Whether it is an ordinary retail showroom or high-profile supermarket, without the printed receipt for the items purchased, no Point of Sale (PoS) transaction activity would be considered as completed. Though cloud POS and mobile POS terminals are able to send electronic receipts through emails or via bluetooth, a large number of customers still prefer to have physical receipts for various reasons.
More so, receipts give a proof of items purchased or payment made to the consumers for future references in case of product exchange or return of goods. Hand-written bills and payment receipts have become passé in today’s world of technology, as electronic printers connected with computer system provides fast and reliable printing solution to retailers.
What are POS printers?
These are electronic devices specifically used to print receipts of the goods purchased, payment made by consumers or other retailing needs. These printers are either manually or remotely connected to computer peripherals where the retailer gives command to print relevant data.
Types of POS printers
Technology and usage-wise PoS printers are classified into four types - Impact Printers, Thermal printers, inkjet printers and Hybrid printers.
Impact Printers work under traditional way as several tiny pins and ink-soaked ribbon are used to make impression on a sheet of paper. These printers are sturdy, reliable and cost-effective and can work in any harsh environment. Impact printers are generally used as credit card receipts and also in billing/estimate slips, KOT, library and endorsement.
Thermal printer is a commonly used printer in all retail applications. Thermal printing is a process which generates images by selectively heating the coated thermo-chromic paper when it passes over the print head. These printers are used for high volume retail printing needs and are less noisy compared to dot-matrix printers. However, the specially coated paper is little expensive. Thermal printers are of two types – Thermal direct and Thermal Transfer printers.
Inkjet printing is a printing process that recreates digital images by firing droplets of ink onto paper, or other substrates. These printers are most commonly used ones due to its sturdiness, and are less noisy and cheaper than other types. Inject printers are commonly used in general retailing and entertainment sectors for creating coupons and in healthcare sector for making lab specimen, patient tracking and labelling.
Hybrid printers are the combination of multiple functionality of impact and thermal printers along with Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) functionality for any retail environment for screening cheques. Hybrid printers are commonly used in utilities sector.
POS printers are used in general retail, food and beverages, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, banking, tolling, utilities and education in wide range of applications including billing, queue and parking management, generation of estimate slips and coupons, KOT, patient tracking, lab specimen labelling, ticketing, kiosk, teller automation and library usages.
Retailers, whether small or big, should choose right printer/s for Point of Sale section which should meet their business model.
Some of the widely used brands in India include – Epson, Bixolon, Citizen, E-POS, Essae, NEC, Partner, Posiflex, Star, TVSE, WEP and Wincor Nixdorf.