The Bitcoin community usually revels in the news when large companies like Overstock.com and Expedia announce that they are accepting Bitcoin. But while these companies definitely have large customer bases, Bitcoin needs to be accepted by small to medium sized businesses if it is ever to become a mainstay mode of payment.
This is a problem that NCR Silver™, a cloud-based point-of-sale (PoS) system especially designed for these smaller organizations, like cafes, gift shops, food trucks and even street artists and vendors, is trying to resolve.
NCR Silver recently announced that it will be integrating Bitcoin support into its systems by the end of 2014. The service will be free to merchants and once they have registered with a Bitcoin processor such as BitPay or Coinbase, they will able to activate Bitcoin as a payment option with full support by the PoS back office within NCR Silver.
The merchant’s customers will then be able to pay using a mobile Bitcoin wallet app. The two suggested apps are available at Apple App Store or Google Play store.
NCR Silver offers a great deal of functionality for small businesses. One business, an Austin, Texas coffee shop named Dominican Joe began using PayPal™ for NCR Silver when it was launched. Mehul Patel says that he is always looking for new technologies that helped speed up his business and avoid long queues.
“It’s smart to be able to accept multiple payment options, as long they’re easy to use. That's one of the things I like about PayPal, and of integration in general — no extra work. When you have fully integrated payment alternatives, it makes customers and employees happier. I view the recent availability of mobile payment options such as Bitcoin in the same light as the transition merchants made from cash to card decades ago.”
Patel also made the point that attracting early adopters of Bitcoin is also important, especially in a university town such as Austin. Patel seems to be making a smart move because the value of Bitcoin is driver by the demand for it. The more people who are using bitcoins for purchases, as opposed to trading it for profit, the more stable and valuable it will become.
Bhaskar Chakravorti, the senior associate dean for international business and finance at the Fletcher School and executive director of Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context, recently said about Bitcoin:
“Everything suggests that Bitcoin is a phenomenon that is not going away. We are inherently going deeper and deeper into a peer-to-peer culture, where people are already feeling enabled to circumvent centralized institutions in all manner of ways. Once this horse has left the barn, it will be really difficult to put it back again.”
Chakravorti is probably correct. In 2014 there were 1.2 million Bitcoin wallets created. This means that there was a 21% increase in wallet use, quarter to quarter.
NCR’s Small Business Director of Business Development commented on the company’s decision to add Bitcoin as a payment option:
“Gone are the days when cash and cards were the only payment options available to customers shopping at small businesses. Offering Bitcoin as a payment alternative allows small businesses the flexibility they need to better serve their growing number of customers who prefer digital payment solutions.”
Now, Bitcoiners have another reason to celebrate as NCR is “the global leader in consumer transaction technologies” and currently enables more than 495 million daily global transactions across many different business sectors. Headquartered in Duluth, Georgia the company employs more than 29,000 employees and operates in 180 countries.