The term POS or Point of Sale is used to describe either a shop, the checkout counter within, or any place where financial transactions take place. It may also refer to the hardware or software used to process transactions, such as cash registers, credit card scanners or receipt printers. POS systems are used in virtually every industry where customers use cash or cards to pay for products or services. They will typically be found in restaurants, hotels, casinos or salons. A POS is any location where something of value can be exchanged for money.
Advances in technology allow payments to be made in many different ways. For example, a checkout counter in a store may have access to credit card processing and other capabilities, and newer systems are even more sophisticated, able to process transactions involving debit cards, gift cards and even smart phones. Some POS systems are wireless, which allow merchants to process transactions remotely.
The POS systems used in retail stores are some of the most convenient, both for merchants and customers. These systems have moved far beyond mere transactions, and are now being used for accounting, keeping track of inventory, rental services and payroll. Some POS systems are also being used for CRM, or customer relationship management.
Point of sale software is useless without proper integration. This means that it must work seamlessly with the other software programs that are being used by the merchant, including accounting software, which allows for daily transactions to be monitored, recorded and transmitted without any input from the merchant themselves. Because many customers are now shopping online, many merchants have a presence in both cyberspace and the real world.
Point of Sale technology even allows merchants to sell their products completely online, without a physical store anywhere on the planet. This is accomplished through combining POS systems with an online store.
POS in Restaurants
Point of Sale systems have radically transformed the restaurant business in particular. Many restaurants are now using POS systems which utilize a network that connects all the stations to a central server. Restaurant workers will then use touch screen displays which are connected to this network. POS systems allow waitresses and cooks to process orders faster and more accurately. They also assist restaurants by reducing their operation costs.
Point of Sale technology should be utilized by any merchant who wants to offer multiple payment solutions to their customers, while simultaneously speeding up transactions and making them more efficient.