If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur aiming to start your business online, chances of getting bombarded with trade jargon are high. Online transactions and related terminology may seem complicated in particular. But, you must get yourself acquainted with all technicalities before making an online venture. You may’ve come across the acronym POS terminal several times, and wondered what it really is. To put it simply, a POS (point of sale) Terminal is an electronic device used by retailers to process card transactions.
A POS terminal usually conducts a transaction in the following steps:
Reads the information provided by the customer’s debit or credit card.
Checks whether the customer’s account balance is sufficient for that particular purchase.
Facilitates the transfer of money from your customer’s account to your account.
Records and prints a transaction receipt.
As you can see, this device facilitates sellers in making transactions, in turn streamlining day-to-day business operations. As e-commerce reaches more and more customers each day, the emergence of disparate POS systems is getting popularity. If you are an e-retailer, with the right technology in place, you can drive sales by analysing consumer behaviour and develop marketing strategies by analysing customer data.Types of POS systems:
A POS Terminal is a computerised alternative replacing a cash register. A traditional POS System typically comprises a computer to scan products and prepare the invoice and a debit/credit card reader. With increased mobility and smartphone penetration, the POS system has undergone a significant transformation. Here are a few types of POS systems commonly found:Terminal POS
: This is common at retail or business counters. These are commonly software-hardware-based but can also be cloud based and need internet access. Restaurant versions may be integrated with Wi-Fi portable devices while retail ones may have online integration.Mobile POS
: Mobile/Smartphone POS facilitates payment processing on the go. This is suitable for e-commerce merchants offering card-on-delivery facility or for mobile businesses with limited inventory. The devices are mostly compatible with portable receipt-printer.Tablet POS
: Android and iPad POS systems have grown in popularity due to the minimal investment required and hassle free interface. Many offer compatibility with hardware like tablet stands, cash drawers, barcode readers and also offer complex services like inventory and employee tracking.Online POS
: This is a fast and economical option for low-volume start-ups. Online POS can be used with personal hardware like PC or tablet and is generally compatible with standard printers. It can be logged in from any device.Self-service Kiosk POS
: Kiosk POS systems are purpose-specific and used in public commercial spaces such as movie theatres, parking lots and amusement parks. They can be effective for large retailers looking to provide pricing transparency, faster transaction cycle times and enable a large number of transactions.
As e-commerce expands by leaps and bounds, more and more customers are now relying on online shopping, as compared to browsing at brick and mortar stores. Therefore, it doesn’t need mentioning that the service you provide to your customers can be a determining factor of your e-commerce success. Card on delivery and online payments options provide customers with alternative payment methods, thereby leading customers to make a purchase with your brand.
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