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Choosing a POS system for small businesses

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Choosing a POS system for small businesses

A Point-of-Sale (POS) system for small businesses offers a valuable and dynamic tool that is great for supporting growth. Finding the right POS for your small business can help to save you time processing transactions, assist with more efficient stock management and ensure that your customer’s sensitive information remains secure. 

POS systems for small businesses are an ideal addition to any retail or hospitality business, and with so many types of POS systems and additional features it can be overwhelming finding the right system to suit your business and industry. When searching for your new POS system, be sure to prioritise the cost, security and PCI compliance over additional features, so you can be sure that you are making the right choice for your business. 

With so many styles of POS now available, there is a system designed to suit any business, whether in retail, home services or exclusively online.

What is a POS?

A POS, or point of sale is a system that accepts and processes customer transactions. POS systems can be physical or virtual, to suit small businesses processing transactions in-person or online. 

A POS system consists of three basic parts:

  1. The Hardware
    The physical device that allows you to process and accept payments from customers is the hardware component of your POS. For small businesses, you will want to ensure that your POS system is designed to accept multiple forms of payment. You can get POS hardware with features such as cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners, as well as ones equipped to process contactless mobile payments for easier in-store transactions. 

  2. The Software
    Your POS system’s software is the component that can help to manage your store’s inventory and offer more advanced POS features. These features will vary depending on the specification of your system, but they can often include features such as sales reporting, stock analysis and support customer engagement software such as point-based loyalty programs or gift cards. 

  3. Payments
    This third aspect of your POS is the part that ensures all of your customers transactions reach your business bank account. The payment system also encrypts your customers sensitive information, as well as your businesses, during card and contactless transactions or refunds. 

When would a small business need a POS system?

Any small business looking to streamline their payment processing or start accepting debit and credit card payments should consider investing in a POS system.

When looking for a POS system that will work best for your business and industry, there are some key aspects to consider. 

  • Set up costs of your chosen system. 

  • Equipment costs.

  • Payment processing costs. As these costs will be ongoing you want to ensure that they will be manageable for your business now and in the future.

  • POS software fees.

  • PCI compliance.

  • Ability to accept a range of payment options such as NFC for contactless payments and chip & pin for credit and debit cards.

  • Additional features that could help to support your small business. These can include invoicing, loyalty programs, ability to securely store customer data and inventory management systems.

Benefits of a POS system for small businesses

As mentioned above, implementing a POS system for your small business can bring a whole host of benefits beyond that of faster payment processing. Depending on the specification of your new POS, these benefits can include;

  • Real-time sales tracking and recording
    This can allow for simplified inventory management, by helping your business to identify how profitable certain product lines are and when the best time to restock certain product lines would be. 

  • Reduce time spent on business administrations and operations tasks
    With your POS system automatically compiling information on sales data and analytics you can achieve streamlined sales reporting and a deeper understanding of your product sales. Reducing time spent manually analysing and identifying sales trends to create reports. 

  • Process more payment types
    With an electronic POS system, your business can start accepting credit and debit card payments, as well as mobile payments, and contactless payments. As well as more efficient management of cash transactions.

  • Ability to offer loyalty programs
    Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customers to make repeat purchases with your business. Your POS system can work to manage your customer loyalty program by securely storing customer information on your system that can be used to track their spending at your store and offer rewards or incentives.

  • Allow your business to plan more effective marketing campaigns
    With access to more information about your sales, seasonal trends and best and worst performing product lines, you can create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. 

  • Access your business information anytime and anywhere
    Managing your transactions through a POS system allows you to access data about your sales and products from wherever you are. Ideal for small businesses who may operate across different locations, or a manager keeping track of sales made on portable POS devices for service based small businesses. 

The different types of POS systems for small businesses

There are several different types of POS systems available for small businesses, each designed to meet the needs of different industries. Some of the most common types of POS systems that you may come across while looking for the right system for your business can include; 

  • Complete all-in-one POS systems
    These systems include all of the features customers would expect when making payments within a retail or shop setting. All-in-one POS systems are larger items of hardware usually featuring a cash drawer, handheld or fixed barcode scanner, screen, receipt printers and connected card terminals. They are equipped to readily process most payment methods. These POS systems are stationary and ideal for businesses who process transactions from one location. 

  • Mobile POS systems
    Mobile POS systems offer payment processing on-the-go. Ideal for businesses in the restaurant, hospitality or service industries who may take payments from customers at different locations around their premises. This type of POS system is primarily equipped to handle contactless, credit and debit card transactions. Information from transactions can be viewed and managed from an internet browser or stationary POS system. 

  • Cloud Connect
    Cloud connect POS processes and stores transaction data online rather than on a local server. Cloud Connect POS systems are ideal for small businesses who want to keep track of sales and transactions at any time and from anywhere in the world. All data can be accessed via a web browser or secure app on a tablet or smartphone. These systems are a cheaper POS solution compared to a standard all-in-one system as they require much less hardware. 

  • Pay @ Counter
    A card payment terminal that is integrated with your till system, Pay @ Counter is designed to help reduce queuing times and process transactions faster. Ideal for small retail businesses.

  • Pay @ Table
    Pay @ Table is a POS system designed to meet the demands of restaurant businesses payment processing. Often using a smartphone or tablet device, Pay @ Table allows customers to view and split their bill, add and change the price of a tip, sign with an electronic signature, and choose to pay in their preferred currency.  Pay @ Table is also suited to work with any existing ePOS solution. 

  • Pay @ Reception
    Pay @ Reception is another industry-specific POS solution. Tailored to meet the demands of the hotel industry, Pay @ Reception can be fully integrated with your existing ePOS for a unified payment process and consistent customer experience. Pay @ Reception allows businesses to manage check-in and check-outs quickly and easily and perform check-out duties across your premises. Additionally, with Pay @ Reception, your guests can check-out or pay for their stay in their preferred currency, and charge services and products to their room by entering a room number or surname, for a seamless experience across your hotel.

Need help setting up your small business POS system?

With POS systems becoming increasingly sophisticated and varied to suit different industries, finding the right POS system for your small business has never been easier. 

Opayo offers a range of POS systems and card machines for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Whether you require an integrated terminal or mobile card machine, Opayo’s POS systems offer a trusted and tailored solution to payment processing to suit your business. All of our POS solutions are PCI compliant to ensure your customers’ and your business data remains secure.

Contact one of our consultants today to discuss the right POS solution to help your small business grow.