POS System Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer the most commonly asked questions about retail and wholesale point of sale systems.

What is the ideal point of sale system set up for my business?

1) Small Business

Microsoft Surface POS with Back Office PCs

For on-the-go sales and mobile inventory, the Microsoft Surface tablet is a great alternative to your stationary POS terminals. Surface tablets are also reliable and provide ample performance required to run the full Counterpoint POS application, at a reasonable price.

You can access the full Counterpoint back-office using a Windows PC for your inventory management, purchasing, and reporting features.

Add on peripherals like barcode scanners, wireless receipt printers, and EMV card readers for your Surface Mobile POS tablets.

2) Medium Business

Microsoft Surface Tablet with Back Office PCs

The Microsoft Surface tablet is a great fit for medium-size or volume retailers, keeping a small form-factor and providing mobility for your sales team.

Adapt to your customers’ needs with a tablet POS. Check inventory on the fly, assist customers with purchase decisions, and complete transactions — at the counter, on the sales floor, or even curbside.

If your business requires fixed POS workstations too, you can mix-and-match the 15″ NCR POS terminals.

Counterpoint can be configured for mid-size businesses that require advanced features like order management, accounts receivable, and eCommerce integrations.

You can access the back-office features using your Windows PCs for your order management, inventory management, purchasing, and reporting needs.

Add on peripherals like barcode scanners, receipt printers, and EMV card readers for your POS workstations.

3) Large Business

NCR CX5 and CX7 POS Terminal with Back Office PCs

High-volume retailers prefer the NCR CX5 and CX7 touchscreen POS terminals. Smooth performance meets sleek design in our all-in-one POS.

Add mobility with a Surface tablet to check inventory on the fly and assist customers with purchase decisions.

Counterpoint can be configured for omni-channel businesses, wholesale, multi-location stores, multi-warehouses, and online sellers.

Our Zen WMS and mobile inventory app connects your stores, warehouses, products, sales channels, orders and more, streamlining order management.

Access Counterpoint back-office features on your desktop PC for inventory management, purchasing, accounting, and reporting needs.

Add on peripherals like barcode scanners, receipt printers, EMV card readers, and scales for your POS workstations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Point to point encryption, or P2PE, refers to a method of protecting sensitive data that is stored on a company’s servers. P2PE encryption is a highly secure way to store sensitive data such as cardholder data, and is an alternative to data retention. P2PE encryption is based on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption model, which is a way of exchanging data through the use of a public key and a private key. When a customer makes a purchase using P2PE encryption, the information is encrypted using a public key, then sent over the internet to the merchant’s payment processor. The merchant then sends the data to the payment processor company, which stores the information using a private key. TThis way, the information cannot be read while it is in the payment processor’s possession.

Processor Credit Cards

Debit Cards
(PIN Debit)

Gift Cards

EMV Credit

EMV Debit

NCR Payment Solutions X X X X
NCR Merchant Solutions/RBS WorldPay (Lynk) X X X
NCR Merchant Solutions/WorldPay TCMP X X X X X
Chase Paymentech X X X X
First Data North (Cardnet) X X X X X
First Data South (Nabanco) X

TSYS (Vital/VisaNet) X X

Stored Value Systems (SVS)

Elavon (Nova) X

Mercury Payment Systems X X X
Vantiv (Fifth Third Bank) X X

Givex X N/A

When used with a certified magnetic stripe reader (MSR) or payment terminal, NCR Secure Pay and NCR Counterpoint support point-to-point encryption (P2PE) of credit card and debit card data. Point-to-point encryption, also known as end-to-end encryption, ensures that card numbers, expiration dates, and debit card PINs are encrypted at the point of entry (e.g., the card swipe). Because encrypted card data can only be decrypted by NCR Secure Pay, unencrypted card data is never stored or accessible in your Counterpoint environment.

P2PE requires a certified MSR for the encryption of card swipe data or a certified payment terminal for the encryption of card swipes, manually-entered card numbers, and debit card PINs.

The following MSRs and payment terminals will support P2PE with NCR Counterpoint and NCR Secure Pay:

  • MagTek Magnesafe Mini MSR

  • Ingenico iSC250 Payment Terminal

  • Ingenico iSMP4 Payment Terminal

  • Ingenico iPP320 Payment Terminal

  • NCR RealPOS XR7 Point of Sale Terminal with P2PE MSR

Due to the nature of payment and banking technology, payment security, industry compliancy, and device availability by manufact

We take a multi-pronged and layered approach to create a more secure environment (or perimeter) to transmit credit card information. Both perimeter security and safeguarding payment information play a role in creating a secure environment, which include measures such as firewall, antivirus/antimalware software, network segmentation, two-factor authentication, user or group specific permissions to remote access tools.

Tokenization, the process of substituting a sensitive data element with a non-sensitive equivalent (the “token”), is a technique used to protect consumer data. Tokenization replaces sensitive data elements with a random string of characters, in this case, a token. Tokenization is an alternative to encryption which may be used to protect consumer data. Tokenization is a useful tool for businesses looking to adopt PCI DSS compliance, as it allows merchants to store sensitive cardholder information in an insecure environment (outside of the PCI DSS scope) while still allowing them to process transactions in a PCI DSS compliant manner.

Tokenization vs. Encryption

Criteria Tokenization Encryption
PAN data displayed X
Mathematically reversible X
Reduces PCI scope X
Payment flexibility: refunds, chargebacks, recurring payments etc. x
Rotation of keys required X
End-to-end security X
Low-cost per transaction X
Format fits with legacy credit card fields X
Centrally managed X
Established security X

NCR Secure Pay (allows you to securely process credit, debit, and gift cards over the Internet through a variety of supported processors, providing faster and more reliable transactions than dial-up card authorization services. The gateway point-to-point encryption of card data (with optional hardware to be available from NCR), enhances security through the tokenization of credit card numbers, and offers a Web-based settlement interface.

We know how important customer trust and satisfaction is in any business, and in business a lot can go wrong to diminish both. One surefire way is to not take the necessary proactive measures to protect your customer’s information, which we have seen time and time again when hackers and malicious users steal card information.

From a financial liability, public relations, and security standpoint, a card breach event can be catastrophic to any business. This issue affects businesses of all sizes, should they choose to accept credit and debit cards.

If you’re not using the best payment security technology, you run the risk of experiencing a very expensive problem. Even a modest exposure of 50 customer credit card numbers can result in
unplanned costs of $10,0001 or more in penalties, fees, time expenditure, and, the most difficult to quantify: reputation.

It goes to show that payment security should be top of mind, and here we’ll explain how it works.

NCR Counterpoint POS is a master-class point of sale system built for retail and wholesale businesses. Provided by the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, NCR Counterpoint can run your entire business to ensure great service and a smooth experience for your staff.

From point of sale to inventory management, reporting, and analytics, as well as email marketing and accounting integrations. Explaining the capabilities, in short, is a big challenge, so we recommend looking through all the various feature areas linked below.

Want to see it live, in action? Perhaps that’s more fun than just reading about it. Our team would be happy to learn of your requirements and give you and your colleagues a personalized, live demonstration of all the features pertinent to your business. Contact us or call us at 888.881.1988 to speak with our technology experts today.

That’s why we’re here! Send us your long list of requirements, or ask us for a need assessment consultation, and we will assess the ideal software features and functions, the count and configuration of your hardware, and the most optimal network setup for you. Since we work with retail and wholesale businesses of all sizes, we plan for the best setup for your POS workstations (where you sales associates or cashiers will work) and your back office staff (your operations and administrative staff, managers, warehouse and inventory team, accounting and finance department, etc.). That way, we design the system around the various roles in your company, giving each user or role-specific access only to what they need to do their work.


The following system requirements apply to the Counterpoint server in a LAN or WAN environment, as well as the Hub server and all Remote servers in a Multi-Site environment.

We strongly recommend that you install Counterpoint on a different server from Microsoft SQL Server. In addition, the Counterpoint server should not be a Domain Controller or Active Directory server. These requirements are subject to change and deprecation due to the nature of hardware, payment technology, operating systems, databases, and networking and security.

Component Requirement/Recommendation
Operating system
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2016 (64-bit)—supported in Counterpoint or later
Processor 2 GHz Pentium Dual-Core or better
Memory 8 GB
Database engine
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express R2 (included with Counterpoint)
  • Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 R2 Standard, Business, or Enterprise Edition (available separately)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard, Business, Enterprise, or Express Edition (available separately)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Enterprise, Standard, or Express Edition
    (available separately)

Microsoft SQL Server 2008/2012/2016 Standard, Business, or Enterprise Edition is strongly recommended for systems with more than 5 concurrent users and is required for use with Multi-Site servers.

  • Managed hardware firewall
  • Software-based firewall (e.g., Windows Firewall, ZoneAlarm, Norton, etc.)

If you are using Offline Ticket Entry, your hardware firewall(s) must be configured to allow your offline workstations to connect to your server(s) via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. In a Multi-Site environment, each site’s hardware firewall must be configured to route replication traffic through a site-to-site VPN connection.


Component Requirement/Recommendation
Operating system
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2016 (64-bit)—supported in Counterpoint or later
  • 1.6 GHz Pentium M or better (LAN)
  • 1.3 GHz Celeron M or better (WAN)
Memory 4 GB
Disk Space Offline workstations require a minimum of 80 GB of disk space
Database engine

If you are using the Offline Ticket Entry Option, each offline workstation requires one of the following database engines:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express R2 (included with Counterpoint)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard, Business, or Enterprise Edition (available separately)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard, Business, Enterprise, or Express Edition (available separately)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard, Enterprise, or Express Edition (available separately)
Additional software
  • Internet Explorer 11 or later (Microsoft Edge browser supported)
  • Creating or modifying label formats requires NiceLabel Pro 4 or later (available separately)
  • Creating or modifying reports requires Crystal Reports 9 or 10 Professional or Advanced (available separately)

Counterpoint supports (and we recommend) Crystal Reports 10.5

Networking Software-based firewall (e.g., Windows Firewall, ZoneAlarm, Norton, etc.)
Other Each workstation that will access the Counterpoint online help or the Dashboard must have an active Internet connection


*Most features listed are inclusive of core features of the Counterpoint base system, some modules are available as an “add-on” to the base system. Subject to change.

A system may have all the features you want, but what about implementation, training, and support?

Our experts will work with you closely to discover your needs, assess your current state of technology, and craft the perfect stack of functions and features catered specifically to your use case. With 35 years of expertise, we work hard to keep up with current technology and consumer behavior.

When we have gathered all of your requirements, the project implementation staff will set a roadmap towards a go-live date. Our technical staff works to configure all systems, store(s), items (products), users, and hardware settings.

We then train you and your staff to be your own experts. Learn the ins and outs thoroughly with live, hands-on training. When you’re ready to go live, we assist you in setting your up hardware and network, along with 24/7 technical support.

Our hands-on approach is more involved than your typical point of the sale system provider. This ensures long-term success and a valuable partnership between all involved. Our goal is to bridge the gap between your business goals and technology, without it interfering or completely altering the operational process you’ve dedicated your time and energy to in your business. Conforming to a system with limited features causes more frustration for you and your staff than efficiency, that’s why 33,000 retail businesses worldwide love Counterpoint POS.

Implementating Counterpoint, on average, takes about 3 months from project kick-off to go-live. Our team will configure your entire store, user, software, and hardware settings. Our goal is to ship you a system that’s ready for you to test drive and train on upon arrival. Granted there will be adjustments to be made, so we will actively work to accomodate any changes you require. Once everything is ready to go live, our technicians will be on stand-by for assistance. Depending on the complexity of the setup, we have launched systems as quickly as one month and as long as 6 months.

Yes, NCR Counterpoint can handle both retail and wholesale items all on the same ticket! Declare which items are to be sold for retail and which are wholesale/resale. The applicable tax rates will then be applied to the separate totals your customer is purchasing, and the payments can be applied to each accordingly. For example, you can apply cash to the retail items, and then place the total of the wholesale items on the customer’s A/R balance, which you can collect a deposit on or apply your net terms.

Yes, NCR Counterpoint is capable of placing several transaction types on a single ticket. Add items to sell, place items on layaway, and process returned items without having to create a separate ticket for each. This helps to expedite the checkout process substantially.

Definitely! NCR Counterpoint is designed for businesses that sell products to contractors, i.e. hardware stores, garden centers, stone depots, construction and building supply, cabinets, flooring, roofing, home improvement, appliances, kitchens, paint, and more. When it comes to orders and selling, you have full control and flexibility, from regular orders to special orders, and drop shipping. Easily generate a pick list, pack and ship, then track the delivery. Collect partial payments or deposits, invoice the remainder, and charge to accounts receivable or card on file for bill collection upon the agreed net terms. When it comes to the back office operations, track inventory by the units in which they are received, and assign unlimited price rules to your specification. Whether it’s contract pricing, customer or account-specific pricing, volume-based, or a group rate, all of these functions are at your fingertips.

Yes, our team is equipped to migrate your products, inventory, customer information, and just about any piece of data that you need. We can provide you the formatting required to import the data, or if you need us to clean up your data that is also a service we provide.

NCR Counterpoint currently supports the Ingenico Lane 5000 EMV credit card reader for optimal security and fast authorization. Every transaction in Counterpoint is tokenized. When a customer pays by debit card, credit card, or contactless payment (i.e. Apple Pay or Google Pay), no customer personal or banking information is stored in the system. Instead, an encrypted token is generated for each transaction, which then gets sent to a payment gateway for authorization. Once the payment gateway authorizes the tokenized card being charged (meaning, checking if there is enough balance to cover the sale), the token gets sent back to the POS software as approved and completes the transaction.

Better inventory control. Customizable point of sale. Integrated eCommerce and accounting automation. This is our four core formula for a successful multi-channel retail or wholesale business. It’s all about setting the foundation to optimize your existing processes by bringing your store operations and inventory under control. That way you get up-to-date reporting data with efficiency. You save money by automating your inventory, orders (in-store and eCommerce), and your accounting. You improve employee morale and customer satisfaction for better retention of both. This holistic and proven approach to a successful systems implementation has been our methodology for decades, with clients growing their business beyond what they typically expect.

All of the above! This is an important point of discussion with all of our clients, as their needs vary widely. Although Counterpoint started as an on-premise system, POS Highway offers hosting solutions to allow for hybrid network configurations as well as fully cloud-based infrastructure. Depending on your needs, in terms of budget, scalability, performance, and security, Counterpoint can be configured for practically any of these scenarios.

We offer Counterpoint POS on Microsoft Azure for a powerful infrastructure.

Our goal is to make the system work to your budget. We offer various pricing models depending on the type of deployment, from monthly payments, to annual, to full-buyout options. Consult with our specialists to get a custom quote by calling 888.881.1988 or visiting our contact us page.

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