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A POS or Point-of-Sale system is the bank of terminals where consumers take their items to checkout when they are shopping.  There are two types of systems currently in use in the retail offline and online retail industries.  There are software based systems that accompanies cash registers and other compatible hardware and there are those systems that are online web-based and used at e-commerce websites.  Although these systems can be advantageous to the retail merchant, there are also some disadvantages to be aware of.

Connection reliability – A reliable Internet connection and ISP are required to maintain a POS system that is web-based.  If there is an Internet outage, you won’t have access to your system.  Even though there may be fail safe options in place, there is still the inconvenience of waiting for the system to get back up and operating.

Costly software upgrades – Unlike web-based systems that provide FREE upgrades that keep them up-to-date, software-based upgrades come with a high cost attached to them.  Every time an upgrade is necessary, you are going to have to pay for new licenses and software when your business expands.

Costly web-based POS fees – You’ll be charged a monthly subscription fee with web-based systems which will diminish your return on investment in the long run.  Be sure that you figure this monthly expense into your budget when considering the purchase of this type of POS system.


Less convenience with systems that are software-based – Web-based systems are more convenient to use than those that are software-based.  You need more than your computer to access inventory counts and reports with a software-based system.  Only the hardware can create the connectivity between the Internet and the hardware terminals.

Problems caused by hardware – Fixing the hardware used in web-based POS systems is a difficult task.  Despite being able to contact the manufacturer to help you troubleshoot the problem, it may still require a costly, time-consuming visit from a service tech to fix the problem so you can get back to business as usual.

Gold credit card and lock

Security risks – Most importantly, customers who use their credit or debit cards when making their purchases run the risk of exposing their personal information (e.g. PIN’s) to other individuals, some of who may not be that honest.  Most POS system providers have taken steps to hide the terminal’s keypad but none of them are 100% risk-free.  In addition to this, there are certain privacy and security risks involved with using web-based systems for conduction business online.

Posted in Uncategorized on Dec 20, 2013