July 19, 2012, 2:22 PM — NCR Corp., which has been making cash registers for nearly 130 years, this week announced the launch of NCR Silver, a new service that lets merchants ring up sales on iPads and iPhones, then track and analyze their sales data at the end of the day.
Like those services, NCR is providing merchants with a free app to use in processing and tracking payments from customers. NCR, however, appears to be leaning heavily on hardware in its business model: The company doesn't provide a free card reader to its customers--instead it charges merchants $79 for a basic credit-card reader, or $549 for a device that scans barcodes and reads credit cards. It also sells an "iPad register bundle"--including a card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer--for $619.
Merchants will also pay a $79-a-month fee for every iPhone and iPad they use as a register. (As part of NCR Silver's launch, though, the first 1,000 merchants to sign up will pay a $39 monthly fee for the life of their business.) Additional iOS devices can be added for a 10-cent-fee for every transaction they process, with that fee maxing out at $29 per device.
How do merchants choose between NCR Silver and other iOS-based services? Macworld last compared the services in March, when Square Register launched. The details remain mostly unchanged since then. There are many similarities, but some differences.