If you are looking for free pos software, I was in your shoes not long ago. I needed an easy to use inventory management program for my new business. Trouble is, there are hundreds out there, and they all cost money. That got me thinking about if there were any free open source pos software programs.
Do you own an independent small business? I’m sure you’d agree, there are few things more important than boosting sales and increasing revenue generation. How do you go about it? One way is to install point of sale software like Free POS Software: what it is, and which options are available for your business today.
Square: Overall Best for Small Businesses
Overall Score: 4.51 OUT OF 5 i
What We Like
- Easy to use
- Free online store
- Free versions for restaurants, salons
- Multiple integrations
- Limited support
- Tied to Square Payments
- Loyalty program costs extra
- Free basic POS system
- Advanced POS system: $60/month
- Card-present processing fee: 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction
- Keyed-in processing fee: 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction
- Card readers: From $49
- Terminals: From $299
- 30-day free trial for Plus plans
- Team Plus: $35 per month
- Payroll: $34 per month plus $5 per employee
- Marketing: Starts at $15 per month
- Loyalty program: Starts at $45 per month
Square’s free POS system is robust, with no use limits and features often found only in paid plans. You can sell in-store, on mobile, or online, and it has specialty POS systems for restaurants, retailers, and salons. While its processing fees are more expensive than most (especially PayPal Zettle), it’s a great choice for the hobbyist who sells at the county fair or the brick-and-mortar business with online sales.
In our evaluation, Square earned 4.51 out of 5 stars. Its paid plan is one of the most expensive, which hurt its score for pricing, and the loyalty program is an add-on. However, it’s among the easiest to use, the most popular, and the best for advanced features—both paid and free.
POS and Upgrades: Square’s POS system offers all the functions needed to run your store as well as have an online presence. If you need advanced features, the Pro plan costs $60 a month. This is more expensive than the others on our list, which have plans under $50. However, the paid plans still offer a good value overall, as comparable systems cost around $75-$100 per month.
Payment Processing: You are locked into using Square for payment processing. The other free POS software on this list either let you bring in a third-party app or have lower rates. However, Square does offer discounts for businesses doing over $250,000 a year in credit card processing.
Hardware: Square gives you your first magstripe reader free and charges $49 for a chip reader. Only eHopper also offers a free reader. Full POS systems run from $299 to $799. These prices compare well to most of the software on our list.
- Restaurants: While we chose Loyverse as the best free POS software for restaurants—mostly because of the free kitchen display system (KDS)—Square is a strong contender as well. It, too, has a KDS and basic time clock functions as well as menu and table management. However, Square KDS requires a Pro plan subscription at $60/month. Loyverse also lets you choose your payment processor, which could save your money.
- Appointments: For salons, spas, gyms, and other businesses that work on appointments, Square offers a version of its free POS system for one staff calendar. You can schedule appointments, send reminders, and sell items or classes. None of the other POS systems on our list include calendar functions like this.
- Multichannel Sales: Like Zettle, Square works for multichannel sales, from the free online store to the Square payments button on your social media. Square also integrates with third-party ecommerce applications. However, one of the best free features of Square is the strong integrated contactless ordering, pickup, and delivery features.
- Integrations: If you need something that Square does not provide, it’s easy to find a third-party integration. Square integrates with more third-party applications than any of the free POS systems on our list.
- Invoicing: Not all businesses work with a register. If you need invoicing capability, then Square can provide this free. The processing fee for invoice payments is 2.9% +30 cents, or 1% if they pay by ACH (minimum $1). Zettle also offers free invoices with a transaction fee of 2.5% per invoice.
- Mobile: With 4.8 out of 5 based on over 271,000 reviews, Square POS ranks No. 27 for Business in the Apple App store. Users on Google Play give it 4.4 stars and over 134,000 reviews. Square tops our list of best free iPhone credit card readers, and is No. 1 among those on this list as well.
When to Upgrade Square
Unlike the other POS software on this list, Square gives you plenty of reasons and ways to upgrade. In addition to getting advanced inventory, reports, and team management, there are also paid add-ons for loyalty, marketing, and even payroll. No other POS system offers so many native add-ons.
What Square Is Missing
- Loyalty program: Square can track customer information, but for loyalty, you need the add-on. Look at Loyverse if you need this feature for free.
- Employee management: Unless you have Square for Restaurants with the time-tracking feature, you need Square Teams for simple login capability.
Stripe is another big player in the payment processing field. Like Square, you can sign up for a free POS system with credit card processing. However, with the Stripe Terminal in-person POS, you’ll still be charged credit card processing fees — 2.7% plus 5 cents for in-person card payments — and card reader hardware comes at a cost. The Stripe Dashboard allows you to remotely manage all of your payment devices. You can accept all major credit cards and Terminal includes Apple Pay and Google Pay support.
Stripe Terminal also offers unified reporting with online payments. The Stripe platform started as an online payment processor, so you can also utilize this platform for a seamless online purchasing experience for your customers.
- Free POS software with pay per transaction charges
- Accepts a wide range of payment methods
- Software easily integrates for eCommerce
- Fewer hardware model options for in-person POS
- Square integrates more management features
- Payment processing fees
- POS hardware costs $59 for the BBPOS Chipper 2X BT or $299 for the Verifone P400 Reader
If you are just starting out, Imonggo is a great option, as it offers free POS software for one user in one location. With this plan you will receive inventory management for up to 1,000 products, sales analytics, the ability to send digital receipts, employee and customer management features, plus mobile connectivity and the ability to sell offline.
What Imonggo’s free plan doesn’t offer is broad integration capabilities, offline access, or the option to accept credit card payments. In addition, Imonggo caps your transaction limit at 1,000 per month. If you want more out of Imonggo, you will have to sign up for the premium version, which costs $30 per month. Fortunately, you can try Imonggo risk-free for 30 days to decide if it is the right POS software for your business.
Another simple, but limited, app comes from Vend. Vend doesn’t offer as many of the additional features as some others on this list, but it does the basics very well.
Vend offers free POS software for Mac, iPad and PC. The free plan enables you to accept cash and card payments linked to payment processors like Shopify, Square or PayPal.
The app is cloud-based but will still work when you go offline. It will sync back up once you return to an Internet connection.
If you have a business that makes a lot of sales or is growing, Vend may not be for you. The free plan allows for only 1 register, 1 user and 10 active products. This makes it a good option for small businesses with a low volume of sales.
- Software accessible across several operating systems
- Integrates with popular payment processors
- Low inventory threshold with the free plan
- Only 1 user and 1 register can utilize the free plan
- Credit card processing fees from your selected vendor
POS systems used to be the sole property of large corporate giants who could afford to purchase and maintain these complex pieces of software. But now, with the use of cloud computing, the ability to access and run your very own POS system has never been easier or more cost-effective. If you own a small business and still think that you don’t need a POS system, read on because I’m going to convince you why you should consider switching over to a POS system for your business.