If you're the owner of a small or medium-sized company, then you'll know how important it is to have the right POS solution. It's imperative to the smooth running of your business. It doesn't matter whether you're looking to purchase your first-ever POS or you're thinking of shaking things up with something new; you would be wise to consider NCR Silver POS.
So, with that in mind, let's look at this solution in a little more detail.
Who's NCR Silver POS?
In short, NCR Silver is a point of sale ssystem (POS) that's been explicitly designed to meet the needs of smaller, independent retailers. Their key selling point is that their solution is completely mobile. From the convenience of your iPhone or iPad, you can sell to shoppers in-person and keep an eye on your customer's through NCR Silver's back office reports.
NCR Silver is a cloud-based POS system created by the first-ever POS company, the NCR Corporation. This giant has been around for over 130 years and boasts six billion dollars in revenue a year!
Now for some entrepreneurs, the colossal size of NCR might be intimidating, especially for smaller companies. And, nowadays, most of us prefer to support a startup rather than ‘just another' conglomerate.
But, don't be so quick to judge this book by its cover, because NCR Silver sure has a lot to offer.
The beauty its mobility is that you can access your POS solution at any time, from anywhere (just so long as you have an internet connection) So, if you're a busy entrepreneur on the run, this software will certainly come in handy.
How Do You Get Your Hands on NCR Silver?
You just download the NCR Silver app from the App Store onto your iPhone or iPad. You're then prompted to opt for your desired monthly subscription plan.
💡 It's worth noting: NCR Silver doesn't provide you with a credit card processor. So, be sure to bear that in mind. But, it seamlessly integrates with tons of third-party companies, usually via the Ingenico gateway.
So, when you go ahead and click on the ‘Pay' button, this populates all of your desired payment methods. This should appear on the right-hand side of the screen. It doesn't matter whether it's cash, credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, gift card, check, prepaid coupons, or multiple payments, NCR Silver can handle it all.
Cloud-Based or Installed In-House?
NCR Silver boasts a hybrid setup so that you can enjoy the flexibility of a cloud-based POS solution as well as the control and stability of an in-house POS system.
So, how does it work?
The NCR Silver app takes care of all the cash register-specific tasks. But, this comes with limited admin features. For a more in-depth look at your POS, you'll have to launch NCR Silver inside a web browser.
From here you'll see a more detailed look at your:
- Inventory tasks
- Employee time
- Customer rewards
- Sales reports
Just to name a few.
This hybrid architecture is what provides you with offline protection. NCR Silver makes it easy for you to set up “offline credit,” you can use this to accept payments without an internet connection. This comes in useful if your internet goes down or if you have a power outage. But, it's worth remembering that you use this functionality at your own risk.
The offline system works by queuing pending charges for authorization and will then process them once you reconnect with the web. This means your customer has long since left you…so if the payment defaults, there's little (if anything) you can do about it.
It's also worth noting, NCR Silver permits you to pick and choose the various POS aspects you need. It doesn't matter whether you want a basic iPad-based solution or a full suite of hardware and software, NCR can cater to your needs. This a la carte approach is ideal for retailers who need the room and the infrastructure to expand slowly.
NCR Silver: The Key Features
NCR Silver boasts tons of features. But arguably, the most notable are the following hallmarks:
- Employee sign-ins
- Quick inventory reports (via the app)
- Advanced reporting (via the desktop back-office)
- Basic inventory management
When you launch NCR Silver's back-office from your internet browser, you'll see an ‘Activity Summary.' This provides a detailed rundown of your sales trends. You can quickly see which products are your bestsellers, and more importantly, which aren't (amongst other info).
You can also access specific customer details to see their purchase history, loyalty points, and so on, and so forth.
You'll also be pleased to hear; you can segment your customers into various groups and offer them different discounts. This makes it easy for you to create and send customized content that engages with different sections of your audience.
Let's circle back to employee sign-ins for a sec. With NCR Silver, assigning employees to specific roles is a breeze. For instance, cashier, store manager, account manager, etc. Whatever the job roles your staff have, you can assign various tasks to individual team members and set permissions so that they can access your POS solution accordingly. For instance, there's a good chance that managers need higher degrees of access to back-office functions, in comparison to part-time kitchen crew members. As such, it only makes sense for them to have different degrees of access to your POS. Simple, right?
Basic Inventory Management
By ‘basic inventory,' we're referring to the fact you can:
- Set auto-promotions (like two for the price one style deals).
- See what merchandise you have in stock
- View your average sale price
Just to name a few of NCR's basic inventory features.
But, if you need a more powerful inventory tool to help you run and manage numerous stores, you'll need to buy and use the NCR Console.
Unfortunately, this is an extra purchase, as it isn't included as standard. The cost of NCR's Console varies depending on how you'll use it. But, the good thing about it is, it uses your sales history to predict when you'll start to run low on stock.
What else does the Console offer?
The Console also gives you access to employee scheduling tools and an employee portal. Via this portal, your staff can swap schedules and stay in touch with one another. Not only that, but the Console also provides you with more sophisticated business analytics and reporting than NCR Silver.
NCR Silver Pricing: How Much Will NCR Silver Set You Back?
NCR Silver starts at $79 per month. This is the cost of their basic subscription for a one-year contract. Or if you opt to pay month by month, you'll be charged a slightly more expensive monthly fee of, $99.
What do you get for your money?
- 24/7 customer support
- Training when you first onboard and assistance with uploading your inventory or menu
- Biannual training for new features
- Hardware maintenance (But, you should note, this only applies to one device purchased through NCR). For each additional iPad or iPhone, you'll be charged $0.10 per sale. But, this is capped at $39 a month per device.
Or, if you're running a restaurant, Silver Pro might be the better package for you. If you opt for the annual contract, this will set you back $169 a month. Or, if you choose to pay month by month, you'll be charged $149 a month. You get everything we've just listed, as well as a few restaurant-specific features. For instance, you can program seat assignments and view and modify table layouts.
There's a 14-day free trial period for both packages, but this doesn't include hardware.
What Hardware's Compatible with NCR Silver?
Yes, we've already mentioned that NCR Silver is compatible with iPhones and iPads, but there are other pieces of machinery you can use alongside NCR Silver.
For your convenience, we've listed some of the devices NCR Silver sells. You can purchase these gadgets via NCR's website:
- An EMV reader and stand: $299
- A basic credit card swiper: $79
- A cash drawer: $109
- A mobile card reader (AKA Ring Up): $14 per month and 2.7% per swipe or dip.
- The NCR Silver Quantum device: $1,499
The NCR Silver Quantum device is fuelled using its own Android-based version of NCR's Silver software. This sophisticated piece of kit boasts an integrated swipe card and chip reader. That's as well as customer-facing display.
It's worth noting: NCR offers a $283 a month bundle. This includes the NCR Silver Quantum device, a separate printer, barcode scanner, cash drawer, and NCR Silver, Console, and NCR Silver Commerce subscriptions.
Most of the above hardware comes with a 90-day warranty (but you should double-check this on their website).
NCR Silver: The Benefits
NCR Silver goes further than just providing you with a point-of-sale solution and inventory management tools. This is one of the things setting NCR Silver apart from the crowd. Instead, NCR Silver describes itself as a “complete payment, marketing, and management solution for entrepreneurs.”
Of course, the mobility of NCR Silver is one of the more apparent benefits. As we've already mentioned, you can process payments via your smartphone from virtually anywhere. This could be a popup shop, market stall, your home, etc.
Not only that, being part of the NCR family certainly has some perks. This isn't NCR's first rodeo. For those of you who don't know, before NCR Silver, NCR previously developed and launched Aloha. This is another POS solution explicitly tailored to just restaurants. They also created Counterpoint, which is another POS solution, but with retailers in mind. As you can imagine, NCR certainly knows a thing or two about what makes a good POS solution. So, rest assured, you're in good hands.
We also love that NCR has gone to great pains to set itself apart as a company that responds quickly to requests for new features. They're always shaking things up to meet the demand of the market.
Another thing NCR Silver users love is their marketing and social media tools. These work wonders for connecting and engaging with your audience. NCR Silver makes it easy for you to send customized messages to customers about your promotions, updates, and whatever else you want.
But, that's not the only significant advantage to using NCR Silver:
NCR Silver offers plenty of cash management features. If you're generating high levels of revenue, these tools make it much easier for you to monitor and manage your cash flow. For instance, you can assign cash drawers to specific servers.
By this, we mean, you can give each drawer a “shift.” This puts restrictions on who's permitted to use the drawer without a key. Also, at the beginning and end of each ‘shift,' there's a blind till count, where on the ‘End of Shift' report, you'll see how much over or under your till is.
It's Easy to Use
NCR Silver‘s user interface is nothing short of straightforward. To find one of your products, just tap on one of the product categories on the bottom right-hand side of the screen. This populates a list of all your related merchandise as well as their prices. Alternatively, you can locate specific products using the search field, which sits at the top of the screen.
Once you've found the product you're after, tap it, and it will appear towards the left-hand side of the sales ticket, alongside a subtotal, and any appropriate taxes which will be added closer to the bottom of the ticket.
There's also a button you can press to add a discount to the total. You can choose to use a promotion you've already programmed into this POS solution, or you can create a specific one on the spot.
Not to mention, with just a few taps, you can clear the entire sales ticket, or put the check on hold. This comes in handy if the customer needs to pause the purchasing process to continue shopping. How many times have you forgotten something and had to run back down the aisles to pick it up? Don't worry; it happens to the best of us, and NCR gets that!
Need to pull up some customer information quickly? Never fear. To the left-hand side of the screen, those details are just a few taps away. If you've already inputted the customer's details into the system, or if they've already paid for something via a credit card, their name and info will appear automatically. But, if you've yet to do that, then you can go ahead and enter it in.
NCR Silver: The Drawbacks
As we scoured the internet for user reviews that are, well, less than glowing, we came across one common complaint: Glitchy hardware.
There are a few reports of NCR credit card readers consistently malfunctioning. This has forced users to key in their customer's credit card data. Not only does this slow things down, but it also compromises the majority of safety features used to counterfeit fraud.
Similarly, there also complaints about Bluetooth-fuelled hardware randomly un-syncing itself from the system. Not cool.
There's also a lack of tools for purchasing orders and managing invoices. Plus, you can’t scan merchandise into the system or track inventory by ingredient. When you consider that this POS is supposed to be designed with foodservice operations in mind, this seems like a significant disadvantage. Once more, NCR Silver doesn't warn you when your inventory is starting to run low. Instead, a salesperson has to check the quantity of your merchandise.
There are also a fair few extra costs to consider. Yes, on the surface, NCR Silver’s pricing plan is pretty straightforward; but, there are a few cheeky hidden costs. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid them. You can only prepare for them.
For instance, if you wish to use a tablet mirroring feature, i.e., have the facility to start a tab using one device and close it in another, you'll have to purchase and use Silver Pro as well as the $499 mini server to support it!
More importantly, if you want to be EMV-compliant (which these days is near-on essential), you'll have to fork out an additional $20 a month on top of your NCR Silver subscription. As we've already mentioned, you get a free card reader with each terminal you pay for.
But, you'll still have to pay this extra $20 every month to remain EMV compliant, long after you pay off the cost of the reader ($250). So all things considered, it costs almost $250 a month to run two EMV-compliant iPads with tablet mirroring. That's assuming you opt for the annual contract. Unfortunately, for the month to month plan, you're looking at even more!
On top of that, some customers also complain that the number of advanced features is somewhat limited. Most notably, the reporting suite isn’t as powerful as it could be unless you purchase Silver Console, which again will set you back a further $20 to $70 a month. I think we can all agree; this service shouldn't be an add-on. Instead, it should already be included with the price of the software.
Last but not least, NCR Silver doesn't offer any eCommerce integrations. These days, this is virtually unheard of, especially amongst POS solutions as expensive as this. So, if you're thinking of launching an online store in the future, NCR Silver isn't the software for you.
Native Integrations and Add-Ons:
If you're using any of the software below you'll be pleased to hear that NCR Silver integrates seamlessly with it:
- QuickBooks Online
- Silver Console
Apparently, NCR Silver also has plans to expand its catalog of integrations to include eCommerce platforms, but at the time of writing, that remains to be seen.
NCR Silver‘s array of customer service options is pretty impressive. You can make use of all the following communication channels around the clock:
Live web chat – You can chat with an NCR sales representative Monday through Friday (9 am to 5 pm). Alternatively, you can talk with tech support at any time via your back office (not through the app, but you can via the web page).
Telephone support – You can call or text NCR's customer care team at 1-877-270-3475, and you'll be put through to a real person straight away. You don't have to wade through tons of automated options.
Email support – Alternatively, you can ping a message over to the customer care team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, if you would prefer to go down the ‘self-help' route, check out their customer Care website. Over there, you'll find loads of informative articles, videos, and user guides. Not to mention, NCR Silver, also maintains a relatively active presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram.
Who Should Use NCR Silver?
As NCR Silver POS is relatively versatile, it would suit any number of businesses (except for e-commerce stores).
The suite of tools on offer makes NCR POS as appropriate for quick-service restaurants as it is for traditional brick and mortar-style stores.
But, it's worth remembering, NCR Silver is more aimed at small to medium-sized businesses that work from one location. On the whole, this isn't a solution that can handle enterprise-level operations.
Ready to Use NCR Silver?
As we've established, you may need to purchase and use a variety of add-ons (like NCR Console) to access the functionality you need from your POS solution. As such, you'll need a bigger budget to use NCR Silver.
But, what NCR does, it does well. Everything they offer is of excellent quality. The 24/7 support is second to none, and their onboarding assistance certainly comes in handy, especially if you don't have an in-house IT team to do this for you.
Having read this article, are you now ready to use NCR Silver? Or, are you already one of their customers? If so, what's your experience with NCR been like? Good? Bad? So-so? Either way, we would love to hear your thoughts about this POS solution in the comments box below. Speak soon!