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Point of Sales vs Cash Registers

Technology has made our lives easier undoubtedly. It has become an integral part of our daily life. From small household chores to the workflow in big businesses technology has made its way to get things done quickly and effectively. Today we will talk about the technological evolution in businesses and which business can use what technology to get maximum out of their workplace.

Point of Sales vs Cash Registers

Whether you already own a business or you are looking to start your own store you will be bound to decide on what kind of cash management system you will require at your business place. It can be a traditional manually operated cash register, an electronic cash register, or a fully computerized point of sale system. But you will eventually need to decide how the checkout counter of your business will work. No matter what your business is you must ask yourself if you are using or going to use the best system to process the sales of your business.

Most of the newcomers find themselves lost while deciding on this part of the business and end up taking a decision which they regret later. Therefore, it’s always better to do some research before adding a new tool to your business operation. We will give you comprehensive information and an overview of each of the systems to help you make a decision that goes well with your business.

First, let us know in brief about cash registers & POS

Cash Registers

Cash registers have been around for a long time and provide a secure money storage. Today, cash registers come in various size and shapes and offer wide functionality. Traditional cash registers ranging from $100 to $300 have a keypad, a small display, a lock-drawer, and a built-in thermal receipt printer. These cash registers are durable and provide excellent longevity. However, when it comes to digital integration these cash registers fall short.

Electronic cash registers lie in the price range of $300 to $600 and provide added functionality. These type of cash registers have keypad or touchscreen designs and a built-in thermal printer. This type of cash register is mostly used in cafés or small-scale restaurants. You will need to purchase additional hardware like barcode scanners, credit and debit card readers, etc. separately. The life expectancy of a cash register is around 10-15 years and might require an update after every 5 years.

Point of Sales System

A major advantage of a point of sale system is it offers all the functionality of a cash register and much more. This system provides features that allow smooth and effective workflow in your business. There are two types of POS system around; a traditional POS system and a mobile POS system (mPOS).

A traditional POS system has been around for years and includes a single main terminal (a fully functional computer, scanner, credit or debit card reader, etc.). This type of POS system is found mostly in full-service restaurants and bars. This terminal is accessed by multiple employees and has a touchscreen interface. This type of POS systems are mainly used by small and medium-sized businesses and can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2500. A standard traditional point of sale system includes a touchscreen device, a desktop computer, and a server to store the data.

A mobile POS system is more advanced and provides amazing features. This type of system comes with a software which can be loaded and run on a compatible device like a tablet or an iPad, and even on your smartphone. This system is easy to use, highly customizable, and robust reporting. It does not take much of your office space. If you are running a restaurant then you can take the order and feed it right into your system from the table and send it to the kitchen. A mPOS system also provides features of receiving card payments through your smartphone.

Cash Registers Vs Point Of Sale System


Now that we have overviewed both the cash management systems we can discuss what kind of system you should choose and why?

Why Choose a Cash Register?

When most of the businesses are shifting towards the modern point of sales systems you need to take a look at cash registers too. A cash register also offers quite good features that might be perfect for your business and may save you a lot of money which you would otherwise invest in a modern POS system without any real output for your business.

Some of the great features a cash register offers;

It is Affordable

A conventional cash register wins every time when it comes down to price comparisons. A small business can purchase high-quality cash register for just a $100 dollar price tag.


Cash registers were introduced in the late 1870s and are still around for a reason – they are highly durable. This type of cash registers is made from a strong material which is highly durable. They don’t require constant maintenance and upgrades and have a lifespan of at least 10 years.


Manual cash registers are operated using a key to open the drawer. The strong outer material is hard to break and you can count on this cash register for top security. Electronic cash registers operate much more efficiently and don’t require key every time to open them. They are connected with the receipt printer and once the transaction is complete the drawer will open automatically


Why Choose a POS System?

Point of sales system has made data capture completely automated. This results in increased productivity in the business and fast-paced workflow with minimum error rate. Here is some reason why you should go for a POS system.

Precise Management Capability

A POS system is designed and programmed in a way to make things easier for you. The inventory management feature comes in very handy for your business. When a customer buys a product from your store the system automatically updates the inventory and also notifies when you are running low on stock. This way you can reorder before you run completely dry.

Precise Management Capability

A POS system is designed and programmed in a way to make things easier for you. The inventory management feature comes in very handy for your business. When a customer buys a product from your store the system automatically updates the inventory and also notifies when you are running low on stock. This way you can reorder before you run completely dry.

Managing Staff

A POS system provides an important feature which allows your employees to clock-in directly from the system. You can gain insights on each of your employees and their sales performance. This allows you to make smart decisions about your staff so that you can improve your service.

Software Integration

This one feature solves a bunch of issues at once. With today’s POS systems you can integrate software like accounting and marketing and can use them to share your business data. This allows you to send your daily sales data directly to the accounts which save you a lot of time as well as errors which could occur if done manually.



We have already discussed the potential benefits and advantages of cash registers and modern POS systems. But, everything depends on what kind of business you are starting and what kind of POS system will you require. Here are some points to clear all the doubts and help you make a decision.

Questions to ask yourself: Before you purchase any of the cash management systems ask yourself these basic but very helpful questions:

1)    How busy will be your store?

2)    What will all types of payment your business accept?

3)    Do you plan to expand?

4)    Do you need to keep track of your inventory?

5)    Are you a small business or a medium/large sized store?

These questions will help you understand your business need more clearly. If you are expecting low or moderate traffic in your store then a traditional cash register will work well and good. If you plan to accept cash, credit and debit card payments, etc. then you might need to think about getting a POS system. And same goes if you plan to expand and keep track of your inventory from time to time. Mostly, small businesses prefer a traditional cash register as they provide enough functionality.


Things to Keep in Mind before Purchasing a Cash Management System

Once you have decided what suits best for your business you should take a step forward to get the best system for your business.


Does not matter if you are purchasing a cash register or a modern POS system you should always check out the interface. Check if the interface is user-friendly, what customization it offers, are there enough security options available, and is it easy to learn and understand. Your ground staff needs to get used to the system as quickly as possible to get it working.

Space Matters

A POS system is usually placed at the checkout counter in any business. You won’t prefer to allow a huge space just for a POS system. Therefore, measure the exact area where you plan to set up, including a desktop computer, scanners, printers, etc. And choose a system that fits into your measurements. Most systems are compact and don’t eat a lot of space but you have to be prepared.


If you will be using traditional cash register then you don’t need to worry about integration. But if you are planning to set up a POS system then it is very important that you make sure if your system allows inter-connection system which can help you integrate it with your e-commerce website.

Concluding Thoughts

Your decision to choose a cash register or a modern system will determine the pace of your business workflow. This will be the central part of your business and, therefore, needs careful consideration. You need to know what is included in your cash management system and what isn’t, how much the peripherals cost, and how much you will need to pay for the maintenance in the future. Most importantly, make sure that the system you are choosing fits perfect for your business and gives you better performance over time.


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