The National Cash Register (NCR) corporation has come a long way. Their mobile card reader is the latest in a lengthy history of devices that record customers? payments. The 1910 hand crank model was a beauty with enough cash drawers for two, yes two, clerks to work on the same register and keep their transactions separate. It is a museum piece today ? or could be used as a great doorstop.

NCR model 532-EL-2CSN 919919 2 Drawer was the cash register of choice in 1910.
NCR model 532-EL-2CSN 919919 2 Drawer was the cash register of choice in 1910.

An upgraded model could track transactions for four clerks at once. The diagram below was necessary to identify all the functions of the newer model. A simple command to "Press Any Key to Continue" would have left yesterday?s clerk baffled. They?d also be surprised at how little $3.60 buys today.

User manual for an older cash register

User manual for an older cash register

Now, the company is showing off its take-payments-anywhere mobile card reader. It is part of the all encompassing NCR Silver package, a cloud based point of sale product for the small business owner.

NCR Silver is more than its mobile payment acceptance device

NCR Silver is more than its mobile payment acceptance device

NCR Silver is part of an entire system that not combines with an iPhone app to not only record payments, but to handle inventory, keep tabs on your profits, manage customer relationships, and do email marketing. The mobile payment component provides flexibility for accepting payments either in the store or for those who sell at trade shows. 

Intuit?s QuickBooks Point of Sale in combination with their All-in-One Retail Management and Payment Solution should give NCR Silver some competition. Intuit also has a mobile device payment solution, GoPayment. Where NCR may win over small businesses is price. The QuickBooks offering goes for $1,099 – $1,599, while NCR is priced at $619, (more with an optional iPad) and a monthly $79 fee to connect the mobile payment ability with end-to-end encryption. NCR also provides live customer support for the small business owner who typically doesn?t have an IT department to turn to.