How much does an EPOS system cost?

How much does an EPOS system cost?

As you might have realised, that’s a good Mastermind question! And one StoreKit can help you with. It’s so difficult to understand the pricing of the different components of the point of sale that not many people can actually give a comprehensive answer. But we can 🙂  Call us on 020 3874 1470 and we can explain and help you with the below for free.

An easy answer is that it depends. Another one is that could cost anything between zero and £10,000 a year, but that probably won’t help you either. That’s why we thought of writing about what is the cost of an EPOS – we get that question every day.

You can use this test here to get (good) automated recommendations.

Very roughly, if you want to get a decent, fairly recent system giving you the ability to ring sales, have access to elementary analytics and process card payments, you can budget:

  • £600 to £900+vat for the hardware per till point
  • Between 1.5% (if you plan to make less than £10,000/month) and 1% (if you plan to make more than £10,000/month) your Card revenue to cover for software/support and payment processing

Don’t quote me on this! The above is just to cut to the chase and give you a high level quick answer. Now let’s explain in more details.

To have a running point-of-sale, you need 3 things: a POS Software, some hardware, and a payment processor to accept online payments.

Software

Certain software can be used for free and downloaded straight from the App Store on an iPad, in general with limited functionality / reliability / support. Note that Square has a pretty good and stable POS app that you can download from the App store and use for free without their payment processing, but without phone support (and this could change in the future).

Other than this, you can roughly budget £30 to £50 per screen for a paying iPad POS system, depending on the number of screens, access to feature, level of support, etc. Some more advanced, specialised systems (Table service restaurant, advanced retail) can start closer to £100.

Hardware

You can get a bundle iPad – Receipt Printer – Cash Drawer and Stand starting £600. If you choose a more fancy stand, a bluetooth printer, a scanner or a more expensive iPad (generally not required), you can hit £700 to £900. Have a look here to play with options. Count £200 to £300 per extra printer if you need more.

Using an mPop when possible can be a good way to reduce costs, particularly if you need an integrated scanner.

EPOS SystemsDetailsInitial CostMonthly Cost
Traditional Till SystemOld style Windows EPOS systems have a higher initial cost for the terminal but often a lower monthly support fee£1500+£25+ per month
iPad POS SystemModern, iPad and tablet based systems have a low initial hardware cost and a software-as-a-service monthly subscription£599+£39+ per month
Free mPOS SystemGet basic EPOS functionality with free apps like iZettle and Square with just the initial hardware outlay£599+Free

Payment Processing

That’s the tough one! Again, we will recommend the right solution based on your specific circumstances. iZettle, PaymentSense, Square, SumUp, Global Payment, WorldPay, PayPal… they seem all the same to you. Well, not really!

Our calculator gives you a first level of answer

Roughly speaking, we can distinguish 2 families of payment processors: the ‘Payment Facilitators” (iZettle, Square, PayPal, SumUp mostly in the UK) and the “Traditional payment processors” (… everyone else, pretty much!)

Payment Facilitators offer no contract, cheap but elegant and robust card readers, integrations with point-of-sale software and higher rates. And it’s very easy to sign up – no headache to activate your account and start taking payment.

On the other hand, traditional providers offer lower rates which can trigger significant savings on bigger volumes merchants. The downsides are that fees are rarely charged transparently and they require the merchant to sign 2 to 4-year contracts after a relatively tedious onboarding process. The traditional terminals, generally of the Verifone or Ingenico brand, are bulkier but also in 2017 still “feel” more safe/robust to many people.

So which one should you go for? Let’s answer from the rational perspective of someone trying to save costs.

Very roughly, the rule of thumb is that if you are planning to take less than £10,000 a month, you probably want minimum upfront cost and commitment; you should go with a New Processor. On the opposite, if you are a steady ongoing business, or if you operation require a bulkier machine (e.g. that can print at the table), you might want to use a Traditional Processor.

Let’s take a simple example so you understand how the maths work:

You are a busy cafe turning over £10,000 / month in cards. You need a simple POS to ring sales and get basic analytics, and the ability to take accept card payments.

If you go with a Payment Facilitator like Square, you will pay in the region of 1.5%, or £150/month, on top of your £600 initial hardware investment. You’ll have a one-stop-shop provider and be free to upgrade / change provider at any point. If you are uncertain that you will consistently turn over £10,000/month, it’s a simple and safe option. Start ups love it.

If you go with a traditional processor, you will pay in average 0.75%* or £75/month, on top of your hardware investment of £600; but you will also need to get a POS Software like Nobly for £39/month and a machine costing about £15/month, bringing your monthly cost to £130/month – but with a 2 to 4 year contracts and fixed rates.

*Note that traditional processors are very good at making you believe you will pay 0.3% on transactions but will add a variety of transaction costs in the mix – so don’t take these rates for granted. We can help you de-mine this by helping you compare the payment processor.