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What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an ePOS System for SMEs?

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

If your business has recently expanded, you may need new systems to support your growing sales.

Beyond the need for a system to process sales, you may need a better way to manage your stock, track pricing, and promote any current offers.

But is an EPOS system the right way to go?

In this article we briefly cover what an EPOS system is, and the main pros and cons of using one.

What is an ePOS system?

If you’re considering the pros and cons, it’s likely that you already know what an ePOS is. But if you’ve stumbled across this post in your search for a definition, an ePOS is an electric point of sale system.

It’s essentially an all-in-one piece of hardware combining a PDQ machine with tech to allow businesses to process in-person transactions. However, there is so much more to today’s EPOS systems.

Get stuck into all the advantages of EPOS systems below, or head to our what is an epos post for more details.

Advantages of ePOS

Like we mentioned above, ePOS systems now are much more than just hardware to process a sale. There are so many advantages to having an ePOS system - we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 pros below!

1. Increased efficiency

They say time is money, and this is especially true if you’re running a business. EPOS systems can increase your turnaround time by processing sales more quickly, and mean you can even equip your sales team with their own devices to take orders and payments.

2. Eliminate errors

Sometimes human error means things don’t go smoothly. With ePOS systems, everything is automated and calculated for you, so you don’t have to worry about any slip-ups.

3. Manage stock better

If you hold a large number of products, it can be easy to lose track of items that get moved around. One of the numerous advantages of an ePOS system is the ability to accurately track what you currently have.

4. Speed up transactions

With an ePOS system you can start taking different payment methods like contactless cards and contactless mobile payments, so there’s no waiting around for you or your customers.

5. Up-to-date pricing

If you want to update pricing for promotions or to incorporate special offers, you can do so easily through your ePOS system.

6. Reporting and analysis (trend spotting)

You can get accurate reports on your current stock, sales and profits without doing the calculations yourself. This can help give you an idea of how your business is doing and allows you to track any current trends, helping you to decide on future stock and sales methods.

7. Get more from your workforce

If you use multiple devices for sales, you can track your team’s individual performances. Recognise and reward top sellers, and look for ways to improve any weaknesses.

8. Marketing

You can use your system to help you with marketing, promotions, and any loyalty cards you run.

9. Itemised bills

There’s less likely to be any mistakes with billing, as all receipts can be itemised for both you and your customer to check if necessary.

10. Not tied to one spot for taking payments

There’s no need to stick to one area of the shop to take payments. If you still want to print receipts, you can even use a bluetooth receipt printer. The iZettle receipt printer is one option that works with mobile card readers.

person buying something on tablet device


Disadvantages of ePOS systems

Though there are clearly a bunch of great advantages to getting an ePOS system, there are some downsides to consider.

1. Cost

Though bringing a great deal of convenience to most merchants, the upfront cost of installing ePOS systems can be fairly expensive.

2. Regular maintenance

As you’ll be using it heavily everyday, it’s likely your software will require regular maintenance.

3. Updates for better functionality

If you want to make the most of your ePOS system, you’ll have the potentially time consuming task of continually updating it. If you don’t, it could begin to work slowly or inaccurately.

4. Over-reliance on tech

It probably seems great being able to use your ePOS system to run numerous aspects of your business. But if anything goes wrong with your tech, it means all of those are out until it’s fixed.

5. Staff training

Though it’s incredibly convenient to have all the tech onboard, it means you’ll need to take the time to learn how to use it, then train your staff to use it.

6. Some items need to be entered manually

If you’re selling items such as fruit and veg that don’t have barcodes, you’ll need to enter them manually.

7. Need the right software

When you already have certain systems in place, you’ll need to make sure you get an ePOS system that integrates with what you already have.

8. Difficulty removing items from the bill

It can be awkward to remove items that may have been put on in error.

8. Awkward to remove items from sale

If you decide to no longer stock a product, it may continue to appear on your system until you go through a slightly complicated manual process to remove it.

9. May require support

If something goes wrong with your ePOS system, you’ll likely have to wait until you can reach customer services to get it fixed.

10. Difficult to change payment method

Sometimes a customer will want to pay chip and pin, then decide on cash instead if you have a minimum card payment in place. Depending on the system you’re using, it can be complicated to change the chosen payment type if you’ve already selected card.

buying from veg store


Working out the best way to process your sales can be a difficult, but rewarding task. We’ve even put together a guide to the best card machine for small business, as well as a guide on how to choose to the best ePOS system for your SME.

Or if you want to make sure your rates are the lowest of the low, let CardSwitcher help you save up to 40% on your debit and credit card processing.

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Written by:
Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Stephen brings a wealth of experience honed through years in the financial sector, particularly in the card processing payments industry. His illustrious career spans key roles at PwC, Natwest, and the role of CFO at WorldPay, before going on to found card processing comparison site, CardSwitcher. He is passionate about helping growing businesses to understand the card processing landscape so they can make savvy financial decisions.