Have you ever come across a situation where your numbers do not match? Your inventory shows a figure but your sales say differently? This is the case where you get hold of a loophole. But what about the several other occurrences which remain unnoticed? Sales might go unrecorded or check-out process might take way too much of time causing poor customer relations. For all these instances and many more, you have POS system – A combination of POS software and POS machine. If you are a business dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis, you definitely need a POS machine for your business.
What is a POS Machine?
POS stands for point-of-sale which indicates the transaction between a merchant and a customer. A POS system is a combination of POS hardware and POS software to create a POS machine that is used for processing a payment. A POS machine is actually an electronic device which is used to process card payments. It is better to be specific and select the one which has all the features that you need.
Common features that every POS machine has are credit and debit card acceptance, reporting and inventory management. Features can be industry specific as well. For example, if you are into the F&B industry, you should also consider having a feature of splitting cheques and adding tips as well. If you are into the delivery business, you should look for the delivery tracking feature. If you are in the service industry, you should have an integrated calendar feature as well.
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Getting the Right POS Machine
Now that you know you need a POS machine for your point of sale transactions, how are you going to choose the right one for your business? Let’s discuss the types of different POS available in the market first.
Types of POS Machine
- All-In-One POS Machine
POS machines can provide you a variety of functionalities within one platform. It can ease different processes at your store, right from accepting payments to generating reports. A POS machine can also track various information like your sales and inventory. An all-in-one POS machine can save your time while checking out a customer and when collecting your data. This type of POS machine also differs from industry to industry, catering their business-specific needs. For example, an all-in-one restaurant POS has different functionalities than an all-in-one grocery store. You can use this POS machine as a smart POS, information terminal, price checker, time attendance system and digital signage as well, hence known as an all-in-one POS machine.
- Electronic POS Machine
An EPOS machine also includes barcode scanners, receipt printers, and chip and pin devices. With the help of an EPOS machine, you can go through full product details, select products that you want to purchase, and process orders. You can also swipe credit cards instantaneously and print receipts. It can sync all your information in real time. This machine can also sync your inventory and product details automatically. It provides one platform, called the dashboard, to manage all you retail and online stores.
An EPOS machine has made the business processes much more simple and efficient. You can use EPOS especially in retail stores because of its ease of use. It makes the checkout process faster when the crowd increases in the store.
- Cloud POS System
Cloud-based POS is a web-based Software-as-a-system solution (SaaS) solution that doesn’t store your data on the local device, but on the cloud. You can retrieve data, process payments, and get automatic updates with the help of the internet. You can also access your data from anywhere through the internet. A cloud POS system also provides advanced analytics which can help you make better business decisions. There is no need to pay additionally for maintenance as a cloud POS system has the feature of Automatic upgrades and data backups.
- Mobile POS System
To implement an mPOS, all you need to have is an internet connection, a credit and debit card reader, and an application downloaded to a device you want to use for the transactions. A few of the mPOS devices also have the ability to read barcodes and print receipts. You can either use it as a stand-alone device, or can integrate with a large external POS system.
The main benefit of using a mobile POS system is that it is location independent. And because of its mobility, it is extremely useful for businesses that is always on-the-go, like food trucks, repairing services, flea markets, and market vendors. This technology is less expensive than setting up a traditional POS machine. An mPOS system is a cloud-based system which is relatively costs less than an all-in-one POS and does not require much maintenance. It is also useful in retail as it can also result in shorter checkout and return lines.
- Tablet POS System
Tablet POS system is similar to mobile POS system with a few additional features. You can opt for an iOS or an android tablet. Tablet systems are compatible with tablet stands, cash drawers, and barcode scanners. A tablet POS system also provides features for employee tracking and inventory management. A tablet POS can be used to collect customer data while they are waiting for a table in a restaurant and can perform everything that a mobile POS does. Hence, it is something that is highly suitable for the F&B industry.
- Traditional POS System
The main difference between traditional POS system and an ePOS machine is their mode of accepting payments. An EPOS machine accepts debit or credit card payments, whereas a traditional POS system accepts only physical cash payments.
Traditional point of sale systems will require delayed reconciliation and manual operations which an electronic POS system can provide automatically. This is because an ePOS contains an electric hardware but a traditional system does not.
Traditional POS systems don’t use the internet, and all the information is stored in an internal network. Traditional POS systems are now being replaced by ePOS and mPOS due to their advantages over tradition POS.
Set a Budget
The cost of a POS machine depends on a variety of factors. How large your business is, the number of stores that you have, the number of products registers, your customer count and much more. You also need to take into consideration the cost of both the hardware which makes the whole POS machine.
While setting a budget for buying a POS machine, you should also consider the types of payments are you willing to accept. If you accept payments via debit/ credit cards, you should look for an EMV-compliant POS terminal which complies with the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard.
You should also ensure that the POS terminal is compliant with the latest rules. Near-field communications (NFC) technology is also trending these days, and can be useful for your customers if they want to make a contactless payment and want to receive mobile wallet services.
According to your business needs, you can choose from these POS machines.
Get a Quote
It is important that the people who are supposed to use the POS machine get accustomed to using it as soon as possible. You can get a trial before buying the POS machine and train your employees how to use a POS machine. Getting a quote would give you an idea of the machine and its features as well. It will also help you in deciding the right vendor for your POS machine.
Make sure that your vendor gives an after sales support because if anything goes wrong after installing the machine, you would want the vendor to fix it. Hence, a good after sales support is what you should look for.
These were the points that you need to keep in mind before buying a POS machine. With a variety of different kinds of POS machines available in the market, you have to decide what is suitable for your business and the amount of money you are willing to spend. We hope this article was helpful to you in selecting a POS machine according to your needs.