Knowledge Base

POS vs. Cash Register

In any retail business or restaurant, there has to be a place where customers pay. This place will either be a cash register or a POS (point of sale) system. Although there are a few businesses that still use a cash register, POS systems are quickly becoming the more popular payment method.

Cash Registers

A cash register, also known as a till can perform the basic cash management needs of a business. Cash registers are generally stand-alone machines. They aren’t wireless, don’t connect to a network, and don’t have a lot of report options.

Cash register

Because POS systems are so advanced and provide a lot of convenience for business owners, cash registers are slowly becoming obsolete. The main factor keeping cash registers on the market is the upfront price–POS systems can be very costly upfront but cash registers are very cheap. Some are even less than $100. For a small business such as a “mom and pop” store, cash registers are a better option due to budget.

POS Systems

POS systems are computerized cash management systems that are quickly taking the place of cash registers. In these days, POS systems are a necessity for large corporations with multiple stores. A cash register simply won’t provide them with the advanced cash management features that the business needs.

Although POS systems cost more money upfront than a traditional cash register, the long-term savings are worth the investment, especially since POS systems have now evolved to mobile devices such as iPads and cell phones. These type of POS systems don’t need heavy, bulky equipment that needs to be replaced every few years. It also reduces the need for a lot of counter space for a giant cash register.

Since POS systems can save records to the cloud, storage space is not a problem. Businesses can keep records for years or even decades in one easy-to-access place. POS systems can also perform other services for a business. Some examples of other POS services are:

  • Clocking in/out functions for employees
  • Payroll management
  • Inventory management
  • Accounting

Comparison

SYSTEM PROS CONS
Point of Sale System
  • Very technologically advanced with lots of services
  • Since it’s computerized, it can be networked with other POS stations in order to integrate record keeping from different locations
  • No bulky equipment
  • POS systems can even be mobilized for businesses that are on the go
  • They can be integrated with online sales systems so there is no need for separate record keeping
  • Has a higher upfront cost–can be very high in some cases
  • Can be complicated, not good for people who aren’t tech savvy
Cash Register
  • Very low upfront cost
  • Very easy to use, great for people who aren’t tech savvy
  • It can function with many different peripheral devices
  • Can be expensive to maintain over time
  • Parts wear out quicker than POS system parts
  • Does not have a lot of advanced services such as payroll, etc.

In general, all businesses can benefit more from a POS system than a cash register because most businesses need the majority of POS services. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a POS system is better for the business at a particular time. While POS systems will probably become the standard in the near future, and for good reason, the choice will largely depend on the size and needs of the business.

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