Imagine you’re given the option of using a cloud-based tablet that’s exclusively dedicated for managing your businesses’ sales, payments, transactions, and reporting, while still managing to be significantly cheaper than the iPad. Who wouldn’t want something that’s inexpensive and still just as effective? The mobile point of sales company Leaf, was founded in 2011 to cater to the needs of small businesses that need seamless control over business and employee management, while simultaneously delivering a flawless customer experience. Leaf is incredibly unique because they offer their own Android tablet specifically designed for merchants that includes their signature point of sales software and a built-in credit card reader. Additionally, Leaf is a intuitive cloud-based POS system that is also accessible off of other mobile devices such as computers, phones, and tablets.
Who Should Use Leaf POS?
Leaf’s POS system appeals to a wide array of small-medium sized businesses. The flexible interface is suitable for all retailers, as well as quick service restaurants(such as frozen yogurt stores and coffee shops) and traditional sit-down restaurants. The largest package Leaf currently offers includes only 2 Leaf Tablets, appealing to smaller merchants. From features that allow for the ability to tip, to accounting for every piece of inventory, Leaf is attempting to appeal to all different niches of small businesses.
Fees & Pricing
Leaf is quite an inexpensive POS system in comparison to others. The POS cloud company offers a few different packages that include all the necessary hardware. Although without purchasing a package, One Leaf 7” Android Tablet (comes with built-in card reader) is offered for $250 and the Leaf POS Software costs $50/month. Each additional tablet adds on another 25$ on top of the $50 monthly fee. Leaf also offers a 12 month financing option. To cater towards merchants who are using mobile and cloud-based POS systems for the first time, Leaf features the Meraki Z1 wireless router for an additional $200. Leaf also offers popular and affordable POS systems packages that include all the necessary hardware and software:
- Leaf Essentials: 1 Leaf Tablet and Base Station, 1 Cash Drawer, 1 Printer
- $674 + $50 per month
- Leaf Professional: 2 Leaf Tablets and 2 Base Stations, 1 Cash Drawer, 1 Printer
- $924 + $75 per month
- Leaf Premium: 2 Leaf Tablets and 2 Base Stations, 2 Cash Drawers, 2 Printers
- $1348 + $75/month
Leaf POS system offers the standard features of most mobile cloud-based systems, in addition to other attributes that give it a leg up. Overall Leaf’s features are efficient and do not contain the unnecessary bloatware that other POS systems may have. Here is a list of Leaf’s pertinent features I find necessary for business owners to note:
- Credit Card Reader with pre-installed software on the Android Leaf Tablet
- 24/7 US-based phone and email support
- Leaf Business
- Access to Leaf POS on any mobile device
- Speed Bookkeeping & Payroll Tasks
- Employee management (individual sales numbers and tips, shift tracking)
- Organizes and totals sales, payment types, employee statistics, and other business data into easy-to-read charts, trends, and reports
- Payment adjustments and price changes
- Connects to a wide of array of the most popular Payment Processors
- Credit Card Processing: Allegiant Payment Solutions, BizTwister, Global 1 Whole Merchant Service, Heartland Payment Systems, Meritcard Solutions, Moolah, National Bankcard, Pivotal Payments, Virtual Merchant, Worldpay US,
- Giftcard Processing: Heartland Payment Systems, National Bankcard, Swipeit.com
- Accepts custom payment types and PayPal Mobile Wallet
- POS system features the levels of PCI compliance that ensures customer security
Ease of Use & User Interface
The User interface of the Leaf POS App is incredibly simple and easy to follow. What separates Leaf is that it’s highly customizable towards the type of business that’s using it. After demoing the POS for a restaurant, I was impressed at how easy it was to manage tables, menu items, and sales. Generally restaurants are the hardest establishments to cater a POS system for too. If Leaf’s User Interface is that simple to use for restaurants, it will be a walk in the park for retailers. Employee management, such as clocking in and out, was very straightforward as well. Unfortunately the demo did not show any access to inventory management or business analytics.
Unlike the many POS Services who offer shoddy customer support, Leaf POS gives business owners access to 24/7 email and phone support. No additional cost or price tiering for customer service is a huge plus!
POS Hardware & POS Software Compatibility
The 7” Leaf Android Leaf Tablet comes with the pre-installed card which makes life easier for the merchant. As previously, mentioned, the Leaf POS systems is compatible with most major credit card processors. Merchants can use any WiFi that runs on 2.4 GHz. Unfortunately, the Leaf POS system is only compatible with certain types of printers and cash drawer.
- Printer: Star TSP 143 LAN
- Cash Drawer: VAL-u line cash
Integration & Add-Ons
The integration with a significant amount of credit card processors makes for flexible payment processing among the majority of merchants. Most everything you could want to do as a merchant is already included in the Leaf POS system. From a business owner’s perspective, the Leaf Business component is a more than capable “Back Office” supplement that allows for proper business management and much more. In turn, the Leaf POS System is self-sustaining and features no additional Add-Ons.
- Functional Tablet exclusively created for POS and small businesses
- Integrated Card Reader
- Works with most major credit card processors
- Leaf Business
- Strong Back Office program
- Simple yet intuitive user interface/experience
- Cheaper than most Ipad POS systems
- Strong and highly accessible customer service
- No additional integrations/add-ons with exterior products
- If you want to use the Software, you HAVE to purchase the Tablet as well
- Leaf is not available to download in Android or iTune app stores
- Must demo and purchase the products from their website
Leaf is perfect for a merchant who is looking for that really simple, seamless experience. Although you’re not getting a brand name like the Apple iPad, merchants WILL get a reliable system that simply gets the job down. The hardware bundles are fairly priced and for $50-75/month (depending on the plan), the entire Leaf POS system is bang for the buck.Concerning its limited hardware components, Leaf is perfect within its own bubble. There are clear limits surround the types of hardware (Printers and Cash Drawers) that somewhat limit the entirety of the organization’s reach among merchants. It will be interesting to see how Leaf will respond to the further technical POS innovations from exterior companies, and whether they will branch out to create future add-ons that benefit their product. All in all, Leaf is very young yet function, up-and-coming point of sales system that delivers a reliable service.