We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Point of Sale Terminal?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A point of sale terminal is a common part of today’s retail technology that customers often see at checkout. The point of sale terminal is basically an electronic cash register, updated from older traditional models to include electronic/online technology for more versatility for tasks including credit card processing. Merchants can buy or rent a point of sale terminal along with other services and equipment according to their budget and needs.

Point of sale or or POS equipment is often part of an overall “merchant credit card account” or “credit card processing service” that third parties offer to a range of businesses. Companies of all sizes like to outsource POS credit card processing options to make their operations easier to manage. In these kinds of situations, the third-party service adds rented equipment to the bill for credit card processing.

Retailers and other businesses use various kinds of POS equipment. Smaller options like wireless POS modules or specific credit card reader machines are handy for mobile businesses such as event concessions or outdoor sales kiosks. Some of the POS technologies offered to these merchants include portable wireless options for recording and processing credit card transactions. In restaurants, business leaders sometimes use mobile POS solutions to help servers process credit card transactions at a table.

In contrast to these other mobile POS options, a point of sale terminal is most commonly a “wired” part of a semi-permanent retail installation. POS terminal models include cashier-operated and self-checkout options. Both are frequently attached to permanent installations for long-term retail use.

Over the years, as point of sale terminal technology improved, manufacturers found ways to incorporate more advanced features into these high tech cashiering machines. Self-checkout POS terminal designs often include handy software elements for managing preferred customer identification, complex sales like alcohol vending, and much more. In hospitalities, POS terminal designs can help staff book rooms or manage billing for amenities. In restaurants, POS technology can be meshed with table-waiting software for better control of a dining area.

Hospitalities, food service, and retail are not the only businesses that use point-of-sale terminals. Different types of point-of-sale terminals are popular with more obscure kinds of businesses that sell a specific product to a narrow target audience. These merchants can choose customized POS options and merchant credit card processing services that help them to make their business thrive using its own “economy of scale.” Those who are too small to benefit from some kinds of POS technologies on their own can cooperate with similar businesses if they share a POS environment. POS technology has changed the way the world does business, adding a lot of flexibility to the global marketplace.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon209012 — On Aug 24, 2011

There are a few mobile options, and there are some popular ones like square or intuit. But none of them seem to be cloud-based. There is one that recently launched and seems to be very complete, it's called SalesVu, it's cloud-based, the app is free to download, its card processing fee is cheaper than square (2.7 percent), and it works perfectly, more if you own a serious business since you can manage multiple devices, you can actually manage your entire business from anywhere at any time from their website. Check it out online or in the apple store. I hope you find this helpful.

By anon208920 — On Aug 24, 2011

There's a new solution from SalesVu which seems to have a competitive transaction rate and has more features for mobile businesses. Also has marketing feature that integrates with Facebook too.

By anon208500 — On Aug 23, 2011

Are there any cloud-based POS options out there? We are looking for a cheaper solution; maybe one that is mobile as well.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.