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Top POS Systems for Small Businesses | SMESA

Top POS Systems for Small Businesses

Jun 14, 2022

Yoco - Best small business all-rounder

    No fixed monthly rental fee

    Sales tracking and analytics

    Access to cash advance

    Accept card payments online without a website

    Website payment gateway

Read Review Compare Quotes

iKhokha - Best for Vendors

    Inventory management

    Detailed sales reporting

    Sell prepaid services

    Secure storage for data

    Immediate notifications

    Customer & supplier record management


Point-of-sale (POS) systems have changed how business transactions are made and have cut down the fees that SMEs have to pay.

With POS systems in South Africa, businesses can accept card and tap-to-pay payments. This is done through a card reader which connects to an Android/iOS smartphone or tablets. The hardware is paired with a (POS) application and business intelligence portal which gives businesses real-time access to sales insights and analytics. Most card readers work with both iOS and Android devices and only need a mobile device and an Internet connection to work.

What are the advantages of POS? 

The big advantage of POS systems is they offer an alternative way that customers can pay. Additional benefits are the speeding up of the checkout process and being able to save and organise sales data. Many payment systems have unique features – like iKhokha gives the business owner access to working capital within three months of trade.

  • Customer service – Increased convenience for customers.
  • Increased reach – Additional payment methods can help expand your customer base and increase sales.
  • Convenience – Payments are deposited directly to your bank account.
  • Insights – Informed decision-making with the help of sales insights and analytics.
  • Security – It is safer than cash on-premises or on hand.
  • Increase access – 24/7 access to data on your cloud-based POS system.
  • Better customer management – Get regular updates on your POS system on product data and sales; you will also be able to keep track of their preferred products.
  • Boost online sales – Integrate your e-commerce solution with your POS system

POS systems are especially helpful for small business owners who run mobile businesses, for example; entrepreneurs selling products at festivals and markets or physiotherapists conducting their services at people’s homes.

There are POS systems in South Africa that are specifically designed for specific industries such as retail and hospitality. Additional features for hospitality POS Systems can include the ability to create a kitchen, bar or custom station to receive orders, and the ability to split customer bills. If you are in retail, some of the features for this particular POS system would include product management, and categorisation and inventory control.

Main Features
  • Payment Processing

To ensure smooth processing of payments, choose a third-party company to handle the transaction of debit and credit card payments by customers. This also ensures the security of each transaction.

  • Retail POS

Industry-specific POS systems help you with product management, categorisation and inventory control, and enable you to run customer loyalty programs and promotions. You can also manage staff with access-controlled logins and make use of the analytics and reporting with exporting functions.

  • Sales Reports

The data you receive from reports can accurately assist you in achieving your business’s goals. It can be used to predict how and when your customers buy products to plan effective sales strategies and ultimately decide on a sales forecasting process. You can also integrate this feature within your accounting software.

  • Customer Accounts

Use this feature on your POS systems to create customer profiles, save their contact details including their email addresses and phone number. You can also give customers the option to become part of your business’s email list to get updates on specials and other marketing information. You can also send them receipts via email.

  • Discount Management

Offer discounts to help improve cash flow by encouraging new clients to buy or reward loyal customers. This feature on POS systems can help track the discount management process.

  • Gift Card Management

Gift cards can be used to attract new customers. This feature can offer tracking capabilities and can be integrated with other platforms.

  • Inventory Management

Make sure you keep track of every single item in your inventory. With an Inventory Management system, you can stay well-informed of purchases including the resale items and the fulfillment of a customer’s order. This can all be done via cloud-based solutions such as SOS Inventory. You can also generate sales reports, set up automatic low inventory alerts, and manage order packing and shipping.

  • Customer Loyalty Program

Use loyalty programs to reward regular customers. Loyalty programs can provide insight into customer product preferences and shopping behaviour.

  • Multi-Location

This feature will allow your business to track inventory across multiple venues (stores).

  • Device costs – Brands offer the option of either renting or purchasing a POS device. A card machine allows businesses to accept both credit and debit cards and to generate digital receipts for customers. Speed point card machines start at around R4999; a rental can cost around R400 per month.
  • Monthly subscription – As part of your subscription you get access to a POS application and business intelligence portal which gives businesses real-time access to sales insights and analytics, and more features depending on your package. Basic POS software can start at R450 per month.
  • Transaction Fees – Standard transaction fees can start at 2.75%. These are estimated fees based on your business’ monthly turnover. The transaction fees for in-person payments cost less than the online payments. For example, you can pay 2.95% for in-person payments or 3.40% for online payments. Payments excludes VAT. Fortunately, the more you trade and higher your monthly card volume, the lower your transaction rate. You can also get a competitive rate on some company’s websites (via an online calculator) to determine your transaction fees. Most POS card machines have no monthly fees if you have purchased it.

Some companies do charge a settlement fee on their devices which can start around R2.50 per settlement (i.e. R2.50 per day for each business day traded).

Buyer's Guide

Choose the Right POS system for your business. There are numerous tasks that a professional POS system should be able to handle – from sales tracking and accounts receivable to purchasing and inventory management.

Consider the following: 

  • Ease of use

It’s important that whichever POS system you choose is easy for customers to operate to avoid taking up your customers’ time unnecessarily and limit any frustration. It is just as important that your employees can easily handle the check-out process and are able to navigate the dashboard to complete essential tasks such as tracking sales and managing inventory.

  • Integration 

A good idea is to go with a POS option with software that can easily integrate with your existing accounting software, CRM, inventory management and even e-commerce website.

POS systems that integrate into e-commerce websites allow businesses to accept card payments without the use of card machines. Even businesses without online stores are also able to process online card payments by sending customers a payment link on WhatsApp, email, Facebook or Instagram.

  • Alternative payment options

Different cashless and contact-less transactions like the Tap & Go option or QR Codes, are popular trends according to fintech experts. Alternative payment options should be considered in any business. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are reluctant to hand over cards or deal with cash in stores, they have become willing to use alternative methods like QR codes.

  • Security

Finally, many consumers cite security as their primary concern related to alternative payment methods. Your POS system must be secure against criminals seeking to steal payment card data. Additional effort will have to be made by each business to assure customers that their data is safe and secure.

Compare our best picks


Mobile and Convenient

Inventory Management

Customer Vouchers


No card machine rental option is available.

Slow Syncing and Bluetooth

Yoco seems like a good option for small businesses that need a simple and easy-to-use card processing solution. However, if you need a more feature-rich POS system or are very sensitive to transaction fees, you may want to consider other options.



Prepaid services

Wide acceptance


No rental options

Reliance on smartphone

Potential for technical problems

Ikhokha is a convenient and secure way to make mobile payments. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to use this service.