What Are the Disadvantages of the POS System?

Updated March 23, 2017

A point-of-sale system, or POS system, refers to a system of checkout terminals where customers purchase products. You can utilise two types of POS systems: an online Web-based system for a website, or a software-based POS system that goes with hardware such as an electronic cash register. The POS system has a number of advantages, but it has disadvantages as well.

Connection Reliability

With a Web-based POS, you will need to maintain an Internet connection with a reliable Internet provider, and even then you risk the occasional outage. If you lose connection to the Internet, you won't be able to access the POS system. Web-based POS systems often have a network fail-safe option if you have Internet problems, but you may be inconvenienced in the meantime as you wait for the network to get back up and running.

Web-Based POS Fees

Most Web-based POS system providers charge a monthly fee, which may result in a poor return on investment for your business. You will need to investigate the monthly subscription fees and factor how it fits into your budget. Paying too much for a POS system can erase the profits it's bringing in. Some providers also require you to buy their hardware, which you may not even need. Providers also sometimes charge a start-up fee.

Software POS Upgrades Are Costly

Software-based POS systems can come with extra expenses if you want to keep them current. Unlike most Web-based POS systems, which typically come with free updates, you'll have to buy new software or licenses in order to upgrade the software as your business grows.

Less Convenience for Software-Based

Software-based POS systems are less convenient than Web-based POS systems because you can't necessarily access reports and inventory from a computer with just an Internet connection. The hardware terminals for a software-based POS system may be hooked up to an internal network accessible only by that hardware. In that case, you'll have to access that information from the hardware that accesses the software directly.

Hardware Could Cause Problems

If you have a problem with the hardware, it's not as easy to fix as it is with a Web-based system. You'll have to call the manufacturer and try to troubleshoot the problem, and it may require an on-site visit, which can cost you time and money.

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About the Author

Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Dan Taylor has been a professional journalist since 2004. He has been published in the "Baltimore Sun" and "The Washington Times." He started as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia and now writes for "Inside the Navy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in government with a journalism track from Patrick Henry College.