Any business owner or employee who’s dealt with a traditional point of sale system knows its downfalls. With its faulty, expensive equipment, high monthly prices and questionable customer service, the aptly named traditional POS system is a nightmare. Newer technology is now available to business owners looking to update their old system with cloud capabilities.
Things Have Changed
Traditional POS systems put business owners in the uncomfortable situation of throwing a lot of money at a system that’s never truly theirs. Businesses have been expected to purchase expensive equipment to rent software with limited customization. A broken POS terminal meant losing a register. If a business owner wanted to open a new location or start another register, they were forced to purchase new equipment and software””until now.
With the innovative web-based or cloud-based POS, the software is accessible online, making it easy to reach from any system at any time. Supported on Ipads, cell phones, and laptops””web-based POS doesn’t require expensive systems with limited usability. Equipment purchases can be based on merchant preference as opposed to traditional POS constraints.
More Good News
In addition, web-based POS allows access from multiple devices. If a business owner wants to expand with a second store or set up a table at a local event, they simply need to bring the device of their choice to access the cloud-based POS system. Many software-as-a-service (SAAS) companies offer monthly rates for the use of the software on a predetermined number of registers or terminals.
Another added benefit of cloud-based POS for business owners is the ability to track business transactions remotely. Traditional POS systems required a manager or owner to be in the building to access reports. With web-based POS, managers or owners can receive real time reporting on the road or from home. Tracking stock or transactions at multiple locations is possible with cloud-based POS. This not only cuts down on costly inventory overages, it allows you to assess business needs at any time.
Plays Well with Others
Cloud-based POS also provide integration with other business software. From Shopify to Quickbooks, web-based POS developers have worked hard to make each component in a business owner’s software arsenal merge neatly with the cloud-based POS system. Traditional POS couldn’t offer cross platform support because it functioned as a single entity, separate from other systems. Cloud-based POS integrates all business support into one.
Some business owners are wary to transition from traditional POS to web-based POS because of the amount of money they’ve already invested in traditional POS. Although getting rid of the software may ease the high cost of maintaining the system, businesses would be left with expensive and seemingly useless equipment. Luckily, web-based POS systems are very often compatible with traditional POS systems. The existing equipment can usually still be used even if your company switches to web-based POS.
The Upside of its Downsides
An ongoing concern of moving to a cloud-based POS system is the functionality of the software during downtimes. But most web-based POS providers have built in offline service, so even when an Internet connection isn’t handy, business owners can still accept payments and run with business as usual.
Data protection online is another potential red flag for business owners. In this regard, cloud-based POS shines by shifting the responsibility off of business owners to maintain and protect credit card information to the software servers. The processor now becomes responsible for maintaining security, and business owners are no longer responsible for backing up or updating the POS software.
Business owners interested in exploring the benefits of cloud-based POS systems will find a variety of SAAS options. Shopkeep and Vend are the most well known players in the cloud-based POS world, leading the charge away from traditions POS systems. More specialized companies such as IStand, which is for use with Ipads, and PayNearMe, which caters to business owners who deal mostly in cash, can be found for a more specialized SAAS option for your business. For new and established businesses alike, making the move to web-based POS is not only money saving but time saving.
Small business advisor Tony Alvarez also contributes content to the company Merchant Maverick, where you will find credit card processing reviews as well as a chart to compare merchant services.