The Complete Guide to the BEST POS Systems Australia
Whilst the focal point of Small Business Loans Australia is quick and effective business financing, POS systems are becoming an increasingly important aspect for small businesses to get right and hence this guide.
Whether you are a new business seeking their first point of sale system (POS system) or are an established business looking to enhance their existing point of sale software then we have you covered in this article.
We briefly outline what a POS system is, its changing functionality in the modern world and ultimately determine the best POS system in Australia. This can of course be dependent on whether you are looking for retail POS software, or specifically restaurant POS systems. Maybe it’s a point of sale display and POS machine you require or cloud POS software that runs off an iPad POS system. Or perhaps you’re looking for a POS system with Xero/accounting software integration. Read on to learn about all of this and more in our guide to POS software Australia.
Looking for Only the Most Reputable POS Systems?
The sheer variety of requirements that businesses have these days from a POS system means there are a wealth of options out there. If you have multiple stores or require multi-purpose POS functionality then it pays to do your due-diligence and find one that’s a good fit for your business. But if you’re short on time and simply looking for a reputable and well-reviewed POS software provider, you can check our quick POS software Australia reviews:
Kounta Review (Now owned by Lightspeed)
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Kounta, which was acquired by the Canadian POS firm Lightspeed in 2019, was originally founded in Sydney 8 years ago. Driven by a passion to improve the hospitality sector, they have one of the best hospitality pos systems on the market today. You can easily manage stock, set user permissions and track sales-performance data all through Kounta POS.
The system also allows you to easily cost out menu items and ingredients with no spreadsheets required. Everything can be done via the Kounta platform, which allows full visibility of your margins and will even provide suggested menu pricing based on the margins you require to succeed. Live stock levels are reported and new stock can be automatically purchased should levels fall below the minimum requirements set by your business.
On top of a very comprehensive POS software solution, Kounta can easily supply customers with a cash register, payment terminal and receipt printer. Kounta recommends 1 POS terminal for the first 40 customers in a restaurant or cafe and you can easily add more terminals when required. If required, users can also accept advanced online payment for food collection via one of Kounta’s integration partners. The acquisition of Kounta by Lightspeed now provides Kounta with online payment processing capabilities of its own.
Full website: https://www.kounta.com/
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Chances are you’ve already heard of, or at least unconsciously seen, a Square POS terminal – whether at your local coffee shop, department store or even a local food market. As well as the now PayPal owned iZettle, Square is one of the biggest global players in the POS industry.
Despite its vast size it’s still one of only a few providers of POS software in Australia to offer a near-free package. Software access for one-user is completely free, whilst you can get started with a basic Square card-reader for $59. Perfect if you have a phone or tablet you can plug the reader into. The more comprehensive Square Terminal is priced at $439 but crucially the card transaction fee is 1.6% vs 1.9% on the more basic Square Reader. So if you’re expecting significant payment volumes from your customers it may prove better to opt for the more expensive terminal from the outset.
As you would expect from an industry leader, Square offers a complete suite of POS solutions, even allowing businesses to build an online store, manage reservations via their website, and generate invoices. On top of this, you know with Square you’ll also get high levels of security and top-class reporting to manage sales and inventory.
Full website: https://squareup.com/au/en
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With a strong focus on product development, Bindo is packed full of features that will appeal to all businesses no matter their industry and has arguably the best POS software in Australia. The Bindo platform is well reviewed as both a restaurant pos system and retail pos system.
As you would expect Bindo can provide you with your register and card terminal, but the number of features on top of that is impressive. Bindo’s full CRM solution means you can easily keep track of your customers and tailor customer loyalty programs on an individual basis. Bindo allows you to easily add discounts to items and even generate gift cards with your company logo.
With online becoming increasingly important, Bindo has you covered here too. Bindo Storefront allows you to embed an online store in your existing website with just one line of code. Once your online store is set up, inventory is unified with your POS so it is always up-to-date. Customers can even sell their product on the Bindo marketplace.
Full website: https://bindopos.com/en/
What is a Point of Sale (POS) System?
Nowadays, Point of Sale systems go beyond just the processing of credit and debit card payments. Accepting card payments is something most business’ must do now – according to one of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s most recent papers on the subject in 2018, cash accounted for 70% of retail payments in 2007 and just 37% in 2016 – and judging by the trend this is likely to be far less in 2020 (especially with COVID speeding this up). Card and debit card processing is a must have these days and your point of sale software will keep track of your cash collections too.
Today’s POS systems offer so much more than just payment processing through a POS machine. Features can include analysis of sales data, inventory management and staff management tools. POS software will integrate with CRM systems to aid in profiling customers and sending marketing communications and can also integrate with ERP software to help with accounting and stock management.
So whether you’re looking for just a credit card reader or a complete POS solution then the provider and package you opt for will vary. One thing to look out for is the shift to cloud based POS systems – rather than building and managing your own server – users simply download the software to an iPad or tablet and go from there. The lack of a local server generally makes this a cheaper and easier solution meaning cloud POS software is often the most popular these days.
What is a Mobile POS System?
Now that most POS systems these days are cloud based, they’ve become increasingly flexible with the devices they can run on as well. Nowadays it is perfectly normal to have a mobile POS system and nothing else. Through your smartphone and a mobile card reader, you can now manage payments, refunds, and much more. A mobile POS system is particularly useful for small businesses without a fixed address, such as food trucks. They’re also great for pop-up restaurants/shops and market traders.
Key Features for Payment Processing
EMV – standing for Euronet, Visa, Mastercard – is basically the new standard for the use of chip and pin to improve security at the point of sale. Whilst swipe payments are still possible in Australia they should only be used as a last resort. Some point of sale systems may charge slightly more for the chip and pin functionality.
Near Field Communication (NFC) – with the rise of contactless payments, you can also opt for NFC to be included in your POS system, often installed on the same POS machine that accepts chip and pin payments. This should mean contactless card payments, Google Pay and Apple Pay can all be accepted. For retail businesses with a high customer turnover, such as a coffee shop, this can be particularly important when speed is paramount.
Cash Register Station or iPad – Choosing the right hardware will be dependent on your business requirements. The current trend is for installing cloud software on an Apple iPad or Tablet. Other devices such as dongles for NFC and chip and pin payments can then work off the system wirelessly. Providing mobility if needed, for example running a market stool and still being able to accept card payments. Whilst the economy is moving to a near cashless society you’ll want to keep your payment options open, so a cash register is likely to be a good idea.
Receipt Printer – Whether you have a cash register, POS touch screen or just a card reader, a receipt printer is an essential piece of point of sale equipment. They aren’t the cheapest bit of kit – setting you back at least $200 – and you can expect to pay more for one that connects to your POS system wirelessly as opposed to USB.
Customer Service For Your Point of Sale Software
POS software is designed to be as simple as possible to navigate for maximum customer satisfaction. Anyone who has worked in retail will know speed is of the essence – morning commuters won’t enjoy having to wait in a long line for their coffee if staff have trouble navigating a complex POS system! For this reason, POS software is generally easy for users to operate and most POS providers will provide a plethora of online instructions on how to use your POS software, including blogs and video tutorials. You should also receive setup support and depending on your package this will either be free or charged as an extra fee. Installation services can range from configuring hardware, migrating data from an existing POS system, or setting up your product catalog. In any case, it shouldn’t take more than a few days and larger organisations can expect a dedicated onboarding manager to help them get up and running.
Cloud based POS solutions will receive product updates, bringing new features and reporting that perhaps weren’t available before. Updates will always be designed to improve the usability of the platform but it’s worth noting certain ways you may have got used to doing something could change after an update.
If you’re operating a retail or hospitality business that will operate in the evenings, night and weekends then you’ll want to be sure the POS provider offers 24/7 support in case anything goes wrong at any time of day. Be sure to take into account existing customer reviews to see how satisfied they are with the level of support they receive.
Some POS providers have offline modes so if you encounter internet connectivity issues the platform can still operate without bringing your business to a stand still.
Non-Payment Functionality and Integrated Point of Sale Systems
The most basic POS software should allow the setup of your product catalog, hopefully with additional functionality such as the ability to add offers and discounts to your product catalogue too. More advanced systems should keep track of your inventory and even assist in ordering new stock. If you have a retail and online store then a POS system which will manage stock across both will be important.
A common feature in POS software these days is a timeclock, so employees can login with their unique details to ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’. Advanced systems should also allow for different levels of access, so whilst junior staff members may only need product selection activities, managers may have access which allows product amendments and discount setup. The more expensive the package, the greater the number of staff profiles you will be allowed.
On a basic level, point of sale systems should be able to capture your customers email address that you can use for future email marketing campaigns. More advanced systems should also allow you to build a full customer profile including contact details, purchase history and even their birthday for special promotions.
Insights & Analytics
A good POS system will allow you to see a complete breakdown of costs, margins and revenue. You should be able to easily identify which products are selling well and which aren’t and make seasonal comparisons to see how products have sold over time.
Back Office Integrations
If you like to keep your accounting as straightforward as possible then the chances are you’re using accountancy software such as Xero. To make this even simpler you can use POS software which integrates with xero, automatically reporting on all customer sales you make. If you’re searching for Xero POS, then Xero doesn’t actually run its own POS system it simply integrates with all of the leading POS providers. Quickbooks POS exists and provides great integration with Quickbooks accounting software.
If you run an online store then perhaps you use WooCommerce or another storefront such as Shopify. If that’s the case then you’ll be looking for point of sale systems that can integrate with inventory and order management support, so if you receive an order on Amazon it’s feeding into your POS as well. WooCommerce POS will obviously integrate with WooCommerce but they understand not all businesses will want to use both services from themselves so many of the major POS providers integrate with WooCommerce too.
Best All-Round Point of Sale System
Square POS is perhaps one of the most recognised point of sale systems in the world. In fact Square point of sale is trusted by more than two million businesses globally. The system is all based around simplicity and judging by its client reviews it lives up to expectation. It has a simple pricing model too that makes it a great POS system for small businesses. . For single use access there’s no monthly fee, just the cost of buying the hardware and a payment fee deducted from each transaction.
Square’s hardware capabilities are impressive. The Square POS terminal, that acts as a POS machine, is its most widely recognised product that can accept chip and pin, contactless cards, apple pay and google pay. Whilst tills and receipt printers are also available.
Square for Restaurants is a bespoke offering to compete in the restaurant POS market and the newly launched Square Online Store makes Square compatible for ecommerce solutions too.
The scale of Square is evident as its IT function must constantly be working on integrations with new platforms. Square point of sale is compatible with Xero, Quickbooks, WooCommerce and Godaddy to name just a few of its key partners. In all it has around 50 integrations with various useful business tools.
Best Restaurant POS Systems Australia / Best POS System for Cafe Australia
Kounta POS is perhaps the most well known POS software solution in Australia for cafes, bars and restaurants. It comes with an out-of-the-box menu style setup to make ordering on the system as simplistic as possible. Customisable in any number of ways, charging for almond milk in a flat white, or adding an extra shot of coffee is easy. Making Kounta the go-to cafe POS system. Real time sales data can also show you exactly how much you’re putting through the till on each day and at specific times throughout the day.
Specifically for restaurants, TouchBistro is one of the leading point of sale providers, available in 37 countries. Australia is its third largest market and features include floor plan & table management, staff scheduling and tableside ordering. Through a partnership with Square (one of the worlds largest POS and payment processing companies around right now) it offers its payment collection capabilities. Just as you’d expect from a leading provider for restaurants it has 24/7/365 customer support so no matter when something goes wrong you can get in touch with a member of the team.
Best Point of Sale Software for Online & Offline Businesses
If you’re a small business selling online then the chances are you’ve heard of or are using Shopify. So it’s no surprise that as well as its online payment gateway, businesses can also opt for Shopify POS. The benefit here of course is the seamless integration between the two. Users report Shopify’s in-store POS system to work just as smooth as its online tool.
As we highlighted earlier, if it’s WordPress you’re using then WooCommerce can be integrated to add an online shop and WooCommerce POS for brick-and-mortar transactions.
Best Retail POS System Australia
Vend is one of the leading POS software Australia providers and it’s trusted by over 25,000 retailers around the world. All of the extra functionality we’ve discussed in this article is possible with Vend – inventory management, reporting, payment and ecommerce integration. In addition to single store functionality it also has multi-outlet capabilities so reporting and management can be conducted per shop or across all sites. Vend can integrate with Square, Shopify and Xero.
Whether you were just looking for the POS system meaning or have been looking to understand the best point of sale systems in Australia, we hope to have provided you with a brief introduction on POS systems and those most appropriate for your business, depending on the field in which you operate. For a complete POS machine, accessory and software solution businesses can opt for Square POS. Whilst ecommerce focused businesses with small brick-and-mortar requirements may prefer Shopify POS Australia. Restaurants and hospitality businesses may again opt for Square point of sale, or look at a dedicated point of sale software provider such as the Kounta POS system or TouchBistro restaurant POS.