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In a Digital World, Here Are Two Reasons Why Printed Receipts Are Still in Use

By Mina Lee

For many years, receipt printing has been my area of POS expertise, and I’m often asked why the receipt printer is in use, considering the many advances in POS. After all, the electronic receipt on mobile devices has been around for more than 15 years. So, why is the receipt printer still a major part of the POS technology ecosystem?  Let’s take a look.

Point of sale (POS) technology is changing faster than ever.  I remember when the mobile POS (mPOS) revolution amazed the industry back in the early 2010s. During that time, the move of legacy POS to mobile devices, and tablet-based payment platforms exceeded the expectations of every POS end-user, reseller and manufacturer.

Traditionally, the progression of POS technology lags anywhere from five to seven years behind consumer technology. That has changed with the introduction of advanced mobile devices and payment methods. Now, the rate of mPOS-related technology usage by either enterprise or mom-and-pop businesses is truly moving at warp speed.

In this new decade, POS technology transformation is even more fascinating. From artificial intelligence and virtual shopping to cryptocurrency and blockchain, POS technology is more seamless than ever. It leverages big data and is connected to the payment ecosystem from the global perspective, beyond regional borders. The options for shopping and paying are more advanced than ever.


1. Printing a receipt is still the fastest way to get consumers in and out. A printed receipt is by far the quickest way to conclude transactions. Most POS printers perform at high speed and interact with POS systems seamlessly. This allows for fast transactions and minimizing checkout time.  Asking consumers to enter email addresses during busy times to get electronic receipts can be inconvenient and annoying.

2. Some populations don’t have access to mobile technology. You may find it hard to believe that even with the popularity and high-profile of mobile phones, there are still nearly 20% of Americans that have no access to mobile devices, according to Pew Research Center, June 2019. It’s likely that these people are still using cash as their main payment method, which means they are unable to use mobile payments or receive e-receipts. For them, physical receipts are still needed.

Just like cash and other legacy POS technologies, the receipt printer is still needed and required in many situations and applications. It remains one of the best ways to show proof of purchase.  In addition to printing receipts, there are many other ways to innovate the printer itself to be a part of the POS technology revolution.  This is exciting and I look forward to seeing receipt printers continue to serve industries for years to come.

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