What is a POS terminal?
POS terminal is a device that processes purchase between customers and store owners at retail locations. A POS terminal includes technological devices with a screen (such as tablets, mobile phones, laptops, self-service kiosk, etc.) and embedded software that can process credit/debit cards. Other contactless payment methods (such as e-wallets or mobile transfer) may also be considered as well in a POS terminal.
Why do store owners need a POS terminal?
A POS terminal can function as a cash register and beyond that. It enables the staff to add items to the cart, select payment methods, do calculations of customers’ purchases and finalize the purchase.
POS terminal can also help your inventory management and keep track of customers. When a business is expanding its scale, a POS terminal is needed to better control revenue, sales metrics and customer management.
Types of POS terminals
- Cloud-based POS: Data storage and processing happens on the Internet, with real-time synchronization. It enables remote access from multiple terminals and often offers mobile access.
- On-premise POS: Data storage and processing happens on local servers (such as hard disk drive).
How does a POS terminal work?
Businesses differ in choosing specific types of equipment that go with their POS terminal. This equipment can range from barcode scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers to card swipers. Depending on which equipment and how many terminals are set up, the POS terminal might function differently at some points. However, typical steps are:
- Enter product (by scanning barcode or typing items on the device)
- Add product to cart, choose a payment method
- Customers check out (paying the bill)
- Print the receipt
- Check the number of sold items, inventory and employee’s information who processed the purchase