There are several free point-of-sale (POS) systems in the market, each one offering different sets of functionalities. Most free POS systems have at least register and inventory functions, while the best include customer relations and reports. We narrowed our list of top POS software to those with free plans, then looked for the best based on the criteria detailed below.
The five best free POS software for small businesses include:
- Square: Overall best free POS software for small businesses
- PayPal Zettle: Best free POS software for microbusinesses and solopreneurs
- Loyverse: Best free POS software for small restaurants
- eHopper: Best free POS software for markets and grocers
- Imonggo: Best free POS software for small stores doing cash-only transactions
Top Free POS Systems Compared
N/A (free plan cash only)
Free card reader
N/A (purchase through third party)
$ (cost to integrate online store)
Native and third party
Native and third party
Native and extra charge for third party
Native and third party
Native and third party
How We Chose the Best Free POS Software for Small Businesses
We have reviewed dozens of POS systems for a variety of industries. For this list, we narrowed it to nine with free plans, then further to the top five using the criteria below. The result is a list of five reliable, well-featured systems with strong user approval.
Of these, Square ranks No. 1. This isn’t a surprise, as its POS system is always free and has upgrades to grow with you. It’s ranked on our lists of best POS software, best POS software for restaurants, best payment processing, best mobile card reader, and more.
Click through the tabs below for our full evaluation criteria:
30% of Overall Score
Free plans do not mean free everything. We looked at the limitations of the free plan, the cost to upgrade, any upfront costs, and hardware. Square would have gotten a perfect score but for the price of the upgraded plan and the amount of free hardware included. Instead, eHopper ranked best here.
20% of Overall Score
This score addressed the tools in the free plan for sales, inventory, customer management, employee management, and loyalty. Nearly all the products we looked at did well, but eHopper was the most limited in toolset and ranked last.
20% of Overall Score
This considered added value in the free plan, like features specific to restaurants or retail, the ability to manage more than one store, and integrations. Square, with its industry-specific versions and third-party apps, aced this, while eHopper again came last.
10% of Overall Score
Free is no good unless it’s easy. Here we considered customer support, if it worked on desktop and mobile, storage, and other features that make the system easy to implement. All our contenders did well here, but Square was ahead of the pack.
20% of Overall Score
Here we considered the experience of our team, who has decades of personal use and research, as well as the reviews of current users of the system. Square got a perfect score, followed by Loyverse, but all the products did very well.
Learn more about POS systems and how to choose the best one for your business.
Square: Overall Best for Small Businesses
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.
PayPal Zettle: Best for Microbusinesses and Solopreneurs
PayPal acquired Zettle, which was a popular POS system in Europe, and has recently brought it to the United States to replace PayPal Here. (It continues to service Here, but puts new customers on Zettle). Like Here, Zettle is a free, full-featured POS system for solopreneurs, hobbyists, or small businesses. It has in-person and online sales features.
We gave Zettle 4.4 out of 5 stars. While popularly known as the alternative to Square, it beat out Square for pricing but fell short for additional features, ease of use, and our expert score. The complaints by Zettle users about PayPal freezing accounts were also a consideration.
PayPal Zettle Pricing
In the News:
PayPal changed its fees on Aug. 2, 2021. Learn more on the PayPal website.
POS: Zettle’s entire POS system is free with the use of PayPal’s payment processing. There are no premium plans like Square, but also no limited uses or features like with eHopper or Imonggo.
Payment Processing: PayPal Zettle charges 2.29% + 9 cents for card-present transactions, and 3.49% + 9 cents for keyed-in transactions, which are extremely reasonable for flat-rate fees. eHopper is free, and Loyverse lets you choose your own payment provider, so you may find better prices with an interchange-plus merchant service.
Hardware: Zettle offers four hardware POS kits with a combination of touch screen, receipt printer, barcode scanner, or handheld devices. Prices run $249-$399, which makes them the cheapest on our list. It does not have a free card reader like Square, but sells you your first reader at a steep discount.
PayPal Zettle Features
- Scalable: In many ways, Zettle rivals Square—versatility being the most common. This flexible system is good for solopreneurs, while large international corporations use PayPal in general. It can be an addition or your main payment system. It is used in 200+ markets with over 100 currencies, including bitcoin. While it does not have as many software integrations as Square does, it does work with third-party apps and has greater reach as a payment processor.
- Bulk inventory functions: Zettle lets you load inventory in bulk, make bulk assignments of categories, delete items in bulk, or make edits to multiple items or variants at once. We only found this many bulk features with Square, which is not as easy.
- Multichannel sales: Like Square, Zettle is well suited for multichannel sales, with its own online store or the capability to integrate with popular ecommerce solutions like Shopify and WooCommerce. In addition, PayPal is one of the most commonly accepted payment systems in the world; you can add a PayPal button or link to anything from a newsletter to a website.
- Mobile: PayPal’s Zettle mobile app for Android, has (as of this writing) over 38,700 reviews and a score of 3.9. In iOS, there are only 19 reviews and a score of 3.8 out of 5. Your phone or tablet needs iOS 10 or Android 5.0, or higher.
When to Upgrade Zettle
Zettle has no upgrades and no add-ons, except for third-party applications. You can integrate Zettle with ecommerce software like BigCommerce, accounting software like QuickBooks, appointment software like Timely, or even other POS software like Lightspeed (or Loyverse!). So if you like PayPal for payment processing but Zettle does not quite fit the bill, there are third-party options. Most, however, come with a fee.
What PayPal Zettle Is Missing
- Offline processing: Zettle requires a connection to the internet. If you need offline international payment processing, look at Square or eHopper.
- Layaway: Zettle does not have this feature. Check out Imonggo.
- Kits: Zettle does not have a way to combine products into kits. You’ll have to create and track kits as their own item. For this feature, consider Imonggo or Loyverse.
Loyverse: Best for Small Restaurants and CRM
Loyverse is a popular free POS system because it offers so much for free: POS, analytics, inventory, kitchen display, and customer display. The free KDS is one reason we recommend it for restaurants, but it has other excellent register tools, and with the advanced inventory addition, it lets you track ingredients to the last gram.
Loyverse, short for loyalty universe, is also the only system on this list that offers a free integrated loyalty program. Most POS systems, even paid subscriptions, charge extra for this feature. This makes Loyverse a great option for businesses wanting robust, yet free CRM and customer loyalty features.
Overall, Loyverse earned 4.14 out of 5 stars. Square’s extra free features, like ecommerce, put it ahead, although Loyverse beat it for pricing and rivals it for restaurant features. The absence of customer service for the free plan also put it behind Square. However, if you are running a restaurant and don’t want to use Square as your payment processor, Loyverse is worth considering because it lets you choose your merchant service.
POS and Upgrades: Loyverse’s POS, dashboard, kitchen display, and customer display programs are all free. Aside from Square’s restaurant version, most of the POS systems on our list that have kitchen display charge or put it in a paid plan; others need a third-party application.
It has no upgraded POS plan, but if you want to add employee management or advanced inventory, those cost $25 per month. These prices are better than the prices Square or eHopper charge for their add-ons. However, Loyverse alone charges for the ability to integrate into third-party systems.
Payment Processing: Loyverse works with multiple payment processors and merchant accounts (including Zettle). As such, you can shop around for the best rates. If you get interchange-plus pricing, it may be cheaper than Square.
Hardware: You’ll get a card reader from your payment provider. Square, eHopper, and Zettle either give or sell you one. Loyverse, in the meantime, sells its POS systems for $439 and up, which is more expensive than Square or Zettle. The terminals are Android only. You need a tablet for iOS.
- Restaurant features: Loyverse has register and inventory features that make it excellent for restaurants. These include split payments, menu creation, composites for tracking ingredients, kitchen printers, KDS, and tracking stock of items that are produced from ingredients. (Some features may require a subscription to Advanced Inventory.) While the other POS systems on our list have a few of the following functions, only Square for Restaurants comes close. It lacks tools that make it the best POS choice for larger restaurants, but for free, it’s a great choice if you just need the basics.
- CRM and Loyalty: Loyverse takes the lead for its customer management and loyalty features, with Zettle a close second. Loyverse not only lets you store customer information and create a points-based program, but it also lets you create loyalty cards and track purchase history. This is part of the free system.
- User Favorite: Loyverse was No. 1 for user reviews, with a composite score of 4.79 out of 5 with 188 user reviews on third-party websites. Square came in second with 4.68 and 2,180 reviews. While 188 reviews seems a small number, it’s actually the third-highest after Zettle and Square.
- Mobile: Loyverse has 4.7 out of 5 stars on the Apple store with more than 200 reviews, and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play with more than 9,000 reviews. Users say it’s a great app with great customer support. Only Imonggo rated better, but Imonggo only has nine reviews total.
When to Upgrade Loyverse
Busy restaurants and caterers who want to keep careful track of ingredients should consider adding Loyverse’s advanced inventory and employee management, which includes time clocks, sales tracking, and efficiency reports.
Better yet, restaurants that have the budget for a paid system should consider investing in one of our recommended restaurant POS systems.
What Loyverse Is Missing
- Layaway: While not the most asked-for feature, if you need it, consider Imonggo. (Some, like Square, recommend using Open Tickets as a workaround.)
- Free integrations: While Square, eHopper, and Zettle let you integrate with third-party software, Loyverse charges extra for the privilege. This is in addition to the price of the additional software itself.
eHopper: Best for Markets and Grocers
eHopper is the only free POS on our list of the best grocery store systems. Though many of the grocery-specific functions like barcode management require a paid plan, overall the free POS has easy-to-use features for inventory, customer, and tax management.
eHopper’s other claim to fame is “free” payment processing, something no other POS system we’ve considered has. They do this by passing the payment processing fees to your customers while offering discounts for cash.
eHopper earned a 3.44 out of 5 on our scale. It pulled ahead of Zettle in pricing because it gives US customers a free card reader terminal. However, when it came to the toolset, the free version ranked dead last. To get the best from this software, you need a subscription.
POS and Upgrades: The free version is very basic, and paid plans start at $39.99, which is competitive compared to the others on this list. Even more, you get discounts of as much as 76% if you get multiyear plans. The free plan can add digital signage or ecommerce for an additional fee; these are included in the paid plans.
Payment Processing: eHopper has a payment processing scheme unique to the POS software and payment providers we reviewed. Rather than charging you for credit card processing, it programs your card terminal to automatically pass on the fees to your customers, and offers a discount when shoppers pay with cash. As a result, they are getting paid for each credit card transaction, but you do not see the charges. Read more about why we don’t typically recommend this.
If you are in a different country, contact sales for a quote.
The free processing and hardware apply to US customers only.
Hardware: US merchants can get their first card reader free. eHopper sells Poynt terminals and peripherals. Card terminals start at $187, and terminals with POS display at $449. If you choose to purchase your terminals elsewhere, eHopper charges an additional $39.99 per month. No other POS software on our list does this, and in fact, most simply use a tablet or smartphone.
- Grocer tools: Even the basic plans let you sell by weight and offer serialized inventory management for tracking perishables. Plus, it lets you process Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments. These make it a great choice for grocery stores, and, in fact, eHopper is on our list of the top grocery store POS software.
- User friendly: The main feature users bring up, again and again, is how easy this system is to use. Customers called the interface beautiful and simple to learn. You can use it on PC, iOS, or Android; on a smartphone or tablet; or on a PC. In addition to help articles, there is a library of how-to videos.
- Free credit card terminal: eHopper provides you with a free Pax S300 credit card payment terminal. These retail for around $169.99. While others, like Square and Zettle, offer card readers, this is a complete terminal with pin pad and eSignature capabilities.
- Mobile: eHopper’s mobile app lets you scan items, something we didn’t see in the other apps on the list. Nonetheless, it did not score as well: 3 stars on Google Play (43 reviews), and only three reviews on iOS: two 5-stars from 2017, and a one-star from 2020 that said they just got a blank screen when opening the app. For comparison, it has 4 stars on Capterra for the desktop version.
When to Upgrade eHopper
While eHopper’s free POS offers register functions including tips, product modifiers, customer management, and more, the paid plans are more involved. Upgrade if you need the following:
- Menu building
- Clock in/out
- Save order
- Exchange management
- Store transfer
- Ingredient management
- Low stock alerts
- QuickBooks integration
What eHopper Is Missing
- Customer Support: Like Imonggo, unless you have a paid plan, you must depend on the online documentation if you have technical issues. The other plans on our list all have at least email support. Just a note: customer support, according to user reviews, is spotty. We suggest Loyverse for the best customer support.
- Integrations: eHopper does not have many third-party integrations, although it does tie to QuickBooks. For the best free POS software for integrations, go to Square.
Imonggo: Best for Pawn Shops, Tourist Shops, and Mom & Pops
Imonggo is a sweet little system with a bright, intuitive interface and multinational features. It has layaway and kitting capability that we did not find in many POS systems, let alone free ones, and can work with multiple currencies. However, the free system limits transactions and works cash-only. As such, we recommend it for small stores, pawnshops, and stores in tourist areas.
Overall, this software earned 3.33 out of 5. Naturally, the limitations and the lack of credit card processing in the free plan hurt the score significantly. However, it’s easy to use, has an offline mode, and the inventory features are strong.
POS and Upgrades: The free version is severely limited compared to the others on our list: one branch, one user, 100 product limit, and 100 transactions per month. However, for the small store, this may be just right. The paid plan removes those limits and adds credit card processing and ecommerce for $30 per month. The next cheapest plan like this is eHopper’s at $39.99.
Payment Processing: The free version does not allow credit card processing, but is cash/paper check only. All the other software on our list have processors. If you select the paid plan, you have the choice of Authorize.net or Worldpay. Loyverse offers greater selection.
Hardware: Imonggo does not sell POS hardware. Instead, it recommends third-party hardware. You get card readers from your payment provider, which you only need with a paid program.
- Multinational features: Imonggo is the best POS system for multinational stores, like tourist shops or border towns where you may deal with different currencies. It can handle multiple currencies, track nationalities of customers, and more. It’s only in English, however. Zettle is also well-suited for international and cross-border sales, especially online.
- Layaway: Imonggo lets you put items on deposit, accept partial payments, and handle layaway. None of the others have this, though Square suggests Open Tickets as a workaround.
- Offline mode: Unlike Zettle, Imonggo can record sales and store them until the internet is back up, so you can continue selling.
- Kit creation: You can combine individual products into kits to sell and record as a whole, or as compositions, which sell as a whole but record as individual items. Loyverse also had composite item capabilities.
- Loyalty programs: Imonggo has a very basic loyalty program in its Groups setting, but it does let you assign points for purchases. If you need a more extensive loyalty program in free software, consider Loyverse; Square has a loyalty add-on for $25 per month.
When to Upgrade Imonggo
Imonggo is the most limited free POS system on our list. However, it’s also simple and has a clean interface. If you enjoy the system, consider upgrading to get these features:
- Multistore operations
- Unlimited products and users
- Customer support
- Credit card processing
- Online store
What Imonggo Is Missing
- Credit Card Processing: The free plan is cash-only. To integrate your credit card processor, you need the paid plan. If that’s a deal-breaker, check any of the other systems on this list. (Square, eHopper, and Zettle have their own providers, while Loyverse lets you choose.)
- Customer support: Like eHopper, you only get live customer support if you have a paid plan. If you prefer the security of having a person to help you, consider Square or Loyverse.
- Time-tracking: Imonggo does not have clock-in/out tools or scheduling. Only Loyverse or Square for Restaurants have this, but you can get these as add-ons to Square Retail or Zettle.
- Ecommerce: While the paid version has an online store, it’s very limited and only branded with your logo. Consider Square for a more customizable solution.
If you need a basic POS system, there are free ones that do the job. Those listed above are our top picks for POS systems and are great to get you started—and they may be all you need. If not, most offer reasonable upgrades in plans or add-ons.
We recommend Square as the best free POS software for small businesses because it’s free version has unlimited uses and an extensive feature set for register functions and inventory. It even has a free online store so you are not tied to physical sales. The processing fees are reasonable, especially for the occasional user. Sign up for a free account today.