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  5. How to build your own Android point-of-sale (POS) system

How to build your own Android point-of-sale (POS) system

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 access it with a credit card reader for mobile devices (like Square or PayPal Here) and a Bluetooth or USB printer to set up a full-blown POS system.


The purpose of this knowledge article is to provide a guide on how to build your own Android point-of-sale (POS) system.




Step 1:  To build an Android-Based POS System

For setting up an Android POS using the Square POS application, please follow the steps.

  1. Get an off-the-shelf Android tablet with a 7” or 10” screen size. The Samsung Galaxy Tab series or the 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 the Square Point of Sale app on Google Play.
  4. Login to your Square Point of Sale dashboard on your computer. Create items that you want to sell with unit price information. You can edit or import the items as well.
  5. Go to the tablet and launch the Square application. Sign in to start processing orders.

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:

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

Step 2: To secure an Android tablet for maximum efficiency

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

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

This will take you to the SureLock home screen, where only the square icon will be visible.

You can customize the wallpaper on the 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 Landscape Wallpaper or Portrait Wallpaper.
  4. Browse and select the desired wallpaper, then tap OK.

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Updated on November 2023