A hybrid POS combines a legacy POS system with a cloud-based POS system. The combination of the two creates a solid and reliable network that works best for larger enterprises with multiple POS systems. The cost of a POS system of this type is at the higher end of the spectrum due to the fact it has to integrate a variety of payment processing machines and data collection. However, the system is excellent for protecting customer data because the information can be stored locally if so desired.
The tablet POS works as a countertop POS and a mobile POS, depending on your needs at the time. You can keep the tablet in a fixed location or hand tablets for employees to use as they perform their duties. One of the most common uses for a tablet POS is in the restaurant industry, as it streamlines the order-taking process and payments for the waitstaff. This style of POS is lightweight, takes up minimal space, and functions nicely as a cash register. The cost of the tablet POS tends to be lower than the legacy and hybrid options, as a tablet can load an app and use an external card reader for processing. Many mobile POS processors are low-cost or free.
A mobile POS frees you and your employees from the need to process a sale at a fixed location. This type of POS system works off a smartphone app and a swipe or tap reader that connects to the phone via a cable or Bluetooth. This frees you up for selling at conventions, fairs, and anywhere else you sell your inventory. You can make a sale anywhere you have a cellular connection.
What is the cheapest POS system?
The cheapest POS system is free. Merchant service providers often offer card readers/swipers and apps for free, then take a higher credit card processing fee in place of charging you directly. It's a good way to save on POS hardware costs when you're starting your business and want to offer your customers the convenience of paying with a card. You can start accepting credit and debit cards the moment you receive the equipment and set up the app.
What are the benefits of a POS system?
A POS system does more than act as a multifunctional cash register. It can also help with the following aspects of running a business and also help you meet your marketing goals with white-gloved customer service features.
A POS system can be combined with an inventory database to track stock levels. With a physical system, stickers with scannable codes are applied to products for sale and entered into a database. When an item is scanned for checkout and sold, the POS system marks it as such. The item is removed from the for sale column and entered into the sold column, letting you know how much stock remains. If you're selling online only, the POS performs a similar process when it marks a product as sold, allowing you to pick, pack, and ship with less effort.
Managing customer information and improving your relationship with them is possible with POS software that has features to help manage customer relationships. The POS software collects a customer's information at the time of sale, giving you the customer's name, what they bought, and the date they purchased. You can ask the customer for their email if they haven't provided it and add it to the card.
Once you've created a card, you can use the information to do everything from offering loyalty rewards to saving their receipts for future review. A POS system with customer relationship management features makes it easy to build customer loyalty and give them something in return. It elevates customer service to a level that's difficult to achieve when doing all of this by hand.
All POS systems have a basic reporting system that enables you to see your credit card transactions and credit card processing fees for a defined period. The software can also be configured to include a variety of reports that are relevant to your operation. Additional features will add to the POS software costs, but the additional costs are worth it, especially in light of the time saved on printing off reports and finding the information you need in less time.
What are the different types of POS licenses?
A POS license gives you the permission to make a transaction through a payment portal from your choice of POS providers. The license, also known as a subscription, lets you use the software and hardware as long as you pay the fee. It's part of the point of sale system cost, and is charged separately from the payment processing fees.
You need a single-user license for a single POS, such as a mobile POS or a stationary POS. Each terminal that processes payments is required to have its own license for access to the payment gateway that sends the credit card information and amount to the card-issuing bank. It's also used to track payment processing fees and assign them to your account.
A multi-user license is required for a business that has more than a single credit card processor. In other words, if you have multiple machines processing credit cards, each machine is required to have its own license. You can purchase a license or subscription that has a sufficient number of licenses to assign to your POS hardware.
A subscription license consists of a recurring payment made monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or annually. This is a good option if you're not sure about the future of your business, need to scale up your POS stations for a period of time, or you want to switch to a different provider with lower credit card processing fees in the future.
In the event you plan on keeping your POS hardware for the long term, you may find it more economical to get a perpetual license for all of your POS hardware. This consists of a one-time fee that you pay up front to the POS provider for access to the credit card processing portal and any other costs related to said access. You have the option to pay for upgrades, access to more features, and support as you need.
A cloud-based license allows you to scale the number of POS terminals up or down as you need. This is similar to the multi-license option but works with tablets and other mobile terminals. Each merchant services provider has in-house packages for cloud-based licenses, and it's worth looking around to find the best deal for this type of use.