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Popcorn kickoff - credit card payment

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  • Popcorn kickoff - credit card payment

    I attended the council popcorn sales kickoff as a semi-willing Popcorn Kernel last night (long story). During the event, one of the council staffers announced that they had worked out a way for us to take credit cards from folks buying popcorn, as a way to get around the 'I don't have any cash on me' problem.

    They passed out free credit card devices from "Square Up". The devices will plug into Android or Iphones, and have no monthly fee. We will tie the devices to a checking account, and Square Up will deposit the funds to that account minus 2.75% for a fee.

    Does anyone have experience using this company? One of the folks at the meeting (another unit's Kernel I think) mentioned that they have used them before, and said that things are great until you get to $1,000 in total payments

  • #2
    Where will the 2.75% fee come out of, the council or unit share, or will it be split?

    Sorry, no experience with this, but that was the first question that came to mind.


    • #3
      BlancMange - that was the very first question that got asked after the "Oh Cool" finished. The 2.75% will come completely out of the unit share. The point that the presenter made was that while it's a reduced unit share / commission, it's better than NO unit share / commission.

      We came out of THAT discussion with the understanding that we should use the card reader as a last resort, to save a no sale, because the money comes right out of the unit.


      • #4
        "We came out of THAT discussion with the understanding that we should use the card reader as a last resort, to save a no sale, because the money comes right out of the unit."

        First let me clarify that I hate selling popcorn.

        The above statement really isn't motivating me to sell more popcorn. If anything, the 2.75% should come out of the council share. The units are doing all of the legwork, and while the district/council is providing support, the bottom line is that, without the units, the council gets nothing.

        I am also curious as to what"bugs" will need to be worked out.

        So, no, I'm not jumping on the credit card bandwagon yet.


        • #5
          I been using Square for quite some time, and also have experience with them, and their prime competitor from Quicken.

          I really like the Square device -- you just need to remember to "hold it" so it does not spin when you slide the card.

          BTW - LA GS Council used this with their annual cookie sales, and sold 250% more cookies council-wide.


          • #6
            UCEagle, maybe you can answer a couple of questions I have then...

            1) Is it true that if you sell more than $1,000 through Square that you'll get the money delayed for some period of time? And if you long is that?

            2) What account would you connect to the device? The unit checking account? A parent's checking account (the parent with the smartphone)?


            • #7
              As a consumer, I would *NOT* provide my credit card to a group of people standing outside a store selling anything - especially not running it through a device that hooks into someone's personal smartphone. The information security issue and potential for some unscrupulous person to use a skimming device just weigh too heavily on me. Even if the seller is wearing a Scout uniform. Sorry.

              I'll just go back in to the grocery store / KMart / pharmacy and use their ATM to buy my Trail's End, thanks.


              • #8
                We had our popcorn kickoff last week and this same device was shown to us as well.

                The square up device is linked to your unit acct. You do need to get the CO's authorization to connect it to the bank acct. I was informed that the device does not store any card information at all, it just uses your smartphone to connect to the processing center for approval. We were also given the option of using the Intuit version which requires you to manually type the card number into your phone. That would be the one I worry about with having CC numbers written down.

                I spoke with a person, who uses the squared up for her business, and she's very happy with it. On the app, she can actually program preset prices and just hit one button for the item she's selling. She also used it as an acct's receivable tool. If somebody paid cash for an item, she could notate it as cash and keep a running total for all her sales.The device also emails a receipt to the buyer after the sale has gone through. So if your worried about fraud, you have a receipt for what was paid for. MC and Visa have fraud protection built into their cards, so you can dispute the charges.Also, she received an email at night letting her know how much was going to be deposited into her acct the next day. She also received the money the next day. The 2.75% fee automatically comes out before the deposit, just like for any business that accepts credit and debit cards. That's how the bank makes their money. Sorry, No getting around it.

                At the end of our presentation, the normal disclaimer was thrown out, "BSA does not endorse any product, but these are suggestions to help your unit sales"

                This was offered to us since we will begin doing show and sell as a district this year, and it should help with those who don't have cash on them. We're interested in getting it, even just for internal Pack use. T-Shirt sales, campout fees, Pinewood Derby cars, etc.


                • #9
                  the info I have is that it costs 2.75% for each transaction; 3.5% + 15 cents if you have to type in the number.
                  it should be linked to your unit checking account for deposits(not your treasurer's personal checking account), they ask for ssn or ein so they are reporting it as sales somewhere along the line to the irs.
                  and if you have more than $1000 in sales within 7 days, they hold anything over $1000 for 30 days.


                  • #10
                    "The device also emails a receipt to the buyer after the sale has gone through. So if your worried about fraud, you have a receipt for what was paid for."

                    So, do you have to request an e-mail address from the prospective buyer to provide a Credit card receipt?(This message has been edited by ASM162)


                    • #11
                      ASM, from viewing the video on the Squareup website, the seller will enter the amount of money we are charging on the phone, and scan the card. The payor will then 'sign' for the charge with their finger, 'approve' the payment by pressing an approve button, and then can enter either a cell phone number (for an SMS sent receipt) or an email address (for an emailed receipt).


                      • #12
                        Sooo, 2.75%....$18 unbelievable butter, we get 32% so that means our take is... 5.76 the cost of the transaction is .495

                        So are you willing to pay .50 to receive 5.26.

                        Seems like the cost of doing business.

                        We got a lot of sorry no cash last year......For zero cost it might just be worth a try.

                        If we get one more sale because of it then that is one more sale than we had before.

                        Worth a try in my book.


                        • #13
                          We got 1/3 of money in pure donations NO popcorn. I think a lot of folks just gave what they thought was fair. Not sure how the credit card thing would affect things.


                          • #14
                            Wow 1/3 in donations that is incredible.


                            • #15
                              I heard they were working on the $1,000 limit when some of our DEs approached them about using it ... I will see if I can get an update tomorrow.