Point of sale (PoS) is the term used for any device, system or software that enables merchants to accept credit cards as payment forms.
A point of sale system typically consists of a cash register combined with a computerized financial database similar to that used by many retail stores.
Transactions are either manually entered into the database via a keyboard, or electronically recorded from a mag-stripe reader. The data in the database can be used for a variety of business purposes, such as tracking inventory and sales, managing purchasing budgets and planning production schedules.
Different point of sale systems vary in the way they enable merchants to perform day-to-day tasks such as receiving payments, printing receipts and managing accounts.
What is a POS System?
A point of sale system (POS) is a computerized or electronic device that enables retailers, restaurateurs and other businesses to process transactions through credit cards, debit cards and other modes of payment. It is also known as a point of purchase system or simply a “POS”.
A POS device connects to the cash register that stores all transactions. This allows the merchant to manage inventory, ring up sales, print receipts and perform various accounting functions including payroll management.
Essentially, a POS is very similar to a home computer connected to a cash register. Like most other computers, it uses data entry and security safeguards to restrict access only to authorized users.
What is the Difference Between POS and Cash Register?
A point of sale system (POS) and a cash register are basically two names for the same thing: the hardware that we typically see at the checkout area of a retail store. Some people call it a cash register or POS, while others may call it an EPoS system, EPOS system or digital point of sale system.
These are all terms used for computerized cash registers, also known as electronic payment systems. A POS is often called “the brain” of a retail store’s payment system. I
t is capable of managing each task in a retail store’s operation, from inventory management and sales tracking to employee payroll and transfer of funds.
POS systems can be connected or networked with other stand-alone POS units in the same company in order to accomplish more complex tasks such as sharing purchase orders between stores.
Cash registers can be combined with other technologies such as barcode scanners and magnetic stripe card readers to create a multi-functional point of sale system.
A POS system may sometimes also include a customer display for price check, a printer for printing receipts, a scale to weigh products and an integrated credit card reader.
All these different features integrate together to create a retail management system that reduces the administrative workload and increases efficiency.
What is POS Software?
POS software is computer software used for point of sale transactions, such as those carried out by cashiers in retail stores.
It may be installed on POS terminals or workstations connected to server-based computer networks, and may also be used by merchants operating point of sale systems on their own.
There are various types of POS software available that can be divided into two major groups; Retail Management Systems (RMS) and Point of Sale Software (POS).
RMS is mainly designed to manage different aspects of a business, such as inventory, purchasing, production planning and financial reporting. POS applications are used to manage the checkout process, recording sales transactions and performing tasks related to credit card processing.