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Receipt Printers and how to select

Receipt Printers form an integral part of any Point-of-Sale (POS) solution.  Issuing a receipt is mandated by law.  The receipt issued acknowledges the purchase and also can be a good marketing tool in making promoting sales.

There are three types of receipt printers :

  • Dot Matrix Printers – They are also known as Impact Printers. These printers are used for retention and printing copies using multi-part paper. They are slow and require replacement of ink cartridge.
  • Thermal Printers – These printers are known for the speed and high quality printing. They score low in retention value as the print fades off due to exposure to the elements. It is advised that a remark be introduced at the end of printing stating “Please take a photocopy of the invoice  for record”
  • Inkjet Printers - These printers can be used for making multiple copies and generally used for high value transaction.

While considering a receipt printer following should be considered:

  • It should be compatible with the POS solution and the operating systems such as iOS, Android and Windows.
  • It should be compatible with the POS hardware. Most PC interface support USB Serial Port, RS-232 Serial Port and Parallel Port. Ensure the required port is available for use.
  • Check if the printer needs to be compatible with the LAN / Wi-fi environment to build in redundancy if required. For Mobile POS solution a blue tooth printer can also be considered which allows the printing within a range of 30 feet on pairing of devices. There are portable printers available which work on LAN/ Wi-Fi and blue tooth environment
  • The configuration should be simple and can support certain amount of customization. The format of the receipt should be designed in such a way that it is legible and make the optimum use of paper and consumable. Promotion, information on points earned and general messages can be added to connect to the customers better and use it a marketing tool.
  • If a copy of the receipt is to be retained in hard copy format. In such case it is best to opt for a Dot Matrix Printer.
  • Check for size of receipt, speed, cost of paper and ink, printer resolution, colour and font requirement.
  • Ease of use while changing the paper roll or replacing the ink cartridge/ tonner.
  • Need for paper cutter – auto cutter or tear bar.
  • Check for compactness, reliability, ruggedness, space utilization / placement at the counter that would make it less obstructive to operation and avoid the clutter of cables.
  • Support from the vendor should be ensured. Ensure that the printer would be supported by the vendor and is not nearing end-of-life from the manufacturer. If imported then the local support should be available.
  • In addition to printing a receipt on a receipt printer it would also be advisable to email a copy of the receipt to the customer or SMS the receipt. This would go long way in enhancing the customer experience