Retail payment options

Point-of-sale systems

Point-of-sale (PoS) systems is the hardware and software used by retail businesses to automate transactions and record sales. They will typically include the following:

  • computer
  • PoS software
  • barcode scanner
  • touch screen display
  • customer display
  • receipt printer
  • card reader/terminal

Benefits of using a PoS system

Some of the advantages of using a PoS system include:

  • security
  • easily adjust your prices at source rather than updating individual price tags
  • record sales information – this is important for tax reasons, cashflow management and sales analysis
  • automatically update your stock information – helpful for inventory tracking and management
  • calculate total transaction costs and change
  • speed up transactions by scanning barcodes instead of inputting information manually
  • customer relationship management – you can highlight offers to customers based on a record of their buying preferences

Many PoS software packages include reporting features that can help you analyse and improve your business.

Choose the right PoS for your business

Individual PoS systems will offer varied  features, so you should consider your business needs. There are off-the-shelf solutions available for different business types and industries. Weigh up the costs of the system versus the benefits it will bring.

Some things to consider are:

  • What features does your business need? For example, a restaurant might require a mobile order and payment processing system, so that they can manage orders and financial transactions at tables. Other PoS features could include; card processing, barcode scanning, sales analysis reports, enhanced security, mobile payment processing.
  • Will your business needs change in the future? Consider if the system will continue to meet your requirements as your business grows.
  • How much will the system cost? Think about both the upfront costs and what you pay on an ongoing basis for software licences, support and maintenance.
  • Is it easy to use? Will your staff require training?
  • Will the system integrate with existing technology and software in your business?