The Ultimate Guide to POS Transactions

The ringing of a cash register is the heartbeat of any grocery store. 

A steady flow of transactions is an essential ingredient in your small business’ health, ensuring that you’re bringing enough customers through your door and making enough sales to be profitable. 

But what actually makes these transactions happen?

Whether you’re starting your small business journey or you’re a veteran grocer, you need to know how your point of sale (POS) system facilitates sales transactions — and how to make the most of your grocery store payment processing. 

In this blog, we’ll share everything you need to know about POS transactions to ensure your grocery store is as successful as possible. 

What Is a POS Transaction? 

A POS transaction occurs every time one of your customers makes a purchase, enabling you to accept payment in exchange for their groceries. 

Your POS system makes these transactions possible. Once your cashiers have scanned your shoppers’ items, your POS system calculates their total, communicates it with the PIN pad, and charges the correct price. 

Types of POS Transactions

Accepting a wide variety of payment types is critical for speedy checkout lines and high customer satisfaction.  

Let’s take a look at a list of the essential payment methods your POS system should be able to process: 

  • Card: Credit and debit cards are the most common payment methods. Make sure you have the hardware and software to complete these card POS transactions quickly and securely. 
  • Cash: Chances are, many of your customers still opt to purchase their groceries using cash. A modern cash register will make POS transactions involving cash easy. 
  • Contactless Payment: Contactless payment methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay are becoming more and more common. You can offer this convenient option to your customer using a POS system and PIN pad equipped with tap-to-pay technology. 
  • EBT: EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer and allows beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase groceries. Your POS system should be able to handle this type of POS transaction as easily as any other payment method. 

Allowing your customers to pay with any of the above options will ensure the most convenient checkout experience. Instead of rummaging through their wallets to find the right credit card, they’ll be able to purchase their groceries with whatever payment method they have on hand. 

guide to grocery store payment processing

How To Process POS Transactions in Your Grocery Store

Now that we’ve established the basics of POS transactions, let’s explore how these transactions work and how you can secure this crucial service for your grocery store. 

To successfully handle POS transactions, you’ll need the help of a payment processor. This provider acts as the link between your merchant account and your customers’ bank accounts, transferring funds between the two when your customers make a purchase. 

In the next few sections, we’ll discuss how you can find the right payment processor for your grocery store to guarantee accurate, secure POS transactions. 

Securing Payment Processing: Your Two Options

When it comes to finding a payment processing provider for your grocery store, you’ve got two main choices. 

First, you can find a third-party provider whose sole responsibility is to handle your sales transactions. This option allows for the most flexibility, giving you the widest range of options as you search for the right provider. 

Your other option is to secure payment processing through your POS provider. With this option, your POS software, hardware, and payment processing service are all rolled into one seamless platform. 

We recommend selecting a POS system with integrated payment processing for a few key reasons: 

  • Convenience: Instead of managing multiple different contacts and services, you’ll be able to rely on a sole provider for your grocery store’s POS and payment needs. 
  • Accuracy: Instead of ringing up a customer through your POS system and then manually inputting the purchase total into the PIN pad, you can trust that these two systems will seamlessly communicate and charge them the correct amount. 
  • Affordability: Opting for integrated payment processing often allows you to get better rates on your POS transaction fees. 
  • Support: If issues arise with your POS system or your payment processing, you’ll be able to rely on one provider to get your grocery store back online. 

Using a POS system with integrated payment processing is your best bet if you’re hoping to make your POS transactions effortless. 

How To Choose the Right Payment Processing Provider for Your Grocery Store

Regardless of whether you choose an integrated or third-party payment processing solution, it’s essential to evaluate potential providers to check that they’ll be a reliable option for your grocery store. 

Here are some of the main considerations to keep in mind when vetting potential payment processors: 

  • Transaction Fees: Most payment processors charge a flat or percentage-based fee per transaction. Carefully evaluate how much you’ll have to pay in these fees for your POS transactions. 
  • Security: Look for a payment processor who you can rely on to keep your customers’ financial information safe. They should be PCI-compliant and use encryption to protect sensitive data. 
  • Customer Support: Make sure to choose a provider with dependable, 24/7 customer support that will be able to help you with any problems that may arise. 

Since we recommend choosing a POS system with integrated payment processing, we also suggest selecting a provider that specializes in supporting small grocery stores. An industry-specific provider will be able to provide you with the best support as your business grows, helping you make the most of your POS software and payment processing service. 

Make POS Transactions a Breeze With IT Retail

Now you’re prepared to dive head-first into the world of POS transactions! 

We’ve covered what POS transactions are, what types of payments you should be able to accept, and how to find the right payment processing solution for your grocery store. 

Ready to take the next step? Check out IT Retail, a powerful, all-in-one POS solution designed by grocers just like you. 

Equipped with integrated payment processing, robust inventory management, advanced reporting, and more, IT Retail has everything you need to boost your bottom line. 

Take IT Retail for a spin today by scheduling a live demo, or use our build and price tool to create your custom POS system.