Our research found that Loyverse is the best free POS software for budget-conscious businesses. Its feature set is impressive, including everything from analytics to its own customer loyalty program. Square is another strong contender — while it charges transaction fees, it does offer strong retail and restaurant-focused features, making it suitable to a broader array of businesses.
As the economic climate grows even more challenging in 2023, free POS software gives businesses a way to scale back costs without compromising operational efficiency. To help match you to a solution that fits your needs, we reviewed the best free POS software — comparing their features, USPs, and additional costs. Scroll down to read our full reviews, or check out our table below to see how they weigh up side by side.
Alternatively, if you're willing to invest in higher-quality software, use our free POS system comparison tool for tailor-made quotes from leading POS providers (they might cost a lot less than you think).
Best Free POS Software for 2023
When it comes to picking out a free POS for your business, the main challenge is knowing which pros are definite musts and which cons are total deal-breakers. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the best free options, complete with lists of the main pros and cons that can help guide your decision.
Here are Tech.co’s top picks for the best free POS systems:
- Loyverse – Best free POS system overall
- Square – Best POS system for small businesses
- eHopper – Best for free payment processing
- ShopKeep – Best for side hustles and tiny businesses
- Shopify – Best for online-first businesses
- Imonggo – Best for cash-only businesses
- Zobaze – Best for businesses with Android hardware
1. Loyverse – Best free POS system overall
When it comes to completely free POS platforms, you'll struggle to do any better than Loyverse as it offers all the tools you need to get your business ready for the next stage of its growth.
It was designed from the ground up as a genuinely free point-of-sale system. The system helps small businesses move away from Excel spreadsheets or even pen-and-paper setups to a slicker cloud-based solution.
Loyverse works best for retail businesses but could also be a great choice for service businesses or even takeaway food outlets. We wouldn't necessarily recommend it for restaurants, however, given its lack of a legit table management feature.
- The only free POS to support multiple locations and loyalty plans
- Has more features than other free options
- Works offline
- No employee management
- Limited inventory management
- Add-ons cost extra
2. Square POS – Best POS system for small businesses
Square is one of the biggest names in POS, and the free version of its service comes with plenty of features. It tracks sales and inventory, logs customer purchase history and emails receipts. Plus, its analytics features let users see their monthly or annual growth,which is an asset for businesses that are looking to drive up performance.
Square is our favorite POS system bar none and it just happens to be free to use — almost.
- Free to get started
- Slick and stylish hardware
- Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
- Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations
- Some necessary features for mid-sized businesses cost more
- 3.5% + 15¢ charge for keyed-in transactions
- Support options vary by plan
- Strong sales management
- Runs on iPad, Android & PCs
- Data reports
- No training or support
- Only one register
- Clunky interface
4. ShopKeep – Best for side hustles and tiny businesses
ShopKeep offers a free account that will let one person operate a single register and make sales of up to $5,000 per month. This means that while ShopKeep is a great deal for scaled-down businesses like side hustles, it's less suited to small businesses with moderate turnovers.
- Works on Android devices as well as Shopkeep's proprietary register
- Clean, intuitive user interface
- Support options vary by plan
- Very strong ecommerce integration
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
- Works with lots of different hardware options
- Exclusively-focused on retail and ecommerce
- Charges transaction fees unless you're using Shopify's own Payments processing system
- No offline mode
Obviously, Shopify POS isn't actually a free POS. But, if you're already running an online store and are looking to expand, Shopify might be the perfect fit for you — especially so if you're already using Shopify to run your ecommerce operations.
The cheapest Shopify plan costs $29 per month which, considering you'll be getting ecommerce and POS, really isn't too expensive.
However, compared to other leading POS providers we've reviewed, Shopify's overall value offering isn't great. Due to the price of its advanced packages, and lack of a fully free plan, our researchers only gave it a 2.2/5 score for its price — a far cry from our frontrunner Square's perfect score of 5/5.
6. Imonggo – Best for cash-only businesses
Imonggo is a decent free option for businesses that solely take cash, but if you require more than one user permission, list more than 1,000 products or make over 1,000 transactions per month, you'll need to fork out for its paid plan at $30 per month.
Imonggo's free plan doesn't let you accept card payments either, making its use extremely limited.
- Inventory tracking
- Intuitive interface
- Customer service
- Only one user
- Only one location
- Capped at 1,000 products
- Is genuinely free
- Designed to work with Android devices
- Lacks advanced features
- No customer support
- Software isn't the most sophisticated
The Zobaze app is free but offers in-app purchases which range from $4.40 to $269 per item.
Despite the app's upsides, there's no real good reason to choose Zobaze over Loyverse or eHopper as free options, and if you're willing to pay there are far better choices available, including Tech.co's top-rated Square POS.
Zobaze is a better choice than pen-and-paper but we'd go for any of the other providers on this list ahead of it.
Is Free POS Software Really Free?
While POS software can be free, no one’s giving away the hardware you’ll need. A tablet or smartphone may be the only essential hardware for a small operation (which you may already own), but card readers, iPad docks, or stand-alone touchscreen displays are all common POS hardware options, and will cost you.
Most small business POS systems on the market today are cloud-based. This means they are run by a company that hosts their software and licenses it out to businesses, who then use it while connected to the internet. (If the internet goes out, most POS systems can operate offline temporarily, and sync back up once they’re online again).
Since these systems tend to make their money on a subscription basis, some offer a free tier. This allows POS providers to gain brand recognition, and creates a broad customer base that might eventually move up to a paid subscription plan. It’s a “freemium” plan: Free, but with a premium option for those willing to reach for their wallets. An example is Loyverse POS.
Another type of “free” POS system is the type that takes a few percentage points off the revenue from each sale. While there’s no up-front cost for using the software, your monthly revenue will drop by around 2-3%, so it’s not really free. However, the price might be more acceptable for a small business that can’t depend on consistently meeting a budget, or an individual vendor that doesn't sell year round. Square POS operates using this model and provides significantly better features for it.
Find out more – How Much Does a POS System Cost?
Other free POS systems include those offered by companies as a no-strings-attached loss leader to boost their brand name and encourage sales of POS hardware or add-ons, as well as open-source POS software, which is created and maintained by online volunteers but is often clunkier and may be outdated.
Pros and Cons of Free POS Software
It's a hard time to be running a restaurant or business at the moment. As surging inflation rates push up the price of stock, and the cost of living hampers consumer spending, maintaining healthy profits has become even more challenging for business owners.
Free POS software might seem like an easy way to reduce your overheads. But be warned, not all of them are as “free” as they claim to be, and others simply don't have the features you'll need to run your business.
In comparison, paid POS software always looks slick and feels intuitive. The interfaces on a free POS, however, can vary wildly. Some look like a text-based version of the old Oregon Trail game and others look like an early 2000s pop-up ad. Whichever you pick, you’ll have to stare at it day in and day out, and it may be difficult or slow to use.
If you're interested in exploring paid solutions, check out our guide to the best POS for small businesses here.
Free POS systems will track sales and inventory, but may not have any options for managing employees or offering loyalty programs. This isn’t necessarily a con, however, as many small businesses wouldn’t benefit enough from these extra features to make them truly cost effective.
What it eventually comes down to is the POS system you choose has to be the right POS for your needs. You can use our free POS comparison tool to find the best value POS system for your business. It's simple, quick and easy-to-use, and you'll get a free, no-obligation quote to help you assess your business' needs.
Research & Methodology
We're very committed to making accurate and well-informed recommendations at Tech.co. This is why we never list a provider on our site without researching it extensively first.
When compiling our list of the best free POS systems, we collected data on the leading providers before comparing them on factors that are of high importance to our users. This included criteria like till features, business development tools, and help and support options.
We also checked to see whether the POS providers charged transaction rates and hidden fees, and used all this information to rank the software in order of their overall value, while also pointing out which solution is best suited to different types of businesses.
We review every type of business software a little differently at Tech.co, so read our research process to learn more.
Verdict - Best Free POS Software
While paid POS systems offer more advanced business features and generous user limits, you don't have to pay monthly fees to get your business off the ground. If you're unsure of the best choice for your needs, use our free POS comparison tool to help you find the most affordable POS system for your business needs.
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