POS System Cost Guide (2022) – Forbes Advisor

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

That said, expanding your POS system beyond core features and adding checkout stations or locations increases hardware needs and monthly fees. Here are a few added costs you’ll find with most POS systems.

Per-Register POS Fees

Lightspeed, Toast and Clover have added monthly fees to support more than one register or mobile terminal in one location. Lightspeed runs around $29 per month per added register or terminal, Clover charges $9.95 per add-on and Toast builds added registers and terminals into your overall plan. Square Plus charges $40 per month per added countertop checkout, but mobile and handheld terminals have no added fees.

Per-Location POS Fees

Upgraded Square Plus plans and Shopify POS Pro have per-location fees, but don’t charge extra for adding mobile or handheld terminals. Lightspeed, Toast and Clover typically have per-location fees on top of their per-register fees. However, when you reach multi-location sales volume, you generally can negotiate an expansion package with hardware discounts and lower card processing fees.

POS Costs for Add-On Features

À la carte features increase POS functionality and monthly costs. Both Square and Toast offer a full menu of add-on features for things such as email marketing, loyalty programs, payroll, online appointments and reservations and more. Add-ons can run a few dollars to hundreds per month, based on sales volume and the number of outlets.

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

Per-Transaction POS Fees

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

Shopify is one that adds a per-transaction fee of .5% to 2% to online orders if you don’t use Shopify Payments. You can get around that on in-store Shopify POS Pro sales by connecting your payment provider’s terminal, but third-party hardware integrations can be tricky.

There are plenty of competitive credit card processing services to consider. However, it can be easier and more economical to use built-in POS payment services and negotiate lower rates and monthly fees as your sales volume increases.

Bottom Line

POS software, hardware and payment processing costs vary greatly between plans and providers. Free POS systems can be ideal for startups and solopreneurs and can quickly expand to meet the needs of fast-growing businesses. However, optional features increase costs, plus you have to use proprietary hardware and built-in processing. Paid POS systems with business-specific features, more hardware options and payment processing flexibility offer more economical and growth-oriented solutions in the long run.

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