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The Best Free POS Software for UK Businesses in 2024

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We’ve already explored the importance of point-of-sale systems for businesses, especially in retail and hospitality. In 2021, the number of POS terminals in the UK amounted to almost three million. Choosing the right all-in-one payment tool can help streamline your business, but it takes time to get it right. That’s where free POS software comes in, helping you meet your match without too much commitment…

Keep reading to learn more about free platforms and ePOS software available to UK businesses and how you can harness their powers!

What is POS again?

A POS system typically includes hardware like cash registers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and software to finalise transactions, hold inventory, and more. These retail systems have evolved recently, boasting touch-screen interfaces and integration with other business and payment tools. This advancement has made POS systems more than tools for orders and transactions; they simplify sales processes, track inventory, and streamline business operations.

Choosing your POS software

Finding the perfect POS system is a big decision for any business. Don’t move too fast; run through what your business needs to thrive. Here are key factors to consider in a POS system:

Cost and pricing: Look beyond the fanfare of free trials. Research the initial setup costs, hardware expenses, and ongoing fees. Be aware of transaction fees or hidden charges, as these differ per provider.

Usability: You’ll need a user-friendly interface to help with daily operations. Time spent training staff should be minimal.

Easy integration: Does the system integrate seamlessly with your industry? Check it’s compatible with existing hardware and software.

Features: Identify the essential features you need, like inventory management or reporting. Do you need scalability for future growth?

Hardware tech list: What hardware does the POS system require? Check if it is compatible with your current devices or if you need to invest in new equipment.

Data security: Ensure the POS system complies with data privacy and other regulations. Look for features like encryption and secure payment processing.

Customer support: Research level of customer support provided; reviews reveal a lot! You don’t want a tech meltdown on a busy day with nobody to help. 

Customisations: Can the POS be tailored to your business needs? Look for customisation options without the need for tech knowledge.

Scalability: Choose a system that can grow with your business. Check for adding employees, locations, or other handy features.

Offline service: Check if the POS system can function offline, ensuring business continuity during internet outages.

Reporting and analytics: Reporting tools are valuable for business insights; ensure the system provides the necessary analytics. 

Reviews and reputation: Review customer reviews to check the provider’s reputation.

Free POS software providers in the UK

Once you’ve got your POS checklist all worked out, it’s time to find the perfect provider. We’ve highlighted some of the country’s most popular retail and hospitality systems with several honourable mentions. Check them out below, and hopefully, it’ll be a launchpad for your choices!

Zettle

FeesNo monthly usage fee with a fixed transaction rate of 1.75%
ContractNo contract; purchase a card reader to get started
HardwareCard reader at £29
Store kit at £189
ProsGood selection of payment partners
ConsNot suitable for franchising or businesses with 5+ employees

Atoa

FeesFree payments app that integrates with POS
ContractNo contracts or monthly fees
HardwareNone required – use your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer
ProsInstant payments made from your customers’ bank app
Low transaction fees – maximum 0.6% capped at £10 per transaction
ConsIt isn’t a point-of-sale system as such, but it works across all industries

Square

FeesFree POS app, transaction fees apply
ContractNo monthly fee, and it is free to sign up
HardwareReader at £16
Terminal at £149 + VAT
Stand at £99 + VAT or £17/mo for 6 months
ProsWidely used
ConsTransaction fees between 1.7% to 2.5% on card payments

Figures are accurate at the time of writing.

Other honourable ePOS mentions

In the UK, electronic point of sale (ePOS) software is widely used by businesses to streamline sales and transaction processes. Here are some other popular systems in the UK that may come with a price tag.

Epos Now

Tailored to retail and hospitality.
Offers a range of features, including inventory management, reporting, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Lightspeed

Suitable for both retail and restaurant businesses.
Features include inventory management, employee management, and analytics.

Shopify POS

It integrates with Shopify’s e-commerce platform and is ideal for online and physical stores.
There are no free plans, but their Lite offering is very reasonable.

Vend

Offers features like inventory management, customer loyalty, and reporting.
Useful for retail sectors but no restaurant plan. Beware of expense set-up costs. 

Tillpoint

Suitable for retail, hospitality, and service-based businesses.
Varied solutions with modules for different business functions.

When choosing EPOS software, consider the specific needs of your business, the industry you operate in, and the features that will boost efficiency. Check reviews first and use free trials to ensure the software meets your requirements before committing. 

Atoa is the ultimate payment method for your new system. Already integrated with leading POS providers, we can add instant payments to your process within minutes. Book a product demo today to find out more!

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