Evolution of POS systems

Shailendra Choudhary, AVP-Head-IT, Interarch Building Products Pvt. Ltd | Wednesday, 01 June 2016, 05:43 IST

Point of Sale systems made huge advancements from the mechanical cash registers of the first half of the 20th century. The obvious next step in evolution of the POS was to convert the mechanical workings into electrical. The other computer-based manufacturers were Digital, TRW, and Data checked. In 1986, the Point of Sale Systems became based on PC (Personal Computer) technology with the introduction of the IBM 4683.

During most of late 1980s and throughout the 90s, standalone credit card devices were developed and introduced so that credit card processing credit card could be more easily and securely integrated. Some popular examples include the VeriFone Tranz 330, Hypercom T7 Plus, or LipmanNurit 2085. These relatively simple devices (compared to technologies today) have evolved in recent years to provide processing of multiple applications (credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, EBT cards) and also provide age verification & employee time clock. All processes can now reside on a single device. Certain wireless Point of Sale systems not only allow for mobile payment processing but in the case of restaurants, they also allow servers processing of the entire order at the tables.

Currently, retail POS Systems were among the most sophisticated, powerful and user friendly computer networks in commercial usage. In fact, most Point of Sale Systems do much more than just "Point of Sale" tasks. Even for the smaller tier 4 & 5 retailers, there are Point of Sale Solutions available that include fully integrated accounting, inventory tracking & management, open-to-buy forecasting, customer relation management (CRM), service management, rental services, operation reporting and
payroll modules.

Being that all of these features and functions are available, one will commonly hear a variety of terms being used when referring to a certain POS
Software Application.

Nowadays, Point of Sale Software is as only good as its integration with the many popular software & services. Examples of such software would be accounting programs, where all of the daily activities and transactions would automatically imported into accounting without any labor on the user's end.

With the booming popularity of online shopping, many businesses are choosing to operate on and off-line. Due to the lucrative market and the worldwide exposure without opening up a physical store, many are even selling exclusively online. For these businesses that operate in both environments, it is imperative that they both are in sync.

That's where Point of sale integration with and E-commerce storefront becomes something that is of a necessity.