What Is A Cloud POS And How It Is Different From Traditional POS?

Not that a lot of years ago, most face-to-face businesses would store all their point of sale (POS) data locally, including prices of things and records of transactions. This data would usually be persisted an on-site PC or server, or perhaps a server on a personal company network within the case of huge retail chains.

But now that the majority business tools are based online, there’s been a natural progression towards cloud-based POS systems. you'll ask: why cloud POS? With these changes having a big impact on the payments industry, it's become necessary that POS systems are driven by agile, cloud-based software so as to enjoy the complete benefits of today’s cutting-edge technology. For small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), a cloud-based POS system can make sure the absolute best customer experience while staying relevant with the rapidly changing pace of technology. the subsequent points outline the highest reasons SMBs should consider a cloud-based POS system.

What is Cloud POS?

A cloud-based POS, or a cloud POS, may be a Point of Sale that processes all payment transactions and stores sales data online instead of on your local computer and server (on-site POS or on-premise POS).

You can access your POS system directly from an internet browser on your PC, laptop (these are called web POS) or in some case, via a POS application on touchscreen monitors and mobile devices like iPad (mobile POS), while the backend are often accessed through any browser. Cloud POS is quickly growing in popularity because shop owners and store associates can sell, check and use sales data from anywhere as they're being updated in real-time within the cloud.

For example, inventory management may be a typical challenge for retail businesses, especially if you own multiple stores. during a cloud-based POS system, sales and inventory information is synced to the central database automatically in real-time, which allows for better inventory management and may significantly reduce human error.

Cloud POS vs. Traditional POS

Let’s check out the pros and cons of a cloud-based POS system compared to a locally hosted POS system.

Setting up

Cloud-based: Many POS providers offer a free trial before you opt to get it or not. you'll check in for a free trial online, then access to your POS on your browser or download the POS app to your devices and use it immediately.

On-site: Traditional POS often costs a setup fee and requires a trained engineer to put in it on your local network and found out with necessary hardware. On-site POS systems can’t be used before both the hardware and software setup are done.

Software requirements

Cloud-based: Often requires the web connection to figure, but some cloud POS have the power to figure offline, then sync the new data to the cloud when back online. Different POS apps are compatible with PC, laptop, iPad, or Android but some POS apps can work with many devices. These POS apps updated automatically – you only got to confirm you’re using the newest version.

On-site: Requires own physical server (for instance, a computer hard drive) found out on your business premises and may function without an online connection. Updates got to be done manually.


Cloud-based: Works on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) so you'll sell and accept payments from anywhere. Many payments methods are accepted: cash, chip, contactless/NFC or swipe card payments via a card reader. Business owners can access sales data and management functions through any browser anywhere.

On-site: Can’t be used outside the stores where the software is installed.


You always pay per touchscreen device using the software. Plans are flexible so you'll switch to more or fewer devices or cancel any time. Locally hosted systems usually require a long-term contract. This may, however, suit and be less expensive for larger businesses with particular needs