Every purchase in the retail outlets ends up with printing receipts at Point of Sale (POS). With hand-made bills becoming a passé, receipt printers play an important role in modern point of sale system.
Receipt printers are used by every retail business to print credit card bills or customer purchase receipts. Receipt printers can be found in varied industrial applications such as in textile showrooms, medical stores, kirana shops, super and hyper markets, hospitals, and food and beverage industry.
In hotels for example, receipt printers are used to print orders at bar or kitchen. These printers are classified into three types viz. thermal, ink jet and dot matrix printers.
Dot Matrix Printers
Also known as impact printers, Dot Matrix printers are being chosen for printing receipts at varied retail environments as they are less expensive, more reliable, and incur less operational cost by way of POS consumables and maintenance. Operation wise, these printers use tiny pins mounted on the print head, which are used to make series of dot impressions using ink-cartridges on the paper. The ribbon colour can be changed to get desired colour prints and one can also print graphics using Dot Matrix printers. These are popularly used in medical shops, restaurants and other retail outlets.
Thermal printers are widely used for their improved print quality, speed and noise-free functioning. But compared to Dot Matrix, Thermal printers are costlier and incur more expense due to specially-coated thermal paper, which are expensive than normal paper.
Function wise, thermal printers print characters when heated print head makes impacts on specially coated paper which is sensitive to heat. Thermal printers don’t require toner or ink, and this makes up for the initial higher cost. Thermal printers these days are used for multi-colored printing, and double-sided receipt printing. These printers are extensively used in retail outlets for producing receipts for goods purchased and also as payment proof. However, compared to Dot Matrix printers, the impression on thermal papers fades away quickly. Hence, one has to make a copy of thermal printer receipts if one wants to preserve them for future reference.
Ink jet printers
Inkjet printers, like thermal printers, are costlier than Dot Matrix, but produce high-resolution print impressions. In this type of printers, print heads inject tiny droplets of ink on the paper to make clear impressions. Ink Jet Printers can be found in varied industrial applications. They are useful if one wants to print high quality, coupons or color logos on receipts. However, the cost of changing ink cartridges is significant.
Traders should keep the following points in mind while choosing and installing a receipt printer for their POS applications.
• Your receipt printer should have compatible interface with your computer, mobile or tablet devices for effective and flawless communication for printing receipts. There are three types of interfaces through which receipt printers can be connected. They are USB, RS-232 Parallel and RS 232 Series. Your computer or system should have enough ports to support other peripherals apart from accommodating one for the receipt printer.
• Check whether your receipt printer is compatible with your POS software. Most of the printers are compatible, but it is better to confirm with your software vendor before purchasing your print device.
• If you wish to connect a cash drawer to your POS system, ensure that your receipt printer should be compatible with cash drawer.
• Receipt printer increases your store’s efficiency and customer experience. So, even a very little feature can add up to the convenience. Having a tear bar or an auto paper cutter can be an added extra convenience.
• Ensure that your receipt printers have very simple mechanism for changing paper rolls. Train your store staff to do it in shortest possible time as you can’t afford to keep your customers waiting.
• Budget is a crucial factor. So, choose what you want while keeping your business needs in mind and invest wisely to accommodate right features.
• Find how green your receipt printer is? Though several brands are in the fray, choose the right one which implements energy saving features. Some of green features are low power consumption, automatic cut off, reduced usage of paper rolls, and no release of heat to the environment.
• Finally, give importance to brand name, reliability, service support and warranty details before making a final move to get your receipt printer.