POS stands for point of sale and refers to a system that combines hardware (like a credit card terminal) and software that processes digital payments. It may also incorporate value added services like loyalty programs, payroll management and inventory tracking.

A POS machine accepts various forms of payment including cash, debit cards, credit cards and mobile payments. In most cases, a PIN number or signature, or in some newer technology, a fingerprint scan needs to be authenticated before the transaction is complete. The POS machine then relays the approval response to the customer.

The POS machines are connected to the acquiring bank, which then connects to the payment networks (like Visa or Mastercard). Each of these systems then does a few checks on the customer’s account (like to make sure they have enough funds to cover the purchase) and then returns an approval message to the POS machine, signaling that the transaction has been successfully completed.

The latest POS machines are sleek and portable, which makes them ideal for food trucks and other mobile businesses. They are typically wireless, which reduces the costs of data connectivity, and can work with GPRS SIM cards, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) chips to support a variety of mobile payment options. Some POS machines are even smart, offering app-based payment solutions that let you run your business from a smartphone with an attached card reader. Those are often called mPOS or mobile POS terminals. pos terminal machine

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