Common Point of Sale System Issues: Be Preventative and Prepared

1: Point of Sale system hardware issues

Point of Sale systems usually consist of a number of different devices, such as screens, keyboards, bar-code scanners, check readers, display screen, cash drawers, receipt printers, customer-facing displays and remote data scanning devices. These devices are connected to each other with the help of cables or secured wireless protocols. If one of these devices fails, there is a risk that the entire system might break down. An example for this scenario would be a malfunctioning printer. If the point of sale system cannot print a transaction receipt, the customer is left without record of their transaction.

In order to prevent such an error, it is important to check all devices regularly and have replacement devices available in case one part of the point of sale system malfunctions. Some Point of Sale systems, such as AccuPOS, give you the ability to email receipts in case this occurs.

2: Point of Sale system software issues

As mentioned, a proper point of sale system consists of many different devices which rely on operating systems and special software in order to function correctly. In addition to this, most point of sale systems have central servers and checkout workstations with operating systems comparable to a personal computer. Functions of these operating systems include compatibility with credit card processing, inventory tracking, accounting and other sales-related functions.
In the case of an error in the point of sale system software, the entire point of sale system could stop working.

The most preventative thing to do is to keep your Point of Sale system software up to date and set to automatically backup daily if not more.

The other very strong recommendation is to only use your Point of Sale system computer for Point of Sale system software; do not use the same computer for personal email or searching the web as to prevent bugs, viruses and overloading your system.

3: Point of Sale system connectivity issues:

When it comes to credit and debit card payment processing, point of sale systems rely on extremely secure internet connectivity. These internet connections function with the help of modems, routers and broadband Internet that allow the point of sale system to connect to the processing network. If this connection fails, the system will not be able to process credit or debit card transactions.

Whether there is a storm or something else knocked out your connectivity, there are solutions:

  1. Have an imprinter on hand (also known as a knuckle grinder)
  2. Make sure you have your processors number handy so you can call in for credit card authorization (extra charges usually apply)
  3. Know how to switch your connection to dial-up mode as the phone might still be working

4: Point of Sale system user errors

As most point of sale systems have their own set of user rules, it is important that all staff members receive extensive training on how to use the Point of Sale system correctly in order to prevent easily avoidable user errors. An example of such an error would be that a user enters in the wrong amount when charging a credit card on the point of sale system.

Mistakes are natural and will happen so make sure you choose a Point of Sale system that is as preventative as possible when it comes to human error. For example, if you purchase AccuPOS Point of Sale system, integrate your merchant services and accounting software, you will almost entirely remove human error from the frontend of your system. Alternately, whichever Point of Sale system you settle on, always have user manuals easily accessible and a phone number for their technical support department in case you are unable to correct the mistake yourself.

Point of Sale system issue summary:

So all in all it can be said there are many different problems that can occur when using point of sale systems, but most of them can easily be avoided and/or resolved:.

  1. Always have replacement devices available
  2. Update software regularly and do not overload your computer
  3. Have a back-up plan in place for credit card processing
  4. Train all staff members sufficiently and have user manuals close by
  5. Always have a support contract and phone number handy
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