Nearly half of Canadian small businesses are using old technology to process sales

moneris Point of sale

Despite more advanced point-of-sale (POS) options, 42 per cent of small businesses are relying on outdated cash registers to accept customer payments

Canadian small businesses are adopting modern, tablet-based point-of-sale (POS) solutions in surprisingly low numbers, according to research commissioned by Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), Canada’s leading credit and debit card processor. Research revealed that less than one per cent of small businesses are using an advanced, tablet-based POS solution to process sales, while 42 per cent are sticking to the basics of a standard cash register. In retail environments where smart phones, mobility and self-serve technologies are shaping the customer experience, the cash register, with its limited functionality, will struggle to maintain its usefulness over time.

Businesses using standard cash registers are at a greater risk of experiencing inefficiencies such as longer checkout times, more complex accounting processes and higher rates of input error. Modern, iPad POS solutions integrate payments with specialized applications to offer businesses a more complete view of their operations. These fully automated, cloud-based solutions offer comprehensive reporting and data analysis, and enable businesses to identify sales opportunities and make smarter, more informed business decisions.

“Point-of-sale technology has undergone massive transformation in recent years to combine payments with the many other aspects of running a business,” said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales Officer, Moneris. “iPad-based solutions allow you to gain insight into areas such as inventory management, staff performance and customer history, which can help businesses save time and identify more opportunities for growth. Retailers and restaurants opting to use the old style of register are missing out on a significant opportunity to streamline their operations.”

A 2016 study predicts that smartphone and tablet-based POS terminals will handle 20 per cent of all retail transaction value by 2021, up from four per cent in 2016.1 The study forecasts that the use of mPOS systems will account for more than 1 in 3 POS terminals by the end of the same year.

Additional research revealed the following information about Canadian small businesses when asked about new technologies and their current POS system:

  • Cost is a barrier: Cost is a perceived barrier for small businesses interested in adopting new technologies, with 68 per cent of respondents citing cost as the primary burden when considering the purchase of a new technology;
  • Unwilling to change: 57 per cent of small businesses reported an unwillingness to change their current POS technology, responding that there is “nothing” that would make them consider switching or upgrading their POS;
  • Ease of use is top of mind: Of the features that influenced small businesses’ current choice of POS system, 18 per cent of respondents said they were looking for ease-of-use, followed by inventory management at 12 per cent;
  • Not all POS grows with the business: Of the small businesses who recently switched their POS system, 16 per cent did so because they outgrew their POS software, and 12 per cent reported that their previous POS lacked the right features; and,
  • Help is often appreciated: Small businesses value having a third party assist with getting their POS technology up and running, with 46 per cent of respondents saying they prefer having someone else install and set-up their POS solution.

iPad-based POS solutions are a cost-effective alternative to purchasing computer-based POS systems and software, which can run businesses anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000. Businesses can acquire a standard iPad POS solution for as low as one-fifth of the cost of a computer-based POS system.

For more information on iPad POS solutions, visit or call 1-844-380-4723 to speak to a Moneris representative.

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