Best Android POS Systems for Irish Retailers

Choosing an Android POS system can be difficult, and knowing which one is best for retailers can be confusing. In the following article, we take a look at the most popular android systems and our recommendations for retailers.

Alongside iOS and Windows, Android POS systems are hugely popular, but which Android POS system is the best for Irish retailers?

Now, more than ever before, customers expect a quick, hassle-free buying process.

With patience levels decreasing in an era of instant gratification, customers want great service, and they want it now.

Add in a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the industry, and the need for contactless payments has evolved too.

But with so many different POS companies on the market, it can be challenging to determine which is the best option for you.

And that’s where today’s in-depth guide will bridge that gap in knowledge and help you make the best decision.

First, we’ll explain what an Android POS system is.

Secondly, we’ll explore why Android POS systems are so popular.

Thirdly, we’ll look at the main benefits of using an Android POS for retail in Ireland.

Finally, we’ll highlight the four best Android POS systems and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Table of contents

What is an Android POS system?
Why are Android POS systems popular?
Key benefits of Android POS systems for retailers
4 best Android POS systems reviewed

Android POS

What is an Android POS system?

An Android POS – Point of Sale system is a portable cash register run on a smartphone or tablet device that uses the Android operating system.

Where old legacy cash registers were stationary, Irish retailers using an Android POS system can now accept payments on the move using their phones or tablets.

Why are Android POS systems popular?

In 2022 as we take our first tentative steps out of a global pandemic, we’ve entered a different world.

That world includes two years’ experience of quarantine, social distancing, self-isolation, and making as much of our lives as contactless as possible.

And it’s in the latter – contactless payments – where POS systems have excelled in recent years.

But the obvious benefit of contactless payments isn’t the only reason Android POS systems are so popular in 2022.

The pandemic also brought about a glaring need for other important things, many of which Android POS systems do with ease.

The benefits of using an Android POS for Irish retailers.

There is a wide range of benefits that retailers enjoy when using Android POS systems.

Here’s our pick of the bunch:

Android POS systems offer unprecedented flexibility and mobility for Irish retailers.

After contactless payments took off in 2020 and 2021, retailers realised that they could best serve customers by being more flexible and mobile.

That’s where Android POS systems really made their mark; Android POS systems now allow Irish retailers unprecedented flexibility.

Retailers can accept payments via table service or pretty much anywhere throughout their premises.

Low-cost hardware.

POS hardware can be expensive depending on which software company you use.

Indeed, it’s not unheard of for retailers to spend hundreds – and sometimes thousands – on the POS hardware they need to run their business.

However, Android POS hardware is some of the most competitively priced in the industry.

Even better, much of the time, you only need an Android smartphone or Android tablet device to get started.

More options for POS hardware and software.

Android POS systems usually work with any device with Android or Windows operating systems installed.

Because of that, world-leading tech giants such as LG, Samsung, Dell and Acer specifically design their products to work with Android POS systems.

This, of course, means that retailers like you enjoy a wide range of options for POS software and hardware.

Great integration with POS software.

POS systems are only as good as their integrations.

After all, if you can’t use your POS alongside other essential business tools such as your accounting, then it’s nothing but an expensive waste.

But the best Android POS systems make sure they integrate seamlessly with all your other vital business apps and tools.

That’s because, unlike the old clunky legacy cash registers of years gone by, today’s iterations serve many purposes.

Retailers using Android POS systems now enjoy powerful inventory management tools, customer analytics, and high-quality business reporting.

Those retailers also take advantage of intelligent marketing tools, employee management, sales trends, and so much more.

Customers enjoy a better purchasing experience.

Just five years ago, in a coffee shop, customers had to walk up to a till order their coffee and pay at the same spot.

Fast-forward to today and coffee lovers can walk into a coffee shop, sit down, and an employee will come over to their table and take their order and take payment.

It’s this hassle-free, frictionless buying that allows customers to enjoy the experience so much more.

Android is supported by a world-leading tech company: Google.

It might not seem too important, but Android is Google-owned, which gives it a massive advantage over competitors.

That’s because Google is at the absolute pinnacle of modern technology and always striving to make things better, quicker, cheaper, and more efficient.

As a result of Google’s constant striving for success, users of Android POS systems will enjoy the results.

Retailers will be guaranteed a high-quality operating system that’s constantly updated and, most importantly, reliable and secure.

Android POS systems are scalable.

Whether yours is a one-store company or a multi-store national chain, you’ll want a POS system that can cope.

That’s because, while you might have one store now, you might have ambitions to have ten stores ultimately.

And Android POS systems are exceptionally scalable, meaning that as your business grows, it can adapt and grow with you.

4 Best Android POS Systems Compared

AirPOS

A firm favourite for retailers in Ireland, the AirPOS POS system was built by retailers for Irish retailers.

Pros

  • Straightforward to use
  • Built specifically for retailers
  • Free with AirPOS Pay
  • No nasty fixed contracts
  • All major payment providers accepted
  • Integrates well with Shopify
  • Excellent inventory management system
  • Industry-leading customer support
  • Works on Android, Windows, and Apple devices
  • High-calibre business reporting features
  • Great customer data and analytics

Cons

  • It may not be a good fit for large retailers
  • Unsuitable for hospitality
  • It doesn’t integrate with weighing systems

Pricing

  • Free trial available
  • Free with AirPOS Pay, or €55 for AirPOS Pro

Who it’s best for? Best for retail and eCommerce.

Lightspeed

As dynamic as it is flexible, the Lightspeed POS system is armed with its own credit card processing system and is a favourite for hospitality businesses.

Pros

  • Has its own credit card processing system
  • Good customer service
  • Variety of integrations to choose from
  • Good inventory management system
  • Good business reporting and analytics features (only on the pro plan)
  • Compatible with Android devices
  • Decent eCommerce platform

Cons

  • Some functions are difficult to use
  • Random outages
  • Expensive for smaller businesses
  • Need to upgrade plans for loyalty and analytics

Pricing

  • Lightspeed’s basic package starts at €69 per month
  • Lightspeed Pro starts at €199 per month
  • Hardware costs aren’t available on the Lightspeed website; contact them for a quote

Who it’s best for? Best for hospitality businesses.

Clover

Cloud-based POS company Clover is one of the most popular platforms in America and Ireland, processing billions of card transactions worldwide.

Pros

  • Well-designed hardware and software
  • As it’s cloud-based, you can use it anywhere
  • Scalable: can grow alongside your business
  • Simple to use
  • Good range of hardware options to choose from
  • Wide variety of integrations and apps available
  • Compatible with Android devices
  • Seamlessly and quickly pairs with additional accessories

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Confusing pricing
  • Customer complaints about hidden fees that weren’t initially clear
  • Unsuitable for larger businesses
  • Can’t separate payment processing from Point of Sale
  • Customer service is notoriously bad

Pricing

  • €8.36 per month for Clover Register Lite software
  • €33.58 per month for Clover Register software
  • Hardware options start from €500 right up to €1,400

Who is Clover best for? Small and medium-sized retail and hospitality companies.

Square

Simplicity is vital with Square, and new small businesses enjoy a powerful built-in payment processor and an exceptional free app that’s top of the pile.

Pros

  • Zero monthly fees (but you’ll pay for it with payments)
  • Good, best-in-class app
  • Offline mode available
  • Scalable: will grow alongside your business
  • Simple to use
  • Good choice of hardware options
  • Compatible with Android devices
  • Easy processing features

Cons

  • Customers have complained about random holds on their funds
  • Expensive payments
  • 24/7 customer support only available after the paid upgrade
  • Limited reporting (advanced reporting costs €49 p/m)
  • High fees for larger businesses (penalised for growing)
  • Only suitable for new businesses

Pricing

  • No setup fees
  • No monthly fees
  • Fees per transaction range from 1.75% to 2.9%
  • Square hardware from €16 + VAT for a Square Reader, up to €499 + VAT for a Square Register.

Who it’s best for? New small businesses.

Why AirPOS for your Android POS system?

AirPOS is undoubtedly the best all-rounder for retailers using an Android POS system.

AirPOS is a favourite in Ireland with industry-leading customer support and an extensive knowledge bank.

Offering flexible payment options and super-simple to use, AirPOS is compatible with most hardware.

Conclusion

Retailers have witnessed the most remarkable transformation of the industry in the last two years.

Now, in 2022, there’s an emphasis on customer safety, speed of service, and ensuring an enjoyable buyer journey.

There’s also a renewed focus on contactless, mobile, and flexible payments, which is why POS providers achieve such success.

Ultimately, if you’re using an Android POS system, you’ll rest easy knowing that world-leading tech company Google has all the essentials taken care of.

So, with that in mind, it comes down to which POS system to choose.

Many offer specific features for specific industries, but it’s vital to research each company before choosing one.

That’s because you might end up paying for features you don’t need or find yourself stuck in a lengthy contract with an unsuitable POS provider.

Consequently, if you’re a small retailer with big ambitions, AirPOS will be your ideal POS provider.

Packed with features that you need as a retailer, it’ll act as more than merely just a POS system, but an extra pair of marketing hands.

AirPOS will also prove invaluable in helping you manage your inventory, spot sales trends, manage employees and scale your company.

TLDR

Android POS systems are built for different industries, and prices vary wildly between competitors.

But if you’re looking for a reliable POS system built with Irish retailers in mind, then choose AirPOS.

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