Sometimes it can seem like every customer has a different payment method they prefer. Some customers want to buy everything online, others want to be able to tap their credit card on a contactless card reader, and others prefer to use their smartphone to pay with an Apple or Android mobile app.

Being able to accept multiple types of payments can be good for your business, but not every point-of-sale (POS) system has the same functionality. Restaurants, e-commerce stores, and retailers all need different things out of a point-of-sale-system.

Let’s take a look at what kind of POS systems are out there and how you can choose the right POS system for your small business needs.

What Is a POS System?

The tricky thing about choosing a POS system for small businesses is that there’s no one-size-fits-all system. There may be multiple components of your POS system, but they typically take the place of a traditional cash register and may include:

  • A credit card reader
  • A tablet or computer that runs POS software
  • A barcode scanner
  • A receipt printer
  • A cash drawer

Your merchant services provider may offer all of these items as a package, or you may have to purchase some of these components separately.

For example, Nadapayments provides a Wi-Fi-enabled smart terminal for $35 per month, which includes a receipt printer and reams of receipt paper. You’ll also get a a virtual terminal you can run on your own computer or tablet.

If you’re happy with your existing POS system, you can use the Nadapayments card reader to implement a surcharge program and integrate it with your existing system.

The Nadapayments card reader accepts payments via:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Contactless payments

Once all the components of your POS system are up and running, you’ll be able to ring up items, accept credit card payments, and provide printed or digital receipts. Some POS systems offer additional tools to help you take restaurant bookings, manage inventory, and monitor sales figures over time.

How Do POS Systems for Small Business Work?

POS systems are about more than just accepting credit card payments. POS systems save time and reduce employee error by making it easy to scan or key in the code for each item and print out a receipt.

For certain types of businesses, like restaurants, your POS system will help you group items by table and even split the check.

Retail and e-commerce businesses can use their POS system to collect a customer’s contact details in order to email a receipt or run a loyalty program.

Of course, the functionality of your POS system will depend on what kind of hardware and software you use and which payment processor you choose.

POS Hardware

When it comes to POS systems for small businesses, the “hardware” you need may be as simple as a credit card reader and a smartphone or iPad. You can run a POS app on your device and use a card reader to swipe your customer’s payment info, turning your smartphone into a mobile POS system.

This is a great option for sole proprietors and small business owners who don’t work out of an office — such as landscapers or fitness instructors — who need to be able to accept mobile payments on the go.

If you operate a retail store or cafe, then you may want to consider additional hardware options, such as an EMV card reader that can accept contactless payments.

POS Software

POS software refers to the program or app that you use to process payments. Some point-of-sale solutions are cloud-based, which means that data is stored in the cloud, and you can access it by logging in on any of your devices.

On-premises software is installed locally, such as on your company’s PC or Mac, so it may be more customizable but may also require more maintenance. The right POS software for you depends on how many locations you have, how many employees will be using it, and whether you want your POS hardware to be stationary or mobile.

Most POS features will be intuitive for anyone who’s worked at a checkout counter before, but some features may require some training.

Pricing and Payment Processing

When choosing a payment processor, you’ll also want to take a close look at the pricing structure. You’ll need to compare upfront costs, monthly fees, and how much you’ll pay for debit and credit card processing.

For example, Nadapayments only charges 1% plus $0.25 for debit card transactions. When it comes to credit card transactions, you won’t owe anything for processing fees. If your customer chooses to use a credit card instead of cash, check, or debit, they will incur a 3.5% surcharge.

Your only recurring fee is the $35-per-month cost of the credit card reader, which gives your customers multiple payment options, including contactless payments.

This pricing model is simpler than many other POS solutions, which often charge a higher transaction fee for online ordering than for in-person payments. Also, since most payment processors don’t offer a surcharge program, you’ll be stuck paying for credit card processing fees.

The Best POS System for Small Businesses

POS system for small business: cashier updating the register

The best point-of-sale system for your business will depend on your sales volume, your industry, and what kind of payment methods you want to accept. Any POS system may do the bare minimum — allow you to accept credit card payments — but more advanced POS systems can provide real-time sales metrics and inventory management.

Let’s take a look at three industries that rely on POS systems, and which POS features your small business could benefit from.

Retail POS Systems

Retail POS systems are designed for retail businesses like hardware stores, bookshops, and other shops where customers make purchases in person. Your business may offer some online sales, but most sales are made using a physical card reader.

Retail POS systems streamline the checkout experience and make it easy to track inventory. You can use a retail POS system to generate sales reports, accept gift cards, and run a customer loyalty program.

Restaurant POS Systems

Even within the restaurant industry, POS systems can vary widely. For example, a cafe or quick-service restaurant can use a POS system to speed up the ordering process for dine-in, pickup, and delivery.

A full-service restaurant may need a more advanced POS system with tools for both the front and back of house staff. You may want a POS system with a built-in floor plan and the ability to accept tableside payments.

E-Commerce POS Systems

E-commerce POS systems are for businesses that operate primarily online. These POS systems rely on payment gateways and virtual terminal credit card processing, but may still offer a physical credit card reader for in-person payments.

The main features to look for in an e-commerce system are inventory management and customer management tools. You can integrate your POS system with your CRM to run customer loyalty programs and email marketing campaigns.

Choose Nadapayments as Your Credit and Debit Card Processor

Customer paying using a credit card

For businesses that only need a credit card reader, Nadapayments’ surcharge program is the obvious solution. For a low monthly cost, you’ll get a Wi-Fi-enabled EMV card reader that’s ready to use and has all of the software you need built right in.

For businesses that need more advanced POS features, such as a restaurant booking system or inventory management, you can simply integrate Nadapayments with your existing POS system and take advantage of no credit card processing fees.

Unlike other payment processing solutions, Nadapayments is an all-in-one merchant service provider that’s compatible with online sales, retail, restaurants, and more. You’ll be able to accept more types of payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, while saving money on transaction fees.

Plus, you’ll get the signage you need to explain your surcharge program to customers, and a receipt printer is built in, so you can provide your customers with printed or digital receipts.

Get started with Nadapayments and launch your surcharge program today!