A kiosk refers to a small stall or booth that offers goods and services. Vendors operating from kiosks often sell small, inexpensive consumables. For example, a newspaper kiosk. Also, bigger stores or retail chains sometimes install small kiosks in malls or transit points to offer their products outside of the traditional stores.
Example: The popular restaurant chain Rajdhani, known for its delectable Rajasthani spread, has kiosks in food courts of malls where it offers snacks all day as against the ‘Rajasthani thali’ normally offered in its fine dining restaurants in lunch and dinner hours only.
In recent years, a kiosk has also come to refer to computer terminals available for use by consumers either to provide access for information, device for communication or merely for entertainment. The latter form of kiosk is often termed as an interactive kiosk or electronic kiosk. Such a kiosk has customized built-in software and limits the use of the services (e.g. internet) by the consumer only in the context the installer wants them used.
Example: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, known as BWSSB, not only allows online payments for its services, the board has effectively made payments convenient for consumers by installing several dedicated kiosks across Bangalore to serve the consumers.
BWSSB used an IT application and promoted the concept of anytime anywhere bill payment to facilitate easy payment of water bills by citizens, especially those who don’t have time to visit the board offices during working hours. The kiosk provides bill details and also allows the citizens to make direct payments.