Not content to let a bunch of upstart tablet point-of-sale (POS) solutions eat into its marketshare, NCR is releasing the biggest update yet to its NCR Silveroffering, which runs on Apple iOS devices.
Version 3.0 of the system can handle retail operations with more than one store location, while providing extensive details on individual stores, restaurants or operations. Another global feature: a new integrated time clock, that allows small-business owners to keep track of employee hours and shifts from within the POS application. Managers can also control access according to specific roles, such as cashier, manager, clerk and so on.
To encourage NCR Silver users to interact and provide community support and tips, NCR has created a customer portal called Silver Sidewalk, which includes tips and a knowledge base for the technology (along with access to customer care representatives).
The mobile POS market is forecast to reach $2 billion in hardware and software sales in North America this year, and 28 percent of all retailers in this market plan to adopt this sort of technology in the short term, according to research by IHL Group. Still, at least one-third of retailers aren't too keen on the idea: they don't have plans to invest in mobile POS, at least for the next three years.
"Mobile POS continues to receive a lot of hype, and some specific announcements have received a lot of press," said Greg Buzek, president of the IHL Group, in a statement. "But the vast majority of retailers are taking a slow and methodical approach to the use of mobile for POS. There are key operational issues in device and merchandise security, cash handling, payments, bags, customer service levels and traffic flow that must be worked through, or the use of the devices will be disruptive in a negative way for retailers."
Still, if you're a small retailer that is still using a traditional cash register, the technology represents a great way to get a jump on the competition, small or large.