How Much Does a Mobile POS System Cost? (Price Options Explained)


Pebl Team
March 28, 2024

Investing in a mobile point of sale (POS) system is an important decision for businesses, and it’s essential to understand all associated costs.

However, figuring out the cost of mobile POS systems can often seem daunting, since costs can include monthly subscriptions, transaction costs, hardware expenses, and possibly extra charges for additional features.

This article will walk you through the most common costs associated with mobile POS systems and provide a detailed overview to help your decision-making process.

We will navigate through the various pricing models, factor in the potential hidden costs and provide insight into ways of getting the most value out of a mobile POS system.

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Can you get a free mobile POS system?

While none of the mobile POS systems on the market are entirely free, there are several that have no upfront costs, as well as no monthly subscription costs.

The most notable examples of this are Pebl and Square, which only charge their clients a small percentage for every payment that is processed through their app. 

While this doesn’t constitute an entirely “free” mobile POS solution, it does allow startup businesses operating on a small budget to launch without having to invest upfront for their POS system. 

With that being said, once your business processes a large number of payments per month, it might be more cost effective to switch to a monthly subscription model instead of paying per transaction.

Additionally, Pebl enables businesses to automatically pass on the transaction fee to their customers through their auto-surcharging feature. By doing this, businesses can ensure they receive the full sales amount into their bank account and have their customer pay for the benefit of using a credit or debit card. This makes Pebl essentially free to use.

While many mobile POS systems boast low or even no subscription costs, it's essential to consider that some may entail additional hardware costs.

Do mobile POS systems have monthly fees?

While some mobile Point of Sale (POS) systems are free to use, many come with a monthly subscription fee, the cost of which can vary significantly depending on the scope of your operations and the services you require. These fees can range anywhere from twenty dollars to several hundred dollars per month.

For instance, Shopify POS offers pricing plans that start at just $29 per month, while Revel POS offers a quote-based pricing structure. Conversely, there are also systems like Pebl that do not have a monthly fee but charge processing fees for each transaction.

However, it's important to understand that while free or lower-cost options may seem appealing, more comprehensive and higher-cost plans often include valuable additional features such as advanced analytics, multi-location capabilities, and greater customer support.

Therefore, you should carefully consider your specific needs and the benefits of inclusive features versus the potential cost savings associated with lower-tier plans as part of your decision-making process.

Mobile POS systems without a monthly subscription

The cost efficiency of a mobile POS solution is a major consideration for many businesses, and subscription fees can certainly add up over time. However, there are several POS systems that that do not require a monthly subscription, making them an attractive option for budget-focused businesses.

The first is Pebl. Known for its simplistic and up-front pricing policy, Pebl ensures that businesses (especially startups and smaller operations), can operate without the added stress of monthly subscription fees.

Indeed, the Pebl app is available at no cost on both Android and iOS devices. This doesn't mean compromising on essential features either. The free option provides vital functionalities such as payments, inventory management, sales reports, and even customer engagement tools.

Tyro  also offers a variety of solutions with their Tyro Go product, which comes without a monthly subscription fee. Though it's a more pared-down POS solution (that requires a physical card reader) compared to other mobile POS products, businesses can still accept all types of payments and keep track of sales history.

In conclusion, while free POS solutions might not have every feature you desire, many offer a substantial subset for a fraction of the price, enabling cost-conscious businesses to reap the benefits of a mobile POS system without a burdensome financial commitment.

Mobile POS systems that come with additional hardware costs

While many mobile POS systems boast low or even no subscription costs, it's essential to consider that some may entail additional hardware costs. These hardware elements - such as registers, card readers, tablets, barcode scanners, and receipt printers - can significantly impact the overall cost of establishing your POS system. Three examples of systems with additional hardware offerings are Square, Impos, and Lightspeed.

Square, for instance, offers various hardware products to meet the needs of diverse businesses. From a simple magstripe reader that connects directly to your smartphone, to more complex setups like the Square Terminal and Register. The initial investment can be free for the simple card reader, and up to $799 for the all-in-one countertop POS.

Impos offers solutions ranging from small card readers to full POS systems.  The complete Impos  Station setup with multiple devices can cost up to $2000.

Lightspeed Retail, on the other hand, does not include any hardware in its subscription fees. Instead, it offers a variety of a la carte hardware products, such as an iPad hardware kit ($469), single printer package ($849), or retail bundle ($999). This flexibility allows businesses to only purchase what they need.

While added hardware costs may seem substantial upfront, they are often crucial for the efficient operation of the POS system. They offer extensive functionality and value, enhancing checkout efficiency, improving record accuracy, and providing more satisfying customer experiences. 

Ultimately, you should consider both the upfront and long-term benefits when weighing the overall cost of a mobile POS system. It's vital to invest in a hardware setup that matches the scale, nature, and technical requirements of your business operations.