Forget about the bulky till – cloud point-of-sale (POS) systems have come to stay. But what is the highest-rated POS software UK has to offer?

There are many newer or smaller POS providers, but still only few that are trusted by industry experts in 2020. This POS comparison looks at key differences and features between some major till systems designed for a variety of trades.

We compare POS systems that are considered the best overall. They are all software-as-a-service (SaaS), i.e. you pay a monthly subscription to access it through the cloud. Some of them can be used without internet too, but usually this requires a dedicated server on your premises.

TouchBistroVend logoLightspeed logoSquareEpos Now logo
NameTouchBistroVend POSLightspeed Restaurant, Lightspeed RetailSquare Point of SaleEpos Now
Rating
Website
Built forRestaurants, food-and-drinkRetailRetail, restaurants, food-and-drinkRetail, hospitality, professional servicesRetail, hospitality
Pricing*£49+ per iPad/mo£49+ per till/mo£69+ per till/moFree£25+ per till/mo
Compatible devicesiPadiPad, Mac, Windows PCiPad, Mac, Windows PCiPad, iPhone, Android tablets & smartphonesiPad, Android tablets, Mac, PC touchscreens
Offline mode available?YesYesRetail: No
Restaurant: Yes
No Yes
Customer support24/7 phone, email & app support – free24/7 phone & email support – free24/7 phone & email support – freeWeekday phone & email support – freeSetup & limited email support on Standard plan,
24/7 phone & email support on Premium plan
Size business Small-medium Small-large Small-large SmallSmall-medium
Checkout & payments
Payment methodsPayment card, cash, gift card, store credit/on accountPayment card, cash, voucher, gift card, cheque, store credit/on account, layawayPayment card, cash, cheque, gift card, store credit/on account, quote/layawayPayment card, cash, voucher, gift card, cheque, invoice, card on accountPayment card, cash, gift card, store credit/on account, layaway, invoice
Split bills
Yes, Hospitality plan
Tipping
Yes, Hospitality plan
Card machine integrationsBarclaycard, Paymentsense, SquareiZettle, PayPal Here, SumUp, Square, Paymentsense, Payment ExpressiZettle, Verifone, BarclaycardSquareBarclaycard, Global Payments, Paymentsense, PayPal Here, Verifone, Worldpay
TouchBistroVendLightspeedSquareEpos Now

*Costs not including VAT.

TouchBistro iconVend on price tagLightspeed Restaurant POSSquareEpos Now logo
TouchBistro
Vend
Lightspeed
Square POS
Epos Now
4.5/5 rating
4.5/5 rating
4/5 rating
4/5 rating
4/5 rating
Good for
Restaurants, food-and-drinkRetailRetail, restaurants, food-and-drinkRetail, hospitality, professional servicesRetail, hospitality
 Small-medium businesses Small-large businesses Small-large businesses Small businesses Small-medium businesses
Single outletsSingle & multiple storesSingle & multiple storesSingle & multiple storesSingle & multiple stores
Pricing*
£49+ per iPad/mo£49+ per till/mo£69+ per till/moFree£25+ per till/mo
Technology
iPadiPad, Mac, Windows PCiPad, Mac, Windows PCiPad, iPhone, Android tablets & smartphonesiPad, Android tablets, Mac, PC touchscreens
Offline mode available?
Retail: No
Restaurant: Yes
Customer support
24/7 phone, email & app – free24/7 phone & email – free24/7 phone & email – freeWeekday phone & email support – freeSetup & limited email on Standard,
24/7 phone & email on Premium
Checkout & payments
TouchBistro logoVend logoLightspeed logoEpos Now logoiZettle logo
Payment methods
Payment card, cash, gift card, store credit/on accountPayment card, cash, voucher, gift card, cheque, store credit/on account, layawayPayment card, cash, cheque, gift card, store credit/on account, quote/layawayPayment card, cash, voucher, gift card, cheque, invoice, card on accountPayment card, cash, gift card, store credit/on account, layaway, invoice
Split bills
Yes, Hospitality plan
Tipping
Yes, Hospitality plan
Card machine integrations
Barclaycard, Paymentsense, SquareiZettle, PayPal Here, SumUp, Square, Paymentsense, Payment ExpressiZettle, Verifone, BarclaycardSquareBarclaycard, Global Payments, Paymentsense, PayPal Here, Verifone, Worldpay
TouchBistro logoVend logoLightspeed logoEpos Now logoiZettle logo

*Costs not including VAT.

Inventory management


Inventory
management
TouchBistroVendLightspeedSquareEpos Now
Categories & variants
Stock levels
Stock alerts
Auto-supply orders
Bulk product import
Barcode scanning
Modifiers (food)
Yes, Restaurant plan
Yes, Hospitality plan
Ingredient tracking (food)
Yes, Restaurant plan
Yes, Hospitality plan
Touch-
Bistro
VendLight-
speed
SquareEpos
Now
Categories & variants
Stock levels
Low stock alerts
Auto-supply orders
Bulk product import
Barcode scanning
Modifiers (food)
Yes, Restaurant plan
Yes, Hospitality plan
Ingredient tracking (food)
Yes, Restaurant plan
Yes, Hospitality plan

Customer loyalty & management


Customer
loyalty
TouchBistroVendLightspeedSquareEpos Now
Customer profiles
Gift cardsOnly with add-on
Discounts
Timed promotions
Loyalty pointsOnly with add-on
Only with add-on
Email marketingOnly with add-onExport emails to outside marketing toolOnly with add-onExport emails to outside marketing toolExport emails to outside marketing tool
Touch-
Bistro
VendLight-
speed
SquareEpos
Now
Customer profiles
Gift cards
Only with add-on
Discounts
Timed promotions
Loyalty points
Only with add-on
Only with add-on
Email marketing
Only with add-onExport emails to outside marketing toolOnly with add-onExport emails to outside marketing toolExport emails to outside marketing tool

Reports and analytics


Reports &
analytics
TouchBistroVendLightspeedSquareEpos Now
Daily reports
Close/end-of-day report
Yes, but sales and cash drawer reports are separate
Export reportsYes, to CSV fileYes, to CSV fileYes, to CSV or PDF fileYes, to CSV fileYes, to CSV file
Sales analyticsDetailedDetailedDetailedDetailedDetailed
Custom reports
Taxes/VAT
Accounting integrationsQuickBooks, Sage, XeroQuickBooks, XeroExact, QuickBooks, Sage, XeroEnterpryze, Exact, Kashoo, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Sage One, Xero, Zoho BooksSage One, Xero
Touch-
Bistro
VendLight-
speed
SquareEpos
Now
Daily reports
Close/end-of-day report
Yes, but sales and cash drawer reports are separate
Export reports
Sales analytics
DetailedDetailedDetailedDetailedDetailed
Custom reports
Taxes/VAT
Accounting integrations
QuickBooks, Sage, XeroQuickBooks, XeroExact, QuickBooks, Sage, XeroEnterpryze, Exact, Kashoo, KashFlow, QuickBooks, Sage One, Xero, Zoho BooksSage One, Xero

Employee & store management


Employees &
locations
TouchBistroVendLightspeedSquareEpos Now
User logins
Employee permissions
Staff analytics
Shift reports
Only with integration
Close/open till
Multi-location support
Stock transfers
Location-based analytics
Touch-
Bistro
VendLight-
speed
SquareEpos
Now
User logins
Employee permissions
Staff analytics
Shift reports
Only with integration
Close/open till
Multi-location support
Stock transfers
Location-based analytics

How they stack up

More stablished businesses looking for a longterm, custom-built solution with industry-grade touchscreen monitors can get this from Vend and Epos Now, but not the other options above.

Food-and-drink businesses that want a highly intuitive system with great support can go for TouchBistro or Lightspeed Restaurant. Any retailer would be well-served by Vend’s advanced inventory system that is user-friendly, affordable and popular, but Lightspeed Retail comes at a close second.

Square Point of Sale works well for small food-and-drink businesses (it has the perfect combination of features for cafés), small retail shops, mobile businesses and professional services. If features are missing, you have many integration options to expand on business functions.

Small businesses – or mobile merchants with infrequent sales – can also thrive with a general POS app like iZettle Go which is popular in the UK.