Point of sale (POS) - What is a point of sale?

A point of sale is a location or system where a sales transaction occurs. A POS system is the device and corresponding software that allows you to accept payments.

SumUp offers a variety of different payment options, including card readers, POS systems, QR codes and payment links. Do you need a POS? Check SumUp Point of Sale.

Typically, the term ‘point of sale’ (often shortened to ‘POS’) applies to the combined functions of a hardware device and related software that provides the ability for a merchant such as a small business or sole trader to process payments.

POS systems have changed significantly within a very short period of time. Evolving from the bulky, complex cash register system to today’s highly portable, fits-in-your-pocket card readers, accepting payments has never been simpler.

What can be considered a POS?

The term covers a broad range of various methods for processing transactions. In its simplest form, it can refer to just the exchange of cash after a manual calculation of the total amount owed, and the issuing of a receipt.

However, in today’s world, this is rarely the case when it’s often faster and easier to use an electronic device to help in the process. A point of sale can be a computer, tablet or smartphone. But a couple of additional devices can make a big impact on the effectiveness and professionalism of a POS system.

This includes a card reader to enable a seller to accept debit and credit card payments in person and a portable printer for issuing receipts on the spot. A secure place to store cash is also useful.

A POS system can also be virtual. There are many online payment solutions that give you the option to create an account in order to allow your customers to pay instantly online.

How point of sale systems work

A POS system always consists of a certain set of elements that enable a seller to accept payments. While the essentials can be managed with a pen and paper, it’s often not practical or efficient to do so.

A point of sale system should allow you to easily:

  • Calculate the total owed for the sale

  • Accept payment by cash, card or online

  • Issue a receipt

  • Record the details of the sale

Many POS systems have additional features such as the ability to manage your inventory when selling products, save customer details, as well as connect to invoicing software to help track and manage incoming payments.

Why a POS is useful

A POS helps to optimise the process of accepting and managing payments for sales. The experience a customer has with making payment for a sale can substantially impact whether they become repeat customers or the likelihood of positive word of mouth.

Integrations with additional services expand the functions of the point of sale system to provide a more comprehensive system for managing your business finances.

Point of sale and SumUp

SumUp offers several different payment solutions, including card readers, QR codes, payment links and POS systems

We also offer an integrated invoicing solution so your sales will be more organised than ever. Check out the products we offer on sumup.co.uk.