As of 2011 approximately, companies adopted a point-of-sale (POS) system to complete purchase transactions. These systems work through connections between the hardware, the software, the vendor and several banks or account issuers. The configuration of point of sale systems will depend on the needs of each company.

The hardware

In general, the presence of a computer, a barcode scanner, a screen, and a card reader keyboard are necessary for housing a point-of-sale system. The computer is responsible for decoding the data contained in UPC codes and credit/debit cards. It also sends the communication with other systems related to the purchase, such as the customer's bank and the inventory system used by the company. The details of the transaction, such as the transaction total or deductions, are displayed on the screen. The card/keyboard reader collects data from the debit or credit cards the account number, which is encrypted on the magnetic stripe of the card. The customer uses the keypad of the card reader to provide a PIN number and signature to authorize the transaction. Most systems also include cash registers and receipt printers.

The software

The data of the card as well as the UPC codes are encrypted, so the point of sale systems use software for computer use that deciphers the information from these sources. Point-of-sale software also controls other aspects of sales; For example, a company can configure its software so that it can also manage its inventory. Point-of-sale software can also calculate taxes and deductions, such as coupons, discounts or gift cards. Finally, you can also store customer information; For example, some stores offer rewards programs. The point-of-sale system stores customer information, such as email addresses or recent purchases, so that some type of discount can be provided, or the store can create commercial messages based on shopping habits.

Account providers

Account providers include banks, credit unions and credit card companies; it is a key factor for the point-of-sale system; since these companies are in charge of verifying that the client has the money or credit available to be able to complete the transaction; In turn, they provide the records of the transaction for the benefit of both the buyer and the seller.

Complete the transaction

When going through the box, the store representative uses the UPC scanner so that the computer can identify what the customer is buying and its price. When the vendor slides the customer's card, the computer decodes the card information and sends a verification request to the main bank. Then the main bank redirects the request to the Credit Card Company, credit union or bank, which verifies if the client has sufficient funds to cover the transaction and payments. Then the bank, credit card company or credit union sends a message back to the point of sale system where it indicates that the deduction was made without inconvenience.

Many companies use web point of sale systems; in these systems, instead of sliding the card through a card reader, the entry of the client's account information is done through a web form. By clicking on "authorize", "purchase", "complete transaction" or a similar button, the same requests for authorization are sent to the main bank of the company and the financial institution, as in a regular point-of-sale system. In these cases, the product information has already been stored in the main server of the company, so you do not need a UPC scanner since the browser retrieves the product information by clicking on the images or links related to the article.

Currently, IvorSoftware represents a complete point of sale system option that not only allows you to manage your POS; it also gives you a complete management of your multiple inventories apart from giving you the option to create your virtual store for the optimization of your sales.

Author's Bio: 

Hasan Root, a dream lover.