Some POS systems look like PCs, whereas others are more like a tablet device or a smartphone. No matter what type of basic hardware you choose, you'll often have the choice of add-ons to customize your POS system to your way of working.
Here are some of the most popular hardware additions for a POS system:
If a business accepts payment via cash or check, a secure cash drawer is essential for safety and confidentiality.
Cash drawers range in size with different numbers of compartments, so consider what percentage of your income comes from cash to determine how large a cash drawer you need.
A cash drawer with a check slot can make it easy to store checks safely until they can be cashed.
Barcode scanners can reduce the time taken to complete a sales transaction as staff can scan an item to see it on the point of sale monitor. A scanner also reduces human error by ensuring the correct item has been selected.
If your business plans to use a point of sale system for stock management, a barcode scanner also makes it easier to track new products entering the premises.
If a business sells restricted products such as alcohol, cigarettes, knives, or any other item that requires identification, an ID checker could be essential.
An ID checker can determine whether an ID is legitimate and can quickly calculate a buyer's age based on date of birth. This reduces the risk of human error and ensures the business is operating within legal guidelines.
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Credit Card Reader
Business owners can choose to use a card swiper or a chip and pin reader. However, while card swipers have historically been more popular, chip and pin machines are fast becoming the best option due to the fact that they are so much more secure. Find out more about the introduction of chip and pin in our dedicated article.
If you do use a card swiper to capture credit card data, you'll probably want to include a signature capture pad too.
This pad enables customers to sign on an electronic sheet, allowing for the signature to be checked against the card signature digitally rather than manually. This is also beneficial if you opt to accept chip and sign transactions.
Customer Facing Display
A customer facing display shows your customer the details of each sale. The most important information for the customer is the item description and the cost, both of which can be displayed using text.
A customer facing display reduces the chance of the customer misunderstanding a price and avoids any embarrassment caused.
If a business processes transactions away from a cash register, a handheld terminal is necessary. Using either wireless technology or cell networks, a handheld terminal can be connected to the business and client bank while on the move.
A receipt printer provides customers with proof of purchase and creates a paper trail of sales. A single receipt printer is adequate for those simply wishing to print receipts, but if you're looking to print other items, such as vouchers and reports, a double printer will allow you to complete the transaction faster.
You'll find that many point of sale systems include a touchscreen monitor for ease, but some do prefer to add on a physical keyboard. This is a matter of personal preference.
In examples where sales values are based on individual weights, (such as at a Post Office or a greengrocers) a weighing scale can accurately weigh an item and share the information with the point of sale system. This allows the machine to calculate the correct total, reducing the chance of human error.