3 Major Types of POS Systems for Small Businesses

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Update time : 2022-11-26

For small businesses that plan on being cash-only-and-credit cards only, these POS machines are a great solution. They can even work with mobile devices to not just process payments but offer a variety of other features such as QR code scanners, loyalty programs, and more. This is also helpful for non-profit or non-traditional agencies who want to offer formal payment options but need an existing IT setup.

The creators of the POS systems for small businesses hope to be a one-stop destination for all your needs when it comes to processing payments and beyond. The point of sale (POS) system you choose for your small business is crucial, not just because it could make or break your company but also because there are so many different types to choose from.

To help you choose the right type of POS system, we’ve broken down the four most popular POS systems on the market today.

  • Software as a Service is a cloud-based system that uses subscription fees to pay for use. This type of system is best for individuals or smaller establishments that don’t need advanced features like customizing their menu and inventory setup.
  • Stand-alone computers are the most common type of POS, but there are stand-alone systems that connect to an internet server. These systems will require more setup and maintenance than the other options, but it’s certainly worth considering for larger businesses.
  • You’ll find Tablet POS in grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and even convenience stores. This type of system is ideal for anyone with limited space to work with since it’s portable. And as with all aspects of your business, make sure you can afford these types of systems.
  • A Web tablet is a device that allows you to use a digital pen and swipe to access business resources. This type of system is perfect for anyone who spends most of their time online but does not have an actual physical POS system in their establishment.
  • Point-of-sale stands are often used along with the other systems, but you can also find stand-alone units that connect to an internet server.

When looking for the right POS system for your small business, there are several factors to consider before making a decision.


What Are the Estimated Costs of a Small Business POS System?

Any small business must assess the cost of an integrated point-of-sale system. This basic step should precede any other investment in your business, from payroll and marketing to accounting. Your POS system will be your core product, and it will enable you to process transactions, manage data, track inventory levels, streamline employee shifts and hours, boost customer loyalty and satisfaction, increase competitiveness against larger corporations with specialized buying power—the list goes on.

POS systems have a high monthly cost, and if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll also have to spend a lot of money on hardware. Many larger POS providers provide financing or payment plans for bundled hardware kits and monthly payment options for your retail POS software subscriptions. As per Investopedia research, price ranges include:

  • Monthly POS software prices range from free to $299 per month.
  • Basic hardware bundles range from $299 to $899.
  • Payment processing: $0.10 to $0.30 per transaction plus an exchange fee (a small percentage of the transaction).


Types of POS systems for small businesses

  1. Software-based POS systems –

Software as a Service is a cloud-based system that uses subscription fees to pay for use. This type of system is best for individuals or smaller establishments that don’t need advanced features like customizing their menu and inventory setup.

The advantage of SaaS is that it saves a lot of time for retailers, making them more efficient in operating their business. This model provides retailers access to POS systems for small businesses through their computers or mobile devices. SaaS is also not very expensive, and it will be more affordable for small-scale retailers to use. This is the only advantage of SaaS systems working for a certain business type.

  1. Hardware-based POS systems –

Hardware or stand-alone POS systems for small businesses refers to the traditional way of operating an establishment where one needs to maintain and set up their cash register and stock value comparison with their inventory to track sales. This type of system is more extensive than software-based POS as it includes pos cash register components, software, and hardware accessories, and they even come with additional features that can be used, such as saving coupons and transaction logs with the use of printers, scanning devices, etc.

These systems are analogous to the cash register terminal you may have used in the past. When purchasing hardware-based POS systems, you can expect this device to be integrated into your checkout process and within your store’s equipment. Another major benefit of hardware-based systems is that they are not cloud-based and can connect directly to an existing point-of-sale software system.

  1. Hybrid POS systems –

Hybrid POS systems for small businesses are a combination of traditional hardware and cloud-based software. The system interfaces with the existing point-of-sale software, allowing merchants to utilize advanced features like inventory management and integrated accounting. This type of system offers the most excellent flexibility to stores of any size.

A customer will come up to the register and give their order to the clerk, who enters it into a computer terminal using either a keyboard or a touchscreen. The information about the customer (such as name and address) is then entered, as well as payment options (such as cash, check, or credit card). In some cases, there will be ID scanning to confirm that person’s identity. The clerk then hands over the order to the cashier. The cashier enters the information about the customer’s order into a computer terminal by using either a keyboard or a touchscreen.

When the computing equipment has run out of power, it shuts down and can only be restarted when connected to a power source.


POS systems play a crucial role in improving the business activities of a small business. Knowing which type of POS system suits your business is also very important. We hope this article has given you some insights into which type of POS system would do your pos systems for small businesses.

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