A point-of-sale (POS) system is a computerized system with several key components, including POS hardware and software 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 customers various options to make the payment.
Whether you’re already a business owner or just starting a new business, this summary and infographic diagram below will explain in detail the software and POS hardware components that make up a point-of-sale (POS) system and how it all works together.
Components of a Point of Sale System
1. POS Software
Every POS system comprises 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
Point of sale hardware is the second component of a complete POS and it varies from system to system, depending on the needs of a business. Some businesses prefer to have a simple POS hardware bundle, so they need only a few pieces of equipment and parts, as opposed to other solutions that are more extensive. Some of the more essential hardware components of a POS are:
- POS Terminal – A POS Terminal is a 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 – A cash register is used to store cash, checks, vouchers, and receipts
- Barcode Scanner – Barcode scanning equipment is typically used in retail stores, and the scanner is linked with the inventory system, so product counts are updated accordingly. You find a free barcode generator here.
- Printer – To print guest receipts and 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, it should be part of your POS equipment.
- Credit Card Machine – Credit card terminals 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.
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What POS hardware is best?
The best point of sale hardware and the most cost-effective way to purchase a point of sale is to buy a POS hardware bundle. A quick tip is that most POS companies are also POS hardware vendors. That means you can get your equipment and software in bundled packages.
Most companies will customize your setup to accommodate basic and more advanced configurations. So it’s best to find a provider that can incorporate your essential peripherals and work with your specific requirements at a price that’s affordable for you.
Are you looking for a complete POS solution? We can help you find the perfect POS system based on your needs. Point of Sale USA is the top online source to compare different POS systems to choose the best for you.
Thanks for pointing out that a credit card machine can also be found from a supplier of point of sale hardware. I’m thinking about opening my own food delivery service soon and preparing a menu is currently going well. I think having the options for card payments will help in making the service a lot more accessible to customers.