You have seen them a thousand times… and probably never given them much thought. But each time you purchase something in a store, you’ll come across one or another type of retail pos systems.

I remember in the 70’s my parents owned a shop and bought a simple cash register. Each night, they’d have to tally the cash, update the accounts, and take the money to the bank. But the cash register was just a simple electric machine that printed off different types of lists on traditional till receipts.

These days, though, the systems are more reminiscent of the PC in your office, and include a full PC, monitor, printer, scanner, software, UPS, keyboards, and they can even be run on Windows XP! Transactions are processed, credit cards are charged, and reports are all produced on one machine!

Since our business doesn’t really use such a system (at over US$2000), you can understand our reluctance to buy one, for some stores they’re an absolute necessity as they interact with cash systems, billing, ordering, stock, and much more… Of course, in Taiwan, I’ve been in several stores where the assistant was playing a game on the cash register! Now, that was weird.