POS Software Key Terms

Learn the terminology of POS Software

POS software is quickly overtaking traditional cash registers in retail, restaurant and service establishments. POS software offers many powerful features to track and update inventory and offer fast, convenient transactions. There are many features and types of POS software. Learning some of the key terms can help you to identify what your business needs and make the right selection.


Web based point of sale solutions


Unlike traditional POS software, which is located on a computer somewhere near the point of sale scanners, web-based POS software is located in a remote location, usually hosted by the software company. One of the advantages to a web-based system is that users don't have to worry about purchasing or maintaining computers and software.



Barcodes are printed on labels that are adhered to products, or directly on products. There are many types of barcodes, and each uses different specifications. Each barcode is a unique identifier that can be scanned by point of sale scanners. The information is transmitted to POS software, which updates inventory and provides details about the sale.

POS scanner

A POS scanner transmits information from a barcode to the POS software system. There are many types of scanners, including wands, handheld scanners, wireless units, scales and PDAs. The type of scanner to purchase depends on budget, volume of scanning and customization needed. The type of scanner determines how quickly a barcode can be scanned and whether damaged barcodes can be read.

Credit card processing


It's important to find a POS system that will interface with your current credit card processing system so you can accept many types of payments. Credit card processing services are sometimes included with POS systems. Aside from handling speedy credit card transactions, they can provide additional security and reduce fraud.

Touch screen


A touch screen monitor allows customers to input information by touching the screen and interfaces with POS software. Some things to look for in POS touch screens include warranty, durability, protection against moisture and contamination and touch point density.

Pole display


A customer pole display is part of a POS system and includes what the customer sees at checkout. This could include information about the items being purchased, as well as sale and marketing information.

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