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Compare ePOS systems and software for businesses

Discover all you need to know about finding the right ePOS system for your business and compare your options with SpotDif.

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Your guide to comparing ePOS systems

Save money on the cost of your ePOS system with SpotDif. As your go-to comparison website, we take the stress out of comparing quotes in your area so you get the best deal every time. 


Tech has changed the way we do everything — and that includes the way you do business. Your customers now expect so much more from a retail or dining experience, and an ePOS system provides seamless payment methods that are quick, accurate and secure. 


Don't want to miss out on the benefits of automating your business? We've taken an in-depth look at ePOS till systems and software to help you make an informed decision when you want to update your payment systems. 

 

What are ePOS systems, and could they be the right fit for your business? An Electronic Point of Sale is like an update on the traditional cash register. But instead of being manually operated, you use an automated system operated via a touchscreen terminal. Card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers are all part of an ePOS solutions system, widely used in retail and hospitality, health, wellness and beauty, multi-service businesses and more. Using hardware and ePOS software, you can streamline how you do business and boost customer satisfaction. 

 

The right ePOS system helps you process payments and much more. From managing inventory to customer insights, an electronic point-of-sale system is much more than a pimped-up cash register. So, if you want to enjoy the benefits of automation for your business, is it time to start thinking about installing a cost-effective ePOS till system? 

 

At SpotDif, we want to help you get the most out of your ePOS system. All you need to do is share a few details, and we’ll do the rest. With price comparisons across leading suppliers, we can help you make significant savings on ePOS solutions in your area. Just fill in our quick questionnaire and start saving on ePOS system price comparisons.

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Your guide to comparing ePOS systems

Tech has changed the way we do everything, and that includes the way your business takes payments. An electronic point of sale (ePOS) system provides seamless payment methods that are quick, accurate and secure — a win for both you and your customers.


Are you wondering how to pick the best payment system for your business? Our guide is here to help. We'll explore different types of electronic point-of-sale systems, from those best suited for small cafes to advanced options for large retailers. 


Do you need a system that integrates easily with your existing software, or are you starting from scratch? What about tracking inventory and customer behaviour — essential, right? We’ll cover all these aspects, ensuring you make an informed decision that boosts your efficiency and customer satisfaction.  Stick with us to find out which features matter most for your specific business needs then use our handy ePOS comparison tool to find your perfect match.

What is an ePOS system, and do you need one?

An electronic point of sale is an update on the traditional till and cash register. But instead of being manually operated, you use an automated system operated via a touchscreen terminal.


Card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers are all part of an ePOS solutions system and they’re widely used in businesses such as retail, hospitality, health, wellness and beauty, and more. By using hardware and ePOS software, you can streamline the way you do business and boost customer satisfaction. 


The right ePOS system helps you to process payments, store data, and even manage your inventory. So if you run a customer-based business, no matter if you're an independent start-up or a big brand, an electronic point-of-sale system makes running your business better.


To get a clearer idea of ePOS features and benefits, let’s compare an electronic point-of-sale solution with a traditional cash register.

Need a new ePOS system? Look no further

We can help you find the perfect ePOS system for your business; we compare a range of national suppliers to ensure you always get the best quote.  

Cash registers vs ePOS systems 

When deciding between a traditional cash register and a modern electronic point of sale system, it's important to consider how each could serve your business's unique needs.


The basics

A cash register is straightforward: it holds money, records sales, and gives out change and receipts. An ePOS system also does this.


Real-time updates

However, electronic point-of-sale systems do everything a cash register does and much more. They offer real-time updates to prices and inventory, which helps maintain accuracy and efficiency in stock management. 


Scalability

Unlike cash registers, ePOS systems can grow with your business. They're scalable, adapting to increased product ranges or higher transaction volumes without missing a beat.


Data collection

Moreover, electronic point-of-sale systems provide invaluable insights through data collection. They track what’s selling well and what isn’t, allowing you to make informed decisions that could significantly boost your profitability. Ever wondered which products are your best sellers on weekends or what times your store is busiest? An ePOS system can tell you.


Promotion opportunities

Want to boost your marketing with promos and discounts? Unlike a standard till, electronic point-of-sale systems make it quick and easy to update your pricing and offer promotions that your customers will love.


Usability

In terms of operation, while both systems are user-friendly, ePOS systems lead in speed, security, and accuracy. They reduce the chances of human error and secure transactions against fraud more effectively.


Training

It’s worth noting that, compared to a till, an electronic point of sale system can seem more complex. You will need to make sure your team has training and support to get the most out of the additional features and ensure accurate results. 


Price

ePOS systems tend to be more expensive than traditional till systems, however they offer many more features. So, if you're aiming to not only maintain but grow your business, we recommend considering an electronic point-of-sale system over a traditional till. 

On average, you can expect to pay around £150 - £250 for an entry-level cash register. Basic electronic point-of-sale systems, on the other hand, start at around £400. We’ll look at this in more detail a bit later on.

What do you need to set up an ePOS system?

To set up an ePOS system that works for your business, you'll need a combination of point-of-sale hardware and ePOS software, including: 


  • ePOS terminal 

  • Card reader 

  • Touchscreen display, like a tablet or mobile 

  • Data storage with local ePOS software (if you want to handle inventory and customer data yourself)

  • Cloud ePOS software to host inventory and customer data on the cloud 

  • Cash box 

  • Thermal printer for receipts 


The hardware handles the physical payment. Meanwhile, the ePOS software gives you control over sales logs, inventory, refunds, discounts, and more.

Types of electronic POS systems

While most electronic point-of-sale systems consist of the components we mentioned above, it’s important to note that there are different types available, and you may find your business is best suited to a particular ePOS format. We recommend exploring the options below to work out which is best for your needs. 


Ultimately, using the right specialised ePOS system, tailored to your industry’s needs, can not only streamline your operations but also provide a smoother, more engaging customer experience. 


Traditional ePOS systems

In our experience, traditional ePOS systems are a robust and reliable option. If your business handles many transactions daily, like a supermarket or a large restaurant, these systems are built to keep up. They often include hardware like cash registers, receipt printers, and wired scanners. This setup ensures that your operations run smoothly, even during the busiest hours. 

Mobile ePOS systems

For those of you running a pop-up shop, market stall, or any other business on the move, mobile ePOS systems offer incredible flexibility. You can process payments directly from your smartphone or tablet, paired with a portable card reader. They’re easy to set up and perfect for businesses without a fixed location.


Tablet ePOS systems

Tablet electronic point-of-sale systems are a step up from mobile systems. They offer more processing power and can handle more complex software applications. They’re ideal for businesses that are growing and need a more robust solution than a mobile ePOS but aren’t ready to commit to a traditional setup. Whether it’s a busy café or a mid-sized retail store, a tablet ePOS can handle your needs effectively.


Specialised industry ePOS systems

With so many ePOS systems available, you’re sure to find a model that works perfectly for your business, no matter your industry. In fact, electronic point-of-sale manufacturers have developed specific systems to the unique demands of various business sectors. These include:


  • Hospitality ePOS: If you run a restaurant, bar, or cafe, we highly recommend looking for dedicated hospitality systems that go beyond basic functions. You’ll benefit from features such as table management, split billing, and even integrating with kitchen display systems to streamline order processing. This ensures that staff can serve customers more effectively, improving the dining experience.

  • Retail ePOS systems: Retail stores benefit enormously from ePOS systems that manage inventory, process transactions quickly, and support self-checkout to reduce wait times. They also integrate loyalty programs seamlessly, encouraging repeat business by rewarding regular customers with discounts or special offers.

  • Fashion ePOS: For fashion retailers, including boutiques and shoe stores, these ePOS systems are essential. They help track inventory down to specific sizes, colours, and styles, making it easier to manage stock levels and even suggest orders for popular items.

  • Beauty ePOS systems: We suggest that salons and spas look for systems that allow you to schedule appointments, manage client profiles, and process payments — including tips. Some beauty ePOS systems can also handle online booking, allowing your clients to book their appointments at their convenience.

Service ePOS: Businesses that offer services like key cutting, shoe repair, or dry cleaning benefit from ePOS systems that schedule and track orders and manage billing efficiently. They can also send automatic reminders to customers when their orders are ready for pickup, enhancing customer satisfaction.

If you're in need of a new ePOS system, we can help.

We strive to eliminate the confusion of purchasing and installing an ePOS system, giving you all the information you need to make an informed choice.  

How much does an ePOS system cost?

Payment system prices can vary — there's no one-size-fits-all solution and the cost will depend on which hardware and software features your business needs.


Before we go through some pricing examples, let’s look at the factors that can impact the price of your electronic point of sale system. This can help you make a more informed decision on a system that matches your business priorities. 


  • ePOS hardware: The type and quantity of hardware you require will significantly impact the cost. Basic setups might just need a tablet or a mobile device, while more extensive systems could require multiple terminals, printers, scanners, and cash drawers. Higher quality or additional hardware naturally increases the price.

  • ePOS software: The software subscription can vary in cost depending on its complexity and capabilities. Basic packages usually cover essential sales functions, but if you need advanced features like inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), or analytics, the price can go up. Some providers also charge more for customisations specific to your business.

  • Functionality and features: The more sophisticated your system, the higher the cost. If you require specialised functions like appointment scheduling, loyalty programs, or integration with other systems, you should expect to pay more. These features can streamline operations and improve customer service, but it’s worth noting that they come at a premium.

  • Payment processing: The fees associated with processing payments can also affect the overall cost of your system. Different vendors offer different rates, and some might include transaction fees or charges for integrating with specific payment gateways. It’s important to compare these costs as they can add up over time.


Take a look at our payment processing guide for more details on this aspect. 

  • Offline functions: Some ePOS systems can operate offline, so you can continue making sales even when the internet is down. This is particularly important for businesses in areas with unreliable internet connections. Systems with robust offline capabilities might cost more, but they ensure your business keeps running smoothly at all times.

  • Installation and support: The level of support and the installation cost can also vary. Some vendors offer free installation and basic support, while others charge for on-site setup and offer various levels of customer service. Ongoing support might be included in your subscription, or it could come as an additional cost.

Average ePOS costs

On average, electronic point of sale hardware costs anywhere between £400 and £1000+, depending on your business. Entry-level software is free, but for a reliable system, expect to pay between £30 and £100+ per month. 

Let’s break it down.


Entry-level ePOS systems

  • Hardware: £400-£600

  • Software: £30-£50 per month

If you're just starting out or have a small operation, we recommend entry-level systems as a cost-effective choice. Hardware costs for these systems typically range from about £400 to £600. This usually includes basic devices like a tablet, a card reader, and maybe a printer. 


As for software, there are free options available, but for more reliable service with essential features like sales reporting and inventory tracking, you’re looking at around £30 to £50 per month. 


Best for: This setup is ideal for small shops, pop-ups, or solo vendors who need straightforward functionality.


Mid-level ePOS systems

  • Hardware: £600-£800

  • Software: £50-£70 per month

For businesses that require more functionality, we suggest looking at mid-level systems. Hardware costs in this range can vary from £600 to £800. This might include multiple terminals, higher-quality printers, and more sophisticated scanners. 

Software costs for mid-level systems usually fall between £50 and £70 per month, offering additional features such as customer loyalty programs, multi-location management, and more detailed analytics. 


Best for: These systems suit businesses with higher transaction volumes or those needing more comprehensive management tools.


Advanced ePOS systems

  • Hardware: £1000+

  • Software: £70-£160 per month

If you run a large businesses or have specific needs, we feel that advanced systems are best — and worth the investment. Hardware for these can easily reach £1000-£1400 as they often include multiple high-end terminals, advanced scanners, and robust backend servers. 

Software costs for advanced ePOS systems can start at £70 and go beyond £100 per month, potentially reaching around £160. This pricing depends on the complexity and scalability required. 

Best for: These systems often include full integration capabilities, advanced inventory management, CRM, and real-time data analytics,  making them perfect for large retail chains or bustling hospitality venues.

Comparing some of the biggest ePOS brands

Now you have an idea of types and prices, which brands are offering the best ePOS systems? Here are some of the UK’s most popular electronic point-of-sale companies.


Square

Square’s ePOS system is renowned for its simplicity and ease of use, making it ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. One major advantage is that it comes with no monthly fee for the basic package, which includes features like inventory management and sales reporting. However, its transaction fees can be higher than some competitors. 


In our opinion, Square is particularly well-suited to cafes, small retail shops, and pop-up stores due to its mobile-friendly design.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware — free on mobile, or from £19 to £599+ (plus VAT)

  • Ongoing costs up to £69 per month (free software plans available)

  • Payment processing fees: 1.75% to 2.5% per transaction


Clover

Clover offers a versatile ePOS solution with customisation options. It supports a wide range of payment methods, however, Clover’s equipment can be expensive, and there are contractual commitments involved. 


We feel this system is best for medium to large businesses that need a customisable system capable of handling a high volume of transactions — such as busy restaurants or large retail stores.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware — prices vary depending on payment machine type.

  • Ongoing costs — bespoke prices 

  • Payment processing fees: 1% + 10p


EPOS Now

EPOS Now provides a robust system that excels in scalability, making it a great choice for both small startups and larger enterprises looking to expand. 

It offers extensive back-office functionalities. However, some users find its interface less intuitive than others. We recommend this brand for hospitality and retail businesses that require detailed stock management and reporting.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware — generally around £399

  • Ongoing costs from £10 to £50

  • Payment processing fees: 1.75%


Zettle

Formerly known as iZettle, Zettle by PayPal is geared towards smaller businesses and excels in simplicity and ease of integration with PayPal's services. Its main draw is the low upfront cost and competitive transaction fees. The con is that its features are more basic, which might not suit larger businesses. 

We feel Zettle is ideal for vendors at markets, small cafes, and service providers.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware from £29 to £189

  • Ongoing costs — free software

  • Payment processing fees: 1.75% per transaction


Shopify

Shopify's ePOS system is designed to seamlessly integrate with its eCommerce platform, making it perfect for businesses that operate both online and offline. It offers strong inventory management and sales features but is really only suitable for businesses already using Shopify. 

If you run a retail business with online sales, this could be a great choice.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware — can integrate with any iOS or Android payment machines. Shopify-specific equipment available for between £39 and £342

  • Ongoing costs from £5 to £69 per month

  • Payment processing fees: from 1.7% to 5% per transaction


Lightspeed

Do you require specific functionalities like detailed inventory tracking, comprehensive reporting, and customer relationship management?  Lightspeed could be an excellent option. It's a bit pricier and has a steeper learning curve, but it’s powerful for niche businesses such as golf courses, restaurants, and high-end retail stores that need detailed management tools.


Average cost: 

  • Hardware cost — one register included with the higher monthly fee

  • Ongoing costs from £39 to £179 per month

  • Payment processing fees: Depends on monthly transaction volume

Compare ePOS systems with SpotDif

At SpotDif, we compare ePOS systems from many of the UK's largest suppliers. Get in touch and we'll find you our best quotes 

Setting up an ePOS system

Whether you rent or buy your electronic point of sale, you’ll usually have two set-up options.   You can go the DIY route with a plug-and-play system or choose one that's configured and installed for you.


Whichever path you choose, set aside plenty of time to get the set-up right before you use it. Then, train your employees so that using your payment system becomes second nature, especially if you choose a mobile set-up that lets your team take payments on the go. 


       

1. Check what’s in the box: Before you start, check you have all the hardware and cables you need. 


       

2. Set up your POS hardware: If you've ever set up a desktop computer, you'll know what to expect. Connect your cash drawer once your touchscreen and printer are powered up and ready to go.


3. Connect to Wi-Fi: Connect via Ethernet cable for stability or go full Wi-Fi for slick operation and versatility.  

       

4. Set up your ePOS software: Finally, sign into your account and configure your account settings to suit your business needs.

ePOS maintenance guide

Keeping your electronic POS system in top condition is essential for smooth operations. Here are our key ePOS maintenance tips to help ensure your system supports your business effectively day in, day out.


Maintain your hardware  

Your hardware is the mainstay of your ePOS system. Check regularly to make sure everything is working correctly so there are no hiccups when taking payments. Look for loose cables and remove any dust build-up with a soft cloth. 

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when cleaning and inspecting equipment such as printers and cash drawers. 

 

Update your software 

Your ePOS software is the brains of your system. Therefore, it's critical to update it regularly so you don't miss out on any security updates and new features. Regular system backups are essential for safeguarding data. Otherwise, you could see your reputation suffer if the system goes kaput.  


Train your staff 

Regular training sessions are essential so your staff can handle any hardware glitches or technical issues. A well-trained team can also minimise any problems regarding customer transaction complaints. 

 

Plan professional maintenance  

You'll need to plan regular preventative maintenance, particularly for retail and hospitality systems where any failure could be catastrophic. Look for an ePOS system provider that offers a maintenance contract as part of their support package. Your provider can also help you implement new technology and roll out additional features.

Compare ePOS systems with SpotDif

Whether you’re a start-up company or a business with numerous venues, if you take customer payments, an electronic point of sale could be just what you need. We hope our guide has given you a good understanding of how an ePOS system can benefit your business and the features that may best suit your operations. 

However, with so many options on the market, how can you find the right electronic point of sale for your needs? We recommend using our ePOS comparison tool to quickly and easily compare ePOS hardware and software from top providers across the UK. Simply fill in our questionnaire and we’ll do the hard part for you, collating offers from trusted suppliers.

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Tansy Dando
Wealth and Business Writer
I aim to bring clarity to the complex sectors of wealth and business with researched content designed to help you make the best financial decisions for your needs.
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