EPOS and Payment Processing Specialist | Haven Systems Haven Systems in an established software development house specialising in Electronic Point of Sale, Payment Processing and Management Information Systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Specialist in EPOS and payment processing for more than 30 years!

What is an EPOS system?

EPOS is an acronym for Electronic Point of Sale. It is a modern till system using the latest touchscreen hardware and software architecture to process sales, manage inventory and report on sales activity.

How does an EPOS system work?

EPOS systems use databases, they store individual products typically called PLUs (Price Lookup) or SKUs (stock keeping unit) along with all the associated information such as sell price, buy price, type of unit (e.g. millilitre, Litre etc). All transactions at the till point are captured and stored within the system for audit and sales analysis.

What are the key features of an EPOS system?

Typically, an EPOS System includes a touch screen till, thermal receipt printer, customer display, cash drawer and an integrated Chip & PIN device.  Operators can select products or sales from the sales screen menu options or via a search function or barcode scan.

What are the benefits of using an EPOS system?

Using an EPOS system offers several benefits, including improved efficiency in processing sales, accurate inventory management, real-time reporting and analytics, streamlined business operations, enhanced customer service, simplified staff management, and the ability to make data-driven business decisions

Can an EPOS system be used in different types of businesses?

Yes. EPOS systems can be configured for diverse types of business operations, for example, EPOS for the Education sector, EPOS for Hospitality, EPOS for Visitor Attractions and for the Tourism market. Typical variations include, barcode scanning for retail operations, cloud tickets for visitor attractions and tourism and table service functionality for Hospitality.

Can an EPOS system handle multiple payment methods?

Yes, your EPOS System will handle multiple payment methods. Typically this is credit and debit card payments processed in a contactless manor or by using Chip & PIN. Other Payment Options include ‘cashless’, using for example HavenPay and of course CASH if accepted. It is important that split payments are accepted so that a customer can tender two different forms of payment if required.

What hardware is required for an EPOS system?

Typically, EPOS hardware includes a fully integrated touch screen terminal running a Windows Operating System along with a thermal receipt printer and a where required, a barcode scanner. A fully integrated Chip & PIN device is the standard method of payment; however, Cashless EPOS accounts may be enabled and require a MiFare card reader. Standard or flip top Cash Drawers are optional items. 

Can an EPOS system integrate with other business systems?

Yes, integration with other business systems is commonplace. This may include integration with a 3rd party finance or MIS (Management Information System), especially in the FE college and university market sectors where integration with student print applications is also a requirement. In some cases, a direct link with a sports management system, or transferring data into a recipe management can be enormously beneficial to an operation. 

Does an EPOS system provide reporting and analytics?

Comprehensive EPOS Systems include a full suite of reports that are accessible to authorised users. User access control means that administrators have access to their own information only whether that be a single department, multiple or all departments. Reports are generated using from/to date range and selecting filters to tailor reports. Once created, reports may be exported in various formats including Excel, CSV, PDF, RTF, Text, Image.

Analytics allows users to create, save and refresh their own report view. This includes visual reports whereby users can select their date to be displayed in various chart formats.

Can an EPOS system be used for inventory management?

Order and Delivery processing is a key component of a fully integrated EPOS system.

The ‘end to end’ process of creating an order, selecting a nominated supplier, selecting products and quantities, and accepting deliveries are central to the system. As a step-by-step process, the functionality should include;

 Setting up a Supplier

A user may configure an existing system product (PLU) as a stock item, users need to create a supplier within the system to associate a PLU with.

Adding an Existing Stock Item to a Supplier in Supplier Details

Once a supplier has been created, users can assign sales PLUs (if they already exist and are set as a Stock Item) to an associated supplier. This can be used to speed up the setup of a new supplier for existing products.

 Setup a PLU as a Stock Item

At the point users create a new PLU in the back-office system, they can also set the product up as a stock item at the same time.

 Setup a PLU as Part of a Recipe

If you wish to use a recipe for stock control of the items used in a meal, for instance, you first need to create PLUs for all the items that are contained in the recipe. Users then follow the steps within the system to create a recipe for a beef burger meal, which will include the bun, lettuce, burger & chips.

Manually Amend Stock Levels

Authorised users may manually amend stock levels within the back-office application.

Creating a Supplier Order

Once a user has created a supplier, they are then able to select products and associate with a supplier to create a Sales Order.

Receiving a Supplier Order

Once an order is received and confirmed as complete (or part complete) users “receive” the order within the Stock system to update the stock quantities in near real time.

Returning Items to a Supplier

Users may create a return within the EPOS system, once completed as returned, the stock levels are updated in near real time.

Transferring Stock between a Central Location and an Outlet

If operating Stock Control from a “Central location” with outlet specific outlets, then users may transfer stock from the central location for the outlet to hold its own stock levels.

Is it possible to customise an EPOS system to meet specific business needs?

Elements of customisation to suit specific business needs are key when it comes to the pre-configuration of any EPOS installation. This includes, for example, various payment methods, integration with PCI-compliant Chip & PIN devices that are P2PE compliant and integration with Self Ordering applications and if Table Service, Click & Collect or Delivery is required functionality.

The look and feel of a hospitality self-order application should be branded with a bespoke image and corporate logos in the page header. Alongside the header screen, the app has options to display site details such as opening times, location, food hygiene rating and, for example, contact details. Different outlets are named as individual sub-outlets in a way that allows the Coffee Shop and Restaurant to operate with their own images, menus, and parameters.

How secure is an EPOS system in terms of data protection?

Data is securely hosted and secured to the highest level to ensure user privacy and compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, a set of EU rules on data protection and privacy) It is essential that the EPOS System provider adhere to the policy and detail how personal data is collected, handled and stored to comply with the law. 

Can an EPOS system track customer data and facilitate loyalty programs?

Yes, when a customer who uses the Vine app creates an account and signs in to access digital rewards and loyalty points, or when a user has a ‘Cashless Account’ and completes a cashless transaction, then their transaction behaviours are tracked. 

What kind of customer support is available for EPOS system users?

A comprehensive SLA (Service Level Agreement) covers all aspects of hardware and software support. This includes, for example, how to raise a support call and what the response times will be. Typically, all hardware such as the Touch Screen EPOS till, thermal receipt printer, barcode scanner and any other associated peripherals and software services provided are details in the SLA. 

How long does it take to set up an EPOS system?

Typically, it will take 1 to 3 weeks to pre-configure your EPOS System. Variables depend on Chip & PIN requirements and merchant service providers that require an application process.

Can an EPOS system operate offline?

In the case of a network outage, the EPOS solution should continue to operate in an offline mode. Sales accrue locally and are synchronised with the main database once the network is restored.

What level of support can I expect with my EPOS system?

Haven Systems Technical Support is available to all customers who have purchased a system from Haven Systems, it can encompass hardware only, software only or, more typically both hardware and software.

There are three levels of Technical Support, Economy, Comprehensive and Premium, all support packages provide the same support, however the helpdesk availability and response times differ depending on your chosen level of support. Technical support covers all elements of your Haven Systems solution. This includes rectifying hardware faults, repairing software faults (this does not cover modifications to the software to enhance the system features above and beyond the original demonstrated system) and offering support to the system users.

Hardware Faults We will endeavour to repair any faulty hardware unit on site, but in the event that it is beyond repair we will replace it with an identical or similar unit to ensure the customer remains trading.

Software faults will be reported to the Helpdesk who work together with the programmers to rectify all faults. Fault repairing is first attempted over the telephone, if required the helpdesk can dial in to your system via the telephone or a VPN link, finally, as a final resort an engineer will travel to site to repair the fault. Fault escalation procedures are detailed below. Support levels All calls are graded according to the severity of the fault, the grades are as follows:

  1. Priority – System down, customer cannot trade
  2. High – Problem with system, but customer can still trade
  3. Low – Queries with system, but customer still fully operational
How can I arrange an EPOS demo?

EPOS demos can be delivered either on site, or online.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and to schedule a demonstration.

What are the advantages of bespoke cashless catering solutions for the education sector?

As a software developer, we can tailor our solution to meet your specific requirements for use in schools, colleges and universities. For example, we can import student data from your MIS (management information system), this may include bursary funding for individual students.

Will staff members receive training?

Haven Systems provide on-site training as mutually agreed within the plan. We adopt a ‘train the trainer’ approach with ongoing support and assistance from our highly experienced helpdesk team.
 Typically, we break training into sessions that may include, for example:
 • 1 hour training session for EPOS users (up to 10 maximum users per session)
 • 3 hour training sessions for Super Users (up to 6 users per session)

Will I have training, and does it cost extra?

Training is typically a part of the installation project plan and included in the implementation cost.

How is my training delivered?

Training is normally carried out on-site; however, we will run a series of training Webinars that individual users can join live or review videos later.

What is the lead time for an EPOS System?

This really depends on your specific requirements, but usually it takes one to two weeks to pre-configure your system and arrange a convenient installation date

Can EPOS be integrated with Chip & PIN card devices?

Yes, we have EPOS integrations with a number of partners and are able provide complete solutions including PED’s (pin entry devices) as well as merchant services.

How do staff users log in to the EPOS System?

We can offer multiple options for staff users to log in to the EPOS terminals. This includes magnetic cards, MiFare cards, PIN numbers and fingerprint recognition. Barcode Identification is also an option.

PIN numbers are simple and fast to use, but there may be a tendency to share a PIN number, whereas using  MiFare media is already accepted by users as a secure method of identification.

Using existing MiFare cards is secure and fits with the requirement for sustainability.

What is the expectation in terms of on-site network connectivity?

The solution operates across a standard TCP/IP network with connectivity to the Haven Systems solution servers, ideally over a LAN connection.

How is the system delivered and installed?

Our highly experienced in-house technical team take care of the process from end to end, including, system pre-configuration, on-site installation and training.

What if I already have an EPOS hardware with a different company, will this be OK?

We are not restricted to any single hardware provider. It is possible, depending on the hardware platform, that we can run Haven Systems EPOS software on your existing hardware platform. Please contact us to discuss.

How are firmware and software upgrades deployed?

Any updates deployed by Haven Systems are only implemented after consultation with our client. Firmware updates are generally applied for specific purposes; our software update cycle aims to deploy one major release per year with intermediate releases/bug fixes on a quarterly cycle.

Schedules and processes for Operating System updates are discussed with clients to align with corporate policies, whether that be automated installation or deployment through a push.

What is meant by a ‘Cashless’ EPOS System?

Our EPOS Systems included Cashless functionality so that users, typically Students or Staff can pay full or part balances using their pre-paid account balance or bursary funding. The transaction process is seamless and Cashless transactions may be carried out at all or specified tills to suit the operation.

 

Cashless payment processing operates perfectly well alongside cash and card transactions.

    Request a demo 

    • We will discuss your EPOS and Payment requirements with you and ensure that we provide a demo tailored to your business needs. 
    • Software demonstrations may be online, or depending on your requirements, we are happy to visit you. 
    • Visiting your business premises means that we can also offer expert advice on system layout and implementation. 
    • Our approach is highly consultative – it’s about what is the best solution for your business.