Traditional vs. Mobile POS Systems

Mobile point-of-sale systems use tablets or smartphones as POS terminals. Traditional equipment typically involves a dedicated electronic screen, receipt printer, and cash drawer that remain in one place. Mobile POS is growing rapidly, but conventional units still remain common. So which is the best for you? Here are the pros and cons to both traditional and mobile point-of-sale systems.

Location: Unlike traditional point-of-sale terminals, portable devices make it possible to process sales anywhere. You can do so in a store, restaurant, outdoors, and even at customers’ homes or vehicles. This often boosts sales and results in shorter lines. If you desire receipts, you can connect your mobile unit to a receipt printer as well.

Connection: A conventional POS system normally uses a wired data connection. Portable terminals work when Wi-Fi or cellular access is available. If you are going to use an internet service, it should be both secure and encrypted. Fortunately, many of these devices can still record transactions if you don’t have suitable internet access at the moment. Payments are then processed when a connection becomes available.

Vulnerability: Traditional point-of-sale equipment can become unreliable as it ages, but it’s generally quite sturdy. Staff members must exercise greater caution when using portable equipment because it’s easier to drop or lose to a thief. Businesses may address this concern by choosing relatively durable devices, training employees adequately, and ensuring that they have sufficient insurance.


Expense: Both options require investments, but the total cost of mobile POS equipment and software is often substantially less. It’s also more sophisticated and better prepared to meet new needs. Conventional point-of-sale systems can run into trouble when new types of cards, payment options or security regulations arrive.

Traditional equipment still offers a few minor advantages, but overall portable systems give provide more flexibility at a lower cost. In addition, they can accommodate customers who want to use the latest technology, such as mobile wallets, payment rings and NFC cards.

Contact a rep today to learn more about our traditional and mobile POS systems.

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