A Look at the History of POS


Retriever Merchant Solutions pic

Retriever Merchant Solutions
Image: rmsnpc.com

Headquartered in Munster, Indiana, Retriever Merchant Solutions maintains a client base of more than 30,000 businesses, providing each with top-of-the-line payment-processing services. Over the years, Retriever Merchant Solutions has become well known for its innovative merchant tools, which include point-of-sales (POS) systems.

Modern POS solutions encompass a wide array of features for nearly every business need, from processing payments to tracking inventory. As advanced as these devices are today, they boast a much more humble history that dates back more than 200 years.

Saloon owner James Ritty introduced the earliest POS system, the cash register, in 1879. He took inspiration from machinery that counted propeller revolutions on ships and devised a similar setup to help him monitor his transactions. Ritty’s brother dubbed the invention the “Incorruptible Cashier.”

Over the years, others improved upon his concept by incorporating receipt paper and cash drawers. Charles F. Kettering of National Cash Register (NCR) made great strides by adding electric motors to the machines in 1906. Thanks to these advancements, the cash register became wildly popular among businesses looking to manage their cash flow throughout the first half of the 20th century.

The next biggest improvement to the POS system came in the 1970s, when cash registers began to transform into computerized systems. Over the subsequent decades, POS capabilities evolved to include barcode scanners, touch screens, credit-card readers, and more. In 1986, the very first POS software was designed by Gene Moshel for use in his deli.

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