News | February 29, 2012

Girl Scout Troops In 23 States Can Now Accept Mobile Payments For Cookies

Sage North America recently announced they have partnered with numerous Girl Scout Councils to add mobile payment as an option for cookie sales. To date, 32 Girl Scout Councils in 23 states, representing more than 40,000 troops, can now use Sage Mobile Payments, Sage's Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant mobile payments product.

Girl Scout Councils are primarily funded through the cookie program and fundraising activities. Troops sell 11 varieties of cookies, with 70 percent of the proceeds funding Girl Scouts programming. Girl Scout leaders, scouts, and parents across the U.S. are now using the Sage Mobile Payments application and credit card swiper, which attaches to most phones as a means to accept secure credit card payments for Girl Scout cookies.

Sage Mobile Payments comes bundled with a Sage merchant account and allows organizations like the Girl Scouts to cost effectively and securely process credit and debit card transactions on mobile devices, like cell phones and tablets, including Apple's iPad, across all major wireless carriers.

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio in Macedonia, Ohio, serving nearly 40,000 girls in grades K-12 and 14,000 adult members, was the first Council to sign on to use Sage Mobile Payments, That Council's troops had been reporting a decline in cookie booth sales in recent years, so executives at Girl Scouts of North East Ohio wanted to see if having the ability to accept credit cards would increase sales. They signed on with another mobile payments technology vendor last year.

"We experienced some customer service issues with our previous provider," said Marianne Love, programs director for the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. "After addressing the issues with our chief financial officer, he suggested Sage Mobile Payments. Sage came in and, literally, within 2 weeks' time, we were up and running with Sage Mobile Payments."

13 Percent Increase in Cookie Sales
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio troops using mobile payments technology at cookie booths have seen at least a 13 percent increase in their sales, while troops not using the technology have experienced flat sales. Ultimately, though, the Girl Scouts are more than just selling cookies.

"We want to give members real-world skills and applications they'll carry with them as they become adults," said Carol Smith, a Girl Scout for more than 30 years and leader of Girl Scout Troop 24 in Solon, Ohio. "Using Sage Mobile Payments is a great way for our girls to use technology to sell additional boxes of cookies. This is an example of something we teach our girls; using technology is a way to empower themselves."

Top-Notch Transaction Security, Accurate Reports
"Customers are amazed by the front-end technology with the cell phone and credit card reader, but what's most important for us is the back end information, so we can make sure funds are deposited into the troops' accounts," said Love.

Smith uses the Sage Mobile Payments website to verify cookie sales have reconciled correctly with her bank account. She said, "We get an email for each mobile transaction, so I'm able to triple check my information. I have a record of sales in my email and on the Sage Mobile Payments website, plus a record of the funds in my bank account."

The security of patrons' information is of utmost importance to the Girls Scouts, and Sage is able to provide troops using Sage Mobile Payments with a secure way of conducting a mobile credit and debit card transactions.

"Sage Mobile Payments works through a secure application, so a customer's credit card number is never stored on the cell phone used to complete the transaction," said Smith. "Sage Mobile Payments is convenient and secure, and has really helped us increase our cookie sales."

The Girl Scout troops are using Sage Mobile Payments Version 2.0, which features an updated user interface, signature capture capabilities, a tax and tip calculator, and a free Sage Mobile "app store" download. To watch a video about the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio's use of Sage Mobile Payments, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVnNBx5DdU.

The Girl Scouts is a 100-year-old organization, started by Juliette Low in Savannah, Ga., in 1912. Low wanted to show girls they could be whatever they wanted. Belonging to the Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts – 2.3 million girl members and 880,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers. For more information, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/.

Sage has been providing businesses and organizations with electronic payment systems for more than 20 years. The company allows more than 155,000 merchants to accept multiple forms of payment, including credit and debit cards, electronic checks, Check21, gift and loyalty cards, and automatic recurring payment. Sage Payment Solutions provides a wide range of secure standalone and integrated payment processing solutions, including Sage Exchange, Sage Virtual Terminal, Sage Mobile Payments, and Sage Patient Payments. For more information, visit www.sagepayments.com.

About Sage
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,300 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.SageNorthAmerica.com.

SOURCE: Sage North America

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