POS 101: The Basics of POS Systems

Person doing contactless payment with mobile phone

Point of sale or POS systems allow business owners to accept payments from customers. What follows is an explanation of POS systems, how they work, their benefits to merchants, and more.

What Is a POS System?

A point of sale system allows retail businesses to accept credit, debit, and other forms of payment. These systems also record information about a retail store.

Components of Retail POS Solutions

Modern POS systems consist of front- and back-end components. Front-end components include hardware and software that cashiers use to initiate and complete transactions with customers, such as:

  • Cash drawers
  • Barcode scanners
  • Computer monitors
  • Receipt printers
  • Mobile devices with apps
  • Card machines

Back-end components are those used by management, accounting, and other departments of a business to track transactions and access stored information. These can include:

  • Payroll software
  • Modem, router, or other network device
  • Internet connection
  • Data storage, whether on-site or in the cloud
  • Employee scheduling software
  • Inventory management

How Does a POS System Work?

happy woman paying for purchases

In order for a POS system transaction to be processed successfully, it must go through several integrated steps. There are many types of POS systems, and all work differently.

Cashier Initiates Transaction

Once the cashier scans products into the system, the POS software adds them to the sale display with prices and total amount.

Software Syncs and Adjusts

While the cashier scans items, the back-end software component of the POS system typically syncs with the inventory management component. It adjusts the store’s level of stock to reflect the number and type of items purchased by the customer.

Customer Selects Payment Option, Data Transfer Occurs

If the customer selects credit, debit, or mobile payment, the physical payment terminal is activated. Their card data is sent from the terminal to the issuing bank to confirm availability of funds. Other data can include contact information and points applied via loyalty programs.

Receipt Is Produced

The customer pays, which triggers the cash register and receipt printer.

Now that you know how the point of sale system works, it’s time to consider its benefits.

How Do POS Systems Benefit Merchants?

POS systems not only allow merchants to offer customers a wider range of payment options, but help merchants to run their businesses by offering features like payroll management and business analytics.

Other benefits include:

  • Automated end-of-day reconciliation
  • Generation of sales reports
  • Real-time stock level reports

What Do POS Systems Cost and Are They Necessary?

The cost of a POS system will depend on what kinds of features and functionality your business needs. However, the cost should not be so high as to make it impossible for your business to obtain.

For businesses who wish to accept card and digital payments from their customers, as well as streamline many of their business’s day-to-day processes, an integrated POS system and merchant service provider are both absolutely necessary.

What’s the Best POS Service for Hostesses?

The best POS system will be one that requires very little time and technical knowledge to implement. The merchant POS system service provider that can offer the most value is one that is available to show you how to use your POS system and answer your questions with a live person, around the clock. Adept Payments offers businesses the best POS systems and support.

Where Can I Get a POS System?

Whether you’re accepting payments online, in-store, or via mobile devices, Adept Payments can tailor a seamless solution for you at the lowest rates, guaranteed. To learn more about our payment processing systems, visit us online or call us today: 1-888-732-3838.

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