What is the difference between a point-of-sale terminal (TPV) and an electronic payment terminal (TPE)?

The Point of Sale Terminal is often present in the press under its acronym: TPV. The Electronic Payment Terminal is commonly referred to as tPE or “Payment Terminal”.. They are two different systems. Nevertheless, they are complementary in some cases.

On this website, we tested four different brands that are SumUp, iZettle, myPOS and Smile and Pay. The products that have been handled are electronic payment terminals for mobile.

We'll explain the difference between a TPV and a TPE, and then we'll offer you the solution put in place by SumUp.

TPV, TPE: two complementary tools for cashing in


The point-of-sale terminal is simply the advanced (and current) version of the cash register. It is a tool that will take advantage of it and software developments to offer rich products and services to the trader. The goal is to cash in simply, easily, quickly, without fear ingesting money flows, while saving time. Because in the business world, “time is money.”

By reducing the size of the cash register, we get a TPV that is efficient and much more efficient than the big machines that were there a few years ago.

The various actions that the TPV can take are:

  • Enter all the items the customer buys when they go to the checkout,
  • Calculate the customer's basket,
  • Cashing in on the customer,
  • Publish the receipt for the customer.

These are basic actions, aren't they? But that's not all. The TPV has an internal connection with the stock software. Thus, all the people who work in the store can know, in a stroke of oei and in real time, where there is a lack of stock and that it will be necessary to restock. A few years ago, this step was not possible: you had to take the time to manually calculate all the products that remained in stock before ordering if necessary. This greatly simplifies stock management. It can connect to your website's online store if you feel the need.

The TPV can publish receipts and receipts very quickly. This meets legal obligations for the trader and for the customer. You can make your accounting easier.

With a TPV, you can cash in different ways:

  • The cheque (which remains used despite the risk of having a cheque without provision),
  • Payment by credit card,
  • Cash payment.


For credit card payment, the merchant can use an Electronic Payment Terminal to cash in his customer. It is a bank card reader that accepts cards in 4 different ways:

  • By inserting the card into the credit card reader, typing the PIN, and waiting for the response of communication between the device and the banks,
  • By inserting the magnetic part of the card on the side of the credit card reader (it's a practice that is no longer done too much),
  • By placing the NFC chip of the bank card on the TPE that accepts contactless payments, there is no code to type and the amount of payment can be limited to 20 or 30 euros depending on the banks,
  • By placing the NFC chip of the smartphone in which the bank card is located(Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)on the TPE that will accept contactless payment.

The point-of-sale terminal has undergone major changes over the years. It is no longer just a cash register. It is a comprehensive tool to effectively manage one's physical business.

The example of SumUp

SumUp is an innovative company with a worldwide reputation. Two electronic payment terminals are available and known as SumUp Air and SumUp 3G. They are devices that allow you to cash in easily and simply.

A variant of this product can be found in the Point of Sale Terminal that SumUp makes available to companies that want this product. It consists of:

  • An Apple tablet, an iPad, configured and equipped with SumUp's Point of Sale app, software that performs better than what's on smartphones for SumUp Air,
  • A good quality and solid wooden support, it is designed to secure an iPad with elegance,
  • The specific bank card reader, which of course accepts contactless payments,
  • A small printer to edit receipts and receipts needed for the customer,
  • A cash drawer that is secured with a lock and is connected to the iPad, so as soon as the choice of the species, it opens automatically,
  • A wireless router to link all the EPTs and elements of this point-of-sale terminal.

It's solid, it's reliable, it's pretty, there's everything to gain! This TPV is interesting, functional, reliable and expected to last.

Read also: Our comparison of the best payment terminals