For the first time, two Girl Scout councils are now prepared to accept credit card payments via smart phones to help enhance their cookie sales. Girl Scouts have traditionally only accepted cash or checks.
Girl Scouts San Diego has started using iPhones equipped with a Mophie Marketplace credit card case during a trial run at selected booth sale and retail sites in San Diego. Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio are slated to start ringing up sales in March 2011 using a card reader from Intuit Payment Solutions.
In both cases, payments will be processed by Intuit Payment Solutions through its GoPayment application. Customers will sign a receipt via touch screen and receive a record of the payment by email or text message.
According to Mary Doyle, Communications Director for the San Diego Council, 10 troops started taking mobile credit card payments initially on Feb. 24. According to reports from troop leaders, the system was easy to use, and customers seemed intrigued by the technology, Doyle said.
"The customers loved it; they came over to see what it was all about," said Troop 3099 leader Lynne Shinohara, whose troop used the mobile payment system while selling at a booth near a grocery store in Point Loma, Calif.
Doyle believes the ability to accept credit cards will eventually create more sales, as well as contribute to the girls' financial and business acumen. "When Girl Scouts are selling cookies, they are becoming entrepreneurs," she said. "This just gives them another level to go to as entrepreneurs."
The launch of the mobile payment trial will be on a much larger scale for Girl Scouts in Ohio, with 200 troops slated to start using Intuit's system on March 11.
"We are flying out there on the weekend of March fourth and fifth to train the troop leaders, parents and kids on how to use GoPayment with the credit card reader," said Intuit spokeswoman Sharna Brockett. "Then they will start using it at their booths the next weekend."
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