Which POS System is Best – iPad POS vs. Android POS

The debate of Android vs. iOS has always been on the rise but there is still no undisputed winner. Each POS system has its plus points and minus points and there are chances you may always have your own choice. If you are here, you may want to ensure that you are going to make the right choice for your business. Without going any further, let’s compare both of these platforms – 

iPad POS 

There are some benefits for merchants with using iOS for POS system – 

  • Greater support – Apple is the most preferred software/hardware option for some top cloud POS systems, such as Shopify, ShopKeep, Revel, and Lightspeed. They all support only iOS devices like iPad. You should have an iOS device to run these widely used POS systems. 
  • Better security – Security is very important for running a business. A huge amount of sensitive information is transferred to the cloud. Of course Cloud POS is secure because it encrypts important data.  Google has its own security measures but there is a matter of trust when it comes to Apple. Since Apple has its own ecosystem, you can rest assured with timely security updates. Apple rolls out security patches automatically and constantly in all Apple devices. 

But in the case of Android, things are also up to service carriers and device manufacturers to issue updates. Hence, major updates may take several months to roll out on all devices. In addition, you may want to buy a new Android device once it gets 1 to 2 years old, so you can keep getting major security updates. In addition, privacy controls and device permissions are more secure in Apple as compared to Android. 

Android POS 

  • Android also offers quality POS systems – Of course Apple devices lead in terms of popularity. Android also offers a great POS. Some of the best brands offering Android POS are Vend, Square, ERPLY and Toast POS.  
  • Cost effective – Android tablet is known to be very affordable as compared to iPad. So, the initial cost is very low to get started with POS, especially if you have plenty of registers. If you are engaged in the food service industry, where wait staff use tablets to receive orders, you will have to fix or replace some of the broken devices. In this case, using Android POS could save hundreds of dollars for each device. There is also lower risk of theft as Android devices are less desirable and have lower resale value. 
  • Android offers more options – Generally, Android has more options than Apple. You can have more hardware varieties and form factors to choose. Along with different device options, Android’s architecture also offers more customization. 

Key Features of Convenience Store POS Software to Look For

The POS software for convenience stores allows you to manage your operations with different features like inventory management, payment and reporting. A POS system should have features for age verification, when it comes to sell products like tobacco, alcohol and lottery tickets. If you are running a gas station with a convenience store, you should have solutions with features like pay-at-pump and pump control. 

You may need a POS solution with pump control operations, fuel management, and auto pricing adjustment with fluctuation of gas prices. Customers can pay at the pump with credit or debit cards using a card reader or they can also pay in your convenience store. Customers can get receipts directly at the pump with a POS system having a receipt printer. 

You can control the whole operations of your fuel pump from your convenience store. The pump turns off automatically at its predefined limit if customers opt to pay in advance for a specific amount of gas. The pump can be turned off on the go in an emergency. 

Payment Processing 

Customers can choose any method like EBT, credit card or gift cards to make payments thanks to the POS system for convenience stores. It can be integrated to EMV card readers to control the risk of fraud. EMV transactions are enabled for newer POS systems. Consider the hardware requirements before picking any specific solution. 

Inventory Management 

POS software updates inventory counts automatically whenever any sales happen. The system will send you the updates when inventory goes down. The system can create purchase orders automatically when levels of inventory go down to a specific threshold. Some vendors also offer label printers and barcode scanners to help businesses in tracking price information and inventory.

Employee Management 

The POS system is also helpful for staff management. With its time tracking feature, staff can easily clock in and clock out. It ensures they don’t skip shifts and get to work on time. The system also allows businesses to keep track of the performance of staff and compare sales reports with actual amounts of money in the cash register to avoid theft. You can set user permissions so no one can void items, including store managers. 

Customer Management 

This feature helps your store to ensure the right age of customers before offering any product which is restricted like lottery tickets, tobacco or alcohol. The software requires a date of birth and ID to keep minors from purchasing those products. POS software can ensure that the store is complying with state laws for selling restricted items. It automatically cancels the sale of restricted products by date or time of the week as per the regulations. It is also integrated with loyalty programs to keep customers coming again and again. You can customize these programs to provide discounts or free items on products with a given number of purchases. 

How to Protect Your POS System and other Valuables from Theft?

Small businesses were already fighting hard to survive against the monopoly of large-scale retail chains. Later on, the arrival of COVID-19 strikes those businesses hard with worldwide lockdowns. Over the past few months, a lot of small stores were looted. Those events were truly horrifying considering how a sudden attack could be disastrous to the finances of small business owners. 

Independent and small business owners, however, can take some precautionary measures to avoid some common hazards. Of course, there is no way to completely prevent break-ins and theft in stores. But it is always wise to plan in advance to protect and insure your store’s items. Do your own research to figure out the coverage of your insurance in case any damage or theft happens. 

Secure your POS system – The POS or Point of Sale system is at the core of business of every store. You can go for POS systems that are all in one to check out the customers and manage reporting and inventory of your business. You should regularly backup the POS data in the cloud and get the hardware secured by insurance. Ask the vendor whether they provide theft insurance when you claim a police report. 

Every year, theft of over $13 billion of items takes place from retailers, as per the reports by NASP. Burglars who break into a retail store usually look for valuable items and cash drawers. They may not pick the whole POS terminal as it is too bulky and heavy. Some convenience stores use tablet POS, which can be easily looted and is a very costly device. 

Due to these reasons, you may want to have a sizable unit which can have faster and better software, larger screens and other features like payment processing and customer loyalty programs. A lot of vendors offer such types of systems. 

If you are using tablet POS, you may ask your insurance company if they can cover the same on their policy and ask the vendor about their damage and theft policy. It is always recommended to lock your tablet up in any secure location like your safe. Some POS systems also have the added feature of anti-theft lock so they can be useless if they get stolen. 

Manage cash the smarter way – It goes without saying thieves break in with a motive to steal hard cash. So, it is always better not to keep a whole bunch of cash in your drawer. You may use several cash drawers. Even better, you can deposit the extra cash in your bank and keep only a small amount for change. You can use a hidden drawer to keep extra cash.  Alarms and surveillance cameras can also help deter such crimes. A burglar may not want to risk his identity in a store full of cameras.