During the initial release of the Poynt Smart Terminal, the device was dubbed ‘the evolution of the countertop terminal’.

Here at the Helcim office, many of us eagerly awaited our demo machine to see what it could do. When we finally received our demo, we found that while the terminal has impressive sounding features that some other simpler terminals lack (such as dual color touchscreens, customer sign ins for digital receipts, and a built-in thermal printer), we concluded this terminal  may not actually improve either your experience as a user or your customer’s experience.

Ten years ago, the Poynt device would have been the dream terminal. It’s often described as the fanciest terminal machine you can buy, but our experience is when you weigh it against today’s alternatives, it often comes up short. Yes, it looks great, but competing POS-systems are multi-purpose, more user-friendly, more affordable, and use data to improve multiple areas of your business simultaneously - in short, more modern and more useful. Let's explore why you don't need a Poynt system:

Poor User Experience

Today, the trend is for your business tools to integrate with more of your resources. For example, you might expect  your terminal to transmit data to your point of sale (POS) system, and the POS system to send stock updates to your inventory management software as you sell products. With a Poynt machine you are limited to a terminal and a basic POS without any possible integrations with other software, so unless you use only the basic Poynt software, your inventory doesn’t automatically update when you make a sale. That means you have to tackle your inventory manually, or with a separate system.

Poynt’s POS also provides a lackluster user experience. When you use the Poynt terminal, the machine keeps date reports and sales metrics but you can’t view them. Other point-of-sale systems show important data on demand, but to do that with Poynt you have to go to the Poynt website and log in to a customer portal, breaking the user experience. Without this feature, the Poynt terminal becomes more of a glorified cash register.

Limited Use, Limited Switching Power

Businesses switch payment providers all the time, which can be a time-consuming and sometimes expensive trade. If that process wasn’t hard enough already, Poynt makes it virtually impossible to switch providers because the terminal won’t work when used with a bank that isn't partnered with Poynt. If you do decide to change something in your payment processing, you will end up with a fancy, but dusty, payment terminal in the closet.

Poynt runs on an Android system, and an old Android system at that. Few updates are made to the system so if you need immediate changes due to a problem, or if you need to customize something on the terminal, you will likely  need the help of a software developer.

Twice the Price of a Tablet

Currently, a Poynt system can be purchased for approximately $700 in the US and $1,000 in Canada. A basic tablet, which can download applications that have all the same functionality as a Poynt machine, goes for about half of that.  

Purchasing a tablet over the Poynt system will give you more flexibility as the tablet has room for updates and additional apps. All the reports you require should come with, and display on any tablet-based POS system (see how Helcim Commerce reports look on the tablet POS). When you’re done for the day, you can take your tablet home and plan the growth of your business, do your financials, watch a movie, or surf the internet, all while a Poynt terminal would sit on your counter, happily doing nothing until you return.

If Not Poynt, Then What?

Don’t let a fancy design and bibs-and-bobs sway your terminal purchase decision. To get the best value out of your tills and provide the best customer experience for the best cost, we recommend you invest in a tablet POS. With more flexibility, better integrations, half the cost, and a better front-end application design, the tablet POS leaves Poynt in the dust.


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