POS System Vs Cash Register: What's The Difference?

September 8, 2021

POS System Vs Cash Register: What's The Difference? 

A cash register, at its most basic level, is designed to record the transactions of sales that occur in a store.-for instance if they are happy with it or not! 

POS System Vs Cash Register 

For an effective approach to business, business flexibility, and meeting business goals, most restaurants and stores always search for ways to work faster and more productively. This is the reason business decisions for retail include deciding about the types of payments to use on an ongoing basis, remains particularly important. There have been many cases where traditional cash registers--even with their benefits--have been abandoned for the POS system. 

A simple cash register is a cash management machine that handles everything related to sales, changes, and money, for financial transactions. POS stands for point of sale, and it is a sale software suite that manages money, inventory, and business transactions. The major distinction between a cash register and a POS system is in terms of the convenience of use and in how well people can communicate with one another. 

Regardless of the business type, if a transaction is made at a retail shop (retail operation) or any other type of business, the POS system (which tracks and stores information about each transaction) uses real-time tracking and can keep track of everything purchased by the customer. A simple purchase like buying a purse can be recorded in detail by the POS register. Once information is captured, it is placed in a database accessible to company representatives to whom the information is pertinent.  

In this article, we discuss what a POS system and a cash register are, as well as highlight the differences between a POS system and a cash register. We also look at the reason many businesses and business managers are choosing the POS system. 

What Is A Cash Register? 

A cash register machine is a business machine with a basic cash management function. It usually has a compatible cash drawer, and indicates the amount of each sale, and records the amount of money received, for business operations. 

A cash register logs transactions that occur in your store, creating a record of the money coming in and going out during business operations. It can also calculate and add taxes, generate receipts, and offer basic sales tracking. 

What Is A POS System? 

POS (Point-Of-Sale) is defined as “of or relating to the place where an item is purchased.” POS systems were introduced in the 1970s, when cash registers evolved into computerized POS terminals that could perform additional functions, like credit card processing and advanced inventory control features. In recent times, many POS terminals integrate with other retail business tools, such as inventory management, accounting, or warehouse management software. Some are robust enough to act as a retail management command center that handles everything sales, inventory, and customer management. 

A POS may be comprised of a few components: 

  • Touchscreen device 
  • Card scanner 
  • Chip reader 
  • Barcode scanner 
  • Computer 
  • Server (the Cloud) 

Differences Between the Cash Register and POS System? 

On the outside, traditional cash registers and modern POS systems appear identical, as they appear to be tools designed to run sales. Distinctions between the two payment types are deeper than most realize. Cash registers can hold cash in a drawer and help you check out more efficiently. 

A POS system can also assist with running your retail business in addition to performing those functions. The primary difference between cash registers and POS systems is the advanced level of functionality and strength that the latter possesses. 


Cash registers process cash sales and are equipped with a secure drawer for deposits and bills. Some cash registers can be customized based on your tax requirements, and others can also provide basic sales reports.  

POS systems, on the other hand, gives you access to all the functions of a cash register, as well as helping you: 

  • Manage your inventory 
  • Collect and store customer data 
  • Run a loyalty program 
  • Run reporting and analytics on your sales, inventory, customers, etc. 
  • Create and implement promotions 


Most cash registers can only connect with your payment processor. On the other hand, with a POS system, you can further extend its capabilities by integrating with solutions such as: 

  • Accounting software 
  • Ecommerce platform 
  • Loyalty and marketing automation software 
  • Payment processor 
  • Erp 
  • Scheduling apps 

Portability and Flexibility 

Modern POS systems are better than traditional cash registers in terms of their portability and flexibility, no matter the business plan. If you are on the move, POS systems can run on many devices, including Mac, iPad, and PC, meaning that you have the option to have your checkout process as simple or complex as you would like. When it comes to sales, a POS system works no matter where you are: if you are working with cash or are mobile. 


If you are looking to save money on a register, traditional machines usually cost $100-$500 and may appeal to you as a result. POS systems' costs are significantly higher. For example, their yearly fees (around $1,000) plus hardware purchases (e.g., a computer or iPad) are expected. 

Regarding this, you should look at a point-of-sale system as an investment. Though it is pricier, the added benefits and advantages it provides could end up saving you considerable time, allowing you to expand your business in the process. A good POS has features that boost its productivity. You get more than you pay for when you maximize those capabilities. 

Payment Processing 

Most cash registers track cash and check sales along with credit cards if you add a credit card terminal. You can print receipts for customers, add and track sales taxes, and tally the day’s sales. Prices can be entered manually or programmed with specific department keys. However, cash registers do not have credit card processing capabilities. You will need to apply for a separate merchant account to accept card payments. 

Conversely, POS systems can accept cash and check payments. And unlike cash registers, POS systems typically have built-in credit and debit card payment processing. Having all your payment processing tied together in one system allows for more accurate sales reporting and helps prevent human error at checkout. 

Customer Support 

Cash register manufacturers usually offer phone support for any of their products, but it is typically limited to some troubleshooting and reports of defects. However, with a POS system, you will get more support from POS systems because they have support materials and staff or account executives to help with any questions you may have. 

POS systems typically have customer service agents available via phone, email, and sometimes live chat on the POS’s website. Many POS companies can offer users a dedicated representative. POS cash register systems also have community forums, whitepapers, and other guides available. 

Cash registers are usually pocket-friendly and can perform basic retail checkout and payment functions, and for some people, it could be the right solution. However, if you want to have key data and resources to grow your retail operation in a time-efficient manner, then a POS system is your best choice. 

BNG Point-of-Sale are POS solutions that improve your bottom line. With a full selection of POS systems for bars, restaurants, and retail businesses, you'll find the right tool to grow your business with the personalized support you need. Connect with us HERE to learn more.

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