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

Category: B2B News

POS systems are behind the entire process of running your store—from when a product arrives in your inventory to when it’s sold. As new business models and sales technologies are developed, the tide has shifted towards cloud-based systems with the boom of eCommerce. This resulted in the emergence of numerous hosted POS tools. Still, some businesses still prefer the control of having a locally-installed POS system. While the options are not as plentiful as its cloud counterparts, on-premise POS systems are still around and with plenty of choices, as you’ll discover here.

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 shift 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.

When it comes to the length of software use, numerous retailers lean towards an installed POS software. This is usually the case for larger companies that face fewer risks and have invested more in their current POS infrastructure. At the same time, it’s worth noting that the popularity of on-premise POS solutions have decreased over the years, while hosted POS systems became more popular.

On-premise vs. cloud-hosted by year of purchase

Source: RSPA

In fact, a Hospitality Technology’s 2018 point of sale (POS) Software Trends Report revealed that 61% of merchants wanted to make their next POS platform to be cloud-deployed. As cloud-based POS becomes a more default option, installed POS still thrives as a solution for specific businesses.

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 to 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. You can check its features at no cost when you sign up for a free demo here.

Toast POS

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Toast POS won our Expert's Choice Award for 2018

Our score
User satisfaction

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. Taking orders 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.

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. You can easily sign up for a TouchBistro free trial here.


This award is given to the best product in our Restaurant Management Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

TouchBistro won our Best Restaurant Management Software Award for 2017

Our score
User satisfaction

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.

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.

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.

4. Lightspeed OnSite POS

Lightspeed OnSite, Lightspeed Retail’s on-premise solution, is complete with the onsite POS solutions you need for selling both in-store and online. It focuses on offering three main features: the management of operations, sales, and customers. It has a single-store and multi-store capacity to streamline how you run your retail business and make more sales.

The pricing scheme of Lightspeed OnSite is on a per-store basis depending on your chosen plan among three options (Small shop, Medium shop, and Large shop) starting from $99/month paid annually. As for the hardware, you can order the iPad or Mac hardware kit or purchase label printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and card swipe systems separately.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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 with solutions for food service, retail businesses, and restaurants. It suits environments where their cashiers move from outlet to outlet within their shifts.

9. 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.

10. 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 15 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. This is due to the shifting preference of many businesses to cloud-based POS systems, especially with its 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.

Synergy Research Group, in a 2018 report, showed that the SaaS market grew by 32% during the first quarter of the year, reaching a total value of $20 billion. Additionally, the rate of cloud adoption—ranging from POS, eCommerce, sales and marketing, and business intelligence, among others—has been increasing significantly according to the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study. The report also revealed that 77% of enterprises have at least one application or some portion of their infrastructure in the cloud. Large businesses were also planning to spend $3.5 million on cloud-based software while most executives in technology-run sectors are pushing for 100% cloud adoption.

What are the factors that contributed to this shift? 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.

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.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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