The basic purpose of cash registers and POS systems is the same – to carry out transactions at checkout points. However, there are significant differences between the two options. While a cash register is an all-inclusive device, a POS system involves hardware components and software services. There are far more features offered by a POS system, but the costs are also correspondingly higher.
Selecting a suitable checkout system for your business is a major decision. There is an option for an independent cash register, a POS system, or a cash register connected with a POS system. Here are all the differences between cash registers and POS systems.
The price of the checkout point can be a major decision influencing factor for many businesses. When considering the price, think about the total cost of ownership, in addition to installation costs.
Cash Register: A cash register is notably less expensive than a POS system, as a single device has all the required components. Also, as there is no specialised software, there are no subscription or software costs involved.
POS System: A POS system requires a considerable investment to purchase all the hardware components and pay for the software costs. There are more maintenance costs for a POS system as compared to a cash register.
There is a big difference in the number of features supported by cash registers and POS systems. Depending upon your business needs, consider which features are essential.
Cash Register: A cash register offers the bare minimum functionalities, to conduct transactions, generate taxes, record sales, process payments, store cash, and print receipts.
Cash Register Vs POS System
POS System: A POS system, in addition to supporting all of the features offered by a cash register, also enables inventory management, customer relationship management, employee management, advanced analytics, and promotions.
The integration capability of a checkout point helps in streamlining the overall operations of a business. Smaller businesses can manage with fewer integrations, but for a larger business, integrations can prove valuable.
Cash Register: Most cash registers have limited integration capabilities, and can connect only with external payment processors or hardware components such as scanners.
POS System: A POS system has advanced integration abilities and can be connected with other business solutions such as accounting software, eCommerce sites, scheduling apps, loyalty programs and marketing automation software.
The requirement for having a portable checkout point will vary depending on the unique business needs. Some businesses would be fine with a larger fixed checkout point while others may require a smaller more flexible solution.
Cash Register: A cash register tends to be large, heavy and difficult to move. Although there are a few smaller cash registers available, they tend to have limited features.
POS System: A POS system can be setup with a mobile interface, and is ideal for greater portability and flexibility. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionalities also add to the portability of POS systems.
Ease of Use
If you have or expect to have a large staff, then it helps to consider the ease of use of the checkout point. Employees would need to be trained in its operations, and a complex system can be challenging to operate.
Cash Register: A benefit of cash registers is that they are easy to learn to use and operate for anyone. There are basic functions that can be taught to employees as required.
POS System: Modern POS systems are easy to use for people who are familiar with operating mobile apps. A basic level of computer literacy is needed to use a POS system effectively.
Sales reports and analytics help in efficient business management. The reporting capabilities refer to the information that the checkout point is able to record and track.
Cash Register: A cash register offers only the most basic sales reporting. It can track and report the transactions, sales, and payments made through the cash register.
POS System: A POS system has a more evolved reporting system and can provide multiple deep insights into the business performance. These include reporting on inventory, customers, sales, payment options, employees, and more.
An important consideration for a checkout point is its durability, how long lasting the setup is, and what environments it can withstand. For example, restaurants and warehouses may have harsher environments than a convenience store.
Cash Register: A cash register is immensely durable and long lasting, with excellent reliability. It is suited for any kind of environment without an impact on performance.
POS System: A POS system is relatively more delicate and requires careful handling. Depending upon the individual hardware components, there are restrictions on the environments a POS system is suited for.