The Basics of POS Hardware: What Does Your Business Really Need?

Jun 23, 2016

In general, POS hardware setups vary from one merchant to the next. One merchant will utilize big-box stores with self-service kiosks, while others choose to accept payments through their Samsung Galaxy. For the most part, businesses will try to find that happy medium by pairing point-of-sale setups with core pieces of POS equipment.

Consider the follow list of POS hardware items that will help you determine what you really need, and what you can do without.

Credit Card Terminal

A credit card terminal/reader is an essential piece of POS hardware. It can be a basic magstripe card reader, or a reader capable of accepting both chip-card transactions and swiped cards. Ideally, your card reader should be EMV-compliant; this allows you to accept chip-card payments and accept contactless NFC payments. Keep in mind that some terminals plug into your tablet, others can be incorporated into the register interface and become an all-in-one terminal.


Lately, the “cash” part of “cash register” has been getting dropped off. Now, “register” typically consists of a computer or touch-screen tablet PC with an enclosure. The piece of register hardware will depend on which POS system you choose for your business. That being said, it will more than likely be a laptop or an iPad. Keep in mind that you will need one computer/tablet per register.

Receipt Printer

Even though many customers nowadays opt to have their receipts emailed to them (if your POS system has this function), you still need to offer a paper receipt. The receipt printer you choose should be based your business’ specific needs. For example, an impact printer works best in a food truck’s hot environment.

Barcode Scanner

The majority of retail setups will require a barcode scanner to ring up items and manage inventory. Scanners typically pair with a label printer, so it is technically not a piece of POS hardware. Even so, it is still essential to your business’ operations.

Cash Drawer

Yes, it is true that a lot of businesses no longer deal with large amounts of cash. However, it is still necessary to provide this option to your customers. A cash drawer gives your business the ability to both accept cash and give change. Depending on what you choose, your cash draw may connect to the register with a USB cord, or it might be wireless.


Networking Equipment

The majority of modern POS systems will require an Internet connection. So you will need a modem, router and associated cables. If your store is large and/or you have many register stations, you may also need to boost your wireless signal through wireless access points.

Getting Started

As you go through your POS hardware checklist, make sure you also consider which merchant account provider best fits your business’ needs. With, merchants categorized as “high risk” can receive the merchant account and credit card processing solutions they need. Consider our high risk Canadian merchant account, for example. For information on how to get your business the tools it needs to hit the ground running, contact our team of experts today.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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