans, using the Clover payment processor is your only option. The quality of your service and the pricing you'll receive will depend on the provider you ultimately choose. For this reason, it's important to buy from a reputable seller.
Buying directly from Clover, you can get a $0 per month plan, which is equipped with a 2.6% + $0.10 payment processing fee. However, most small business owners go with the Clover Essentials plan ($9.95 per month) or the Register plan ($39.95) for additional features, such as advanced inventory management.
Overall, Clover is more of a full-fledged POS system with mobile capabilities, making it a comprehensive option.
Square POS is certainly one of the most popular mobile POS systems on the market, perfect for quick-service restaurants and retailers. This mobile POS system comes with a wide range of quality features and is versatile enough to gel with most business operations. Plus, when you get started with a Square plan, you'll get an online store at no extra cost which comes with an integrated system for upselling and shopping cart functionalities.
The beauty of Square is that all you need to get started is a phone! This mobile POS system works on iPhone and Android, with the use of the Square credit card reader.
There are also over 15 tablets compatible with Square.
Note that you will not be able to accept contactless payments or chip cards with the basic magstripe reader, and for that, you will need to upgrade to the EMV/NFC reader, which costs $49.
If the mobile credit card processing app isn't sturdy enough for your business, you can purchase one of Square's robust hardware options, such as the Square Terminal, which costs $299, or the Square Register, which costs $799.
The Square Terminal is a much better choice if you need flexibility, as it is possible to walk around with a handheld mobile reader. On the other hand, if you want a hardwired countertop solution with a customer-facing display, the Square Register is the better choice.
Square does not have a monthly fee starting out, though the rate for payment processing is 2.6% + $0.10 per in-person transaction. This payment processing option is best for low-volume merchants. If you run a high-risk or high-volume business, a custom merchant account may be better suited for you. Square also offers discounts to businesses that have greater than $250k in yearly revenue. Square POS system cost is where you'll find a more thorough price breakdown.
To more closely compare brands on this list, visit Clover Vs Square.
If you're looking for a quality mobile POS solution for your restaurant business, Toast POS is one of the best choices on the market today.
This Android-based mobile POS is built exclusively for bars and restaurants, meaning you'll get tons of integrated features in the system without having to pay for third-party apps.
Toast's software includes menu management, employee management, cloud-based reporting, and kitchen display system communication.
You'll also find features that have become incredibly popular due to the shifts in dining out that took place during COVID, and are still in full effect today. These features include contactless delivery, online ordering, QR code payments, eGift card support, and more.
Customers can even pay for their meals using a mobile device when they're eating in-house.
Toast Go is Toast's proprietary mobile hardware, which employees can use to take orders and accept payments directly from the floor. This hardware uses high-end ELO I-Series touchscreen technology and can communicate with other screens in your establishment, including kiosks, terminals, and customer-facing displays. Toast is known for having the best kiosk POS systems. You'll never need to use another paper ticket ever again!
Toast's Starter Plan is completely free, comes with basic features and a payment processing plan. However, if you want access to the digital ordering suite, you'll have to upgrade to the $165 per month plan. For even more features, such as loyalty programs, gift cards, marketing, and more, you can further upgrade to the Growth plan for $272 per month.
If these options are too expensive for your small business, the Toast Now package, which costs $75 per month, gives you access to a range of digital ordering features without the actual POS system.
Be aware that Toast users are locked into the flat-rate payment processing fee of 2.49% + $0.15. You cannot use a third-party payment processor with this system, and you will have to sign Toast's payment processing agreement, which is a multi-year contract.
To more closely compare brands on this list, visit Toast Vs Clover.
PayPal Zettle is an excellent choice for those who run low-volume businesses and need to accept multiple forms of payment. The processing fee for Zettle is 2.29% + $0.09 per in-person transaction which is slightly less than most other mobile POS solutions. Those payments will be processed through the chip and tap reader, which costs $29.
The beauty of Zettle is that they provide flat-rate pricing and no monthly fee, making it great for low-volume businesses. It'll even cost you less to use than Square, which is pretty incredible. However, it is worth noting that the features found on this system aren't nearly as robust as what you'd find on similar POS system solutions, such as Shopify or Square.
The major advantage of Zettle is that you can accept payments using Venmo or a custom QR code, making it an incredibly convenient payment processing option for consumers. If you do most of your business in person, you'd be hard-pressed to find this kind of pricing anywhere else.
It's worth noting that Zettle is fairly new in the POS app game, as it just came about in 2021. We imagine that it will only continue to grow, and become a more robust mobile POS app for higher-volume businesses in the future.
Lightspeed Retail is an iPad app/mobile POS solution that comes with a myriad of quality POS features, including inventory management, store credit, advanced reporting, integrated eCommerce, employee management, customer management, purchase orders, and more. It's an effective mobile POS app for retail businesses that have multiple locations as well!
Because so many employees are already familiar with iPads, learning how to use Lightspeed is a breeze. You can cut wait times in half by taking payment from the sales floor or giving customers information on products while they're browsing using beautiful image displays with in-depth descriptions. The monthly fee for using Lightspeed's system is $69, which is the price offered when you use Lightspeed as your payment processor.
Note that you will have to pay an additional fee if you use a third-party payment processor. If paying an extra $30 per month is worth it to you, a few processors that work well with Lightspeed include Cayan and WorldPay.
This $69 per month gets you a few basic features, so if you run a high-volume business with more advanced inventory management needs, you will likely want to upgrade to one of the company's higher-priced plans.
The in-house payment processing that comes with Lightspeed is called Lightspeed Payments. The fee for in-person transactions is 2.6% +$0.10, while you'll pay 2.6% + $0.30 for transaction fees where the card is not present. This rate is the same as what you'd pay for Square, and because of that, we wouldn't recommend Lightspeed for very high-volume businesses.
You can, however, get deals from Lightspeed if your business brings in more than $250K in yearly revenue.
Vend is a subsidiary of Lightspeed and one of the best web-based retail POS systems for iPad on the market today. Even though it's a popular option for iPad users, note that it also works on desktop computers and web browsers.
You'll find tons of useful features built into the Vend system, including customer relationship management, employee management, inventory management, and loyalty programs. The iPad register is intuitive as well, making it easier than ever to connect to customer loyalty accounts on the fly, accept payments in the form of gift cards or coupons, and put items on layaway for your customers.
The mobile barcode scanner app allows you to use your smartphone (iPhone or Android devices) as a mobile barcode scanner, enabling you to ring up items on the go.
Note that you won't find any integrated eCommerce features in the Vend ecosystem, though linking your Vend POS software to third-party eCommerce providers like WooCommerce or Shopify is simple. Of course, if you do a lot of online business, we recommend going with another POS software provider that already has most of this integrated.
It's important to note that Vend does not have in-house payment processing. This means you'll have to partner with one of the accepted payment processors, including EVO Payments, CardConnect, North American Bancard, Worldpay, Square, or PayPal. The payment processing fee amounts will wholly depend on which company you choose to process payments through. If you like the idea of selecting your own merchant service provider and want to see 6 additional POS brands that offer this, visit our POS system without credit card processing guide.
The monthly fee for using Vend is $99 per month. While it certainly isn't the lowest monthly fee on this list, it includes tons of features that you'd likely pay extra for with other point-of-sale solutions.
No matter which advanced feature you need, you'll find it in Vend's Pro Plan, which costs $129 per month. Significant features in this plan include QuickBooks integration, promotions, advanced reporting, and gift cards. For all of that and more, we'd say the pricing is fairly reasonable.
To get a feel for Vend's point-of-sale software prior to making any commitments, you can get started with the free plan. However, note that you can only use ten active products with this plan, which will only be suitable for ultra-casual businesses that carry just a few items.
To more closely compare brands on this list, visit Vend Vs Square.
Shopify POS got its start as a software provider for eCommerce businesses.
However, over the years, the company has evolved into one of the most popular all-in-one point-of-sale providers in the industry with its robust POS system and integrated payments.
One of the main reasons business owners go with Shopify is that it is extremely easy to upgrade and scale as business continues to grow.
You can get started with a laptop or mobile device and choose from one of the many reasonable pricing plans.
If you're just getting started, the Shopify Starter Plan is a great option.
The monthly fee for the Starter Plan is $9 per month, which grants access to the Shopify POS system and a range of helpful mobile and web-based POS tools. For example, you can embed Shopify's buy buttons on your website to sell via Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, Tumblr, Weebly, or just about any other web service provider.
We always recommend Shopify to business owners that primarily run eCommerce businesses but want to get their feet wet with in-person transactions, especially because the mobile POS software is a bit more robust than your typical free option.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store and are planning on taking your products out on the road or to out-of-store events, the mobile POS app that Shopify uses is very reliable as well.
To accept payments via Shopify, you will have to pay the processing fee, a flat rate of 2.7%. There are lower fees for those who upgrade to more robust point-of-sale packages, which could be worth it, depending on the size and revenue of your business.
To more closely compare brands on this list, visit Shopify Vs Square.
The Bottom Line
If you require mobility and flexibility without being tied down to a register when accepting payments, then we highly recommend getting your hands on one of these top 7 mobile point-of-sale devices. Even if you currently use countertop POS hardware, but want a device to expand your point-of-sale system so that you can take mobile payments and run your business operations on the go, using a wireless or mobile POS solution can be beneficial.
Beyond the small footprint and portability of great mobile POS solutions, the sheer scalability and advanced web-based features are what make these solutions so attractive for business owners of all shapes and sizes.
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