Cash Registers Key Terms

Learn the features of cash registers to help you decide which is right

Cash registers are an important part of any retail business. They keep track of money and, if it has a coin dispenser, can make change automatically. Others may integrate credit card acceptance or keep track of inventory. In short, every retail business should carefully consider which type of cash register is right for them. Part of doing this is making sure that you understand the terminology that is related to cash registers. This helps you to know what features to look for and which ones you can pass up to save money.

Point-of-sale (POS) system

A point-of-sale or POS system is a sophisticated type of cash register that helps retail companies keep track of inventory. As items are scanned and purchased, the system will note that the particular item has been sold.

Price look up (PLU)

A price look up, or PLU, is a number that is given to fresh produce and bulk items. Store managers assign prices to the number and when the cashier enters the number, the cash register rings up the item. It's especially important for supermarkets to choose cash registers that include price look up features as it makes checkout quicker and inventory control easier to manage.

Spill resistant keyboard

A spill resistant keyboard has a plastic covering that prevents spills from beverages or food getting into the electronics. It's necessary for restaurants and bars to purchase this type of cash register.

Integrated payment

Many people prefer to pay for transactions with credit cards and some cash registers have integrated credit card capabilities within the machine. This is called integrated payment.

Coin dispensers

Coin dispensers automatically count and dispense the coin portion of a customer's change. This is a convenience for your cashiers.

Thermal printer

Many cash registers use a thermal printer to print receipts. Rather than using paper and ink, these types of printers use heat and a special type of heat-sensitive paper. This is often more cost efficient.

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