Point of sale or point-of-purchase are terms used to describe any place where customers make purchases. A counter, stand or booth might be the most obvious examples but it could also include things like checkouts at registers in stores and websites with an “order now” button for online shopping functions too.

Your point-of-sale system (POS) is the hardware and software that enables your business to make those sales. Your POS devices allow you track inventory, process payments securely from customers seamlessly while staying in compliance with all local regulations for each location where it’s installed.

How a POS System Works

A POS system is the backbone of any business that takes credit card payments, and it’s what allows you to keep track of each sale. Simple enough for some businesses (like those selling online) but not so much when setting up shop in person or hosting an event with physical stock.

A POS system is one of the most important pieces in any business. It can be found at almost every store and allows you to track everything from sales statistics, inventory levels on hand for different items.

This easy-to-use technology has come such a long way since its inception decades ago when it was just paper based registers with numbers scrawled across them by hand.

What a POS System Does

Customers purchase a product or pay for a service.

If you have a physical store, they may ask someone to ring them up. That associate could use one of many bar code scanners and look up the item’s price with just one scan. With some POS systems, you can photograph items using your camera. This is done when the customer has added an item to their cart but hasn’t clicked “checkout” yet.

Your POS system calculates the item’s value.

The POS system not only calculates the price of an item, but it also takes into account any sales tax. The inventory count is then updated with a sold status to show that this product has been sold.

The customer pays for the product or service.

To finish their purchase, customers can use any of the following methods to make payments: credit card, tap card (such as Apple Pay), debit card or loyalty points. Depending on which option they choose and how much money is being spent by checking out with your company’s website will depend on whether it takes 1 minute or 5 for this process to complete.

The POS transaction is finalized.

This is the moment when you officially make a sale. The payment goes through, and your client can immediately feel satisfied that they will receive what was promised. You’ll distribute their items to them quickly so it’s just as good for both parties involved.

Types of Hardware and Software a POS System Typically Includes

If you have an online store, then all of your sales happen on the website. So in this case POS hardware isn’t really needed to accept payments because it can be done through a credit card reader or register with just one device.

But if you are running your food truck and need something else for ordering purposes – he might consider getting either phone/tablet models that are cheaper than typical desktop computers will cost him right now due their smaller size which makes them more portable.

Below are some of the hardware and software most POS systems come with:


In your business, you need a register to keep track of transactions. This can be especially helpful for calculating and processing customer payments.

Connected device like tablets

Portable devices are great for when you’re on-the go. They can be propped up with a stand to allow employees time in and out of their work stations, or they may even serve as an effective replacement device if your company is using tablets instead of computers.

Credit card reader

Credit card readers are necessary for any business that accepts credit cards. This is because they let customers pay with their phone or other device while in-store, whether it’s through a contactless payment like Apple Pay or chip cards and mag stripe stripes (magnetic strips).

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