NCR, a leader in the point-of-sales industry, was founded in 1884 as the National Cash Register Company. It provides POS solutions for financial, hospitality, retail and travel corporations. For small businesses, it offers NCR Silver, a capable cloud-based POS system that has a good mix of features and reliable customer service.
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With your account, the company provides 24/7 support, remote setup assistance, training on new features twice a year and an hour of menu maintenance each month. It can be used for many business types, with one or multiple locations, and offers two versions of its software: NCR Silver and NCR Silver Restaurant Pro. If you have a retail store and prefer to work with a value-added reseller, NCR also offers NCR Counterpoint.
NCR Silver Pricing and Terms
This company is upfront with its pricing, and you can easily find this information on its website. Such pricing transparency is admirable, as it gives you an idea of whether or not the system is in your price range.
With a two-year contract, a monthly subscription fee for a single location with one register starts at $79 for NCR Silver (or $89 with EMV service) and $149 for NCR Restaurant Pro (or $159 with EMV service). Month-to-month subscriptions are also available but cost more. The restaurant subscription is higher than many of its competitors', which is something to consider if you have a tight budget, but both versions include a loyalty program, email marketing, social media integration and regular menu maintenance – services that usually cost extra.
Apple users can use iPads and iPhones with the system, but Android users must use NCR Silver Quantum, an all-in-one POS station that comes with a preprogrammed Android tablet. Third-party Android tablets aren't compatible with this system.
You'll have to purchase the rest of your POS hardware – such as a cash drawer, tablet stand, receipt and kitchen printers, barcode scanners, and scales – from the company, which isn't ideal if you already own processing equipment that you'd like to use. Bundles and individual peripherals are available.
As with every POS system, buying your hardware outright is always the best option, as it costs less than leasing and doesn't tie you to a lengthy contract. However, if you prefer leasing, that option is available. The company also runs hardware promotions for new customers, such as the free or discounted bundle advertised at the time of this review, though such offers require you to sign a two-year contract.
NCR Silver is a good POS system that has a strong selection of features, including email marketing and loyalty tools that usually cost extra. It's regularly updated, and updates are included with your subscription, so you'll always have the most current version of the software.
It has inventory management tools and can track inventory – including raw ingredients with NCR Silver Restaurant Pro version of the software. You can set it to send you alerts when your stock is low. However, it doesn't manage your vendor information or assist you in creating purchase orders.
NCR Silver has a customer database that you can use to gather contact information for your marketing efforts. Unlike many POS systems that charge extra or rely on third-party integrations, it has built-in email marketing, social sharing and loyalty programs, allowing you to send coupons and promotions to your customers and post on Facebook and Twitter directly from the system – and the price is included in the subscription. It generates reports that can help you evaluate how your email campaigns are performing.
You can add employees to the system and assign them user roles that determine what information they can access and a four-digit PIN that they can use to clock in and out using NCR Silver's built-in timeclock.
NCR Silver has multiple reports, including one that shows you daily and hourly sales data to help you identify your busiest times so you can schedule enough staff. It also has a category items list that shows you your best- and worst-selling products, and an item sales report that shows how items perform over a specified time period, which can help you identify popular seasonal items. You can export your report data as an Excel spreadsheet.
NCR Silver doesn't offer as many integrations as its competitors, but it works with QuickBooks, Xero, Paychex, PassMarket and LevelUp. APIs are also available, so you can create custom integrations for your POS system.
NCR Silver Restaurant Pro manages table seating, ordering and tabs. It tracks the time it takes for an order to be served after it's been ordered, and an item countdown feature shows your servers how many servings of limited-item dishes are available to order. Servers can add notes to orders to flag special requests or notify the kitchen staff of customer allergies. It also supports catering, online ordering and delivery management.
However, it's missing features such as reservation management and menu item images. The software also doesn't time how long it takes tables to turn, which would've been convenient for managers trying to monitor the attention servers pay to tables.
As with most of the iPad POS systems we reviewed, you have a choice of payment processor with NCR Silver, which is an important factor if you're currently under contract with a processing company or you want to shop around for a good deal.
NCR Silver's customer service is one of its strengths. It provides 24/7 support, and you can call, text, email or chat with the company's customer care agents. It has remote assistance for installation and training, and it can also provide onsite support if needed. The company keeps you up to date on new features with biannual training sessions and an hour of menu maintenance each month to help you keep your system current. If you have a hardware failure, it can ship replacement parts to you overnight. Its online resources include a searchable knowledgebase, FAQs and a blog.
NCR Silver's monthly subscription fees begin at the high end of the spectrum for the systems we reviewed, and other than iPads, you must purchase your POS hardware from the company. Still, as it includes features that usually cost extra and has robust customer support, it's POS software worth considering.
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