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The Right Cash Register for a Small Business: Our Top Picks for 2022

Danica Djokic Image
Written ByDanica Djokic
Updated July 08,2022

When running a small business such as a retail store or a restaurant, one of the most critical components is having the right equipment to accept payments. Enter cash registers. Combined with a POS system, not only does it help you keep track of your sales and inventory, but it can also provide valuable insights into your business finances. 

With so many different options on the market, picking the right register can be challenging. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of products to help you find the right cash register for a small business.

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Square Register

Price
$799

Price subject to change.


At A Glance
Cloud-based software
Free POS subscription
Two-year limited warranty

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Square Register comes with free cloud-based software and is a fully integrated point-of-sale system that includes everything you need to process payments. It has a touchscreen terminal, and a customer display with a built-in card reader. In addition to its range of features, the product is easy to use, making it our top pick for small business owners.

SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180U)

Price
$249.95

Price subject to change.


At A Glance
Highly affordable
Thermal printer
Thermal printer

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For those who are on the hunt for simple and affordable business solutions for their small business, a cash register from SAM4s is a great option. The ER-180U model is equipped with an old-school flat keyboard and all the basic features you need, including a thermal printer and coin drawer. Its simple design makes it easy to use. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with advanced features such as inventory management or sales reporting.

Epos Now Hospitality POS System

Price
$449

Price subject to change.


At A Glance
Waterproof touchscreen
Full installation and training
Integrates with more than 100 apps

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This Epos Now hardware bundle is a great cash register for small business owners in the hospitality industry. It’s a complete POS system that comes with all the features and capabilities you need to streamline your operations, including a built-in thermal receipt printer, cash drawer, and customer display. The software is also very user-friendly, making it easy to keep track of your inventory, sales, and customers.

Sharp XEA207

Price
$393

Price is subject to change.


At A Glance
Menu-based programming
Multi-line operator LCD
Electronic journal and reporting features

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If you’re looking for the best cash register for a small business with running journal tape, then the Sharp XEA207 might be a good option. This old-school machine comes with a built-in quiet thermal printer and a full-size cash box. It also offers a multi-line operator LCD display and a one-line customer display that makes it easy to view all transactions. Even though it doesn’t include a POS feature, it does offer various reports and integration with QuickBooks.

Shopify Retail Kit

Price
$299

Price subject to change.


At A Glance
Uses iPads as terminal
Numerous third-party integrations
Accepts NFC payments

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The last name on our list is the Shopify Retail Kit, an excellent choice for small businesses that want to use an iPad as their cash register. The kit includes an iPad stand, receipt printer, cash drawer, and barcode scanner. The top-notch Shopify POS system is the perfect addition for all e-commerce businesses. The software is user-friendly, while the hardware is sleek and stylish. The Shopify retail bundle has the most advanced features on the market, including inventory management, sales reporting, and customer loyalty programs.

Cash Register Solutions for Small Business Needs: Why Get One?

When running a small business, you need a reliable cash register to help you track sales, customer information, and inventory. Sometimes called a till or automated money handling system, this essential piece of business equipment can make all the difference in your sales operation. When equipped with POS software, the registers are more than just a cash box and serve as an all-in-one checkout tool

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in a cash register system for your small business, here are a few reasons why you should:

1. Clear Audit Trail

A cash register can help you keep track of your sales and inventory. This is essential for staying up to date on your stocks and knowing what items are selling well. Without a clear audit trail, it would be more difficult to create a selling strategy for your products or services. 

2. Useful Insights

This robust product can provide valuable insights into your business finances. With a POS, every cash register for a small business offers powerful analytical tools and reports that can track sales data over time. 

By doing so, you can identify patterns and trends that can help you make better decisions about where to invest your resources. You can track anything, from customer satisfaction, employee performance, and revenue reports to checking sales, profits, and trends.

3. Efficiency

Having a cash register can make transactions more efficient and streamline your operations. This is especially important if you have a high volume of sales. By automating repetitive tasks like printing receipts and scanning barcodes, you can focus on more important aspects of running your business. 

Also, a good cash register for a small business should have a built-in credit card processor, saving you time and money on transaction fees and further improving customer satisfaction.

4. Improved Security

Some cash registers come with an integrated security system. This might include a camera that captures the customer's image or a fingerprint scanner. Also, the cash drawer on an electronic cash register automatically locks when you're done using it, allowing only authorized users to access it with a password.

Our Methodology for Evaluating the Best Cash Register for Small Business

Our market research examined the experiences of small business owners with different cash registers. We also relied on expert opinions to identify the features that make a quality register. 

Finally, we tested each and every product and came up with a list of the most important criteria to consider when choosing a register for your small business.

Ease of Use

The whole point of having a register is to make transactions more efficient. That's why the products on our list are easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy. We’ve evaluated the usability of each of the cash register systems for small business owners, from the initial setup to day-to-day use. 

We’ve also checked how easy it is to add and remove items from the register's database. Extra points were given to cash registers with touchscreen terminals and barcode scanners, as these speed up transactions.

Finally, we looked at mobile and handheld options for those who need a wireless POS system.

POS System and Integrations

Modern cash registers include features such as electronic journals and basic reports. But the best registers go even further by offering top-rated POS systems and integrations with popular accounting software, such as QuickBooks and Xero. This puts all your transaction data in one place and makes it easier to keep track of everything from sales to inventory.

A cash register with a POS system for small business owners will enable online ordering, omnichannel selling, advanced analytics, and even marketing tools to promote your products.

Payment Processing

The most important feature of a cash register is its ability to process payments. We looked for products that can accept various payment methods, such as cash, magnetic stripe and chip cards, checks, NFCs, mobile payments, and gift cards. 

Most of the cash registers on our list come with built-in credit card processors. This means that you can accept payments from customers directly through the register. This is a more convenient and secure way to accept payments than having to use a separate credit card machine. 

In addition, most of these cash register options for small business users also come with receipt printers. Finally, once the transaction is completed, you need a place to store the cash. That's why we also looked for products that come with built-in cash drawers.

Advanced Features

A quality cash register should be able to do more than just print receipts. It should help you track your inventory, sales journals, and employee performance. We’ve given an advantage to products that offer powerful analytical tools and reports. Other noteworthy features in a cash register for small business owners include customer loyalty programs and discounts, inventory management options, and security features. 

Some cash registers come with a free integrated card reader or a bar-code scanner, while others typically have readers compatible with smartphones and iPads.

Pricing

For a lot of small business owners, finding the right register comes down to details in cost. As such, we’ve covered a range of options from low-cost to high-end registers. 

While most of the cash register software for small business owners comes bundled with a touchscreen display, credit card reader, and other features, some require additional investments for separate equipment such as a cash drawer and receipt printer. 

We examined the value of each register by weighing the costs against the available features. This enabled us to identify the most affordable options that don’t sacrifice quality. We also took into account the payment processing fees charged by each register.

What Is the Best Cash Register for a Small Business?

  1. Square Register

  2. SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180U)

  3. Epos Now Hospitality POS System

  4. Sharp XEA207

  5. Shopify Retail Kit

Featured Snippet Image

Reviews of Cash Registers

Square Register Review Logo

Square Register Review

Payment Processing Options:

EXCELLENT

Analytical Functions:

EXCELLENT

Ease of Use:

GOOD

  • ⦿ Send receipts via email/SMS
  • ⦿ Extensive resources library
  • ⦿ Accepts offline payments

If you're looking for an all-in-one solution for your small business, the cloud-based Square Register is a great option. In addition to a robust POS system that works on iOS and Android devices and Square’s proprietary hardware, it includes credit card processing, as well as inventory and employee management. The features available with this easy to program cash register for a small retail business are some of the most advanced on the market.

You don’t have to be tech-savvy to set up and use Square Register. It comes with a built-in credit card reader, so you can start taking payments right away. If you face any obstacles, you can turn to Square’s Support section, which offers featured articles on a range of topics, or connect with peers through the Seller Community section.  

Square’s easy-to-use touchscreen registers support barcode item sales. You can purchase a barcode scanner and add it to the Accessory Hub, which has five USB ports. Meanwhile, its intuitive dashboard is accessible from every browser.

Aside from an intuitive touch screen, this cash register for a small business includes a robust POS system. It provides powerful analytics tools to help you track your sales and inventory and export data and reports. It also enables real-time tracking and provides quantity updates. If you’re running a restaurant, you’ll love the Square for Restaurants plan for creating menus, managing tables, taking tips, and more. Square also offers a customer loyalty program.

With Square Register, you’ll be able to accept credit, debit, contactless, and chip payments, as well as cash and gift cards. Sales can be accepted and processed even without an internet connection, but in those cases, you run the risk of accepting payments from declined cards. 

Furthermore, you have the option to either print or send receipts via email and SMS. It goes without saying that knowing how to handle both receipts and invoices is an important part of any business. 

On the flip side, if you’re struggling to choose the right cash register for your small business, keep in mind that this model doesn’t come with a cash drawer and printer. 

When it comes to costs, Square Register is an expensive option. Be ready to part with $799 in one go or pay $39 in monthly installments for 24 months. Even though it charges 2.6% and an additional 10c per tap, dip, or swipe, there aren’t any monthly or hidden fees.

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SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180U) Logo

SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180U)

Payment Processing Options:

FAIR

Analytical Functions:

GOOD

Ease of Use:

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ Electronic journal of up to 2000 lines
  • ⦿ Four programmable tax rates
  • ⦿ Basic reporting options

If you’re on a hunt for an old-school and affordable cash register for a small business, the SAM4s ER-180U is a suitable model. Even though it’s not as advanced as some of the other options on our list, it’s perfectly capable of handling your basic needs.

This SAM4s model is by far the easiest to use. There is a simple price display, and the machine comes with clear instructions. Due to its simplicity, the ER-180U is not as scalable as some of the other options on our list. But small retailers will appreciate the simple tools.

This easy cash register for small business needs doesn't offer a POS system. However, it has some useful features to streamline the sales process. For example, it has a built-in thermal printer that prints receipts automatically. It also comes with a drawer, which has a single port for storing cash. 

Other than these hardware features, the SAM4s ER-180U offers four programmable tax rates and lets users track sales transactions in an electronic journal that captures up to 2000 lines. This model includes basic report options such as a financial report, sales by the cashier, cash declaration, and price code look-ups. 

On the flip side, this basic cash register for a small business doesn’t have an option for inventory tracking. It allows for up to ten clerks or cashiers with separate report totals, which is generally enough for small retailers. 

As the model doesn’t come bundled with an integrated card reader, you’ll only be allowed to accept cash payments. If you purchase an external reader, you’ll be able to track checks and credit cards as well. The good news is that the register lets you accept split tender payments such as cash and charge.

SAM4s is a cheap cash register for small business owners, and you can get one for as little as $249.95. Of course, prices vary depending on the vendor.

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Epos Now Hospitality POS System Logo

Epos Now Hospitality POS System

Payment Processing Options:

EXCELLENT

Analytical Functions:

EXCELLENT

Ease of Use:

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ PCI compliant
  • ⦿ Clock-in and clock-out functions
  • ⦿ Online ordering options

The Epos Now Hospitality POS System is the ideal hardware bundle for restaurants, cafes, bars, and delis. It includes a complete POS system, along with cash till and a thermal printer, which is pretty much everything you need to manage hospitality businesses. The price tag is a bit higher than some of the other options on our list, but it's worth it for the features and quality you get. 

Epos is an easy to program cash register for small business owners who want a system that can grow with their business. The software allows you to manage different aspects of your business, such as inventory, customers, employees, and more. 

If you're not sure where to start, Epos Now offers complete installation, configuration, and training on how to use the system and software. With a simple interface and one-touch ordering, training your staff will be effortless. Finally, it has a large, waterproof touchscreen that makes ordering and payments a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about accidental spills.

The Epos digital cash register for a small business comes bundled with an advanced restaurant POS software that synchronizes all your orders and payment processing. It facilitates online ordering options and allows you to get advanced inventory checking right down to the ingredients. The system is also a useful tool for driving repeat business and loyalty via CRM software and promotions. 

Epos offers robust intelligent sales insights and employee management features, including a staff time clock. It also lets you integrate with more than a hundred third-party apps such as Xero, Sage, Deliveroo, Nettl, and Mailchimp.

With Epos Now, payment transactions are a breeze, as the register allows you to accept payments via card, chip, tap, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and gift cards. Top-notch cash register software for a small business has prices that are often too high for many retailers and restaurant owners. The Epos system isn’t exactly the most affordable option on the market, but it isn’t the most expensive either. It’s currently available for $499 or $39 per month. 

Also, note that you’ll have to purchase a barcode scanner, as it’s not included in the bundle. Finally, all Epos Now Payment terminals are PCI compliant through its encryption technology.

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Sharp XEA207 Logo

Sharp XEA207

Payment Processing Options:

GOOD

Analytical Functions:

GOOD

Ease of Use:

EXCELLENT

  • ⦿ QuickBooks integration
  • ⦿ Robust reporting features
  • ⦿ 2,500 PLU’s

Similar to the SAM4s model, the Sharp XEA207 offers a more traditional approach to processing payments. It’s a perfect fit for small retailers or cafe and restaurant owners who are on a budget and don’t need extra features. In other words, this simple cash register for a small business covers the basics.

Sharp XEA207 features a sizable multi-line operator LCD display that comes with a one-line customer display. It has a quiet thermal receipt printer and a full-size cash drawer. 

The user-friendly register is easy to operate. The product contains guided menu-based programming for easy set-up and a built-in SD card slot for program backup and easy data transfer, backup, and cloning.

Even though this cash register machine for a small business doesn’t have as many features as some of the other models on this list, Sharp XEA207 has the tools that help you run your business smoothly. The features include periodic transaction, clerk, PLU, and hourly reports. There is also an electronic journal for activity history.

It includes four programmable tax rates, automatic VAT calculations, and excellent credit card reader support. We love that there’s an option for QuickBooks Pro export with PC-Link software, which simplifies the accounting process. 

Other key benefits include its ability to store 2,500 PLUs while supporting 99 departments and 25 clerks, making Sharp XEA207 the best cash register for a small retail business or a busy cafe.

This model works for both cash and check sales and has a terminal for credit cards that links directly to the cash register. When it comes to the price tag, Sharp XEA207 is one of the more affordable options and is available with some vendors for as little as $393.

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Shopify Retail Kit Review Logo

Shopify Retail Kit Review

Payment Processing Options:

GOOD

Analytical Functions:

EXCELLENT

Ease of Use:

GOOD

  • ⦿ Wireless hardware
  • ⦿ Integrated POS
  • ⦿ Low credit card rates

Vendors who can’t afford to stay glued to the counter or sell their products through an eCommerce platform should go for the Shopify Retail Kit. The kit includes an iPad stand, a card reader, charging docks, and cables. To start processing payments, you’ll need an iPad, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer. 

The Shopify retail bundle might be the best cash register app for a small business and is perfect for those looking for a modern solution.

The software is fairly easy to use, with a modern and intuitive interface. Should you have any problems, you can turn to Shopify’s onboarding resources or the customer service team that is available 24/7. The dashboard grants users access to critical performance metrics, while the most expensive package allows up to 15 staff accounts.

The Shopify Retail Kit combines hardware and a POS system with advanced features which give you the ability to manage your inventory, customers, employees, and orders all in one place. With Shopify’s cash register app for a small business, you can offer a smooth multichannel selling experience, take and fulfill online orders, email purchase reminders, attach QR codes to products, create discounts, and much more. 

When it comes to sales reports and analytics, Shopify is in a league of its own. You can get daily, finance, cash flow, and discount reports, among many others. We love the fact that you can create customer profiles and reward their loyalty. 

Finally, you can have more than 6,000 integrations with some of the most popular apps to better cater to your customers’ needs.

With this Shopify cash register for small retail business owners, you can accept payments via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and gift cards. The Shopify software is $79 per month with the standard plan.

You’ll also have to buy a hardware bundle that’s around $200, depending on the components. Don’t forget that Shopify charges a rate for credit card transactions. Depending on your pricing plan, you may have to pay 2.4%, 2.5%, or 2.7% + 0¢ USD. You can test things out with a 14-day free trial.

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FAQ
What can I use instead of a cash register?

The more traditional electronic cash register machine for a small business is gradually being replaced by POS systems, an all-in-one solution that includes hardware and software. This is a more advanced option that offers inventory management, sales reporting, and customer loyalty programs. POS systems enable you to centralize your transaction data and accept payments in various ways.

What cash register should I buy?

There are plenty of options on the market, but choosing the right cash register for your small business comes down to your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for an old-school model that's affordable and easy to use, you should go for models such as the SAM4s Electronic Cash Register (ER-180U) or Sharp XEA207. 

If you're on the hunt for a more robust option that offers advanced features, you’ll need a model with an integrated POS software. That will allow you to manage inventory, customers, and sales all in one place. Check the latest hardware and software bundles by Shopify, Square, and Epos.

Can you use a laptop as a cash register?

Yes, you can use your computer as a cash register for your small business. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For starters, you’ll need to purchase necessary peripherals such as a credit card reader and a barcode scanner so that you can process payments. 

You’ll also need to find a receipt printer and cash drawer that are compatible with your laptop. Finally, you’ll need to install POS software compatible with your operating system. Once you have all of these things, you can start using your laptop as a cash register.

Is a cash register a POS system?

Those looking for the perfect cash register for their small business often ask this very question. A cash register is a standalone system that typically includes an electronic keypad, receipt printer, and drawer for holding cash. A POS system, on the other hand, is a more advanced option that includes hardware and software. POS systems offer features such as inventory management, sales reporting, and customer loyalty programs. And although POS systems have both hardware and software components, unlike cash registers, they are customized to fit the needs of individual businesses.