We've tested numerous market-leading options and found that Square Register is the best cash register for small businesses in 2023. It accepts a wide variety of payment options, has an intuitive touchscreen interface and a customer-facing display, and helps users manage all aspects of their business, from staff performance to inventory. Toast's Countertop Kit is another top cash register for small food businesses with excellent hospitality features and no start-up payments required.
Offering slick in-person customer experiences is more important than ever in 2023. But if you're only looking for a way to process orders and take payments, Sam4s ER940 is the best traditional cash register for small business, while Sharp XEA207 is a great manual solution for retail businesses.
Scroll down to learn the differences between modern POS and traditional cash registers, to understand which may be a better fit for your business, and to find out which solutions performed the best in our research.
Top Registers for Small Businesses: Overview
The best modern cash registers for 2023 are:
The best traditional cash registers for 2023 are:
Use the links above, or the button below, to start comparing prices for your business needs
Best Cash Register for
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
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Clover Station Duo
Vend Pro Hardware Kit
Epos Now Hospitality POS System
Toast Countertop Kit
TFCFL 48 Keys
Almost all businesses, the Square Register is stylish and easy to use.
Food businesses looking for a feature rich hardware and software package
Businesses looking to get set up fast
Businesses with Android hardware
Food businesses after a traditional set up
Retail businesses after a traditional set up
Businesses looking for an affordable cash register
Small retail businesses
Businesses getting started with cash registers
$799 or $39/mo*
$1,799 + $49.95/mo
No start-up costs required
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In 2023, a good point of sale (POS) system is absolutely essential for managing your business's operations. Aside from ringing up sales, they offer a wide range of capabilities for businesses — from in-store transactions to ecommerce sales and from marketing to analytics — and are the most valuable data sources for managers.
Here at Tech.co, our dedicated insights team has sunk hundreds of hours into researching the best POS systems for small businesses, so you can trust our impartial recommendations and find the system that will give you the best value for money.
After custom quotes? Use our quick and easy POS comparison questionnaire to cut through the noise and find the best deal for your store.
The best contemporary POS registers have built-in payroll management features and will let you track customer purchase histories, as well as all of your business's sales and refunds. If you want to be able to easily access crucial data about your business and use it to drive the decisions you're making on a daily basis, then we'd advise getting a POS system rather than a basic cash register.
Best POS Cash Registers for Small Business
POS cash registers will let you do more than simply accept payments. You'll be able to send email receipts, offer discounts and refunds, manage loyalty programs, and more.
Modern POS registers look nice, too. You'll no longer have to besmirch your store or restaurant's beautiful decor with a hunk of black plastic straight from the 1980s. Instead, you'll be able to get slick, stylish hardware that gets the job done as well as catching the eye.
We list our favorite options below:
1. Square Register
Best all-round POS system and cash register
Square's Register embodies everything that's great about our favorite POS system. It has a slick iPad-esque design with a large touchscreen interface but a hefty adjustable mount reminiscent of Apple's iMac desktop computers.
It even has an optional customer-facing card reader and display which attaches seamlessly to the back of the mount or can be placed further away on a tabletop — handy in these days of social distancing.
At $799, the Square Register isn't the cheapest option on the list but we think its stylish design, combined with Square's powerful software make it almost a no-brainer. If the near-$800 outlay seems a bit steep, you can get the Square Register from $39 per month for 24 months with Square's financing service (subject to eligibility). That customer-facing display, meanwhile, costs just $12 extra.
Aside from the Register, Square will give you an almost unrivaled selection of features. You'll be able to accept credit, debit, contactless, and chip payments as well as cash and gift cards. You can even create and send invoices from within Square's software. Should your internet drop out, Square even has an offline mode so you'll still be able to accept payments.
You can track sales performance by item or over a period of time. Customer purchase histories are also stored on the Register, allowing you to easily reward loyal patrons on the spot. Like Clover Station Duo, the hardware is available in different colors too, allowing you to easily match it to your interior style.
Like the sound of Square? Check out our full guide to its pricing structure, other hardware options, and extra features.
- 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
2. Clover Station Duo
Best POS cash register for food businesses
Price: From $1,799 + $49.95/month
Clover creates user-friendly hardware options for retail and hospitality businesses. While its starting price may seem steep, all of its cash registers come with in-built software packages which prevent businesses from having to purchase them separately.
Clover Station Duo includes a 14” merchant-facing POS, a 7” customer screen, a receipt printer, and a cash draw. Businesses can extend its user even further with the provider's handheld POS device, Flex, but this comes at a premium.
Clover Station Duo is compatible with the provider's retail and hospitality software plans: Register and Counter Service Restaurant. These plans offer many useful sector-specific features, from item variants, returns, and refunds to contactless dining options, takeout, and delivery tools.
Clover Station Duo for retail and services, which grants users access to the provider’s Register software plan, costs $1,799 upfront plus an additional $49.95 per month, or just a monthly fee of $135.
Conversely, Station Duo’s quick service dining package costs $1,799 up-front plus $54.95 per month, or a monthly fee of $140 per month. This cash register includes access to the provider Counter Service Restaurant package.
Check out our Clover pricing guide for more information
- Great for companies that started online but need a physical presense
- Good range of hardware options
- 30-day free trial
- Need pre-existing website unlike Shopify, for example
- Additional features cost extra and can become expensive
- No inter-store transactions
3. Vend Pro Hardware Kit
Best POS cash register for retail stores
Vend is the best retail POS system on the market and its hardware options can go toe-to-toe with any rival. Vend works on a variety of devices ranging from iPads to iMacs and Windows PCs. However, its Pro Hardware Kit includes everything you need to get started including a brand new iPad to serve as your POS interface.
The Pro Hardware Kit includes:
- 10.2-inch iPad
- Heckler Design Windfall Landscape iPad Stand
- Epson TM-M30 Ethernet Receipt Printer
- Socket Mobile s700 Barcode Scanner
- APG Vasario 1616 Cash Drawer
This gives you all the tools your retail needs to get started quickly and easily. Spending more than $1,000 on a register might seem extortionate but, of course, you do get an iPad. Admittedly, Vend's system isn't quite as stylish as Square's offering but, crucially, it has all the same functionality — and it's certainly more appealing than traditional registers.
Aside from its high tech cash register system, Vend accepts all types of payments from cash to credit card. It also works with a range of payment processing companies including PayPal, Square, and Shopify.
What's more, if you're looking to kit out a range of stores with new cash registers, Vend has the features you need to centralize your operations. Your inventory, for example, is stored in one central catalog that syncs across all your sales channels — from ecommerce to in-store — and all your locations. This means that your operation will never be out of kilter.
Vend also throws in CRM tools with all of its plans, meaning that you can build customer profiles to reward repeat customers next time they're checking out. Its more modular than Square's register too, making it more equipt for businesses with unique hardware requirements.
- Suits businesses of all sizes
- Works with loads of third party hardware and software options
- 24/7 support
- Strong ecommerce integration
- Reporting on lower pricing tiers can lack detail
4. EPOS Now Hospitality POS System
Best POS cash register for easy set up
Price: From $99
Epos Now's Hospitality POS system is the perfect hardware bundle for restaurants, bars, cafes, and other hospitality businesses.
The bundle is centered around Epos Now's proprietary Pro-C15W touchscreen terminal. It has a large, waterproof touchscreen that will help stop unwanted spillages causing a small disaster and it has a solid-state drive to bring super-speedy performance.
You get an 80mm Epos Now GX receipt printer and an all-metal cash drawer. Naturally, it also includes a license for Epos Now's Hospitality software.
Epos Now also offers full installation, configuration, and training for you and your staff on how to use the system and software.
Beyond its impressive register, Epos Now's software is one of our favorite choices for restaurant and hospitality businesses.
It has excellent employee management features, including employee permission rights and clock-in and clock-out functions. It also has detailed inventory and stock management features. You can bulk import products and split your inventory into different categories for easier management. You can also separate your inventory into eat-in and takeaway items.
Epos Now also offers more than 80 third-party integrations to help make your life easier including Xero accounting software, Nettl ecommerce, and Mailchimp for email marketing.
- Quick and easy set up
- Simple interface makes it easy to train staff
- Widely compatible with barcode scanners and receipt printers
- Lacks complexity in reporting
- Paid customer support and no knowledgebase
- No kiosk option or CRM
5. Toast Countertop Kit
Best Android-Only POS Cash Register
Price: No start-up costs required
If you’re looking for a durable, yet versatile Android cash register, look no further than Toast. Toast is a cloud-based restaurant POS provider that offers a wide array of hardware options.
Toast’s all-in-one countertop kit would be our top pick for small businesses. It features a point-of-sale terminal, access to Toast’s software plan, and Toast Tap, a device that takes payments via swipe, dip, and contractless. Cash draws are available separately, alongside a range of hardware accessories.
Since Toast was designed with restaurants in mind, its POS system is packed with sector-specific features that give managers a granular level of control over their operations including menu management, advanced inventory tools, and an impressive staff training mode.
Toast’s hardware and software packages are especially ideal for new businesses with little to no start-up costs. This is because the provider lets you get up and running for free – as long as you’re willing to pay slightly larger transaction fees.
If you choose this Pay-as-you-Go option, you can dodge upfront and monthly fees by paying 2.99% + 15¢ on each card transaction. Alternatively, Toast’s countertop kit costs $875 upfront or $69 per month and charges businesses smaller transaction fees of 2.49% 15¢.
- Great for Android users
- Strong menu customization
- Support for tableside ordering and payment
- Doesn't work on iOS devices
- No integrated payment processors
- Limited help & support offered
Best Traditional Cash Registers for Small Businesses
Traditional cash registers have helped businesses ring through sales since the industrial era. While they've come a long way since then, they still offer businesses reliable ways to calculate and record sales.
If you'd prefer to keep things old school, here's our list of the best traditional cash registers our there for small businesses.
1. Sam4s ER-940
Best traditional cash register for restaurants
The ER-940 is purpose-built for restaurant businesses. It has a large, spill-proof 150-key keyboard. This means you can create almost limitless menu combinations.
What's more, it can support up to 20,000 product lookup codes. The ER-940 can also export sales and product reports to your computer for analysis.
However, it is relatively expensive — especially compared to rival machines from POS software suppliers.
2. Sharp XE-A207
Best traditional cash register for retail stores
Price: From $349
The Sharp XE-A207 has excellent credit card reader support — essential for quick-service businesses.
You can add up to 25 clerks and store 2,500 product lookup codes. It also links with QuickBooks Pro to help automatically keep on top of your accounting and invoicing.
3. Casio PCR-T280
Best cheap cash register
If you need a cheap register to help get your business off the ground, the PCR-T280 is your best bet.
However, don't think it's completely devoid of features. It has a rear-facing customer display and you can add up to 1,200 products. You can also manually enter discounts.
4. Casio SR-C4500
Best retail cash register for small business
The SR-C4500 is a very flexible cash register for small retail businesses. It has 72 programmable keys to speed up sales and you can add up to 50 clerks to ensure that all of your staff can sign in and start closing sales.
The SR-C4500 also comes with an integrated barcode scanner, saving you another purchase. In an attempt to rival the full POS registers we listed above, the SR-C4500 connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth to give you hourly sales information via the Casio app.
5. TFCFL 48 Keys Electronic Cash Register
Best traditional cash register get started on
If you're new to cash registers, TFCFL is a solid piece of hardware to get started on. While its design isn't as slick as some other options on this list, it's easy to use and offers all the features small businesses need to get off the ground including versatile sale functions, reports support, and retail and catering tools.
With major US outlets like Walmart retailing the register, it's easy to get your hands on TFCFL's 48 keys model too. However, if you list lots of products, or require accounting integrations, we would recommend opting for Sam4s ER-940 or Sharp XE-A207, instead.
Cash Registers vs POS Systems for Small Businesses
Anyone running an entire business may be better off choosing a full POS system with a cash register, instead of a simple standalone cash register.
The big difference comes down to one word: centralization. A POS system tracks all that data, backs it up to the cloud to keep it safe, and lets you search through years of data in seconds. It'll even auto-generate pie charts or graphs to help you understand it better. It's this centralization that helps small businesses make smarter decisions.
Cash registers, on the other hand, work fine on a daily basis – but almost none can easily store or share digital information. This means it can take hours to find out how well your year-to-date sales have been or to gauge your year-over-year net revenue growth in the month of April.
Below is a table that compares cash registers for small businesses against POS systems, to offer a snapshot of why a POS offers a more complete solution.
|Cash register for small business||POS system for small business|
|Reporting and analytics||✗||✔|
|Includes accounting integrations||Varies||✔|
|Gift card support||✗||✔|
Who should use a POS?
- Businesses looking to grow their base
- Businesses with large or complex inventories
- Businesses that depend on card payments
- Businesses looking to improve efficiency
- Businesses with multiple locations
- Mobile vendors
- Multi-location vendors
Who should use a cash register?
- Low-tech traditional brick-and-mortar vendors
- Businesses with smaller budgets
- Single-location businesses
- Cash-based businesses
- Businesses after a low-fuss solution
About Our Research
The best cash registers for small business is not just a random collection of options we found online. In fact, Tech.co takes research very seriously, which is why our team spend hours learning everything there is to know about cash registers in hopes of providing you with actionable data to help with your decision.
For cash registers and other POS systems, we focused on a specific set of criteria to hone our research, including features like business management, stock management, business development, help and support, till, and price. There was also a customer score, which is a aggregate of reviews and ratings across the web.
You can also learn more about how we analyze business tools like cash registers by heading over to our research guide, which outlines our process for rating and ranking these product.
Verdict: Best Cash Registers for Small Business
Our favorite traditional cash register was Sam4s ER-940, while Sharp's XE-A207 model really shines when it comes to retail features.
Whatever your business specializes in, POS systems are powerful tools for streamlining efficiency and driving up sales. If you're considering moving forward with a new system, we've formulated our own comparison tool for matching you to a system within your budget. It only takes a minute, and it's completely free to use.
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