Tablets are used as customer service tools, as digital signage, as a presentation device – and they are now being leveraged as a cash register and POS system.
If you are considering upgrading your business and replacing your traditional POS with a tablet, you should know what to expect and what sort of additional hardware may be needed.
The minimum equipment needed to turn your tablet into a POS system includes a tablet, a credit card reader, and a POS app.
Obviously, you are going to need a tablet to become your register wherever you use it. POS solution providers may offer an option to purchase tablets, but consider choosing and buying your devices separately.
Benefits may include:
- Lower cost of the device
- Ability to mobilize & access unique features of your enterprise platform such as inventory, style choices, weblinks, coupons, or product demo’s
- Expanded memory capacity and battery-life
- Ruggedization or enhanced screen features for outdoor or “active” environments such as tradeshows, fairs or festivals
Credit Card Reader
From basic magstripe card readers to those that accept both chip and swiped cards, you will be able to choose from a wide range of readers according to your needs. Some integrate seamlessly with multiple POS systems, and propriety readers may only work with a specific POS system.
Most universal readers are small, lightweight and plug into your device’s audio jack or USB port. Others can be a part of an all-in-one-terminal fitting or partially wrap the tablet for durability. More sophisticated, higher-end credit card devices can offer NFC and EMV functionality, which allow mobile payments from Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and other systems.
POS Mobile App
Most POS system vendors offer their own tablet POS apps with everything required to set up a primary POS system. While some vendors offer setup services, generally set-up is simple and intuitive.
Some businesses will also need additional equipment including a table-top stand, cash-drawer, and printer.
One considerable advantage of using a tablet POS system is the ability to send receipts via email to your customers. Still, some businesses prefer having the ability to print receipts. Some vendors have printers incorporated into their equipment bundles, while others allow compatible third-party printers.
A thermal receipt printer is usually the best choice for quick, mid-volume receipt printing. Where the environment is continuously hot (e.g. quick food) an impact printer might be a better choice. The printer connects to your device using either wire (Ethernet) or wireless connection (Bluetooth). Generally, it is advisable to match one printer for each tablet.
A barcode scanner is useful for any retail business to track each item and inventory levels. The scanner often comes with a label printer, and can connect by USB cord or wirelessly.
Many businesses still need the option to operate with cash, not just credit cards. Some POS systems feature bundled packages which include cash drawers. These usually connect to your tablet easily by USB cord, or a wireless connection.
Consider stable stands that allow you to turn your tablet 360 degrees so you can easily turn it to face your customers for quick and secure PIN or login details entry.
A majority of POS systems require a stable internet connection, so you will most likely need your standard networking equipment with a wireless node or hot-spot. Not all POS systems are the same, and making the right decision when choosing the one that fits your business is very important. Turning your tablet into a point of sale system is relatively easy, regardless of your industry. It simplifies transactions for both you and your customers, and it saves you time and money.
Mobile POS systems are a simple and effective solution for your business, and it all starts with choosing the proper equipment and vendors.
If you are interested in going mobile, we feature a selection of powerful tablets and mini-PCs that would be a perfect choice for POS systems.
Minno has been providing high-performance mobile devices to businesses at an affordable price for more than five years. By delivering directly from the factory to you, Minno can deliver a superior product at a fraction of the cost. For more about Minno, visit our About Us page.