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Square is the best iPad POS app on the market. It offers fantastic features, boasts a brilliantly easy-to-use iPad app – and charges no monthly fee.
Square is closely followed by Clover and Vend. Clover is a great choice for businesses that are looking to grow from online-only operations into fully-fledged bricks-and-mortar stores. Vend POS, meanwhile, gives you a free cash register and integration with loads of third-party platforms.
It's been a tumultuous time for retailers, with a global pandemic throwing the traditional shopping experience out the window. Shoppers are more cautious than ever before, and you can't afford to lose them.
An iPad POS app can be a fantastic way to help reclaim some customer confidence, thanks to contactless transactions and doing away with the need to handle cash. If that's what your business needs, you can compare the best apps on the market now with our dedicated tool.
The Best iPad POS Apps – Reviews
Most iPad POS apps claim to offer similar services. However, not all of them can live up to their own hype. We’ve done the research on the leading providers, and found the ones that are actually worth considering:
- Square – Best iPad POS
- Clover – Best for companies with an existing online presence
- Vend – Best retail iPad POS
- Shopify – Best for online retail businesses
- Erply – Best app for franchise businesses
- Epos Now – Best iPad POS for a quick setup
- Talech – A strong all-round iPad POS
- Lightspeed – Best iPad POS for high volume retail businesses
1. Square POS
Square POS is defined by a slick, streamlined interface that's super easy to learn. Thanks to its unique pricing plan, Square POS is a great choice for small businesses.
Our quick comparison tool can help you find out whether Square is the best iPad POS for your business in moments. You'll be able to easily see how it stacks up against its competitors, and you're under no obligation to choose any of the providers.
- 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
Square iPad POS app
Square's iPad app is exceptional. It scores 4.8 out of 5 on the App Store, with more than 250,000 individual reviews.
Of course, you'd expect this from Square – its entire POS system is designed to function best on iPads. You can use the app to access the full Square dashboard, which lets you examine live sales data, access your analytics, and track your inventory.
You can record cash, gift cards, and other forms of payment, as well as send out receipts to customers via email or text message. Similarly, you can apply discounts and issue refunds.
You'll also be able to use Square's app to customize your POS with photos, names, and product variations. What's more, you can connect receipt printers, kitchen ticket printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers, making Square's POS app a fit for any type of business.
Square POS pricing
Square has no monthly fees. Instead, it charges 1.75% of the total bill for all card transactions, and 2.5% for other types of transactions.
This means that your business won't have to start paying for the service until you start making money, which can be a huge factor in getting small businesses off the ground – particularly with the current market uncertainties.
Square will also give you a free card reader to fit your iPad when you sign up. Plus, you can get a contactless reader for $49, an iPad stand and card reader for $169, or a full cash register kit with iPad stand for $646.
See our full guide to Square POS pricing for more.
Square POS features
Outside of all the iPad features we mentioned above, Square will also let you create and send your own custom invoices. Its CRM system also helps you take care of your customer relations, allowing you to gain feedback from customers and manage any queries they may have.
Finally, Square even offers its own in-house payment processing, which means that you won't need to set your business up with two separate companies for managing sales and sending your money to the bank.
All told, if you're looking for a simple one-stop-shop for an iPad POS, we'd pick Square almost every time – regardless of what type of business you're running.
2. Clover POS
If your business is already performing well online but wants to expand into bricks-and-mortar, then Clover is the perfect POS for you.
Clover offers its Go Mobile Point of Sale app for iPads. It isn't quite the full Clover experience – you'll have to choose a full Clover plan for that. However, the Clover Go app integrates brilliantly with the Clover Go card reader, which costs $69 and lets you accept contactless, chip, mobile, and swipe payments.
- 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
Clover iPad POS app
Clover's iPad POS app is one of the most well regarded on the App Store, scoring 4.7 out of 5 from more than 3,500 reviews.
The Clover Go app will let you accept payments on the go, as long as you have wireless or cellular coverage.
The app also offers clear and intuitive reporting on sales activity, along with – surprisingly – insights about other local businesses within your industry.
Clover also offers 24/7 customer support with the Clover Go app.
Clover POS pricing
Clover offers four pricing plans for iPads, starting with the $4.95 per month Payments Plus plan.
The Payments Plus plan doesn't give you the full POS experience. Instead, it gives you payment processing for all of your sales, at a cost of 2.3% plus 10 cents on all sales. You'll also get access to employee and customer management tools.
Clover Register Lite
The Register Lite plan costs $9.95 per month and, oddly, charges more than the Payment Plus (2.7% plus 10 cents) for every transaction. The Register Lite plan is also only available to businesses with credit card sales of less than $50,000 per year.
In return, you get access to basic inventory and order management tools. You can also calculate the taxes that need to be paid on sales, as well as connect your POS to a customer-facing display.
Clover restaurant plans
Clover also has two restaurant-specific plans. The Table Service plan costs $69.95 per month and charges 2.3% plus 10 cents on every sale. You'll get a floor-planning app and a restaurant-specific orders app, which allows for table-side ordering and payments.
The Counter Service plan costs $39.95 per month and is designed for bars, pubs, food trucks, and the like.
You'll get access to item modifiers, bar tabs, and improved menu management.
Clover POS features
Clover has an extensive third-party app market, allowing you to connect services such as Mailchimp and bLoyal to provide email marketing and customer loyalty programs, respectively.
However, there is one important thing to note about Clover. In order to get started making online sales with Clover, you will need an existing website to connect to. That's why we recommend Clover for businesses with an existing online presence, and Shopify for other businesses that need an online and offline POS system.
- 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
Vend POS iPad app
Vend's iPad app gives you a fully mobile experience, allowing you to scan receipts using the iPad's camera, and offers promotions and discounts from within the app.
It also lets you process on-the-spot returns and on-account sales, and even issue gift cards. You can collect customer details when making a sale to grow your marketing databases and run your loyalty program.
You can access your data in real-time with reporting, allowing you to track sales, inventory, and customer reports. You can also manage and track sales targets per store and per team member, to help optimize your business.
Vend's iPad POS app even works offline, allowing you to sell if your internet goes down or you're out-and-about at a farmers' market, for example. All your inventory and sales information will be backed up to the cloud, and will sync up again when you regain connection.
Vend POS pricing
Vend POS offers three paid plans, as well as its completely free plan.
Vend Free gives you access to one register with one user account. You'll only be able to sell ten different products to a maximum of 1,000 customers.
The Lite plan costs $99 per month. You get a free cash register, but you'll be limited to selling $20,000 worth of stuff in a single month. You can register unlimited users, but will still only be able to operate in a single location — making Vend Lite a decent fit for a small retail store.
At $129 per month, Vend Pro offers more advanced reporting and loyalty features, as well as ecommerce integrations and third-party add-ons.
The sales cap is lifted, and you'll be able to work across multiple locations.
The Enterprise plan has no fixed price, but Vend will give you a bespoke quote based on your business's needs. You'll also receive a dedicated account manager and a customized onboarding package.
Vend POS features
Vend offers customizable tax options, automated stock orders, and customer profiles that collect all the data about a customer’s purchasing habits in one location for you to easily view and analyze.
Vend has strong inventory tracking with a single central product catalog that syncs across all channels, to ensure pricing and stock counts remain consistent. Managers can also import and add products, along with barcode information and variants. Vend can even automate stock orders to ensure your top-selling products never run out.
Vend includes CRM tools across all its plans. You can create customer profiles to better understand and track the spending habits of regular patrons. Each profile logs a customer's purchase history, loyalty account, and available balance, while custom loyalty programs can be created to retain customers. You can even import any existing customer lists through a CSV sheet.
4. Shopify POS
Shopify is a great choice for businesses with both ecommerce and bricks-and-mortar retail operations. It's one of the best ecommerce solutions on the market, and even provides a very impressive POS system for free.
Shopify's iPad app scores 4.4 out of 5 on the App Store, with some 3,500 reviews.
- 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
Shopify POS iPad app
Shopify's iPad app allows you to easily sell products to customers in-store. It's completely mobile, meaning you can move around the store while still being able to take payments from customers using credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Shop Pay, and cash.
The app can automatically apply sales taxes based on your store's location. You can collect customer contacts with SMS and email receipts, and even customize printed receipts with your website, store hours, promotions, or store policies.
Customers can save carts and retrieve them later, to help you speed up sales to other patrons. You can create discounts and promo codes, as well as scan barcode labels with integrated hardware, while you can also track which staff have helped with sales to keep track of performance.
Shopify POS pricing
Shopify offers two POS pricing plans: the free Shopify POS Lite plan, and the Shopify Pro plan.
However, in order to access Shopify POS, you'll need to sign up for a Shopify ecommerce plan first. Shopify's ecommerce plans start from $29 per month, and will let you build a fully functioning ecommerce website.
Shopify POS Lite
Shopify's Lite plan is included with all ecommerce plans. You'll get access to Shopify Payments, Shopify's in-house payment processing service, and you'll get credit card rates starting at 2.4% plus 0 cents. You can also buy Shopify's branded hardware.
With the Lite plan, you'll also get access to customizable checkouts, custom discounts, and a global search across your store and storage to check product availability.
Automatic tax calculation is included, as well as refunds, unlimited product listings and variants, multi-location inventory, customer loyalty, and sales analytics.
Shopify POS Pro
The Pro plan costs $89 per month, per location, as well as the cost of your Shopify ecommerce plan. You could, in theory, get a fully functioning bricks-and-mortar POS and an ecommerce platform for $118 per month.
The Pro plan adds higher-end features than you'd find on the Lite plan. For example, you get automatic discounts, and you can let customers buy online and pick up in store. Customers will also be able to buy products in your store and get them shipped to their homes.
You can add unlimited staff to your store, and give them unique roles and positions. Stock adjustments can be made manually, and you'll be able to transfer products across locations. Inventory counting with barcodes becomes available, while inventory and demand analysis will help you establish which products sell the best at what times and in which locations.
Shopify POS features
Shopify offers the full POS experience, from taking and processing payments to tracking inventory and managing your business. You get in-depth sales and inventory management, as well as employee management and performance tracking.
Shopify has strong sales analytics, and even offers 24/7 email, live chat, and phone support. It also offers a speedy onboarding process, as well as a 14-day free trial.
Of course, the star of the Shopify show is its ecommerce integration. If that sounds like something your business needs, you can take a look at our comparison tool to make sure you're getting the right price.
If you're running a franchise business and are in need of a new POS system, Erply might be the ideal solution. It scores 4.3 out of 5 on the App Store – though it does only have three reviews at time of writing.
Either way, our research has shown that Erply is one of the few POS systems which offers dedicated tools for franchise businesses.
- Versatile interface
- Free trial
- Ideal for businesses working on a franchise model
- Limited customer support
- Can be tricky to master
Erply iPad POS app
The Erply iPad POS app lets you manage your sales easily with a straightforward interface. You can take payments via cash, card, store credit, or gift cards.
You can track customer profiles, calculate taxes, and issue rewards to your most loyal patrons. You can also issue email or SMS receipts to customers after they've paid.
Eply's iPad app will allow you to check inventory and bring up product details instantly to help customers. It also includes a product search function to make finding products within your inventory easier.
Staff monitoring is possible, as you can track sales goals and commissions earned in real-time. You can also manage their hours, follow progress, and build discount campaigns from within the app.
You can even track your analytics in real-time with a bunch of dedicated reports available to export, tracking sales performance by employee, product types, and more.
Erply POS pricing
Erply has a unique pricing structure compared to its rivals. You can get its POS system without inventory features for $60 per month. You'll get two user accounts and a single point of sale license, basic reporting tools, CRM features, and integrated payment processing with Cayan. You'll also be able to choose from a range of hardware options, and benefit from email-based customer support.
Online and offline inventory tools cost $111 per month. However, its inventory and POS plan costs $137 per month – though you'll still be limited to two user accounts and a single POS license. Reporting also gets a boost thanks to extra features, as do its CRM tools.
However, Erply really comes into its own with its Enterprise plan. This is designed for franchise businesses and prices are bespoke to each company. Ecommerce and inventory still cost extra, however.
But before you get in touch with Erply, we'd recommend taking a look at our price comparison tool, which will let you compare all the leading providers based on bespoke prices for your business.
Erply POS features
Erply lets you centralize the key parts of your business, from inventory to CRM tools and even financial and HR information.
Individual franchises will be able to print barcodes, manage employee working hours, manage inventories, and track their sales. Plus, Erply can be linked to an online store, giving your small franchises a level of ecommerce functionality.
- 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
Epos Now POS iPad app
Epos Now's POS Till app lets you turn any iPhone or iPad into a register and business management device for a retail store or restaurant.
You can download the app for free, and sign up for a trial account to give the app a go before fully committing. Should you commit, you'll find the app is easy to use – its dedicated register mode is intuitive, and will let you easily add or delete items from carts.
You can access real-time reporting with dedicated dashboards for at-a-glance reports for sales, transaction totals, and more. You can also access more detailed reports on sales, stock, customer profiles, accounting, and auditing.
If you're running a restaurant, you'll also find tools to manage bookings, tables, orders, and bar tabs, with an intuitive bird's-eye view of your location.
Epos Now pricing
Epos Now doesn't make its pricing available to the public. However, we predict that its typical pricing is between $39-$69 per month, depending on the size of your business and the features you need.
However, before you commit to Epos Now, we'd recommend taking a look at our pricing comparison tool. You'll get bespoke prices from the leading POS suppliers on the market with no obligations.
Epos Now features
As with most other POS systems, Epos Now will help manage your inventory and track online and offline sales. It also has built-in functionality to print invoices and read barcodes.
Epos Now has a dedicated hospitality version, offering bill splitting, table management, and loyalty programs.
Epos Now's main draw, however, is its speedy setup. As we mentioned above, the company claims that you can get started using its system in just 15 minutes. This rapid setup is certainly aided by Epos Now's intuitive iPad app.
Talech is a decent POS system that can serve all manner of businesses, from retail to restaurants and even service industries. However, Talech wouldn't be our first choice in any of these scenarios.
Its iPad register app isn't the best on the market, scoring 2.4 out of 5 from 40 reviews. However, if you're running a business that needs a bit of everything, Talech would be a solid, if unspectacular choice.
- Granular product settings
- Great support for customer exchanges and refunds
- Easy-to-use interface
- No ecommerce integration
- Feature set not as broad as competitors
- Low customer satisfaction score
Talech POS iPad app
Talech's Register app allows you to take and manage orders, control your inventory, access customer information, and view daily reports.
Regardless of what type of business you're running, you'll be able to track and analyze customer transactions, and access real-time reporting on key business information such as sales. You can control employees' clock-in and clock-out, as well as manage their timesheets.
You can connect a cash drawer to the Register app, making it easy to accept non-card payments. Partial and split payment options are available as well.
Restaurant businesses get access to some specific features, including menu modifiers to make ordering easier, automatic gratuity, and table and layout control. You'll even be able to send order tickets to multiple printers – for example, if your bar and kitchen are separate.
Retail businesses can print barcode labels and scan items, manage inventory in real-time, and create product variations.
Talech POS pricing
Talech offers three main pricing plans: Starter, Standard, Premium. It also has an Enterprise plan with bespoke pricing.
The Starter plan costs $29 per month for the first device, and another $29 per month for each additional device. The plan is limited to five employees and 100 products.
You will have access to product and inventory, employee permissions, basic order management, refunds, customer history tracking, and basic reporting.
The Standard plan costs $69 per month for the first device, then $29 per month for each additional device. You're able to list unlimited products, and manage an unlimited number of employees.
You'll stand to benefit from printed barcodes, clock-in and timesheets, kitchen printing, automatic discounts, exchanges, store credit, and more advanced reporting.
The Premium plan costs $99 per month for the first device and $29 per month for each additional device.
You'll be able to manage restaurant tables and book appointments, as well as gain access to online ordering, inventory alerts and logs, purchase orders, pay by position, order splitting and merging, and automatic gratuity.
The Enterprise plan is designed for large businesses with specific requirements. You'll have to get in touch with Talech's sales teams to find out about pricing.
Before you do that, though, you should take a look at our pricing comparison tool to get quotes other standout POS providers.
- Ideal for retail stores with barcoded inventory
- Straightforward pricing
- Slightly more expensive than some rivals
- Harder to use for restaurants, florists and businesses without barcodes
- Doesn't integrate with weighing scales
Lightspeed POS iPad app
Lightspeed's Restaurant POS app will let you create a menu and floor plan, with discounts you can apply to customer groups, for promotional events, or even for specific items. Changing and adapting tables is as easy as tapping and dragging.
You can easily send orders to separate kitchen or bar displays, bills can be split or combined, and guests can even manually add tips themselves using your iPad. It comes with an offline mode, which automatically backs up your data. Reporting and data analytics can show end-of-day reports, as well as keep track of staff performance.
Lightspeed's Retail POS app, on the other hand, gives you all the tools you'll need to run your store effectively, including on-the-spot returns, gift cards, and discounts. You can send email receipts, process special orders, and even provide patrons with a full customer-facing display, so they can see exactly what they're being charged for.
You can move around your store to help reduce wait times, and sell bundled, serialized, or unique items. You can import up to 1,000 new products to your inventory with a single click. Performance data can be tracked, with reports on profits and fluctuation over time.
What's more, both apps benefit from Lightspeed's wide-ranging third-party integrations. In fact, you can bring the expertise of 250 different companies into your one POS.
Lightspeed POS pricing
Lightspeed has five pricing plans: Basic, Starter, Standard, Advanced, and Pro. All of these plans will charge you 2.6% plus 10 cents for card-present transactions, and 2.6% plus 30 cents for card-not-present transactions.
The Basic plan costs $69 per month. You get a free terminal, and a very basic point of sale system.
The Starter plan costs $99 per month, and lets you connect an ecommerce store to your POS system.
The Standard plan costs $119 per month, and you'll be able to integrate a third-party accounting platform into your POS – which could save you a lot of time.
The Advanced plan costs $169 per month. You'll be able to start offering customer loyalty features and rewards programs.
The Pro plan costs $229 per month. With this plan, you'll be able to access and analyze sales data.
The Enterprise plan is aimed at large businesses and, as such, Lightspeed will give you bespoke pricing and features.
Take a look at our pricing comparison tool to find the right POS provider for your business.
Lightspeed POS features
Lightspeed POS excels when it comes to sales channels. You can sell across loads of different platforms using Lightspeed, including Amazon and Google Shopping.
Lightspeed POS has an extensive customer support program, with webinars, live chat, email, and 24/7 telephone support available. It also has a customer support forum where customers can pose questions or suggest features.
Lightspeed POS also has a strong suite of CRM tools, including loyalty programs and gift cards.
How to Choose an iPad POS App
Choosing the right iPad POS app is far more complicated than simply opening the App Store and picking the one with the best reviews.
You should consider:
- Does it track your inventory and record sales?
- Does the POS app work properly in your industry?
- Does it support the payment processor you use?
All of the POS apps on this page will easily cover the first point. However, some are better suited to certain business models or setups than others. Square is a great choice for any business getting set up from scratch, while Lightspeed is ideal for growing retail businesses with barcoded products – although it won't work as well for other kinds of stores or restaurants.
The easiest way to find your perfect POS app is to let us do it for you with our POS system comparison tool. You'll receive bespoke, no-obligation quotes for your business's POS system, all without the headache of endless hours of research (we've already done it!).
Does my business need an iPad POS app?
It's worth considering whether an iPad-based POS system is right for your business at all. While Vend and Square are our two favorite POS systems on the market, Vend's iPad app isn't quite as well regarded as some of its rivals. However, Vend does work well on Mac and Windows devices, as well as iPads.
Some POS providers, such as Clover, sell their own hardware. This hardware is likely to integrate more deeply with peripheral tools, such as barcode scanners and cash drawers.
We would also recommend taking a look at iPad prices before committing to buying them for your business, especially if you've not already got ones lying around at home, ready to be repurposed. The new iPad Air models, for example, start from $599. The cheaper iPad Mini and plain-old iPads cost $399 and $329, respectively. If you're going to be kitting out a group of stores or restaurants in one go, it might be worth getting in touch with your POS provider, to see if they'll offer a bespoke price for bulk hardware orders instead.
Saying this, iPads are very intuitive – almost everyone will have used one – which can make onboarding staff significantly easier. What's more, you won't be beholden to a single POS provider with its branded hardware – if you don't like a change it makes, you can leave and delete your app.
It is worth paying attention to some of the latest customer reviews on the App Store. We've given you a quick insight into how well they score, but if your business is reliant on one feature or another, take a close look to see if your chosen app is up to the task.
Verdict: Best iPad POS System Next Steps for Getting an iPad POS System
We'd also recommend checking out our POS pricing comparison tool. It'll get you bespoke quotes from the leading POS providers on the market, with absolutely no obligations from your side.
Larger, multi-location businesses will have to pay between $100-$200 per location, per month. These plans might include hardware solutions, and will likely have lower payment processing rates. If your business is large enough, you can always consider getting a bespoke quote.
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