Advertiser Disclosure
Fortunly's Guide

Best Cash Register for a Small Business: Our Top Picks for 2022

By
G. Dautovic

June 15,2022


Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

Long gone are the days when small businesses used a cash register to merely keep track of sales. Today’s registers offer unique features and business management capabilities such as point-of-sale or POS systems that can help manage inventory, offer customer loyalty programs, and provide employee scheduling. Even the basic electronic cash registers or ECRs come with features such as card readers and printers, making them more versatile than ever before.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest names on the market to help you choose the right cash register for your small business.

Show More...

Best for: Small businesses with rapid growth potential

Square Register

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Square Register Logo
OVERVIEW

Square’s cloud-based point-of-sale system is the perfect tool to help you run and grow your business. With a high degree of accuracy and adaptability, it enables businesses to accept payments and manage inventory. It includes a customer-facing display and a portable POS terminal with a receipt printer and built-in payments. This all-in-one register is compatible with Apple and Android devices and is the perfect choice for those who want secure, fast, and simple mechanisms for accepting payments. Read Review

  • Free POS software
  • Offline payments accepted
  • Send receipts via email/SMS
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$799 or $39/mo for 24 months
POS function:
Yes
Payment Processing:
Magnetic stripe and chip cards, Cash App Pay, contactless payments (NFC)
Hardware:
card reader, customer display, touchscreen terminal
Best for: Hospitality industry

Lightspeed

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Lightspeed Logo
OVERVIEW

LightSpeed's fully integrated POS system is an excellent solution for the retail and hospitality industry. It comes with an array of features, including built-in payment processing, customer-facing display, inventory management, and a sales journal. The register also supports Apple Pay and Google Pay for contactless payments. Lightspeed is arguably the best cash register for a small business that comes with a scanner, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer. Read Review

  • 14-day free trial
  • Onboarding support & free training
  • Managing inventory across multiple locations
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$39 to $289/mo (for software)
POS function:
Yes
Payment Processing:
All major credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
Hardware:
receipt printer, cash drawer and scanner
Best for: Those on a budget

Sam4s ER-180U

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Sam4s ER-180U Logo
OVERVIEW

If you're looking for a basic and affordable cash register for your small business, the Sam4S ER-180U is an excellent option. With a built-in thermal printer, customer-facing display, and raised keyboard, it has all the basic features you need to run a business. The register isn’t scalable or portable, but it’s easy to set up and inexpensive. Read Review

  • Four programmable tax rates
  • 16 keyboard departments
  • Basic reporting functions
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$249.95 (depending on the vendor)
POS function:
No
Payment Processing:
Cash, split tender payments
Hardware:
cash drawer, receipt printer, customer-facing display
Best for: Versatile payment processing methods

Clover Station Duo

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Clover Station Duo Logo
OVERVIEW

Sleek and modern, Clover Station Duo is a full-fledged POS system that will take your small business to the next level. This powerful machine includes a built-in cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner, making it a one-stop-shop for all your POS needs. The Clover Station Duo also features a responsive touchscreen interface and a customer-facing display. Read Review

  • Accepts all payment methods
  • Beautiful design
  • No need for purchasing separate hardware
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$1,299
POS function:
Yes
Payment Processing:
Cash, checks, credit and debit cards, gift cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Venmo, QR codes
Hardware:
Touchscreen terminal, customer display, credit card reader, cash drawer, barcode scanner
Best for: Bars and restaurants

Epos Now Hospitality POS System

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Epos Now Hospitality POS System Logo
OVERVIEW

Epos Now Hospitality POS System is an all-in-one solution for bars, restaurants, and cafes. The kit includes a cash drawer, a thermal receipt printer, and a waterproof touchscreen terminal. The fully customizable POS system is one of the best in the business and includes features such as inventory management, sales reports, customer profiles, and more. Read Review

  • Powerful POS software
  • Waterproof touchscreen terminal
  • Installation, configuration, and training
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$449
POS function:
Yes
Payment Processing:
Card, chip, tap, Google Pay and Apple Pay, gift cards
Hardware:
touchscreen terminal, receipt printer, cash drawer
Evaluation Criteria

Choosing the Top Cash Registers for Small Businesses - Our Methodology

To provide you with the most comprehensive list possible, we took into account a variety of factors when choosing cash registers for small business owners. In addition to relying on our own expertise, we consulted experts in the field and used reputable sources and real customer reviews to get a well-rounded idea of each product.

Ease of Use

All of the products on our list are easy to use, even for those with little to no prior experience with cash registers. We’ve identified easy-to-program cash registers for small retail business needs and ECRs with all the bells and whistles. Some brands even guide their users through the initial setup process and offer free training.

Extra points were given to registers with larger and more user-friendly displays, touchscreen terminals, and additional peripherals such as a barcode scanner, which make the checkout process even more straightforward.

POS Features

Unlike traditional ECRs, POS-based registers offer a wide range of features that can benefit any small business. From inventory management to customer loyalty programs, a good point-of-sale system can do it all. 

By choosing a built-in POS cash register for a small business, you can save yourself the hassle and expense of having to purchase a separate POS system down the line. These systems offer advanced analytics, omnichannel selling, and marketing tools to boost your business.

Integrations

We highly value hardware that can integrate with other devices and software, giving you the flexibility to customize your register according to your specific needs. Whether you need to connect to a printer or a barcode scanner, all of the products on our list offer seamless integrations. 

Cash register systems for a small business should be able to integrate with popular software such as QuickBooks, Xero, and Shopify.

Processing Payments

In this day and age, it's essential for businesses to be able to accept a variety of payment types. Whether your customers prefer to pay with cash, credit cards, or mobile wallets, you should be able to accommodate them.

That’s why we’ve identified registers that can accept cash, magnetic stripe and chip cards, checks, NFCs, mobile payments, and gift cards.

Another important factor is receipt printing. Usually, the best cash register for a small business comes with a customer receipt printer. Also, products that have a built-in credit card processor to process payments directly got higher marks, as this can save you the hassle and expense of having to set up a separate account with a third-party processor.

Other Features

While the basic features are important, we also looked for products that offered a few extra perks. For example, some of the registers on our list come with built-in customer-facing displays, so your customers can see exactly how much they owe.

Others come with inventory, a sales journal, or employee tracking features, allowing you to keep tabs on employee productivity and even clock them in and out for their shifts.

Aside from robust analytical tools, some digital cash registers for small businesses offer customer loyalty programs and discounts to help you keep your customers coming back for more.

Marketing capabilities such as targeted emails and abandoned cart reminders are also handy features to have. 

Cost and Fees

Last but not least, we considered the cost of the register itself as well as any additional fees that may be associated with it. While most of the products on our list are reasonably priced, there are a few that come with a hefty price tag. 

However, these more expensive models tend to offer a broader range of features and integrations that can benefit your business in the long run.

That said, some of the more basic cash registers for small business owners come bundled with everything you need to get started, so you don't have to worry about purchasing additional hardware. 

Some brands might charge per-transaction processing fees. While these fees may seem minimal, they can add up over time, so it's important to factor them into your overall expenses.

Quick Breakdown

Top Five Cash Registers in 2022:

  • Square - Best for small businesses with rapid growth potential

  • Lightspeed - Best for hospitality industry 

  • Sam4s ER-180U - Best for those on a budget

  • Clover Station Duo - Best for versatile payment processing methods

  • Epos Now Hospitality POS System - Best for bars and restaurants

Cash Register for a Small Business: Detailed Reviews

Square Register

Price:

$799, or $39/mo for 24 months

POS function:

Yes

Payment Processing:

Magnetic stripe and chip cards, Cash App Pay, contactless payments (NFC)

Hardware:

Card reader, customer display, touchscreen terminal

pros thumb up Pros
  • Easy set-up
  • Built-in payment processing
  • Free POS software
  • Accepts offline payments
pros thumb up Cons
  • High processing fees
  • Must purchase cash drawer separately

Square Register is the perfect option for those who are on the hunt for a cloud-based point-of-sale system that comes with a customer-facing display, a touch screen terminal, and even a built-in card reader.

You can use it as a standalone system or integrate it with other hardware, such as barcode scanners, cash drawers, or printers, as its Accessory Hub has five USB ports.

The bundle works perfectly well on iOS and Android devices. And if you're using it for retail purposes, you'll find that it integrates with many popular applications, such as Shopify, Lightspeed Retail, QuickBooks Point of Sale, and much more. 

Square has an easy-to-use cash register for small business needs, with a straightforward and swift setup process, enabling you to start processing payments in no time. Should you encounter any hiccups, you can reach out to the company's excellent customer support team or  head over to the Seller Community section.

Once you’re up and running, you can employ an abundance of robust features, such as real-time sales tracking and reports, employee, customer, and inventory management, tax management, and customer loyalty programs.

If you're in the hospitality business, then the Square for Restaurants plan might be the ideal fit, as it comes with a few additional features, such as menu and table management options.

Square's cash register system for a small business lets you accept chip cards and contactless payments. In addition to cash, consumers can also use gift cards. You can even send receipts via email and SMS. On top of that, financial transactions can be performed even when you’re offline. 

On the flip side, Square might not be the most affordable product on the market, as you’ll have to pay a transaction fee of 2.6% and an additional 10¢ on every sale.

That’s on top of the $799 for the complete hardware bundle. Still, considering all that you get in return, the register is well worth its price tag.

Reasons to Sign Up:

  • All-in-one solution
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
View More

Lightspeed

Price:

$39/mo to $289/mo (for software)

POS function:

Yes

Payment Processing:

All major credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay

Hardware:

Receipt printer, cash drawer, and scanner

pros thumb up Pros
  • Top-notch inventory management tools
  • Cloud-based software
  • Excellent customer support
  • Bluetooth barcode scanner
pros thumb up Cons
  • Fees lack transparency
  • Card reader not included

If you are struggling to choose the right cash register for your small business, Lightspeed offers cloud-based solutions for both the retail and hospitality sectors. The latter option includes a leading POS system for dine-in and delivery services.

You can choose between an iPad or desktop hardware kit, and both bundles include a receipt printer, cash drawer, and a scanner.

The restaurant POS system is known for its ease of use, thanks to its intuitive interface and streamlined features. The software is also scalable so that it can grow with your business. And if you need any assistance, Lightspeed's excellent support team is available 24/7 to lend a helping hand, along with the Lightspeed community and helpful video tutorials. 

A good cash register for a small business allows you to manage your sales, customers, inventory, and employees efficiently. And that's precisely what Lightspeed does. This comprehensive system makes it easy to take orders, track inventory, manage customers and employees, and run your business smoothly.

Lightspeed lets the customers pay with all major credit and debit cards or via their smartphone, using Apple Pay and Google Pay. It charges a processing fee, though, so be ready to pay 2.6% +30¢ per transaction.

When you purchase Lightspeed’s cash register software for your small business, the prices range from $69 to $199 per month (billed annually) for retail or from $39 to $289 for restaurants. For the hardware prices, you’ll have to request a quote. 

With a variety of third-party integrations and a possibility for managing inventory across multiple locations, Lightspeed is a great choice for small restaurants that are looking to streamline their operations. Add in menu manager, loyalty rewards, and online ordering, and you have a POS system that's hard to beat.

Reasons to Sign Up:

  • Round-the-clock customer support
  • Advanced analytical features
  • Cloud-based system
View More

Sam4S ER-180U

Price:

$249.95 (price varies by vendor)

POS function:

No

Payment Processing:

Cash and split tender payments

Hardware:

Cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display

pros thumb up Pros
  • Includes basic reporting features
  • Four programmable tax rates
  • Most affordable product on our list
  • Super easy-to-use
pros thumb up Cons
  • Not portable
  • Accepts cash only
  • Very basic features

Those who prefer to use an old-school and cheap cash register for their small business will find the Sam4S ER-180U to be a perfect fit. It's an affordable and easy-to-use register that comes with all the basic features you need to run your business.

The register has a built-in thermal printer, which is fast and quiet, as well as a cash drawer. It also comes with a customer-facing display and a raised keyboard. The register isn't very scalable, so it might not be the best choice for businesses that are planning to grow in the future.

This is a simple cash register for small business owners who appreciate a straightforward approach. Setting up is a breeze if you follow the manual, and you can start using it right away. The register doesn't have a lot of features, but it covers the essentials, which is all you need if you're just starting out.

For example, it offers four programmable tax rates, so you can easily calculate the taxes for the items you're selling.

The register can generate 17.3 lines per second, and with basic report features such as a financial report, sales by the cashier, cash declaration, and price code look-ups, Sam4S ER-180U is arguably the best cash register for a small retail business, which is on a tight budget. 

Finally, the register lets you store 500 PLUs while supporting 16 keyboard departments and 10 clerks, which is more than enough to cover your basic needs. 

Unfortunately, this old-school register lets you accept only cash and split tender payments. For credit cards and checks, you’ll have to purchase an external reader. However, the price is more than reasonable, and you can get one for less than $250.

Reasons to Sign Up:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Affordable
  • Comes with all the basic features you need
View More

Clover Station Duo

Price:

$1,299

POS function:

Yes

Payment Processing:

Cash, checks, credit and debit cards, gift cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Venmo, QR codes

Hardware:

Touchscreen terminal, customer-facing display, credit card reader, cash drawer, barcode scanner

pros thumb up Pros
  • Quality and durable hardware
  • Stylish design
  • Sizeable payment processing options
  • 30-days free trial
pros thumb up Cons
  • Fees aren’t transparent
  • Expensive

Clover Station Duo is a complete POS system with a full-fledged cash register for small business owners. It comes with a built-in cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, as well as a customer display, and a sleek, responsive touchscreen interface that facilitates quick and easy transactions.

Before setting up your new station, you can schedule a phone call with a product specialist to guide you through the setup process. Once you're up and running, the Clover system will help you manage your inventory, take payments, track customers, and grow your business. 

With its powerful analytics tools, Clover Station Duo will let you track your revenue, performance, sales across locations, and more in real time. This cash register software for a small business will make the tax filing process faster with its built-in POS reports.

For an even better accounting experience, Clover integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, and other popular third-party apps.

Clover Station Duo also comes with a number of features that help you manage your customers, inventory, and employees more efficiently.

Taking online orders, managing menus, processing refunds, creating customer profiles, and rewarding loyal customers are just some of the things that this POS system can do for your business.

Finally, payment processing is something Clover Station Duo excelled at. With its built-in EMV chip reader, you can accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as gift cards, and contactless NFC payments, along with other options such as PayPal, Venmo, or QR codes. You can even send invoices and accept transactions on the go.

However, Clover kit isn't the most affordable cash register for a small business. To purchase the whole bundle, you'll need to pay $1,299. On top of that, transactions will cost you from 2.3% +10¢ to 3.5% + 10¢. On the plus side, the company offers a 30-days free trial so that you can try things out before making a long-term commitment. 

Reasons to Sign Up:

  • All-in-one POS solution
  • Excellent payment processing methods
  • Sleek, modern design
View More

Epos Now Hospitality POS System

Price:

$449

POS function:

Yes

Payment Processing:

Card, chip, tap, Google Pay and Apple Pay, gift cards

Hardware:

Touchscreen terminal, receipt printer, cash drawer

pros thumb up Pros
  • Advanced inventory checking
  • Excellent onboarding resources
  • Affordable
  • Accepts various payment methods
pros thumb up Cons
  • Plain design
  • Lacks robust reporting tools

The last name on our list can’t exactly be described as the best POS with a cash register for a small business  because it also tailors to large eCommerce businesses and hotels. Epos Now offers a hospitality kit that includes a waterproof touchscreen terminal, which means you never have to worry about spills.

There is also a thermal receipt printer, a cash drawer, and a powerful EPOS software. However, if you wish to make the most of your checkout process, you’ll need to add third-party hardware such as a card reader and barcode scanner.

The best asset of the Epos Now Hospitality system is that it’s user-friendly. You can lean onto Epos onboarding resources that cover full installation, configuration, and training on how to use the system. On top of that, there is a simple design and one-touch ordering. In addition, the knowledgeable customer support team is available round the clock.

Epos Now Hospitality has an excellent POS cash register app for a small business that allows its users to track their inventory right down to the ingredients. The system also lets you identify your best-sellers and non-sellers, track sales, margin, and trends in real time while automating purchase orders and stock levels.

The Epos POS system synchronizes all your orders and payment processing, enables users to take online orders, and helps you manage your employees with clock-in and clock-out functions.

The Epos Now Hospitality POS system integrates with more than 100 third-party apps such as Xero, Sage, Deliveroo, Nettl, and Mailchimp, so you can further customize the system to your liking. 

With Epos’s cash register machine for your small business, you'll be able to accept chip and pin, contactless and remote payments. Epos also supports Google Pay, Apple Pay, and gift cards. However, it charges a flat fee of 1.70% per transaction, with custom pricing options for larger businesses.

The POS software is relatively affordable, and you can get the starter kit for as little as $39 per month or a lump sum of $449. There are other bundles you can purchase, such as the iPad System and the Android System, which offer different pricing plans. 

Reasons to Sign Up:

  • Advanced POS system
  • Robust onboarding features
  • Excellent inventory management
View More

FAQ

What can I use instead of a cash register?

+

Traditional electronic cash registers that have been widely used are now being replaced by point-of-sale or POS systems. These systems incorporate both hardware and software, and they offer a much more comprehensive solution for businesses, including features such as inventory management, sales reporting, and customer loyalty programs.

What cash register should I buy?

+

When choosing a cash register for a small retail business, it’s important to carefully consider your needs and budget. If you have a very small business, you might be able to get away with using a simple till or cash register. Some of the most popular models on the market with basic features are the Sharp XEA207 or SAM4s ER-180U. 

If you're looking for something with more advanced features, such as inventory management and sales reporting, then you should go with robust POS systems such as Square, Clover Station Duo, Lightspeed, or the Epos Now Hospitality System.

Can I use my computer as a cash register?

+

Yes, you can use your computer as a cash register for your small business. However, you'll have to install POS software that's compatible with your computer. You should also purchase the necessary peripherals such as a cash drawer, a card reader, a receipt printer, and a barcode scanner. Alternatively, you can buy an all-in-one POS system that includes a computer, POS software, and all the necessary hardware.