Point of Sale Today
POS is an abbreviation for "Point of Sale" or often "Point of Service". It is a complex system which sometimes can be limited to something as simple as a barcode scanner or extended to a particular hardware or software. Since most POS systems nowadays are electronical, it is often called ePOS system. Due to the complexity of Point of Sale, this technology is often referred to as a system, since it often involves various physical and digital technologies used in a many different industries, such as restaurants, hotels or retail.
Some people are still thinking that Point of Sale is a simple machine or a checkout, which gives you an exact amount of cash back and a receipt of various bought goods. However, these have a totally other dimension in today’s technological world. They are part of the digital system that know costumer needs, their buying history, various trends and, most magnificently, can predict the future of buying tendencies.
The development of Point of Sale starts as early as the 20th century. While most of the businesses used old-fashioned cash registers, a few shops in New York started to apply new technologies. Hence, converting mechanical work to electronic as the 3653 Store System or 2730 (transaction validation terminal) introduced by the IBM. The terminals applied in businesses were connected to the main controller, where all of the processed information was gathered. Furthermore, due to the credit, debit and gift card emergence, different credit card devices were introduced in order to make transactions easier and more secure.
Point of Sale and Mobile Point of Sale
While the world is facing the boom of mobile devices and tablets, other major players as Apple and Android have come into the competition. It seems that POS can be used on such devices, creating mPOS, lowering the cost of developing and upgrading Point of Sale software. Because of the POS standardization - development in this field is increasing at the amazing speed.
This growth in mPOS is often referred to as a revolution, since during the 2011-2012 the 4 global mPOS faced 111% increase in the volume of terminals in operation. Furthermore, it is expected to increase even more in the upcoming years. There are different factors of such growth including the reduction of cost, higher sales, affordability by small and micro businesses operations and the increase of costumer conveniences.
It is obvious, that while people are going digital and often have a smartphone or a tablet, costumer expectations are increasing at getting the services and goods in a digital manner, for example by using an iPhone. Nevertheless, many POS companies are afraid of increased competition from mobile and tablet companies as Apple. It is relatively reasonable, since mPOS has a lot of new advantages as simple pricing, low complexity, good speed and of course, aesthetics. Essentially, it has added value technologies that can support merchant before, during and after the purchasing process.