Square is our choice for the best POS for small businesses because the system, which was founded almost a decade ago, provides a generous package of features with absolutely no start-up or monthly fees for basic services.

Square also is among the easiest of the systems to set up, and it's compatible with both Apple and Android operating systems. Square's most basic service, the magstripe card reader and software are completely free as we already mentioned. Going up from there, Square's chip card reader is just $29, and if you want touchless and chip hardware that connects wirelessly to your mobile device, you'll pay just $49. Each of these solutions comes with processing fees of 2.75% per charge for credit cards (the fee is slightly higher for cash payments). Fees increase significantly for purchases keyed in manually - 3.5% plus 15-cents per transaction.

If you need an actual register station Square's hardware has you covered. You can choose from the Square Stand for contactless and chip card transactions ($169, plus $49 for the compatible touchless and chip reader plus $60 per month for specialized software) or the more permanent Square Register, which costs $999 to purchase outright (plus the $60 per month fee for specialized software). There's also a monthly lease-to-own option ($49 per month for 24 months). While processing fees drop to just 2.5% if you use Stand or Register (it's 2.6% for restaurants), and you'll pay per-transaction fees of 10-cents per transaction. That can still add up to a cost savings for transactions involving American Express cards, which charges Square more than that to process your payments.

The drag-and-drop modality on the Stand or the Register will be familiar to anyone who currently uses a computer, so training with the product is fairly simple. And Square offers a relatively rich array of analytics, including by-month sales by employee, inventory tracking, and for a $15 per month fee, the ability to email customers with specific marketing. The Cloud-based system also allows transactions to occur offline so there's never an outage where your POS is concerned. Square allows your employees to sign in through the POS terminal, and with a $29 per month subscription and a per-employee rate with Square Payroll, you can pay employees and contractors, handle federal tax forms, track overtime, file payroll deductions, and directly deposit both employees' and contractors' paychecks.

If your business routinely processes more than  $250,000 in card sales annually with average tickets of $15 or more, you may want to consider talking with Square about creating a custom pricing package.

As with most mobile processors, there is no contract or early-termination fees with Square.

See all of our Best POS Systems overview.

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Published on: Aug 13, 2018