Every day we use them. Unless we’re in the business of repairing them or selling them, most of us give little thought to these little things that we mindlessly insert a little plastic card into, sign them or enter a four digit code and then the guy behind the counter says thank you, have a good day.
What am I talking about? POS. Retail point of sale (POS) terminals and credit card terminals.
What is a POS?
POS and Credit Card Terminals are the mainstay of credit card and bank card processing systems. While they are fundamentally different, they are intended to process non-cash payments at the counter. Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover credit cards are all examples of companies that provide the cash flow for payments from consumer to the retailer.
According to Merchantpro Express, a POS system is more sophisticated than a simple credit card terminal. The POS system possesses “the same capabilities as credit card terminals, but typically also include additional components.” They can provide the retailer the ability to use all card types, print receipts, track inventory and provide reports to the store owner in real time—ideal for retail stores and supermarkets.
While all POS systems handle cash, and international credit cards, not all are ready to process Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. As cryptocurrency becomes an acceptable currency for payment, retailers will be adding a new form of payment for their customers.
Cryptocurrency Enabled POS
For smaller businesses who want to enter the cryptocurrency market, using Bitcoin POS terminals can be an easier entrée. As cash registers become digital and with advance POS software, a number of companies have integrated or developed their POS with a “cryptocurrency payment gateway such as Bitcoin.”
One example is Square. It is a POS system that allows individuals and merchants in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, to accept debit and credit card payments on a Square cash register, iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphone or tablet. If you currently use Square, you’ll be able to transition to Bitcoin by being able to place it next to Visa and MasterCard as a customer payment option. However, according to Smart Bitcoin Investments—there is one down side to Square: “Square Inc. may suspend or restrict your account without a reason or purpose.” If you’re new to Square, this may not be the right option for you.
Another example is PayPal. It first got started in the late 1990’s. (Wikipedia) It was known for being an online payment system for eBay. In 2010, PayPal moved into new territory with “micropayments, mobile payments, in-store payments, international expansion, and more tools for small and medium businesses.” Currently—it supports brick and mortar stores. “PayPal’s Venmo allows users to purchase and send Bitcoin, which entirely eliminates the need for messy transaction ID’s.” According to Smart Bitcoin Investments PayPal has been developing a modular device, “designed explicitly for the use and storage of decentralized digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.”
All mobile application developers will be able to earn #FX coins of @functionx_io project if their application is popular in the f (x) blockchain ecosystem. #FUNCTIONX #Bob #dapp #npxs #NPXSXEM #XPOS #security pic.twitter.com/JhdEi1q9bB
— Sten Boyko (@terkibeyn) October 8, 2019
Bitcoin Exchange Guide Top 10
While Square and PayPal have been on the scene for decades, there are new POS systems you can consider. The following is a list of the top 10 provided by Bitcoin Exchange Guide.
BitPay. One of the most popular POS terminals. It offers excellent deals for merchants, and it has an API allowing it to work with other terminals.
BitXATM. They make ATMs for Bitcoin, and plan to offer POS functions at all of their ATMs. Customers can use “traditional currency and exchange it for any supported digital coin”.
Blockchain Merchant. Aims to provide an easy-to-use app for all Bitcoin merchants. They do not charge transaction fees, and their payments are instant.
Coinbase. Known as a cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase offers POS terminals for the US market. It is popular among e-commerce stores.
Coinify. Provides POS systems for physical and online stores alike. Merchants can receive payments in Bitcoin’s original format. There is “also the possibility of converting payments into fiat currencies, and even of matching crypto and fiat as per the user’s desires”.
CoinKite. For more traditional business owners who desire a POS terminal that look like credit card terminals. Customers receive their terminal with a debit card for Bitcoin, which is also made by the company.
Coin of Sale. Customers receive an Ethereum wallet when they sign-up. Their app creates QR codes. All payments received by a merchant when customers scan the code—go straight to their wallet.
PayStand. Available only for US business owners, it covers checks, credit cards, and payments made in Bitcoin. PayStand doesn’t charge any transaction fees.
Revel Systems. POS terminals come with a scanner, an iPad, and a cash register. While accepting Bitcoin is new, it works perfectly well.
XBTerminal. Considered the most versatile POS terminal on this list, customers scan QR codes to make a payment. Merchants also have the ability to convert Bitcon into traditional currency once the payment is made.
As retailers evaluate how to best serve their customers, the method of payment is one of the first things they will want to consider. Many options are available to the merchant. While there are systems that have been around for a while like Square and PayPal, the market is ripe for competitive options. In the end the consumer will be able to get the most out of the system that rises to the top as the best cryptocurrency POS terminal.