A point-of-sale (POS) system is a computerized system with several key components and parts used to complete a retail transaction. The merchant/employee calculates the total amount owed by the customer, may print a bill if needed, and gives different options for customers to make the payment
Whether you’re already a business owner or just starting a new business, this infographic and summary below will explain the essential components of a POS system.
List of the Components of a Point of Sale System
1. POS Software
Every POS system comprises of software with a user interface and a database for analytics and other managerial functions. This software can be installed locally or can be hosted online in the cloud. Software features can vary greatly depending on the type of business you operate. For instance, software features for restaurants will be significantly different than software features for a retail point of sale.
2. POS Hardware
Hardware varies from system to system, depending on the needs of a business. Some businesses prefer to have a simple POS system, so they need only a few pieces of hardware and parts, as opposed to other solutions that are more extensive. Some of the more essential hardware components of a POS are:
- POS Terminal – Touchscreen monitor or a mobile device like an iPad with a POS APP. In basic POS systems, it can be just a cash register with buttons.
- Cash Drawer – To store cash, checks, vouchers, and receipts
- Barcode Scanner – It is typically used in retail stores, and the scanner is linked with the inventory system, so products counts are updated accordingly.
- Printer – To print guest receipts and to print tickets to the bar or kitchen if you have a restaurant. Today, businesses and customers prefer to email or text the receipt, in which case, you can remove the printer. But if the local laws mandate a printed receipt, then it should be part of your POS.
- Credit Card Machine – To process payments by debit or credit cards.
- Network Devices – This includes routers and modems to connect to the internet.
- Other Hardware – Tablets for table-side ordering or hardware for accepting other payment options as a few examples.