All-In-One POS in real sense
22-09-2015 00:00:00
All-In-One POS in real sense
An all-in-one point of sale (POS) system, like its printer counterpart, combines technologies and integrates them to maximize value coupled with convenience to end users.

When we talk about an all-in-one POS system, it refers to an integrated POS that should deliver everything a trader needs while dealing with customers. Though some manufacturers claim that their products fulfill every function at POS counters, most of them fall short of expectations, and force traders to buy additional machines to complete applications. So what should exactly all-in-one POS systems have?

Touch Screen Display
This is the user interface and also the center of a POS system in any business environment. Touch screens speed up business processes in retail, non-retail or service industry. With user-friendly on screen menu selection procedure and easy access buttons even novice at POS counters can bill customers faster without formal training. But one should select the best brand whose touch screens should resist spills, heat, grease and dust and also have rugged design to withstand rough and long-hour usage.

Customer Display
Customers generally want to know what the billing clerks on the other side do and like to follow the billing process. A built-in customer display or separate display poll can address this need which also increases customer experience. Furthermore, store owners can use this place as an advertising platform to run their promotions or marketing messages, thereby enhancing sales.

Integrated Printer
An all-in-one POS must have an integrated printer without which the selling processes will never considered to be completed. But in some cases, traders have to get it as a separate ad-on spending extra instead of having an integrated one. Though it is also true that an external printer is easier to service and maintain, depending upon the usage, traders can opt for POS system with integrated printer or separate external printer. They can negotiate with the manufacturer to have it one for billing purpose. Thermal printers are fast and reduce wait time. Such printers should also support barcodes, graphics for logos and marketing messages.

POS Software
Software is the brain of any POS system and without which, hardware components can't function. All-in-one POS systems consist of an empty hardware with nothing running on it. Similarly, an integrated printer can't fax, scan, or print without a software driving its features. The same principle applies to an all-in-one POS system. With custom-made software is available for various business applications, while buying an all-in-one POS, the hardware vendor should be able to help the customers to have custom-made software in their POS system.

An all-in-one POS should have the latest interfaces to provide support to non-integrated devices such as PCs, scales or scanners. In some cases, traders may need LAN interfaces for future expansion, which helps multiple POS systems remain connected and share real time data. Also options such as device sharing, processing, office PCs and remote support are possible due to networking. More so, an all-in-one POS system should have RS232, LAN and USB interfaces.

Magnetic Card Reader
This is also one of the most important features all-in-one POS systems should have. Features such as maintaining customer accounts, loyalty cards or operator sign-in, traders need a magnetic stripe reader which should come integrated with the POS system. This reduces or eliminates the time and energy of manually entering data and hence makes such services more professional.

With data theft becoming prevalent throughout the world, we need a tough POS system with additional security measures. All-in-One POS systems should have closed and embedded system which should significantly prevent or thwart any kind of malware attacks. Moreover, integrated POS with software doesn't allow installation of any third-party software. Generally back-up software or additional security may not be needed as all-in-one POS takes care of delivering maximum value and convenience to traders.
-K Ramanathan

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