A POS system can be pretty high-tech, with different features, hardware options, and software programs available as options. It’s a good idea to review some of the common terms and vocabulary before you speak with a salesperson. Buying a new POS system doesn’t have to be confusing. Make sure you’re armed with the right information before you start looking. Here are a few terms that you should know:
Through the use of a card reader, a POS system can accept credit cards, which can eliminate the need for a separate credit card terminal for purchases.
A storage compartment for cash payments. The drawer is usually a part of the POS terminal.
Central Control Unit
The main “hub” or computer to which all other POS terminals are linked.
Scans a customer’s check just like a card reader, and verifies available funds. Both card and check readers can be linked to a merchant service account.
Check conversion service
A service that allows a merchant to process checks as a debit transaction, allowing quicker access to funds. The most convenient way to process these transactions is through the use of a check reader.
Credit card terminal
Any device that processes credit card transactions, such as payments, returns, or batch settlements.
The screen that shows transaction information to a customer. Also called a customer pole display.
The physical components of a POS system, such as scanners, touch screens, or credit card readers.
A device that can be used in input transaction information. Regular keyboards (QWERTY models) can be used, or custom keyboards can be created.
A device that “scans” barcodes on products and converts the scan into product information for the POS system.
Signature capture device
A device used with a credit card terminal to capture and record the electronic signature of a customer. A signature capture device can store receipts electronically, eliminating the need to keep and store signed paper receipts.
The programmable or customizable components of a POS system. The software you use usually depends on your industry, the size of your business, and the number or variety of products or services you offer.
Any station, computer, or screen where sales information is recorded, such as a cash register or a restaurant touch screen.
A POS hardware component that allows an employee to select the items a customer is purchasing by touching a key.