Cash register

Cash register

A cash register is a mechanical or electronic device for calculating and recording sales transactions, and an attached cash drawer for storing currency. The cash register also usually prints a receipt for the customer.

In most cases the drawer can be opened only after a sale, except when using a special key, which only senior personnel or the owner has. This reduces the risk of personnel stealing from the shop owner by not recording a sale and pocketing the money, in the case that the customer does not require a receipt and has to be given change (cash is more easily checked against recorded sales than inventory). In fact, cash registers were first invented for the purpose of eliminating employee theft or embezzlement. The first registers were entirely mechanical, without receipts. The employee was required to ring up every transaction on the register, and when the total key was pushed, the drawer opened and a bell would ring, alerting the manager to a sale taking place. Those original machines were nothing but simple adding machines. Some cash registers include a key labeled "NS" (most of the time silver in color), which is abbreviated for "No Sale", and opens the drawer, printing out a receipt stating "No Sale" and recording it in the register log that the register was opened. Some other cash registers require a numeric password to be entered when attempting to open the register. In the event of a power shortage, some models have latches that can be pulled to open the drawer.

A cash register receipt may be compulsory for tax purposes. The law sometimes also requires customers to collect the receipt and keep it at least for a short while after leaving the shop,Fact|date=June 2007 again for checking that the shop records sales, so that it cannot evade taxes.

Often cash registers are attached to scales, barcode scanners, checkstands, and debit card or credit card terminals. Increasingly, dedicated cash registers are being replaced with general purpose computers with POS software.

Today, these machines scan the barcode (usually EAN or Universal Product Code (UPC)) for each item, retrieve the price from a database, calculate deductions for items on sale, calculate the tax, calculate differential rates for preferred customers, time and date stamp the transaction, record the transaction in detail including each item purchased, record the method of payment, keep totals for each product or type of product sold as well as total sales for specified periods, and do other tasks as well.

Currently, many cash registers are individual computers. They may be DOS, Windows or Unix based. Many of them have touch screens. They may be connected to computerized Point of sale networks using any type of protocol. Such systems may be accessed remotely for the purpose of obtaining records or troubleshooting.

Cash register manufacturers include Casio, NCR, IBM, Panasonic, Wincor-Nixdorf, Uniwell, Sharp, Crisalid and Toshiba TEC Corporation.

Self checkout

Some supermarkets have introduced self-checkout machines, where the customer is trusted to scan the barcodes (or manually identify uncoded items like fruit), and place the items into a bagging area. The bag is weighed, and the machine halts the checkout when the weight of something in the bag doesn't match the weight in the inventory database. Normally, an employee is watching over several such checkouts to prevent theft or exploitation of the machines' weaknesses (e.g, intentional misidentification of expensive produce or dry goods). Payment on these machines is accepted by debit card/credit card, or cash via coinslot and bank note scanner.

Many retailers and restaurants have used the OSSI ( self-checkout system to create customized point-of-sale and self-checkout systems. Self-checkout is a way of increasing productivity and customer support by servicing more people during peak times.


The first cash register was invented by James Ritty following the American Civil War. He was the owner of a saloon in Dayton, Ohio, USA, and wanted to stop employees from pilfering his profits. He invented the Ritty Model I [] in 1879 after seeing a tool that counted the revolutions of the propeller on a steamship. With the help of John Ritty, his brother, he patented it in 1883. [ [ Inventor of the cash register] ]

Shortly thereafter, Ritty became overwhelmed with the responsibilities of running two businesses, so he sold all of his interests in the cash register business to Jacob H. Eckert of Cincinnati, a china and glassware salesman, who formed the National Manufacturing Company. In 1884 Eckert sold the company to John H. Patterson, who renamed the company the National Cash Register Company. John Patterson improved the cash register by adding a paper roll to record sales transactions, thereby creating the receipt.

In 1906, while working at the National Cash Register company, inventor Charles F. Kettering designed a cash register with an electric motor.

In the UK the term 'till' is used which describes a small compartment or shelf inside a larger blanket or other form of chest, used to segregate small items. []


[ Point of Sale and Accounting System can be installed in every Cash Register Machine. For more detail and step by step of transaction process, please visit]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cash register — ˈcash ˌregister noun [countable] a machine used in shops, restaurants etc to keep money in and record the amount of money received from each sale; = TILL * * * cash register UK US noun [C] (US also register) ► COMMERCE a machine in a store or… …   Financial and business terms

  • Cash register — A device for recording the amount of cash received, usually having an automatic adding machine and a money drawer and exhibiting the amount of the sale. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cash register — cash registers N COUNT A cash register is a machine in a shop, pub, or restaurant that is used to add up and record how much money people pay, and in which the money is kept. Syn: till …   English dictionary

  • cash register — ☆ cash register n. a business machine, usually with a money drawer, used to register visibly the amount of each sale: receipts may be recorded and totaled on tapes …   English World dictionary

  • cash register — cash .register n a machine used in shops to keep the money in and record the amount of money received from each sale British Equivalent: till …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cash register — cash ,register noun count a machine with containers for holding bills and coins that shows customers in stores how much they have to pay …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cash register — ► NOUN ▪ a machine used in shops for totalling and recording the amount of each sale and storing the money received …   English terms dictionary

  • cash register — (AmE also register) noun ⇨ See also ↑till ADJECTIVE ▪ computerized, electronic VERB + CASH REGISTER ▪ open ▪ work ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • cash register — a business machine that indicates to customers the amounts of individual sales, has a money drawer from which to make change, records and totals receipts, and may automatically calculate the change due. Also called sales register. [1875 80,… …   Universalium

  • cash register — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms cash register : singular cash register plural cash registers a machine with containers for holding notes and coins that shows customers in shops how much they have to pay …   English dictionary

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