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Choosing an Epos cash drawer

Despite the development of electronic payments, cash is still massively used for consumer transactions, especially in the hospitality and catering business sectors. Cash drawers are therefore still an essential part of any point of sale hardware equipment. And yes, this is also true for electronic point of sale (Epos) systems. Choosing the right Epos cash drawer is not as straightforward as some might think.

 Epos cash drawer

Epos cash drawer pricing and categories

Cash drawers may be grouped into several categories depending on scale of usage, power management and connectivity type. These three basic specifications will have the biggest impact on pricing.

Main cash drawer families

Epos cash drawers differ according to how they are powered, and how many operations they can handle in a given period of time:

- Cash drawers can be either manual or need electric power to operate. The latter can either be powered through the computer’s USB port or through a dedicated AC power outlet.

- Standard-duty Epos electronic cash drawers should be able to withstand at least one million transactions (open/close drawer) in their “lifespan”, manual ones about 300,000. Heavy-duty cash drawers are built to last millions of cycles.

Connectivity types

Electronic cash drawers can be connected to the Epos system using several types of connections:

- Wired cash drawers will be connected through USB or Ethernet;

- Wireless cash drawers allowing mobile operations will be connected through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Epos cash drawer prices

Based on the above classifications, Epos cash drawers may cost as little as:

- £100 for manual cash drawers;

- £150 for electronic, standard-duty cash drawers;

- £300 for wireless cash drawers.


Main features and points to watch

Apart from these basic considerations, discriminating features of Epos cash drawers include space, quality, compatibility and security.


Cash drawers sit on counters, and counters are usually quite cramped places where much equipment needs to be placed. Sometimes the drawer will sit on top of the counter, sometimes it will be mounted below. Therefore, businesses should really be careful about how much space the cash drawer they’ll choose will take up, especially when it is open.


The quality of an Epos cash drawer can be evaluated based on the following criteria:

- Reliability;

- Number of cycles supported;

- Number of years covered by the warranty;

- Components such as steel ball bearing slides, latch mechanisms.


Once again, an Epos system has to be considered as a package, which includes many parts. With so many models and manufacturers for every part of this package, prospective buyers should really check whether the Epos cash drawer they are considering to buy is actually compatible with their Epos terminal, Pos printer, Epos software, etc.


The handling of cash always brings up many security concerns. Therefore, several aspects of a cash drawer will require further attention:

- Does the cash drawer open automatically upon any transaction requiring a receipt or just when a cash transaction is involved?

- Can transactions be conducted with the tray opened?

- Does the cash drawer include manual or automatic drawer locks, locking tills, hidden locked compartments?


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