How to Use a POS System [& What You Can Do With It]


If you work at a retail store or are a business owner, you need to know how to use a POS system. It is one of the most important systems for a company, yet many still think the machinery is too complicated. In this article, we will clear all doubts related to a POS system. We’re here to help you learn how to use one, so let’s get started!

What Is a POS System?

First, you need to know what a point of sale (POS) system is before learning how to use one. It is a place where your customers or clients make payments for their purchased items. This can be an online checkout page or a physical counter in a retail shop.

To master how a POS system works, you need to be able to differentiate between a retail and restaurant POS. Since the two are pretty different from each other, a particular POS system varies.

In a retail POS, there are many hardware components. These include a barcode scanner, cash drawer, and receipt printer. The main purpose is not only recording transactions, but managing inventory as well.

With a restaurant POS, the main focuses are billing, table management, and menu management. All of these features are included in the software, and the hardware includes a card reader and receipt printer.

How to Use a POS System for Card Payments

Many people prefer paying through cards rather than cash. It is convenient, safe, and does not require customers to carry tons of cash. You must use a good POS system that accepts card payments regardless of your line of business.

There are two ways a POS system accepts card payments.

Standalone Terminal

Standalone terminals require the person to manually add the amount to be paid on the card reader. It is not connected to the POS software. Although it is equally secure, it adds work to the person at the POS. Moreover, there is always a chance of putting in the wrong amount.

How does a POS system work with this type? First, you scan items using a hardware component like a barcode scanner. The total amount is then calculated using the POS software and presented on the touchscreen monitor or tablet.

Then, you manually add the total amount to the card reader. The terminal then connects to the bank, merchant, and card to confirm the transaction. Once accepted, it prints out a receipt for the customer and the store.

Integrated Terminal

The only difference between a standalone terminal and an integrated one is that you don’t have to manually type the amount on a card reader in an integrated terminal. The process of learning this POS system and its use is simple.

When you scan items, the total amount after discounts automatically appears on the screen. Once all the items are scanned, the integrated terminal automatically sends the amount to the card reader. All you have to do is press confirm and the receipt will print out! It makes checkouts and payments very easy.

DID YOU KNOW? Instead of paying with a card, some like to use online modes of payment like Apple Pay or PayPal. This is one of the easiest payment methods since it only requires a phone!

How to Use a POS System for Cash Payments

For cash payments, the process of scanning orders is similar. Once all the items are scanned, collect the cash from the customer. Once they’ve given you the money, you update the total cash collected and the POS software will calculate the amount to give back.

The POS software is connected to another hardware device known as the cash drawer. It is important to invest in a good cash drawer that only opens up when the software instructs it to. This will help establish security and prevent stealing.

Key Takeaways

A point of sale (POS) system is the place where customers make payments for purchased items. It can be a physical desk, computer, or a virtual checkout page on a website.
Many business owners don’t know how to utilize POS systems. The first step towards understanding how to is that a POS system accepts payments through cards and cash.
A standalone terminal requires you to manually add the amount on the card machine.
An integrated terminal automatically adds the total amount on the card machine to process payments.
The POS system accepts cash payments and calculates the amount of change to be given.

How and When to Run a Z Report

The main aim of a Z report is to record sales and tax information. It is customizable, meaning you can choose to display some things and omit others.

Z reports provide details of how customers paid for goods or services. It breaks down payments done by credit cards, debit cards, cash, and gift cards. Some advanced software even separates types of credit cards!

How does the POS work to initiate a Z report? It is run at the end of each day. The POS system works to record your sales, keep track of payments and inventory, and is delivered at the end of the close. Many software mail it automatically after each business day, or you can generate it manually.

You can also keep track of your cash through it, as it also records any cash collected. If there’s any disparity you can correct it that day instead of the end of the financial year when filing taxes.

DID YOU KNOW? A Z report is similar to an X report. The key difference is that an X report can be run anytime during the day to check sales and payments.

What Does a POS Allow You to Do?

Now that we’ve gone over how to operate a POS system, let’s take a look at what it allows. Until now, we’ve mainly focused on sales reports and payments. However, there are a few additional features a POS system offers. Whether you want to start your own restaurant or already run a retail store, these features will help you better understand your POS system.

Employee Management

Employee management allows you to manage timings, shifts, and restrict sensitive information from employees. Every good restaurant POS system has an employee management feature like this. It calculates when an employee has worked and records their time. It also keeps track of cash collected during each shift so if there is any discrepancy you can hold the employee accountable. Lastly, it keeps track of any leaves taken by employees.

Managing Inventory

Once you’ve learned how to set up a POS system, it’s easy to use the inventory management feature. The POS system keeps track of sales and delivery orders, thereby keeping track of inventory. It informs you if an item is about to be out of stock and which items are not selling well.


Analyzing your sales, inventory, and employees is very important to running a business. The feature works by analyzing items that clients reorder the most, how many people are mobile ordering, how convenient it is for people to order online, and more. This feature helps make suitable changes and use proper e-commerce solutions to take businesses to the next level.

Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)

You should definitely make use of POS systems in a restaurant with a KDS feature. It can not only help your restaurant business grow but also help your employees work more efficiently. It groups similar orders, provides recipes, times orders, and manages restaurant inventory.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Since we discussed employee management, it is also important to discuss customer management as a POS feature. It helps analyze customers and provides loyalty programs. It also saves information for more convenience and flexibility.

DID YOU KNOW? Many business owners use CRM for personalized advertising. It can boost up sales significantly!


A POS system is a place, virtual or physical, where clients make payments for their purchases. Many people don’t know how POS systems work in retail or other businesses. For a good start, you should get either a standalone or an integrated terminal for card payments. POS systems also offer other features like inventory management, analytics, employee management, and more. A good understanding of a POS system will help you excel in your business!


How do I pay through POS?

You can pay through cash or card. The system adds your total amount and many are also connected to the card reader. Once the payment is done, it will print out a receipt as proof of payment.

How do I use a POS system?

Once you set up your POS system, you can scan all the purchased items. The total is presented on the connected screen, using a card reader, or to collect cash. At the end of the transaction, it will print out a receipt as proof of purchase.

Is using a POS system hard?

No! Once you understand how to use a POS system, it is not hard at all. In fact, it can boost up your sales and help your company tremendously.


I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.

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