Retailers these days in the current fay and age utilise 2 main types of receipt printers at their Point of Sales units and these are either thermal printers or dot matrix printers. Both printing devices have gained quite a significant market share despite the rapid evolution of technologies related to POS.
POS units still for some reason or another require ‘ancient technology’ in order to function and we say ancient here based on the relative fact when they are compared to everything else that is currently on the plateau of the digital realm.
Debates on whether the dot matrix or the thermal printer is better has been raging on for more than 2 decades which is totally unnecessary as the truth of the matter is that both printers have the pros and con and the determinants revolving around the decision as to which device is more appropriate is basically up to the preference of business owners.
Retailers generally prefer thermal printers because they are robust, cheaper in cost, durable and more importantly quiet and speedy apart from the fact that they are also flexible with regards to meeting the requirements of POS systems that are complex.
The cost of thermal paper rolls or thermal paper in general is cheaper than that of what the dot matrix needs which is generally 2 ply or 3 ply bond paper. Although the dot-matrix is noisy and the cost of the paper is expensive, they are durable and people are able to retain whatever they print on the dot matrix for ages whereas the thermal printer’s output fades within a month and if the ‘print’ is by some chance exposed to some heat such as even afternoon sunlight while at the beach, rest assured that nothing could be seen on the receipts.
The only way anything on a thermal paper print could be retained is by making a copy of it which also increases cost significantly to the same amount it would cost to print on a dot-matrix. As such choosing between these two printers should be done carefully by weighing all options, for instance if the business is a fancy restaurant, then having a dot-matrix rat-a-tat-in away while customers are dining could spoil the ambience completely.
So in this scenario, a thermal printer using thermal receipt paper rolls would be more appropriate and the plus factor would be the fact that it is a system that saves time and money (thermal printers are also faster than the dot matrix by far).
However, inside an office where you make your purchasing, or you print out invoices which need to be kept and filed as proof of transaction, the dot matrix is ahead of the thermal printer because with a 3 ply carbon backed paper, the business has 3 copies in one fell swoop that are identical and making amendments to one will not suffice as the other two carbon copies will survive for a long time to come.
So which among these two are better for your business? Well this is something you have to think about based on all the facts provided in this article.