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The Best Cash Registers for Small Business – [2022 Guide]

19 Best Cash Registers for Small Business

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The best cash registers for a small business combine a safe cash drawer, advanced calculations, and a printer for receipts all within a single device.

Currently, the best cash register for a small business is the SAM4S because it is overall the cheapest device while performing all business and reporting operations required, followed by Square Register.

CHEAPEST CASH REGISTER FROM A MAJOR BRAND AND TICKS ALL THE BOXES - A 2022 MODEL IN A CLASSICAL STYLE
SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180)

Traditional cash register from a major brand, and also the CHEAPEST device available. You can read our review.


Pros:
  • Cheapest traditional cash register in the market.
  • Performs reports.
Cons:
  • Does not handle inventory.
  • Not portable.
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The more sophisticated cash registers in our list can seamlessly integrate out-of-the-box with credit card terminals and barcode scanners, along with POS system functionalities.

EASIEST TO USE, ONE OF THE CHEAPEST CASH REGISTERS, AND WITH GOOD REVIEWS
48 Keys Electronic Cash Register with Flat Keyboard and Thermal Printer,Multifunctional Cash Register Easy to Use,8 Digital LED Commercial Cash Register Durable (Style B)
$169.99

This cash register is the easiest to use at a very cheap price. The cash register has very good reviews overall. The brand is known for its consumer electronic devices but has a short history in the cash register industry.

Pros:
  • Easiest to use.
  • Very good reviews by users in the web.
  • One of the cheapest devices.
Cons:
  • It is not a portable device.
  • The brand is known in the consumer electronic industry, but not as a manufacturer of cash registers.
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05/20/2022 09:14 pm GMT

Other cash registers, such as the cheapest SAM4S ER180 or the SHARP XE-207 are cheaper and easier to use without having POS functions that most stores do not require.

OVERALL BEST CASH REGISTER AND SECOND BEST IN PRICE: FULL REPORTING FUNCTIONS
Sharp XE-A207 Cash Register - 2500 LookUps - 99 Dept. - 25 Clerks
$409.95
Pros:
  • Second cheapest cash register.
  • Traditional cash register with a 2022 digital screen.
  • Integration with accounting systems.
  • Typical support from SHARP
Cons:
  • SHARP discontinued this model, but as usual with them, there is availability of spare parts and the SHARP customer support.
  • It is not a portable device.
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05/20/2022 12:09 pm GMT

The cash registers for a small business is again a growing industry after 2022 2 4, and require owners to input by hand all operations in the customer-facing physical environments with pen and paper 1, mostly in the hospitality industry. However, they are useful to prevent theft and embezzlement 3.

The best cash registers for small businesses are:

  • SAM4S 180: Cheapest and best cash register for a very small business because it can perform all the operations required in a store, reporting, and integration with accounting software such as Quickbooks.
  • SHARP 207: Second cheapest cash register and best for those small businesses searching for more robust reporting and integration with accounting software,
  • Square Register: Best overall cash register for individuals, startups, and small storefronts who require complex reporting and POS functionalities.
  • Shopify Kit: Best cash register for small business entities that have also an e-commerce store as a sales channel.
  • Lightspeed: Best cash register only for those small businesses that require to handle inventory or are bars or restaurants.

Currently, point-of-sale hardware costs the same as or less than ordinary electronic cash registers, and major ECR manufacturers from the past, such as Casio, have discontinued producing cash registers. As a result, in this article, we will discuss both electronic cash registers and point-of-sale registers.

Listing Of The Best Cash Registers For A Small Business

SAM4S 180 CHEAPEST DEVICE FROM A MAJOR BRAND, AND Best FOR VERY SMALL STORES

An old-school cash register that does all the job, but is not scalable. Suitable for business owners who are used to old cash registers and just want basic functions.

Very cheap and of course without any monthly fee. It is just to get started.

SHARP Cash Register BEST TRADITIONAL CASH REGISTER WITH GOOD INTEGRATIONS WITH ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE

A traditional cash register with Quickbooks integration and the ability to print reports.

Square Register Best OVERALL

Works well for small businesses that need a system that’s easy to set up and use, plus lots of accessory options that you can buy separately. You pay a transaction fee, so there are no surprises with payment processing costs.

Very scalable, and there is no service monthly fee.

Lightspeed Best FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS WITH SEVERAL TABLES

Cash register with POS functionalities that enable small businesses to create a floor plan for each table of a restaurant and a bar.

If you do not have a bar or a restaurant, a better alternative to Lightspeed is Square, as it has better conditions and usability and POS functionalities as well.

Shopify Retail Kit Best FOR SMALL BUSINESS THAT ALSO HAVE AN E-COMMERCE STORE OR ARE RETAILERS

A cash register for retailers that has POS functions as well. The best option if you handle product variants like those retailers in the apparel industry.

A must-have if you also sell through an e-commerce store, as in my opinion, it integrates better than Square to a Shopify store.

If you do not have an e-commerce store or you are not a retailer with variant configuration, the best cash register for a small business is Square, instead.

Comparison Of The Best Cash Registers For A Small Business

BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Spec
 
BEST OVERALL
Square Register

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BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Works well for small businesses that need a system that’s easy to set up and use, plus lots of accessory options that you can buy separately. You pay a transaction fee, so there are no surprises with payment processing costs.

Very scalable, and there is no service monthly fee
Spec
BEST FOR VERy SMALL STORES
SAM4S 180

<a href="#sam4s-180">Read Our Review</a>
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BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
An old-school cash register that does all the job, but is not scalable. Suitable for business owners who are used to old cash registers and just want basic functions.

Very cheap and of course without any monthly fee. It is just to get started.
Spec
BEST AS TRADITIONAL CASH REGISTER
Sharp 207

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BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
A traditional cash register with Quickbooks integration and the ability to print reports.



Spec
BEST FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Lightspeed

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BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Cash register with POS functionalities that enable small businesses to create a floor plan for each table of a restaurant and a bar.

If you do not have a bar or a restaurant, an alternative to Lightspeed is Square, as it has better conditions and usability and POS functionalities as well.
Spec
BEST FOR RETAILERS
Shopify Retail Kit

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BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
A cash register for retailers that has POS functions as well. The best option if you handle product variants like those retailers in the apparel industry.

A must-have if you also sell through an e-commerce store, as in my opinion, it integrates better than Square to a Shopify store.

Spec

Let´s see which devices can be regarded as the best cash registers for a small business

BEST CASH REGISTERS FOR SMALL BUSINESS RATINGMONTHLY PAYMENT?PAYMENT PER EACH TRANSACTION HARDWARE REQUIRED
Square Register KitBest for small businesses that plan to grow and need scalable devices. Recommended for startups that need reporting to attract investors.No2.6% + $0.10 per transactionBetween $ 200 and $1,200 to buy all the equipment (or $39 per month)

SAM4S 180
Best traditional cash register, and the cheapest device available.NoDepends on your payment processorThe cash register costs about 300 dollars

SHARP XE SERIES
Best for Quickbooks connection, simple reports, and traditional cash registerNoDepends on your payment processor. The cash register costs about 400 dollars
Shopify Retail KitBest for retailers and for small businesses that have an e-commerce store.$229 + $79 per month (iPad not included)2.5% + $0.00 per physical transactions (mid-tier level)The retail kit costs about two hundred dollars
Clover Station DuoAll in one system alternative to Square $1,649 (or $549 per month + $39.95 per month)2.3% + $0.10 to 3.5% + $0.10 per transactionIt costs about 1,600 dollars.
eHopper All-In-One POS SystemAll-in-one system alternative to Square$1,499, or $69.98 per month lease (plus software subscription)2.5% + $0.15 per transactionIt costs about $ 1,500 dollars

SAM4s ER 180: Cheapest Device And Also The Best Cash Register For A Very Small Business.

CHEAPEST CASH REGISTER FROM A MAJOR BRAND AND TICKS ALL THE BOXES - A 2022 MODEL IN A CLASSICAL STYLE
SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180)

Traditional cash register from a major brand, and also the CHEAPEST device available. You can read our review.


Pros:
  • Cheapest traditional cash register in the market.
  • Performs reports.
Cons:
  • Does not handle inventory.
  • Not portable.
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One of the simplest cash registers developed by Samsung, the ER-180U comes with complete customer tracking and history. It’s an affordable register designed for small business that also has aspects of accounting.

The accounts receivable feature allows a company to run reports on accounts and easily print statements. The register also has built-in employee management and security.

Other key features include:

  • Simple integration with QuickBooks, Peachtree, BusinessWorks, and other accounting packages.
  • Purchase orders and receiving
  • Extensive options for detailed reporting and insights
  • Inventory and stock control

This Samsung cash register can help a business get started and measure the initial metrics. If you outgrow the system, Samsung is a brand that is happy to help you upgrade. The key feature of this brand is that they give you access to important metrics to help you gauge success.

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SAM4S 180 is the cheapest and best traditional cash register.

Sharp XEA207 

One of Sharp’s most popular cash registers, the XEA207 comes with a menu-based control system and quiet thermal receipt printing. The register features a best-in-class 3.7 inch LCD operator display with a one-line customer-facing display as well.

It includes a PC-link software utility for easy programming of your PLUs, departments, and clerks via SD card. Other key benefits are:

  • 2,500 price lookups
  • Four programmable tax rates
  • Credit card reader
  • 99 departments with 25 clerk IDs
  • Setup process that focuses on ease of use

The Sharp XEA207 also comes with an exclusive graphics generator. This enables a business to easily customize receipts and add images and logos. The register also comes with a free offer from merchant services.

The Sharp XE-A207 is packed with useful features rarely found in other similarly-priced models. The register stores identification details for up to 25 clerks, ideal for running a busy bar with lots of staff, while the 2,500 PLU storage should be more than enough to cover all of your barcoded goods.

Best-in-field for bars, the Sharp XE-A207 has excellent credit card reader support. There’s also a nifty QuickBooks Pro link feature to make accounting easy for you, but Sharp doesn’t provide any tech support with setting it up. If you’re confident doing online troubleshooting (there are lots of support materials available), there’s no better option.

You can add up to 25 clerks and store 2,500 product lookup codes. It also links with QuickBooks Pro to help automatically keep on top of your accounting and invoicing.

The Sharp ZE-A207 is a great middle-of-the-road cash register.

Compared to many budget cash registers out there, it provides a few notable features that we love. For starters, it links up to QuickBooks Pro software. 

Any fan of QuickBooks knows how important it is to business.

This cash register allows you to directly import all of your sales data into QuickBooks software to optimize bookkeeping.

Once you have everything linked up, you can use QuickBooks to perform a variety of business tasks, including reporting, purchase orders, inventory tracking, and more. 

It is worth noting that the majority of POS-based cash registers support QuickBooks, though the Sharp XE-A207 is different, as it is far more budget-friendly than your standard POS system.

Similar to the Casio, the Sharp XE-A207 comes with a receipt printer and a cash drawer all in one unit. With that said, it does not support a barcode scanner, though you can connect it to a credit card terminal.

Square Cash Register: Overall Best Cash Register for Small Business Entities

Square’s Cash Register Kit includes everything you need to get started with your retail shop or restaurant. You get an all-in-one system that includes a touchscreen terminal for you, a customer-facing display with built-in card reader and a receipt printer.

There are plenty of Square-made accessories that you can connect, but they come at a high price ($119 for a USB barcode scanner compared with other brands that range from $13.99 to $69.99).

There’s no monthly fee for the Square POS software, and you can use an app on your mobile device for additional checkouts when needed. You can manage inventory, get low stock alerts, handle customer management and create sales reports using their native apps. If you’re operating a restaurant, you can use the Square for Restaurants plan to create menus, manage tables, take tips and handle other restaurant-specific needs.

It combines POS software, cash register hardware, and credit card processing, all in a single system.

It is important to note, however, that you cannot rate-shop merchant account providers if you use the POS register provided by Square. The payment processing that Square provides small businesses is pretty budget-friendly, though. They have low flat fees and there aren’t any additional startup or monthly fees to worry about. 

Because the system is POS-driven, Square has the ability to perform similarly to a traditional register, though can do much more.

Square is a cloud-based, POS-driven register that gives you several low-cost register options. Unlike electronic cash registers, Square lets you process sales and run your entire business from your smartphone or tablet. Or, you can use one or more countertop registers to meet any in-store selling need. We recommend Square as the best POS-driven cash register for small businesses because it delivers a complete suite of sales, payment, inventory, and business management tools for free.

Who Should Use The Square Cash Register Kit


Square Register Kit works well for new businesses that need a system that’s easy to set up and use, plus lots of accessory options (albeit pricey ones). You pay a flat percentage and cents-per-transaction fee, so there are no surprises with payment processing costs.

Touchscreen checkout, customer-facing screen with built-in card reader, cash drawer, receipt printer (and paper), use POS on smartphone or tablet, inventory management, employee management, accept credit cards, contactless payments and gift cards, send email or text message custom receipts, create discounts, customer management

Pros

  • Free cloud-based software
  • Built-in payment processing makes for fast set up
  • Affordable all-in-one system
  • Connect a variety of accessories
  • Easy to use system
  • Flat payment processing fee per transaction
  • POS software included free
  • Suitable for retailers and restaurants
  • Low and predictable fixed rate without any monthly or annual fees
  • Accepts offline payments
  • Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
  • Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations

Cons – Drawbacks For Square

  • Must purchase cash drawer separately; does not support dual cash drawers on a single register
  • Built-in payment processing means you can’t shop around for lower rates, so you cannot use it with other MSPs.
  • Needs internet access to process credit card payments
  • Payment processing is pricey compared to traditional MSPs
  • Square hardware accessories can be expensive
  • Customer support is OK, but the alternatives are generally excellent
  • Add-on services can cost a pretty penny

Square Pricing

  • Square Stand: $169 or $16 per month for 12 months. Stand and card reader for iPad (iPad sold separately).
  • Square Register: $799 or $39 for 24 months (Fully integrated POS register with touch-screen monitor, customer-facing display, and card processing terminal).
  • Square Terminal: $299 or $27 per month for 12 months (All-in-one portable credit card machine with POS software and receipt printer built-in).
  • Mobile device registers: Use your own smartphone or tablet and connect a contactless chip and swipe card reader for $49.
  • Payment processing: 2.6% + 10 cents per chip, tap, and swipe payment or 3.5% + 15 cents for manually keyed-in transactions.
  • Monthly software fees: $0 – $60

At $799, the Square Register isn’t the cheapest option on the list but we think its stylish design, combined with Square’s powerful software make it almost a no-brainer. If the near-$800 outlay seems a bit steep, you can get the Square Register from $39 per month with Square’s financing service (subject to eligibility). That customer-facing display, meanwhile, costs just $12 extra.

price tag iconFree to install
price tag iconNo monthly fees, charges transaction fees instead

It is an all-in-one solution that combines a credit card processing service, software, and cash register in one system. Unlike the other picks on our list, if you use Square’s POS register, you can’t rate-shop merchant account providers. But Square’s payment processing is very small business-friendly, with simple flat-rate fees and no startup or monthly account fees for a baseline subscription. If you want, you can expand Square’s reporting and workforce management tools by signing up for a Premium service tier for $60 per month.

You can expand your Square register setup with thermal receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners.

The Square Stand includes an iPad mount and a connected card reader for contactless and chip payments.

Square Register is Square’s all-in-one terminal with customer display and built-in card reader.

Square Terminal is a handheld device with a built-in receipt printer that can handle simple orders and card payments from the sales floor.

You can expand your Square register setup with thermal receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners.

The Square Stand includes an iPad mount and a connected card reader for contactless and chip payments.

Square Register is Square’s all-in-one terminal with customer display and built-in card reader.

You can expand your Square register setup with thermal receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners.

Square’s Register embodies everything that’s great about our favorite POS system. It has a slick iPad-esque design with a large touchscreen interface but a hefty adjustable mount reminiscent of Apple’s iMac desktop computers.

It even has an optional customer-facing card reader and display which attaches seamlessly to the back of the mount or can be placed further away on a tabletop.

Aside from the Register, Square will give you an almost unrivaled selection of features. You’ll be able to accept credit, debit, contactless, and chip payments as well as cash and gift cards. You can even create and send invoices from within Square’s software. Should your internet drop out, Square even has an offline mode so you’ll still be able to accept payments.

You can track sales performance by item or over a period of time. Customer purchase histories are also stored on the Register, allowing you to easily reward loyal patrons on the spot.

Square POS Cash Register Features

Square users who accept cash payments will need to purchase a cash drawer separately. If you plan to use an iPad or smartphone as your main register, you’ll need to connect a card reader. Users who subscribe to one of Square’s POS packages—Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants—will get a free card reader from Square. Others can typically find smartphone- and iPad-compatible Square readers at major office supply retailers for around $9.99 for a swipe reader and $49 for a contactless reader.

Square’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: Square’s touch-screen registers also support barcode item sales and accept credit card and contactless payments. Your system also records cash and checks, adds discounts and coupons, tracks open tabs, splits payments, and logs tips. Digital receipts are Square’s default—which allows you to collect customer contact information and save paper—but you print thermal receipts by attaching an optional thermal printer.
  • Mobile sales: Square supports online sales via its free Square Online Store website in addition to in-person sales. You can receive online orders for pick up, delivery, or shipping directly in your Square register.
  • Taxes and reporting: You can add and manage taxes from your Square online dashboard or the Square app on your register. Taxes automatically tally per set rules.
  • Interconnectivity: You can record sales and process cash payments without an internet or cellular connection. You can also spool credit card payments that will run automatically when you regain an internet connection. But be careful; when you accept offline credit card payments, you will have to accept the loss for any declined cards. A basic Square POS subscription allows you to operate Square on an unlimited number of devices.
  • Inventory management: Your square system stores detailed product lists and adjusts your inventory in real-time as you sell items in-store or online. You can easily add new products from any internet-enabled device by logging into your Square dashboard.
  • Employee management: Like Lightspeed, Square supports unlimited staff logins, while the electronic registers on this list are limited to 10 to 50 staff log-ins. You can easily track employee sales and use your Square system to log employee hours for payroll. If you opt for the Free POS subscription, however, you’ll need to keep in mind that, at that tier, you can only have a single permission level—so all employees will have access to the same functions on the register. If you need customized permissions, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium level.
  • Customer management: Unlike the ECRs on this list, Square saves customer contact information and tracks sales by customer. You can use this information to help guide customers to items they might like on future visits or use it to feed customized marketing and promotions.

Lightspeed: Best for High-Volume or Multilocation Retailers & Restaurants

Pros

  • Robust features with advanced inventory and reporting tools
  • Connect multiple registers and locations
  • Cloud-based system with real-time data sync

Cons

  • Browser-based POS requires internet access to operate
  • Monthly software fees can get pricey
  • Printers and cash drawers are not built in; you must purchase them separately
  • Lightspeed tries to force you to use their e-commerce platform, which isn’t standard
  • Workflow is not the cleanest

Lightspeed Pricing

  • Lightspeed cash register bundles: Quote-based pricing available for hardware bundles. Lightspeed can run on desktop computers, laptops, and iPads. Connect any mix of printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and card readers.
  • POS software monthly fees:
    • Retail: $69–229 per month + $29 for additional registers
    • Restaurant: From $59 per month + $34 for additional registers; additional add-ons priced from $12–$39 per month
  • Payment processing: Lightspeed comes with built-in credit card processing with Lightspeed Payments. Rates are 2.6% + 10 cents for in-person swipe, chip, and tap payments. Volume discounts are available.

Lightspeed, like Square, is a POS-driven cash register that delivers a comprehensive set of store management tools. Users can track inventory in real time and manage purchasing, staff, and business tasks across multiple locations. Like Square, Lightspeed also connects in-store and online sales. As a POS-based register system, Lightspeed lets you set up several registers in one or many locations and connect all data within one centralized, cloud-based software system.

Bluetooth allows you to wirelessly connect your terminal display with your cash register, barcode scanner, and printer.

Lightspeed can run on any laptop, desktop, or mobile device and connect with card terminals, bar code scanners, and more.

Lightspeed supports both USB and Bluetooth scanners.

Bluetooth allows you to wirelessly connect your terminal display with your cash register, barcode scanner, and printer.

Similar to Square, Lightspeed has a variety of register options to choose from. You can choose computer-based registers or tablet-based registers. You can add hardware such as receipt printers, cash boxes, scanners, and more. 

However, unlike Square, you must pay a monthly fee for Lightspeed access, which ranges from about $99 per month to $289 per month depending on how many registers you have. 

In our opinion, the in-depth features make it worthwhile. Compared to standard cash registers, the features available on Lightspeed’s POS-driven cash register are more sales and operations based. You can customize your cash register with different pieces of hardware depending on what your needs are. You can use your cash register with a PC or Mac, as well as Android tablets, iPads, or iPhones. 

Any device you choose connects to the advanced inventory management feature set from Lightspeed, which is the crown jewel of the system. One of the biggest reasons that small businesses sway towards POS registers instead of standard registers is that POS registers manage pricing options, customer data, and stock counts, all in real-time! 

Lightspeed is one of the most cutting-edge POS-based registers on the market today, perfect for small businesses that are looking to take advantage of the best features available.  

Pros

  • Comes with easy-to-read reports
  • Trains new employees thanks to intuitive interface
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

Lightspeed POS Cash Register Features

Just like Square, Lightspeed’s POS-driven cash registers deliver far more sales and operational features than ECRs, but Lightspeed offers more register options than Square’s iPad-based system. Lightspeed users can build a cash register solution to meet their exact needs—build a cash register around an iPad tablet or a Mac or PC, plus they can use Android tablets and iPhones as mobile registers. All of these connect to the shining star of Lightspeed’s feature set—advanced inventory management.

A top reason small businesses choose a POS register over a standard register is for the ability to track stock counts, pricing options, and customer data in real time. Here, Lightspeed truly delivers. Its advanced inventory management tools are top-notch, plus it has a robust purchase order system. For sellers managing extensive inventories and multiple vendors, Lightspeed’s fully integrated system takes the place of making daily updates on inventory spreadsheets and sales journals. Plus, you can oversee stock across store locations or in backroom and warehouse storage.

Lightspeed’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: Lightspeed supports touch-screen or computer-controlled checkout screens and barcode scanning for item entry. You can also program discount codes and coupons to apply via code entry or barcode scan and handle open tickets and tabs for restaurant sales. Your Lightspeed register saves customer data and transaction history for quick returns. As with Square, you can print receipts or send via email and SMS message.
  • Taxes and reporting: Taxes automatically tally per rules that you set in the Lightspeed dashboard. Lightspeed’s reporting is the most detailed of any system on this list. You can print standard reports for sales, labor, and stock counts and integrate your performance data with accounting software to automate administrative tasks. The system contains hundreds of preset reports that you can view by custom timeframes to drill into your store’s key performance metrics.
  • Interconnectivity: Lightspeed has an “offline mode” to continue operating even if the internet connection is interrupted. However, you should know that some networking functions won’t operate in offline mode and you assume additional risk for card payments that are processed in offline mode. If the card is later declined, you’ll be out of that money.
  • Inventory management: Lightspeed users can store detailed inventory lists, track parts and ingredients, and sync inventory with an online store and multiple locations. Lightspeed also has granular ingredient-level stock tracking, features to manage product variants and custom orders, and sophisticated inventory reporting. Your system will alert you when inventory is running low, complete purchase orders, and track your vendors.
  • Employees: As with all the systems on this list, Lightspeed allows you to create different employee logins to track sales by employee. You can also set customized permissions to block access to certain features. Technically the electronic registers support this same function with manager codes and keys, but with Lightspeed, you can create unlimited users with customized permissions directly in the Lightspeed management dashboard.

Shopify Retail Kit

Why We Picked It

The Shopify Retail Kit is a nearly complete package that includes a stand for an iPad, charging docks and cables and a tap and chip reader for credit cards and contactless payments. It’s one of the most affordable options to replace a traditional cash register, but it doesn’t include an iPad to use as your terminal, cash drawer or receipt printer. However, you can purchase separate components, like the receipt printer and cash drawer, to complete your checkout experience.

As a POS system and cash register, Shopify provides all you need to accept payments for an online or brick-and-mortar store. The software is easy to use, and lets you track orders, inventory and even customer information. If you use Shopify for online and in-person orders, your inventory automatically syncs, so you can manage both in one place. Standard reports are also available so that you can see how sales are going, who your best salesperson is or run reports on taxes and payroll.

There are a few downsides to using Shopify as a cash register. You’ll have to pay $79 per month for the software if you go with the Standard plan. If you prefer to use the merchant account you already have, you’ll have to pay an additional fee to Shopify. Otherwise you can use Shopify Payments for payment processing.

Who should use it:
Retailers who want an affordable cash register terminal and POS system in one package should consider purchasing a Shopify Retail Kit. It’s also a great choice for omnichannel retailers who also sell online or have multiple locations.

  • Low-cost hardware
  • Uses iPads as terminal
  • Additional components available (receipt printer, cash drawer, etc.)
  • Powerful POS software helps with business management
  • Cloud sync for multiple retail/online locations
  • Chip & tap reader accepts credit card and NFC payments
  • Extra fee if you use a third-party payment gateway
  • iPad not included in cost
  • Stands are incompatible with Android devices
  • Requires monthly fee for POS software

POS Features

iPad stand, mounting kit, cable, tap and chip card reader, inventory management, employee management, omnichannel sales, create discounts, analytics, accept credit cards, gift cards and NFC payments, sell at multiple locations

Clover Station Duo

Why We Picked It

The Clover Station Duo includes two monitors, a touchscreen for entry and a smaller screen for customers to use, with a built-in credit card reader. There are also accessories such as a barcode scanner and cash drawer available, all tied into the Clover POS software.

At $1,649 it’s a pricey choice for the bundle, but it includes the basics you need for a complete checkout. You can purchase Clover’s cash register and POS system directly from Clover or one of its approved resellers, but the pricing may vary wildly—you may even be able to find it around $1,299. It’s worth noting that you may not be able to use your preferred merchant services provider(MSP) because each seller has its own MSP as a partner.

The Clover Station Duo with the Clover POS software lets you manage everything from orders and inventory to employees and customers. The system includes features that let you run a retail store or restaurant with ease. Digital receipts are the default, but you can purchase accessories such as a receipt printer and kitchen display system separately. Clover lets you run basic reports, which help you make better business decisions based on your top-selling items, best salespeople and end-of-day numbers.

Who should use it:
Any business that wants an all-in-one cash register and POS system should consider Clover Station Duo. It’s an expensive upfront cost, but the monthly fee for the software is reasonable. New businesses especially might want to take advantage of the built-in MSP, too.Pros & Cons

  • No need to purchase separate hardware
  • Affordable monthly fee for POS software
  • Complete retailer solution with payment processing
  • Accept all forms of payments
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Expensive hardware
  • May not be able to use your existing MSP
  • Lots of resellers, so you may see different pricing elsewhere

POS Features

Smart terminal, inventory management, employee management, analytics, accept credit card, NFC payments and gift cards, rewards program, send digital receipts, create discounts, process offline sales

eHopper All In One POS

Why We Picked It

The all-in-one POS system by eHopper includes some of the basics you need to get started with taking payments for your retail store. You get a touchscreen monitor, a computer to run the POS software on, a customer display and a built-in receipt printer. Other necessities, like a cash drawer, credit card terminals and barcode scanners are sold separately (and they’re a bit pricey). Typical payment processing can be on the steep side, but eHopper also offers a free option that charges customers the processing fee instead of the merchant. This can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per month, though it is a bit controversial.

The eHopper POS software comes at four different levels, and you’ll need to choose the one that best fits your business type. Smaller businesses may be able to use the free version of the POS software, but you’re limited to only 50 products and 300 transactions per month. When you upgrade to the Freedom plan, you pay $29.99 per month for unlimited inventory and transactions, and you get more features, such as low stock alerts, accounting integration and menu management. Restaurants will need to consider one of the high-tier plans ($39.99 and $49.99 per month) to get access to table management.

Who should use it:
Retailers and restaurants would do well with eHopper’s all-in-one POS system with software for managing everything from inventory to customer relationships. It’s a bit expensive for hardware, peripherals and software, but it’s a feature-rich POS system that’s hard to beat.Pros & Cons

  • Works well for any type of business
  • Offers a free payment processing plan
  • Core hardware included in package
  • Cash register, barcode scanner and payment terminal sold separately
  • Expensive payment processing

POS Features

Touchscreen monitor, customer display, stand, receipt printer, order management, inventory management, customer management, analytics, employee management, accept cash, credit cards and NFC payments, barcode scanner option.

Vend Pro Hardware Kit: Best For Retailers That Require A Cash Register And POS Functionalities

Price: $1,066

Vend is the best retail POS system on the market and its hardware options can go toe-to-toe with any rival. Vend works on a variety of devices ranging from iPads to iMacs and Windows PCs. However, its Pro Hardware Kit includes everything you need to get started including a brand new iPad to serve as your POS interface.

The Pro Hardware Kit includes:

  • 10.2-inch iPad
  • Heckler Design Windfall Landscape iPad Stand
  • Epson TM-M30 Ethernet Receipt Printer
  • Socket Mobile s700 Barcode Scanner
  • APG Vasario 1616 Cash Drawer

This gives you all the tools your retail needs to get started quickly and easily. Spending more than $1,000 on a register might seem extortionate but, of course, you do get an iPad.

Alternatives To Vend

Admittedly, Vend’s system isn’t quite as stylish as Square’s offering but, crucially, it has all the same functionality — and it’s certainly more appealing than traditional registers.

EPOS Now Hospitality POS System

Best restaurant POS system and register

Price: $999 or $72 per month 

Epos Now’s Hospitality POS system is the perfect hardware bundle for restaurants, bars, cafes, and other hospitality businesses.

The bundle is centered around Epos Now’s proprietary Pro-C15W touchscreen terminal. It has a large, waterproof touchscreen that will help stop unwanted spillages causing a small disaster and it has a solid-state drive to bring super-speedy performance.

You get an 80mm Epos Now GX receipt printer and an all-metal cash drawer. Naturally, it also includes a license for Epos Now’s Hospitality software.

Epos Now also offers full installation, configuration, and training for you and your staff on how to use the system and software.

It has excellent employee management features, including employee permission rights and clock-in and clock-out functions. It also has detailed inventory and stock management features. You can bulk import products and split your inventory into different categories for easier management. You can also separate your inventory into eat-in and takeaway items.

Epos Now also offers more than 80 third-party integrations to help make your life easier including Xero accounting software, Nettl e-commerce, and Mailchimp for email marketing.

In Short

Pros

  • Quick and easy set up
  • Simple interface makes it easy to train staff
  • Widely compatible with barcode scanners and receipt printers
  • Cheap

Cons 

  • Lacks complexity in reporting
  • Paid customer support and no knowledgebase
  • No kiosk option

First Data FD130

A compact terminal that’s made to go with electronic cash registers, this product from First Data gives you the ability to process credit and debit card payments and even checks. It features IP connectivity and wifi as a backup option for around $180.

Sam4s ER-300 – $350+

The Samsung 300 series is a fairly budget-friendly option. It gives you the ability to establish 12 different departments and 500 PLUs. It also has a thermal receipt printer, built-in cash drawer, and custom clerk IDs. The hardware is reliable with powerful software.

Features for this system include:

  • High-speed and real-time network functions
  • Management reporting with two types of thermal printers
  • A wide range of peripherals
  • Large and bright LCD display

The keyboard is built for retail in the foodservice industry. It has a flat and spill-resistant dashboard for easy management.

Sam4s ER-940 – $650+

This register was developed for restaurants because it includes a means for kitchen collaboration. One of the largest needs for a restaurant transaction system is the ability to communicate effectively with the kitchen.

The ER-940 has a two-line alphanumeric display that shows each item as it is entered. The system connects to popular POS peripherals and can process up to 2,000 PLUs. These can be directly accessed through individual keyboard PLU keys or indirectly through the PLU lookup key system.

There are two additional ports available for direct or modern PC communications with optional polling software. The program comes with a full-size cash drawer complete with media slots and a removable 5-bill, 5-coin drawer insert.

It features a large, spill-proof keyboard with 150 keys to deal with any menu combination you can imagine, and there’s even support for up to 20,000 PLUs with an added SD card. You can also export sales and product reports to your PC (although you can’t save them to the SD card).

Pros

  • Spill-proof keyboard
  • Lots of storage space
  • Exportable sales reports

Cons

  • Underdeveloped SD card support
  • Relatively expensive

Sam4s SPS-520 RT – $1,150+

This advanced model includes a bar code scanner, card reader, touch screen display, and the ability to set up 999 clerks and 60,000+ PLU units. The option is slightly pricier because the scanner and printer are included (in addition to data storage).

This is the type of system a store with a large amount of inventory would want to consider.

Other features include:

  • 99 PLU groups with extended memory
  • Collect or store reports with SD memory card or USB port
  • Metrologic MS 9540 barcode scanner
  • Card reader
  • 7” touchscreen

This type of cash register is an ideal solution for convenience, liquor, gift, or retail stores. The reason for the price is the amount of stock and inventory it can manage. If you run a business with considerably less inventory, this system may not be a good fit.

Sam4s ER-180u: Best Low-Cost Portable Electronic Cash Register

Pros

  • Lightweight register is portable for pop-up retailers
  • Built-in receipt printer and digital price display support streamlined sales functions
  • Basic tools are uncomplicated for small retailers

Cons

  • Does not support an integrated card reader
  • Only supports 10 employee logins and 500 product listings
  • Does not support integrated card reader

Sam4s ER-180u Pricing & Features

  • Sam4s ER-180u: $159.95 to $198 (price varies by vendor)
  • Payment processing: You will need to get a separate merchant services account and an external, un-integrated card reader. Rates will vary.
  • Features:
    • 10 employee logins
    • 500 supported PLU codes
    • Four programmable tax rates
    • Electronic Journal captures up to 2,000 lines of transaction history
    • Customizable receipts

Sam4s is a Korean electronics manufacturer that broke off from Samsung in 2003. With several legacy manufacturers bowing out of the ECR game, Sam4s is quickly becoming a global frontrunner in the electronic register category. Its products are sold in 70 countries, and it claims to support 15% of the overall cash register market. So users can feel confident that customer support and replacement parts will be available for many years to come.

The ER-180u is Sam4s’s entry-level economy register. This compact register is streamlined to support the smallest retailers. The 180u does not contain any ports to connect an integrated card reader, so this register works best for cash-only transactions. With only 10 supported cashier profiles, it is also best for small operations with a small staff. With a light 12-pound weight, this register is portable, so it can support crafters and hobbyists that frequent craft fairs.

You can customize your ER-180u’s receipts in several ways.

The 180u is a compact register with programmable raised buttons.

The 180u features a digital price display and a built-in receipt printer.

Sam4s ER-180u Cash Register Features

The 180u is an all-in-one cash register unit; you don’t need to purchase a separate cash drawer and receipt printer—unlike the build-your-own cash registers from the POS systems on our list. However, you’ll have to add a standalone terminal from your merchant account provider to process credit cards. This model does not have a connection to an integrated credit card terminal.

Sam4s ER-180u’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: You can get your 180u with either a standard greyscale, numerical keyboard or a programmable, color-coded keyboard. This register tracks cash, check, or credit card payments, though you must run cards on an external card reader. You can also accept split tender payments (i.e., cash and charge). Change due will show on the cashier and customer-facing displays for cash payments.
  • Taxes and reporting: You can program up to four different tax rates into your 180u. Tax can be applied as an additional line items on the receipt, or you can set the register to roll the tax into the item price. The 180u tracks and stores up to 2,000 lines of sales transactions in an electronic journal, and it includes some basic built-in reports such as a financial report and those for cash declaration, price code look-ups, and sales by cashier. You can also print your entire electronic journal to use that information to complete other reports.
  • Interconnectivity: This register does not need internet access to operate. But whatever external card reader you get will likely need internet or phone line access to process card payments.
  • Inventory management: While not exactly inventory tracking, you can use the information from your electronic journal to update your inventory. If you need real-time inventory tracking, you’ll be better served by Square or Lightspeed.
  • Employees: The 180u features separate profiles and sales tracking for up to 10 employees. This is the lowest number of employee profiles available from any register on this list, but for small retailers, 10 may be enough.

Sam4s ER-925: Best Electronic Cash Register for Low- to Mid-Volume Retailers

Pros

  • Integrated card reader and dual cash drawers are available
  • Does not need internet access to operate
  • Several options for peripherals including barcodes scanners, Dallas Key reader, additional printers, and external pole display

Cons

  • No customer data entry
  • Need to find a payment processor
  • Upfront cost can be high, depending on your chosen peripherals

Sam4s ER-925 Pricing & Features

  • Sam4s ER-925: from $748.34 to $899.50 (price varies by vendor and add-ons)
  • Payment processing: You will need to get a separate merchant services account. Rates will vary.
  • Features:
    • Up to 50 employee logins
    • Tracks up to 3,500 PLUs
    • 100 mix and match discount options
    • 6-line pre-and-post receipt messages
    • Additional ports to connect: barcode scanner, scale, external card reader, external pole display, and Dallas Key

The Sam4S ER-925 is a sturdy electronic cash register built for retail businesses. It is popular with gift shops, ceramics studios, candy shops, and other mid-volume retailers. Pricewise, this register is a big step up from the much more affordable 180u, but it offers a lot more features, including customizable peripheral hardware.

The optional Dallas Key port on the front of the ER-925 lets cashiers log into the register by attaching a magnetic identification fob.

The optional Dallas Key port on the front of the ER-925 lets cashiers log into the register by attaching a magnetic identification fob.

Sam4s ER-925 Cash Register Features

The ER-925 register connects to a credit card terminal to integrate payments into your checkout. So, it beats the basic 180u right out of the gate since that register has no terminal connections.

Like the 180u, though, the ER-925 can’t match a POS-driven register’s inventory management and inventory tracking tools. However, it does include an SD card that can transfer your sales data to your accounting or reporting software, which helps with basic labor and inventory tracking. This solution isn’t quite as streamlined as a complete POS system, but it’s a solid middle-ground for shopkeepers with administrative time to spare.

Sam4s ER-925’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: Dual displays show transactions to customers and cashiers in real time. You can accept cash, check, EBT, gift cards, and credit/debit card payments, split tenders, and process voids, returns, and discounts in the register. You can also attach an optional barcode scanner, scale, pole display, and change dispenser. Busy shops may also want to attach the optional second cash drawer so that two cashiers can work out of the same register.
  • Taxes and reporting: The ER-925 supports X reports (which display totals without resetting your system) and Z reports (which reset your register when printed). This register includes a number of reports that its sister register, the 180u, lacks. In addition to basic sales and financial reports, you get stock reports, discount and void reports, and segmented sales reports by category or tender type. The register’s PC utility lets you transfer your reporting information to a desktop computer via an internal SD card or direct PC link for deeper reporting and further analysis.
  • Interconnectivity: The register does not require an internet connection for cash transactions and reporting. However, if you accept credit cards, you’ll need an ethernet connection to feed the integrated card reader.
  • Inventory management: The ER-925 detailed sales by product category and waste tracking features give you much more control over your inventory than the 180u. But they still do not come close to the real-time stock alerts provided by a POS-driven register. If inventory management is an essential feature for you, check out Square or Lightspeed.
  • Employees: This register tracks up to 50 employee logins. An optional Dallas Key port allows cashiers to access the register quickly by attaching their personal electronic fob. The ER-925 also includes a training mode, so you can train new employees on the register without compromising your daily reports.

Sam4s ER-940: Best Electronic Register for Low to Mid-Volume Restaurants

Sam4s ER-940 logo.
A cash register that can work well in restaurants, this model includes a receipt and kitchen printer to help manage orders, along with automatic tax computation for tables and the ability to connect to popular POS systems. It retails for about $650.

Pros

  • Flat keyboard is spill-resistant
  • Integrated card reader is available
  • Several options to connect to restaurant peripherals like receipt printers and kitchen printers.

Cons

  • Does not have employee time tracking tools
  • Cannot track inventory to the ingredient level
  • Single keyboard ordering may be too limited for restaurants with multiple daily menus

Sam4s ER-940 Pricing & Features

  • Sam4s ER-940: $699–$789 (price varies by vendor and add-ons)
  • Payment processing: You will need to get a separate merchant services account. Rates will vary.
  • Features:
    • 50 employee log ins
    • 3,500 supported menu items
    • Integrated payment processing
    • 150 flat, spill-resistant programmable keys
    • Programmable discounts and tax rates
    • Multiple language support; choose English, Spanish, or French
    • Internal SD card supports report recording, firmware updates, and graphics for custom receipts
    • Connects to popular restaurant peripherals; dual cash drawers, high-speed thermal receipt printers, kitchen printers, coin dispensers, and barcode scanners

Buy Sam4s ER 940 on Amazon

The Sam4s ER-940 is the restaurant version of the ER-925. This register has all of the ER-925’s bells whistles, with several added restaurant features. For example, the ER-940 replaces the raised key keyboard with a flat, spill-resistant keyboard, designed to withstand any spills behind a counter or bar top.

The ER-940 also has optional connections to high-speed thermal receipt and kitchen printers. Busy bars and cafes will also appreciate the dual cash-drawer option that allows two cashiers or bartenders to work from the same register.

This sturdy electronic cash register is a good fit for small mom-and-pop restaurants that process orders and payments at a counter. The only restaurant function that it is really missing is inventory tracking. If you need a system that tracks your inventory to the ingredient level, you’ll need a POS-driven register like Lightspeed. And restaurants that serve a different menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner may find that even 150 keys are not enough to cover every dish they serve.

The flat keyboard is covered by a protective silicone sleeve to withstand spills.

The ER-940 is purpose-built for restaurant businesses. It has a large, spill-proof 150-key keyboard. This means you can create almost limitless menu combinations.

What’s more, it can support up to 20,000 product lookup codes. The ER-940 can also export sales and product reports to your computer for analysis.

However, it is relatively expensive — especially compared to rival machines from POS software suppliers.

Sam4s ER-940 Cash Register Features

The Sam4s ER-940 includes optional connections to high-speed thermal receipt printers, kitchen printers, and kitchen display screens. You can also attach barcode scanners, scales, pole displays, and change dispensers.

Sam4s ER-940’s features include:

  • Sales and checkout: The ER-940’s flat, spill-resistant keypad contains 150 programmable keys to accommodate even large menus. There are also keys to designate eat-in, drive-thru, and takeout orders. If your menu changes often, the key sheet is paper, so you can easily change it when your menu changes. Like the ER-925, the ER-940 includes a built-in thermal printer and a customer-facing display. It can also process cash, check, EBT, gift card, and credit/debit card transactions and supports dual cash drawer tills.
  • Taxes and reporting: The ER-940’s reporting functions are similar to the ER-925’s. You can print daily reports for each cashier, print stock reports, item sales reports, and void and discount reports. You can also save your reports in the register’s internal SD card and transfer the information to a desktop computer or connect to a computer via the register’s PC utility for further analysis and reporting.
  • Interconnectivity: The register itself only requires an electrical outlet to work, but if you attach an integrated or external card reader, you’ll need an ethernet connection to accept card payments.
  • Inventory management: The inventory tracking in the ER-940 is basic. You can print reports that show how much of each complete dish you sold in a day, but the system cannot track at the ingredient level. For small restaurants, this might be fine—but if you want ingredient-level inventory tracking with low stock alerts, you’ll be better supported by Lightspeed’s Restaurant POS.
  • Employees: Track up to 50 employees in your ER-940, with individual sales reporting for each. Like the ER-925, the ER-940 also features a training mode so that you can teach new staff how to use the register without invalidating your daily reports. Though like all the Sam4s registers, this one does not track employee time. You’ll need a separate time tracking system for payroll purposes.

Sam4s ER-380

A fairly budget-friendly option, this cash register gives you the ability to set up 12 different departments and 500 PLUs. It also has a receipt printer, built-in cash drawer and clerk IDs. Pricing starts at just under $300.

Sometimes all you need is an entry-level machine that can keep your cash safe while ringing up customers.

For those small businesses, the Sam4s ER 380 comes in handy.

This little machine comes with a variety of useful features that you can’t find in other models within the same price range. 

Some of these features include financial reports, 12 departments, cash-in-drawer reports, a 5×5 cash register drawers, 200 PLUs, and four tax tables. 

This particular model also comes with complete customer tracking, including customer history.

The high-speed thermal printer is made to match the quality of top-notch POS systems and equipment. 

In terms of hardware, you get a flexible keyboard, which can be customized and configured to perform the exact functions you need it to. This provides you with total control over critical sales information, cash, and security. 

Overall, the Sam4s ER-380 is an excellent, low-cost choice for small retail or food service businesses. 

Methodology To Determine The Best Cash Registers For Small Business Entities

To determine the best cash registers for small businesses, we considered specific criteria important for most small- to mid-sized companies, whether they’re retailers or restaurants. Online stores can use these cash registers too, because the POS software supports online payments.

We also looked at the cost of hardware and monthly fees (including payment processing). Every modern cash register that made the list includes POS software to help businesses track inventory, manage customer information and run end-of-day reports, at the very least. We omitted any competitor that doesn’t support mobile payments or offer software integrations. All the best cash registers in our list are POS systems first and connect with cash drawers, making it easy for you to accept cash payments (along with credit card and NFC payments).

Here are the categories we considered when ranking the top cash registers:

  • Ease of use. A modern cash register with a POS system must be easy to use or small businesses may struggle to adopt the new technology. We chose systems that are intuitive and easy to set up with touchscreen terminals and that support barcode scanners.
  • Cost and fees. Most cash registers for small businesses are similar in price for the hardware, but there are a few differences. Most bundles include the basics, such as a touchscreen display and credit card reader, but require you to purchase accessories such as a cash drawer and receipt printer separately. The biggest difference is the Shopify Retail Kit, which has the lowest price point for hardware, but runs off an iPad that must be purchased elsewhere.
    We also considered payment processing fees, which typically average around 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction, but some POS systems with cash registers let you use your own merchant service provider, which makes it easier to get a better rate.
  • POS features. All of the cash registers we chose include POS software that helps you manage inventory and customers. They include built-in payment processing, or at least offer a card reader you can connect. It’s also important to choose POS systems with cash registers that include software integrations, such as accounting programs that help you run your business.
  • Overall value. The least expensive option may not be the best for a business, which is why we also considered the overall value. For example, eHopper isn’t the most affordable option, but newer businesses without a merchant account may want to use the free payment processing option to save on monthly costs.

A cash register for small businesses speeds up the checkout process and ensures positive customer interaction. A slow checkout process and a long line can have a negative impact on business. People do not like to wait and if your equipment is outdated, they probably will suffer some delays.

Detailed Reporting

A cash register also provides a detailed sales receipt to the customer. It gives them information on the transaction, as well as future promotions and contact data. The receipt can include information like:

  • Date and time
  • Salesclerk ID
  • Refund/return policy
  • Sales promotions
  • Coupons

It’s a great tool to keep an accurate record of your daily operations. Even if it’s just transactions you are recording.

Security

Improved security is also a benefit of cash registers. Registers are securely locked until a successful transaction is put through. Only the cashier can trigger the drawer to open.

Registers also prevent the need to have money sitting out in public, like a tip jar. This reduces the chance of theft or embezzlement on the shop floor. Every transaction is fully recorded with the time, date, and sales clerk who opened the till.

Senior staff can be provided with an override code or passkey in case they need to issue a refund. Other than that, the drawer remains closed and locked.

Multiple Payment Options

Cash registers for small businesses work with integrated card readers. This allows a merchant to accept instant credit card payments which are processed securely through PIN readers. With a cash register, a business can accept:

  • Cash
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Checks
  • Vouchers
  • Loyalty or gift cards
  • Other methods (like Apple Pay)

Providing a wide range of payment options for customers invites more people into your store and enhances the consumer experience.

Audits and Reporting

Unlike a normal drawer, cash registers will record detailed information about every sales transaction. All over-the-counter receipts are entered into cash registers. That means, if your business is ever audited, you have a record of each transaction with the date, time, and employee.

Registers also provide you with a way to corroborate stock levels, match inventory, and map out a clear audit trail. A business can use it to ensure that incoming and outgoing costs are balanced correctly.

Small Business Entities Suitable For Using Cash Registers

The best cash registers for a small business that we recommend here are usually a good fit in the hospitality industry, namely bars, restaurants and food trucks.

Cash registers for Bars

Bar cash registers should always include both unit and dollar sales. Units are what you sell, and the dollar amount is what you take in.

Other key features bars may be looking for include:

  • Basic transactions
  • Bar tabs and split checks
  • Employee supervision (scheduling and clock in/out)
  • Menu management (happy hour)
  • Inventory control

Cost and inventory are important for a busy bar. A cash register that has both features works best for this environment.

Cash Registers for Retail

This type of industry largely benefits from KYC (know your customer) strategies. A cash register for retail should highly focus on tracking consumer data and using it for loyalty programs.

A retail store might look for a cash register with:

  • Accepts all payments types
  • Key-in drawer security
  • Detailed customer reporting
  • Loyalty and gift card programs
  • Automated marketing

Some of these features won’t come with just the hardware. You may need to also purchase POS software to work with it. However, tracking your repeat and new customers is vital for a retail business to thrive.

Cash Registers for Restaurants

A cash register for a restaurant differs slightly from a bar in the sense that you’re dealing with much more inventory and kitchen management.

Hardware that fits this industry should include factors like:

  • Ability to take all types of payments
  • Menu management
  • Kitchen communication
  • Loyalty programs
  • Detailed reporting

Of course, the size of your business will also dictate exactly what you need. If it’s not necessary, find a simpler register that works best.

Cash Registers for Fast Food

The fast-food industry requires a particularly robust system for quick and efficient management. Also known as a QSR (quick-service restaurant) some key features to this system entail:

  • Accept all types of payments
  • Customer-facing displays
  • Drawer security with manager key-in
  • Employee management
  • Inventory and stock levels

The larger the franchise, the greater the need for efficient and smart hardware.

Cash Registers for Gas Stations

Like fast food, business at a gas station moves quickly. This is what customers expect. A cash register for gas stations has to be simple yet efficient.

Some programs are integrated with a fuel system for easier management.

Look for features like:

  • All-in-one touchscreen
  • Customer-facing displays
  • Emailed receipts
  • Inventory control
  • Loyalty and gift card programs

The right register can reduce transaction times while increasing pricing accuracy and producing higher profits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a cash register instead of a modern point-of-sale (POS) system?

There are two big differences between a cash register and POS system: cost and features. A cash register makes it possible for you to accept cash payments, and with a connected payment terminal, you can accept credit cards. A POS system typically includes or connects to a cash drawer or register, so you can accept all forms of payments, as well. Additionally, POS software makes it possible for you to track sales, inventory, employee and customer information and taxes (most with automation).

Every store needs to be able to process sales. Thankfully, the best cash registers for small business more than hold their own in modern retail and hospitality settings.

While modern POS systems offer many advantages, there are still reasons to opt for a traditional cash register.

Cash registers are more affordable. You can pick up a basic Casio or Sam4S register for $100. Compare that with the $400 you’d spend on entry-level POS hardware, and it’s easy to see why some businesses still haven’t upgraded.

POS solutions use a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model, which means you pay your supplier a monthly fee to be able to actually use the system. When you add up hardware and subscription fees, you end up paying more for a POS system over ten years than you do for a cash register.

Electronic cash registers have longer lifespans than POS systems, though the gap has shrunk in recent years. The best cash registers for small business will give you at least 15 years of good service, whereas POS hardware tends to need replacing after 10 years. That said, software from top POS suppliers does outlive the hardware it’s deployed on, so you’re assured of good value for money with either option.

For starters, cash registers are far more budget-friendly. POS hardware can be quite expensive, even when you consider entry-level products. On the other hand, you only have to spend a few hundred bucks, if that, to get a decent cash register.

Many POS solutions use the subscription model. Essentially, you pay a monthly fee to use a POS system. Some small businesses can’t afford to pay those extra fees on top of the hardware. This makes cash registers far better for businesses on a budget. 

Lastly, we need to talk about longevity. Traditional cash registers can last a long while. In fact, you can expect to get at least 15 years out of a traditional cash register. For modern POS hardware, you might be looking at around ten years before you need to replace it. 

What are the advantages of a modern point-of-sale (POS) system?

Modern POS systems offer more than just a safe place to store cash. There are several reasons why a POS system might be a smarter choice.

Targeted customer marketing is a big one. POS systems and customer relationship management (CRM) go hand in hand. For one thing, POS software makes it easy to collect customer email addresses. Why not show off your business’s green credentials by offering customers e-receipts instead of paper ones at checkout? With their opt in, you can also send them targeted messages based on their recent purchases. It’s a low-effort yet sophisticated approach that’ll win you lots of repeat business. Needless to say, it’s not possible with a cash register.

Inventory management used to be the most manual (and boring) part of your job, but modern POS software can actually do most of the work for you. You can set your system up to send low-stock alerts to your phone when supplies of a particular ingredient or product line are running low.

Another useful feature of some POS systems is staff management. Using built-in time tracking software, employees can clock in and out directly through terminals, which means they spend less time on admin and more time doing what they do best. High-end systems even let you run individual performance reports so you can make informed decisions about staff training and task allocation.

The ability to share information with other systems through software integrations is what really separates computerized POS from cash registers. For example, some systems can automate the process of plugging daily sales data into accounting software. The NCR Silver shares staff hours tracking data with HR software like Paychex to streamline payroll processing. The minutes you shave off these routine tasks can save you thousands of dollars a month. The overall cost of your POS system, of course, will depend on the number of features and hardware you need.

So as a conclusion for this analysis

Anyone running an entire business may be better off choosing a POS system instead of a simple cash register. The best POS systems offer everything you get with a cash register, plus additional functionality to address all of a business manager’s daily needs.

The big difference comes down to one word: centralization. Cash registers work best on a daily basis – if you want to know how well your year-to-date sales have been, or take a glance at your year-over-year net revenue growth in the month of April, get ready for hours of combing through your files. Some cash registers can scan barcodes or use SD cards to let you transfer data to another machine, but almost no traditional cash register can easily store or share digital information.

A POS system tracks all that data, backs it up to the cloud to keep it safe, and lets you search through years of data in seconds. It’ll even auto-generate pie charts or graphs to help you understand it better. It’s this centralization that helps small businesses make smarter decisions.

Modern POS systems go beyond cash storage. For many businesses, POS systems are the best choice. For starters, they target customers to help with marketing. As a business, it is important to manage customer relationships. POS software can collect email addresses from your customers so that you can send them promotions or rewards down the line. This helps to drive more customers back to your store later down the line. You can also use this to send your customers e-receipts rather than printing paper receipts during checkout. None of this can be done with a traditional cash register. 

One tedious part of owning a business is inventory management. It needs to be done, but no one likes doing it. POS systems can do inventory management for you. All you have to do is set up your system so that it provides you with alerts when certain items are low in stock. Then all you have to do is order more!

Staff management is another useful feature that comes with POS systems. Employees can clock in and out using the POS terminals while you use built-in time tracking to see where they are out. Some top-of-the-line systems allow business owners to run individual performance reports. As a business owner, this can be helpful to allocate tasks and train staff.

Of course, the one thing that truly sets POS systems apart from cash registers is software integration. As an example, some high-end systems allow you to automate your accounting processes, effectively plugging in the necessary data to your chosen accounting software. 

Do I need a POS system or a cash register?

Comparison Between Cash Registers For A Small Business And POS Systems
SolutionBest forPriced from
Cash RegisterSmall businesses that just need to store takings, run receipts and accept cash, check and credit card payments.$90+
POS SystemRetailers that want to manage a wide range of business functions, and manage sales and payments with one streamlined system.$99/month+

Finding a POS system for the right price can be a time consuming process, but our comparison service does all the hard work for you. Simply tell us a bit about your business on our free comparison tool, then POS suppliers that match your requirements will be in touch. It’s quick, easy, and free to get started.

Here’s a table that compares cash registers for small businesses against POS systems, to offer a snapshot of why a POS offers a more complete solution.

Functions Matrix Of Cash Registers For Small BusinessesCash register for small businessPOS system for small business
Tracks sales
Tracks inventory
PaperworkPrintDigital
Reporting and analytics
Staff management
Marketing features
Includes accounting integrationsVaries
Data backupSometimes
Loyalty features
Gift card support

Zero-Cost Credit Card Processing

An accepted unwritten rule of doing business is that operating costs include payment processing. Retailers and restaurants typically pay around 2% plus a flat fee (10-15 cents, usually) per transaction. Some merchant services providers (MSPs) are offering a zero-fee payment processing option which adds the cost of processing to customers’ bills. These surcharge fees that pass on to customers might have a negative effect, so it’s important to consider whether you’ll lose customers over this additional cost.

What can I use instead of a cash register?

The best alternative to a traditional cash register is a POS system. Not every POS system is designed to work for every size or kind of business, though there are some that can be configured to work for multiple types of businesses. Read our comparison to find the best POS system for your business.

As you’ve probably noticed, many small businesses and retailers are beginning to shift towards POS-based cash registers. In many ways, these systems create different avenues for business owners and customers. However, standard POS systems can be quite expensive. Many of them are well out of the budget range that small businesses can afford. 

Traditional registers, on the other hand, are inexpensive and efficient. Compared to the old-school method of adding up sales on a calculator, cash registers are excellent for small businesses. Unfortunately, they do lack certain features, including business operations, customer-focused sales, marketing, mobile connectivity, and online sales channels, that POS systems have.  

This is why we recommend going with a POS-driven cash register, such as the ones from Lightspeed or Square if you can afford them. Of course, if you are looking for a budget alternative and you don’t need all of the bells and whistles, a standard cash register, such as the ones from Casio, Sam4s, and Sharp, will do you just fine!

Are cash registers secure?

Yes, most modern cash register systems offer all the modern security features you’d expect of an online business platform. On a store level, most platforms also offer the option to lock your system’s touch screen so that only authorized users can access the machine.

How much does a new cash register cost?

Pricing for a new cash register varies depending on the type of cash register you purchase. Traditional cash registers can range anywhere from $500 to $1,200.

A POS cash register costs more because it has updated technology and software to help you manage your business. There are affordable options available, but if you’re having a hard time choosing between two of the most popular choices, consider checking out our comparison of Square vs Clover.

What is a cash register used for?

A cash register is a machine that, at its core, lets you add up sales by inputting prices, including taxes and printing receipts. Modern cash registers typically include POS software, which is helpful for managing your business from inventory to reporting. A POS cash register is especially important in the food industry for menu and table management, for example. If you manage a restaurant be sure to compare the best restaurant POS systems.

Pros And Cons Of Cash Registers For Small Business Entities

A discontinued Sharp model. Previously regarded by us as one of the best cash registers

Pros of Cash Registers

There are clear benefits to equipping your shop with a cash register.

  • Tracking customer transactions
  • Speedy checkout
  • Price lookups
  • Printing receipts
  • Customer data management

Higher-end models offer more advanced functions like detailed reporting and inventory control. Easy-to-use programs just include a keyboard display and printer.

Cons And Possible Drawbacks Of Cash Registers For A Small Business

Although relatively simple, cash registers still require some training to operate. All models vary, so training on the register is usually needed for new employees.

They can also differ in mechanical features, like the number of keys and type of printer. Therefore, it may be harder to train new people who are used to other machines.

Another possible drawback is there is typically no cloud storage. That means if the machine malfunctions, you could lose data. Power outages can lead to a lack of productivity.

Your only other option would be a register with POS software, but that can get costly. Some cash registers use battery backup to override this system flaw.

What is a Cash Register For A Small Business?

Cash registers are a traditional, electronic payment processing system at a countertop point of sale. The register typically includes a drawer for storing cash and hardware to process credit card payments.

They ensure the checkout phase of your business is fast while keeping accurate records of your daily transactions. They are vital for creating a positive customer experience.

A cash register can facilitate operations without complicating the process. They work well for a business that needs a simple machine to tally sales, complete customer payments, collect cash, and print receipts.

Every brand and model is different, so the hardware you select will be influenced by the workflow.

Here are a few features offered by today’s electronic cash registers:

  • Credit card processing options
  • Sales and checkout processes
  • Printing and emailing receipts (paper or e-mail)
  • Barcode scanners and external printers
  • Recording customer data

You should be able to calculate tax, tips, and discounts, process exchanges/returns, and integrate a barcode scanner. Although popular with most point of sale (POS) systems, some cash registers also have the ability to perform more in-depth functions, like:

  • Employee management
  • Products, pricing, and inventory counts
  • Reporting on analytics
  • Customer marketing and loyalty programs
  • Website and online integrations

A cash register should be easy to set up and user-friendly. Some registers can also handle multi-store connectivity for enterprise-level management. If you already have systems in place (like QuickBooks) look for a solution with easy integrations.

We have compared Fattmerchant vs Square, thinking that they were very similar POS and payment processors, but we found many differences and we were surprised by these findings.

Complex industries that handle their own inventory and 3PL organizations have granular requirements about batch recalls, warehouse management and inventory reconciliation. They need handheld inventory scanners that connect in real time with their point of sales systems and ERPs. We review them here and test them connecting to a Zebra printer. Beautiful!

We have reviewed several POS providers. The most interesting according to their industry vertical are: OVVI POS, NCR Counterpoint, Alexandria POS Maid, Verifone Ruby 2 POS, Mynt POS, Indica Online, Reverse, Micros, 1st Pay, Simphony, and Appetize.

There is a type of POS that the majority of readers here do not seem to like. I refer to the POS Pin Pad type. I understand the readers that reject them, but we can recommend it for some type of businesses, as you will read.

Each industry vertical requires a different type of POS, so we cannot analyze them all together in one single group. Therefore, we have researched in different verticals to define which are the POS systems that we can recommend for each industry and why: Wholesale POS, POS for kiosks, fast foods, POS for restaurants and which of them work well in iPads because some work very bad in mobile systems in my opinion, gas stations, supermarkets, dispensaries, convenience stores, dry cleaning industries, furniture, liquor stores, and bike shops.

What about cash registers? We have reviewed some and we have found good and bad products: cash registers for gas stations, small businesses in general, and restaurants.

We reviewed some specific type of point of sale systems that determine the price according to the weight, called POS scales.

We have studied barcode and label printers, as label printing is a legal requirement in some industries

Restaurants, fast foods, delis and food trucks, require a separate kitchen printer integrated with the POS with a separate hardware unit. We have reviewed them here.

We do not usually review printers for POS, we simply dedicate ourselves to review a complete POS system with its hardware. However, we had so much criticism and discussions around printers for Square, that I have decided to investigate further here.

Top Brands for Cash Registers Relevant For A Small Store or Business

There are many companies that have produced this type of hardware over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of the top four players in the game:

Casio

Casio has been building electronics since the ’40s. In addition to cash registers, they produce a variety of items, like calculators and watches.

The Shibuya, Tokyo-based company was founded in 1946 and is still going strong. Today, they continue to develop top-level cash registers for a variety of industries at high-quality levels.

Sharp

Sharp is a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Foxconn Group. The company employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and was founded in Tokyo in 1912.

The name comes from the owner’s first invention. The ever-sharp mechanical pencil. Today, the company holds patents on everything from cash registers to belt buckles.

Royal

The Royal company began in 1904 with the production of a typewriter. Headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey the brand has a long tradition of producing innovative and quality products.

Samsung

In 1938, Samsung was founded as a grocery trading store in Taegu, Korea. It all started with noodles. The company then moved into textiles after the Korean War before finally settling on electronics.

The billion-dollar organization is not only known for its cash registers, but they also develop products like televisions, smartphones, and tablets.

Discontinued And Unavailable Cash Registers Suitable For Small Businesses

Casio and Sharp discontinued their product line for cash registers some time ago in 2022. They were considered the cheapest and the best cash registers for a small business.

While distributors still have these models in their stores and also have spare parts available, there will be no extended support from the manufacturers in the future.

Moreover, credit card and payment processing companies will stop to offer processing services for these cash registers.

A quick Amazon or eBay search will show a ton of results for discontinued Casio, Sharp, and Royal cash registers. This can raise a question: Can you use a discontinued cash register for your small business? While both Sharp and Casio made excellent, high-functioning registers (that previously scored well on this list), we cannot recommend relying on a discontinued register for several reasons.

  • The system may not have a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Replacement parts may not be available if something breaks.
  • Many payment processors no longer integrate with discontinued registers.
  • Without a detailed manual or customer support, you may struggle to program the register.

If you have a payment processor that will work with a discontinued cash register and are familiar with how to program it, you can probably make it work.

Since Casio and Sharp stopped manufacturing registers only in 2022, you may still be able to purchase a register with a year warranty and tech support. But with so many strong, well-supported registers and POS systems available at affordable prices, it doesn’t make sense to tie your business to obsolete hardware.

Royal has not communicated that they are leaving the cash register market, but their products are largely unavailable since about May 2022, and we are worried that they could discontinue their product lines. Therefore, we cannot recommend currently Royal best cash registers for small businesses. We fear that there are no spare parts available in the future if this continues.

This is a pity because Royal was always regarded as one of the best and cheapest cash registers for small business entities, despite their lack of scalability.

Discontinued Cash Registers From Casio With Available Spare Parts

Casio TE4500 – $500-600

This cash register is made for retail stores, with a multi-line color LCD display that can be tilted for an optimal reading angle. Other features include:

  • Full keyboard
  • 200 clerk IDs
  • Receipt printer (watermark and logo printing)
  • Built-in auto cutter
  • Scanner

It should be noted that the cash drawer itself is available for an additional cost.

Casio SE-G1SC-RD –  $85-$100

This is a basic register that comes in a variety of colors and performs all the functions necessary to run a small retail business. This model features:

  • Cash drawer with key lock
  • Rear LCD display
  • 8 clerks numbers
  • 7 position mode key lock, Interactive setup
  • 8 departments/24 departments

Casio PCR-T500 – $200

The Casio PCR-T500 register includes everything you need to run a small retail business. It has a 10-line LCD display with easy viewing tilt that combines style with functionality. Other key features are:

  • Cash drawer
  • Rear customer display
  • 40 clerk IDs
  • 25 different departments
  • Up to 3,000 PLUs

This register may be best for a business that sells a lot of products. Retailers can enter prices manually to categorize entry inputs or choose from a list of preset ones.

The cash register comes with the PCR-T500 single station thermal printer, which can be used as a customer receipt printer or a journal printer.

A cash register that includes all the basic options necessary to run a small retail business, this Casio model features a cash drawer, rear customer LCD display, and the ability to set up 40 different clerk IDs and 25 different departments.

Casio PCR-T280 – $100-$130

This “entry-level” cash register is popular for its simplicity. It’s an all-in-one solution, so you don’t need to purchase a separate cash drawer and receipt printer. Everything comes in a bundle. Features for this register include:

  • 1200 price lookups
  • 5 department keys
  • High-speed thermal printer
  • Built-in customer display
  • 8 clerk totals

All receipts can be customized with your business name and logo at the top. The register can be programmed to include state tax. The system also comes with a multi-purpose tray and an anti-bacterial keyboard.

The register is lightweight (11 pounds) so it’s a portable option for merchants that travel. If your business holds pop-up shops or sells at street fairs, this may be the perfect fit.

It should be noted that to process credit cards, you will have to add a standalone terminal from your merchant account. This model has no connection for an integrated credit card terminal.

Costing under $100, the Casio PCR-T280 is the cost-conscious business owner’s best friend. Small in size, this cash register packs plenty of useful features including a rear customer display, manually-entered discounts, and the ability to add up to 1,200 products. It’s the most basic cash register on our list, but you can’t argue with the price.

So, as a conclusion

If you need a cheap register to help get your business off the ground, the PCR-T280 is your best bet.

However, don’t think it’s completely devoid of features. It has a rear-facing customer display and you can add up to 1,200 products. You can also manually enter discounts.

Casio PCR-T2300 – $300

The PCR-T2300 provides the operator a reference for each transaction to eliminate errors. It also boasts a 2×20 pop-up customer confirmation display with transactional data.

Up to five items, the transaction subtotal, and the last item entered are all displayed for your review.

Features for this register include:

  • 10-line operator LCD display with easy tilt
  • Customer-facing pop-up display
  • Raised keyboard with 30 department key locations
  • Heavy-duty metal cash drawer (4 bills, 8 coins)
  • SD card slot for program backup or reload

The setup for the Casio PCR-T2300 is interactive and comes with a locking drawer. An optional PC programming tool, with four tax rates, can be added on for quicker efficiency.

Casio SR-C4500 – $500

This Bluetooth enabled register comes with smart inventory control and is designed to fit any type of venue. The 72-key position flat keyboard enables merchants to easily sell and track the most frequently sold items.

There are over 7,000 PLUs available to measure sales activity and specific inventory. A guest file is available for stores operating small hospitality venues. Other key features of this cash register include:

  • Scanner and PAX S300 payment terminal
  • 25 department keys
  • Small metal cash drawer (4 bills, 5 coins)
  • SD card slot for program backup and reload
  • Drop and paper load 2-station thermal printer

The Casio SE-C4500 offers a big step up in functionality from the bare bones PCR-T280. Ringing in at just under $500, it’s a jump in price but worth the cost.

This register is ideal for shops with a large product list that needs to track inventory. The automation features alone can increase sales. Just remember, this register might be slightly harder to program than others due to the POS functionalities.

The sleek SR-C4500 will fit nicely in your small retail store, packing plenty of great features into a reasonably priced system. It comes with 72 programmable keys to speed up your sales, and the ability to add up to 50 clerks. You can also connect a serial scanner which can handle up to 3,000 scannable items.

To give you greater flexibility, you can connect your smartphone to the cash register via Bluetooth, and gain access to hourly sales information via the Casio smartphone app.

The SR-C4500 is a very flexible cash register for small retail businesses. It has 72 programmable keys to speed up sales and you can add up to 50 clerks to ensure that all of your staff can sign in and start closing sales.

The SR-C4500 also comes with an integrated barcode scanner, saving you another purchase. In an attempt to rival the full POS registers we listed above, the SR-C4500 connects with your smartphone via Bluetooth to give you hourly sales information via the Casio app.

Casio SE-C3500

This Casio’s SE-C3500 excels at quick service in fast food, concession and take-out operations. We love the compact 2×2 rear-facing LCD display that lets customers know when their order is up. Its 10-line LCD screen displays up to five items at a time, which makes it easy to track customers’ orders. Spill-resistant keys are soft drink-proof, and two RS232 connection ports let you hook up a receipt printer and credit card reader/barcode scanner depending on your needs. It’s also great for retail outlets, although consider adding an SD card to boost the default 3,000 PLU barcode storage capacity.

The Casio SE-C3500 is one of the best small business cash registers around for fast food or take-out operations.

And, as it so happens, the best smallest cash register in the market for those looking for the ideal compact register. 

One of the greatest things about the Casio SE-C3500 is that it has the ability to hold up to 7,000 prices for different items.

Shops that have large product lists are a perfect fit.

This model supports a credit card terminal and an integrated barcode scanner.

It comes with a spill-resistant keyboard, which is a wonderful restaurant-centric addition, as well as 72 programmable keys.

This all-in-one cash register includes two built-in receipt scanners and a connected cash drawer. In terms of checkout efficiency, we’d have to say that it is one of the best on the list. 

 It comes with an optional software package that you can utilize to handle sales data transfer to your computer via an SD card, simplifying the setup.

If you are looking for a cash register that is scanner-enabled and that supports a massive price list, this is one of the best around. Of course, if you truly need POS features, you may want to consider getting another one. 

Cash Registers From Sharp – Discontinued And Unavailable

Sharp XE-A107 

This entry-level cash register is perfect for a small business. Although it’s small in size (weighs 8.9 pounds), it’s big on performance and offers many features that a simple cash register does not.

This is one of Sharp’s most affordable options but is still highly functional. The register includes 8 pre-programmed departments, price lookups, a large display, and 4 clerk IDs.

Other key features involve:

  • Customized receipts with a built-in printer
  • Inventory reporting
  • Locking cash drawer
  • Large-character displays for easy viewing
  • Software integrations

The Sharp XE-A107 is one of the only retail cash registers to integrate additional software (much like a POS system). The program comes with a link to your QuickBooks Pro platform. Through this channel, you can directly import sales data to streamline accounting and bookkeeping.

The integration of QuickBooks lets you also manage tasks like:

  • Inventory tracking
  • Purchase orders
  • Business reports
  • Financial ledgers
  • Customer information

This cash register uses 2 AA batteries in case you are ever booted offline. The battery-power enables the register to save and store any important data. Unlike many other registers, it’s a perfect shortcut to using cloud-based POS platforms (and much more affordable).

Sharp XE-A407

This is one of the more advanced cash registers for Sharp, but the pricing can vary depending on the vendor. Better than the version 207, the A407 is the best solution for a business requiring advanced functionality.

This module includes card connectivity, 40 clerk IDs, and the ability to connect to QuickBooks Pro. Other key benefits include:

  • 32GB SD card
  • Credit card terminal
  • Sales management
  • Personalized receipts
  • Metal cash drawer (5 bill, 6 coin)

The weight of the hardware is 28 pounds, so it’s not easily mobile. This cash register is one of the more savvy on the market due to the POS capabilities (QuickBooks integration). However, this is still equipment that lacks POS connectivity. It’s not a connected register.

Cash Registers from Royal – Currently Unavailable Since 2022

Royal 100CX – $100+

A simple, portable model, this cash register is very affordable for small businesses at about $70. It includes a head unit only and is battery powered, so business owners that sell at flea markets or craft fairs can use it to track and hold cash transactions.

This is one of the most simplistic and portable cash registers on the market. This hardware includes a head unit only and is battery powered. It can hold and track transactions, as well as adapt to standard electrical connections.

This is the best register to use if you have a business that is mobile. The flexibility of the unit enables a brand to conduct the following businesses.

  • Farm stands
  • Vendor carts
  • Food trucks
  • Pop-up shops
  • Flea markets

The idea is that this is one of the best registers to service a mobile business. It also has the capability to hook up with customer kiosks.

best cash register for small business
Royal models had a very good travel depth on their keyboards.

This portable, battery-powered register offers features like:

  • Pre-set pricing for quick, one-key sales entry
  • 4 tax rates, including VAT, Canadian, and add-on
  • 7-digit operator display for easy viewing
  • Automatic tax computation
  • 4 departments for different categories and merchandise

The cash drawer that goes with this system is sold separately. The register operates on “C” size batteries for up to 8-hours of continuous use. Vendors can also incorporate the AC adapter if they have an option to plug in.

Royal TS1200MW – $630

This touchscreen cash register includes user prompts to help even beginners operate the machine easily. It also features an ID system that lets you add up to 40 different clerks and manage reports and tax information. It retails for about $600.

The Royal TS1200MW is a touchscreen cash register that includes user prompts and a 12” color LCD panel for easy operation. The “ID system” allows a business to add up to 40 different employee IDs. This also keeps track of hours, staff data, and tax information.

The price of this register is competitive. It enables a small business to easily program over 200 departments. It can be set with features like “gallonage per sale” and “sales of measured items.”

The cash registers include over 5,000 price lookups. You can program these as a 12-character name or description to identify them. Each PLU has multiple price levels. This allows for discounted prices at different times such as Happy Hour or a lunch menu vs a dinner menu item.

Further Reviewing the TS1200MW Cash Register

The Royal TS1200MW has two serial ports that connect your barcode reader to the register and your PC (optional). A journal record can be printed with line-item details for daily transactions (without resetting the data).

This register is ideal for bars and restaurants. It has an age verification feature that alerts clerks to check for IDs using on-screen prompts. Up to 2 different ages can be programmed depending on venue needs.

If you sell tobacco, the age can be set to 18 in the United States. If it is alcohol-related, you can prompt the register to only accept IDs from ages 21+.

There is also a “restaurant mode” for this register. This allows for benefits like:

  • Multiple price levels for each PLU
  • Discounted or differing prices during Happy Hour (or other eventful times)
  • Table tracking which allows guest check and simple table transfer
  • Remote printer with an optional kitchen or bar printer that’s supported

Royal Alpha 7000ml – $300

This cash register is geared towards retail. It includes over 200 departments of sales analysis with a 12-character name and/or description.

The price lookup on this machine is extensive. Over 10,000 PLUs for quick and accurate entry. The PLU reports print frequent sales activity.

The register comes with heavy-duty dual-station thermal printer/s that allow both alpha and numeric characters to be programmed for customer receipts and journal entries.

The system can scroll for at least 5 different text messages with up to 42 characters each. This shows across the customer screen in a continuous manner.

The display has a 10-character line operator for optimal viewing and sales experience. The alpha keyboard cuts programming time in half. The department keys are labeled with letters to program the descriptions for PLU’s, departments, clerks, and other messages.

Other key features to this register include:

  • Heavy-duty locking cash drawer
  • Automatic tax computation (on state and federal level)
  • Memory protection through battery backup (2 AA are not included)
  • Optional handheld barcode laser scanner

If you have a new business, the scanner should be an obvious “add-on.” Not only does it ensure fast registration of items, it’s easy-to-use and convenient throughout the entire sales process.

Royal Consumer 52104Y-FE 120dx

A fairly basic cash register option, this Royal Consumer device is priced at just under $100. The product features a four clerk ID system, automatic tax computation and a locking cash drawer.

Conclusions: POS Approach Instead Of Traditional Cash Registers For Small Business Entities

With more customers relying on digital payments and fewer companies manufacturing cash registers, it can be challenging to find a cash register for your small business. If you are willing to expand your search to include POS-driven registers, you’ll have more options. For its affordable price, ease of use, and popularity with small businesses of all types, we named Square the best overall cash register for small businesses.

While this POS-driven register requires users to purchase a cash drawer separately, it also gives small business owners access to Square’s full suite of business tools. If you’re unsure about diving into a POS-driven cash register, you can try Square for free on hardware you already own.

Since its inception, cash registers for small companies have grown to incorporate more features than just a cash box. These days, they often come with robust software that allows you to handle inventory, and taxes, and interact with credit card terminals and receipt printers, among other things. This form of checkout is suitable for all types of establishments, ranging from stores to eateries.

Cash registers in the traditional sense are still accessible, but if you go that path, you will lose out on reporting capabilities, loyalty program extensions, and the option to take cashless transactions, such as those made with Apple Pay and Google Pay, known as “contactless”. These days’ modern point of sale (POS) systems operate in combination with cash boxes, and they are reasonably priced solutions that provide you with much more than a means of accepting cash payments. Here are our top selections for the most cutting-edge, integrated cash registers available on the market at the moment:

We examined also many point-of-sale systems that are compatible with cash registers and narrowed the field down to four of the most promising options for small companies. The most important factors to consider when selecting a cash register are the cost, your company management requirements, and adaptability. See below for additional information on how we selected the best cash registers for small companies, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

You have started a small company and are in the midst of completing a deal. So, what do you do now? Implementing the most effective strategies to increase sales and boost growth has become imperative.

Most businesses are unable to compete, much alone function if they do not have a cash register on hand. Some businesses may not need a very advanced and complex POS system. It is an important expense.

You will, however, need equipment that is capable of accepting all kinds of payment. Perhaps even keep track of crucial information. It is for this reason that you need a cash register.

Square not only offers a brilliant cash register with an intuitive touchscreen interface and a customer-facing display and card reader, but you’ll also get the benefit of an exceptional point of sale system to manage all aspects of your business.

Small company owners have two main choices when it comes to purchasing a cash register. You have the option of using a simple cash register or a more complex device that works in conjunction with POS system software. 

Cash registers are ideal for small companies that require a straightforward machine to compute purchases, process client transactions, generate receipts, and keep cash in a secure location. POS systems do all of these functions, as well as provide a comprehensive set of company management and reporting features in a relatively inexpensive way.

Price fromThe typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.Key benefitsDrawbacks
Square RegisterVend Pro Hardware KitEpos Now Hospitality POS SystemClover Station ProCasio SR-C4500Sam4s ER-940Casio PCR-T280Sharp XE-A207Casio SE-C3500
Almost all businesses, the Square Register is stylish and easy to use.All retail businessesRetail and hospitality businessesBusinesses after stylish and capable hardwareSmall retail businessesSmall restaurants and hospitality businessesBusinesses looking for a cheap cash registerBars, pubs, and cafesFast-service restaurants
$799 or $39/mo*$1,066$999$1,649$499$659$99$350$350
Stylish designAn easy to use touchscreenGreat all-round business featuresGreat range of peripheralsIncludes a free iPadMore modular than Square’s RegisterWaterproofSolid-state drive for speedy loadingComes with a receipt printer and cash drawerEpos Now offers full installation and trainingIncludes a customer-facing display, cash drawer, and receipt printerStylish designRange of custom programmable keysAllows you to add up to 50 clerksIntegrated barcode scannerSpill-proof keyboardStores up to 20,000 product lookup codesVery affordableIncludes a rear-facing customer displayAllows up to 25 clerksCan store up to 2,500 product lookup codesSyncs with QuickBooks Pro for accountingRear-facing customer displaySpill-resistant keysSupports up to 3,000 product lookup codes
*Financing unavailable in AL, DE, MS, MO, NH, and TNExpensiveRetail only, not suitable for restaurants or barsExpensiveNot particularly stylishVery ExpensiveVery plain lookingLimited reporting functionsDoesn’t sync with the rest of your businessRelatively expensiveWon’t communicate with your inventoryWon’t sync with the rest of your businessBasicDated looksWon’t sync with the rest of your businessOnly has two ports for peripheralsTired looksWon’t communicate with the rest of your business

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Author Clark Howard

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