Retail brick-and-mortar businesses typically use a Point-of-Sale, or POS, to facilitate their day to day transactions. A POS is a system of interconnected devices that can be made up of a cash register, iPad, computer system, credit card terminal, printer, bar code scanner, and other various components that support face to face transactions.

While today’s point-of-sale systems can be made up of more modern devices like tablets or smartphones, the systems main purpose is to enable you, the business owner, to process transactions and accept various cash and card payment methods.

When deciding on the best point-of-sale set up for your business, consider the complexity of your business requirements and product setup, your personal preferences, and how your customers prefer to pay. If you have a large portion of customers still paying with cash, then you’ll want to make sure your point-of-sale system includes a cash drawer or a register. Whereas if your customers only pay with debit and credit cards, then you may be able to forgo having a cash drawer altogether.

A point-of-sale system includes the terminal or reader, which is responsible for processing the transaction and for communicating the transaction details to the various financial institutions in order to complete the transaction.

With new technology being introduced to the payment industry all the time, point-of-sale systems will continue to modernize, helping to streamline the transaction process for businesses and customers alike. Business owners will benefit due to the systems becoming easier to integrate, more technologically advanced, and more cost effective. Allowing all your transaction data to flow through a POS integrated with a platform that organizes your sales data and provides valuable insights allows for a better and more complete understanding of your customers.

For example, now that iPad point-of-sale systems are an option, business owners can launch their POS using products and technology they are likely to already own, instead of having to purchase an expensive proprietary system, as was previously the case.