The cash register is invented, sold, and developed.
The first cash register was the brainchild of James Ritty, a "dealer of pure whiskies, fine wines and cigars". Ritty was running a successful saloon but had one major problem: he was getting ripped off by some of his employees.
MEET THE INCORRUPTIBLE CASHIER
So in 1879, Ritty invented the "Incorruptible Cashier," a device that registered transactions made at his business. Some time after that, he patented his invention and sold it to salesman Jacob H. Eckert, who founded the National Manufacturing Company (NMC). Eckert later sold the company to John H. Patterson, a retail coal shop owner in Coalton, Ohio.
NCR TAKES THE REIGNS
Upon acquiring the business, Patterson renamed the company National Cash Register (NCR), which still exists today. He also added new features, such as custom employee drawers and bells, as well as the all-important paper receipts.
Electric and computerized point of sale systems arrive.
In 1906, inventor Charles F. Kettering, who worked for NCR, developed the first cash register powered by an electric motor. The device made it faster and easier for cashiers to ring up sales and keep tabs on transactions.
NCR RAMPS UP SALES AND DEVELOPMENT
Over the next several decades, more improvements were made to the cash register, and NCR came up with better ways to market and sell the device. These efforts paid off well for the company. By the mid-1900s, the cash register had become a staple in retail stores.
THE CASH REGISTER MEETS THE COMPUTER
In the 1970s, innovation helped traditional cash registers evolve into computerized point of sale systems. It was also during these years that devices such as credit card terminals and touchscreen displays were introduced.
By the time the 80s and 90s rolled along, the retail world saw the emergence of electronic registers, barcode scanners, PC-based point of sale systems, and credit card devices.
Point of sale systems go mobile.
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) solutions have made such a huge impact in the industry that in 2014 a majority of UK retailers (53%) rated mPOS as the most important in-store technology for consumers. mPOS systems are also gaining market share. In 2015, the IHL Group found that mobile POS software installs are up 41% in North America year to year.
FROM POS TO RETAIL MANAGEMENT
Over the years, we've seen POS systems evolve from cash registers that simply ring up sales to full-fledged retail management solutions that allow retailers to stay on top of inventory, reporting, customer management, and ecommerce from one platform.
SLEEKER AND MORE PORTABLE DEVICES
It's not just features that have evolved. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, retail point of sale solutions now look better than ever. Clunky registers and bulky computers are being replaced by sleek tablets and phones. These devices not only look good and save space, but they also help retailers improve the shopping experience.
Gone are the days when cashiers were anchored to the checkout counter. Thanks to mobile POS solutions, merchants can take the checkout process to the customer, enabling them to assist shoppers from anywhere in the store or even when they're out and about at an event or pop-up shop.