In light of the launch of MERA’s new Point of Sale website, Alexander Petrov, software designer at MERA, explained the basics of Point of Sale systems, their emerging trends and how they can be used in other industries rather than retail.
What Is a POS System
A Point of Sale (POS) system is a combination of hardware and software components that help cashiers to simplify day-to-day business operations and help business owners track important sales data such as inventory level, pricing accuracy, growth, revenue, employee time tracking, etc. In short, Point of Sale is the central component of any business that involves sale and purchase.
MERA provides a range of services to help businesses make the best use of their POS systems. Working with different types of Point of Sale solutions, we put an emphasis on Tablet-based POS. This approach has several significant advantages over traditional hardware POS solutions:
- popular platforms with familiar interfaces account for seamless and intuitive customer experience;
- easy to maintain: the device can be easily repaired or replaced;
- wireless connection allows to avoid visible wires which gives the workstation a more eye-appealing look;
- well-known brand and attractive design of device increase credibility in customers’ eyes.
Modern POS Trends
The biggest upcoming trend in POS systems is mobility. Mobile Point of Sale or simply mPOS is a tablet or a smartphone device that functions as a traditional cash register or a POS system. mPOS software is usually fully or partially cloud-based and runs on mobile operating systems such as iOS, Android, etc. Compared to traditional stationary POS devices, mPOS systems are easy to carry around, more affordable and user-friendly.
While traditional POS systems are mostly targeted at larger businesses, mPOS fits any business model from start-up to wholesale. mPOS systems can also offer more benefits for small and mid-size merchants, providing a lower barrier of entry to make a sale. With support of multiple stores, mobile POS devices can be shared across merchant’s locations, so they can be used to sell anywhere. Apart from serving as payment terminals, mPOS systems provide integration with backend features like accounting, inventory, and reports. In regard to security, mPOS systems are safer than traditional POS transactions as they incorporate point-to-point encryption. Combined with cloud backend solutions, lost, stolen or damaged mPOS devices will not result in information loss.
Integration of POS with new types of payments
Nowadays order checkout and payment are to be simple, fast, and offering many payment methods. It is not enough to accept cash and credit card payments only, since many quick, convenient and secure payment methods have appeared recently. Together with the existing and well-known payment types, modern POS is to support the following methods:
- Cash Payment
- Debit and Credit card payments (both Magnetic stripe and EMV)
- Card-Not-Present (Manual credit) payments
- Gift cards
- Mobile Wallets (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay)
Let us take a more precise look at mobile payments, as it is one of the major payment trends, making both merchant’s and customer’s life easier. Mobile payments term refers to the many payment options available via mobile devices, so it combines several types of mobile payment systems. Some might require the phone to have near-field communication (NFC) capability, while others just use the payments from the e-wallet application via Internet.
Mobile payments applications allow customers to securely store their credit and debit cards digitally on their phone and use them without the need to physically carry them around. Once POS has mobile payments support in place, all the customer needs to do is just tap the phone on the NFC card reader or press a button on the phone to pay. As for businesses, apart from enabling them to offer credit card payments, a mobile payment option helps them increase the speed of checking out customers, integrate loyalty programs into the mobile payment applications and track valuable sales data.
Integration with Hardware and Services
A modern POS system is hard to imagine without a network of data-capture devices such as Printers, Card Swipes, PinPads, Cash Drawers and Tills, Barcode scanners and other peripheral devices. MERA engineers are familiar with the majority of the required hardware standards and possess four years of experience in implementing and supporting POSs integration with a number of different third-party hardware solutions.
Every POS solutions can also be integrated with a variety of third-party services. Must-have software features on MERA customers’ lists include payment processors, shipping and delivery, gift cards, discounts, loyalty programs, accounting systems, etc. These features convert POS into a highly competitive product and increase its usability by making it an all-in-one solution. For example, MERA successfully integrated customer’s POS into a University billing system using RFID technology. This allowed students to pay at canteen with their University badges.
POS in Different Industries
Since every industry has its own profile, they need a Point-of-Sale system that meets their specific business needs. In general, POS systems can be especially useful in such industries as retail, hospitality, healthcare, and entertainment. They can help to improve both customer and business experience bringing along all the benefits of modern POS systems.
MERA has broad experience in POS customization. We can guarantee that POS solution will meet customers’ business needs. Among our expertise are:
- Quick Service
- Table Service
- Online Ordering
- Gas Stations
To learn more, visit pos.mera.com where we outlined our expertise in the domain and highlighted the services we offer — all in one place.