What Is a POS Terminal?

A POS terminal is a piece of hardware that combines a card reader and POS software to make it easier for customers to buy products or services in person. A POS system can be used at a brick-and-mortar location, in mobile sales situations like at a popup store, or even from home when making deliveries. They range in price, depending on whether a business is looking at a complete desktop kit or just a simple mobile terminal, the number of features (for software) and accessories (for hardware) that are wanted, and how long a company wants to use it for.

POS systems safeguard businesses against human error during in-person customer transactions, and they help managers maximize their profits with data-driven analytics and reporting. For example, a POS can record how many items are returned or sold at prices lower than the ones set by management and document when and where inventory shrinkage takes place. Some POS vendors also provide customer-management functions that help create targeted email campaigns and loyalty programs to encourage repeat purchases.

In addition to a POS terminal, small businesses that are thinking about using a POS terminal should be prepared to invest in hardware and a monthly subscription for the POS software. This can cost from nothing at all to thousands of dollars for complete kits including a terminal, printer and scanner. Some POS solutions offer both on-site and cloud-based software, but the daily operation to process sales remains the same. pos terminal

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