It is worth exploring different options before spending a substantial amount of money. It might be possible to meet business objectives and functional requirements investing in a cash register at a considerably cheaper price.

There are 3 main solution routes open to you (listed with typical cost):

* Cash Register (£75-600 per machine)

* Hybrid EPoS System (£750-995 per terminal)

* EPoS System (£1100-1800+ per terminal)


If you opt for the touch screen EPoS system route, there are 5 main types of configuration to choose from:

* EPoS System (on a Windows PC with LCD monitor, keyboard & mouse)

* EPoS System (on a Windows PC with a stand-alone Touch Screen Monitor)

* Integrated Touch Screen EPoS System (Flash memory based)

* Integrated Touch Screen EPoS System (Windows-based)

* Tablet based EPOS System (eg. Apple iPad, Android device)


In all types of EPoS system, the additional peripherals (cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, pole display) will usually be connected as external devices, although some terminals are available with integrated peripherals.

The two integrated solutions provide the tidiest cosmetic solution with less cables and a more coordinated, professional look. Obviously, they are also the most expensive. Windows-based EPoS software tends to be more comprehensive and you can upgrade or replace the EPoS software in the future without losing your hardware investment. You can also choose your own size and specification of touch screen terminal (12", 15" etc). You also have the benefit of being able to install and use any other Windows-based applications on the same computer and connect it to the internet. You can have either USB ports and/or a CD drive for data backup.

EPoS systems on a conventional Windows computer or a compact EPoS computer with keyboard and mouse provide a low-cost alternative to integrated touch screen systems. If you already have a Windows PC, then connecting a stand- alone touch monitor to the system gives a further operating advantage at a lower cost than having to buy a fully integrated touch screen system. The inbuilt CD drive in most computers makes it easy to install software as well as perform an external backup.

Flash memory based systems are silent in operation as they do not have noisy fans, hard disk nor a Windows operating system, they are faster to startup and generally more reliable in the long term. You can not install other program applications so in that sense it is limited but then also more secure. They have either SD slots or USB ports to backup data. The size of the touch screen is fixed by the manufacturer, as is the software functionality, processor, memory and peripheral options.

In addition to the above main types of POS system, there are also Web-based POS solution providers where the application software is hosted on a remote web site and is sometimes referred to as cloud computing. Usually these require a permanent internet connection for each workstation at the sales outlets, although some do have an 'emergency' mode which will temporarily allow transactions to be processed locally in the event of a connection failure. These web-based solutions also have the added risk of dependency on the providers website reliability, your own internet connection being reliable and of course there is the ability of the provider to instantly disable your access to the POS system should they choose. This Guide explains the main differences between cash registers and EPoS systems in the next sections.

If you wish to discuss your EPoS system requirements and require additional buying advice, please call us at EposSystems.com on 020 7127 4250.

Return to Contents | Previous Section | Next Section