POS system
POS system
Payments

What is a Point of Sale (POS) system?

2022-07-18 · 9 min read

Running a shop or a restaurant requires staying on top of many important matters. Keeping track of stock and payments, managing staff performance, maintaining sales reports and ensuring a seamless checkout process for your customers can be overwhelming.

However, a single POS system can help you manage all the mentioned business aspects and even more. A well-chosen POS solution can make your everyday business tasks much easier, regardless of your company size or industry.

The newest technology even allows you to save on transaction costs. kevin. offers to eliminate unnecessary intermediaries and choose account-to-account (A2A) payments for POS terminals. In this guide, you’ll learn about different POS systems, POS hardware and software, and how to pick the best system for your business.

What is a Point of Sale (POS)?

POS (Point of Sale) is a location where customers complete their transactions at the end of shopping. POS includes software and hardware that businesses use to deal with payments.

Companies use various POS systems to process transactions. A POS system streamlines the sales process, and it consists of a combination of multiple tools. These tools can combine POS hardware and software.

Hardware items include a POS terminal, a cash register, a barcode scanner, etc. Depending on its features, POS system software can be used to handle various tasks. Some examples include inventory management, sales data analysis, or customer data tracking.

How does a POS system work?

A POS system has two main functions - accepting payments and keeping track of sales. They can be used to check out a customer with the help of a cashier or at a self-checkout.

The hardware and software of a POS system

Every POS system contains a combination of POS hardware and software. The exact combination of POS hardware and software businesses should choose depends on company size, industry, and various other factors.

Hardware

The POS hardware can include various physical items, and it’s up to the business to decide what tools their POS system requires. It can vary depending on the industry or a business model.

Point of sale terminal

A POS terminal is typically a card reader or any similar device that can accept payments for a purchase placed on the POS system. POS terminals can accept various payment methods, including card payments, e-wallets, or other contactless NFC payments.

Account-to-account payments via POS terminals are also possible. Accepting payments directly from the consumer's bank account means zero card processing fees and quicker funds settlement for the businesses. A2A payments for POS terminals already work on Worldline POS terminals and can be made available on hardware from other providers upon request.

Other POS hardware tools can include a barcode scanner, a monitor or a tablet, receipt printer, a cash drawer, etc.

Software

POS software comes in two main types — on-premise and cloud-based.

Native POS software

Native POS software is also called on-premise or installed POS software. To get started, a company needs to purchase a single licence or multiple licences and install the software on their computers. The software has to be updated and maintained to ensure it works properly.

Cloud-based POS software

Businesses that use cloud-based POS software can access it on the internet, and all the POS software updates are pushed to the system automatically. This type of software requires less maintenance and gets all the data automatically synchronised across multiple terminals.

What are the benefits of POS software?

POS system benefits

Various POS software solutions have different features, but most of them cover inventory management, employee identification, and sales tracking. Here are some of the benefits that POS software can provide:

Efficiency

Scanning a product provides all the necessary information that cashiers would otherwise have to memorise. The price automatically appears on the POS screen and calculates the total price for the transaction. This makes the checkout process quicker and more efficient.

Stock management

A certain POS software can effectively help with stock management. You would only have to enter your stock counts once when setting up the POS system, and from then on, it’ll automatically adjust the stock levels after each transaction. It can even take into account returns, so you’ll always know the levels of your stock.

Sales reports

Most POS systems provide detailed sales reports. They can be used to predict future sales or see what items are selling fast. For example, if you see that a certain product is very popular during the holiday season, you can order more of it for the upcoming season.

Employee identification

Each employee using a POS system can have their own identification code. This helps track an employee’s sales and even shows how long they take to process a checkout. Based on this information, you can see which employees are performing best and which ones may need additional training.

Data synchronisation

If you have a larger business, POS software can help you stay on top of what’s happening across different branches. The POS data can be synchronised across stores, and you can track stock levels at various locations. You can also track sales reports from various stores and compare the data or even automatically change prices for the same products in different stores.

What are the different types of Point of Sale systems?

POS systems can be categorised into different types based on the technology behind them or the industry where they’re being used. Some POS system providers offer cross-platform solutions, but in most cases, POS systems are specific to a particular industry.

Technology-based

Mobile

Most mobile POS systems can process payments, manage limited numbers of inventory, and collect customer information. This solution is convenient for businesses with limited stocks and the need to be mobile, for example, market vendors, freelancers, or mobile restaurants.

Tablet

Tablet POS solutions often require less upfront investment since you can connect any Android or iOS tablet with cloud-based POS software. However, you may need to purchase additional hardware such as a barcode scanner or a receipt printer. This solution is mostly used by small retail businesses, coffee shops, or mobile vendors.

Terminal

Terminal POS systems mostly come as part of a complete POS hardware set. POS hardware can contain different sets for different industries, such as portable terminals, a kitchen printer, and a tablet for online orders for a restaurant.

Online

Online POS enables you to use your own hardware, such as a computer or a tablet. This solution requires a minimal upfront investment, but it’s only feasible for low-volume businesses. You can connect to online POS from any location and device, so it’s a good solution for small retailers, coffee shops, or small mobile businesses.

Industry-based

Retail

Retail POS systems have various features that are specific to the industry. For example, they can track stock and display how many items in a certain colour or size are available. These POS systems can also contain a gift registry, customer database, etc. Depending on the business size, retailers can choose from various POS hardware items. But in most cases, they’ll need a monitor, barcode scanner, cash register, receipt printer, and a POS terminal.

Restaurants

Restaurants and other busy hospitality establishments require fast and reliable POS systems with the lowest possible downtime. Companies in this industry prefer on-premise POS systems because they tend to process transactions quicker.

When it comes to POS hardware, restaurants may need an additional kitchen receipt printer that would send food orders straight to the kitchen. Some orders are placed online and will be collected by food couriers, so the receipt should indicate that they need to be packed for takeaway. For this industry, POS terminals should be portable and accept various payment methods.

Small businesses

Smaller companies have more flexibility when it comes to POS systems. They can choose between mobile or tablet POS solutions and work with cloud-based POS software. Small retail stores, coffee shops, event vendors, and other small companies can decide what kind of POS hardware is required for their business depending on their needs.

How to choose the best POS system for business?

We have already covered POS systems for different industries. This information should help you decide which POS solution is the best for your business. However, there are other steps you can take to choose the best POS system for your company.

Consider your business needs

When choosing a POS system, consider your business size, the costs of system maintenance, what information you wish to collect with the POS software, and what payment methods your consumers prefer. Answering these questions will help you choose the best solution for your business.

Compare different providers

Research the market and make a list of top POS system providers that seem relevant to you. Compare these providers and their offerings to find the best option for your case.

Read online reviews or consult with other business owners

Make contact with other business owners in the same industry, preferably of similar size to your company. Find out what POS solutions they use and ask for their feedback. This can help you make the decision.

If contacting other businesses is not an option, read online reviews about different POS systems. Learning about other users’ experiences can help you make the decision.

Unique A2A payments solution for POS terminals

Integrating and maintaining a POS system can be costly. Accepting card payments will also require spending a considerable sum on transaction costs. However, kevin. offers an opportunity to save on transaction costs by integrating A2A payments into your POS terminal. This solution comes with various benefits:

Available with existing POS infrastructure

Regardless of what POS system you have in place, you can easily integrate kevin. A2A payments for POS terminals into your existing infrastructure. The solution doesn’t require any special integration into the POS machine. It already works with Worldline terminals and can be integrated into your POS terminal upon request.

Save on transaction costs

Paying directly from a bank account eliminates card processing fees. This means that your business can significantly reduce its transaction costs. Card schemes charge various fees, inflating the final price of a product or service. You can completely eliminate these fees by offering your consumers to pay directly from their bank accounts.

Great customer experience

kevin. A2A payments for POS terminals ensure the same great customer experience as paying with any mobile device. A2A payments are made possible by NFC communication, which means that consumers can simply hold their phone near the POS terminal to initiate the payment.

Get your money faster

Eliminating card schemes from the payment process means your money can reach your bank account much faster. Traditionally, businesses would have to wait days or weeks to get their money. With kevin. A2A solution for POS terminals, companies can enjoy instant settlement.

Save money with kevin. A2A payments for POS terminals

If you have a mobile app for your business, you can start using kevin. A2A payments for POS terminals and enjoy reduced transaction costs. Find out more about this groundbreaking solution and contact us to discuss the integration.

Enjoy the benefits of an innovative payment solution

Integrate kevin. payment infrastructure