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Differences Between a POS System and a Credit Card Terminal

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When it comes to payment processing, there are two main types of devices: POS systems and credit card terminals. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, which is why it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your business. But how do they differ? Which one is right for your business?

So, let’s start with the basics. What’s a credit card terminal? A credit card terminal is a device that allows customers to pay for their purchases using a credit or debit card. These days, consumers tend to pay with cards over cash, so having a credit card terminal is essential for businesses that want to stay competitive.

Credit card terminals are usually very simple devices, often used within a POS system – they have a keypad for inputting the amount of the purchase, a slot for the card, and a printer for generating receipts. With this in mind, credit card terminals are typically used in retail environments, such as stores or restaurants. Also, they’re quite easy to use and don’t require much training.

In contrast, a POS system is a much more comprehensive solution for businesses. POS systems usually include features like inventory management, customer tracking, and CRM. In addition, they often come with built-in hardware like barcode scanners and receipt printers. POS systems are used in a variety of businesses, including retail, hospitality, and healthcare. While they can be more expensive than credit card terminals, POS systems offer a lot more functionality and value.

If you’re looking for a simple analogy, a credit card terminal is a simple calculator while a POS system is a scientific calculator with many more features that add value to the user.

Features of a POS System

When using a POS system and EFTPOS machine, you will benefit from the following features:

Inventory Management – One of the main features of a POS system is that it can help you keep track of your inventory. This is done by scanning items as they are sold and then automatically updating your inventory records. As you can imagine, this can save you a lot of time and money, as you will always know what needs to be ordered. Rather than running out of stock or ordering too much, you get it right each time.

Sales Reviews – Thanks to inventory management, you also see which items sell and which don’t. This can be very useful in deciding what to stock and how to price items. As an example, a restaurant can see that a particular dish isn’t selling well and make changes accordingly. If you don’t update your menu every so often, people will soon get bored and the unpopular dishes will remain.

Customer Management – What’s more, a POS system can help to manage your customers. For instance, you can see their contact information and purchase history. Above all else, this is useful for sales and marketing purposes. You can segment your customers and target them with specific promotions.

Payment Management – Finally, a POS system does everything you expect from a credit card terminal such as processing payments. However, the transactions that occur feed a much larger ecosystem of information.

Which is Better?

If you only need a system to take payments, then a credit card terminal is all you need. On the other hand, if you want to manage your inventory, customers, and payments, it’s worth exploring a more extensive POS system. If you expect to grow, you need a system that scales with you, and a POS is probably the more efficient option.

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