Loyverse is free POS software designed to accommodate retail, restaurant, and service-oriented businesses. It features a strong set of free standard features, plus some additional paid features. The software can operate on both iOS and Android devices.
There are not many providers that offer their merchant services products for free, but Loyverse is one of them. Indeed, Loyverse is unique in the world of merchant services providers—not just because their products are free, but because Loyverse is not a for-profit enterprise. Providing POS mobile apps, Loyverse describes their company as more of a mission-driven organization, saying: “We believe that by empowering small business, the bedrock of every country’s economy, we contribute to the welfare of humanity.”
Having said that, Loyverse does charge for some add-on features, as well as POS hardware.
Still, most business owners should be intrigued by a POS software that won’t cost them a penny to use. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Loyverse POS, including features, pros and cons, and reviews, as well as top alternatives if Loyverse isn’t the right choice for you.
Loyverse is an amalgamation of the words “loyalty” and “universe.” The loyalty part refers to the fact that Loyverse comes with a built-in loyalty program (more on this later). The universe part is likely a reference to the fact that Loyverse aims to be a global product—it’s available in over 25 languages and used in over 200 countries.
The Loyverse POS software is designed to function on both iOS and Android devices. The software is also cloud-based, meaning it is stored on Loyverse’s servers and transferred to your POS device via the cloud. Loyverse is designed to be used by all types of small businesses. On their website, Loyverse advertises solutions for food-service businesses like restaurants and cafes, retail businesses like boutiques and convenience stores, and service businesses like salons and carwashes. Furthermore, Loyverse has multi-location functionality, meaning you can oversee multiple locations from a single account.
How can Loyverse offer solutions to such a wide variety of business types? Let’s find out.
Loyverse’s feature set isn’t the most robust. It is, after all, a free service. But there is still a good deal of functionality here. Let’s break down everything that Loyverse POS offers.
Your payment processing options are limited with Loyverse POS. U.S. merchants must choose between SumUp or Worldpay. Both services will allow you to accept all major credit cards, as well as magstripe, EMV, and NFC payment methods. SumUp charges a straightforward 2.65% on all magstripe, chip card, and contactless payments made using the SumUp credit card reader (virtual terminal transactions cost 2.95% + $0.15).
Worldpay charges a 2.9% + $0.30 fee per transaction, but offers higher volume merchants a lower rate of 2.7% + $0.30 per transaction. Worldpay also requires a multi-year contract, while SumUp will let you pay month-to-month and cancel at any time.
Loyverse POS works on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets. You can also purchase a variety of compatible receipt printers, barcode scanners, terminal stands, cash drawers, and label printers through the Loyverse hardware marketplace. Plus, Loyverse sells a 15-inch enclosed Android POS terminal called the Bematech SB1015AW. Pricing on all hardware is quote-based.
Loyverse combines features for restaurants, retail, and service-based businesses into their software. So while some features will not apply to all businesses, your business can probably leverage at least some of Loyverse’s features. Here is what you can expect from Loyverse POS in the payment department:
Loyverse offers both free and paid inventory management features. Here are the features that come standard with your system:
To get Loyverse’s full range of inventory management features, you’ll need to spring for the Advanced Inventory feature, which costs an additional $25 per month per store, or $250 per store if you pay annually. With Advanced Inventory, here are the capabilities you get:
Similar to inventory management, Loyverse offers free and paid employee management tools. However, there is really only one free tool: a timeclock that tracks the hours your employees work. For additional employee-management features, you’ll have to pay $5 per month per employee or $50 per year per employee. For your money, here is what you can do:
Loyverse offers a separate app for running reports and viewing analytics called Loyverse Dashboard. This app is also free and allows you to do the following:
Loyverse’s loyalty program is their flagship feature. With this free tool, customers can opt into your business’s loyalty program when they make a purchase. Their information is then saved in your customer database, which features the customer’s contact information and purchase history. Customers who are part of your loyalty program will be able to earn points when they spend money at your business that can be redeemed for future purchases.
Along with features that can apply to all business types, Loyverse POS also has a few retail-specific features. They include the ability to scan barcodes with your phone’s camera via the Loyverse app and add an unlimited number of product variants to your catalogue.
Loyverse also offers a few restaurant-specific features. Here is a rundown of everything that comes standard with your software:
Loyverse does not integrate with any third-party software. However, it does offer two additional free apps that can extend the functionality of your POS. Let’s take a look at each one.
Loyverse KDS (Kitchen Display System) is an app available for iOS and Android that connects with your POS system to display orders to your kitchen staff. Each ticket contains the ingredients needed, preparation instructions, modifiers, and any comments added by the server. Tickets are also color coded to denote priority, and users can arrange for the KDS to make a noise every time a new order comes in.
Loyverse CDS (Customer Display System) is an iOS and Android app that provides a user-facing interface where customers can review their order before payment. The interface displays the products ordered, modifiers, taxes, discounts, loyalty points earned, and any other pertinent information. There is also an option for the customer to enter their email to receive an e-receipt.
As previously stated, Loyverse is a free software that features paid add-ons for inventory and employee management. Keep in mind, though, that if you choose to use the free version of the software, you will still have to pay for payment processing and POS hardware. Subscriptions are month-to-month and can be cancelled at any time for no additional fee.
Now that we know everything that Loyverse can do, let’s talk about the benefits of the Loyverse POS system.
As far as free POS systems go, Loyverse offers quite a lot. The main competition to Loyverse in the free POS space is Square POS. When you compare the two, Loyverse has some marked benefits. Sure, Square offers integrated payment processing, but with Loyverse you get a free loyalty program, restaurant- and retail-specific tools, and free apps for kitchen and customer displays. That’s a lot of free software compared to Square POS.
A lot of POS providers don’t offer retail and restaurant features in the same software. They usually make two different softwares and charge customers to use each one. Loyverse is one of the few POS providers that built a free product that can be leveraged by merchants across the business landscape. Admittedly, combining features from two different types of businesses into one software can be a bit confusing, but we appreciate that Loyverse is trying to help as many business owners as possible with their service.
Loyverse isn’t without some areas of concern. Here is what stands out to us:
The Loyverse software offers a little bit of everything, but probably not enough of any one specific thing to help a growth-minded business. The retail and restaurant functions come up fairly short compared to some of the other paid services Loyverse is competing against. Even the standard inventory and employee-management functions are lacking, making it almost necessary to spring for the advanced versions of these features. Furthermore, Loyverse does not integrate with any third-party software, meaning what you see is what you get.
We shouldn’t expect a nonprofit enterprise to offer in-house payment processing, but the third-party options you get aren’t great. Sure, SumUp offers a reasonable payment processing rate, but you are limited to only one kind of credit card terminal—the SumUp Reader. Worldpay offers a lot of different payment processing options, but their rates aren’t exactly small business-friendly. It would be a nice improvement if Loyverse could offer more payment processing options to U.S.-based businesses.
Here is how Loyverse customers rank the software on popular review websites:
It’s not a stretch to say that customers who use Loyverse POS adore it. Most think it offers the most bang for their buck of any POS system on the market—probably because it costs nothing to use. Specific aspects of the software celebrated by customers include its ease of use, compatibility with iOS and Android devices, customizability for restaurant and retail businesses, and helpful support staff. There are really no negative reviews to call out.
If you find Loyverse POS isn’t the best choice for your business, here are two alternatives to consider.
As we said earlier, Square POS is really the only other free POS software in the same class as Loyverse. You might choose Square over Loyverse if you want access to Square’s extremely popular POS hardware as well as integrated payment processing. Square also provides new users with a free mobile card reader, and can be integrated with a wide variety of third-party software via the Square app marketplace. So while Loyverse may come with more standard features, you can probably customize Square POS more to fit your needs.
Lightspeed is not free, but offers more industry-specific features for restaurants and retail businesses. Lightspeed Retail costs $99 and includes integrated payment processing (2.6% + $0.10), inventory, employee, and customer relationship management tools, plus omnichannel functionality and a robust reporting suite. You can also get a loyalty program for an additional $59 per month.
For food-service businesses, Lightspeed Restaurant costs $69 per month and comes with all the restaurant POS features you’ll need: menu management, floor plan management, and the ability to oversee multiple stores from a single POS. Lightspeed also sells hardware bundles specifically for retail businesses and restaurants.
Loyverse is probably one of the most impressive free POS systems on the market. It offers all the essential features you need to operate a business, and it won’t cost you a penny (unless you opt for one of the paid features). We think it is a great option for small businesses just starting out—you get the tools you need while paying barely any overhead. Having said that, there are scalability issues with Loyverse POS. So overall, you may find it helpful to use as your business gets going, but be prepared to upgrade when the time is right.
Matthew Speiser is a former staff writer at Fundera.
He has written extensively about ecommerce, marketing and sales, and payroll and HR solutions, but is particularly knowledgeable about merchant services. Prior to Fundera, Matthew was an editorial lead at Google and an intern reporter at Business Insider. Matthew was also a co-author for Startup Guide—a series of guidebooks designed to assist entrepreneurs in different cities around the world.