Traditional vs. mobile POS

Everyone knows those dark gray and blackish card readers, the touchscreens and the pop-out cash drawers from restaurants, bars and shops but more and more shops implement tablets and smartphones into their checkout experience. What’s better: Old but gold or fresh and flexible?

If you’re currently looking for a new POS system you may wonder what of all those solutions fits your needs. Here’s a short summary of all the important things you need to know when making a decision.

traditional vs. mobile pos.jpg

Traditional POS systems, also called legacy POS, run on your premises only. The data is stored on local servers and all communication done over a closed internal network.
An example: a company has 3 cash desks and 1 PC in its back office. All 3 terminals communicate with the PC and update all transactions. Without a connection to the internet, the POS system compares available and sold inventory as well as the cash in each drawer. However, this data is hardly transferable into the Accounting system for example.

In earlier blog posts we examined connectivity issues between POS and eCommerce systems. To read more click one of the links below:

Mobile POS systems, also called cloud-based POS or SaaS-POS, runs remotely on a cloud service. The data is stored online and hence accessible from everywhere at any time. While some providers offer familiar looking terminals and peripherals offers focus on tablet and smartphone apps to manage the checkout. The company in our earlier example would have the same setup with 3 terminals and 1 PC for administration. All 4 however, require an internet connection to communicate with the servers.

This brings us to the 5 most crucial advantages of mobile POS:

1. Integrated systems

Mobile POS systems are cloud-based very well structured. This allows to connect them to any webshop and accounting system. You can have up-to-date data in every software.

2. Data accessibility

POS systems which run online can be accessed with any device, from any place at any time. This can come in handy when visiting trade fairs and other markets. 

3. Cost efficiency

SaaS-POS software is often cheaper than comprehensive on-premise systems. Especially for small businesses who don't need a highly individualized solution benefit from small monthly fees.

4. Innovative hardware

By always using the newest devices, you can be sure you don't lose customers because they can't pay the way they prefer to.

5. Frequent updates

Cloud-based software is updated frequently. This makes digital payment methods´more secure and guarantees flawless transactions.

Nevertheless, on-premise POS systems have 3 undeniable advantages over new mPOS:

  • Consumer convenience and trust
    (Your customers are used to certain traditional payment methods and trust them.)
  • Statility
    (No server maintenance is done when you don't need it. You also don't depend on an internet connection)
  • Data security
    (A closed network is always more secure than an internet connection but no system is bulletproof.)


Do not underestimate the connectivity of your POS system. With a webshop or accounting integration you safe valuable hours of work every day. Moreover, you don't have to worry about outdated inventory levels and unhappy shoppers anymore. To get started click below or ask for a free consultation today.

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Published Apr 12, 2017

Tags: integration, POS

Hendrik Wistuba

Hendrik Wistuba

Hendrik's interest in languages is only topped by his curiosity for technology. Plus he has a good analytical eye.

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