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NCR Silver is a small business POS solution offered through NCR. NCR Silver comprises three specific products: a general POS system known as NCR Silver One, a restaurant POS system called NCR Silver Pro, and a retail POS system called NCR Counterpoint. All products feature their own pricing model, with NCR Silver One starting at $149 per month. POS hardware, software, and payment processing is included with all NCR Silver products.
NCR Corporation is the first merchant services company ever created. Founded way back in 1884, NCR (which is an acronym for the business’s former name—National Cash Register) is credited with creating the first-ever electronic cash register, credit card magstripe, and self-checkout machine. Today NCR is a multinational corporation that provides technology solutions for almost every type of business you can imagine.
But just because NCR is a large corporation with annual revenues in the billions doesn’t mean they don’t think of the little guy. Enter NCR Silver POS: NCR’s technology solution for small businesses. NCR Silver actually encompasses three different products: NCR Silver One is NCR’s basic POS system, NCR Silver Pro is designed specifically for restaurant businesses, and NCR Counterpoint is a retail-specific POS system.
In this NCR review, we are going to break down all of these products to help merchants better understand if NCR Silver can satisfy their business’s needs. We’ll also provide you with some alternative POS options so you have a complete understanding of the marketplace and can choose the best POS system for your small business.
You could probably fill a book reviewing all the different products offered by NCR. That’s what happens when you’ve been around 134 years—your offerings expand. While we won’t cover them all, here is every business type NCR serves, and the services they provide to each of them:
Aside from these technologies, NCR also provides hardware maintenance services and installation and deployment support. In addition to the POS systems we’ll discuss here, NCR’s subsidiary, Aloha, also offers an enterprise restaurant POS system, Aloha POS.
The focus of this review, though, will be NCR Silver POS, which was created in 2012 to serve the small business market with POS systems. The service is delivered through three specific products: NCR Silver One, NCR Silver Pro, and NCR Counterpoint—all of which provide POS hardware, software, and payment processing services to small business owners. NCR Silver is available as an app on iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone. It’s also available on a closed Android POS system called Silver Quantum.
The system is cloud-based, meaning your data is stored on NCR servers and sent to your POS device via the cloud. On its website, NCR says the Silver One POS system can be used for retail businesses, restaurant businesses, franchises, service providers, and venues. NCR Silver Pro, on the other hand, is designed specifically for restaurants and NCR Counterpoint is only for retail. In other words, NCR Silver One is more of a generalist POS system, while Silver Pro and Counterpoint are specialized services.
So that’s the basics on NCR Silver. Now, let’s get into the specifics of what this POS system offers to business owners.
To help you understand what each NCR Silver POS product can do for your business, we are going to split them up into three different sections. In each section, we will cover each product’s hardware requirements, features, and pricing. But before we do that, let’s look at something all NCR Silver products have in common: payment processing.
All NCR Silver customers must use NCR Payments as their payment processor. While this lack of flexibility is not ideal, NCR does offer its merchants generous payment processing rates of 2.4% + $0.15. Furthermore, you can acquire your credit card terminal directly through NCR, including magstripe, EMV and NFC card readers. Plus, NCR’s POS software can support all of these payment methods.
Next, let’s dive in to the hardware and features that come with NCR Silver One—the generalist POS system. NCR Silver One is a new product for NCR, debuting in April of 2019. Chris Poelma, NCR Silver’s president and general manager, described the benefits of NCR Silver One in a recent statement:
“Today’s business owners need simple, reliable and cost-effective technology solutions that help them quickly recognize revenue in the brick-and-mortar and online ecosystem. NCR Silver One makes this possible in an easy, customer-centric way.”
So how does NCR Silver One do this? Let’s find out.
You can purchase a variety of individual hardware items through NCR, but Silver One comes with its own hardware bundle. You’ll get an NCR Silver Quantum—a closed Android POS terminal that comes with a magstripe/EMV/NFC card reader and a customer-facing display with digital signage built in. The bundle also comes with a cash drawer, barcode scanner, and receipt printer.
NCR Silver One doesn’t come with the most comprehensive list of features, but it can get the job done for small businesses. Here is what you can expect from your software:
To get NCR Silver One’s lowest pricing model, you’ll need to sign a three-year contract. With that commitment, you’ll pay $149 per month for one POS terminal. This cost incorporates software, hardware, and payment processing. For every additional POS terminal you use, NCR will add an additional $99 onto your monthly fee. NCR Silver also offers enterprise pricing for businesses that need more than five terminals.
Next up is NCR Silver Pro—the restaurant-specific version of NCR Silver. Aside from software designed to manage restaurants, the big difference compared to Silver One is that the cost of your software and hardware is separate. Let’s take a closer look.
NCR offers a robust selection of restaurant POS hardware. You can select from three different sized POS terminals, including a 10-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch option. The 15-inch option comes in three different models: the P1532, P1535, and XR7.
You can also purchase handheld POS terminals through NCR for tableside ordering and payment. Your options are the NCR Orderman mobile POS and the NCR 7779 8-inch or 10-inch Windows Tablet. Note that you can also choose to run your software on an iOS device.
For those that want to operate a restaurant with multiple connected POS terminals, you’ll need to purchase an NCR server. The two models are the NCR N4000 and the NCR S500. Additionally, NCR sells two different models of self-ordering kiosks (NCR SelfServ 90 Kiosk and NCR XK32 Kiosk) plus all the traditional POS hardware items: receipt printers (including kitchen and thermal printers), barcode scanners, and cash drawers.
Here’s the NCR Silver Pro feature set:
As previously stated, the price of NCR Silver Pro hardware is quote-based, and depends on the specific needs of your restaurant. The software, on the other hand, costs $149 per month if you sign up for a one-year contract (it’s $169 per month on a month-to-month plan). However, the ability to accept EMV (chip card) payments will cost an additional $10 per month.
There isn’t a ton of detail on NCR’s Counterpoint product—their retail-specific POS system—but here is what we do know:
Since retail encompasses so many different business models, there are a lot of different hardware options to choose from. For example, NCR sells self-checkout machines for grocery stores, “pay at pump” devices for gas stations, and ATM machines for convenience stores. However, there are a few devices sold by NCR that all retail businesses need.
In the POS terminal department, NCR sells four different models of integrated retail terminal, as well as four different modular POS terminals. Furthermore, there are a variety of cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers available for purchase. Because there are so many options, you’ll want to be sure to compare them thoroughly to decide which is best for your business.
Here are the features offered with NCR Counterpoint:
Since NCR Counterpoint encompasses such a wide variety of businesses, pricing on this solution is quote-based. The cost is determined by your business type, transaction volume, and services needed.
The last thing we should mention is NCR Concierge—NCR’s 24/7 support service. This service comes free for all NCR Silver customers. It’s actually a new product that launched in June of 2019, and exists to help all NCR Silver customers get the most out of their POS system.
According to a recent release, NCR Concierge comprises “a group of experts with rich technical and domain expertise on the many functions required to successfully manage a small business or franchise, such as maintaining menu changes.”
Along with providing guidance to small business owners, NCR Concierge can set up POS back-office systems, integrate social media accounts, provide ongoing training, and offer hardware support.
Now that we’ve gone over what NCR Silver can offer, let’s evaluate its services to identify some pros of going with this merchant services provider:
One of the best reasons to go with a large merchant services corporation like NCR is that there is no limit to the options they can provide your business. There are merchant services products sold by NCR that you cannot get through a smaller merchant services solution like Square or ShopKeep. If you’re the type of business owner who prefers to deal with as few vendors as possible, aligning with NCR will basically guarantee you never have to shop around to find the merchant services solutions you need.
The recently launched NCR Concierge service is already garnering positive sentiment on customer review websites. While many customer support services assist with POS installation and IT, NCR Concierge goes a step further by offering business advisory services. NCR Silver merchants can refer to NCR Concierge for a variety of business-related questions that don’t even need to be related to POS. That kind of in-depth support is hard to come by.
We have one major sticking point with NCR Silver, and it’s related to pricing. While pricing for NCR Silver One is reasonable ($149/month including hardware) and the payment processing rate is good, a common complaint on customer review sites is the cost of Silver Pro and Counterpoint. Furthermore, there are several “extra” costs that can really add up for small business owners, such as an NCR server that costs $499 and is required in order to connect multiple restaurant terminals.
An additional thing to be aware of is that NCR Silver partners with outside sales organizations to resell their products. While there is nothing inherently wrong with outside sales organizations, some have a reputation for offering unfair contracts with lots of hidden fees—so you should keep that in mind.
Here is how users of NCR Silver rank the system on major customer review websites:
While the Better Business Bureau rating is disconcerting, it’s worth noting they only have one customer review on their site. NCR has only had one complaint filed against them in the last year, and has closed 9 complaints over the last three years. In positive reviews, users tout the fact that NCR is always updating its software and giving users access to new features for free. Other pros include an easy-to-use interface and good customer service.
Negative reviews focus on having to pay extra fees and experiencing glitches and bugs with the software. Some customers also complain about a lack of certain features, such as too few reporting options.
To give you something similar to compare to NCR Silver, here are two services that also offer retail and restaurant versions of their POS systems:
Square has a free version of its POS (known as Square POS), as well as a retail edition (Square for Retail) and a restaurant edition (Square for Restaurants). The retail and restaurant versions cost $60 each per month, but also come with lower payment processing rates than you would get with the free version of Square POS. The retail package comes with a 2.5% + $0.10 processing fee, while the restaurant version comes with a 2.6% + $0.10 processing fee (the regular Square processing fee is 2.75%).
Furthermore, both come with a range of great features for their respective industries. The retail package includes inventory, employee, and customer relationship management tools. The restaurant version includes tools for managing your menu, arranging deliveries, and creating your floor plan. Plus, both are compatible with Square’s popular POS hardware.
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Like NCR Silver and Square, Lightspeed also offers a restaurant and retail POS software. Let’s start with Lightspeed Retail: This service costs $99 per month and includes integrated payment processing (2.6% + $0.10), inventory, employee, and customer relationship management tools, plus omnichannel functionality and a loyalty program (for an additional $59/month).
Lightspeed Restaurant costs $69 per month and does not have integrated payment processing, meaning you will need to work with a third-party payment processor to use Lightspeed Restaurant. You’ll get most of what you need in terms of features: menu management, floor plan management, and the ability to manage multiple stores from a single POS. Lightspeed also sells hardware bundles designed specifically for retail businesses and restaurants.
You can certainly get the merchant services you need using NCR Silver. Their range of options combined with expertise honed over 130+ years in the merchant services industry makes them a good partner for any small business owner just starting out. However, there are likely better deals on the market than NCR Silver—and if you already know your way around the merchant services space, we encourage you to explore them. Overall, NCR Silver is a safe choice, but that might not be exactly what you need for your business.