Compare the Different Types of Cash Register

cash register type

Cash registers are widespread in today’s world of retail, and can be found in almost all stores. While there are many different brands and models, cash registers generally fall into one of three categories.

Those categories are as follows:

Standard Cash Register

These registers are smaller units that can often be found in small businesses, where space is more of a concern. They can also be found in many restaurants and cafes. They are essentially made up of a cash drawer in the base, topped with a input keypad and a printing device.

The purchase is typed into the keypad (or sometimes scanned using a laser handset on more modern devices) which will toll up a total cost of the transaction.

The drawer is opened, and the cashier stores the customer’s money inside. A receipt is then printed, which lists the items purchased and their prices, and will often include a total cost, time of purchase and user details such as a till number and/or an employee number.

Point of Sale

These registers, also known as checkouts, are found in many larger retail outlets, such as department stores and supermarkets.

They do not require the items to be manually imputed, instead utilizing laser scanning technology to read barcodes on items, gathering data on cost from a central database that covers all of the store’s goods.

These registers are often designed with high capacity in mind, so are often quicker and more efficient than standard cash registers, often being installed with a conveyor belt that allows for large numbers of items to be handled and scanned in a short space of time.

Points of sale systems can also be equipped with superior software that allows companies to collect and store data such the busiest trading times, and what items are selling fastest.

This can be linked to ordering software, which automatically requests new products from a supplier when existing stocks are close to being depleted. It also allows supermarkets to focus their advertising in different areas by ascertaining sales trends.

Self Service

A newer design that is becoming more commonplace in the retail world is that of the self service checkout. This works in a similar way to the traditional point of sale, but does not require a staff member.

The customer scans and packs their own items, often placing them in a packing area which doubles as a scale to ensure that all items packed have been scanned.

They are then presented with a total cost, and are prompted to pay by cash or card. While card payment is dealt with automatically in a similar way to standard checkouts, cash is inserted into the register, and is then filtered through size and weight sensors, which determine how much as been inserted. A receipt it printed, and if necessary, change is calculated and returned to the customer through a chute system.

The reason for the growing popularity of these registers is that, financially, they are more efficient. They are smaller, so multiple units can exist in the same space that perhaps only one traditional checkout could, and will also only require a single overseer for multiple machines, rather than an assistant for every one.

This reduces waiting times for customers, and lowers business costs, but is sometimes shunned by certain groups as being too impersonal compared to traditional points of sale.

Easy to Use Cash Registers

Cash registers are being increasingly designed with the end user in mind. Thankfully there are a number of easy to use models on the market.

SAM4S SPT 7000 Space Saving Integrated Terminal

The SPT 7000 is designed to be used in premises where there is limited counter space and is popular with grocery store owners, quick service restaurants and box offices.

The register is easily operated through a 12 inch touch screen flat panel, and because it incorporates fingerprint scanning technology, logging on also becomes a simple process with no need to remember passwords.

The color touchscreen display has items laid out in an intuitive fashion, while the option of a customer facing integrated display allows the customer to monitor the transaction as it progresses, thereby reducing the risk of staff error.

This model also includes an integrated bar code scanner which can perform 2,000 scans per minute allowing your employees to easily scan bar coded items.

Prices typically start at upwards of $2,000.

Abacre Cash Register

One way to make your register easy to use is to make it familiar to the user. Abacre Cash Register is a software package based on Windows which can be used with most cash register hardware.

The user interface has been carefully optimized to allow for the high speed input of client orders and to minimize mistakes.

This recognizable software package can be used to standardize your entire sales process to make much better use of your employee’s time. Additionally, management reports are comprehensive and straightforward to produce.

New customers can download this software for a free thirty day trial after which a license costs between $150 and $500 depending on your business needs.

SAMS4S ER 5115II Cash Register

If you are simply looking for an uncomplicated entry level cash register, the ER5115II may be the model for you. It can handle up to 1,000 PLUs which can be split into 21 categories.

Its clear, color coded keyboard layout is simple to understand with minimal training and there is no lengthy set up required as it is very much a plug and go option.

The cash drawer itself has a clear manual key locking system and the register will also automatically calculate up to four tax rates, saving your employees a laborious manual job.

Prices for the ER5115II generally start from around the $500 mark.

Casio QT-6600 Cash Register

Another popular model with high end dining businesses is the Casio QT-6600. This machine’s popularity is largely due to the fact that employees can pick up how to use it with minimal training.

Features include a clear 15 inch LCD touchscreen with a rear facing customer display which uses visual cues to help ensure orders are processed quickly. The register also automatically completes a number of functions such as table status monitoring, splitting checks and applying discounts at the touch of a button.

Prices for the QT-6600 are in the region of $2,500.

Casio TE 4500

For those with older employees, a popular choice of register is the Casio TE 4500.

This model’s design incorporates large display letters which can also be color coded, thereby making it a far more simple register to operate than those with typical sized keys. It also has a large LCD display allowing for transactions to be simply monitored by the employee.

Easiest Complete POS Systems to Use:

Squirrel POS System Software

This versatile package can be customized to accommodate the needs of any restaurant business, from a burger bar to a high end establishment.

It is extremely easy to learn and provides all the functionality a business will need. A system like this can certainly give a restaurant an exciting edge ahead of their competition.


  • Compatible with a number of different hardware systems.
  • Touchscreen interface – allows staff to be precise with customer orders.
  • State of the art security system – businesses can rest assured their customer payment details are well protected.
  • Can be fashioned around the needs of a specific business.
  • Table management interface – the restaurant layout is displayed on a full colour screen, in an easy to read design; employees can manage seating customers while keeping up with those entering the restaurant.
  • Online ordering and curb-side pickup – this new ordering experience can be effortlessly worked into the Squirrel POS restaurant system; the software is designed to open up the business and expand their range of customers.

Zion Beauty POS System Software

Some POS systems within the health and beauty industry succeed in confusing business owners more than helping them.

Zion’s idealism promotes a beauty world filled with uncomplicated and complete POS software that assists nail, salon and spa owners.


  • Elegant, stylish buttons that complement the beauty industry.
  • Simplified functions – touch controlled.
  • The touchscreen, along with input fields and wording will help owners with an accumulation of invoices.
  • Easy to use, understandable programs.
  • The ability to prevent and reverse mistakes.
  • Menu screen with spacious buttons, customizable to fit any salon’s requirements.
  • Capability to up-charge for each item.
  • Several pay options.
  • Discounts can be applied to one, several or all items by pressing a button.
  • Reports on the day’s transactions can be viewed when needed and printed out, or sent to an Excel file.

Optional Extras

Zion has created an optional package which enables marketing tools to find (for example) top buying customers. Templates can be used to create VIP cards and gift certificates. Reminders of scheduled appointments can be emailed to clients.

Finger Scanning Function is another optional security measure to stop duplication of employee passwords.

Finally, an inkjet printer is available which, although optional, is imperative.

The XSilva LightSpeed 2 System Software

Designed to propel a small business’s growth, the XSilva LightSpeed 2 makes running a retail business operation a piece of cake! Their visionary POS system is reliable, simple to operate and extremely fast. Created exclusively for MAC, it has been described by businessman John Kellogg as “”the easiest POS software I have ever used and… a snap to get running.


  • Solid multi-user database.
  • Easy to use retail tools, offered on a browser similar to that of iTUNES.
  • A ‘floating’ POS interface – created to ensure the checkout experience is quick, effective and devoid of errors.

Optional Extras

A web store module which allows the business owner to set up online. Orders from the website can be downloaded straight back to the XSilva LightSpeed 2 POS system.

What Kind of Cash Register do I Need?

Choosing the right cash register depends on your industry, the specific features and capabilities required you need, and your budget.

Things to consider include:

  • Physical system requirements – what do you need your cash register to be able to do.
  • Advanced capabilities – will you need a complete POS system or just a cash register?
  • Budget – decide how much you are willing to spend early on, as cash register and POS system prices can vary dramatically.

As we’ve shown, there are many different types of cash registers and POS systems out there, but we can help you find the perfect one.

All you need to do is tell us about what you need from your cash register or POS system, and we’ll match you up with the right supplier that suits your exact needs. You’ll then receive free quotes to compare. It’s simple!

Written by:
Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.
Reviewed by:
Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.