EPOS Guide

80 Terms Every Retailer Should Know When It Comes to EPOS Systems

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Last Updated: 19. August 2016


Account statement - A periodical report of the account performance with a start date and an end date, summing up all the financial activities held in a defined period of time.

All-in-one POS system - A Point of Sale system that comes with all POS hardware components.

Android POS - A compact cloud-based Point of Sale system implemented on Android mobile devices.

After-sales service - Maintenance and repair provided by retailers to customers during the warranty period that follows a purchase.


Back office - The part of a business where administrative, accounting, IT and maintenance operations are carried out. As the name suggests, “back office” includes all activities that don’t directly engage with clients.

Balance sheet - A financial statement reporting the income and outflows of a company for a set period of time.

Barcode scanner - An electronic device equipped with a light source and a light sensor that reads the data found on printed barcodes. Scanners allow the printed barcodes to be electronically transferred into data that can be stored on a computer.

Big data - A large scale database that contains important consumer information, such as gender, age, demographics, job, status, etc. Gathering this information helps businesses understand consumption trends allowing them to strategically plan their sales.

Brick and click - An informal term indicating that a business operates through two channels: sales take place in a physical shop and an online store.

Business operations - Intangible or tangible practices conducted on a daily basis aimed at raising the profit margin and improving the overall performance of a company.

Business performance - Set of operations that sum up the achievements of a company. Positive business performance is mainly measured in terms of sales and revenue.


Cash drawer - A drawer where cash and coins are divided according to their value.

Card reader - An electronic sensor that reads the magnetic chip found on credit and debit cards. A card reader decodes the card information and transfers the data to a payment processor that authorises the payment transaction if there are sufficient funds.

Cash register - An electronic device used for financial transactions within a business. It is composed of a cash drawer, a keyboard, a barcode scanner and a receipt printer. Additional displays show customers the amount owed, and show retailers the change due.

Cash-wrap - The area where shoppers terminate their purchases by paying at the checkout. Many cash-wraps include shelves with merchandise placed just before the conveyor belt of the POS system.

Click and collect - A shopping service that allows customers to purchase goods online and retrieve them from the nearest store.

Cloud system - Software with remote access that stores data on the web. In POS terms, a cloud system is a hosting platform with multiple functions and a large data capacity that reduces the need for tangible support.

Cloud-based POS - A Point of Sale system that works on an online hosting server and stores data for transaction processing.

Consumer trends - Common purchasing trends among consumers. Consumer trends can refer to best-selling products or services as well as information gathered by businesses to analyse the behaviour of customers.

Contactless - Related to RFID technology or the implementation of wireless technologies in order to make and receive payments with debit cards, credit card or mobile phones with no direct contact with a device reader.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management refers to the way a company strategically manages its interactions and relationships with customers.

Customer - A person who pays to purchase goods or services from a business.

Customer display - (aka pole display) A small monitor placed on the customer interface displaying the name, the number and the price of items scanned or selected.

Customer satisfaction - A business indicator that measures how products or services provided by a company meet or surpass customers’ expectations.


Database - Structured and easily-accessible information collected and stored on a computer.

Data backup - The process of saving and archiving updated information in organised files to guarantee that data will be restored in case of loss.

Discount - a deduction from the original sale price.


Electronic Point of Sale - (EPOS) An electronic device used by retailers, professionals and business owners to register and carry out income transactions and cash flows. An EPOS system also represents the final step of a purchasing process, that occurs when a customer pays for a product or service.

EMV chip card - EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa and it is a global standard for payment processing. EMV cards contain a microprocessor chip for closed-circuit payment transactions.

EPOS Hardware - The electronic components that make up the whole EPOS system.

EPOS system - Electronic Point of Sale system.

EPOS equipment - The hardware of a Point of Sale system that includes an electronic cash register, a touch screen monitor, a receipt printer, a barcode scanner, a tablet or any other mobile device.

EPOS software - A cloud-based system connected to the hardware implemented in the business. It provides a real-time record of sales and inventory and contains a set of data related to CRM and business operations.

EPOS terminal - The checkout where products are scanned, payment transactions are carried out and invoices are printed.

E-Tailing - Or Electronic Retailing, a term that refers to B2C processes carried out when goods are sold on the internet.


Fingerprint scanner - A device that identifies a person by their fingerprint. In businesses, fingerprint scanners are mainly used to record the work time schedule of employees.

Front-office - The part of a business run by marketing, sales and service departments. The front-office staff is in charge of customers and works in direct contact with them.


High speed retail - The idea of making customers’ shopping experiences quicker, more efficient and stress-free.

Hospitality EPOS - An electronic Point of Sale system with specific features tailored to the hospitality business.

HRM - Human Resources Management or staff management, the practice of organising the development of employee training, in-store activities and the accomplishment of goals.


Income - Money that a company earns as a result of its business activity.

Invoice - A document provided by a seller attesting the amount expected from a customer for the merchandise or service purchased.

Inventory management - The process of controlling stock, by storing goods and keeping track of the goods available.

Item - An available product that can be bought in either a physical or an online store.

iPad POS - A compact version of a Point of Sale system, that allows business owners to perform any type of store operation simply from an iPad. It is the newest version of EPOS systems and can be implemented in all kinds of businesses.


Loyalty card - A customised swipe card issued by businesses for their consumers. The double function of loyalty cards benefits both retailers and customers: businesses use them to gather information about their consumers and reward and encourage them to purchase products or services.


mPOS - A Point of Sale system that requires a single mobile device such as a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. Portable and flexible, it can be used wirelessly. It is equipped with a card and chip reader. It can be plugged into any Point of Sale hardware and connected with other EPOS equipment such as a barcode scanner and a receipt printer.

mPOS dongle - A small electronic tool to attach to a smartphone or tablet in order to transform the portable device into an mPOS system. It enables swipe and contactless card payments as well as mobile-to-mobile transactions.

Multi-user - Denoting that POS software can be accessed through different accounts simultaneously.

Must-have - A highly desirable item that a business provides to satisfy the demand.


NFC - Or Near Field Communication, a wireless connection form that allows wireless payment transactions, which can be processed by a simple wave of a card or mobile phone.

Niche retailing - A term used by businesses that focuses on a specific market segment. It enables retailers to target its marketing strategy in a more concentrated manner.


Omni-channel retailing - A term depicting a business model that employs a multi-channel strategy to improve the customer experience. It is the combination of a brick store, e-commerce, and before and after sales services.

Online store - A web-platform where goods and services are sold.

Open source software - Free computer software in which the source code is provided as text. The source code is the licence that the copyright holder publicly discloses. By doing so, everyone is able to update or modify the source code and develop more advanced software.


Payment methods - The different devices customers use to pay for a service, such as EMV chip cards, contactless cards, and mobile devices.

Payment processor - A third party or a financial institution that provides payment processing services which handle money transactions between sellers and buyers.

Pharmacy EPOS - An EPOS Solution tailored to accommodate pharmacy services.

Point of sale - The location where a purchase takes place, whether a retail environment, a restaurant or a hotel.

Product turnover - Or inventory turnover, is the speed at which a product is sold, which impacts the number of times a business needs to replenish its stock during a specific timeframe. Product turnover equals the total costs of products sold divided by the average value of products in the inventory.

Purchase - A product or a service that has been bought.


Quantity discount - An incentive offered by a business, when customers buy large quantities of goods or services, at a reduced price.


Receipt - A written statement that sums up the purchase.

Receipt printer - Small machines used by businesses to print bills for customers. In restaurants, they are also used to send orders to the kitchen or bar.

Restaurant EPOS - An electronic Point of Sale system with special features and functions for restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs.

Retail EPOS - An electronic Point of Sale system specifically developed to fit retail businesses.

Retailer - A person or a company that provides a specific type of goods or services to final consumers.


Sales report - A periodical statement listing the type and amount of items sold.

Showrooming - The process of searching for products and testing them in a physical store before making the purchase online.

Stock - The merchandise available for sale contained in the warehouse and not exposed to the final consumers.

Supplier - An individual or a company that supplies goods to other businesses.


Tax rate - The ratio or percentage at which a business is taxed.

Thermal receipt printer - There are two types of thermal receipt printers: direct printers and transfer printers. Direct printers print by burning the paper, while transfer printers impress ink on receipts with heat.

Till - Or cash drawer, a tray where money is kept by retailers within the store.

Transaction - The flow of money and goods exchanged when a customer purchases a product or a service from a business.


Vendor - An individual or a company selling goods in exchange for money.

Voucher - A coupon with a set value that can be used at specific points of sale.


Warranty - A piece of paper or a guarantee certifying that a supplier covers repairs or replacements, during a certain period of time from when the goods were purchased.

Webrooming - A term that refers to online research made by consumers before purchasing a product in a physical store.

Wireless POS - An electronic Point of Sale that uses a wireless connection to link the card reader to the main network and other hardware components.