What are ePOS Systems and How Do They Work?

As a customer, you’ve probably encountered an Electronic Point of Sale(EPOS) systems before. You may have walked into an ice cream shop, ordered your favourite flavours, and then made your way over to where you expected to see a cash register—only to see an iPad or laptop instead.

To your surprise, the store employee took your card like usual, swiped it on a small card reader plugged into the device, asked you to sign, and sent you on your merry way (after sending you an electronic receipt, of course, because who likes paper ones?).

EPOS Systems
Image by Pixabay

If you are a store owner, you have a lot to benefit from using ePOS systems instead of standard cash registers. The latter are bulky, expensive, and require regular upkeep. We are living in a digital age. So you will lose out on a high number of sales if you remain cash-oriented. To answer the questions that are undoubtedly stirring in your mind. Let’s address them: what even are ePOS systems, and how do they work?

How do ePOS systems work?

An ePOS system is a computerized system that all sorts of shops, retailers, restaurants, and other businesses use to accept payment. EPOS systems are versatile; there’s no singular way to make them work, so you can find one that fits your needs and leverage it how you see fit.

EPOS systems are comprised of both hardware and software. In the example above, the hardware is the iPad and the card reader, while the software comes from a third-party company. Equipment can include components like a barcode scanner, PDQ terminals, tablets, receipt printers, customer displays, keyboards, and more.

Many of these elements can resemble the parts of traditional cash tills you are already familiar with, or you can opt for a more modern variety.

The software is the exciting part. Customers can pay with their cards or digital wallets, enter their PINs if necessary, and they’re good to go. EPOS systems significantly reduce the potential for human error and streamline the checkout process.

Depending on your business type, ePOS systems remove the need for bulky equipment and make everything digital. They can integrate with wireless barcode scanners for larger businesses that need to account for high volumes of items leaving the store.

What can you do with an ePOS system?

EPOS systems are not only about getting customers in and out of your store faster. They come with a wealth of capabilities that make it easier to manage your business. For instance, many software options collect data and compile them into reports that give you easily accessible insight into how your business is performing.

The software can record the number of sales, update stock numbers, help you with your taxes. Moreover, provide accurate price information, improve data security, and more.

These metrics are advantageous because they help you understand your customers better. What are you doing correctly or incorrectly to meet their desires? When you know what items sell best. how many items each does customer purchase? what times of day are busiest, and what customers’ preferred payment methods are, you can amend your business strategy accordingly.

A Few Other Advantages

When you accept multiple payment methods, you open your doors to all the people who prefer those methods over cash. According to Paym, the average adult living in the United Kingdom only carries an average of £22 in their wallet at any given time.

This means that if your card reader is down, or if you are short on change, you severely limit the number of people who can transact with you. You should not stop accepting cash, of course, but using an ePOS makes you much more likely to sell an item worth £40 to people who only carry their credit cards around.

we might also be nervous about using an ePOS if you already have a merchant account with another bank. You don’t necessarily have to switch; there are software options available that integrate with an array of other platforms. Moreover, allowing you to benefit from accepting electronic payment methods without having to change your payment provider.

Are there any disadvantages?

Nothing is perfect, so it’s important to address any disadvantages and prepare yourself before you make a commitment. When it comes to the advantages of a traditional POS till, over an electronic system, the only significant one is upfront costs. Some may charge high rates, which may make smaller businesses uncomfortable if money is tight. However, there is ePOS software available that charges less than £100 per month.

EPOS systems aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So it’s in your business’s best interests to catch up to the present and invest in one if you haven’t already. How can you foresee an electronic point of sale system improving your store?

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