POS System Cost Guide (2022) – Forbes Advisor

Most top-rated small business POS systems don’t have any additional fees beyond what’s covered above. Monthly system costs, one-time hardware expenses, and ongoing payment processing fees vary widely between plans and providers, but they cover the bulk of your POS system costs.

That said, expanding your POS system beyond basic functionality and adding stations or payment slots increases hardware requirements and monthly fees. Here are some additional costs you’ll find with most POS systems.

POS fees per register

Lightspeed, Toast, and Clover have added monthly fees to support more than one registry or mobile device in one place. Lightspeed costs around $29 per month per added registrar or terminal, Clover charges $9.95 per add-on, and Toast integrates additional registries and terminals into your overall plan. Square Plus charges $40 per month per additional counter checkout, but mobile and handheld terminals have no additional charge.

POS fees per location

The upgraded Square Plus and Shopify POS Pro plans have per-location fees, but don’t charge extra for adding mobile or handheld devices. Lightspeed, Toast, and Clover typically have per-location fees in addition to their per-registry fees. However, when you reach multi-site sales volume, you can usually negotiate an expansion package with hardware discounts and lower card processing fees.

POS costs for add-on features

A la carte features increase POS functionality and monthly costs. Both Square and Toast offer a full menu of add-on features for things like email marketing, loyalty programs, payroll, online appointments and reservations, and more. Add-ons can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds per month, depending on sales volume and number of outlets.

Square publish these costs so it’s easy to see if the free POS plus add-ons or the paid Square Plus plan with built-in features is more economical. However, Toast and other specialty POS systems typically quote add-on costs based on plan levels, sales volume, and system needs.

POS fee per transaction

Most POS systems make money from built-in payment processing services. A few, including Square, Zettle, and Toast, don’t allow you to connect your own payment processor to their POS system. Others, including Clover, Lightspeed, and Shopify POS support third-party processors, but you may incur higher monthly fees or surcharges per transaction.

Shopify is the one that adds a 0.5% to 2% per transaction fee to online orders if you don’t use Shopify Payments. You can get around this during Shopify POS Pro in-store sales by connecting your payment provider’s terminal, but third-party hardware integrations can be tricky.

There are many competitors credit card processing services to consider. However, it may be easier and more economical to use integrated POS payment services and negotiate lower rates and monthly fees as your sales volume increases.

Conclusion

POS software, hardware, and payment processing costs vary widely between plans and providers. Free POS systems can be ideal for startups and individual entrepreneurs and can quickly scale to meet the needs of fast-growing businesses. However, optional features add cost, and you must use proprietary hardware and embedded processing. Paid POS systems with business-specific features, more hardware options, and payment processing flexibility offer more cost-effective solutions focused on long-term growth.

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