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The POS has evolved from cash register into a data storage device.

The POS has evolved from cash register into a data storage device.

The most important key to understanding how to get your company up to compliance with PCI DSSv2.0 is to understand the role of the Point of Sales (POS) system.

If your company’s POS becomes compromised, you  risk putting your loyal customers’ personal data in the hands of crooks.

The History of POS

Point of Sales systems have been around since the late 19th Century. The early incarnations were little more than basic cash registers until the 1970s, when registers became computer-driven.

• 1879 — While on a steamboat trip to Europe, James Ritty became fascinated by a device that kept track of the boat’s propeller revolutions.

Once back from his trip, he set out with his brother, John, to create a similar device that could be used to record cash transactions at his Dayton, Ohio saloon. Patented as “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier,” the first POS was born.

•  1970s — This decade saw the rise of computer-driven cash registers. Essentially, these were mainframe computers that monitored a set of chosen registers.