Our friends at Lavu have a great blog posting on the history of Point of Sale devices. A fuller history can be found here.
It all started in January 30th 1883 when James Ritty patenting his device, which he called “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.”. The purpose of the device was to help employee accountability during the Point of Sale using a ringing sound every time the cash drawer was opened.
Yes, the primary purpose of the Point of Sale device for the first century was to deal with staff theft. Today POS have many useful functions to a retail business and loss prevention has somewhat been forgotten, particularly by small retailers. Staff soon worked out the gaps in electronic POS and fraud continues.
An interesting trend with the larger retailers is the introduction of self-service checkouts. The question from Silverstar Analytics: Is the increased loss from customer theft significant lower than the saving from staff costs plus staff theft? If anyone knows, please contact us.
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