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The history of the POS

August 23, 2017

POS systems are integral to any retail business; from restaurants to grocery stores, from hairdressers to forecourts – where there is a goods transaction there will be a POS. So it may be hard to believe that the first system to record these transactions only came about in 1879 when an ingenious café owner found that he was losing money regularly despite having a successful and busy business.


So, he developed a machine that would record cash transactions so he could keep a track of sales. The machine had two rows of keys with their denominations, when the keys where clicked they would then move an internal counter which kept track of the total sales for the day. The amount of each sale was shown to the customer on a dial that looked similar to a clock face. This was an exciting and arguably, revolutionary, system which offered a transparency not just between the customer and cashier but also with cashier and owner. However, only one of these machines was ever sold! A year later it was acquired by another business and the machine was improved so that it would print out customer receipts – soon enough the machine was being sold across the globe with a strong turnover and demand.

 The simple functionality of the first cashier machine is a far cry from what we expect of our systems today. For starters the modern POS system will not only transact every sale and show customers how much they are spending, it won’t just print a receipt as proof of purchase, but it must also keep track of all the stock that has been sold. It will reconcile your stock for you, allow you the functionality to determine what trends are selling better at peaks times, and even give you links to order stock – a single system to help you keep control your assets.


HTEC’s POS system goes a step further, it is adaptable and able to integrate to multiple systems that will increase supplementary revenue. For instance, you can link it to our Tobacco Dispenser, dispensing your cigarettes within seconds at the click of a button. Or, take it a step further and make counting cash a thing of the past as you connect to the SMARTtill – which automatically weighs cash within the till and alerts you of any discrepancies.

 More and more systems are becoming easier to use and more intuitive. A POS system simply has to be. You want to be able to train your staff quickly and they don't want to stare at a complicated screen trying to remember how to key a sale – the interface needs to be simple and user-friendly.


At HTEC we pride ourselves in developing systems that are designed with the forecourt and convenience retailer in mind – adaptable and suited to fit your individual business needs. With over 30 years of experience serving this market we are the leaders in offering you systems that work for you.

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©2018 by HTEC Limited

HTEC Limited is a company registered in England and Wales. Our registered office address is George Curl Way, Southampton, Hampshire,

SO18 2RX, United Kingdom. Registration number is 1486255.

HTEC Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of Universe Group plc, a company registered in England and Wales at the same address with registration number 2639726.

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