The conversation around this category must begin with Square, as it was the first to create a simple solution with its card reader and easy-to-maneuver interface.
There is no cost for setup – Square will even send you the card reader for free, which plugs directly into your device’s earphone slot. For most usage patterns the free option should work fine – Square takes 2.75 percent of each swipe. If you do a larger volume of business, you can instead opt to pay Square a flat rate of $275 per month, which eliminates the per-card fee.
Intuit has built a strong competitor with its own point of sale offering. It has a wider diversity of plans, some that get the swipe rate down to 1.75 percent. You can also get customized credit card receipts with your company logo and contact information.
Also, if your business uses QuickBooks Intuit offers some nice integration that could make your life easier.
The advantage of ShopKeep is that it is a better fit for those looking at a point-of-sale solution for a restaurant, food truck, or other business that would benefit from customizable transactions.
ShopKeep touts that it is easy to customize the app’s interface for a variety of businesses. The company offers examples of successful coffee shops, food trucks, boutiques and other small businesses.
The company also sells hardware if you end up going with one of their solutions.
PayPal is also making a major push in this space. In fact PayPal offers some features that are not found with every competitor, such as the ability to accept a check payment (currently Android and iPhone only for now).
PayPal offers a much larger variety of plans, with goals of making serious inroads to businesses who want to replace multiple cash registers with a PayPal-powered tablet.