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What is POS System? Is It Better Than Cash?

Most thriving retail businesses process thousands of transactions on any given day. To keep things running smoothly in the brick-and-mortar world, you need an arsenal of tools — both hardware and software.

When it comes to retail, the heart of your business is how you process sales. The point-of-purchase system or POS can be many things – a register at which customers pay for their goods, an online portal where orders are processed and shipped out. But whatever form it takes in reality, its importance cannot be underestimated.

There are many different ways to process transactions for your retail business. What’s the difference between a traditional cash register and a POS system? Let me break it down.


Cash Register


If you’re running a business, you must know what “cash register” means. It is a machine with three functions: taking in money and indicating the amount of each sale.

A cash register can keep track of your transactions and calculate taxes, receipts and offers basic sales tracking.

It’s common for grocery stores and department stores to use cash registers.

Back in 1879, James Ritty invented the cash register to combat employee theft. This was especially important back then when everyone stole from their employers (we’re sure that’s not still an issue).

According to data by the National Retail Federation, retail shrinkage is second only to employee theft.

A cash register is a machine that people use to make sales, and it has evolved. There are now electronic ones, which you can find in restaurants.

When you’re first starting, it’s tempting to use a primary cash register because they are easy to set up and work with. But newer models have more features that will make your life easier.

Cash registers are usually inexpensive, but if you want to take credit cards or use a scale, it will cost more.


POS System


Point-of-sale is defined as “of or relating to the place (such as a check-out counter) where an item is purchased.” Point-of-sale (also point-of-purchase or POS) systems are how retailers and customers can execute purchases.

A POS is like a cash register on steroids: You can use it to administer both cash and credit transactions. Plus, you get more detailed reports about the purchases that have been made.

A point of sale system may consist of a few different components, including cash registers and scanners that take credit cards.

When cash registers evolved into computerized POS terminals, they became commonplace in retail environments. These systems were first introduced back in the 1970s.

Transparency Market Research has shown that the global point-of-sale industry generated $36. 86 billion in revenue last year, 34% of which retailers took.

One of the most exciting things about POS systems is constantly evolving. Click To Tweet

These days, many integrated software tools can help your business run more smoothly and efficiently.

Sometimes the best way to use a mobile phone is as a retail management command center. It allows you to control everything from inventory and customer service right on your cell phone.

POS systems are essential for multi-channel sellers because they allow retailers to stay on top of various channels and stores from a single platform. With POS, you can track data across multiple store locations and warehouses or fulfillment centers.

This is not just a trend for those on the cutting edge. Boston Retail Partner’s 2015 POSCustomer Engagement Benchmarking Survey will be more common as retailers shift towards single commerce platforms in 2019.

POS systems are not just for payment. They also have features to help you with customer loyalty, inventory management, and more.

There are a lot of retail management software solutions out there, but Vend is the only one that can help you grow your business in every way. This includes seamlessly selling products from any location and providing an integrated POS system.


Mobile POS

Mobile point-of-sale is a more recent evolution of the cash register. Unlike traditional POS, mPOS can be used anywhere with an internet connection or cellular signal.

As a seller, we all know that you may be selling at markets or events, which means your inventory is constantly on the move. This makes it challenging to keep track of where every one of those boxes isis being stored.

mPOS systems make it so that sales associates can get out and meet customers, just like they want to. So rather than making the customer come in-store, we’ll bring our products to them.

There are many ways to make the customer experience smoother, but one of the best methods is an in-store mobile payment system. These systems can be found at more than half of UK retailers, and they’re essential for consumers.

They’re also much smaller than a traditional POS, which means they can be moved around easily.

If you use an mPOS, be prepared to pay a monthly fee.


The Differences

The key difference between cash registers and POS systems is that the latter has many more features.

If you have a retail store, it’s essential to know the difference between cash registers and point of sale systems. A POS system can help you process sales faster and manage your inventory.

A point of sale system is the most powerful, robust, and feature-rich way to process transactions.



Cash registers: a must-have for any business owner. It can ring up sales and keep track of cash with the added security of a deposit drawer. Some come equipped with customizable tax reports, but it’s best not to get too fancy.

POS systems give you the ability to do all of this and more.

  • Keep your inventory in check.
  • We are exploring the idea of collecting and storing customer data.
  • Loyalty program
  • You can use the data to see your sales, inventory levels, and customer base.
  • Promotions are a great way to create buzz around your company. Whether hosting an event or discounting products, the key is coming up with new ideas that will generate excitement and lead customers to try out your business.


The advent of portable POS systems has allowed businesses to be more flexible with their point-of-sale needs. While traditional cash registers come in just one form, there are now many different POS machines for any business’s need.

Vend can be run on different devices, like Macs and iPads. So you don’t have to worry about having a complete POS system if that’s not what your company needs.

POS systems work for both stationary and mobile salespeople. Click To Tweet

 The best part is that you can start with a low-cost system like Square, which starts at $299

Integration of systems

Point of sale systems is also handy for accepting payments. Most cash registers only work with one payment processor, but point-of-sale solutions can be set up to connect with more than just that.

If you want to expand the capabilities of your POS system, then you should integrate with solutions like:

  • accounting software
  • E-commerce platform
  • loyalty and marketing automation software
  • payment processor
  • ERP
  • scheduling apps


The traditional cash register might be more appealing if you’re on a tight budget because these machines are typically less expensive. However, POS systems usually cost $1,000 in annual fees, and hardware costs– plus they require an internet connection.

But before you purchase a point of sale system, it’s essential to consider the benefits. The cost may be higher upfront, but the software will save you time and help your business grow.

When you maximize the benefits of your POS, it is a more than worthwhile investment.

Here are some of the critical points that we’ve discussed so far:


Sash register vs. POS system

When it comes to deciding which system will work best for your retail business, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself that should help guide the decision:

  1. How many people do I need in my store?
  2. What is my customer base like (residents or tourists)?
  3. Do I want an integrated credit card machine?

If you’re looking for POS, here’s what we recommend:

To figure out what your business needs, go back to the list of questions and see if you can answer them.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to buy a computer and printer.

It’s essential to invest in the right equipment for your business, which includes things like barcode scanners and scales.

1. Set a budget.

When choosing a point of sale system, be aware that there may be some monthly fees involved. For example, if you go with an mPOS solution, your company will pay for the service every month. In contrast, cash registers and traditional POS systems can sometimes cost upfront but don’t require regular maintenance.

Check and compare the software packages you use at your stores.

Reach out to other retailers in your network and ask for referrals. Click To Tweet

You can also reach out to the accounting inventory management tools you use.

If you’re looking for feedback on your options, head to sites like Capterra or Product Hunt. They’ll give you a good idea of what people say about the product.

2. See the POS in action.

If you’re on the fence about which POS system to go with, watch some of their demo videos and call them up for a live demonstration. That way, you can ask any questions that might pop into your head.

3. Get the setup right.

The best POS companies will help you with this process. To reap the most benefits from your new system, it is a good idea to invest time in the beginning by setting up templates and automation.

Don’t just look at your POS system to track inventory and manage the back office. Instead, think of it as an invaluable tool for analyzing how well you’re doing.

You’ve spent all this time making an effort to set yourself up for success, so now it’s your turn.