5 minutes

What Is POS? Point of Sale Software and Hardware Explained

With the total number of point-of-sale (POS) users expected to reach 85.6 million in the next few years, POS systems become crucial tools for many businesses.

But what is a point of sale system, and how does it work? In this guide, we’ll cover some basics you need to know about point-of-sale software and hardware, and we’ll look at some examples of POS systems and the benefits they have to offer.

What Is a POS System?

So, what exactly is a POS system? In simple terms, a point-of-sale or POS system is a system or device used to process payments from your customers, both online or in-store. There are various forms of POS systems, including both hardware devices and software programs. 

Such payment solutions can vary in terms of their design and manner of usage, but they all have the same basic purpose: to process each payment from a customer with ease and boost revenue streams. 

What Is Point-of-Sale Hardware?

POS hardware refers to the various tools and devices that are used at point-of-sale locations to process transactions from customers. There are now many forms of POS hardware, so here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common forms of POS hardware:

  • Cash Register – Cash registers are often found in places like retail stores and supermarkets. They help calculating and processing customer transactions, as well as storing physical bills and coins.
  • Credit Card Reader – A credit or debit card reader is a modern device that is able to process card payments. It allows the customer to connect or swipe their card and potentially enter a PIN code to approve a payment in seconds.
  • Tablets – Many modern POS setups incorporate some sort of tablet or touchscreen device, like an iPad. These portable devices come with POS software to handle payment processing in any location with a WiFi connection. But more about that in a bit!
  • Barcode Scanner – Items sold in retail stores and other locations have barcodes. A barcode scanner can read the code in order to find the right price for the selected item and check on things like stock levels or automatically update the inventory database after a sale.
  • Receipt Printer – A receipt printer is another example of POS hardware. As the name implies, this device helps printing customer receipts after a sale is made. The receipt will display various pieces of information like the total cost of the order, the date of purchase, and the names of the items bought.

What Is POS Software?

Along with hardware, point-of-sale systems also rely on software. In fact, it’s possible to process sales purely with POS software. Simply because hardware isn’t always needed, especially for businesses that conduct their operations online. POS software can be used by online-only stores or B2B businesses that don’t have physical sales locations, for example.

In other words, point-of-sale software is simply a form of computer software that exists to process payments. Many POS programs are also capable of various other features, like scanning and updating inventories, finding and updating prices for each item, generating sales reports, tracking employee activities, generating receipts, and more.

The Benefits of POS Systems

We’ve looked at what POS payment is and some examples of POS systems. But what are the benefits of using these systems and having a strong POS setup? Here are some advantages that businesses need to be aware of:

  • Automating Transactions – Obviously, the main benefit of POS systems and devices is to automate the process of transactions. As opposed to outdated or traditional methods of payment processing, which can be time-consuming or even unreliable, modern POS hardware and software are rapid and highly automated.
  • Positive Customer Experience – Another benefit of good quality POS hardware and software is to improve the customer experience. In modern stores, for example, customers can use self-serve POS touchscreens to scan and pay for their items in a quick, easy, and convenient fashion.
  • High Efficiency – Today’s POS systems are also highly efficient. Modern registers, card scanners, tablets, and other devices are quick and easy to work with. They can save your workers a lot of time with their advanced features like inventory management.
  • Advanced Features – Following on from the previous point, a lot of modern POS software systems have many advanced features for employee management and customer engagement, as well as payment processing, making them even more useful and versatile for modern businesses.

What Is Point-Of-Sale Financing?

But that’s not all! Another part of the POS package that you may need to be aware of is POS financing. This is a new form of financing that allows customers to make purchases in incremental payments, rather than paying for their products in one go. POS financing takes numerous forms to suit business and consumer needs. It’s interesting to mention that nowadays, such financing solutions are used not only for big-ticket purchases. They are used clothing, cosmetics, travel, and more.

The best aspect is that more and more companies are offering POS financing to open new revenue streams, increase repeat purchases, and empower consumers. As point-of-sale financing involves companies or retailers working with financing companies to offer multi-payment purchases as part of their checkout process, you’ll just need a fintech leader like Tarya Fintech to support your POS financing growth. 

So are you ready to grow your business?

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