Low Tech Products in a High Tech Industry

By Larry Greenberg

The DC/POS world is filled with the latest high-tech devices and software. When assembling bundled POS solutions, the first thoughts are getting the POS software loaded, key injection for pin pads, or how the latest RFID chips will track purchases at retail. Often overlooked (or last to be considered) are the basic-but most essential-pieces of hardware, which complete and support the entire POS system: cash drawers, payment terminal stands and other secured mounts.

The reliability of the drawer is a key factor. Considering the environment where the equipment will be deployed is essential to selecting the right option for your customer.

Top 10 Questions to Consider When Selecting a Cash Drawer

  1. Will the cash drawer connect directly to a POS system (regular PC/all-in-one) or a printer?
  2. If connecting to a POS system, does it need a USB, RJ-12 or Bluetooth connection?
  3. What is the volume of cash transactions? Light, medium, or heavy? Heavy Duty?)
  4. Does the drawer offer Loss Prevention features, such as illumination for an optimal security camera view, that help prevent cash shrinkage?
  5. Can it help identify counterfeit bills in dimly lit or outdoor environments?
  6. How flexible is it for indoor/outdoor environments?
  7. What is the footprint needed to fit into the available POS counter space?
  8. Will the other POS peripherals be sitting on top of it? Is a platform needed to help organize and secure those peripherals?
  9. Are extra cables needed, especially if there are multiple drawers at each station?
  10. For expedited cashier turnover, are additional tills required? (This could provide additional revenue!)

Custom Options
Does the situation require a part that’s totally custom or will a customized existing part suffice, such as a different color, logo imprint, or minor modification? The challenge is that the cost of low-volume quantities can be price prohibitive. Longer lead times can also be a factor. The key questions are: How many? How soon? How much?

Now What?
After you’ve answered these questions, the next step is to contact a reputable manufacturer and evaluate their hardware offerings with your system

  1. Look for a manufacturer that has capabilities in more than one material or offers products not available through other sources.
  2. Find out if they have a good-better-best or light-medium-heavy offering.
  3. Ask for samples or demos for internal testing and evaluation.
  4. Compare cost and lead time. Remember that you get what you pay for.
  5. Make sure the products are readily available through your current channels of distribution.


Don’t forget the details. Check out RSPA’s newest tool to help you as you advise your customers: the POS Cash Drawer Setup Checklist. All the questions you should be asking your customer about their cash drawer needs (but might not remember to) are found on this checklist in a fillable pdf format for your sales or tech teams to use on site! Access the checklist here

Download a version without the logo area here

Larry Greenberg is the Director of Sales and Marketing for MMF POS (www.mmfpos.com), a leading manufacturer and innovative supplier of cash drawers, POS mounting systems, and other accessories. The company provides a complete line of product solutions to enhance the retail checkout environment.

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