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Build your own Android Point-of-Sale (POS) System

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Android is becoming the platform of choice for building dedicated devices. It is easy to take an off-the-shelf Android device, install a POS app such as Square Point of Sale – POS or TabShop from Google Play and convert the tablet into a POS terminal. You can accessorize it with a credit card reader for mobile devices (like Square or PayPal Here) and a Bluetooth/USB printer to set up a full-blown POS System.

Steps to build an Android-Based POS System

Following are the steps for setting up an android POS using Square POS application:

  1. Get an off-the-shelf Android tablet with 7” or 10” screen size. Samsung Galaxy Tab series or Nexus series are good candidates.
  2. Get a credit card reader for processing credit card or debit card payments like Square.
  3. Download and install Square Point of Sale app from Google Play.
  4. Login to your Square Point of Sale Dashboard on your computer. Create items that you want to sell with their unit price information. You can edit or import the items as well.
  5. Go to the tablet and launch Square application. Sign in to start processing orders.

What are the challenges in building Android-Based POS System

Once the tablet has been configured to run as a POS terminal, you can place it on a stand for easier access and use by the cashier. However, Android is an open platform loaded with multiple apps and distractions. One small mistake by the user can result in the following issues:

  • Square Point of Sale application terminates and goes to background
  • Tablet loses WiFi connectivity
  • Tablet reboots and Square Point of Sale app does not start automatically after boot up
  • Square Point of Sale app may get uninstalled

How to secure Android tablet for maximum efficiency

All the above-mentioned concerns can be attended to by locking down the tablet and ensuring that Square Point of Sale is the only application that the cashier can use on the device.

You can use SureLock for Android to lock down the device into kiosk mode:

  1. Install SureLock from https://www.42gears.com/products/surelock/surelock-android/.
  2. Launch SureLock and go through the initial set-up on-screen instructions.
  3. Tap on SureLock Home Screen five times within three seconds to launch password prompt.
  4. Enter the default password of 0000 (4 zeros). You can later change it using Change Password option in SureLock Settings.
  5. On Admin Settings screen, tap Allowed Applications.
  6. On the Allowed Applications screen, tap Add App.
  7. Select Square app from the list of applications and tap Done.

This will take you to the SureLock Home Screen where only Square icon will be visible.

You can customize the wallpaper on SureLock Home Screen with your business brand:

  1. On the Admin Settings screen, tap SureLock Settings.
  2. On the SureLock Settings screen, tap Wallpaper.
  3. On the Wallpaper Settings screen, select from Landscape Wallpaper or Portrait Wallpaper.
  4. Browse and select the desired wallpaper and tap OK.

What more can you do?

Android App Store has tonnes of incredible applications valuable to businesses. Apart from Square Point of Sale app, few other complimentary applications can be used on the same device e.g. you can setup customer feedback or loyalty management app on the POS tablet so that at end of every transaction, customer can submit his feedback.

To try SureLock for free, click here.

Updated on July 16, 2020

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