Cash registers are devices that are used by businesses for cash transactions and other types of transactions. The earliest cash registers were more like totaling machines or calculators. These systems had a device that would ring every time the cashier clicked the totaling button. These registers were equipped with a safety device, which enabled the cash drawer to be opened only when a sale was recorded. The only other way the cash drawer could be opened was with a key, which was often kept by the shop owner only.
The cash registers today are built to scan bar codes or universal product codes and this makes it possible to retrieve prices from a central database. They are often connected to computers that record cash transactions and automatically calculate tax. Other common functions of a cash register are recording sales, calculating discounts and inventory control.
In smaller retail establishments, shop owners or managers often manually total and count out all the registers in their store. This is not possible in larger establishments, like supermarkets. Larger establishments are often equipped with a point-of-sale system. The multiple electronic cash registers connected to a central processing unit. All transactions are recorded here, allowing for an easier end of day process.
The most basic components of a simple cash register are the customer and operator displays, the keyboard, the printer for printing receipts and the internal memory of the machine. The choice of a cash register system depends on the size of the establishment and the volume of business.