Building a Custom Android POS Terminal from Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide with Source Code

Are you looking to build a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for your business or project? Do you want full control over the hardware and software, without having to rely on third-party solutions? If so, an Android-based POS terminal is a great choice. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of building a custom Android POS terminal from scratch. We will cover everything from selecting the hardware components, to programming the software using Java and Android Studio. By the end of this article, you will have a working POS terminal that you can customize to suit your specific needs.

Step 1: Selecting the Hardware Components

The first step in building your own POS terminal is to select the appropriate hardware components. Here are some of the key components you will need:

Android device: You can use a smartphone, tablet, or dedicated POS device running Android as the core of your POS terminal. Make sure it supports USB peripherals and has enough processing power and storage to run your software.

Barcode scanner: Depending on your requirements, you may need a barcode scanner to scan products or customer IDs. You can use a wired or wireless scanner that connects to your Android device via USB or Bluetooth.

receipt printer: A receipt printer is essential for issuing receipts or tickets to customers. You can use a thermal or dot matrix printer that supports USB or Bluetooth connectivity.

cash drawer: If you accept cash payments, you will need a cash drawer that connects to your printer or directly to your Android device via USB.

Once you have selected your hardware components, you can start assembling them according to the manufacturer's instructions. You may also need to download and install the necessary drivers and libraries to enable communication between the hardware and software.

Step 2: Programming the Software

The next step is to program the software that will run on your POS terminal. We will be using Java and Android Studio to create our application. Here are some of the key features you may want to include:

User interface: You will need to design a user-friendly interface that allows staff to enter products, prices, and quantities, and issue receipts or invoices. You can use the Android layout editor to create the UI elements, such as text fields, buttons, and labels.

Barcode scanning: You can integrate a barcode scanning library into your app that enables you to read and decode barcodes from the scanner. You can use the Google Mobile Vision API or a third-party library, such as ZXing.

Payment processing: You will need to integrate your app with a payment gateway or processor that handles card and digital payments. You can use a third-party service, such as Square, PayPal, or Stripe, or develop your own payment gateway.

Receipt printing: You can use a printing library, such as ESC/POS or Google Cloud Print, to send print commands to your thermal or dot matrix printer. You can customize the receipt template to include your company logo, address, and other information.

Cash management: If you accept cash payments, you will need to program the cash drawer to open automatically when a cash payment is received. You can use a GPIO library, such as Pi4J or WiringPi, to control the drawer via USB.

Once you have developed and tested your software, you can deploy it to your Android device and start using it as a fully functioning POS terminal.


In this tutorial, we have shown you how to build your own Android POS terminal from scratch using off-the-shelf hardware components and programming it with Java and Android Studio. You can customize your POS terminal to suit your business or project needs, and integrate additional features, such as loyalty programs, discounts, or inventory management. By building your own POS terminal, you can save money, gain flexibility, and enhance the customer experience.

Happy coding!

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