North American Bancard Blog

The key hardware requirements for a point of sale system.

Posted by Joshua Griffin on

In 2019, a POS system is an integral component of any successful retail business. While, depending on who you ask, it may be true “cash is still king” as the old saying goes, less people carry it around today, particularly millennial consumers. Instead they rely on their debit or credit cards to make purchases of goods ranging from dinner at a restaurant and drinks at a bar to groceries and gas. In short, if you’re a business owner without a POS system, you’ll find yourself losing out on business. That’s why it’s so important for any business owner to have a POS system in 2019, and in this piece, we’ll dive into the key hardware components you need to know when it comes to choosing a POS system.

What Is POS Hardware?

Quite simply, the hardware encompasses machines wherein transactions are processed. Modern POS systems can vary, from hardware that scans credit cards connecting directly to your mobile device to countertop terminals and e-commerce shopping carts. North American Bancard showcases some of this equipment ranging from traditional countertop devices built for everyday use to portable, handheld devices with a powerful processor that will give merchants the ultimate processing speed, perfect for mobile merchants.

What hardware do I need?

The first thing you must know when selecting your POS System is what your business needs. That includes choosing the right machine; like will it be a traditional countertop unit, or a wireless unit for on-the-go payment acceptance? Here are some of the important items to consider when looking into the hardware requirements for point of sale system:

Screen: A simple monitor to display the point of sale software, your screen is also how employees will clock in and out for work. Many businesses opt for less bulky alternatives like an iPad or a tablet, particularly if they’re going for a sleeker, more modern look.

Barcode scanner: Automate your checkout process by scanning barcodes to access the product info and then add it to the checkout. Barcodes can also integrate with inventory management when scanned for automatic stock level adjustments.

Credit card reader: Since their inception, EMV-compliant credit card readers have become important to retailers since they have proven safer in preventing fraud than the older magstripe readers.

Receipt printer: You can email or text a tech-savvy, or eco-conscientious customer their receipt, but traditionally, most consumers will still prefer and expect a paper receipt.

Cash drawer: You’ll definitely need a secure place to store your cash from transactions.

Once you’ve figured out the nuts and bolts of the hardware, you can start brainstorming the software.

The latest EMV-compliant solutions.

Let’s talk about an important issue regarding POS systems—security. If you want to make your customers feel like their credit card or debit card information is in good hands when shopping at your establishment, then you definitely want an EMV-compliant credit card solution. What is EMV compliance? Well, first off, if you’ve heard of a “chip card” then you have a pretty good idea already. EMV chip cards rely on encrypted digital data that greatly decreases data theft and counterfeit use. If you are a business owner of any size and you don’t opt for EMV-compliant systems to protect your business, you run the risk of alienating potential clientele who are aware of the benefits of chip cards and EMV-compliant businesses. You’re not just protecting your customers who are the bread and butter of your whole business, but also your own systems.

Most chipped cards still come with the magnetic stripe because not every merchant is readily accepting EMV cards, so the magnetic stripe method is still there just as a necessary back up. Regardless, all your would-be competitors will be looking to make sure they are EMV-compliant, so don’t be left behind on the EMV-migration movement. If your customer happens to have a chipped card and you’re still using the swipe and sign processor and the customer’s information is stolen, then you and your business will be held liable.

Becoming EMV compliant really isn’t daunting. You simply install the proper terminals and follow the certification requirements. Just find a reputable EMV processor who is certified, like North American Bancard.

Accepting mobile & tablet payments.

Accepting credit cards on a traditional countertop credit card terminal? You may want to consider adding a mobile option. After all, you might not want to keep your staff members trapped behind a counter. Additionally, your customers might enjoy the freedom that a mobile payment solution can bring if it will allow your staff to better assist them, while also cutting down on the long lines that can potentially frustrate customers and drive them away.

“What about security?” you may ask. Don’t worry, because wireless terminals can also be EMV-compliant! So, you reap the benefit of making sure your business is processing payments in the safest way possible while having flexible checkout points, shorter lines, and less clutter that a countertop system will take up. Plus, you’ll have the absolute freedom to check out customers outside your venue!

Conclusion

If you’re a business owner with an eye set on the future, then you need a point of sale solution that will allow you to operate with security and efficiency. If you’d like to learn even more about affordable credit card processing solutions for your business, North American Bancard can be a valuable partner.

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