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Paying on the Run: NCR Silver

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Everyone’s heard of Apple. They just released their new Mini iPad. And it wasn’t too long ago that they released the iPhone 5. But how many people have heard of NCR? Probably not many, but odds are most people have used an ATM, a self-checkout lane at the grocery store, or a ticket kiosk. If so, they’ve used an NCR product, because NCR is a mega-giant in the realm of retail payment processing.

Four months ago, NCR launched a new iPad point of sale system called NCR Silver. NCR Silver is a mobile payment system that enables merchants to accept payments via iPad or iPhone. Other mobile payment systems include Square, Intuit, Revel Systems, and PayPal. NCR is confident its experience in point of sale retail, along with its data analytics and established distribution channels will provide NCR Silver with an unfair advantage over the competition. In addition, NCR directs attention to the fact that it processed more than $7 billion in point of sale transactions last year.

Put simply, NCR maintains they know what they’re doing.

Because NCR already has distribution partners and is one of the world’s largest providers of retail payment processing devices, the company believes it can promote and sell NCR Silver to local merchants. To that end, NCR is partnering with banks that make small business loans as well as internet and phone providers, such as AT&T and Sprint. When merchants need a loan or sign-up for digital communication packages, they will automatically be funneled toward NCR Silver.

NCR Silver does more than process transactions. It keeps track of inventory and pricing, and suggests when re-ordering seems prudent. And NCR Silver is more flexible than competing payment processing systems, allowing merchants to accept card payment through a point of sale terminal or a mobile device. Square doesn’t offer that capability, which means merchants must have two different systems, one for credit cards and another system for mobile devices.

Finally, NCR, a company that has more than 23,000 employees, does not deem its competitors’ customer support networks as adequate to the task. If a problem arises with PayPal or Square, the merchant has to make a phone call and hope that the tech-person on the other end can help them. Not so with NCR, which has the manpower and the resources to send a real live person to make sure the system works. Especially for small retailers, who rely on a single payment processing terminal, access to instant and personal help can be the difference between profit and loss on any given day.

Nevertheless, NCR acknowledges that it will have to hustle and provide superb customer service if it wants to survive in the increasingly crowded arena of mobile payment processing. Still, NCR believes they have the best product on the market.

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