The point of sale (POS) system has advanced, from being a mere cash drawer, cash register, computerized system, and now to an intelligent cloud.
POS is the payment system you use to get paid by customers. Ideally, it should be:
Most small businesses start with just a cash drawer. A cash drawer is highly inefficient, poses a security risk, and has no way of recording transactions. A cash register is slightly better, as it records all receipts and locks the cash in a small automated drawer. But the security and efficiency improvements are minimal compared to an automated or cloud solution.
A computerized POS is an on-premise system that is wholly managed by the business. The software and equipment would be supplied by a service company that may provide training for the staff. The small business will shoulder day to day maintenance, and the service company should provide repair service if anything goes wrong. A computerized POS system typically has the following features:
- POS software that integrates with accounting and inventory software
- POS hardware integration, for example, with payment terminals.
- Business Intelligence Systems, which can produce reports.
Computerized POS systems have advanced into the cloud to provide more capabilities. A cloud service provider hosts a cloud POS solution. The business makes periodic payments to use the cloud service. It is provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS ) cloud product. The company merely needs to connect it's devices and hardware to the cloud service. The advantages of using a cloud POS are the same as a computerized POS with the following benefits:
- Any connected device can use the cloud POS, so there is no need to invest in new hardware
- It is more affordable than the capital intensive computerized system
- It can quickly scale up or down, so the business's finances are not strained or wasted
- The hosted provider is responsible for security and updating software, so it is automatically done for you
- It can provide real-time analysis and reports
- Data can be accessed from multiple locations (branches, sites) simultaneously
A universal, efficient, and cost-effective POS solution is essential for business productivity and customer experience. Customers want to choose how to pay and have the experience to be as painless as possible. Cloud POS solutions give businesses the flexibility needed to satisfy customers and productivity features to make it a worthwhile investment.
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