Terminal POS Systems
A POS terminal is a hardware system for processing card payments in stores and recording revenue earned and products sold. The software reads the magnetic stripes of credit and debit cards and is built into the hardware.
Terminal-based POS systems are the most common type of POS system. The terminal refers to the screen that the employee uses to enter information into the POS software. Other hardware components may include a barcode scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, and customer-facing screen with a card reader.
Terminals are typically used at the checkout counter in retail stores of all sizes (grocery, antiques, electronics, books, salons and spas, liquor stores, convenience stores, thrift stores, etc.) Advantages of a terminal include easy employee restrictions and the ability to integrate additional point of sale hardware pieces (such as tablets) or software (such as online ordering). However, POS terminals present a lack of mobility for employees, and they typically take up more space.
Depending on the POS provider, retailers can purchase or lease a terminal based on how they prefer to manage their cash flow. Buying a system involves higher upfront costs, while leasing spreads payment out monthly payments (although the total lease payments may be higher than a one-time purchase over the life of the system).