A point-of-sale (POS) system is a computerized replacement for a cash register. This system has the ability to record and process customer orders, process credit and debit card swipes, and manage inventory. Generally, a POS system has a personal computer as its core which is provided with specialized I/O devices and application specific programs. At the POS, merchants calculate the amount of purchase by the customers and prepare invoices. It is the point where customers make payments for the goods they have purchased. After the payment is completed, customers are issued printed receipts of the transaction. A wide variety of tools such as cash registers, barcode scanners, and electronic card readers are used by retailers to process POS transactions. The POS market requires long lasting keyboard solutions, which occupy minimum space and go beyond traditional PC keyboards. POS keyboards are specialized to meet the requirements of POS systems.
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To maximize functionality, these keyboards have specialized buttons, programmable keys, embedded credit card swipe readers, smart card readers, MICR check readers, biometric (fingerprint scanner) security, and other devices. Various design considerations such as the features to integrate, keyboard reliability, key top design, key programming, and ergonomics are considered while designing POS keyboards. Space is at a premium in POS environment, and this mandates POS keyboards to be compact in size. To allow easy recognition of visual features, these keyboards are customized with color keycaps, which reduces transaction time and helps in training new employees. The keyboards are ruggedized according to the requirements of the retail environment.
The advancements in technology have resulted in the growth in demand for POS terminal solutions. Increasing adoption of credit and debit cards in transactions is further fueling the demand for POS terminals, which is in turn driving the POS keyboard market. The ease of use and high return on investment associated with POS terminals has increased their demand across various industries such as retail, distribution, healthcare, and hospitality. The global retail sector has witnessed significant growth in the past few years. POS terminals enable faster bill processing, maintaining customer database, inventory management, and managing loyalty program of retail stores. These features have led to the widespread adoption of POS terminals in the retail sector and has significantly contributed to the growth of the POS keyboard market. The increasing adoption of these terminals in warehouse management is further expected to drive the POS keyboard market. However, data security concerns and probability of card data breaches pose significant challenges in the growth of this market.
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The POS keyboard market can be categorized on the basis of keyboard type and geography. Based on keyboard type, the market can be further categorized into QWERTY and matrix types. Based on geography, the market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). North America is a major market for POS keyboards due the significant growth of retail stores and quick service restaurants. Similarly, Europe is witnessing high adoption of POS keyboards due to technological advancements, growth in the retail sector and significant investments in healthcare segment.
The major players in the POS keyboards market include Cherry, Active Key GmbH & Co. KG, Access Ltd., Fentek Industries, Inc., Unitech Electronics Co., Ltd., and BlueStar
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