POS Hardware Guide (2022) – Forbes Advisor


For most businesses, there are a few pieces of POS hardware that you’ll want to heavily consider as they can be considered vital to processing any in-person customer payment. The industry you’re in will typically dictate the amount of hardware you might need to process customer payments efficiently. For example, a restaurant will have different needs than a grocery store, and it will have different needs from a clothing store.

Listed below are the six most important pieces of POS hardware for most businesses.

1. Station

Your POS station is typically a computer or tablet that can run the POS software. It is where you’ll process all transactions and the customer will interact to confirm payment. These systems generally are touchscreens and provide a more modern look for your customer than older POS hardware systems. Many stations are all-in-one devices and that can be cost-effective. However, if one thing breaks on your all-in-one station, then you’ll be forced to send the whole device in for repairs.

2. Barcode Scanner

A barcode scanner can input products into your POS software to calculate how much the customer needs to pay. Without a barcode scanner, you would have to input all items manually into the software before processing payment. These scanners are used heavily in inventory-heavy businesses, such as grocery or hardware stores.

3. Credit Card Reader

It’s impossible to collect noncash payments without a way to read and process those payments. A card reader is vital to processing in-person payments because many customers elect to pay with a digital credit or debit card. When you collect payments via card, you’ll need to make sure that your card reader is EMV-compliant and that all data that your reader collects is encrypted.

4. POS Terminal

A POS terminal is a computerized device, similar to the station, that the POS software runs on. When we talk about all-in-one devices, these typically are known as POS terminals. These systems typically allow employees to see the details of the transaction and elect to process payments or add and remove items prior to payment.

5. Cash Drawers

A cash drawer is exactly as it sounds―a physical drawer that keeps your cash till. There is typically a way for the POS software to open the cash drawer if the customer elects to pay with cash or elects to receive cash back as part of their transaction. Businesses that don’t receive a lot of cash, such as clothing stores, don’t need to carry a cash drawer anymore if they don’t want to.

6. Receipt Printers

A receipt printer allows the customer to receive a physical copy of the transaction details. These are typically seen in most retail stores, although many businesses are attempting to save on money now by offering digital receipts. Receipts are still popular among customers, especially those that may want to return an item in the future.



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