ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Girl Scouts using mobile payments sell more cookies per transaction

The average number of boxes of cookies sold per transaction by Girl Scouts increased from four to five last year when using a mobile payment solution.

According to Sage Mobile Payments, a Girl Scouts partner for several years, nearly 30 Girl Scout councils and more than 3,800 troops across the United States are selling cookies using mobile payments. The Girl Scouts organization also recently partnered with Visa Checkout for online purchases via its mobile Web site and mobile app.

“It makes sense for an organization like the Girl Scouts to use Sage Mobile Payments because people aren’t, as a habit, carrying cash and checks with them,” said Paul Bridgewater, CEO of Sage Payment Solutions. “Being able to offer credit card as a form of payments enables the Girl Scouts to sell cookies to just about anyone, at any time.

“It’s a matter of being able to accept payment in the way a consumer wants to, and is able to, pay for goods and services,” he said.


Biting into mobile
One Girl Scouts council reported sales increased by 13 percent for the troops using mobile payments, with the per-girl average increasing from 156 boxes to 177 boxes in these troops.

Since consumers increasingly do not carry cash or checks, enabling Girl Scouts to accept credit card using a mobile payments solution can help capture sales that might otherwise be lost.

The Girl Scouts of North East Ohio reported that its troops saw cookie sales increase almost 14 percent when using mobile payments.

The other benefits of mobile payments include that sales receipts go straight into a troop’s bank account and the ability to operate cookie booths at large convention center events.

Digital cookie
Last year, the Girl Scouts launched a revamped Digital Cookie 2.0 platform, enhancing the learning experience via a plethora of new features, including interactive quizzes, videos and games.

Girl Scouts can opt to perfect their resource allocation techniques with the help of a “spend, save and give” model, while others can explore ways of giving back by investing earnings back into their communities (see story).

In December, the Girl Scouts updated its iPhone app so users can drag in the Map view to dynamically load more booth results, making it easier to find a cookie booth near work, home or on the go. Cookie booth locations can also be shared on Instagram and Pinterest.

“At the time of payment acceptance, the Girl Scout is able to open the Sage Mobile Payment app on their smartphone,” Mr. Bridgewater said. “After a quick login, she is presented with a screen where the transaction amount is entered.

“Then the Girl Scout confirms the amount with the customer and swipes the customer’s credit card with the audio reader that is plugged into the earphone jack of the phone,” he said. “Once the card has been swiped, the Girl Scout is taken to the screen where she can receive a signature from the customer.

“After acceptance of that signature, the transaction is authorized by Sage and the Girl Scout is presented with a “transaction success” message. At that time, both the customer and Sage Mobile Payment account holder – such as the Girl Scout troop leader – are each sent an email receipt of the transaction.”