Our rating(3.9/5)
Loyverse is a viable alternative if you just need something basic, but what are the flaws?
Loyverse is very accessible, cheap and basic POS system that works for many small businesses in 170+ countries. The question is whether it has enough going for your business.
  • Pros: Free (with optional add-ons). Very adaptable. Offline mode. Free kitchen/customer display app. Available globally.

  • Cons: Live support requires subscription. Android app more limited. Currency not shown in app. Occasionally buggy.

  • Choose if: You’re using Zettle’s or SumUp’s card reader but want a different free POS app.

We trialled Loyverse on iPad, so screenshots in this review are ours. Opinions are based on how Loyverse fares compared with other POS systems we’ve tested in the last decade.

What is Loyverse and how does it make money?

Loyverse – short for Loyalty Universe – is run by a Cyprus-based company called Cavius International Limited. The product is a mobile point of sale (POS) application available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices only. It’s one of the leading free POS apps we’ve tested.

Based on a “freemium” model, Loyverse’s Point of Sale app is completely free to use, but there are paid add-ons that loyal businesses would want to subscribe to for employee management, inventory controls, reporting and integration options.

We’ve experienced the POS system as being very basic and general, but extremely adaptable so it can used for both retail and hospitality. A browser-based Dashboard/Back Office has detailed reports and general features to manage your point of sale operations.

In our own tests, we initially found the app extremely basic, but further testing and adjustments of settings revealed it has more than first meets the eye. We did encounter bugs where the POS app froze several times, and VAT rates did not function correctly.

Emily Sorensen portrait   Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor at MobileTransaction

Our opinion: good for getting started, but feels limiting

Small cafés, pop-up shops and retailers with a low budget will probably like Loyverse. The software is adaptable with just the right combination of features for a small store, bar or food place without struggling too much. You might not need a paid add-on, but retailers and teams of staff could definitely benefit from them.

If you need accounting and ecommerce integrations, you do end up paying a monthly fee and should consider whether it is worth the cost compared with other POS software. Loyverse certainly has more POS features than Zettle and SumUp, but still does not beat Square in terms of value, scalability, quality and service.

In our own tests, we initially found the app extremely basic, but further testing and adjustments of settings revealed it has more than first meets the eye. We did encounter bugs where the POS app froze several times, and VAT rates did not function correctly. Also, we tested the iPad app, not Android which has had a good deal of criticism about missing features.

Bottom line: Loyverse is a great all-round budget EPOS, but it won’t be advanced for hospitality or complex retail.

Costs and fees

The main strength of Loyverse is that the POS system is free to use. It has no monthly cost or contractual commitment

Certain specialised features for staff management, inventory management and reports do require a subscription, through. This can be paid monthly or annually upfront, but note that any costs paid cannot be refunded.

Loyverse software Cost*
Point of Sale, Dashboard, Kitchen Display, Customer Display Free
Employee Management £20/month per store, or
£200 upfront for a year
Advanced Inventory £20/month per store, or
£200 upfront for a year
Unlimited Sales History £5/month per store, or
£50 upfront for a year

*Excluding VAT.

Point of Sale, Dashboard, Kitchen Display, Customer Display Free
Employee Management £20/month per store, or
£200 upfront for a year
Advanced Inventory £20/month per store, or
£200 upfront for a year
Unlimited Sales History £5/month per store, or
£50 upfront for a year

*Excluding VAT.

The paid add-ons start with a free 14-trial, which does not require card details. If you choose to continue with a paid subscription, you are free to cancel it any time from your web dashboard.

Any hardware is purchased outside of Loyverse, and card processing is charged for through your chosen payment provider.

Checkout interface

The point of sale interface on a tablet and smartphone is pretty standard. When I first started using it, I thought it looked incredibly basic and worryingly featureless, but adding items to the product library makes it look much richer.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse POS iPad screen

Loyverse looks like most free POS system apps.

Once you’ve added products to the system, you can just tap an item to add it to the bill. There’s a choice between a grid and list view of products on tablets, and a black or white theme to match your surroundings.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse checkout settings

Checkout settings on iPad.

We noticed the whole interface, including the web-based dashboard, looks like it was designed by Google – the font and menu styles are exactly like Google’s software. This could be off-putting by some, but it won’t matter for the majority who will like the simple, intuitive style they’re familiar with.

Although basic, the checkout does shine through with useful tools like open tickets, in-app barcode scanner (using the mobile device camera), weight-embedded barcodes and the choice between eat-in and takeaway. These are not included in all free POS systems.

The software interface and fonts look like it’s designed by Google, and no currency symbols are displayed. I personally prefer when currency is next to prices, as otherwise, some customers can’t use their receipt for expense claims.

Emily Sorensen portrait   Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor at MobileTransaction

POS features

How extensive is the POS system, then? Let’s have a look at the POS features.

Checkout options: The till home screen shows a custom grid or list of the products you’ve added to the item catalogue. Discounts (% or value) and product categories can be added alongside bestsellers, but there are also hierarchical screens where same-category items are grouped together.

Because Loyverse is country-agnostic, no currency is shown in the app or reports. This may be unsettling for some users, but price totals will be communicated to card readers as GBP currency in the UK just like any other POS systems.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse tax settings

Tax settings look detailed, but don’t work perfectly at the front-end.

Running a food venue? Select whether a transaction is for takeaway, eat-in or delivery and attach different VAT rates to theses statuses or different product categories and items. You may still have to manually make adjustments to ensure the correct rate is applied to every item (that was our experience) so the system does not work perfectly.

Receipts can be emailed to the customer or printed off from a receipt printer after each transaction.

Payment options: Need to split the bill between individuals? You can do that from the checkout screen.

Tips can only be added to SumUp or Zettle card reader payments in the iOS app, not Android. You cannot add tips to cash payments or non-integrated card payments using another card machine.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse payment methods

Payment methods in Loyverse – tipping options only show when using SumUp or Zettle terminals.

Payment methods are added through the web portal. This includes cards, cash, cheques and “other” which can be named anything. If someone wants to use several payment methods, they can do that.

Orders: Not going to take a payment immediately? Save the current transaction – it can be opened through the prominent “Saved orders” button. Open orders can be assigned to an employee, table (though there’s no table plan) or have a custom description attached.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse Dashboard settings

Loyverse Dashboard settings – the interface looks very “Google”-like.

You can later search through orders, retrieve and edit them, then void or finalise them with a payment.

A complimentary kitchen display app (Loyverse KDS) can be downloaded for your kitchen, so orders are fired straight there for a more efficient service.

Transactions and cash management: Most basic POS systems tend to require an upgrade to include end-of-day reports specifically for cashing up the till – not Loyverse. You can add an opening cash float, pay money in or out (with a comment), close the shift and compare the actual cash in the drawer with the calculated float in your report.

This report is viewable in the POS app and can be printed off if a suitable printer is connected. The day’s sales totals are divided into payment methods, refunds, discounts and more, whereas the web dashboard lets you analyse the numbers in greater detail.

The POS app also has a dedicated section for receipts to check a specific sale, refund payments and resend receipts.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse app receipts

Receipts section in POS app.

Inventory library: Items can be added in bulk or individually along with an image, variants, cost and sale price. Then you can put them into categories like Pastries or Hot Drinks if you’re a cafe. Each items can have a stock count (prompting low-stock reminders), a barcode and SKU number. Modifiers can be added to specific items, such as type of milk a customer wants in their coffee.

If you subscribe to Advanced Inventory, you also get:

  • Purchase order options
  • Stock transfers between locations
  • Stock adjustments
  • Advanced inventory counts
  • Label printing
  • Inventory history
  • Inventory valuation reports

But even without the add-on, the POS system can handle more than one shop with allocated stock counts to each location. That’s not bad for free EPOS.

Customers and loyalty: The free POS software has the ability to save customer profiles with your regulars’ contact details, sales history and loyalty points to redeem at your business. These customers can be exported to a spreadsheet to upload into marketing software like Mailchimp.

A customer display app (Loyverse CDS) is available free. This allows your customers to view (on a separate tablet) transaction details and enter their email address on this screen instead of the main till display.

I was surprised by some of the free features that other tills don’t often include, like offline mode and multi-store inventory counts.

Emily Sorensen portrait   Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor at MobileTransaction

Employee management: Only one user, the store admin, can use the free POS system. It costs a monthly fee to add profiles for additional employees, but then you can allocate custom role permissions, for instance limiting access to settings and reports for cashiers, and PINs to log into the till app. Other POS systems tend to include multi-user access free of charge, so we think it’s a bit excessive to pay for that.

Timecards can be added for free in the Dashboard, then exported to Excel for accounting purposes.

Offline mode: The POS app works even if your internet fails, in which case the sales data will sync in the cloud the next time it’s got a live connection. This way, you can check sales in real time from any device. Card payments will require the internet to process chip and contactless payments, though.

Loyverse app with SumUp Air

SumUp Air is a popular card reader to use with Loyverse.

Card readers and till equipment

In the UK, Loyverse integrates with SumUp Air and Zettle Reader for card payment processing. No other card machines are currently compatible with Loyverse, but you can use a standalone card machine and just manually confirm in the POS app when the card payment has gone through.

Anyone who’s used the POS app from Zettle and SumUp will know that they don’t have many features at the frontend. I therefore think Loyverse could be good for those who want to stick with their cheap SumUp or Zettle card reader but need a slightly more advanced POS system at no monthly cost.

In addition, Loyverse connects with a large selection of receipt printers, label printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners and even purpose-built Android touchscreen terminals (instead of consumer tablets or smartphones). The latter is not an option for any other commitment-free POS systems in the UK, except for Square that has its own flashy Square Register.

Integrations can get expensive

With Loyverse, you can connect with external software for accounting, marketing, ecommerce and more. Those with development resources can develop custom integrations with Loyverse API too.

Just a few years ago, you had to pay £9 monthly per store just for the privilege of adding an integration to Loyverse, but this fee has thankfully been scrapped in the UK.

Emily Sorensen portrait   Emily Sorensen, Senior Editor at MobileTransaction

At the time of writing, the only direct accounting integrations are for QuickBooks and Xero. The ecommerce integrations has grown steadily in the past few years and now include Amazon, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix and many more through connector software.

As for marketing, SyncApps lets you connect with Mailchimp and Constant Contact, but we see there are now two new direct integrations for NearSt and BrandWallet. Online ordering and digital receipt integrations are also available.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse App Market

Not that many direct integrations are available in Loyverse App Marketplace.

Then there’s a handful of connector modules allowing you to link with other software. If you’re relying on connector software instead of direct integrations, you’re paying for:

  • The connector software (e.g. $29+ USD monthly for Octopus)
  • The software you actually want to use, such as BigCommerce

This could make Loyverse unnecessarily expensive. Depending on how small your business is, needing an integration in the first place could be too pricey, so it’s worth thinking about whether it’s cheaper to just go for a different POS system containing all the functions you need on the same platform.

Customer service and reviews

Loyverse likes to mention their 24/7 live chat support, but this only applies when you subscribe to one of Loyverse’s paid add-ons. If you’re just using the free software without a paid subscription, you just have an online help section with step-by-step guides and a peer support forum where you can post questions publicly.

There is an email address that anyone can contact for help, but you’re likely going to get a slow response to that. Only on a paid plan do you have a prompt live chat, but there is no phone number to rely on for help at all.

Image: MobileTransaction

Loyverse live chat

Loyverse’s live support is not free.

Most Loyverse reviews rate them highly. Users tend to like the simplicity and amount of features you get at no cost. I do see many feature requests as well, though, and users complaining that certain functions like tipping are not available in the Android app (the iOS app gets prioritised more).