Are you prepared for a POS crisis?

Last week I was shopping at the local branch of a national retailer. As I was standing in line at the checkout counter, the clerk was clearly frustrated. After a few minutes she announced to me and the other customer in line with me that she would be unable to help us with our purchases as “the system was down.”

Today, retailers are more dependent on POS technology than ever before. As the architecture of POS expands from the traditional on-premise networks to the growing online POS options or even tablet driven systems, so does your business’ dependency on those systems.

The benefits of a well-configured POS system cannot be disputed; at least not until it breaks or goes down. Consider how most POS systems are dependent upon the internet for credit card verification, or in the case of web-based POS, their complete functionality.


Even though most internet service providers boast greater than 99% uptime, this still means that your system could be down for 14 minutes – EVERY DAY; that’s 98 minutes each week. If those 98 minutes of potential downtime occur all at once, say at 7:30 pm on a Friday evening, you could be in for a world of hurt.

Fortunately, most POS systems have an uptime track record closer to 99.9%. However, as a retail business that is dedicated to providing a great guest experience, you owe it to yourself, your customers and your staff to be prepared in the event of a POS breakdown.

Your retail operation training program should include how to process handwritten receipts, taking manual credit card imprints and authorizations.



 Preparing For POS System Failure

Below is a brief checklist of items that may come in handy during a POS crisis.