Kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems are used for sales processing and inventory tracking. Examples include electronic cash registers, computerized check-out systems, and self serve kiosks. Traditionally, kiosks were simply manned sales booths generally located in shopping centers. Today, kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems have become electronically-based, interactive terminals that allow users to conduct business or access the Internet. Most kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems today are touch screen kiosks that provide a connection to the Internet; other kiosks are linked directly to internal business systems. Kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems technology is becoming a much more common method to conduct business, increase sales, interact with customers, and even conduct internal business operations such as human resource functions).
Self service kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems can be found in a wide variety of locations including city streets, shopping malls, airports, restaurants, retail stores, and non-retail business offices. Some common applications of interactive kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems include ATM kiosks, Internet kiosks, store gift registries and gift card kiosks, sales and marketing kiosks, bill payment kiosks, gaming, kiosks, self check out kiosks, human resource kiosks, and e-commerce kiosks.
Kiosks and point of sale (POS) systems provide functionality that can also be incorporated into a self service kiosk. A point of sale system is computer-based system that allows businesses to capture sales data and other customer transactions. POS systems often combine computers or POS terminals with cash registers, bar code readers, scanners, and magnetic stripe readers. A POS system may be a standalone machine that processes store transactions and later delivers transaction information to a central computer, or it may be connected to the central computer for real time credit and inventory checks. Today, POS software systems are an important, frontline piece of a company’s information system. The information from the POS system is shared with other departments and software tools to create one centralized system that can handle accounting, inventory control, merchandising, and forecasting. Kiosks and POS software systems are available for the smallest retail business to the largest global conglomerate.