A POS, or “point of sale” is the place in your store or on your website where your customer pays for the goods or the services purchased from your company. A POS system enables the customer to make a payment. Typically, a modern point of sale system will use both POS hardware, as well as POS software to process a transaction or payment. While cash registers have almost always been used as a point of sale system, they do not have as many features as today’s POS system. Normally, retail businesses now use a terminal as well as POS software for transactions and payments.
Online or In-Store
An online POS system, or a cloud-based POS system, is a web-based application. It is easy to access and the interface can be hosted by the provider or it can be hosted on the business’s own server. There are numerous advantages to using an online POS system. It is that is easy to install, relatively inexpensive to acquire and operate, and can be use on a portable device. This makes it particularly ideal for businesses that are sometimes on the move, such as businesses that perform work at the client’s location or businesses, sell at trade shows or other marketplaces, or businesses that deliver and accept payment upon delivery.
There are a variety of different of POS software systems that work with specific devices. These devices can include electronic cash drawers, bar-code scanners, credit card readers, and receipt or invoice printers. An in-store POS system has many advantages over the now almost-obsolete cash register of the past. With the easy-to-use and efficient systems now available, practically any business can benefit. A POS system can drastically reduce human error, speed up checkout, help you track and manage inventory in real time, and keep detailed sales records.
Safe and Secure
POS systems collect data from customer credit cards, so this data must be well-protected. End-to-end encryption of data is used with any modern POS system, meaning that the customer’s data stays encrypted while it travels from the POS system to the processor. Cloud or web-based systems can also help prevent potential data theft by transmitting all collected information over secure HTTPS directly to cloud-based servers. This is much safer than storing paper receipts with credit card information printed on them, and far safer than dealing with stacks of cash. A store owner can ensure that security measures are in place to keep the POS safe, which will typically be same security measures that are probably already used in order to protect the other computer systems of the business. Using security software, including firewall and antivirus software, keeping the systems updated, using only strong passwords, and limiting administrator access are among the ways to can keep a POS system secure.
The Way Forward
A modern POS system, whether it is in-store or online, can save time, increase security, improve relationships with customers, and provide better insights into revenues and expenses. If you would like more information about POS systems, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.