Cash registers at the POS, a necessary addition
Cash registers at the POS, a necessary addition
Whether it is a small or large company, in the hotel and catering industry or in any other business, there is a system that no one should do without, the cash management system. This management is normally carried out by the traditional or electronic cash register, but many merchants wonder what happens when a POS is integrated into the business? For this reason we will show you what your next steps should be.
What is a cash register?
This is the machine that has been used for more than a century by merchants to manage the management of the money collected in their businesses every day.
Not only is it a device to store money, it can calculate and record transactions and can even print receipts or invoices.
The cash register was invented by James Ritty in 1879 in Ohio, USA, and at that time it was patented under the name "incorruptible cashier".
Its creator was a merchant who had realised that in the commercial environment there was no device to record the amount and value of sales, so all businessmen were prone to have their employees steal them.
This was not a machine that became popular only in the context of practicality and commercial security; it also made entrepreneurs take a new financial approach, keeping an analysis of their profits to evaluate their growth.
Today, they are very different from the models of the past, which were basically operated with a keyboard where values were entered. The modern machines have a computerised system and innovative technology.
Components of cash registers
Due to the simplicity of their functions, these devices do not require too many components to operate in any establishment, nor a very complex computerised system:
1. receipt printer
They are not included in all models, but a large majority of them include a receipt printer that allows vendors to issue a sales receipt to their customers. Models without this component usually have the appropriate inputs or connections to attach external devices that can fulfil this function.
2. Keyboard and display
This is especially important for service businesses (such as in the hospitality industry) because there is no barcode that can be scanned and the value of transactions must be entered manually.
Modern models have a touch screen where the sum of sales can be entered by touch, while there are older models that still include a robust keypad.
3. Cash drawer
This is the one component that no cash register is without, as it would be illogical not to have it when its main function is to store the money from sales.
The drawer ensures that the cash can be collected, but to ensure that this is done in an orderly fashion, it is divided into sections and has security pins that hold each stack of notes in place.
In addition to this, to keep the money secure, they are not opened by simply sliding them out. They are usually configured with a key to be entered on the keypad or by a single physical key.
Types of cash registers
Although they are the cheapest, they are also the oldest and most outdated models on the market. This device can only display numbers, so the scope of services and functionalities they offer is quite limited. In most cases they cannot even generate invoices or purchase receipts, so they really only serve to store money in an organised way.
These are devices that make records in numbers and letters and have a more advanced technological level than the previous types.
Most of these models can issue on the receipt, the sales tax and the net amount as required by law for invoices. They are available at an affordable price on the market and include scanners to read the barcode of the products. They also have the necessary connections to integrate a computer in order to fulfil more advanced functionalities.
These are the most common models nowadays and can be found in any commercial establishment.
These machines are characterised by having advanced functionalities and by being the best solution for managing the administration of finances. However, they are the most expensive ones available so far.
They usually incorporate all the basic components, but also include a computer and a POS.
The system of these cash registers is in many cases tamper-proof, making them viable for fiscal or tax operations.
Differences between a cash register and a POS system
Every smart businessman is always looking to simplify things and make them more efficient, which is precisely why cash registers have not been abandoned - quite the contrary. These devices have been modernised over time, but they still have the same functionalities: recording sales, giving change and holding money; whereas a POS is a device with software capable of doing much more than that.
The POS is a computerised system that enables electronic financial transactions such as bank card payments, tracks inventory, prints receipts and generates reports for each transaction.
In other words, the biggest difference between the two devices is definitely efficiency and speed. The cash register is a means of managing cash that usually tells merchants how much money they are making; while the POS functions as the brain of any business, integrating sales and everything related to finances.
- Cash registers:
- Basic reporting
- Basic functions
- Low cost
- Fewer components
- No need to constantly upgrade
- 10 to 15 year lifespan
- Detailed reporting
- Inventory management and control
- Commission collection
- Many components and integrations
- Must be updated from time to time
- Useful life of 5 to 7 years
Importance of cash register and POS integration
For a start-up business, the choice of a payment and back-office system will depend solely on the merchant's budget. The responsibility for selection should never be transferred to employees or consultants, it is the owners who should do this task.
It is necessary to understand the needs of the company or business before making any decision, so that a decision can be made based on real information. However, it must always be kept in mind that the business must have an accurate and efficient financial data system, and must be able to capture basic customer information, archive a history of purchases and operate without delays, so having a cash drawer just to store cash is not enough in this day and age.
Even in businesses that have very few transactions per day, payment processing delays should not be a problem. If there is a problem with payment, in the worst case, customers may get angry and probably will not return to the establishment again. Keep in mind that the payment system is the last thing a customer notices when visiting a business and will be one of the things that stays in the customer's mind.
It is for these reasons that having a proper financial system is what will give you the edge over the competition. The solution is to have an optimal integration between cash registers and POS.
What should cash registers and POS do?
Fast processing, improving customer experience, creating statistics, keeping accounts... These are just a few of the possibilities that a cash register / POS system should have. What else?
With effort, the cash register can become the point that stores and organises the entire merchandise database in the shop or business. In this way, an optimal and complete inventory system is made in record time.
- Emit a receipt or sales receipt (the customer may or may not receive it) at the time of each transaction, which specifies the net cost, taxes, product quantities and product description.
- Run the POS software system on different devices to be able to process payments at different points in the establishment, obviously all of which must be synchronised with the main till.
- Link advanced accounting software to reconcile all the company's finances in one place.
- Meet the unique needs of the industry. The hardware and software system can be as simple or as specialised as the market in which the company operates demands.
- Integrate applications that improve or optimise its functionalities.
- Incorporate discount options and offers on specific products.
- Keep the purchase history of each customer in order to provide personalised attention.
Frequently asked questions about this payment system
Are multiple cash registers needed?
Retail establishments with several departments or services in different locations are likely to need more than one cash register, which would be a more costly investment and also needs specialised manual integration or synchronisation. However, the cost-saving solution in this case is to integrate a POS at the main till and then distribute devices such as smartphones, iPads or laptops running the POS system to all cash points, which is more affordable.
How much money do I need to invest?
Costs depend on different factors, for example the scope you want and the additional functionalities your business needs.
If you need a simple cash register, just to record sales and store cash, you can probably get some for less than €400, but if you are looking for an advanced one that integrates a POS and has extra features, the investment is likely to be more than €400. High-end cash register and POS systems can even reach or exceed the €2,000 price point.
You have to take into account that there are some additional costs such as fees charged by banks, charges for system upgrades or the use of barcode readers or scanners.
How many employees can use the cash register?
Having the right tools is not enough to be successful, you also need to have the people with the knowledge to use them; but small businesses probably only need one person to operate and be in charge of the cash register. In the event that more staff members are responsible for processing payments, you can incorporate a POS system to integrate with the main cash register.
Can inventory be managed?
Poor inventory management is one of the main causes of businesses losing money in the long run, as the non-availability of products causes regular customers to go elsewhere.
However, inventory management is not a cash register function, which is why POS integration is necessary in order to have the benefit of inventory counting when there are many product variants.
Conclusions: Is POS integration with the cash register necessary?
Today's marketplace in any industry is highly competitive and no company or business, no matter how small, should have the luxury of inefficiencies. For this reason, it is time to leave in the past the manual cash registers that only serve to store cash.
It is a must to integrate a POS system into these devices, as it will improve efficiency and in the long run this will be reflected in the company's profits. Best of all, this will minimise administrative costs, streamline the collection system and increase the level of customer service.
If you are considering integrating a POS into your cash register, don't think twice!
You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for a POS Software for your hospitality business!