[COMPLETED] What Is A POS Terminal? Types, Differences And Price

are you looking for What is a POS terminal? POS Terminal is an electronic device that can be used in retail shops to process card payments. The POS terminal is an electronic device that processes and accepts cardholder payments. The terminal is responsible for reading and processing the cardholder’s data, as well as transferring money from the client to the trader’s account.

First, it reads the magnetic strip of the client’s credit/debit card to verify that the amount to be transferred to the vendor is sufficient. It then conducts the transfer. The email or text will be sent to the consumer and the transaction is confirmed. The customer can also get a printed copy of the check.

What is a POS terminal and how do you use it?

This combination of hardware and software allows vendors to accept card payments at their locations without having to update the cash registers. It also allows them to inspect cards immediately. Prices for such terminals vary depending on the size of your business and the terms. Small traders can rent terminals and pay for them as well as an additional transaction charge.

POS terminals are very popular. It can be found in a variety of places, including retail shops and restaurants as well as bakery shops. POS systems can solve many problems for merchants. They save time. Cash payments require you to count, give change, and so on. This problem is eliminated by POSes. They are also quick to process transactions. Customers have the option to choose how they want to pay.

What is a POS terminal?

Different payment types can be processed by a POS terminal. The terminal that you select for your business should be able to accept the following payment types.


Chip cards embedded with EMV technology have been growing in popularity because of their enhanced security measures. EMV compliance guidelines state that fraud liability is on the party who has the least advanced payment type. Therefore, terminals that are unable to accept “dip” cards will be more likely pay for fraudulent losses.


Although credit card companies are gradually eliminating magnetic strip credit cards, magstripe cards will still be widely used. It’s not difficult to find swipe and chip card readers.

Contactless Payment

Consumers are increasingly using credit cards that support contactless payments technology as well as NFC enabled digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. According to Research and Markets’ 2021 study, this method is faster and more efficient than other payment methods. The revenue from contactless payments will reach $6.25 trillion in 2028.

Online Payments

Your POS terminal should be able to accept both online and physical card payments if you have an online shop.

A physical POS terminal is not necessary if your business is entirely online. E-commerce businesses require a merchant account along with a secure payment gateway. These can be acquired through different providers or combined through a POS provider such as Stripe or Square.

Choosing the right POS terminal to suit your business

Different businesses may have different requirements for a POS terminal. To help you choose the right terminal for your business, consider the following:

Business type

A countertop POS system should be preferred by brick-and-mortar shops over a mobile POS system. Many POS software can be used with smartphones and tablets. You can also pair your smartphone with a card reader, to turn it into a small-scale POS terminal.

Self-service terminals can be a benefit to restaurants for quick ordering and payment. Retail stores prefer terminals with advanced inventory management.

Payment method

Your terminal must be able process NFC, magstripe, and chip cards at a minimum. Many businesses rely on QR code payments and peer to peer payment apps. However, not all terminals can process these transactions.

E-commerce businesses must be able accept online payments. This requires a merchant account and payment gateway.


Consider the cost of your POS terminal. You might need to pay for a subscription to any software, per-transaction processing fees, and hardware.

Small, mobile retail shops can function with a smartphone-and-reader terminal, while restaurants and larger businesses may need to invest in a larger system.

There are 4 main point-of-sale technologies:

  1. Legacy Software [On Site Server]
  2. Cloud Computing Terminals
  3. Mobile Terminals
  4. Self-service Terminals

You can make the best decision for your company by being aware of each terminal’s unique characteristics.

1. Legacy Software (On-Site server)

This technology can be found in physical stores, and requires an on-site server. The system is used by employees to communicate with clients during transactions. This system is used frequently in busy areas such as restaurants and grocery stores. This system is simple and quick to use.

There are some drawbacks to legacy software and an on-site server.

Expensive A server can be costly for companies, especially if there are multiple locations.
Access You must be present in the store to view store data. Store network owners may also find this a problem.
No support Accessing support is often more difficult if there is a problem.
Security Your data may be lost if there is an emergency such as a fire, flood or other similar event. It is not stored elsewhere. You do not have regular updates to help you ensure smooth operations.

2. Cloud Computing Terminals

A cloud computing terminal is the most advanced point-of-sale system you can find. Your supplier will manage your server, so you don’t need to install a server in your store. The supplier will resolve any problems that the system has. This allows you to spend more time managing your company and less on maintaining your server or manually creating backups.

AlicePOS cloud computing software offers several benefits, such as data security and ongoing support. Your data is protected from fires and floods, for example.

The data can be searched anywhere and is secure. This is a great feature for multistore owners as they can access their data on every store’s inventory and reports from one location.

Cloud technology has many benefits:

All available As long as you have an Internet connection, your data can be accessed from anywhere.
Affordable Often, the SaaS (Software as a Service), is offered at a low price due to the number of plans your supplier offers.
Regular updates It is the supplier’s responsibility to update and add features regularly. The optimal version of your software is then available to you.
Support Many cloud computing point-of-sale system suppliers offer 24/7 support. Alice POS, for example, offers a seven-day support.
It is simple to use It is easy to use and easy access to data are two reasons why this software is so popular. This software is useful for opening new stores and growing your business.

Alice POS is a cloud computing point-of-sale software designed for retail businesses. Talk to one of our retail specialists by clicking the button below to learn more about Alice POS.

3. Mobile Terminals (mPOS).

A mobile terminal, also known as mPOS (mobile point of sale), is a point-of-sale system that can be used with a smartphone or tablet. Credit or debit cards can be used to make transactions. Any mobile device can be used as a point-of-sale system by downloading a mobile transaction app.

Small businesses that don’t have the funds to initially invest in their point-of-sale system can use mobile terminals. Only two things are required to access your point-of-sale system and complete transactions: an internet connection and a mobile device. This saves money and allows you to avoid purchasing legacy software for every store.

Cloud computing technology stores the data. Business people who travel frequently will appreciate the ability to sell anywhere, and to consult transactions at any time.

This terminal type has many benefits:

Availability everywhere With cloud computing technology, this point-of-sale terminal mobility allows you access your data from anywhere.
Cost Reduction This terminal can be used by small businesses and is affordable.

This terminal has other disadvantages as well:

Incomplete This type of terminal can be free or inexpensive, but it does not provide certain features or offer a great user experience.
Less secure Mobile devices are more vulnerable than ever. Before you implement mobile apps in your company, make sure to verify their security.

4. Self-service terminals

A self-service terminal case allows the client to make their own transactions to purchase products or services. If a business has a lot of clients, they may be interested in purchasing this type of terminal. It may not be the right choice for all businesses, but it is a good option for fast-food restaurants, theatres, and grocery stores.

McDonald’s, for example, uses this self-service point system that allows clients to order and pay simultaneously. Clients can also use self-service terminals in theatres to purchase movie tickets.

This terminal is efficient for many reasons.

Reduce waiting times Self-service terminals can reduce the time it takes to get to cash desks.
Increase productivity Employees are free to concentrate on other tasks within the company without impacting service.
Increase revenue Self-service terminals can increase sales. Clients spend 30% more when they use these terminals, according to research.
Personalized purchases Some companies offer the option to personalize products for their customers. This adds value to the company.


What should a POS system include?

There are many options when buying POS hardware. It is easy to overlook an important one. A fully-featured POS system should include a barcode scanner, a cash drawer and reliable receipt printer. It will also be able to accept multiple payment methods, provide 24/7 customer support, and report on sales. Remote order firing and table mapping are essential features for a restaurant POS system.

Some features may not be required by every business. Most vendors will benefit from a terminal capable of accepting contactless and mobile payments, in addition to credit cards payments.

How to Choose the Best POS Hardware For Your Needs

A few things to think about before you make a decision on a POS system:

  • How much do you have to spend on POS hardware?
  • Are you able to use the hardware on your mobile device? Are you going to fairs? Do you need to make payments at different locations?
  • How important is speed in payment processing?
  • Do you require a touchscreen POS system?
  • Are you looking for a way to connect online and retail transactions with multiple locations?
  • Are you looking for a high-quality receipt printing machine?
  • Is the POS hardware capable of inventory management, discount tracking, and other business requirements?

Price of POS Hardware

There are many options for POS systems. Prices will vary depending upon the size of your company and the capabilities that you require. Square sells the simplest card reader for $10, but a more robust POS setup will cost anywhere from $1,250 to $8,000.


POS hardware is necessary for taking payments in person. Consider what you will use it for and the features you require before you buy one. Retail stores will most likely require a terminal POS system. However, vendors at fairs and other events may prefer a mobile POS system.

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