POS Hardware: What Do You Want?

All for small retail business payments

POS hardware setups can differ so much from one merchant to another, from big-box stores with self-service kiosks, for your small-time entrepreneur friend who takes only payments on his old-ass Samsung Universe. Most companies, however, will discover a happy medium between both of these point-of-sale setups and add a couple of core bits of POS equipment into their hardware setup.

Let’s review which POS hardware products you actually need . . . and which stuff you can most likely do without.

Cloud POS Hardware — The Fundamental Setup

Listed here are the all basics you ought to get began, and absolutely nothing more. With a few POS’s, a few of these components are combined (for instance, the charge card terminal may also print receipts).


The term “cash register” includes a slightly different meaning nowadays, with new-school cloud POS systems, the “cash” part is generally delivered, because the “register“ usually consists only of the computer or touch-screen tablet computer by having an enclosure. Most registers just have an operating-system along with a computer of some type to operate your POS software on. Based on which POS system you select, this bit of register hardware will most likely be considered a laptop or perhaps an iPad. You’ll need one computer/tablet per register.

Most systems which use an iPad or any other tablet usually sell a stand or enclosure to accommodate and safeguard the unit.

Charge Card Terminal

Another significant bit of POS hardware, the charge card terminal/readers, comes in several varieties and form factors. It may be only a fundamental magstripe card readers, a treadmill that’s able to accepting both swiped cards and nick-card transactions. It may be a typical readers that actually works for multiple POS systems, like the Ingenico iCT220, or perhaps a proprietary readers that is only for your unique POS software. The readers may well be a separate item that connects to your tablet, or perhaps be integrated into the register interface being an all-in-one terminal, out of the box the situation with Clover Mini’s charge card terminal.

With a few very lightweight, mobile POS solutions for example Flint Mobile, the “reader” is only the camera in your device, that scans the credit card information visually. (Alas, by Feb 2016, Flint announced they’re winding lower operations.) Square’s EMV-compliant charge card readers can also be super minimalistic, composed of only a small square that connects to your phone or tablet’s headphone jack.

Ideally, your card readers is going to be EMV-compliant, meaning it accepts nick-card payments, and can accept contactless NFC payments (mobile payments) too. Many charge card terminals also print receipts.

Receipt Printer (and Paper)

Though many purchasers prefer emailed receipts in case your POS software has this function, you still need offer a choice of a paper receipt. As pointed out, some charge card readers prints receipts, while other POS systems make use of a separate receipt printer.

For convenient, high-volume receipt printing, a thermal receipt printer is generally a sensible choice, though hot environments, like a food truck, would use an effect printer. The printer might be either wired (Ethernet) or wireless (Bluetooth) and you’ll need one per register.

Bar code Scanner (Combined with Label Printer and Labels)

In about any retail setup, you’ll need a bar code scanner so that you can scan products to ring them up. The scanner typically pairs having a label printer, which, though not technically a bit of “POS hardware,” continues to be necessary to your POS, much like any extra scanners you may want to use for inventory purposes. 

The scanner is generally a hands scanner which includes a stand along with a USB cord. However, the scanner can also be wireless, or perhaps included in the register itself—with a POS like Clover Station, you scan products while using built-in-front-facing camera around the register. Some scanners (like Clover’s) may also scan QR codes in addition to UPC barcodes.

Cash Drawer

While lots of companies no more cope with considerable amounts of money, just like printed receipts, your clients still it as being a choice. Having a cash drawer, you are able to accept cash payments and provide change. Just like many POS peripherals, the money drawer may connect with the register via USB cord, or it can also be wireless.

Networking Equipment

Most contemporary POS systems require a web connection, a minimum of more often than not, so you’ll most likely require a modem, router, and connected cables to obtain online. Most cloud POS’s operate on wireless (or sometimes data connections), however, many, for example Revel Systems, provide you with the choice of a far more secure wired (Ethernet) connection, plugging straight into your iPad.

For the way large your store is and the number of register stations you’ve, there is also wireless access points, which improve your wireless signal.

Some “Maybe-Need” Products:

Not every companies have the very same POS needs, so based on your setup, there is also some these products.

Kitchen Printer(s) — Communicates food orders in the point-of-purchase to some restaurant&#8217s kitchen.

Additional Tablets/Cellular Devices for Tableside Ordering — Another restaurant-centric POS item, which enables waiters to consider orders on the tablet or from the busy line, and send individuals orders digitally towards the register and/or kitchen.

Self-Service Kiosk(s) — Enables customers to look at by themselves, for example inside a supermarket scenario Revel offers this method.

Rotation/Swivel Base(s) — Enables you to definitely turn the register tablet around therefore the customer can sign off on their own payment from the register interface (ShopKeep sells these).

Scale(s) — Needed should you ring up products according to weight instead of quantity (for instance, a frozen yogurt shop).

Local Server — POS’s that store some good info in your area rather of within the cloud (e.g., TouchBistro) need you to possess a local server, that is essentially only a Mac or perhaps a PC.

Some Final Factors:

  • Most POS systems also permit you a choice of sourcing most or a few of the POS hardware yourself. You might be able to discover the hardware you’ll need in a cheaper cost should you go through an outside vendor. However, should you follow this path, you will have to pay attention to make certain the hardware works with.
  • Most POS system providers sell bundled hardware sets. They are convenient since you get all you need, and you will know the hardware you purchase is going to be suitable for your unique POS system, along with the other POS hardware components.
  • Some systems, like Clover, require that you employ their proprietary hardware. Clover’s hardware is custom-designed for POS, and combines multiple functions successfully of hardware (for instance, the scanner is made in to the register). Be cautious about buying this kind of equipment from a 3rd party, since there are a large amount of scams available.

If you want help working out what sort of POS hardware setup suits your company, let’s know and we’ll assist you to pick which essential POS equipment you’ll need.

The publish POS Hardware: What Do You Want? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.



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