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Friday, October 6, 2017

NCR, Worldpay target micro merchants

NCR Corp., in partnership with Worldpay, launched Ring Up Oct. 3, 2017. It is the latest addition to NCR Silver, a POS solution introduced in 2016 for small and midsize merchants. Targeting micro businesses, Ring Up offers a mobile EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and magnetic stripe reader, coupled with Worldpay payment processing and cloud-based resources, to help entry-level merchants grow and scale, NCR representatives stated.

Approved merchants can download an iOS or Android app and pair Ring Up with their smartphones via Bluetooth technology. NCR representatives said the app, currently available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, is simple to set up. Merchants can use it to create product catalogs, sales reports, electronic receipt processing and marketing databases, they added.

Built to scale

Duluth, Ga.-based NCR also calibrated its marketing message to appeal to micro merchant lifestyle choices, highlighting the product's portability and ease of use. "Check out your sales for the day and get guidance through the alert feed while spending quality time with your family," reads the NCR Silver brochure. "Check your sales from the comfort of home." Chris Poelma, President and General Manager of NCR Silver, said the app's portability provides NCR Silver merchants with a seamless migration path as they navigate and adjust service levels to their evolving requirements.

"With the addition of Ring Up by NCR Silver, we can now support businesses through every phase, from startup to franchise," he said. "Ring Up by NCR Silver is the stepping stone for micro merchants or service providers looking for a reliable technology partner to grow with. Once these businesses are ready to expand, NCR Silver will be there to help."

Simple pricing

Early reviewer Michael Guta of smallbiztrends.com said Ring Up's small footprint and simple pricing model makes mobile POS technology accessible to smallest business owners. "Ring Up is slightly bigger than a credit card and it connects via Bluetooth to your mobile device," he wrote. "Once you pair them up, you can start accepting payments. The device also comes with an app so you can access reports and transaction data via the Internet."

Guta expressed confidence in NCR Silver and Worldpay, noting they are globally recognized brands. "The processing fee is 2.7 percent per swipe or dip," he wrote. "If the transaction is keyed in, it will go up to 3.50 percent plus 0.15. There is a $14 monthly service fee, and each Ring Up [mobile reader] will cost you $39 plus tax."

These prices are slightly below Square's published pricing, which is 2.75 percent for swiped and 3.75 percent plus 15 cents for manually entered transactions, according to Square's website.

Competing for mobile market share

Retail analysts estimate there are 3.7 million micro business in the United States and view NCR's entrance into the market as a direct challenge to incumbent aggregators such as Stripe, Square, PayPal and Amazon Payments. They have seen slower adoption of mobile payment schemes in the United States, compared with other geographic regions.

Worldpay's Global Payments Report 2016 attributes delayed mobile POS adoption in Western regions to fragmented markets. These markets offer more choice but make it difficult for people to select appropriate payment methods, according to the report.

"Pure payment companies like PayPal compete for market share with technology vendors such as Apple and Google, who in turn compete with smaller scale offerings from hundreds of payment providers and merchant-owned services," the authors wrote. "The coming years are likely to see major technology companies, including Facebook, Apple and Google, follow in Alipay's footsteps and compete on the lifestyle USP [unique selling proposition] to win over customers. The rollout of in-browser payments by Apple and Google and launch of in-app money transfers from Facebook mark the first steps in terms of delivering a ubiquitous experience."

Worldpay authors contrast fragmented Western markets with Alipay's ubiquity in China, where the popular payment method accounts for 44 percent of global eWallet spend. "Somewhat crucial to Alipay's success is how the payment method has become a 'lifestyle choice,' embedded into daily life interactions and activities," the authors wrote. "By contrast, Western consumers are more likely to open their browser to buy goods and use a purpose-built app for money transfers." end of article

Editor's Note:

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