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A point of sale terminal (POS terminal) is an electronic device used to process card payments at retail locations. A POS terminal generally does the following:
Point of sale terminals are a combination of software and hardware that allows retail locations to accept card payments without updating their cash registers to read cards directly. The costs of installing POS terminals vary with the size of the business and the terms from the supplier. Small merchants may have to pay rent for the terminal, as well as pay an additional per-transaction fee.
The trend is away from the traditional use of just magnetic stripe reader as more options open up for mobile payments.