A Retail Point of Sales system commonly includes a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner, and the majority of retail POS systems also include a debit/credit card reader. It can also include a weight scale, an integrated credit card processing connection and a customer pin pad device. More and more POS monitors use touch-screen technology for ease of use and a computer is built in to the monitor chassis for what is referred to as an all-in-one unit. All-in-one POS units save valuable counter space for the retailer. The POS system software can typically handle a myriad of customer based functions such as sales, returns, exchanges, layaways, gift cards, customer reward programs, BOGO (buy one get one), quantity discounts and much more. POS software can also allow for functions such as date sensitive promotional sales, foreign currency handling and multiple payment types.
The POS unit handles the sales to the consumer but it is only one part of the entire POS system used in a retail business. Other functions of the POS system include inventory control, purchasing, receiving and transferring of products to and from other locations. Other functions of a POS system are to maintain sales information for reporting purposes as well as customer information for receivables management, marketing and specific buying analysis. Many retail POS systems include an accounting interface that “feeds” cash flow and cost of goods information to an accounting package.