The world is fast evolving in the way that business transactions are done. These days, there are multifarious ways through which buyers and sellers make exchanges. One popular means is through the use of a PoS terminal. We wouldn’t dive straight into the discussion of what this stands for, without fully understanding what is a PoS.
PoS stands for Point of Sales. Practically speaking, it is that part of a retail outlet or the point in time at a seller’s place, where it is required to make payments for goods that are going to be purchased. So, imagine you are at a restaurant, and you have finished consuming your Caesar’s salad, the point at which the waiter brings your bill, is the point of purchase. The same applies to the point at which you drop your groceries on the supermarket counter, getting ready for payment and packaging. These are all called the point of sales.
Point of Sales terminals come in different types. They have been around since 1879, when a young man from Ohio, United States, named James Ritty invented the world’s first cash register, calling it Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier. Since then, the PoS Terminal has undergone hundreds of technological changes. With the advent of modern computer technologies, they have become electronic, internet-connected, barcode enabled, wifi-enabled, Near Field Communication enabled, and so many other predicted technologies that will be gradually embedded in the future, such as couponing, loyalty programmes and cloud.
The PoS terminal today, is an electronic device which is internet enabled, to facilitate transactions between the buyer and the seller or products and services, within a particular point of purchase, sale and time. Two factors are worth considering here – the point where one buys or sells and the time which the transaction was done. The need to consummate payment with a debit or credit card must not be overemphasized. The electronic payment cards which carry the digital cash transfer money from the buyer’s account to the seller’s account, through electronic means, and the help of an internet connection.
|Point of Sales||Point of Sales Terminal|
|This is a point at which goods and services are ready to be sold or purchased.||This is a device that facilitates payments for purchased items.|
|This is the middle point of selling or buying.||This is the end point of selling or buying.|
|Purchased goods and services are registered or keyed into the system to ascertain the price.||Payment is made and receipts are issued.|
-Table 1 : The differences between PoS and PoS Terminals
Notwithstanding, point of sales terminals are also found online – they are not limited to physical electronic devices. Picture yourself buying a camera on a photo apparel website; the point where you check out is the point of sales, and for that transaction process to come to an end, you would have to pay using their payment gateway, which is either self-hosted or powered by a third party’s API (Application Program Interface). So these represent PoS and PoS terminal in a virtual sense. The virtual payment involves means such as transfers from bank accounts and through credit or debit cards.
So, what are the functions of a PoS terminal?
- For keeping records of goods and services which have been finally purchased – it is a digital cash register.
- It is used in retail outlets for generating discounts and running other promotional programs.
- It is used to pay for products and subscribe for services through electronic means.
- A PoS terminal acts as a mobile bank, which enables the under-banked to have access to conventional financial services. So, it is a great catalyst for pushing digital financial services such as e-Deposits and micro-lending.
- It can be set-up to communicate with an ECR (electronic cash register), for faster operational processes within any given selling outlet.
- They are also used to make the transport system more efficient through e-ticketing.
- From a socio-economic point of view, it minimizes the handling of cash, and promotes a cashless policy within the economy. Hence, all vices such as robbery and pilferage are reduced considerably.
Have you seen our Nexgo N5 PoS terminal before?
It is built to serve your payment collection needs. Read about it here