Best EPOS Systems

Read on as our experts review the best EPOS systems available to you.

Updated: May 21, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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EPOS solutions can track sales, assess cash flow, and help manage online ordering, manage customer data and enhance customer satisfaction.

An EPOS solution will always provide you with an accurate record of transaction history.

But, which is the best EPOS system currently available for businesses in the UK?

In this article, we will explore the benefits and limitations of EPOS systems in business, expertly reviewing the best EPOS systems available for you to purchase.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Square★★★★★Click Here
2. Talech★★★★★Click Here
3. Shopify★★★★★Click Here
4. Lightspeed★★★★★Click Here
5. SumUp (Pro)★★★★Click Here
6. SumUp (Lite)★★★★Click Here
7. Zettle★★★★Click Here
8. Clover★★★★Click Here

At a Glance, Pros and Cons

Do you want a quick overview of the benefits and limitations of using an EPOS system in your business?

Take a look at this section as we detail the pros and cons:

Pros

✔️ Speed — Transactions occur in an instant so you can serve more customers whilst enhancing the overall customer experience.

✔️ Convenience — Utilising numerous payment methods adds convenience for the customer and helps your business to increase sales.

✔️ Management — The additional management features of an EPOS system helps you to manage your business, from CRM to inventory management and cash flow.

✔️ Automation — An EPOS system automates much of the processes, ensuring your business can utilise accurate data and spend less time on admin tasks.

Cons

❌️ Costs — The best EPOS systems can be expensive, with hardware costs and monthly software plan fees, in addition to further possible charges.

❌️ Upgrades — Eventually, your EPOS system will require an upgrade, costing further money for your business to invest.

❌️ Reliance — Relying on technology may seem natural but what happens if the technology fails? Always have a back-up plan so your business operations can still function, whatever happens.

❌️ Training — Every member of staff who serves customers or who manages a department will need full training to use the EPOS system in full.

Best EPOS Systems — Reviews

What is the best EPOS system for your business?

Check out our expert review of the best point of sale system to help your business operations:

ProviderPlan Price per MonthContract
1. Square£0No
2. TalechFrom £0No
3. ShopifyFrom £25Most Shopify plans are month to month unless you sign up for a yearly plan. Shopify Plus is available on 1- or 3-year terms.
4. LightspeedFrom £59No
5. SumUp (Pro)From £49No
6. SumUp (Lite)£0No
7. Zettle£0No
8. CloverPersonalised quotePersonalised quote

1. Square — Best Overall Choice

Features:

  • Affordable solutions.
  • Free POS app.
  • Competitive transaction fees.
  • Suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Downloadable reports and forecasts.

Pricing:

  • Free POS app available
  • Square Reader (2nd generation): £19 + VAT
  • Square Stand: £99 + VAT (or £17 + VAT per month for 6 months)
  • Square Terminal: £149 + VAT (or £25 + VAT per month for 6 months)
  • Square Register: £599 + VAT (or £50 + VAT per month for 12 months)
  • Transaction fees: Between 1.75% to 2.5%

Square’s EPOS system is suitable for all small and medium-sized businesses, whatever your needs. There are affordable solutions for every business along with competitive transaction fees.

The Square POS app is free to access and use, whilst you can add a card reader for a one-off cost of £19 + VAT. This provides a mobile solution for smaller businesses.

Chip and PIN and contactless transactions will cost your business transaction fees of 1.75%, whilst virtual terminal and invoice transactions will come with a fee of 2.5%.

Hardware can be added to your plan, with a fixed terminal costing £149 + VAT whilst a register costs £599 + VAT.

Whichever option you choose, Square ensures that additional tools are accessible with their EPOS system. You can download reports and access forecasts easily, helping you to make business decisions.

2. Talech — Best for Plan Options

Features:

  • Three easy-to-understand plans to choose from.
  • Additional features to help your business operations.
  • Great for scalability.

Pricing:

  • Starter plan: Free
  • Standard plan: £49.99 + VAT per month
  • Premium plan: £69.99 + VAT per month

The Talech point-of-sale system comes complete with easy-to-understand plans that you can use as your business grows.

The starter plan is offered for free. This plan is best for new businesses working in retail or small hospitality businesses. However, you will be charged transaction fees when a purchase is made.

Further plans include the standard plan at £49.99 + VAT per month and the premium plan, which will cost you £69.99 + VAT per month. The standard plan is best for the average-sized casual restaurant or retail store, with additional devices being charged at £24.99 + VAT per month.

The premium plan is best for larger businesses, with additional devices charged at £29.99 + VAT per month.

This system adds value to your business with the included management features as well as inventory tracking.

3. Shopify — Best for Online Businesses

Features:

  • Free trial for 3 days.
  • Numerous pricing options.
  • Integrate your Shopify store into the Shopify POS system.

Pricing:

  • Basic plan: £25 per month (or £19 per month billed once yearly)
  • Shopify plan: £65 per month (or £49 per month billed once yearly)
  • Advanced plan: £344 per month (or £259 per month billed once yearly)
  • WisePad 3 Reader hardware: £49 one-off cost
  • Zebra 2D Barcode Scanner hardware: £119 one-off cost
  • Zebra USB Label Printer hardware: £159 one-off cost

The Shopify point of sale system is a superb choice if you have a Shopify store. Whilst you do not need a Shopify store to use this software, the integration achieved with a Shopify store ensures your business operations run smoothly.

There are three plans that you can choose from when opting for the Shopify POS system. 

The basic plan will cost you £25 per month and is perfect for individual sellers. You will be charged transaction fees of 1.7% of the purchase value when in-person transactions are made, or 2% of the purchase value plus a flat fee of 25p when an online transaction is made.

The Shopify plan is perfect for small businesses and will cost £65 per month. You will be charged transaction fees of 1.6% of the purchase value for in-person transactions, and a fee of 1.7% of the transaction value plus a flat fee of 25p for online transactions.

The advanced plan will cost your business a substantial fee of £344 per month and suits medium to large businesses. 

The transaction fees applicable with this plan are 1.5% of the purchase value when an in-person purchase is made, whilst online transactions will face a transaction fee of 1.5% of the value plus a flat fee of 25p.

4. Lightspeed — Best for Multiple Locations

Features:

  • Suited to a fast-moving hospitality business.
  • Integrate with Sage or Xero.
  • Free trial available.

Pricing:

  • Lightspeed Retail plans: From £69 to £199 per month
  • Lightspeed Restaurant plans: From £59 to £339 per month

The Lightspeed EPOS system is best suited to fast-moving, busy hospitality venues. You can integrate your point of sale system with web-based accounting software to provide accurate and automated accounting data.

The plans available from Lightspeed are tailored to a restaurant or a retail setting. The Retail Lean plan is priced from £69 per month although this does not include all the features, rising to £119 per month for the Standard plan. The Advanced plan is priced at £199 per month for the retail sector, with custom plans available on the Enterprise plan.

If you opt for the Restaurant Starter plan, you can expect to pay £59 per month, rising to £109 per month on the Essential plan. Alternatively, choose the Restaurant Premium plan for £339 per month, or ask Lightspeed for a custom Enterprise plan.

5. SumUp — Point of Sale Pro

Features:

  • Accept payments of all kinds.
  • Valuable data reports.
  • Intuitive design and personalisation options.
  • Integrations with account and reporting software.

Pricing:

  • From £49 per month
  • Tailored pricing based on your business needs

The Point of Sale Pro by SumUp is an all-in-one solution that simplifies orders, payment processing, reporting, and more. Your team can tackle everyday tasks with one powerful solution.

The EPOS systems can be personalised to suit your business by handpicking features and add-ons that empower your business.

SumUp offers EPOS terminals built for specific industries, such as restaurants and retail. These terminals have unique features like table management, neat item catalogues, fast menu changes, and multiple store management.

All the systems come with powerful data and reporting. SumUp's systems allow you to manage your business, track your sales, and check your stock levels from anywhere.

SumUp offers a virtual tour of its EPOS software to see how it works and whether its design will fit your business before paying for any of its subscriptions.

6. SumUp — Point of Sale Lite

Features:

  • Accept payment via a card with the connected. SumUp card reader.
  • Create an item catalogue.
  • Control and track sales.
  • Issue payment receipts.
  • Access and download sales and payout reports.

Pricing:

  • One-time hardware costs £349, including a POS lite tablet and a Solo card reader
  • 1.69% transaction fee
  • £0 monthly fee

When you sign up for the Point of Sale Lite, you get two devices: the POS Lite and the Solo card reader. The POS software is pre-installed and comes at no extra cost. This package comes with a two-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The compact design of the EPOS systems makes any till area look slick and gives your employees plenty of room to work without worrying about a large system taking up too much space. The EPOS lite has a clean and intuitive interface that ensures a speedy checkout experience.

The system is built to last; the 13″ full-HD touchscreen is splashproof and has a die-cast aluminium stand that helps you meet your business's daily demands. 

7. Zettle — Point of Sale System and Software

Features:

  • Low stock alerts.
  • Create and organise product whilst tracking investor.
  • Keep your online and in-store inventory updated. and in sync.
  • Speedy robust checkouts.
  • Accept payment via your smartphone.

Pricing:

  • Terminals start from £149 + VAT
  • Card readers start from £29 + VAT

PayPal is a well-trusted multinational financial technology company that operates an online payment system. The well known business owns Zettle. Zettle specialises in creating commerce tools, especially EPOS software and systems.

Zettle's POS systems allow you to track your business's growth with sales reports that can be filters by payment type, check top selling products and watch your growth in real-time, you can spot seasonal trends and plan ahead with year-on-year comparisons.

The EPOS software empowers you to streamline workflows with integration for third party POS systems, e-commerce stores and accounting tools.

8. Clover — EPOS Hardware Solutions

Features:

  • Stock management.
  • Multi layered security.
  • Access business insights.
  • Customer loyalty programs.

Pricing:

  • Personalised quote based on your business's needs

Clover offer three EPOS hardware solutions: Clove Flex, Clover Mini and Clover Station Pro. The Clover Station Pro is a comprehensive all-in-one POS solution that comes with a cash drawer and receipt printer.

Using the POS system you can accept payment, oversee staff schedules, track sales from your phone, tablet or laptop and accept all major payment types and currencies. You can accept local, international and online payments with the EPOS system.

With Clover, you can have a system that grows with your business: you can customise your hardware, software and accessories. You can give your customers digital receipts and there is a one-touch tipping feature.

The cloud-based software used for the EPOS systems are regaurly updated to keep your business running smoothly.

What Is an EPOS System?

An EPOS system is an electronic point of sale system, used by businesses when a customer makes a purchase from a business. 

This system uses both hardware and software to accept customer bank account data and ensure that the payment is processed through the merchant account. However, visually you may view an EPOS system as the business’s cash register.

An EPOS system processes digital payments through the data that is shared between a customer and a business when a transaction is made. However, an EPOS system will also manage your inventory and manage customer relations, as well as create reports of a variety of data.

An EPOS system is a more advanced version of the POS system used in business for many years, being able to use an EPOS system for so much more than selling products to customers.

How Does an EPOS System Work?

An EPOS system works to process digital payments made by a customer. The customer requests to make a purchase and you process that payment with a chip and PIN card or contactless card to the contactless limit of £100. 

Payments with a digital wallet and digital credit card or virtual debit card are also acceptable. The cash register and the software used will record the transaction. 

As a result of using an EPOS system for payments and other functions of your business, there is always a digital trail of purchases made in the business. You will always have proof of the transactions in your business.

In addition to processing transactions, an effective EPOS system also works to manage the inventory in your business, informing you how many items you have left available for a customer to purchase.

You can monitor sales made as well as the purchases made by your business, accepting in-person and online transactions with the same hardware and software. You can manage the latest pricing information available so that the best decisions can be made in your business.

Is an EPOS System Hardware of Software?

An Epos system is a combination of hardware and software, used to complete a range of tasks to support your business operations.

EPOS hardware is the physical device used by the business, such as a cash register, card reader, receipt printer, or barcode scanner. Depending on the nature and size of your business, you may use some or all of these hardware items in your business.

EPOS software is the brains behind the machine. This software ensures that you can view sales, manage inventory, and integrate other software such as accounting software.

What Are the Benefits of an EPOS System?

An EPOS system can offer your business many benefits, such as:

1. Mobile Payments

With the correct hardware, an EPOS system is able to take mobile payments wherever you are, using a digital card or mobile banking app

So, if you are a customer in a restaurant, you can accept a payment at the customer’s table, making the customer experience more enjoyable for the customer and making life easier for employees. Traditional barriers crumble as EPOS systems revolutionise retail and hospitality.

2. Integration

EPOS systems offer numerous hardware integrations and software integrations. 

For example, you can add-on scanners for barcodes and printers for receipts, or you can integrate accounting software into your system. This helps to maintain accurate accounting records and reduces the amount of time spent on admin tasks.

Other apps and tools can also be integrated into your EPOS system, such as a live chat function or a reward app.

3. Decision Making

Making the best decisions is an important aspect of any business. However, to make the best decisions, you must use accurate and precise information.

Your EPOS system will provide you with a range of reports detailing your sales, cash flow and inventory, helping to inform your decision making in the best possible way.

4. Reduced Admin

So much of the EPOS system is automated, automatically updating your records with sales and purchase information. As a result, the amount of time you will spend on admin tasks dramatically reduces, ensuring that you can spend that extra time on making more money in your business.

5. Inventory Management

Set your EPOS system to automatically re-order stock when stock levels hit a certain number. This ensures that you will always have sufficient stock in your business so you will never run out.

You can also monitor inventory data to assess whether any items are performing poorly, allowing you to re-evaluate whether you want to offer that product or service in the business.

6. Selling Channels

You will be able to sell through many channels when using a good EPOS system. This includes in-person purchases as well as online transactions. Furthermore, you can add a click-and-collect option when a customer buys a product online.

7. Upselling

Program your EPOS system to remind your employees to upsell additional products when a customer is purchasing goods or services from your business. 

8. Customer Relations

A good EPOS system will offer CRM tools, helping you to create customer lists and customer profiles. You can then tailor discounts and special offers for your customers to enhance customer loyalty.

9. Staff Management

Manage your staff IDs and benefits with an EPOS system, ensuring that the correct staff members have the correct authorisation.

10. Payment Methods

Offer your customers choice when they make a payment to your business. For example, you can offer traditional chip and PIN credit card and debit card payments as well as contactless payments.

You can take card payments with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay payment methods to use with a digital wallet, or add flexible payment options such as Clear Pay and Klarna.

What Are the Disadvantages of an EPOS System?

Whilst an EPOS system can revolutionise business operations, there are some disadvantages to look out for:

1. Costs

The main disadvantage of an EPOS system is the cost involved. To acquire the best EPOS system, you will need to invest in hardware that can require a substantial one-off cost. 

You will then need to sign-up for a monthly plan with an EPOS system software provider, which can also be expensive depending on the provider and the plan you choose. There could be additional charges and transaction fees to consider, also.

2. Over Reliance

Relying too much on technology can sometimes lead to limitations in business. For example, if technology suddenly ceased to work, what would you do? How could you make a sale or monitor inventory?

It is wise to always have a back-up plan when running a business, regardless of the overall benefits that an EPOS system will provide to you.

3. Maintenance

Your EPOS system will be used on a daily basis, sometimes on a consistent basis. Therefore, eventually, wear and tear will be inevitable. 

Over time, you will need to update the software and pay for maintenance or upgrades on your hardware. This will lead to further costs and disruption in your business.

4. Security

Even though technology can provide some security benefits to a business, all technology is vulnerable to fraud and hacking. It is important to monitor the system closely to look for anything suspicious.

5. Training

Your employees will need to know how to use the EPOS system and this will cost you time and money to successfully complete.

Leading EPOS Systems: The Verdict

EPOS systems have revolutionised businesses, developing from merely taking payments to being able to help assist you in running the entire business. 

Our favourite EPOS system is the Square point of sale system, offering affordable solutions for all businesses. You can access the Square app for free, enhancing your productivity with a card reader for only £16.

However, the paid plan will cost you a fee of £49 per month, whilst a terminal will cost £149. When you add a cash register to your system, this will cost a one-off price of £599. However, after these purchases, you can enjoy an excellent EPOS system that will help your business to develop and progress.

FAQs

Are EPOS and POS systems the same?

Can an EPOS system improve business performance?

Is an EPOS system only suitable for retail stores?

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