Point of sales systems are predominantly being used by the retail industry although restaurant businesses are also jumping into the scene. The retail POS includes a cash register and also a debit or credit card reader. In most cases a weight scale, conveyor belt, card payment processing system, customer keypad device and signature capturing device is also included. The system comes with a keyboard and mouse but the latest POS screens are enabled with touch screen technologies and the processing unit is now built into the monitor to make it an all-in-one POS unit.
The all-in-one POS unit frees up space on the counter at the retail store. The software installed in the point of sale system is equipped to handle many customer queries and has the functionality to deal with sales, returns, layaways, exchanges, gift cards, wedding registries, promotions, discounts, customer loyalty programs and much more. The POS software can also make pre-planned sales for promotions, validate manufacturer coupons and handle payments of multiple types including those made with foreign currency.
The point of sales unit handles all the sales made but it is only one aspect of the system that is used by retail businesses. The computers in the back office are usually for handling other matters of the POS such as inventory management, purchasing, transferring products from one location to another and etc. The system also stores information on all sales made to assist with returns and creating financial reports on profits and sales targets. Usually the numbers from the POS are fed to another program. The customer information can be maintained in these systems for marketing and research purposes.