A cash register is a device used by merchants to calculate and process customer transactions.
Modern automated cash registers typically integrate a number of systems into one terminal, including:
- secure cash drawers
- barcode scanners
- receipt printers
- customer display screens
- electronic touch screen monitors
In addition, the cash register can be connected with a variety of extra systems, such as payment card terminals and electronic scales.
Whilst they are often integrated into the point of sale in retail industries (such as grocery stores and gas stations), touch screen cash registers are also frequently used in restaurants and within the catering and hospitality industry.
Depending on the specific make and model, the precise operating procedure for your touch screen cash register may differ somewhat to that detailed below. It is therefore advised for users to also consult their operating manual (if provided).
Step 1 - Setup and Configuration
The first step in setting up any electronic touch screen cash register is to ensure the device is connected to a power outlet and switched on.
Next, the register must be configured to accurately process transactions. This can involve you manually programming in the time and date, in addition to establishing language settings.
You should also ensure there is a supply of paper in the receipt printer. Many registers may also require a unique clerk code to be entered.
This allows employers to identify which member of staff was responsible for specific transactions, regardless of how many use the same register.
Step 2 - Product Input
In order to calculate and process transactions, relevant product information, such as price and weight, must be entered into the register.
In older cash registers, this may be achieved through a physical keypad located on the register, however most modern systems now use a digital touch screen.
There are two distinct methods for users to enter this information:
- The first is to manually enter the information via the touch screen monitor. With products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, the weight of the product (as calculated by a electronic weighing scale) is entered and the price worked out accordingly.
- The second, and more common, method is to simply swipe the product's barcode across the integrated barcode scanner. The relevant product information is then automatically added.
In situations where products do not feature a barcode, such as those items charged by weight, users must enter this information manually.
Step 3 - Calculation and Total
Once each product has been scanned, or the relevant information keyed in via the touch screen, the user should then select a 'sub-total' option which allows the register to calculate the total cost of the transaction.
This information will be displayed to the user on the monitor, and in most instances to the customer on a small LCD display screen.
Step 4 - Sale
If the customer wishes to pay by cash, the user must select the 'cash' option on the touch screen and manually enter the amount of cash provided, pressing 'sale'.
By doing so, the secure cash draw will automatically open, allowing the user to provide any required change (the amount of which will also be displayed on the monitor). At the same time, a receipt will be printed for the customer.
If the customer wishes to pay by credit or debit card, the user must select this option on touch screen. In some cases, customers may then enter their card and PIN number into a card terminal linked to the register.
Alternatively, the user may swipe the magnetic strip on the customer's card, and provide either a receipt for them to sign or a modern digital signature capture device. Finally, the user presses 'sale' to complete the transaction.