One of the most important components of an electronic point of sale (EPoS) system in your business is the receipt printer.
Retail shops and leisure facilities use them to print the legally required credit card slips and customer receipts. They are also used by restaurants to print off orders in the kitchen or at the bar.
There are three main options of receipt printers – Thermal printers (the most popular), Dot matrix printers, and Inkjet printers. Read on to find our which type could suit you best…..
Thermal printers are generally the most expensive, but they are definitely the most popular due to their better quality of print, superior print speed, and quieter printing.
Direct contact between the thermal head (which generates heat) on the printer and a special thermal paper (thermally coated to be sensitive to heat) creates the print.
As a consequence thermal printers do not require ink or toner cartridges.
The latest thermal receipt printers have multi-coloured thermal printing, and double-sided printing, a valuable application for commercial marketing. These add value to your till receipts immediately with graphics, images and logos that display fine colour shading and much of the charm of black-and-white photos.
Depending on the specification, thermal printers are typically priced between £100 and £400.
Impact or Dot matrix printers
Impact printers are one the oldest, and simplest, printing technologies still in active production, and generally, the low cost option. They are very reliable and have low operating costs limited to the replacing of paper and ribbons. Dot matrix printers have tiny pins mounted on the print head which forms the print image by pressing an ink ribbon against the paper. Generally, the more pins there are, the clearer the characters are on the paper. Typically they print at 100 – 600 characters per second. They can often print in two colours, black and red, and are capable of printing graphics.
Dot matrix receipt printers are best suited to the hot and humid environment of a restaurant kitchen does not affect the paper roll as it does with thermal printers.
Again depending on the specification, Dot matrix printers are typically priced from £150 to £300.
Ink jet printers have print heads that shoot tiny droplets of liquid ink onto the paper. They are worth considering if you want high quality, colour logos, or coupons printed on your receipts, but beware; the cost of replacing ink cartridges is substantial.
- Before purchasing a receipt printer, check with your POS software supplier that the printer will be compatible with your POS software. They usually are, but it is good practice to check.
- There are typically three types of interface connections available between the printer and your EPoS terminal – USB, Ethernet, and Serial. Always give some consideration as to what types of connection ports, and how many, are available on your terminal. Don’t forget that you may also want to connect other peripherals such as a barcode scanner.
- You will need to make sure the receipt printer is compatible with a cash drawer if you wish to use one with it.
- If you intend to print logos, etc., then be certain to choose a printer with a high print resolution (DPI).
- There is a huge difference between printing speeds of 100 – 600 characters per second. A busy ticketing booth such as a cinema would certainly want to choose a printer at the faster end of the scale in order to process queues quickly.
- Does the printer use a tear bar or auto cutter to cut the paper? Depending on your type of business, you may find that an auto paper cutter will be worth a little extra cost for the added convenience it provides.
- Changing paper rolls should always be a fast and easy process. The last thing you want is for your customers to be kept waiting while till staff fumble around replacing a paper roll, this definitely leads to lost sales.
- Your budget is always an important factor. Instead of skimping on your spend, it is always good practice to invest wisely and accommodate your future technological needs as well as your present ones.
- Think environmentally! Many receipt printer manufacturers now make a big effort to implement energy saving technology. Similarly, environmentally friendly till rolls are widely available. Both of these factors can result in significant savings for you over time.
Carefully considering all of the above points will go a long way to helping you make the right decision for your business.
You can Freephone RMS today on 0800 138 0050 or complete our on-line enquiry form to speak with one of our dedicated team. Either way, we look forward to helping you with the EPoS needs of your growing business.
You can also follow RMS on Social Media for all the latest information on the benefits, features and great deals on EPoS Hardware.