Global payments conglomerate NCR has announced that one of its merchant point-of-sale (POS) systems will soon offer bitcoin support.
The integration of bitcoin into the NCR Silver POS is expected to happen sometime before the end of this year. The system will also support mobile bitcoin wallet payments and will be a free service attached to its POS platform.
NCR is one of the world's largest payments companies. Founded in 1884 as a cash register maker, NCR offers a number of hardware and software solutions and reported more than $6bn in revenue in 2013.
In recent years, NCR has moved to take a broader share of the mobile payments space through strategic partnerships. Citing the evolving nature of digital payments, NCR indicated that it wanted to provide a greater degree of flexibility to its customers, which includes supporting technologies like bitcoin.
NCR Small Business director of business development Reggie Kimble suggested in a press statement that bitcoin is starting to make a bigger impact on the broader payments landscape, saying:
"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."
The move brings bitcoin payments to users of NCR's tablet-based Silver payments POS product, which targets small businesses and startups that have minimal infrastructure.
NCR sees future in mobile
Though whether NCR will pursue a broader integration of digital currency in the future remains to be seen, its support of bitcoin can be interpreted as part of a broader move to embrace mobile payments.
Over the past two years, the company has moved to position itself as a major player in the increasingly important space. This includes several integrations with its Silver POS product that take advantage of both new and established payment offerings.
In January 2013, NCR and PayPal inked a deal to integrate the two companies' offerings, leveraging NCR's hardware to connect merchants to PayPal's payment channels. Merchants who currently use the NCR Silver POS can opt to use PayPal when accepting payments.
NCR has also taken steps in recent months to take advantage of the upswing in interest surrounding the Apple Pay payments service, which includes opening support for the service to NCR Silver customers.
Image via NCR