Compatible Programs

Save on POS System Processing

Unless your POS system is proprietary to a single credit card processor (and if so, you may be paying too much!) then you can compare different merchant services plans and save. The Point of Sale business is very competitive among acquirers and banks, so it is possible to negotiate more lucrative discount rates and interchange markups.

POS Credit Card ProcessingA new generation of POS systems has arrived via tablet and smartphone. Companies like Square and First Data's Clover are creating easy-to-program and intuitive solutions for companies that include tablet computers such as the iPad or Android device. At the other end of the spectrum, desktop computer based POS terminals cover the retail landscape. If you have been to a big box store you may not be aware that there is a POS computer on every checkout aisle, and they all communicate with central servers that are onsite and many states away. Pricing adjustments can be made instantaneously, coupons and specials are uploaded without the need to reprogram each device, and credit card transactions go through the system from attached readers. Store branded gift and credit cards may be very prominent.

Small business POS systems may be essential for profitability, and the ability to set prices, print barcodes, or just reconcile purchases is a lifesaver to shops of all sizes. A typical point of sale setup for small business owners generally uses one or two computers at checkout, may or may not connect with a central server, and can appear to be very generic. Since the 1980s such computerized ordering systems have become more robust and affordable.

It may surprise people to find out that point of sale systems were first deployed in 1973 with a mainframe that could control over 125 individual cash registers.

Point of sale systems for restaurants are highly programmable and usually very intuitive in order for wait staff with a high turnover rate to learn the features quickly. Back office functions are also very robust and help with costing, inventory, and purchasing decisions. Typically the top functions are order entry, kitchen printing, check handling, spoilage reporting, reservations, and new CRM features like offers that can be sent by text and email.

Security Upgrade Essential

In 2013 and 2014 there were several critical considerations for POS security. First was news of a major retail credit card breach, which ensnared hundreds of millions of shoppers. Despite a very expensive fraud and intrusion prevention system, card numbers were comprimised. This showed that event the best point of sale software and security can be breached, and highlighted the need for multiple layers of safeguards. Second, the Heartbleed virus, which has been active for years, may have captured millions of logins and passwords. If any of your information matches up with logins to other systems, then you need to change all passwords and maybe even the user information associated with the account to prevent brute-force attacks. Many people use the same password everywhere, so a new rule should be put in place that the POS passwords will be absolutely unique and hard to guess. Under PCI-DSS 3.0 there are also rules for data security which pretty much say the same thing. Third, the end of updates for Windows XP means that many systems are now vulnerable, and may need to upgrade. Systems will not be PCI compliant if they can't patch regularly and don't have other security plans in place.

Compatible Point of Sale Software Vendors

Any list of POS systems may be incomplete because a lot of big brands will "white label" their wares for developers and contractors so they can appear to have a proprietary solution. If you don't know the brand name behind your POS service, it is harder for you to find middleware that will let you process through more affordable vendors. White labeling therefore multiplies the number of brand name POS terminals and software solutions out there, and some companies modify the hardware and software to prevent changes. This is because they may be making far more off markups on interchange fees than they do servicing your equipment. In fact, tablet POS terminals may be sold at a discount, or even given away for free, because the surcharges on processing are so lucrative.

Among these choices, "Cloud based POS" systems are becoming more widely discussed, though in actuality the concept goes back over a decade. Whether utilized as SAAS terminals or just interconnected for mutual backup and updating, Cloud POS is essentially a new name slapped on a service that has been performing reliably for some time. The key advantage of cloud point of sale is that you don't necessarily have to get a license for every terminal, and that updates are instant since they reside centrally and not on each machine. The downside is that if the cloud is down, there is nothing you can do.

The list of POS Systems below is by no means complete, but does give an idea about some of the current and past players in the industry:

1stPayPOS

AIMsi

Aloha

AmberPOS

BancNet Payment System

Brightpearl

Casio

COMCASH

Digital Dining

Erply

Fujitsu iPAD

Gilbarco

HIOPOS

HP

Ingenico

iVend Retail

JavaPOS

Kesslers International Group

LightSpeed

Micros

My Axis Point

NCR

OPOS

Quickbooks

Radiant Systems

Restaurant Manager

Revel Systems

ShopKeep POS

Speedline Solutions

Square

Squirrel

TouchBistro

UnifiedPOS

United Bank Card

VeriFone

Virtual POS

Vivonet