A POS or Point of Sale software is the heart of all your businesses transactions. It is what customers use to make payments that are then received by your company. Point of Sale devices have two components – hardware and software.

Before examining the hardware components of any Point of Sale device, it is important to explore the software availability and the requirements of each of these types of software. Two softwares available are:

  • On premise – this is when you purchase a license upfront and then install it into your computer. The downside to this is that you will be solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of this software, so if you do not have the required knowledge or a dedicated IT service this may not be right for you.
  • Cloud-based – cloud based POS solutions mean that you operate the system through the internet. Most people assume that this may be risky in the sense that data might get lost if there are fluctuations in the internet service. This is not the case with most systems as they track sales even when offline.

Moving on to hardware components of Point of Sale devices, even though the softwares may differ. The hardware remains more or less the same. The hardware itself has basic components that are present in all Point of Sale devices. These include:

    • Register Screen – the register screen is a standard monitor that displays information in pictorial form. It helps the user interact with the computer.
    • Barcode Scanner – this is a scanner that scans barcodes on products and help speed up the checkout process. Once these barcodes are scanned the product information including the prices appears on the monitor and the price of the product is then added to the checkout total. You may be familiar with barcode scanners by seeing them at cash registers in super markets.

  • Credit Card Reader – secure credit card readers are essential to retailers, they enable customers to pay through credit cards and not just be restricted to cash. These credit card readers however, need to be secure and EMV-compliant.
  • Receipt Printer – customers often ask for receipts and in order to print out receipts and other information any retailer must have a receipt printer.
  • Cash Drawer – even though cash is being used less and less, cash drawers are vital in collecting and keeping money safe.

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