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point-of-sale terminal (POS terminal)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Understanding and responding to POS malware

A point-of-sale (POS) terminal is a computerized replacement for a cash register. Much more complex than the cash registers of even just a few years ago, the POS system can include the ability to record and track customer orders, process credit and debit cards, connect to other systems in a network, and manage inventory. Generally, a POS terminal has as its core a personal computer, which is provided with application-specific programs and I/O devices for the particular environment in which it will serve. A POS system for a restaurant, for example, is likely to have all menu items stored in a database that can be queried for information in a number of ways. POS terminals are used in most industries that have a point of sale such as a service desk, including restaurants, lodging, entertainment, and museums.

Increasingly, POS terminals are also Web-enabled, which makes remote training and operation possible, as well as inventory tracking across geographically-dispersed locations.

This was last updated in March 2011

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Forgot about how POS systems can also be on iPads which is the new revelution on the market as Shell just announced it will outfit 43,000 locations with iPads larger then starbucks and subway combined.
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