Leasing vs. Purchasing a Point of Sale System

Bematech Blog - July 21, 2014

point of sale systemAs if there weren’t enough options to consider when buying a point of sale system, end-users need to think about whether they would rather buy the system outright or lease it for a certain number of days, months or years. There are benefits to both.


When the point of sale industry first started to gather steam, buying a system was the only option. Hardware lasted years and the technology changed more slowly.

From a financial standpoint, when you buy your point of sale system, it’s yours. You may be able to negotiate a better price when you buy the complete package, including the peripherals, from a single company. There are no monthly bills to pay and the only time you pay an additional cost would be if you need to upgrade to a new version of the software or if you were expanding and needed additional terminals.

However, there is a downside to ownership. Hardware doesn’t work forever and will eventually need maintenance, which could be costly. If your store or restaurant only has one or two point of sale terminals, having one out of service could be an issue. Finally, technology is changing rapidly—stores and restaurants don’t use their point of sale systems for many years like they used to.


Leasing is a good option for businesses that find point of sale systems cost-prohibitive, such as new restaurants or small startups that are building up their finances. A business that doesn’t want to lay out so much cash upfront may not purchase a system, or will put off buying one until it’s more financially feasible.

Leasing a point of sale system is all about convenience. It’s ready when you want it and in return, you’re paying a monthly fee. Leasing the system is an attractive option for a company that wants to upgrade their point of sale system every few years so they always have the best technology on the market.  It’s also a great choice for businesses or organizations that only need the system for a limited amount of time for a special event or short-term installation.

Leasing also reduces the chance that you’ll need any of your hardware repaired for the time you own the point of sale system. It’s unlikely you’ll have an issue with the point of sale system in the few years you are using it, which means you can avoid these repair costs and the downtime while one of your terminals is out of service.

Although there is little-to-no cost upfront, the long-term cost of a leased system may actually be more than the cost to purchase it. People who are considering a leased system that do the math may actually find that they are spending more money on their rented system because these fees have to cover depreciation, obsolete hardware and other expenses.

However, many point of sale system leases are comprehensive agreements that allow merchants to keep the equipment as long as it suits them. Many leases are flexible, include credit card processing and guarantee that if there is an issue with a piece of equipment, it will be replaced quickly. Upgrades can be done for an already agreed-upon cost and this cost-predictability offers peace of mind for many business owners.