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At one time, you would have defined a POS system as a mere cash register. However, today’s technology makes a POS system an array of hardware items and software-based applications. Therefore, a POS system no longer soley represents a standalone machine. Instead, POS systems help you process customer-facing transactions effectively, thereby streamlining the sales process.
The POS system you choose may vary in functionality and appearance, depending on the following:
About 30 years ago, a point-of-sale (POS) system was a basic cash register – a machine that only accepted the information input by the cashier. Therefore, the person operating the cash register would manually enter each price by referring to a price tag. The operator would then take the customer’s money, place it in the cash drawer, and provide the customer with a paper receipt. In most cases, the only copy the store had of the transaction was recorded on the till roll.
As POS systems evolved, a barcode reader was used, thereby avoiding the need to manually enter a product’s price. The reader also made it possible to store each transaction electronically. Fortunately, today, POS systems are more sophisticated and user-friendly.
A contemporary POS system is made up of sophisticated hardware and software components. The software of a POS system registers, processes, and stores the details of a transaction. POS software applications differ in how the data is stored and used. All POS systems today feature a frontend interface and a back office capability that provides behind-the-scenes analytics and managerial support.
The employees that process the POS transactions use the frontend interface by operating a tablet screen or touchscreen monitor. The backend is accessed in an app window or browser, either on the POS device or on a separate piece of equipment.
You can use POS software that is installed on-site or on the cloud.
If you use software on-site, you will need to do the following:
On-site software does not require the use of the web. It is part of a closed computerized network.
A Cloud-based Application
If your POS system has cloud-based software, the system will offer the following features:
Always make sure you use the latest application if you are using a cloud-based POS software.
While each business—small pub, retailer, restaurant chain—will have different software and hardware needs, POS systems all feature most of the following hardware components:
Typically, you will use a touchscreen monitor to accept cash payments. This screen features a visual interface so you can enter the products that you have sold and the amount of payment. In turn, the POS software figures how much change you should give back to the customer. When this happens, you will put the received cash payment in the drawer and gather the coins and notes due to the customer to complete the transaction.
You can accept s debit/credit card payment in 1 of 2 ways – by manual entry, through a standalone machine, or automatically, through a linked system. Both of these systems require the use of some type of card reader, a standalone terminal for manual entries, or an integrated terminal for receiving automatic payments. Each terminal must be connected to the Internet via a phone line through a SiM card, WI-Fi, or cable.
Typically, a touchscreen PC monitor is difficult to steal and it is sturdier for POS use. Screens are designed to prevent damages from splashing liquids or frequent janitorial cleanings.
By using a device, such as a Samsung or iPad, you can easily use the tablet for cloud-based POS purchases and returns and for other business uses.
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