Selecting a point-of-sale system for your business is about more than what looks cool or is easy to use. Sure, both of those are desirable characteristics, and there are plenty of POS offerings out there that give you both. However, it's also important that you get versatility as well as a system that saves you money rather than costs you a bundle in hidden and excessive fees.

"Retail merchants should always make sure they are receiving the lowest possible processing cost and best terms and conditions before investing in any point-of-sale system," a recent article in Practical eCommerce said. "Many POS-system distributors sell processing services or are getting paid behind the scenes by the provider they recommend. Should you choose their POS system and then later attempt to change providers, the distributor may charge thousands of dollars – if you are able to change at all."

The article raises another very important point. Some POS vendors sell systems that are bundled with their own proprietary software and/or processing services from a partner. When businesses get locked into these options they lose the freedom to choose what best serves their needs down the road.

For these reasons, business owners are learning that credit card processing software that can be used with virtually any POS system and processor or independent service organization is their best bet. This gives them the most versatility and allows changes to be made later on in order to secure the best processing fees.

By using payment processing software that does not place restrictions on the type of POS systems companies can use, or which card processors they are able to work with, entrepreneurs will find that they are better equipped to keep their customers happy while maintaining strong profit margins.