The Future of POS

February 1, 2022

How are POS Systems Changing, and how can their capabilities help small businesses?

POS systems are advancing, providing businesses with greater flexibility, control, and intelligence than ever before. Companies have moved from traditional cash registers and stationary credit card readers to tablet and cloud-based POS systems. This shift in technology provides businesses with additional features, allowing them to keep all reports and transactions in one place.


What is a POS?

In business, POS stands for point-of-sale. The location and instance at which a transaction occurs. It doesn’t mean just cash registers – it can include online carts and checkouts, too. Payments made using a smartphone or tablet equipped with a card reader also qualify, as do transactions made on these devices via QR codes from payment services such as PayPal. The point of sale is also typically where tax is calculated and charged.

  • In addition to checking out customers efficiently, POS systems can collect customer contact information, track inventory, and generate sales reports.
  • POS systems automate the checkout process, track sales and inventory, and often integrate with your other business applications, like your accounting software.
  • Some POS systems can help you manage both your online and brick-and-mortar sales channels.


The benefits of a POS for businesses

The rapid growth of digital technology in the 21st century has expanded point-of-sale technology from just a sales portal into comprehensive payment processing systems that often integrate with other business tools. These POS systems have the following benefits for businesses:

  • Automate sales processes. The key benefit of POS systems is that they make transactions faster and easier for you and your customers.
  • Sales inventory tracking. POS systems track all your transactions and thus give you insights into your daily revenue. Some include inventory-tracking capabilities through which your stock counts automatically update when a barcode scans into your POS.
  • Card-reading capabilities. If you’re running a storefront and don’t have space for a large cashier, mobile POS systems can help. Many POS systems convert your smartphone or tablet into a POS for accepting credit card payments. Just connect your card reader to your device, keep your POS app open and when prompted, ask your customer to swipe, dip, or tap their credit card to complete the transaction.
  • Integrations with other platforms. If your POS can integrate with your company’s other software platforms, such as its accounting services, you can better understand your cash flow. As such, you’ll have an accurate picture of how much cash your company has on hand due to sales.



What does the future of POS systems look like?

Checkout-free, cashless shopping is already here for physical stores, whilst the augmented reality is becoming a popular new way to sell products online. Multiple trading challenges amidst a topsy-turvy world economy, topped with a global pandemic have produced a unique landscape for business owners to traverse. So, after all the upheaval, how are POS systems adapting to meet the needs of these businesses moving forwards?


Mobile POS is Still in Big Demand

For the foreseeable future, the trend of mobile POS (mPOS) systems is set to continue. Growth of both fixed and mobile POS systems is predicted to expand rapidly in the next few years, with a CAGR of 10.15% predicted between 2020 and 2027, according to an analysis from Research and Markets. While fixed POS terminal systems continue to dominate the industry, there is an increasing need for mobile options, especially from companies at the smaller end of the scale.

The smaller your business the more dynamic and fast its growth potential can be, so enlisting the help of a mobile-based POS system designed for small businesses makes a lot of sense if you’re not just focused on traditional bricks and mortar store setup. And, where big businesses have multi-layered levels of bureaucracy and procedures to navigate before being able to make their decisions, SMBs can move much more swiftly. Mobile POS systems are therefore perfect for fledgling businesses and agile start-ups. Being adaptable is crucial, especially if you’re running a small to medium-sized business that has thankfully managed to navigate the last couple of years successfully.


Super-Smart POS systems

While technology might change the way the POS industry ticks in the future, there is clearly still demand with current POS systems. Indeed, recent insight into the POS landscape carried out by Juniper Research found that smart terminal usage, where analytics and loyalty data can be integrated into the terminal, is expected to increase from 13.7 million units this year to 35 million by the year 2026. In fact, the growth for POS in all its variants looks to be very healthy indeed, thanks to the increasing desire by consumers for making digital payments.

Smart POS terminals will be able to handle transactions more efficiently, and Juniper’s findings confirm the growing trend for contactless technology. Indeed, cash-free payments are expected to represent around 57% of all transactions by 2026, compared to just 25% in 2021. Similarly, the option for using NFC on mobile devices is also increasingly popular and will allow wider adoption of soft POS in the next few years.

The benefit of going down the soft POS route is that it delivers a cost-effective route for card acceptance. And, if you’re a small business trying to keep costs down, that could mean the difference between make, or break.