Most people have seen a cash register at one point in their lives, at least from the customer side of a sales counter.
For those of you who haven’t, you should get out more!
Any business accepting payments has one form or another of a cash register. From Starbucks to the U.S. Post Office, almost every business uses cash registers to perform their daily functions.
It’s one of the most important parts of the point-of-sale procedure. This and the exchange of actual currency. Unless your business does all its transactions on the Internet, or you accept only credit cards, you need a cash register of some sort.
Although we’ve all seen them, we don't all work in the service industry to where we would have used one. Seeing them is one thing. Knowing how they work is another.
Luckily, most of them are extremely user friendly. You most certainly already have an intuitive, functional understanding of them. So even if you have never used one before, don’t worry. Learning to use one is easy!
Why do you need a cash register? What do they do?
Well, the name indicates a cash register’s primary function must involve cash, right?
Of course. They hold cash. A cash register accepts cash payments and keeps it secure within its cash drawer.
Imagine you are a clerk working for a thriving business. You have a steady stream of customers coming into the business every day who pay with cash.
How safe would you feel if you worked for a business who had a cash box with no lock on it? And also without any safeguards to keep potential thieves from stealing the money in it?
My guess is not especially safe.
Manufacturers design cash registers to keep cash and other sensitive paperwork secure!
Keeping cash secure is a cash register's primary function. But cash registers can also do a lot more than just keep cash secure.
The average point of sale transaction usually goes the same way every time...
When a customer comes into a business, she finds whatever it is she needs or wants. Once she has her item(s), she makes her way to the cash-out area.
The salesperson or clerk scans (or manually types in) her items into the cash register first. More on this below...
The cashier then informs the customer what her sales total is.
The customer delivers cash, credit card, check, or gift card as payment.
If the customer pays with cash, the clerk enters the amount into the cash register. It displays the exact amount of change to give the customer on the built in screen or digital read-out.
The cash drawer opens with the press of a button and the ring of a bell and the clerk retrieves the proper change for the customer. He hands the customer her change and slides the drawer closed.
He gives her a receipt, if necessary, and the transaction is complete!
If the customer pays with a credit card, the cashier follows the same basic procedure as with cash, except the customer uses the credit card reader to swipe or dip her card.
Once the card has been read and charged, one of two things may happen. (You know... you’ve probably done this half a million times.)
If it is a signature transaction, the clerk has her sign the credit card terminal’s printout. If it’s digital, she’ll sign on the electronic pad with her finger or a “digital pen.”
Once she has signed, if it’s paper, the clerk puts it into the cash drawer through a slot on the front. If it’s not paper, Mr. Cashier doesn’t have to put anything anywhere.
If it’s a PIN transaction, no signature is required.
This same process takes place with gift cards which have credit card labels on them.
The process is similar when a customer pays with a check. The main difference with a check is the cashier must run the check through the verification reader, if the cash register or POS has one.
Sometimes the check reader is already built into the cash register. If it is, then after the customer has written the check, the cashier feeds the check into the check reader and it scans the check.
Once verified, the clerk puts the check into the cash drawer through the same slot as credit receipts.
If his cash register doesn’t have a check reader, well… Mr. Cashier takes his chances, accepts the check, and puts it through the slot on the front of the cash drawer, with confidence (and hopefulness) that it won’t bounce once deposited into the business’ bank account.
When deciding on a cash register, safety is your number one goal! There are a couple different ways cash registers provide safety.
Cash registers these days make security the highest priority. This and user-friendliness.
Manufacturers build them using high density plastic or steel so they’re hard to break into.
To help prevent theft, cash drawers can be set up with a chosen code or button to open the cash drawer. Usually only the operator is aware of how it works.
Cash registers should only open during cash transactions or at the end of the business day. Usually only a supervisor has the ability to open the cash drawer during non-transactions. They have the key which can open the cash register if necessary.
The cash drawer typically only opens when there is a cash transaction or if a supervisor uses their key to open it. But, there is often a “No Sale” button which allows the drawer to open, if needed.
The supervisor can print out a report from the cash register at the end of the business day. They are able to see every transaction and every opening of the drawer on the report. If any unauthorized openings occurred, the supervisor will be able to see it.
Cash registers comes equipped with a heavy deadbolt lock on the cash drawer. This helps ensure there are no unauthorized openings.
Cash registers also come equipped with easy-to-operate, easy-to-navigate functions. Even entry level clerks have few issues learning the functions of the cash register.
Most cash registers come with a receipt printer built-in as well as an attached barcode scanner. You can also use your scanner for price look-ups (PLUs) on store merchandise.
The more features included usually means the price of the cash register is higher.
Most modern day cash registers have built in sales reporting systems. These systems come ready to connect with business software like QuickBooks Pro.
This is a great feature for business owners to keep track of their back office functions like accounting and inventory.
Unless you want to keep your money in a box, a cash register is a must for small businesses who accept face-to-face customer payments.
To learn more call (888) 510-9871 now!