Accurate record-keeping is extremely important for a business regardless of its size and scope. Most businesses have ditched the “pen and paper” method and old cash registers to make way for the more advanced point of sale (POS) systems.
POS systems keep more accurate records and allow for real-time tracking of inventory and transactions. This technology streamlines business operations and increases overall productivity and efficiency.
However, despite the many benefits, these systems aren’t perfect. They are susceptible to various technical issues that can plague retailers to no end if not dealt with immediately. In addition to inconveniencing staff and customers alike, POS system failure can lead to downtime, loss of data, and revenue loss.
Fortunately, POS system crashes can be resolved. The key is knowing how to deal with issues as they come so you minimize the impact and maintain your bottom line.
Common Point-of-Sale Issues and What to Do
Even with the advances in POS technology, a few kinks and bugs can slip into the cracks and cause various problems. These issues may either be due to hardware, software, or even human error. Whatever the cause, you need to know about the potential issues so you and your staff can perform the necessary troubleshooting whenever they occur.
1. Security Breach
Every time you use a POS system, you collect valuable data from the customers, most notably their credit card information. One of the most dangerous threats to this is hackers, who illegally gain access to POS systems and steal whatever data they can find. This situation is called a security breach; sometimes, it only takes one attack to ruin a business completely.
Expert hackers can infiltrate your system either online or offline using malicious software called malware, which can go through a weak POS security easily. So far, there are 5 types of malware designed to breach POS software:
If you want to bypass hacking attempts, here are some things you can do:
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to safeguard all the data that passes through your company’s network.
- Install an antivirus on your POS system.
- Update your POS security software to the latest version.
- Avoid using your POS system for other tasks such as web surfing.
- Avoid investing in POS systems with low security.
- Make sure your staff is adequately trained to handle POS systems.
2. Inaccuracies in Reported Data
One of the biggest frustrations retailers face is having their POS system report inaccurate data. This happens when there are inconsistencies or “bugs” in the software, which are common in low-quality POS systems.
These data inaccuracies can severely affect your business operations by causing long queues at the cash register, which will eventually result in negative customer experience. To prevent inaccurate reporting, do the following:
- Avoid investing in low-quality POS Systems.
- Have your staff perform routine checks on data gathering before your business opens and call the manufacturer if there are any issues.
- Check for system updates and bug fixes whenever possible.
3. Failure to Charge mPOS Batteries
This is more of a user error than anything, but still a common issue with mobile POS (mPOS) systems. Because of the wireless nature of mPOS devices, they rely on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as a power source.
The problem here is that sometimes staff may forget to charge the mPOS equipment after the shift. As a result, they will be rendered useless the next day and depending on the model, charging them may take a couple of hours. This will result in transaction problems that hinder business operations.
To sidestep this dilemma, the staff must be constantly reminded to charge mPOS equipment and check the battery status before leaving the shop.
On the equipment side of things, some mPOS devices may drain energy faster than others. Here are tips to resolve this issue:
- Purchase mPOS devices with longer than average battery life.
- Invest in mPOS equipment that uses a USB Type C charging cable for faster charging.
- Keep a backup device for emergencies.
4. Software Problems
Many businesses often upgrade their existing desktop computers and mobile devices such as tablets with POS software in order to save costs. While this off-the-shelf POS solution might be suitable for handling simple transactions, these consumer-grade appliances aren’t designed to handle a full-fledged POS software.
This might lead to performance and usage issues such as the following:
- Slow program response
- Buggy interface
- Software freezes on command input.
- Full system crash.
If you encounter any of these during the busy hours of the day, you will be causing a lot of inconvenience to your customers and may result in further loss of business.
The only solution for this issue is to invest in a purpose-built POS equipment where you will be able to take full advantage of what POS software has to offer without dealing with software problems.
5. Connectivity Issues
You may have experienced this issue in retail where your POS equipment has trouble scanning cards or printing receipts which results in long customer queues. The problem might be due to your devices losing connection with the main system.
A POS system is an array of devices such as cash registers, card readers, scanners, and receipt printers all connected to each other using physical cables. Whenever these cables are tampered with or accidentally disconnected, it will result in connection issues between devices and cause them to cease functioning.
This is where proper cable organization comes in. Cables must be placed strategically throughout the area where they will be safe from accidental tampers from staff or customers. This will ensure smoother business operations and unnecessary queues.
6. System Lag Due to Hardware Incompatibility
Besides connectivity issues, another troublesome problem commonly found in POS systems is laggy or slow response. This can be especially troublesome if your establishment deals with a large number of customers and you need transactions done quickly.
One of the main causes of this issue is incompatible hardware. Since there is a myriad of POS manufacturing companies, the likelihood of acquiring hardware that does not fully synchronize with another.
As a preventive measure, you can do the following:
- Apply software patches for POS hardware to deal with incompatibility issues.
- Before investing in POS equipment, make sure to check that it runs well with your existing system.
Like all technology, POS systems are not completely issue-free. However, if you and your staff can ascertain the issue and deal with it immediately, you will not face any major inconveniences. In addition, some problems are easily preventable. Establish measures to ward off potential problems and keep your business going smoothly.
For reliable and effective POS solutions, call POSRG Canada at +1905 332 8809. We offer new and refurbished POS systems as well as installation, maintenance, and repair services so your hardware and software remain in perfect shape.