Overview of POS software for your business
If you own a business, you’ve probably heard of POS – no, it doesn’t mean for a piece of s*** – it means point of sale. What this is, is a means for you to use debit and credit cards, or other forms of currency other than cash for electronic funding and purchases. There are many POS systems out there, some are free, and others charge a fee. In this guide, we’re going to give an overview of POS software for your business, and why you should use it – no matter how small it is.
Software, Account-Based, or Hardware POS?
There are multiple ways that you can use point of sale. Almost all POS systems come with a form of hardware and software that you can use, and you can compare point of sale systems here. If you have a mobile app, sometimes you can simply key in the card numbers of customers. Others require a cash register system and hardware screens that have card readers on them. There are even some POS software programs and systems out there by many cloud-based companies. Some popular ones that are cloud-based are PayPal and Square, but there are others depending on a person’s location and where they’re using their system.
There are also on-premise point of sale systems which all the information goes into a local point of sale server, and then all of that information is then transferred to the company or corporation’s banks, which are then sorted out by automated systems that put the money into the company’s accounts, and takes the money out of the customer accounts. Point of sale systems may also include barcode scanners, credit card readers, and receipt printing options (including digital receipts) that allow you to utilize and deliver the confirmation to the customer of their purchase.
What Kind of System Do I Need?
If you’re a smaller business or a sole proprietor, you may not need to have a humongous point of sale system with all the bells and whistles. Depending on how much you can make on a given day, and whether all of your transfers are electronic or not, you might (or may not) want to invest in a cash drawer of some sort to take and collect payments, then keep them secure until depositing into your bank account at the end of the day.
If you’re a restaurant, retail store, or any other form of store that requires hand-to-hand purchases (even if you also take electronic payments), you may want to make sure you have everything lined up for you and the customer to make the transaction much easier. Most businesses have some sort of cash drawer, and there are options out there to make printing receipts free or cheap.
Other systems, such as cloud-based POS systems don’t charge anything to run them, so you need to keep an eye out for the fees that are often pulled out of each individual transaction.
If you’re wanting a good POS system, all you have to do is shop around, but never spend more money on it than you need to. There are many free options out there, but many of the online POS accounts (like PayPal, Square, and a few others), charge 2.9% plus $.30 for every transaction, so the higher the transaction (and as few as possible from one individual customer), the better.