Updated as of February, 2020
My NCR Silver POS review for restaurants will take an in-depth look at everything this stalwart has to offer. If it’s time for you to upgrade your current point of sale platform, it’s critical to ensure that you choose the right option. With so many modern POS platforms to choose from, is this software and hardware combo the perfect option for your restaurant?
- Easy to use platform with easy data import
- Tons of excellent reporting features — superior reporting suite
- Integration with top accounting software
- Provided by a Titan in the industry
- Works on your iOS device or Quantum Android device
- 24/7 customer support team
- Accepts cryptocurrency
- Excellent room to add extra hardware
- Concierge setup service
- Pricing is expensive and not very transparent
- Customer complaints of glitches and hidden fees
- Subscription requires merchant contract
Overview of NCR Silver POS
NCR Silver is the point of sale product offered by technology giant NCR Corporation. While you may not have heard of NCR Corporation, it’s a multi-billion-dollar organization that provides a range of software and payment technologies to customers around the United States. At present, it is located in Atlanta and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the trading symbol NCR.
NCR Silver One is a new product offered by NCR released in April 2019. While NCR has a dedicated product for small restaurants called NCR Silver Pro Restaurant, it appears with the new product offering they are moving to a single platform best suited to a wide range of small business environments including restaurants, retail, and franchises.
For this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the restaurant-specific features available with the software. For large restaurants or enterprise environments, you’ll want to read our Aloha POS system review. Aloha is better equipped to handle a high volume, multi-location businesses.
While smaller technology companies now dominate much of the modern point of sale industry, you shouldn’t shy away from this product because of its large parent company. Its resources have allowed substantial investment into this unique platform — and it’s beginning to show.
Here’s a highlight of some of the features:
- Great for businesses of all types
- Inventory management
- Employee management
- Built-in email and promotional tools
- Integrated loyalty programs
- Multi-store management
- Automatic updates included
- Concierge setup service
With the software app, you can easily import menus and products to build an intuitive platform for your staff. You can manage tabs, process payments, split bills, take your POS platform on-the-go, access reporting data, and much more we’ll explore below.
NCR Silver is a cloud-based system that operates on a range of touchscreen hardware systems, including iPads and an Android commerce station called Quantum. Let’s explore the finer details of what the NCR Silver Essentials POS System has to offer below.
Unboxing the NCR Silver One Quantum
Pricing is critical if you want to choose a point of sale system that is suitable for your business and its needs. The company isn’t as transparent and clear about its pricing online as I would typically like. They appear to subsidize some of the hardware cost with a merchant contract.
At present, Silver Essentials (iPad version) is $79 per month and Silver Essentials Plus (Android version) is $99 per month.
NCR Silver Essentials – $79 per month
- Software subscription
- Card swipe reader
- Vault stand
- Cash Drawer
- Requires 24 Month Contract
NCR Silver Essentials Plus – $99 per month
- Software subscription
- NCR payment processing
- Quantum commerce station
- Card chip reader
- Cash Drawer
- Requires 36 Month contract
For Essentials Plus, the 36-month contract includes software, hardware, concierge service, upgrades, training, device warranties, all for one easy price. These prices appear to be available for NCR Payment processing customers only.
Current advertised processing rates on their website are 2.4% + .15 cents for standard transactions – this is subject to change at any time, so be sure to check their website for posted rates.
There are also fees for additional services that you will need to factor into the cost of the platform. Since the company isn’t completely transparent about this, so you’ll need to ask for full clarification and read their agreement before you make any commitments. Harbortouch has a similar 36 month model with software, hardware, and credit card processing, however, it’s less expensive and a better value in our opinion.
Overall, while NCR Silver doesn’t offer the best prices in the industry, they are pretty competitive with other industry leaders. Keep in mind; a long contract commitment may drastically reduce the value of the platform over time, rather than just buying the equipment upfront and using your own processor.
NCR will also periodically offer discounted prices for their Silver product line. If you want to take advantage of a promotional offer, it’s essential to check the company’s website regularly.
To get a better idea of what the product has to offer, it’s time to take a more in-depth look at its core features.
- Import menu data and products — build menus that are easy to navigate for staff members
- Easily manage transactions, including discounts, tax, gift cards, and a range of other payment features
- Accept all primary forms of payment, including Bitcoin (cryptocurrency)
- Manage staff through individual staff profiles that provide you with complete control over scheduling and a range of other features
- Efficiently run on iPad or other iOS devices — there is also an Android system available called Quantum
- A considerable amount of reporting features and back-office data that provides owners with full access to business analytics — access multiple restaurants from a single location
- 24/7 customer support team provides you with access to technical support at any time of day
- Cloud-based technology ensures you don’t lose data if a hardware malfunction occurs
- Take your POS with you for tableside ordering or other mobile payments and transactions
- A range of add-ons that improve functionality — add accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero
- Built by a large, publicly-traded company with over a century of experience
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
NCR Silver advertises itself as a cloud-based technology. And while this is true, it’s also important to note that the software is physically installed and operated on a hardware system. In many ways, this can be considered a ‘hybrid’ restaurant management system.
Hybrid POS is the standard form of POS platform for most modern point of sale companies – this allows users to have a fully functioning hardware system that facilitates transactions, as well as a cloud storage system that retains data and provides for external controls and access.
One of the key benefits of working with a new point of sale platform is your access to a wide range of reporting features. If you’re someone who likes to understand your business and its health truly, it’s critical to get a grip on the sales and staffing data in your restaurant. With the software, you have complete access to all the information you need to make more informed decisions for the FOH and BOH.
The POS reporting breaks reporting data into two subsections: single location and multi-location. If you’re running a single site, you can tap into your restaurant’s sales data, inventory data, staff data, margins, accounting information, and more.
If you’re running multiple locations, you can view all of your restaurants or outlets from a single site. You can use this to get a better grip on the overall health of your business, and how your locations contribute to the broader picture. Remember: you can also dive deep into each site if you’re a multi-location user.
For those who want extra reporting power, there is an add-on named ‘NCR Console’ that can do the trick. It allows you to integrate calendars, build sales intelligence, manage servers, auto-schedule, provide sales reports, forecast inventory, and more.
The reporting suite offers a clean interface to view every part of your business. Useful graphics and graphs can help you quickly digest a snapshot of your business’s performance.
Industries Served & Business Size
As mentioned earlier in this review, NCR Silver is a point of sale system that can be used in a wide variety of different niches. For this review, we’ve taken a look at the restaurant-specific features included with the product.
The software and hardware is suitable for a restaurant of almost any size and is a decent option if you’re opening a new small restaurant. While it doesn’t have the same in-depth features as some of the other major players in the game, it does have an extensive support system that can help you run a complex organization without many issues.
While I recommend NCR Silver One for small restaurants with a few terminals, the sky is the limit with this platform. It’s capable of scaling as your restaurant grows! For larger, high volume restaurants, we recommend NCR Aloha POS.
Ease of Use
If you’re going to spend time and money investing in a new point of sale platform, you better make sure that it’s easy to use. One of the key benefits of using a modern POS system is that it offers much better usability options than older competitors. Many people assume that NCR Silver’s association with such a well-established company may be a disadvantage for its usability.
Fortunately, there are no signs that the company hasn’t invested heavily in ensuring its platform is intuitive. You can easily navigate through menus, and it takes no time to set up new products and items. You can mass-import menu items and other data to help speed the setup process – this is a secure platform to use.
You can even automate marketing emails to let customers know about promotions or seasonal offerings; this is an excellent feature if you want easy access to your database of loyal visitors.
The only minor downside is that its interface design isn’t quite as sleek as some competitors. While this isn’t a big deal, it’s still important to note that NCR Silver could probably do a better job of improving its aesthetic appearance.
While they still offer NCR Silver Essentials on the iOS platform, it appears they’ll be moving to an Android system with the Quantum commerce station. So for now, you can still use an iPad or iPad mini with the app, but you’ll need the additional hardware components to accept payments.
NCR Silver Essentials, the iPad version (iPad not included), comes with a card swipe reader, printer, sturdy vault stand, and cash drawer. While iPads aren’t the cheapest hardware systems for business owners, it gives you the flexibility of purchasing the product on your terms — you don’t have to buy your iPad through the company.
With Essentials Plus, the Android version, it comes with the Quantum commerce station, card chip reader, scanner, printer, and cash drawer. See unboxing the Quantum video above.
If you need additional terminals, you will have to purchase an extra hardware bundle from NCR, which provides you with tons of useful tools (such as an iPad stand, printer, and card swiper). You can also directly purchase an Android-based touchscreen hardware system from the company.
Integrations & Add-ons
Like most modern POS platforms, integrations and add-ons can help you obtain the full features available with the software. We’ve taken a look at a few of the add-ons in the previous section, but there’s also plenty more on offer when you dive a little deeper.
With NCR Silver, integrations and add-ons can help you streamline accounting, manage staff, process mobile orders, and more. Some integrations include Xero, QuickBooks, LevelUp, and PayChex. You can even add on weight scales and a range of other hardware integrations that improve the way you conduct business with your customers.
Using these various options can help you upgrade your NCR Silver platform and improve what you offer your customers and staff members.
Compatible Credit Card Companies
New merchants have to use NCR Payments for their credit card processing under a merchant agreement. We prefer when POS companies allow flexibility when using a merchant provider. However, the company does offer somewhat ok rates at 2.4% + $0.15 per standard transaction. Always read the fine print on pricing when signing a merchant contract. The advantage of having one processor is getting all the hardware and support you need from one provider. NCR supports EMV and NFC, so you can accept all payment types that are popular today.
Customer Service and Support
Reliable customer support is necessary if you want to have peace-of-mind that your POS platform won’t crash when you need it most. Fortunately, NCR Silver POS provides its users with 24/7 customer support that helps you avoid issues, no matter what time of day or night it is. You can contact customer support on the phone, live chat, and email. It’s safe to say customer support is a significant advantage.
But it’s not just about the customer support team; it’s also about customer satisfaction. You can read hundreds of reviews and websites, but if past customers don’t like a product, you might run into similar problems as well. So, what type of common issues do current customers highlight on consumer watchdog groups? Let’s take a look.
Most of the negative feedback from customers results around glitches and hidden fees. While these fees don’t come out of anywhere, apparently you have to pay a bit extra to secure everything you need. For this reason, it’s a good idea to clarify costs and request a demo before you make any commitments. The NCR Corporation receives a C- on the Better Business Bureau with nine complaints closed in the last three years.
There’s plenty to work with at NCR Silver. Whether you’re managing a busy restaurant or small café, the features on offer in this platform can help you improve efficiency in your workplace. The platform is easy to use — you won’t have to spend days training staff on how to use this intuitive system.
Also, there is plenty to like about the hardware options (iOS and Android), added integrations, hybrid cloud model, and more. I enjoy how you can access everything from the central user interface. While it’s pricing isn’t the most affordable in the industry, if you can afford it, it might be worth the splurge.
The company’s lack of pricing transparency and positive customer feedback is a bit of a letdown, but it’s nice to know it’s managed by one of the largest companies in the industry. If you’d like to try out this unique platform, you can request a demo!
Image Credits: ncrsilver.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is NCR Silver One?
NCR Silver One is a POS solution for small businesses offered through NCR. NCR is a company that has been around for over 100 years. NCR Silver comes in several flavors including NCR Silver Essentials and NCR Silver Essentials Plus.
NCR Silver is currently available for iOS (iPad devices) and on the Quantum commerce station (Android).
How much does NCR Silver cost?
At present, NCR Silver Essentials (iPad version) is $79 per month, and NCR Silver Essentials Plus (Android version) is $99 per month. NCR Silver requires a merchant contract for 24-36 months to subsidize the hardware cost.
Does NCR Silver integrate with Quickbooks?
Yes. NCR Silver can integrate with Quickbooks online.
What is NCR Silver Quantum?
NCR Silver Quantum is an all-in-one device programmed on the Android software platform for NCR Silver. The Quantum comes with a built-in chip card reader and credit card swiper, along with a display on the front of the terminal for customers to see their charges.
What is NCR Backoffice?
NCR Back Office is a cloud-based solution that enables merchants to manage employees, track sales, add inventory, market to customers, configure loyalty & marketing, and manage locations. NCR Console is an add on that provides detailed sales intelligence and automated forecasting.
What is NCR Aloha?
NCR Aloha is one of the industry standards for restaurant POS software. While on the more expensive end, Aloha is a popular choice for corporate restaurants, chains, and high volume hospitality environments.
Editor’s note: How’d we do on our NCR Silver POS review? Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns? Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know in the comments below or leave a review for NCR Silver here.