What Mobile POS System Is the Cheapest? (Best Budget mPOS)


Pebl Team
March 27, 2024

For many small businesses, price is a key factor when choosing a mobile Point Of Sale (POS) system. The goal is to have an efficient, reliable, and user-friendly POS system without breaking the bank.

However, with the plethora of options currently available on the market, finding the best budget mobile POS system can be challenging.

This article will cover the two best cheap POS systems on the market, and compare their pricing structures to help you choose the most affordable option.

We’ll take into account not just the initial cost, but also the long-term expenses, considering aspects like transaction fees, hardware costs, and subscription fees.

Read on below to ensure your business gets an affordable mobile POS system that provides the best return on investment.

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Pebl: the cheapest mobile POS system on the market

Among the many different mobile POS systems currently available on the market, Pebl has emerged as the most cost-effective option, particularly for start-ups and small-scale businesses.

Pebl charges no sign-up costs, no monthly fees, and no admin charges. The only cost for Pebl users is a 2.20% transaction fee for card payments, and a $1.50 fee for instant PayTO or PayID transactions.

So, in contrast to many mobile POS systems that require a significant upfront investment or monthly subscription fees, Pebl takes a different approach. It operates on a pay-per-use model where fees consist solely of a small percentage deducted from each transaction processed that can also be auto- surcharged. This fee structure makes Pebl particularly attractive to small businesses or those just starting, reducing financial burdens by eliminating steep upfront costs or monthly fees.

Pebl's POS system works on both Android and iOS devices and is essentially a hassle-free system that converts a mobile device into a moveable checkout, capable of powering various business types from quick-serve restaurants and cafes, through to charities, retailers and mobile services.

Beyond merely accepting payments, Pebl offers additional features that aid business growth. Ticking all the boxes in the realm of mobility, it leverages a free mobile app that allows businesses to sell their products or services anywhere. This unique feature makes it ideal for businesses that rely on mobility, such as food trucks or home delivery services, by expanding their customer reach without incurring additional costs.

While it's true that the per-transaction fee model might be expensive for high-volume businesses Pebl can custom price depending on volume.  For startups and smaller businesses working on tight budgets, Pebl represents an ideal solution. The absence of upfront investments and monthly plans simplifies cost planning and provides an easy start for businesses without hefty capital to inject into a POS system. 

In summary, when considering the price, combined with robust features and versatility, Pebl undoubtedly stands out as the best cheapest inclusive and agnostic mobile POS system. Its pay-as-you-go model, combined with comprehensive features and cross-platform compatibility, significantly reduces setup costs and operational expenses, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses of various sizes.

The absence of upfront investments and monthly plans simplifies cost planning and provides an easy start for businesses without hefty capital to inject into a POS system. 

Square: runner up cheapest mobile POS system

Holding a runner-up position just behind Pebl in terms of affordability, Square offers a user-friendly and feature-rich mobile POS system that caters well to small and medium-sized businesses.

Similar to Pebl, Square provides free access to its basic POS software. This means businesses can use the system for sales tracking and inventory management, as well as for processing payments, without investing in a monthly subscription. What’s more, Square also provides a free mobile card reader, cutting down the initial equipment cost significantly should the customer buy the package. Otherwise the Square reader has a purchase price of $40.

In terms of transaction fees, Square charges 1.9% transaction fee for each payment transaction, which is slightly less  expensive than Pebl. However, the absence of monthly fees or long-term contracts makes it an appealing choice for businesses that require payments just sometimes ie for events  or are just starting and may not justify a regular subscription cost.

One point to note is that Square's hardware options could lead to additional costs, compared to options like Pebl where businesses can operate fully from their existing mobile device. Square offers a range of hardware solutions tailored to specific business needs and budgets. This means that you may have to invest in hardware components if you want to take advantage of all of Square’s functionalities.

Beyond pricing, what makes Square a great option is its impressive range of features that comes with the basic package. From digital receipts and invoicing to offline mode and analytics, businesses get access to a full suite of instruments that not only streamline operations but also facilitate growth.

To conclude, Square proves to be an economical runner-up in the quest for the cheapest mobile POS system. Its free-to-use basic software, simplicity, and functional strengths, coupled with a transparent, transaction-driven pricing model, make it an attractive POS option for small to medium businesses on a budget.

How to choose a budget mobile POS system for your business

Choosing a budget mobile POS system doesn't mean you have to compromise on features and functionality. Start by defining the specific needs of your business. Are you a retailer requiring robust inventory management? Or perhaps a restaurant needing table tracking features? Identifying your needs will help narrow down the choices.

Next, consider the pricing models. Some POS systems such as Square or Pebl, offer low-cost entry points with basic features accessible at no upfront cost. They operate on a per-transaction basis, which might be a beneficial option for businesses with lower volumes.

Don’t forget to factor in the costs of hardware. While some systems work with your existing mobile device and eliminate the need for expensive hardware, others require additional equipment.

Lastly, ensure the system you choose provides value for its cost. Sometimes, it might be worth spending a little more for a POS solution that offers relevant features and will scale with your business.

Finally, such as with Pebl, you can go to the app store, download the app and take a look around without committing yourself. This is a great way of taking a free look before deciding whether to commit. By focusing on the right balance between budget and performance, you can find an affordable mobile POS system that caters to your specific needs.