How does your cloud-based auto glass POS system work?

February 14, 2023
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Money management is one of the essential parts of running a business; knowing how your money is controlled is just as vital. Your Point of Sale system manages customer interactions and sales, so it’s essential to understand how it works. 

A cloud-based POS system is one of the most popular options for many businesses, but what is it? A cloud-based POS system is an option that allows business owners to process payments through the internet. Implementing the cloud allows a business to be highly mobile, and the set-up has fewer upfront costs.

We will examine the different parts of a cloud-based POS system and its pros and cons.

What Is A Cloud-Based POS System

A cloud-based POS system is a system that runs primarily through the internet. It uses Wi-fi to make an internet connection. This is what ‘cloud’ means, as it is a reference to cloud computing– the use of remote servers to access computer system resources rather than local storage or hard drive. The software and data used for your business are stored and accessed on the internet rather than directly on the device. 

There are various parts of cloud computing which can be separated into three systems: 

  1. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) – involves licensing a software application to customers. 
  2. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) – involves an on-demand request system rather than the purchase or regular renewal of software or servers.
  3. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) – consists of multiple layers of computing to form a platform where software is created and delivered through the internet. 

Cloud-based POS systems generally fall under the SaaS model, which presents as a software application with monthly subscription payments. These monthly payments can sometimes be a fixed price or can add percentage fees as a charge for processing credit cards. 

The components of a cloud-based POS system can change as businesses choose what fits best for them, but there are a few basic components that most systems are equipped with. The principal device that conducts the transaction can depend on the size and type of the business. A few popular options are:

  • Using an application on a smartphone paired with a card reader
  • Using a tablet equipped with POS software
  • Using a different mobile POS device that is not a smartphone or tablet

The most popular set-ups allow businesses to be mobile while still having low upfront costs. 

Benefits of a Cloud-Based POS System

A few different benefits can come for those who use a cloud-based POS system rather than a legacy system. They are generally cheaper than most other POS systems, as legacy POS systems require hundreds of dollars in upfront costs for the necessary software, POS terminal, storage, and other additional devices. This software also requires manual updates, which may require an on-site technical support team, causing extra costs. For cloud-based systems, updates are done in real time by the application you are using. 

One of the most useful benefits of the cloud is that, because it uses the internet to access and store data, you can use a cloud pos system remotely anywhere, provided there is an internet connection. This remote access can be helpful for business owners as it allows them to work outside the office. Accessing remote data can help them better plan their business trajectory and remodel their plans as new data become available rather than having to travel whenever they want to double-check something. 

Remote access is practical for any teams or employees that need to access the system remotely. If you offer any type of at-home repair or delivery service that requires the employee to take payments, a mobile POS system is necessary to ensure the process goes smoothly. The software is also easier to manage and edit without preapproval from the system. Lists like menus and special discounts can be changed easily. 

Storing information on the internet is also extremely useful in the event of a loss of power. Power losses can cause problems for businesses as data that has not been backed up is lost, and any POS systems explicitly connected to the power lose functionality. In a cloud-based system, critical systems like data storage and reporting are kept off-site and will not be affected by a localized loss of power. Many companies also have mobile solutions that run on smartphone battery power, so you can continue performing transactions and prevent a loss in business. 

Disadvantages of a Cloud-Based POS System

A cloud-based POS system’s main negative is also one of its main positives: it works by connecting to the internet. This means that if your business has a spotty connection that flickers intermittently, it can cause serious issues with your ability to serve customers. Although mobile smartphone battery solutions work well as a short-term fix, they are not meant to replace your original system. If your system is malfunctioning, it can make it impossible to take a card or contactless payments. 

Another problem with some cloud systems is that, because the software they use is subscription based, it is a recurring cost that some business owners forget to account for. The low starting cost of a cloud-based POS system is a definite positive. Still, business owners should remember to calculate the recurring software payments for whichever software they are interested in before making their final choice. 

Cloud-based POS systems, like any internet system nowadays, are vulnerable to hacking. Although hackers are not likely to target small businesses, using the cloud means becoming part of a bigger, more valuable target. Some legacy POS platforms allow users to store data off the internet, but cloud-based POS platforms cannot do that. Even then, those point-of-sale systems can still be targeted by hackers, especially as their older technology can make them vulnerable as well as difficult to integrate into older systems. 

For auto glass professionals interested in a specialized Point of Sale system for their shops, the Elmo Anywhere point-of-sale payment software has industry-specific add-ons, or check out a total price breakdown of the Elmo Anywhere software for more details.