Stax vs. Aloha POS System: Features, Pricing and Customer Reviews

Navigating the world of point-of-sale (POS) systems and payment processors can be tricky because there are many (sometimes too many) players in the market. And if you’re in the restaurant industry, you’ve likely come across two prominent solution providers: NCR Aloha POS system and Stax. 

The choice between the two can be pivotal for your business. In this guide, we’ll dissect each company’s features, pricing, and user reviews, and provide you with the insights you need to select the perfect solution for your business. 


  • Stax offers a subscription-based, comprehensive payment solution suitable for various businesses, with a focus on multiple payment types and integrations. Aloha, specifically designed for the hospitality industry, includes built-in restaurant-centric features for running hospitality operations.
  • Regarding payment processing, Stax’s subscription model is more advantageous for merchants processing at least $5,000 in monthly credit card volume. Since NCR offers flat-rate pricing, they take a percentage (2.25% to 3.5%) from every transaction. Stax, on the other hand, simply charges a monthly membership fee. 
  • Both platforms provide 24/7 customer support and emphasize secure transactions, with Stax offering PCI security and Aloha using NCR’s secure payment capabilities.
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Stax Payments Overview

Established in 2014 in Florida, Stax operates as a subscription-based, comprehensive payment processing partner. What sets us apart is our unique all-in-one platform, which supports multiple payment types, including credit card payments, mobile, ACH, SMS, and more, as well as our monthly subscription business model. 

Stax also integrates with a wide range of point-of-sale solutions to accommodate various business sizes and types—including restaurants. 

Additionally, we provide API integrations with over 100 top-tier business software applications, and we’re equipped to handle recurring transactions and invoicing management. With 24/7 customer support and a valuable knowledge base, merchants can rest easy knowing Stax offers support whenever and however they need it.

Aloha POS System Overview

Aloha POS system, designed by NCR Corporation, is a solution primarily aimed at the hospitality industry, including restaurants, cafes, and bars. 

NCR Aloha has several built-in capabilities geared toward restaurants, and some of the most popular ones include order management, tableside ordering, inventory tracking, and more. 

On the payments side, the Aloha restaurant POS system leverages NCR’s payment capabilities, which allow merchants to accept EMV, digital wallets, and more. 

Stax Payments Features

Since Stax is primarily a payments company, this section will focus on the company’s merchant services. Here are some of the key payment capabilities offered by Stax.

Stax PayDubbed as the “one platform that does it all,” Stax Pay lives up to that promise by enabling businesses to securely accept in-person and online credit card payments. 

The specific payment types include:

  • Swiped payments
  • Keyed payments
  • Contactless payments
  • Payment invoicing
  • Mobile payments
  • eCommerce

So whether you’re operating exclusively offline or also selling online, Stax Pay has got you covered.

Beyond accepting multiple payment methods, Stax merchants also enjoy features such as:

  • Cloud-based terminals 
  • Highest level of PCI security
  • Data and analytics 
  • Business integrations  
  • eCommerce shopping card 
  • Stax API 
  • Payment optimizations 
  • Financial reporting

CardX by Stax If you prefer to offset credit card processing costs and maximize profitability, you can implement a surcharging program through CardX by Stax. 

CardX enables you to implement 0% cost payment processing, which means you keep 100% of every credit card sale. Best of all, CardX ensures you fully comply with local surcharging laws. Our solution automatically complies with rules and regulations, giving you peace of mind to confidently implement surcharging. 

POS system add-ons and integrations

One of the best things about Stax is it integrates with leading restaurant POS systems, so you have the flexibility to choose your point of sale system—while still benefiting from Stax’s cost-effective subscription model. 

What’s more, Stax supports multiple POS hardware and payment terminals. Our solution has got you covered from Bluetooth-enabled readers to mobile devices and fully-functional POS terminals. 

Aloha Restaurant POS System Features

The Aloha POS system has several front-of-house and back-office features designed to streamline restaurant management. Some of its key capabilities include:

  • Point of sale 
  • Customer onboarding 
  • Payment processing
  • Basic loyalty
  • Email Marketing

Merchants can also access more features—including online ordering, advanced reporting, gift cards, inventory management, and more—for an additional fee. 

As mentioned earlier, the payment capabilities of Aloha are tied to NCR’s merchant services, though you may have the option to choose your own payment processor. That being said, the company does emphasize the benefits of going with NCR as your payment provider. 

NCR’s merchant services include the following.

  • Next-day funding 
  • EMV enablement
  • Chargeback management
  • Payments reporting  
  • Point-to-point encryption
  • Surcharging tools

Stax Payments Pricing

Stax Payments’ subscriptions start at $99 per month. This gives you access to the direct cost of interchange, which means you don’t pay any additional percentage fees per transaction—just a flat membership and per transaction fee. 

If you process between $250,000-$500,000 annually in credit card payments, the subscription is $199 per month, and if your volume is above $500,000 per year, then contact us for custom pricing. 

Unlike traditional processors, Stax doesn’t take a cut out of your sales, so you get to keep more of your profits. 

All Stax subscriptions come with:

  • Dashboards and Analytics
  • API Key Integration Capabilities
  • Digital Invoicing
  • Text2Pay Mobile Payments
  • Website-Hosted Payment Links
  • Securely Stored Customer Credit Cards on File
  • Accounting Reconciliation Lite Sync (includes QuickBooks® Online)
  • Recurring Invoices & Scheduled Payments
  • Automatic Updates for Stored Credit Cards
  • One-Click Shopping Cart Setup with Catalog Management
  • Data Exports (i.e., transactions, customers)

NCR Aloha POS Pricing

The Aloha POS system and payments solution has two main pricing tiers. 

There’s the POS software Starter plan, which starts at $0 per month and comes with the following: 

  • Cloud-based Point of Sale   
  • Restaurant Grade Hardware
  • Email Marketing & Loyalty
  • 24/7 Customer Support

The Starter plan has a payment processing fee of 2.99% + $0.15 per transaction. 

You can also add features like Mobile App & Analytics and Online Ordering for an added fee.

The second tier is the Premium version, which starts at $175 per month.

This tier includes everything in the Starter plan, plus Mobile App & Analytics and Online Ordering at no additional cost. 

It also has a lower payment processing fee of 2.25% + $0.15 per transaction. 

Note: NCR has a higher processing fee (3.5% + $0.15/txn) for non-qualified transactions. It’s unclear what NCR deems as “non-qualified,” so be sure to double-check with the Aloha or NCR team if you’re interested in using their merchant services.

If you’d like to expand the capabilities of the Premium plan, you can add the following features for an additional fee: 

  • Gift Cards 
  • Kitchen Production 
  • Inventory  
  • Advanced Reporting 
  • Delivery Marketplace Integration 
  • Labor Scheduling 

User Review for Stax

Stax generally has many favorable ratings across merchant review websites. It has a 4.0-star rating on Trustpilot, 4.4 on US News, and 3.7 on Capterra.

Merchants using Stax appreciate the platform’s functionality, ease of use, and customer support. 

“Very good company with excellent customer support. I was very impressed by the knowledge, professionalism, and of both the customer service reps and the service support reps,” writes one merchant on Trustpilot

Another merchant, who saved $1,000+ on fees, writes

“Oh man, this is a breath of fresh air. After using Stripe and Square to process payments, we have absolutely loved the simplified pricing structure that Fattmerchant [Stax] uses. Only paying interchange fees and a fixed monthly rate saves us $ 100’s each month.”

User Reviews for Aloha POS

Aloha POS also has solid reviews. G2 gives it a 4-star rating, while Capterra rates it at 3.7 stars.

Customer reviews indicate that Aloha offers top-notch capabilities that fit their restaurant needs. 

As one merchant puts it, “Asking the right questions to the right people, NCR can pretty much do anything we request. We use most of your products, including take-out and delivery. I like that everything is integrated. We upgraded to command center from secure access to manager our 7 locations, great software.”

Conclusions and Recommendations

NCR Aloha’s POS solution and Stax Payments are solid options if you’re looking for a payment provider for your restaurant. 

Of course, Stax is primarily a payments processor, so there’s not much to compare as far as POS software features are concerned. On the merchant services side, Stax’s subscription model is more advantageous for merchants processing at least $5,000 in monthly credit card volume. 

Since NCR offers flat-rate pricing, they take a percentage (2.25% to 3.5%) from every transaction. Stax, on the other hand, simply charges a monthly membership fee. 

FAQs about Aloha POS System and Stax

Q: What are the primary differences between Stax and Aloha POS Systems?

Stax primarily focuses on payment processing, offering a subscription-based model with a unique all-in-one payments platform. As such, it’s suitable for various business types, including restaurants. Stax provides multiple payment options and integrations.

Aloha POS, on the other hand, is specifically designed for the hospitality industry, offering built-in capabilities for restaurants like order management, tableside ordering, and inventory tracking, with different pricing tiers based on features.

Q: How does customer support compare between Stax and Aloha POS systems?

Both Stax and Aloha offer 24/7 customer support.  

How secure are transactions through Stax and Aloha POS?

Stax is a Level 1 PCI Service Provider, which is the highest level of PCI compliance. Stax also implements payment tokenization, a security protocol that protects sensitive data when consumers are purchasing with an online merchant or making online payments. 

These measures ensure that customer data is kept secure on all channels. 

Beyond these steps, Stax also offers resources to help merchants safeguard their business and customer data. We provide multiple tools to you to maintain your own PCI compliance through self-assessment questionnaires, a partnership with Approved Scanning Vendors (ASV), and intuitive compliance portals.

Meanwhile, Aloha’s payment capabilities leverage NCR’s security features, which includes standard PCI compliance, chargeback management, and point-to-point encryption.