EPOS - Electronic Point of Sale

Author: Kristian Hansen

Definition

The location where a sale has been made. Since introduction of computers, the process of the transaction is usually done digitally now, hence the term EPOS.

Description

An electronic point of sale is where the customers buy goods from a shop (otherwise known as a checkout). It is deemed electronic these days because the process is usually done electronically, where the item is scanned and the stock list of the store is changed. The data at the point of sale such as the item, date and time, and cost may be recorded into a database for miscellaneous uses such as advertising or promotions. Money transactions also take place at the point of sale and are commonly done electronically, such as a credit card or EFTPOS scan, or manual cash. Each type of transaction, whether it be cash or credit card is processed, accepted/declined, and recorded.

Explanation and application

EPOS works by processing all of the tasks to do with a customer making a purchase on an item. The item is scanned into the electronic system and the method of payment of the item is processed, either accepting or declining it with some methods due to other reasons. Many other steps can be in the order of the transaction process, some including recording of relevant data for promotional or historical reasons, and altering of stock lists so the manager of the store can see the exact real-time stock list of the store, showing what is in stock and what is not.

Electronic points of sale at a Target store
Electronic points of sale at a Target store


Point of sale has been around for as long as shops have been around, but electronic points of sale were introduced in parallel with computer technology being developed. EPOS was created out of necessity for a more efficient way of recording and processing customer transactions, and with the introduction of computer systems to points of sale, many more applications and purposes have been developed to expand on what can be achieved with EPOS.


References and resources