Cash Registers and POS Terminals – What Are the Differences?


POS terminals

If any of the following are essential aspects of your business, we recommend the PC-based solution, POS:

Connectable devices, accessories

The PC-based cash register can be easily expanded with accessories:

  • electronic shelf label
  • vending machines (e.g. bottle changers, snacks, coffee, drinks, etc.)
  • cash register with camera
  • loyalty kiosk terminal (IBM Anyplace Kiosk, Zebra Card printer, loyalty card)
  • self – service payment terminals
  • access control systems

A small cash register, on the other hand, cannot be expanded with such tools and accessories.

Accurate item identification in the system and receipt

With a PC-based cash register, sales are made with accurate item identification. The items sold are displayed item by item in both the system and the receipt.

On the other hand, with ECR cash register, goods can be sold only with “collector 1”, “collector 2”, etc. and with VAT identification, and only these appear on the receipt.

Touch screen and full keyboard

For a PC-based cash register, we have either a touch screen with a full-fledged virtual keyboard or a traditional computer keyboard to type in data easily and quickly.

ECR cash registers do not have a touch screen. No external keyboard can be connected to them, and only mini buttons are available. The small cash register does not have a full keyboard, so the letter “c” can be entered, for example, by pressing the corresponding key three times.

Central management of several cash registers and/or shops

With PC-based cash registers, processes can also be coordinated centrally on the store network level.

The same is not possible with the use of the small ECR cash registers.

Check traffic data

Using a PC-based cash register, we can look at financial results anytime, anywhere, whether we are interested in a shift, a store or an entire store network.

In the case of the small ECR cash register, on the other hand, we only receive traffic data at the receipt and collection level (must be processed with separate software), also only locally, after the end of the tax day.

Update product and partner information

With a PC-based cash register, product data (e.g., price, barcode), inventory movement information (e.g., outbound and delivery, warehousing, web sales), and partner data (e.g., customers, users, suppliers) can be updated at any time. The database is kept up to date by continuous synchronization and alerts the user to failed processes.

Only the PLU of the small ECR cash register can be loaded with product data, even when the tax day is just closed. The checkout does not provide feedback on whether the product data was uploaded successfully.

Inventory management function

Using a PC-based cash register, you can extract the exact inventory value per product, product group, supplier or brand at any time. In the case of store chains, each store can view each other’s inventory.

The small ECR cash register, on the other hand, is not suitable for inventory management. It only allows us to extract from the traffic data what we have sold according to the given receipt after the daily tax closure. Although there are additional monitoring software (reading apps) for this, we can already make a mistake if we have sold a product that does not exist in one of the programs or may be listed incorrectly.

Issuance of a simplified invoice

Separate printer PC-based solutions can only meet the minimum requirement. PC-based solutions.

The 60 millimetres thermal paper of the ECR cash register does not allow the issuance of a “Simplified Invoice” as the minimum requirement is 80 millimetres!


The following functions are only available in the PC-based cash register solution:

  • stores all operations per user so that all activities can be retrieved,
  • you can give different permissions to users, and the functions can be linked to users,
  • language settings of the additional functions can be connected to the user,
  • for inventory and money transactions, you can enter individual items,
  • you can see the content of the transaction basket, the unique characteristics of the product, the “flags” (e.g. individual special offer product, stock release product, webshop sales, etc.)
  • contents of the basket can be freely edited until closing: you can delete a product, change the quantity, add a discount, change the unit price, etc.,
  • the started shopping cart can be set aside (receipt parking), other customers can be served until then,
  • validity of coupons and vouchers can be queried with it and stored as redeemed,
  • allows mixed payment in any combination and order (cash, currencies, vouchers, credit card, etc.)
  • data of the partners requesting the invoice can be saved so that they can be selected from a list later (no need to enter the data again),
  • all parameters of the product identified by scanning the barcode can be viewed, e.g. the current stock of the given product, size, assortment, etc.,
  • in case of returns, quantitative and amount monitoring of the content of the original transaction, thus avoiding fraud, overpayments, etc.
  • when cancelling, thanks to the “receipt invoice” function, it is sufficient to scan the barcode of the original receipt and enter the customer data – then the system automatically cancels and issues the receipt,
  • with the account correction function, we can change the required customer data,
  • a nominator can be set for reckoning,
  • it makes a sound if you exceed the cash drawer limit (automatic skim notification),
  • information messages can be displayed from the superior system on each cash register,
  • shortcut catalogue screens can be placed on the surface, with text, product image.
  • fast invoicing
  • real-time query of revenues and stocks
  • independent management and identification of shifts and cashiers

Peripheral management

Segment-dependent, but the most common is compliance with the protocol of bank card terminals and their service providers. Using a PC-based cash register, the cashier does not even have to access the terminal. The machine sends the data, processes the return message and accepts the transaction.

Web service solutions

The PC-based cash register is capable of online data connection, therefore, e.g. ideal for running a webshop or operating a discount system.

With the ECR cash register, we have to keep everything on a separate machine. We have to combine the stocks and the products sold at a discount with the traffic data. Not only is this cumbersome, but there’s plenty of place for error if you have to type everything in multiple places.

Connectivity with business management systems (ERP)

We can connect PC-based cash registers with corporate governance systems (ERP).

ECR cash registers are not suitable for this.


POS terminals