After the internet was born, that's when software/applications began to run online. Before that, it was all dark. Everything used to happen offline.

Similarly, the current POS system software also originated from an offline system, using a local server to the internet.

Today, if you ask anyone to choose between an online system and an offline system, most people would go with the first option. That makes a lot of sense as an online POS system is fast, convenient, and easy to use.

But does that mean that an offline system is useless? No! On the contrary, an offline system is far more advantageous than you can imagine.

You are probably wondering how.

In this article, you will discover everything that you need to know about an offline swipe machine.

What is an Offline Swipe Machine?

An offline swipe machine is a POS system used in your business location, and its data stored in your local systems and servers. It has no connections externally, meaning it can only work inside your store and not anywhere else. If you manage multiple stores, you would have to install an offline POS system in each location. A perfect example of an offline swipe machine is the Plutus card payment solution.

What Do You Need to Set Up an Offline POS System? 

To set up an Offline POS system, you will need: 

POS Terminal

The POS terminal is typically a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, and any other mobile point of sale devices, with a touchscreen that will allow merchants and customers to complete transactions. Place the terminal in a central point like a high stand for convenience.

Customer Screen

The customer screen works to display order information to shoppers, I.e., the orders, discounts, loyalty program, and tax information at checkout point. The purpose of a customer screen is to improve the buyer experience.

The Credit Card Reader

The credit card reader is for processing credit and debit card payments. There are two options here:

  1. A simple credit card reader for accepting swiped payments only, or
  2. A versatile credit card reader, such as Pine Labs Plutus card payment processor that accepts various payments. That includes chip-card, swiped, contactless mobile transactions, etc.

Cash Drawer

A cash drawer is for storing cash.

Receipt Printer

A receipt printer is for printing receipts.

Barcode Scanner

Barcode scanners are for selling barcoded products in a retail store. They help capture items into the system. They also help eliminate mistyping errors during transactions. Like receipt printers and cash drawers, barcode scanners connect to the  mobile point of sale devices or the POS terminal via USB or wirelessly.

When to Use Offline Swipe Machine

Whether planned or unexpected, there are several instances where you might need to use your POS system offline. The most common case scenarios are: 

When you have Poor Internet Connection

Poor internet connections or interruptions are a retailers' worst nightmare. They are the number one reason why you might need to use your POS system in offline mode.

When your Business is Mobile

Having business operations in multiple locations is a common scenario in the field service industry. For example, HVAC technicians, utility technicians, delivery drivers, plumbers, etc., have to take payments in several different locations, usually at a site, office building, or the customers' house, where there is no Wi-Fi connection.

When Your Business Does Not Operate in a Physical Building

When your business does not operate in a brick-and-mortar building, you might need to use your POS system in offline mode to accept card payments. Examples include; if your business involves:


  • Selling at craft fairs
  • Attending farmers markets
  • Run a pop-up shop


Advantages of Using an Offline Swipe Machine

There several advantages of using an offline POS system:

It is Fast

Transactions through an offline POS system are much faster because all data is offline.

Poor Internet Connection Not an Issue Anymore

Another advantage of using an offline swipe machine is that your business operations continue as usual with or without an internet connection. You do not have to worry about disappointing customers due to internet connectivity issues, which can harm your business reputation. The best part about it is that your data will automatically synchronize once the connection is back.


While online POS systems may seem like a better choice, they can often be very frustrating, especially where poor internet connectivity is involved. However, those are issues you need not worrying about using an offline swipe machine.