Tablet based cash registers replace the old clunkers

Tablet based cash registers replace the old clunkers
Many stores are finding out that by replacing their old cash registers with tablets, they not only improve the looks of the location, but also make it easier to ring up customers. Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, a chain of stores around Seattle, has retired the old huge Casio registers it used to employ. Instead, the stores now use six Apple iPad slates that rest on top of a plywoord pedestal which features its logo of a dog licking an ice cream cone. Kristina McDonnell, Molly Moon’s director of operations, said that, "The new iPads are a huge aesthetic improvement over our old clunky plastic registers."

While cash registers themselves have gone through tremendous changes, they do not offer the flexibility that tablets do. Consider Coco Donuts in Portland where Apple iPad units hang on a track on the wall, freeing up table space for coffee and donuts. When it comes time for a customer to settle up, an employee slides one of the tablets over to him and the transaction is recorded. In another homemade design, the Devil’s Teeth Baking Company made a stand for an iPad using welded steel and wood with a base connected to a butcher block. A steel joint allows the whole thing to swivel to turn and face the customer. The bakery's owner, Hilary Cherniss, says that four times a day someone asks where the stand came from.

And many tablets being used as registers are outfitted with Square card swipe readers. Square is the app that allows users to accept credit cards for a smaller piece of each transaction than the banks take. Customers swipe their card through the reader, which attaches to a smartphone or tablet, and sign using their finger. Receipts are generated via email and credit card acceptance codes are received to make the transaction valid for both sides.

While the Apple iPad is the tablet used most often as a cash register, a company called GoPago is offering POS systems using Android. Meanwhile, Walmart is looking to expand a service that allows Apple iPhone users to use their camera to scan barcodes for prices of items being purchased which allows them to skip a traditional register. Besides the iPad and iPhone, Apple's own sales reps on the floor of the Apple Store use the Apple iPod touch decked out with credit card readers. Department store Nordstrom is eliminating cash registers and is also arming sales personnel with the iPod touch which allows them to ring up clients as they sit in a changing room.

And it is this freedom to move around that has many establishments excited about replacing their cash register with a tablet. By being able to carry a tablet through people waiting on line for food or merchandise, the store can ring up customers and since they have already paid, reduce the chance that they will walk away before they make a purchase.

Another benefit to using a tablet is mentioned by Parlin Jessen, co-owner of a Fiji Yogurt shop in San Diego who owns the Cashbox. This is a $1,500 bamboo enclosed iPad, set up for use as a cash register and made by Happy Owl Studio. When discussing the possibility that his workers using the tablet to ring up customers might be playing Angry Birds instead, Jessen said, "It would be better that they’re doing it on a supposed cash register instead of a phone. At least that way, it looks like they’re doing work."

source: NewYorkTimes



1. PermanentHiatus

Posts: 267; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

In-n-Out already does this.

2. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

what about people with cash? businesses still have to take cash and keep track of it efficiently. xD

4. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Agreed. As I read this and the original NYTimes article, nowhere to be found is commentary on paying in cash, or how to secure cash (which, according to the article, was the original reason for the register, to minimize employee theft).

5. LordDavon

Posts: 168; Member since: Sep 19, 2011

I work in the pharmaceutical industry as the lead developer for a POS system, and we are also putting our POS on the tablet, as an option. Many customers are requesting it, and we are basically allowing them to design how is functions. From how some are explaining, their cashiers will still take cash by basically wearing their cash drawer on a belt designed for holding cash. With other customers, they will continue to offer POS lanes for cash customers, and allow cards only for their portable systems. So at least with our implementation, cash is not being eliminated. As long as cash is tracked, and an Over/Under is managed (reconciling the drawer), you maintain security.

7. nhavey

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Hi there - Just an FYI from Happy Owl Studio, makers of the Cashbox featured in the NYTimes article. We had the some concern about how to deal with cash, so the cashbox accepts cash with a standard cash drawer, and its secured by the software or a physical key.

3. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

It replaces your PC, even cash registry. But its nice to know people are becoming into tech these days. And for this to work. All they have to do is create a server. All transactions will be online, and create an app POS like. Use the camera as barcode reader. And whoala, instant cash registers. Im thinking it would be cheaper that way.

6. Rayvelynn

Posts: 124; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Not a good idea if the Square system goes down, then what? I wouldn't completley depend on an app for transactions. lol

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