A point of sale (POS) system is an electronic device that enables a merchant to process credit and debit card transactions, and also record cash transactions. This includes the use of a computerised database connected to a terminal or PC with appropriate software for creating invoices, that can be printed out on thermal printers. This method of generating sales receipts is known as electronic receipts or e-receipts.
Most POS software will support the use of peripherals such as barcode scanners, scales, cash drawers, and thermal printers. Some POS terminals are equipped with biometric authentication technology to further enhance security.
Retail Point Of Sale System Requirements:
1) Customer Display Monitor(s): The point of sale terminal should have one monitor for the customer side. The output on this monitor can be configured to match the POS software or cashier’s preference. Many times this monitor is used to display advertisements, product information, company loyalty programs, coupons, logos, pictures of employees etc. It also includes a receipt printer for customer receipts.
2) Cash Drawer: A cash drawer is useful in any POS system where the sales associate will be entering the transactions by hand. This is almost always the case with large retail stores. The main advantage of having a cash drawer is that there are no float funds created when making change for customers, which reduces the time the sales associate spends making change and ensures that the cashier makes every effort to get as close to a full sale as possible. The cash drawer can be locked which will prevent unauthorized access to the funds inside of it, keeping the money safe.
3) Card Reader: It is recommended for POS Systems. Many terminals only allow the use of one card reader, meaning that either a magnetic stripe reader or an EMV chip reader can be used with the system at one time. Both readers are very secure depending on which type of card is swiped across it.
4) Peripherals: POS Terminals come with the option of having peripherals attached to them, such as barcode scanners, scales, cash drawers and thermal printers. A peripheral is an optional device that can be attached to the POS terminal in order to enhance the functionality of it.
5) Thermal Printers: A Thermal printer uses heat sensitive paper which needs to be replaced after being used. It is therefore necessary for POS systems that use thermal printers to have them attached via USB ports in order for them to print receipts. Thermal printers are generally faster than other printer types, because the heat sensitive paper moves through it very quickly while printing.
6) Printers: Some units come standard with an integrated printer while some units support an external printer. The integrated printer is usually attached to the rear of the POS terminal and included in the price of the system. If you choose to buy an external printer for your unit, it will be attached via USB port
7) Cash Drawer: This device sits at the base of the POS terminal and allows a sales associate to place cash into it. It can be secured with a key for those high risk transactions such as money drops and exchanges.
8) Barcode Scanners: These devices are used to read the product barcodes which enables the merchant to identify and classify each item placed on the checkout counter. This adds speed and accuracy to the POS transaction. If you need more detail about your products, barcodes can be read and decoded through the use of a barcode scanner.
9) Signature Pad: It takes all of the guesswork out of credit card processing and guarantees that every transaction will receive the appropriate approval if the customer has provided all information correctly. Without a signature pad, the merchant has to either call in for an authorisation or let the transaction go through without verification.
10) Remote Deposit Capture: This is a useful function that enables sales associates who are out of the office or otherwise unavailable to deposit cheques into their bank account via their mobile device. Cheque deposits using this technology are called remote deposits. “
11) Inventory Module: An inventory module counts the items in your stock. It can store information about the type, size, price etc. of each item. This is useful because it means you can know at a glance how many units of an item are left to sell. Historically speaking, every successful business that has gone through growth stages has been closely tied to its inventory management system. Whether it be a small business that is doing well or a large business that is going through rapid growth, having a robust system for viewing your sales and other vital information about the day-to-day operations of your company has been instrumental in helping you grow successfully.
12) Custom Programming: Many POS systems come with the ability to be programmed by the merchant. This includes using applications such as Adobe, Microsoft Access and other database programs that can help you track sales and inventory more easily than ever before.
13) CRM: CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is a software application that allows business owners to manage their relationships with their customers. By storing information about customer orders, preferences and the like it makes it possible for businesses to better tailor their goods and services towards fulfilling consumer demands more effectively.
15) Human Resources Information System: This application allows owners of small businesses to track employee hours, log attendance patterns, schedule employees according to availability or need, calculate payroll taxes etc. This is an important function for many businesses because it allows employers to maximize efficiency, better manage human resources and increase overall company productivity.
16) Electronic Invoicing: The ability to send invoices electronically has become increasingly popular with business owners of all sizes. With the use of this technology, merchants are able to receive payment more quickly and keep better track of their accounts receivable. In addition to that, it also makes it easier for customers to pay invoices because they can do so from any location.
17) Electronic Accounting & Financial Management: This software application helps business owners handle all of their accounting and financial management needs in one place. It enables them to manage finances, track invoices, view detailed accounting reports and prepare for tax deadlines. Accounting software can be especially helpful to small businesses because without it they often lose out on valuable opportunities to make the most of their finances.
18) Electronic Point-of-Sale (EPOS): EPOS is a POS system that is designed specifically for the retail industry. It allows businesses to not only process credit cards, debit cards and cash transactions but also track customer preferences, view inventory levels etc.
19) Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP): EBPP is an online payment service that enables users to pay their bills online quickly and easily. With this application, merchants are able to accept payments from multiple sources, including debit and credit cards as well as e-checks.