How to Use POS Machine: Step by Step Guide

POS Machine

You might have seen POS machine in shops, restaurants or any other establishment. As a matter of fact, you too must have employed a POS machine in your business. Using is vastly different from making correct use. Therefore, the question that arises is this: How to use POS machine effectively?

Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a POS machine. The term POS machine is often used to refer to a card terminal or a point of sale system. The assumption here is that it is the only one device that manages the whole checkout. In reality, the modern checkouts comprise of several software and hardware components such as:

  • Computer monitor or display
  • EPOS (electronic point of sale) software
  • A card reading or swiping machine
  • Cash drawer
  • Receipt printer and
  • Barcode scanner

POS Machine

Before moving further, we will have to assume that using a processing machine refers to processing a sale. In today’s era, the most acceptable methods of payment transaction are cash, debit card or credit card, and e Wallets. Let’s see how to do it.

Accepting Card Payment

Generally, there are two methods to accept a card: automatically via a linked up system or via manual entry. In both cases, you will need a card reader of some sort to perform the transaction. If you are accepting card via linked up system, you will need an integrated terminal. If you are accepting the card via manual entry at the till point, you will need a standalone terminal. Regardless of the terminal you choose, you will have to connect it to the internet via Wi-Fi, cable or in-built SIM card.

Now, let us check out the integrated terminal and standalone terminal.

An integral terminal is directly connected to electronic point of sale (EPOS) software.

  • Enter the products on the till screen or display
  • The central software will send the final transaction amount to the card terminal
  • The card reader or machine will light up and display the final amount to the customer. You do not need to enter anything manually.

On the other hand, a standalone terminal does not depend on any point of sale (POS) software. Standalone terminal and rest of your POS system does not communicate with each other:

  • Enter the products or items to sell on the till screen, you will have to enter the total amount on the card machine keypad.
  • The terminal will connect to the merchant bank, issuer and others to approve the transaction.
  • After approval, it will print the receipt.
  • In case the card machine does not have an inbuilt printer, it will confirm the transaction with a beep or display a confirmation message.

POS system

Accepting Cash Payment

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) software comes with a touchscreen monitor and visual interface to enter the products sold and total amount to be paid.

  • After accepting cash, you will have to enter the amount given by the customer in cash.
  • The point of sale (POS) software will calculate how much change is to be repaid.
  • At this stage, you need to enter the received cash in the cash drawer. Collect the due coins and notes from the drawer to give back to the customer.
  • After using the cash drawer, do not forget to securely shut it in order to prevent theft.

New generation electronic point of sale (EPOS) software is integrated with the main computer or tablet software:

  • It will automatically open as soon as you enter the paid cash amount on the till screen.
  • In case it is not integrated with your computer or tablet till screen, you will have to manually open it.

In a cash drawer, keep the coins and notes well organised. It will help the user quickly collect the correct change for the customer.

End of Day Duties

Generally, you have to create a “Z report” at the end of each trading day. This report shows all your daily totals divided into different payment methods such as card, cash, cheque or gift card totals. You will run a Z report on the terminal for just the card sales to compare the totals in the EPOS software with card machine.

You can run the POS Z report on till screen, computer or mobile device where you can log into the EPOS to view the sales.

When operating a standalone terminal, you can compare the terminal and EPOS Z reports to check if the totals are same. If the totals are not equal, it means the card payment was not entered in the EPOS system. It also indicates the payment on the EPOS software was mistakenly declared as a card payment when it was made by cash or other method.

If the customer is paying via cash, you will need to count the till float (money in the cash drawer). Next, deduct the float amount at the starting of the trading day to have total cash takings of the day. You can also compare it with the Z report’s total. If both the totals match, it indicates you have returned the correct amount of change to the customers.

If the total is over or under the Z report total, it is a discrepancy that should be noted in your accounting.

In both cases, it is a basic requirement to record sales in the accounting software. Nowadays, EPOS software can also do this for you. You just need to enter all the transactions in the till software including card, cash, cheque or any other method of payment.

What are the Benefits of using a POS System or Machine?

Here are the important benefits for which the new age retailers are investing in POS system or machine.

  • It can provide you an overview of your business to keep record of the cash flow.
  • This system will help you gain in depth knowledge about the customer’s buying behaviour.
  • It saves a lot of time. It helps you automatically define margin and calculate taxes.
  • It reduces the chances of mistakes.
  • It can save client information which you can later use to connect and promote your products to customers.
  • It can be used to check additional sales effected by the employees.


POS Machines make transactions faster, simpler, and more accurate. Next, they help you gain insights into customer behaviour at different times of the year – individual and collective. You can use these insights to be proactive when ordering inventory to prevent last minute shortages.

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