The right point of sale software (POS) streamlines your transaction process and makes running a small business easier.
Many features make a great POS system, but one criteria always stands above the rest: price.
And as we all know, the best price is free. Let’s take a look at the top free POS software providers, including features they offer.
What Is POS Software?
Point of sale software works in tandem with POS hardware (cash registers, card readers, contactless payment scanners, etc.) to process sales using any method of payment.
The best systems offer inventory management, customer data storage, sales reporting and more. Using a POS system, those in the retail industry can calculate commissions and send paperless receipts to customers, while restaurant POS software allow staff to distribute tips.
Why Does My Business Need Point of Sale Software?
With the rising usage of credit and debit cards as well as contactless payment methods (Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.), it’s more important than ever to have a point of sale software system in place.
You can accept payment from any customer, regardless of how they want to pay. User-friendly interfaces make it easy for your employees to navigate, streamlining the sales process and leaving customers happy.
The addition of reporting, inventory and customer-focused features give you even more insight into how to better run your small business.
How We Evaluate Point of Sale Software
To put together this list of the best free point of sale software, we took into consideration:
- Hardware requirements
- Ease of use and customer support
- Additional features (These often are what sets free POS systems apart.)
Most point of sale software include the ability to manage and track your inventory. After a sale, the program updates your available inventory to reflect the change in stock. If you’re low on inventory for a certain product, the system will notify you so you can purchase more.
Premium inventory management features include automated reordering and ingredient tracking for restaurant POS systems.
Customer Relationship Management
With some free retail POS software systems, you can create and track customer profiles.
Much like a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) program, the POS system will track repeat customers. After that, you can input their contact information to market directly to them based on their preferences and enroll them in loyalty programs.
Financial Reporting Capabilities
The ability to track sales, inventory and employee data is great, but built-in reporting capabilities take some of the free POS software programs on this list to the next level.
Some POS systems generate daily, weekly and monthly sales reports. If they provide inventory management as well, you’ll know how each product is selling. This allows you to spot trends and make positive changes wherever there is a need.
If you’re lucky, your POS software will integrate with your accounting and bookkeeping programs. This gives you a clear look at all aspects of your small business’s finances.
The 7 Best Free POS Software Systems
These point of sale software systems give you all of the features you want. The best part is, they’re all free to use. Some offer added capabilities, but you have to pay to use them. And nearly all charge transaction fees, but you won’t find cheaper products to process sales and help you manage your small business.
The Square platform is one of the most popular payment processors and POS systems, and for good reason.
You can securely accept cash, checks, credit cards and gift cards using that platform’s free POS software app. If you use their POS hardware ($199), you get a reader for chip and contactless payments as well as a screen for your employees to easily navigate the software.
Square hits on all of the additional features we use to evaluate the best POS software and more. With the app, you can:
- Receive next-day bank transfers
- Enjoy an easy-to-use interface system
- Track and manage inventory in real-time
- Use analytics to generate sales reports
- Create customer profiles and send digital receipts
- Contact Square support to address any issue quickly
You can download and use the app for free, and Square will send you a card reader to use with a smartphone or tablet. There are no monthly fees, but you will have to pay a 2.75% fee on all swipe, chip or tap payments using their hardware.
You can use the easy-to-use Imonggo program anywhere you have access to a web browser. That means you can use this free POS software for pc, mac, android, Windows and iOS devices.
Their free plan offers inventory management of up to 1,000 products, employee and customer relationship features and mobile connectivity.
What it doesn’t do hurts its viability. You can’t read a credit card using the free version of Imonggo. This means you have to input credit card information manually. You can always link it with third-party credit card systems, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth for some.
The simplicity of Imonggo and its functionality across platforms lands it on our list, but only for small businesses who don’t rely on quick transactions and built-in payment processors.
If you’re searching for a bare-bones, simple free POS software for Windows, Erply may be for you. Their free app integrates with and stores your information in the cloud, but runs locally on Windows. This prevents issues if your internet goes down or if you need to work offline.
The app has a straightforward user interface that makes it easy for you and your employees to make a sale. One drawback, however, is that you’ll need to get third-party POS hardware to receive and track card and contactless payments.
Another setback for Erply is their lack of eCommerce functionality. The app is set up for in-store retail sales only, so you’ll need to find another solution if you plan on selling products online.
Erply makes up for these shortcomings by offering useful customer and employee management solutions. Using these solutions, you can easily track time in/out and commissions for employees, and create loyalty programs and marketing strategies for your customers. These features rival what some paid point of sale software companies charge $30 or more per month for.
Another simple, but limited, app comes from Vend. Like Erply, Vend doesn’t offer as many of the additional features as some others on this list, but it does the basics very well.
Vend offers free POS software for Mac, iPad and PC. The free plan gives you the ability to accept cash and card payments linked to payment processors like Shopify, Square or PayPal.
The app is cloud-based, but will still work when you go offline. It will sync back up once you return to an internet connection.
If you have a business that makes a lot of sales or is growing, Vend may not be for you. The free plan allows for only one register, one user and 10 active products. This makes it a good option for small businesses with a low volume of sales.
Loyverse offers an iOS and Android POS software free of charge, turning your tablet into its own POS hardware system.
With Loyverse, you get all of the basics: accept cash, check and card payments, track inventory and create discounts at the click of a button.
You’ll also get much more with Loyverse, which stands for “Loyalty Universe.” Create loyalty programs and track customer profiles within the app. Track your employees’ time and sales to pay them and calculate commissions accurately.
Loyverse also allows you to create products out of ingredients, making sure you never run out. This makes it one of the best free full-service restaurant POS software systems available.
Where Loyverse works for many small businesses and is a good option for restaurants, Floreant was made for them.
Created to help a Denny’s streamline its process, this free open source POS software has been downloaded and used in over 122,000 restaurants.
The simple interface allows employees working in any restaurant — from food trucks to fast-casual to fine-dining — to quickly create and receive payments for customer checks. Extra features include ticket numbering systems, floor plan management for wait staff, ingredient tracking and a “pizza builder” function that allows you to customize orders for any customer’s taste.
This free offline POS software can be used for mobile food trucks and without WiFi. The open source point of sale structure means it’s modular; you can download or modify code to adapt to your business’s needs.
The flexibility and food-service-specific functionality make Floreant the top choice for small business owners seeking free restaurant POS software.
With over 1 million downloads since 2010, uniCenta is one of the most popular point of sale software platforms in the world, regardless of price.
This free open source POS software updates regularly, allowing you to add new features that work for your business. You can use it with your choice of POS hardware to accept cash, card and check payments.
The uniCenta platform has a full suite of tracking tools. Employees can track time, breaks, sales and commissions. You can create customer profiles that track previous transactions, loyalty programs, credit limits, discount percentages and even tax categories. Stay on top of inventory with loss prevention, stock level, multiple-warehouse management and even supplier account management capabilities.
You can use uniCenta’s reporting capabilities to look at sales trends, employee performance, customer behavior and more.
The feature-packed nature of uniCenta makes it one of our top choices for free POS software
Choosing Free POS Software for Your Business
The best free point of sale software for you comes down to what you need and expect from the system.
Do you want to add a software solution to existing POS hardware? Do you want an all-in-one retail POS software solution? Do you want a product that was built as a dedicated restaurant POS software system?
Answering these questions will help you determine which option can help your small business grow. After that, simply do some more research to ensure it’s the right fit. Then download the app and start selling.