POS Systems vs. Cash Registers
in 2022


You’ve probably seen them each time you go shopping, but did you know there is a difference between POS systems and cash registers? Retail stores are incomplete without cash management systems, and to process sales, each store needs a machine – whether electronic or traditional.

There is a certain nostalgia associated with cash registers. They are often associated with family businesses or our favorite general store. A retail POS system, on the other hand, is indicative of the needs of modern businesses. All-in-one smart payment POS systems combine the functionality of a cash register and technology to provide efficient and streamlined transaction management.

Retail POS systems are used to receive payments from your customers and utilize the combination of hardware and software to process sales transactions, run payments, and collect and store customer information. A cash register, on the other hand, is a stand-alone device with a cash box and receipt printer, along with the option to connect to barcode scanners and credit card terminals for card payments. Most cash registers perform basic tasks such as tax, tips, and discount calculations. Some cash registers also process returns, run daily sales reports, and track inventory.

In this article, we explore the current differences between POS systems and cash registers and figure out which one may be better suited to your business.

Comparing Cash Registers and a POS System

POS systems, including smart POS Android systems and all-in-one smart payment POS systems, are a must-have for most businesses as they enable retailers and business owners to manage all types of sales, transactions, and business operations under one streamlined computer system. POS systems also contain built-in card payment processing capabilities that are not found in cash registers.

Comparing Cash Registers and a POS System

The price point is also an aspect to consider. Cash registers are cheaper than POS systems upfront, but they have additional costs when used in lieu of a modern POS system. The features present in POS systems make them efficient and also help you make more money in the long run. POS systems simplify business management by automating repeat tasks and improving efficiency. These features can minimize the time your cashiers need to spend dealing with customer transactions. Popular POS systems also come with convenient payment plans to allow you to get the required hardware without making a significant upfront payment. The features packed in these systems also offer additional features to help you optimize profitability.

A cash register can only tell you how much money you’re making, but a POS system can also tell you how to make more. With the best POS systems for retail, you can cut back on items that don’t sell, stock up on items that do, reward your most loyal customers, and train staff that needs it.


Keeping Records & Tracking Sales

Stand-alone cash registers usually do not allow you to keep track of sales. With cash registers, you are required to create a separate system to record sales by bringing in traditional bookkeeping methods such as spreadsheets on computer software or straight up stacking receipts. These methods are not only time-consuming but also put you at the risk of making mistakes. The best POS systems for retail stores have a built-in system that tracks sales and shows your sales performance through detailed analytics and reports. Record-keeping is easier with POS systems, along with tracking profits. This snapshot of your overall company performance can be used to find out about areas of improvement and to further develop strategies to increase sales or foot traffic in your store. These digital analytics allow you to keep track of your performance and help you to optimize your key metrics over time.

Customer Relationship Management Features

While cash registers are fairly simple and easy to use and take less time to set up, POS systems are packed with the features your business needs to outcompete the competition. Cash registers are ineffective for tracing individual transactions or identifying repeat customers. The customer management system within a POS system will allow your company to create, access, and edit customer contacts. These systems also take customer management one step further by incorporating customer feedback through direct channels of communication. All-in-one smart payment POS systems even have the ability to build relationships with customers and start loyalty programs by encouraging people to buy more from your store. Apart from this, customers now prefer contactless payment solutions while shopping, especially post-COVID.

User Interface, Experience & Accessibility

While cash management systems are a requirement for each retail outlet, it is also important to consider whether cashiers or sales employees at your store will be able to use either of them easily. Both cash registers and POS systems are fairly easy to use. Cash registers are used manually by pressing buttons, whereas POS systems usually operate via a touch screen. This streamlined user experience makes POS systems a much better option because they often come with embedded usage guides to help you learn about the features.



The Verdict: Which One Should You Choose?

When choosing between a cash register or POS system, consider your current business needs and how your requirements might evolve in the future. This factor will be important in dictating which system will work best for your company. While cash registers may be easy to use and take less time to implement, POS systems handle some of the complicated aspects of running a company so that the focus can shift to growth initiatives for your business.

In short, processes become more streamlined and efficient with a POS system. If you are a small business but want to reap the benefits of the best POS system for retail, AGMS is the POS vendor you want to work with.


With seamless payment acceptance and flexible in-person payment solutions, AGMS is the perfect partner to help you implement personalized cash management and contactless payment solutions for your business.