Cloud POS vs. On-Premise POS. Which is better?

Cloud or on premise point of sale

The POS that you choose has to fit with your business needs. Cloud based and on-premise POS systems both have their merits. However, one should consider actual needs before jumping on the trendy new point of sale system. Some features may not work with the requirements of your business, and you have to keep an eye on that.

Cloud Based Point of Sale

Cloud based POS systems are usually mobile and tend to only work when connected to the internet. They are easily accessible and usually have low upfront costs for installation. Since it is simply a software, it can be downloaded to any device and scaled up quite easily. As opposed to the on-premise alternative, sales data and reports are all stored online in the ‘cloud’. This type of cloud software is great for businesses that have a necessity for flexibility in their access to the data such as restaurants and retail stores. The applications work on essentially any mobile device and data can be accessed from anywhere in the world.  These systems function very similarly to the on-premise POS and are only really different in their functional capabilities and storage of data.


As the name suggests, an on-premise POS system is a combination of hardware and software installed in a physical location. These are very different from your cloud point of sale. The server in your store directly stores the data from your sales. This will remove the issue of connectivity and provide your POS with a direct and secure link to the back-office component for reporting purposes. POS systems that require specialization (i.e car washes, gas stations, etc.) must typically be located on-premise. This is because of reliability of the system, the security of the data processed, and the complexity of the programs. On-premise systems are also generally more optimized to work with hardware and aren’t dependent on the provider of the software for updates and upkeep.

Depending on the nature and size of the business, one or the other may be more useful to you. Cloud based point of sale systems are great for locations that don’t require the control of outside mechanisms. They also perform better in place that have only a few cash sales. Restaurants and cafes tend to be the biggest users of this technology due to the flexibility they require. Businesses that have to use their POS for equipment control are more suited to an on-premise POS system. This is due to the fragility of the internet connection and the threat of shutting down the whole system should there be an internet outage. On-premise POS systems are more suited for operations where transactions happen at a designated spot and have a constant flow of customers.

What about cost?

These systems are in the same price range as cloud POS systems depending on how many devices must be subscribed. It also depends on how many systems the on-premise technician must install. Both systems are easy to use and train on. It really comes down to what you need from your POS.

No matter which system you choose, always make sure to do the required maintenance and get the latest updates for your software. Keeping your point of sale in working order is one of the most important parts of running your business. Choose a provider that will help you with updates, upgrades, or scaling your system.

Wiz-Tec always auto-upgrades your systems for you with the latest version of our software. Our on-premise solutions are one of the top choices for gas bars, car washes, and c-stores across Canada.

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