During a recent decommissioning project for a chain of retail stores, we removed Point of Sale units as well as TVs, electronic displays and computers. A Point of Sale (POS) unit is where a customer will make their transaction in store- also known as a cash register. The standard components to a POS unit include receipt printers, barcode scanners, cash drawers, anything that would make up a typical cash register system you see on a daily basis.
On this recent project, all the equipment was ship back to our warehouse for an audit and then forwarded to a e-Steward recycler. As part of our standard operating procedure here at Guardian, we inspect every device for a hard drive and to our surprise we found a hard drive in every single POS unit that was collected.
In the future, be aware that a POS unit may have hard drives or a memory card that will store credit card information and recent transactions. It would be wise to inspect all POS system for hard drives and memory cards before discarding of these units. Guardian suggests packing and removing the devices in a secure location where they can be inspected to determine if they contain any residual data.