The three different types of cash registers

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The cash register you choose to use will largely depend on a few factors. The first are the physical requirements of the cash register, which can depend on the size of your outlet and retail space. The second factor would be the advance feature requirements, such as the need for a full point of sale unit or a simple cash register. The final and most important is your budget, as this will narrow the spectrum of available options. Generally there are three broad categories of machines to choose from:

Standard cash register

These are the simplest of units available. They will have a cash drawer base along with an input keyboard and some form of printer. The process is also quite simple, the purchase is typed into the unit (or laser scanned if supported) and the transaction will be totalled. Then the drawer is opened and the receipt is printed. This is perfect for cafe, bars and smaller retail and business outlets.


These, also known as checkouts are mainly used in larger retail outlets like department stores and supermarkets. Generally nothing needs to be manually entered, with all items barcoded and laser scanned. The units will also accept credit card payment natively without the need of an external reader. They also faster and have data storage capability for analysis.

Self service

Although rare these are growing in popularity. Used mostly in supermarkets, these allow the customer to scan the items themselves. The items are placed in a specific location so the weight confirms that all items have been scanned. When paid by credit card, this method does not require any human intervention.

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