A Business Owner's Guide To POS Systems

Whether you hear it referred to as point-of-purchase or point-of-sale, POS systems are the way businesses ring up their customers. Consumers are at the point-of-sale when they pick out an item from your booth, shop, website, or stand, and walk up to your counter or check out online. The software and hardware that enables your business to execute sales is your point-of-sale system.

Included Software and Hardware

Not all businesses need POS hardware, but every POS system uses POS software. All of your sales happen on your website if you have an online store. Therefore, to help you accept payments, you don't need POS hardware. But you might need a credit card reader and a register if you have a café, for example. To process orders, all you might need is a tablet or a phone if you operate a food truck, as another example.

What Is Done by a POS System?

Here's how it works when you use a POS system: 

  1. The decision to purchase a product is made by a customer. They are rung up by a sales associate. If it's an online store, the cart is checked by the customer and then the checkout button is clicked.

  2. The price of the item is calculated by the POS system. This includes sales tax. To show that the item is sold, the inventory count is automatically updated.

  3. Payment is made by the customer. They'll use their cash, gift card, check, loyalty points, debit card, tap card, or credit card to make the payment. The transaction is then authorized by the customer's bank, depending on their payment type.

  4. Finalization of the POS transaction. The sale has officially been made at this point. A printed or digital receipt is created after the payment goes through, and you either hand the purchased item to your customer or ship it to them.

Hardware for POS Systems

Your type of business will help determine exactly which system you need. Here are common pieces of hardware involved with POS systems:

  • Barcode scanner

  • Receipt printer

  • Cash drawer

  • Credit card reader 

  • Connected device like a tablet/iPad

  • Register

Benefits of POS Systems You May Not Have Anticipated

The following can be achieved with today's POS systems, depending again, on which system you choose:

  • Tipping support

  • Receipts

  • CRM (customer relationship management)

  • Employee management

  • POS reports

  • Inventory management

Payment Processing

One of the core functions of the POS system is payment processing. The transaction is processed by your POS system every time a customer buys an item. A POS system might accept the following various types of payments:

  • Card not present transaction

  • Contactless payments

  • Chip cards

  • Magstripe credit cards

  • Secure online payments

  • Cash

Let Us Save You The Trouble Of Having To Research A POS System

Did you use a bit of assistance deciding which POS system fits your business best? Are you interested in saving hundreds of dollars on processing? Would you like the best service in the industry with the most advanced terminals? Develop a business relationship with Millennium Payment Services. Get upgraded security tools, experience no hidden fees, get fully integrated payment gateways, and enjoy competitive rates.

Complete and submit our application and soon you'll start accepting credit cards and debit cards. Contact us today at Millennium Payment Services.

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“Millennium lets Canadian businesses lease their credit card terminal, instead of paying rental fees month after month. This saves me $400 a year.”


- Mary Masterson,

Toronto, Ontario

“With Millennium I was able to OWN my credit card terminal for the same monthly payment as I was paying on a RENTAL with my prior processing company. I saved over $500 a year!”


- Allan D.