What Is The Difference Between a POS System and a Credit Card Machine

Point of sale and credit card terminals—are they the same thing? This is not an uncommon question that people who are starting a business or replacing older technology ask. The answer is that no, these two pieces of technology are not the same thing.

A credit card terminal was once a near cutting edge piece of technology that allowed consumers to pay for purchases without cash or a check, and that was about all they did, though when they were new tech, they were great. Over time, some credit card terminals have even become able to read checks and gift cards, but that’s about their only use.

The point of sale or POS system can do many more things. They can, just like the credit card terminal, accept credit cards, but they can also manage cash draws, they can keep track of a business’s inventory. They can scan barcodes, employee time clocks, and even help with reports and analytics for a business. A POS can even be customized to meet the specific needs of the business that is using it.

Five advantages to POS over more traditional systems:

  1. Information from sales is stored in a way that makes the work of your accountant easier and more accurate.
  2. The POS allows managers to know in real time what items are selling the most, and if more need to be ordered right away. This saves time and increases accuracy for stocking inventory and helping increase sales.
  3. POS makes it easy to look up previous sales which can be a convenience for the store, and for customers.
  4. Customers have more detailed receipts from a POS system. Adding convenience to customers is often what makes them repeat customers.
  5. The way POS systems work makes it almost impossible to run a transaction all the way through the system if an error has been made. 

The current sales technology is POS, and over time it will simply become even better. POS adds efficiency to a business.

For more information on POS systems or if you need merchant services, contact the team at Merchant Tree today. 


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