How does POS hardware matter most?
Category : Blog
Point of Sale Hardware
Simply put, POS hardware is all the input and output devices that make the point of sale software function at the point of purchase. For retail businesses and the restaurant industry in today’s modern landscape, point of sale hardware can range from a traditional computer setup to an iPad cash register and everything in between.
The important thing to remember about POS hardware is that it’s designed to work with specific software. What does that mean, exactly? It means that you can’t buy just any receipt printer, plug it into your POS system, and expect it to work.
When POS software companies develop software, they engineer it to work with specific hardware components and communication protocols. For this reason, software companies offer hardware bundles that are complete with all the necessary equipment you’ll need to get the most out of your software.
Here are some of POS hardware components you’ll need for your business.
Touchscreen Monitor or Tablet
Touchscreen monitors, iPads, and Android tablets are becoming more and more commonplace for brick and mortar stores. The low cost of these devices and user-friendly design make them ideal for small businesses on a tight budget.
They also have little or no footprint on a retail counter unlike bulky monitors or cash registers that take up valuable counter space and inhibit employee-customer interaction.
Credit Card Terminal
Besides a monitor or tablet, a credit card reader is another necessary component of a POS hardware bundle. As more consumers use credit and debit cards as their preferred payment method, you’ll want to make sure patrons have this option at your business. Additionally, make sure the card reader can accept EMV transactions, NFC or contactless payments, as well as traditional magstripe (swiped) transactions.
Although more consumers prefer to pay with plastic, cash payments are still very much a part of small business transactions. A cash drawer is a staple from the early days of retail and isn’t disappearing any time soon. It holds the cash proceeds for a time period, usually a shift or a day and allows a customer to pay with cash and receive exact change in response.
At the end of every transaction, it’s common practice to give the customer a record of the transaction. Typically that comes in the form of a paper receipt produced by a receipt printer.
Receipts provide a printed record of the transaction so the customer can use it to expense items or meals or enable them to return an item that is not satisfactory.
A barcode scanner streamlines the checkout process in any retail environment by reading the product’s barcode or UPC. A scanner uses a laser to bounce light off of the barcode to read it. Barcode scanners can be handheld to enable the employee to check out large or bulky items, or it can be a stationary scanner where the items to be purchased are passed over the laser to be checked out; the latter is more efficient in a high-volume environment.