What are cash drawers?

Cash drawers are still the place where cash, checks, and change are stored in a retail or service environment, but unlike old fashioned cash registers, today's cash drawers are electronically linked to your POS system. The "till" which divides up the bills and coins can still be removed but the operation of the drawer itself is tied to the functions of the system. Cash drawers are usually purchased as a peripheral plug-in device to your POS system since not all establishments need them, but in some cases they are built-in to the POS hardware solution.

Common interfaces for a peripheral cash drawer are a serial or parallel interface, either dedicated or "intelligent", a printer interface (which shares the operation of the drawer with the printing of a receipt), or a USB interface. Cash drawers have a lock mechanism that typically have three positions manual operation, electronic operation, or locked.

A good cash drawer should be all steel construction and should be able to withstand extremes of heat, cold or humidity.

The next section details some of the configurable options that exist with the purchase of a cash drawer

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