mPOS — How to Choose the Right Mobile POS System

What is mPOS (mobile point of sale)?

An mPOS or mobile POS is a portable point of sale on a smartphone or tablet that functions as a register.

A mobile POS system is an ideal way for businesses such as food trucks, home and repair services, market vendors, etc. to take credit card payments on the go.

Get Started with Square Point of Sale.

Point-of-sale software designed to grow with you.

How does mPOS Work?

By selecting mPOS software for your business, you can download the POS app, connect your reader to the mobile device, and start taking payments instantly.

Choosing the right mobile POS system for your business

When shopping for the best mobile POS for your business, look for one that is secure, easy to use, and affordable.


Secure mPOS software is PCI compliant, lets you take encrypted payments like chip cards and NFC payments like Apple Pay. (Square offers also helps you fight disputes and has no PCI-compliance fees.)


Look for a mobile POS system that’s simple to use with an intuitive interface so it’s easy to get employees trained quickly.


It’s important for your mobile POS to be affordable, so make sure you know what you’ll be paying and which free POS systems are available. In addition to hardware costs and the processing fee for each credit card transaction, there could be other fees to be aware of.

For example, some mPOS companies charge monthly fees as well as other costs. (Square doesn’t have any monthly fees or hidden costs.)

swiping a credit card on a mobile device

How Square revolutionized the mPOS industry

Square started with the simple idea that everyone should be able to accept credit cards. Before Square came on the scene, lots of mobile businesses were “cash only” because standard POS terminals are clunky and anything but portable.

Plus signing up with a traditional credit card payment processor can be prohibitively expensive, especially for seasonal or micro businesses. Square set out to provide an alternative option.

We make POS software and compatible hardware that work together seamlessly, allowing sellers to take debit and credit card payments on the go.
Square contactless and chip card mpos terminal

Affordable mPOS solutions for any business

  • POS for magstripe
    Square’s credit card reader fits into the headset jack of your smartphone or tablet and, along with our free POS app, transforms your device into a mobile POS system that lets you take magstripe credit cards.

  • Contactless reader for NFC and chip card payments - $49
    Square Reader for contactless and chip fits in the palm of your hand and is a great mPOS because it connects wirelessly to let you take chip cards and NFC payments (like Apple Pay) anywhere. Make sure you’re set up to accept every payment method. The reader costs just $49, making this mobile POS affordable as well as portable.

Square charges just 2.6% + 10¢ for each swipe, dip, or tap payment. There are no monthly fees, commitments, or surprises. Learn how Square payment processing fees work.

Start accepting mobile payments with your Square mPOS

  1. Sign up for your free account and then download our free POS app, a powerful point-of-sale system that’s easy to use.
  2. Key in credit card payments at 3.5% +15¢ per transaction, or use a reader for lower rates (2.6% + 10¢ for card present transactions) and protection against chargebacks. Choose between our magstripe reader or our new, secure reader for EMV and NFC payments.
  3. For magstripe cards, insert the magstripe reader into the headset jack of your iOS or Android device. In the Square app, choose an item from the item library, or key in an amount. Swipe the card and hand the device to your customer to sign on the screen. The receipt can be emailed if the customer chooses.
  4. For chip cards or contactless payments like Apple Pay, make sure your Square Reader for contactless and chip is paired with your mobile device. Select an item from the item library, or key in an amount and tap Charge. Then dip the chip card in the slot or have your customer touch the device to the reader for an NFC payment.

An mPOS that plays nice with others

Square’s mobile POS system integrates beautifully with third-party apps to help you run your entire business on the go or in your back office. Simplify your accounting with Xero. eCommerce integrations are easy with BigCommerce.

If you need a custom mPOS, you can work with developers to create a tailored solution for your business using our Point of Sale API.

Is a mobile POS the right solution for your business?

Mobile POS systems are ideal for businesses on the go that want to take credit card payments, such as food trucks, plumbers, landscape architects, farmers markets, mobile beauty businesses, electricians, movers, eyelash extension specialists, and artisans at craft fairs, among others.

Now you know what you need to consider to choose the right mPOS for your business.