POS Terminals Guide – Everything You Should Know About POS Terminals

Angela Barlow

04.15.2021

You can find plenty of articles and think pieces out there on the future of cash in retail. For example, this article from Money Under 30, titled “The Future of Cash – Will it Disappear Or Become Obsolete,” dives into cash’s demise in the United States. In Europe, similar questions are being asked, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the move toward cashless payments in Germany, the EU, and beyond.

While it is hard to predict how often actual physical money will be used in transactions 15-20 years from now, one thing is certain. Retail and grocery stores need to have robust point of sale (POS) terminals that make credit card transactions seamless for their customers.

Today we’ll be breaking down what POS terminals are and some of the must-have solutions to incorporate into yours today.

POS Terminals: The Basics

pos terminals guide

The core function of a POS terminal is to allow the customer to quickly and conveniently pay for their items at a store. Because of this, a POS system or device is needed, in addition to a stand or mount to hold it on.

But, there is also so much more that a POS terminal must be capable of. For example, you should also have a laptop or desktop available that can help you order items online for customers, as well as track down inventory for any inquiries customers have on available stock.

Of course, this is all in addition to having a good old-fashioned cash register, as many customers are still content with using paper to buy their goods.

For a consistent and seamless check-out experience, your POS terminal will need to have plenty of functionality.

To help you get started on building yours out, here are some of the key features to include in your POS terminal today, in addition to the standard cash register.

Key Features Your POS Terminal Needs Today

POS Device – The key piece of your point of sale terminal is obviously going to be the POS device. The key here is to choose the right one. Some POS devices are ideal for small businesses, while others feature capabilities that large retail chains will find more appealing.

Mounts – To accompany your POS device of choice, you’ll need a reliable and durable mount or stand. The right stand will allow you to mount your payment device to achieve PCI compliance by protecting the payment terminal against theft or substitution. You’ll also need a mount to achieve ADA/DDA compliance so that all customers can have an easy checkout experience. To find the perfect POS terminal stand for your store, head over to our mount stand product page. Using an ENS stand will help protect your terminal against damage, maximize uptime, and create a clutter-free checkout area.

Sanitation and Safety Capabilities – The coronavirus not only accelerated the decline of cash being used for transactions, but it also highlighted the need for increased sanitation and safety functions at POS terminals. Retail stores must take the initiative to continue to keep their check-out stations clean, even long after COVID has been eradicated. Whether it’s a glass partition between the customer and employee or a UV-Clean product from ENS, you should be investing in these solutions.

The Ability to Look Up Products and Inventory, Access Customer Profiles, Rewards, etc.  – As mentioned previously, your POS terminal should act as a help desk in the event a customer can’t find what they are looking for. In general, your POS terminal should have a tablet or touch screen that can offer a slew of functions. These include looking up customer profiles and reward program accounts and the ability to order and deliver inventory to their homes if it’s not in stock. To add touch screens and tablets to your POS terminal, consider investing in a modular mount.

Mobile Registers – Mobile registers are also something to consider sooner rather than later. While card transactions still dominate, there are more and more options for a mobile payment solution that consumers are starting to take advantage of. Make sure that you are able to accommodate them, so you don’t alienate them.

Barcode Scanners – Of course, no POS terminal would be complete without a barcode scanner. If you’re looking to upgrade your current barcode scanners, check out this recent review of 8 of the best barcode scanners for 2021.

The Importance of Self-Checkouts

Not only do retail stores need to have a comprehensive point of sale terminal, but they also need to offer self-checkout options. Recent studies have shown that as many as 73% of consumers want self-service technology instead of engaging with store associates.

If you’re looking to add more self-checkouts to your retail store, reach out to ENS today. We offer an extensive list of self-checkout solutions, including our kiosk line. For more insights into how to run an effective retail store, warehouse, hospitality business, and more, check out the rest of our blog.