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Traditionally, businesses faced a significant one-time investment when opting for a POS system. This upfront cost included the purchase of hardware, software licenses and servers. However, with the advent of technology, cloud-based POS systems have emerged as a popular alternative, offering a more flexible financial model. Cloud-based POS solutions typically operate on a subscription basis, with businesses paying a monthly fee for access to the software and related services
A Point of Sale (abbreviated to POS) is a combination of hardware and software to facilitate a sale. For both retail and hospitality, the workflows can be very different, but the outcome is similar, your staff will input a sale, produce a good or service, take payment, and reconcile at the end of the day. A point of sale is a must for every single business, big or small.
The main difference between “On Premise” and “Cloud Based” POS is the server location. The “Server” is the central computer which handles all the logic of the point of sale, from closing off bills to opening Tables and tracking orders.
Typically in a traditional On Premise setup, there is either a high-powered device sitting in the Office or networking cabinet – or – one of your POS units acts as the server, while the other units are the “clients” which work with this primary computer. If the primary computer goes down, you will need to allocate another server.
Cloud Based POS|
2 Computers, 2 Printers, On Premise Software.|
2 iPads, 2 Printers, Cloud Based Software|
$1,900 per Screen$400 per Printer
+ Server Cost: $2000+
$700 per iPad (with Fixtures)$400 per Printer
$2000-$3000 Once off|
$150-250 Per Month|
DIY or $2000|
Phone Support Fee|
$99-$200 per month|
Total Cost Year 1|
$10,000 – $13,000|
$5,600 – $7,000|
You can see the upside of going with a Cloud based POS; a much lower cost of implementation.
In general, the first year of your investment is significantly lower than your On Premise POS, however if we consider the lifespan of a on-premise POS, you may expected to get 5 years at a lower monthly rate.
Some people also prefer to have the upfront investment in an On-Premise POS because it doesn’t expose them to the risk of price rises from their POS software provider – although, since we started UniPOS, the increase in cost for POS software has not been significant; only amounting to 5% per annum.
You must also also note that the on-premise POS has a downside of not being updated throughout its lifespan – features and updates do not automatically get applied compared to the Cloud POS. This is a double edged sword, as these features can cause disruption to your business as they happen automatically and instant. However, generally they are a big advantage compared to traditional POS.