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An Overview of Retail POS Systems

POS software is a vital tool for hospitality or retail outlets. This software processes checkout transactions, and is visible to customers when they purchase something. The software is situated where transactions occur. Typically, this is at the terminal being used for checkouts.


How the Software is Used in Practice :

Many systems function like an electronic till, and are used for making and recording sales in restaurants, cafes, retail stores or supermarkets. They are used in stadiums, casinos and hotels too. However, often, retail point of sale systems are incorporated into more advanced IT systems, connected to ordering, back office inventory control and CRM (customer relationship management) applications.


The Companies That Produce the Software :

POS software is serviced and manufactured by several different companies. It tends to function on numerous operating systems, such as Windows, DOS, Unix and Linux. Often, POS equipment uses various physical layer protocols. However, presently, Ethernet is the best system available, because it is quick, versatile and cost effective. Click here to find the best POS systems online.


The Impact of Wireless Technology :

Wireless technology is being used more and more, especially with the systems in “drive through” fast food restaurants. Frequently, these headset or wireless systems allow the primary POS system to communicate with the kiosk. POS retailers and vendors are pulling out all the stops to standardize POS system technology. This will reduce the product and manufacturing costs.

In 1996, OPOS (OLE for POS) was the first widely adopted standard. This was created by NCR Corporation, Microsoft, Fujitsu ICL and Epson. In 1997, JavaPOS was produced by IBM, NCR Corporation and Sun Microsystems. This alternative open standard system was first launched in 1999. OPOS is to Windows what JavaPOS is to Java. By and large, JavaPOS is platform independent.


POS Software Latest Developments :

The restaurant sector is increasingly using wireless POS, due to the versatility it provides. Lots of high volume restaurants and high end restaurants prefer handheld wireless POS devices. Waiters use PDA sized POS systems that can take orders and relay them straight to the kitchen immediately. Customers can look at their transaction, then pay for the meal at the table.

Furthermore, online POS systems are on the increase. These provide even more versatility, because they can operate on any PC that has a web connection and browser. This means that the majority of PDAs, smartphones and mobile terminals can take advantage of this technology. The online software does not need to be installed or updated. It operates on a secure server, in several data facilities, that has back ups in real time.


Securing Your POS System :

You can secure your POS system with “whitelisting” security software. This software only allows approved devices or applications to access the network. In the United Kingdom, established retailer Marks and Spencer are using this software to protect more than 16000 POS systems. Also, they are using it to enforce the payment card industry data security standard. This whitelisting software is from Bit9. It prevents illegal, unauthorised and malicious software from operating. This stops any data leakage from occurring.


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