What is an iPad POS system?

Aldelo iPad POS
(Image credit: Aldelo)

With the advancement of technology and cloud-based POS Systems, retailers and small businesses have the opportunity to process interactions remotely rather than in-store behind a big bulky computer. 

The best POS systems are ahead of the curve and have already established effective ways to incorporate this technology specifically for use on mobile devices and iPads.

Read next: Best POS systems for food trucks

Customers outside a food truck

(Image credit: Future)

Learn about lightweight, slim mobile and iPad point of sale systems that allow your business to thrive wherever your customers are. 

An iPad POS system can be utilized for a number of reasons. Because of their integration with SaaS (software as a service) providers, it has state-of-the-art software which allows the vender to track customer data, streamline the sales process, and manage inventory. 

Because this software is cloud-based, merchants can use it virtually anywhere. These systems can even be used to take customer orders at a restaurant. 

What is an iPad POS system?


An iPad POS system is point-of-sale software that is designed for an Apple iPad. To start incorporating your operations with an iPad POS system, the merchant will need to purchase a credit card reader and POS application, downloadable on the Apple app store. The app is necessary to effectively manage payments and track sales. 

The  best POS systems utilize Bluetooth to connect to a card reader. When determining which card reader to purchase, it is important to get a newer model that includes a chip reader, which is more effective at preventing fraudulent charges. 

Most POS systems have their own POS apps which include the software necessary to manage transactions and track data. Setting up the app is simple enough; instructions are typically included with the download. Some systems have the opportunity for personalization such as a branded home screen, mailing and promotions opt-ins, and more to build brand loyalty.

Hike iPad POS store webpage

(Image credit: Hike)

A printer is another necessary item to consider to allow for physical receipts for customers. The POS system can prompt shoppers to have an email, text, or print receipt. Most venders will offer a printer as an option to add to your purchase. If you choose a printer other than the one that the vender provides for cost saving purposes, but be sure to check that it is compatible with your iPad POS system.

For some businesses, this covers the essentials. Other businesses need additional pieces of equipment such as an iPad stand, allowing for the iPad to remain displayed on the check-out counter and rotate from merchant to consumer.

Lastly, some merchants may want to check for back-end equipment, such as restaurants. Back-end equipment allows your iPad to communicate with the back of the house responsible for food production.

What are the benefits of iPad POS systems?

POS Systems are a necessity in today’s shopping and dining environment. In an article by financesonline.com it states that POS systems  are now considered as the core of any business, regardless of size or sales volume. 

In fact, the article also conveys that 79% of stores that use POS systems are small and mid-sized brands, while 21% are large enterprises. Below we’ve broken down some of the top selling aspects of the iPad POS System:

  • Overall cost savings: bigcommerce.com explains that a traditional POS system can cost upwards of $7,000.00 and does not have the SaaS support found in iPad POS systems.
  • A better customer experience with a sleek customized design that is easy to use,  leading to increased loyalty and retention. 
  • Improved sales processes through inventory management and acquisition of customer data.
  • Better protection against fraudulent activity. At Pos.toasttab.com it explains just how cloud-POS systems are more secure: “Alternatively, cloud-based servers stores data that is immediately encrypted and sent over to a separate secure network. Since this data is not stored in servers on your physical property, that means cloud POS customers are not at risk of experiencing on-site data breaches, which helps reduce company liability.”
  • It is more environmentally friendly with the ability to produce text or email receipts rather than print.
  • It can be mobile: since the systems is housed on an iPad, it allows the merchant to travel for remote transactions. 

Lightspeed POS shown as flat lay with sushi

(Image credit: Lightspeed)

How much does an iPad POS system cost?

An iPad POS system begins with the cost of the iPad – around $350.00 on the low end. Then, the system itself can cost anywhere from $79.00 for an older model, to $1,000.00+ for current updated models. 

Following these initial fees, the vendor will need to consider a monthly cost as a cloud-based user. This fee is usually no more than $300/month and several systems don’t have a monthly fee at all. Below is an example of three popular brands as referenced by techradar.com

Swipe to scroll horizontally
NameMonthly feeCard ratesPerks
Square $02.6% + $.10 No monthly fee, wide range of hardware options, can operate in offline mode
Shopify $29/month+ 2.7% Simple to set up, versatile, great user experience
TouchBistro$60+/month+2.75% + $.25Great hardware options, competitive pricing, easy setup

What is the best iPad POS System?

Vend POS Homebase

(Image credit: Vend POS)

When considering which iPad POS system to buy the merchant needs to consider what their budget is, which integrations they need their POS system to be compatible with, and how experienced they are using POS software. Additionally, what do you want your customer experience to be? Many of the newer systems have a variety of customizations and upselling opportunities. 

The top-rated systems per industry are:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPad POS System Industry/Use
Lightspeed Large Retailors/Store Management
Revel Systems Larger Businesses
SquareNew/Small Businesses
VendMidsize Retailers/Building Customer Loyalty
ShopifyOmnichannel sales

As it relates to the overall operator and consumer journey, Square tends to be the most highly rated system, stated by fitsmallbusiness.com. With a $0 monthly fee for retail and restaurant owners, (a major perk compared to its competitors), this cloud-based POS system has a low card interest rate of 2.6% + $.10 and a positive consumer experience.

If you're looking for advice about POS systems for specific type of business, then take a look at TechRadar’s guides to choosing the best POS systems for small businessPOS systems for restaurants, and POS systems for retail

Erin Gregory

With over 13-years-of-experience in the marketing, public relations and non-profit fields, Erin is a driven copy and content writer, digital designer, strategic planner and public speaker. Throughout the course of her career, Erin has managed multiple teams, bringing sales and marketing success to non-profits and for-profit organizations. She brings empathetic, devoted leadership to the team, drives growth through tactical thinking and a consummate work ethic.