What are the best non-cloud based POS systems on the market?

What is the best non-cloud based POS System?
The best non-cloud based POS system on the market is Toast for its comprehensive feature set that involves credit card processing, income reporting, as well as inventory tracking. It can also support loyalty programs and customization options for your convenience.

POS systems are behind the entire process of running your store—from when a product arrives in your inventory to when it’s sold. With the boom of ecommerce and the COVID-19 pandemic pushing consumer activities online, many businesses are also moving to cloud-based POS software.

Even with this trend, some businesses might still prefer the control of having a locally-installed POS system. While the options are not as plentiful as their cloud counterparts, on-premise POS systems are still around and with plenty of choices, as you’ll discover here.

non-cloud based POS systems

What are the top non-cloud or on-premise POS systems?

The global POS software market is projected to reach $18.1 billion by 2027. This market is segmented by deployment between cloud-based and on-premise POS systems. Retail and non-retail industries, basically anywhere there’s a point of sale, use one of POS software platforms to facilitate their transactions. But as today’s consumer preference shifts towards eCommerce, there comes a challenge in looking for a good on-premise point of sale system due to its limited options compared to the variety of cloud-based solutions available.

Moreover, the preferences of retailers have also influenced the popularity of cloud-based POS. In 2020, for example, The top North American retailers prioritized these features when searching for their cloud-based POS: omnichannel capabilities integration (59%), improve existing POS (52%), unified ecommerce platform (44%), mobile POS (44%), POS upgrade or replacement (41%), and hardware upgrade (30%).

Source: Retail Consulting Partners

So with all the flexibility and modern features of a cloud-based POS that conform to some of the latest trends in POS software, why would some businesses still prefer an on-premise system? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of an on-premise POS.

Advantages of an On-Premise POS System

The traditional POS systems are installed on your own servers and maintained on-site. While there are challenges in this type of implementation model, you also gain a variety of advantages. For instance, the system can only be accessed on the infrastructure it’s deployed in. Hence, larger enterprises prefer the security and control of having the tool on-premise POS software.

Furthermore, here are some of the benefits of having an on-premise POS software:

  1. More freedom to customize. Since you essentially own the software, hardware, and data that runs the system, you can make changes as you prefer. You get more flexibility in supporting and developing custom business systems.
  2. No downtime. Unlike a cloud-based system, running the system doesn’t depend on internet connection. This makes it a more stable solution to ensure you can process customer transactions without hiccups.
  3. Deeper integrations with POS hardware. With control over the entire system, you can ensure your POS hardware devices such as barcode scanners, card readers, cash drawers, and payment devices, among others, integrate with each other seamlessly.
  4. Full system control. In most cases, an on-premise system is purchased on a perpetual, non-exclusive license to install and use it. With this comes the ability to maintain and modify the system as needed with the help of an internal IT team.

Factors to Consider Before Implementing an On-Premise Solution

As mentioned earlier, there are factors worth considering before diving into an on-premise solution. It’s an ideal solution for mature business models that don’t experience rapid growth as its IT infrastructure requires investment and commitment. Listed below are some aspects to be aware of:

  1. IT maintenance. Since you own the system, you are also responsible for maintaining it. This means requiring to have IT specialists to maintain the hardware and server software, do backups, ensure security, and take care of the entire infrastructure.
  2. Hardware costs. On-premise solutions require more hardware devices to be deployed—ranging from screens, printers, cash drawers, and cash payment acceptance devices, for a start.
  3. Upfront costs. It requires higher and more up-front investments for licensing fees compared to the subscription-based models of cloud-based POS systems as its implementation process requires installation and hardware set up. Vendor support also usually comes at additional costs.
  4. System upgrade. In most cases, system upgrades are an internal responsibility. While you can work on a contract with the vendor regarding upgrades, your internal IT is responsible for the planning and implementation resources used.

10 Examples of On-Premise/Installed POS Software

1. Toast

Cloud-based restaurant management platform Toast is known for providing US-based businesses with total visibility and control over all their operations. It boasts a host of features, which include CRM, credit card processing, reporting, online ordering, and labor and inventory management. Using the software is most likely to result in cost savings as it gets rid of the need for additional hardware that traditional POS requires. It has integrations with popular third-party apps through its native API.

As for the solution’s restaurant management capabilities, users can benefit from features such as time specific menu pricing, customization and set up. An ordering feature is also present, providing users with the ability to split bills and items among customers while automatically sending out notification once an order is ready.

Toast POS

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Try out Toast POS with their free demo

Taking orders with Toast POS is a breeze, effectively accelerating restaurant service. Its ‘pay at the table’ feature simplifies payments, enabling users to print receipts, send emails and tip servers straight from tablet computers.

Toast POS is available in flexible and customized pricing plans. Pricing starts at $79/terminal for the software, $899 for hardware and a flat processing fee. Contact the vendor for a customized quote.

Detailed Toast POS Review

2. TouchBistro

TouchBistro is a robust POS system built for any food service with a menu, ranging from restaurants to coffee shops and bakeries. Its main features include tableside order management, floor plan and table management, mobile payment and processing, menu management, staff management and scheduling, CRM, restaurant inventory management, and reporting and analytics. It also has solutions geared towards full-service and quick-service restaurants and everything in between. The best way to evaluate the features is for you to try them.

The app’s licensing fees are more affordable compared to other products in its niche. Plans are based on the business’ layout, size, and type. For instance, a single license costs $69/user/month billed annually.



Try out TouchBistro with their free trial

Since it’s locally-installed, you don’t need WiFi or internet to use the system. At the same time, it has a unique hybrid networking support that allows you to use the cloud while still being able to access reports, payments, orders, menu edits, and employee clock-ins and clock-outs offline.

Its supported hardware devices include iPad, iPad Mini, iMac, and Mac Mini Computer, among others.

Detailed TouchBistro Review

3. QuickBooks POS

For a retail POS system, QuickBooks POS is a reliable choice. Some of its main capabilities include accepting payments through various methods (cash and credit cards, for a start), ringing sales manually or with a barcode scanner, tracking inventory, and elevating CRM with rewards and loyalty programs. This is also a go-to solution if you have existing QuickBooks systems as syncing is direct and seamless. Additionally, it has a new offering of working with Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablets.

The installation of QuickBooks POS is fairly easy. Its price point is also simple: three license options are available to choose from starting from $960 for a one-time purchase. It also offers hardware that’s sold separately ranging from barcode scanners, receipt printers, EMV Ready PIN Pad, and cash drawers, among others.

Detailed QuickBooks POS Review

4. NCR Counterpoint

NCR Counterpoint is one of the older and popular on-premise POS systems in the market. Aside from point of sale, it includes features such as inventory management, automated purchasing, and configurable reports. It’s known for its large selection of functionalities to provide solutions for your needs. The platform also connects the front- and back-end offices seamlessly as a specialty retail management system.

It’s a good choice for a multi-site, omnichannel solution that’s equipped with the current retail concepts. The system is touch-enabled and its POS machines and terminals are optimized for any size of retailer business. The hardware can also be used by non-NCR Counterpoint users. Meanwhile, the system supports installation only for Microsoft Windows.

Detailed NCR CounterPoint Review

5. AccuPOS

AccuPOS offers POS solutions that are both simple and advanced, depending on your business’ needs. For a start, it’s a robust system that automates accounting with its integration with QuickBooks and Sage. It also offers a wide range of customizability such as enabling you to buy hardware bundles from AccuPOS or use your own compatible hardware. Since the system is scalable, you can easily add terminals and devices as your business grows and you open more locations. Like NCR Counterpoint, AccuPOS supports Window desktops (back-end and front-end). It’s ideal for retailers, restaurants, counter services, and bars, among others.

Detailed AccuPOS Review

6. IncoPOS

IncoPOS developed its product with users in mind, especially small and medium businesses. Hence, it created a POS system that delivers a consistent quality no matter your device—whether it’s Mac, Windows, or Linux. It’s able to do so while maintaining ease of use and intuitiveness at an affordable price point for SMBs.

Another great thing about IncoPOS is its low system requirements. With that, slower computers that are running on low system resources (such as Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 or later) can run the newer system. For every workstation, pricing starts from $99/year. Each license, available as subscription-based, can be used in a single system to add features and to renew or extend the license.

Detailed IncoPOS Review

7. InfoGenesis POS

InfoGenesis POS is preferred by many users because of its ease of use. Any type of user, both new and inexperienced ones, can easily comprehend and figure out their way around the system. This is due to the intuitive interface that simplifies navigation and customizability based on your needs.

The product is available on flexible deployment options, and it comes as a traditional on-site software deployment. It specializes in next-generation hospitality technology that complies with the latest hospitality trends such as solutions for food service, retail businesses, and restaurants. It suits environments where their cashiers move from outlet to outlet within their shifts.

Detailed InfoGenesis POS Review

8. GoFrugal POS

GoFrugal POS is a robust all-in-one POS solution created for a wide range of industries, specifically retail, restaurants, and distribution. Its main features focus on automation, measurement, management, and growth. Since it supports a wide range of industries, it has various product editions you can choose from—Starter, Standard, and Professional.

Specific solutions are also available under its three main industry categories to ensure the tool provides solutions specifically for your organization’s needs. Additionally, it has Hybrid HQ for real-time monitoring of retail and restaurant businesses as it’s a centralized multi-store management solution.

Detailed GoFrugal POS Review

9. Paladin POS

Paladin POS is an on-premise system built for small and medium-sized businesses. Some of its core features include order management, discount management, inventory management, and CRM. The tool runs on Microsoft Windows. While it’s locally-installed, its cloud server allows your multiple stores to communicate through its Multi-Site solution.

For the on-site installation, Paladin POS sends a team member to your location to set up the system. This includes data conversion if you’re using an old POS system, hardware set up, and training conducted by on-site experts until the schedule of your system to go-live. Meanwhile, its pricing scheme is for a monthly subscription.

Postscript to POS: Businesses Moving to the Cloud

Are there any non-cloud-based POS system around? While not as plenty as web-based POS systems, yes, there are non-cloud-based ones. In this article, we listed 10 on-premise point-of-sale software solutions that are worth looking into if it matches your margin sensitivity, budget, IT sophistication, and business needs, among other factors. For more products to choose from, you may also check out the best POS software systems for small business including both cloud-based and on-premise POS solutions.

While on-premise POS software systems aren’t going away anytime soon, the market trends show hosted POS systems are increasingly becoming the go-to choice, especially with the sudden rise of ecommerce and digital payments brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shifting preference of many businesses to cloud-based POS systems with the ability to function on mobile devices. This is where the traditional POS software systems are outshined. Cloud solutions are more adaptive to change which is a vital factor to consider as today’s business cycles rapidly change.

Still, on-premise POS systems have their advantages as we’ve pointed out above. In fact, sometimes choosing the right platform may not be a case of the mode of deployment, but going for the most reliable vendor for you.

You may read this comparison of cloud-based and on-premise POS systems to better understand the differences between the two that lead users to choose one over the other.

Shaun Baker

By Shaun Baker

With 5 years of experience in digital marketing and retail strategy under his belt, Shaun Baker is the resident eCommerce expert at FinancesOnline. A contributor to Entrepreneur, The Atlantic, and other business portals, he has spoken and written about various eCommerce subjects, from AI and headless commerce to the economics of Black Mirror’s “Fifteen Million Credits”. His (highly) opinionated pieces on the ebbs and flows of eCommerce as an industry remain both a dynamic resource of talking points and entertainment in itself.

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